February 2010

US v El Salvador: Player Ratings

On the same night Mexico’s non-European based players drilled Bolivia 5-0 in San Francisco, the US bubble boys struggled to put away a depleted El Salvador side. The dreary match conditions eventually took their toll on Los Cuscatlecos; after taking the lead in the 59th minute the ever-flagging visitors conceded two, the latter coming in stoppage time.


Rimando: 5. Not much to do. Unlucky to be undone by Evans’ poor back pass. Like to see better clearances with ball at feet.

Pearce: 6.5. Looked good coming forward: half-mooned one defender, turned another inside-out. Great run, driven cross on tying goal. Undeserved yellow for solid tackle. This is the Pearce we like to see.

Bornstein: 5.5. Good positioning and vision. Stepped into opposing play well. Never looked uneasy. Had little to do with ES being so disjunct.

Goodson: 6. Very good composure and strong cover. Never looked like being broken down. See JB: easy read on game with ES not connecting MF/FW play. Good tackling, but I much prefer my center backs to have clean shorts, lest I soil mine.

Evans: 3.5. Weak back pass gave up goal. Bad giveaways and poor distribution moving forward. Solid enough cover at the back but was given plenty of support.

Davis (45): 6. Looked to be the only player with real creativity. Dangerous on ball and had good vision. Really looked to break down ES, not just connect passes. Last guy ES wanted to see on the ball.

Sacha: 6.5. Very solid controlling first half. Looked to make threatening passes. Could’ve had more goals; went for placement over power: got neither. Dispossessed uninterested ES defender to earn game winner. Did enough to offset appearance of “Yeah, I’ve been nude on camera, what of it?” mustache.

Beckerman (79): 4. Tried to force play too much. Bad awareness on ball, only saw first option. Heavy touches.

Rogers (86): 4.5. Applied good pressure off ball and good work rate. Loses possession too easily with hopeful/nervy passing. Dribbles for sake of dribbling: sometimes it works; more often ends up limiting options.

Casey (45): 3.5. Last we’ll see of him? Wandered offside twice. Poor composure. Too slow getting the ball out from under his feet. Never threatening.

Findley (68): 4. Fast. Looked to turn but still can’t hold off defenders. Speedy. Some good close-control one-touch passing. Quick. Umm… Road Runner-esque. We could still stand to see more football out of him. Still fast.


Gaven (46): 6. Instant impact. Looked menacing on the dribble 1v1: beating D’s and working into good positions. Calm on ball, saw the field well.

Ching (46): 7.5. Best moment was turning half-chance into half-volley forcing solid save. Yes, scored goal on unmarked header from 6-yard-box and assisted on simple 2v1 play, but even better was forcing backline to bend and an improvised ball over the top setting Gaven free on goal.

Cunningham (69): 3.5. Needed a cooler head. Could have done more with his chances.

Dax (80): NR. Came in and gave chase to no real avail. 2014 will be his time.

Cameron (87): NR. Earned first cap and laced one over the bar.

Man of the Match

Brian Ching – No surprise here: when you net the equalizer and set up the winner, you’re gonna get the plaudits. But even better than the big Hawaiian’s boot-print on the score line was his usual Ching-like job stretching the defense. Simply, he looked like a man amongst boys. What I’ve been asking to push him to the next level is that he put half-chances on frame and connects with guys running out of the midfield. Done and Done. This was easily his finest performance for the Yanks.

Doug Beard is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at doug@yanksarecoming.com.

Doug Beard

  • Daniel Seco


    I generally agree with all of your ratings, but Jon Levy and I both agree that Robbie Rogers played a little bit better than you are giving him credit for. Maybe I’m a bit biased as a fellow Terp, but Levy and I were both thinking more of a 5/5.5. Your thoughts?

  • Yeah I’d give him a .5 bump up for those back-to-back perfect set piece lay ins in the 2nd half that remarkably no one in the box could connect with. Weight room or cheeky escapism boys, pick your poison and use it to get head/body/boot to ball.

    Been catching up on some TYAC reading tonight by the way, and your Kljestan mustache call had me in stitches worse than anything thus far, especially after seeing that magnificent follicular display up close and personal at last night’s post game press conference.

  • So, I watched the game again with a finger on the FWD button and an eye on RR and I’ll say I’m likely judging him on a different standard. Mostly because he has a legit shot to make the trip to RSA.
    Having said that, I do think both Gaven and Davis looked far better and far more dangerous on the flanks.
    I think the argument most folks are having about RR is the over descrepancy between what it looks like he is doing and the actual efficacy of his actions.
    Here’s what RR showed me.
    Plus side: he is strong and he is solid with either foot.
    Down side: predictable and no real vision.
    Not counting hopeful crosses (only 1 of the 8 was actually good) that lost possession, I counted 10 times RR gave away passes and 7 times he lost the ball on the dribble (I struggle to recall a time when he out-and-out beat a man off the dribble). He connected on 14 passes, but fully EIGHT of those were simple dumpoffs to a back, leaving him with 6 successful forward moving passes in 86 minutes. sigh.
    Keep in mind that he was facing as LITTLE PRESSURE on the ball as he is EVER going to see and he was STILL no real threat.
    Of his set pieces in the offensive 3rd he only delivered one ball of real class: the driven ball taken from a central position that Evans headed on frame (both Evans and Ching were only marked by one man; ES’s marking was poor all night, making us look that much better). Of the others, they were either lofted balls to the spot (too far out to be any real danger at that pace), or 50/50 mixers (still lofted) that preyed upon a short goalkeeper… not really awe inspiring.
    My (~straightens tie~) assessment is that he is not ready for the international game. His vision narrows exponentially with pace. He still lacks the situational awareness to see the game beyond one pass and when he puts his head down… forget about it, he is no longer part of the game on the field; he is playing his own game: one that lacks the final touch of class that would get him over the hump.
    Again: his vision narrows way too much when he attempts to go at pace. This makes him very predictable at the international level where he’s not able to outpace his man, and he simply paints himself into a corner.
    What he does best is hold up the ball, but who wants that in our flank play?
    I’ll begrudgingly concede the 0.5 in rating… but don’t think I’m not watching you, Rogers. 😉 heh.
    And Jon, did Sacha offer you some candy, or were you too old for his liking?

  • Great assessment Doug. From the Raymond James press box both of those lay ins looked inch perfect, but I will concede this particular box is at altitude.

    And I was rocking a beard of my own at the time so no… maybe if I was clean shaven I would have been preyed upon.