Trying to defend against the Dutch is like trying to catch a bullet with your teeth. With Penn and Teller not in our Starting XI, the US succumbed 2-1 to the Clockwork Orange in front of 46,630 packed into the Amsterdam ArenA.
Howard: 7. Unlucky to give up goals by PK and deflection. Great positioning, such a good read on the game. Brilliant save late showed his shot-stopping class.
Bornstein (85): 3.5. Silly foul to give up PK. Robben was drooling over this matchup, absolutely scorched JB. Continuation of poor Confederations’ Cup showing vs quality opposition. Unlucky to give up deflection on goal, but lucky not to be called for clear handball in box. Not prepared to cover world class runs, allows players to sneak into dangerous positions.
Bocanegra: 6. Looked a bit frustrated with JB to his left, forcing him to split his attention between his job and JB’s. Dutch forgot to read scouting report: left him free on set piece header in the box for US goal. Needed to direct MF’s in front of him better.
DeMerit (70): 6. Pure grit. Great strength and balance. Great battler. Beaten and banged, came back for more. Won headers, made Dutch work for everything.
Spector: 4. Too suspect with ball at feet, needs to be much better for US outside back as a real threat to move the ball up the line and overlap. Showed flashes but could have done better. Tough task having to cover the ever threatening Elia.
Donovan (76): 3. First half was utterly worthless. Showed some offensive quality toward the end of his stint once shifted forward. Very weak defensive effort. Matches like this inspire name Landycakes. Not the sort of game we want to see out of our best footballer.
Torres (45): 3.5. Had 2 great shots, too bad first was on Howard. Showed good quickness on ball. Solid head with ball in traffic. Passing over distance not impressive. Was absolutely lost on D, didn’t know responsibility. Never really got the chance to receive ball facing goal on the move, where he is at his best.
M. Bradley: 6.5. Only MF/FW besides Jozy who looked like he belonged on the pitch with the Oranje. Great defensive positioning but too often plays channel instead of man (fine in the middle third, but not as the ball looks to penetrate the back line), which allowed for unmarked runs. Good poise on ball. Along with Bocs needed to direct US against the ball keeping D/MF in sync on coverage in defensive third.
Holden (33): 5. Confident both on ball and defending. Hoping injury is not serious: went for x-rays on shin contusion.
Findley (63): 2.5. Poor, poor touches. Weak effort on goal after receiving great ball over top. Silly undercut foul. Too easily dispossessed, needs to shield better. Findley: where threatening offensive build ups go to die. Need for Speed experiment needs to end.
Altidore: 7.5. This kid is 20? Smart checking runs. Big body keeps possession well. Very solid on ball; good touches and keeps head up. Can work for own shot. Great turn in box. Backheel nutmeg out of corner was big-sexy-time move of the match. Split two defenders and forced great save on shot from distance in stoppage time.
Beasley (34): 6. Great effort on the hustle. Still doesn’t look like Beas of old though. Showed well for himself considering quality of opposition. Great driven ball to assist on goal. Finished match strong.
Edu (46): 5. Took a while to figure out where to be defensively. Left too much space while gauging pace of game, erring on side of caution. Stepped in and helped, closed down gaps well once he got a read. Showed quality touches and coolness as game wore on.
Bedoya (64): 4. Good movement off ball. Earned foul creating dangerous scoring opportunity for US. Don’t know why he backed off Sneijder leaving him unpressured to create second goal. Gotta win the ball before you can play it; need to see him fight more on D as opposed to marveling over the Dutch’s technical splendor.
Pearce (70): 5. Tough to come into spot surrounded by teammates trying to get a foothold on the match themselves. Managed well and held own.
Johnson (77): 3. Didn’t battle. No vision on the ball. Poor touches. Will he ever have it?
Goodson (86): NR. Had the chance to be the hero but overhead kick missed high. Stepped into D well.
Man of the Match
Josmer Altidore: How he managed to do as much as he did with no support was nothing short of miraculous. Went 90 and looked dangerous every second of it, right up to his laser in stoppage time. Phil Brown, were you watching?
Doug Beard is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at email@example.com.