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U.S. player ratings from Tuesday’s big win over Belize

Jul 10, 2013, 1:09 AM EDT

Wondolowski of the U.S. reacts to goal against Belize during their CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer match in Portland, Oregon

Game grades from Tuesday’s 6-1 victory at Jeld-Wen Field against over-matched and eventually overrun Belize. Remember, it’s just Belize. (NOTE: when rating players against under-strength opposition, we have to be a little picky. They should be doing most everything right.) 

STARTERS

GK Nick Rimando (7): Didn’t need his hands for more than 20 minutes, but did have to be alert in keeping  a 23rd minute deflection from sneaking under the cross bar. Also contributed a wonderful, flying save in stoppage time. Mostly, Real Salt Lake’s No. 1 had the quiet night everyone expected.

RB Michael Parkhurst (5): No trouble defensively, but he just isn’t the man for these matches at right back, simply not comfortable pushing the attack and taking on defenders. Almost always chooses the nice, safe pass rather than something more aggressive or adventurous. A misplaced pass here and there, too.

CB Michael Orozco (7): Slipped and lost his mark once when Belize got its first shot directed toward Rimando and got turned once in the midfield, but was otherwise solid. Managed to be around the ball a lot on offensive set-pieces and got his reward with the fifth U.S. goal.

CB Clarence Goodson (7) Good about pushing aggressively into Belize’s half, even getting to within 30 yards of goal at times.  Helped set the aggressive, high line Klinsmann wants and his passing was assertive once again.

LB DaMarcus Beasley (7): Once again the U.S. veteran was easily the better outside back in terms of throwing himself into the attack, confidently moving into attacking spots along the flank. Very little to do on defense.

DM Kyle Beckerman (6): The more defensive-minded of the central pairing, as you would expect. But Beckerman did add some offensive dash to his usual bag of tricks at international level, like a couple of skillful through balls or the terrific, early cross for the second U.S. goal. Tended to pass to the right a lot, for some reason. (Perhaps by tactical design?)

CF Mix Diskerdud (5): Active in showing for passes and finding ways to be involved, usually playing a little higher than Beckerman in the alignment. While his positioning was nominally central, Diskerud tended to drift to the right, probably because Beasley was keeping more pressure on the U.S. left side than Parkhurst could along the right. Needs to tidy up the possession just a little.

RM Joe Corona (6): Played along the right in the U.S. 4-4-2. His ability to rise and head Torres’ early cross provided the rebound that led to an 11th minute U.S. goal. His crossing was zippy and generally accurate, although the young Liga MX attacker could have been more opportunistic on his shooting.

LM Jose Torres (5): Playing along the left, tucked away inside, the Tigres man was a little slow in arriving into the game, although it was his cross that initiated the first U.S. goal. Generally though, same old Torres, just not doing enough to stamp his imprint on the night. For instance, he needed to finish from right in front of goal in the first half. Clearly, Torres can make the passes that open up a defense – he just needs to try ‘em a little more often.

(MORE: A few takeaways from the United States’ win)

FW Landon Donovan (7): A lot of technical craft, combining, turning, crossing, mixing in a little flick here and there, always doing his part to keep Belize under constant pressure. Donovan worked the channels and drifted wide as needed while Wondolowski took up positions around the 6. Donovan made smart runs, rarely lost the ball, collected two assists and converted the highly dubious PK for a sixth U.S. goal.

FW Chris Wondolowski (8): The man who has struggled to match his past scoring numbers in MLS this year had a hat trick within 40 minutes, doing exactly what he needed to climb up the striking depth chart. The scoring surely had “Wondo” feeling good, for his hold-up play was confident and effective. Not as active in the second 45, but it’s hard to criticize a striker who hits for three.

SUBSTITUTES

Stuart Holden (7): Entered at halftime for Beckerman and needed just more than 10 minutes to score. Didn’t need even that long to get on the ball a lot; good anticipation in stepping into passing lanes. The central midfield shape was more a true 4-4-2 when the Bolton man came on, with he and Diskerud exchanging spots in the middle. That allowed Holden to find some spots near Belize goal. Another nice step in his long climb back.

Brek Shea (6): Entered in the 61st minute for Torres. Didn’t see a bunch of the ball as the U.S. attack continued to lean right. But generally, his direct style provides a nice change of pace, especially when he replaces someone like Torres, who is more chisel than hammer in his attacking movements.

Alejandro Bedoya (6): Entered in the 66th for Corona. Nearly got into the scoring within seconds of his introduction.

  1. 69jaredallen69 - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Pretty generous with those grades

    • joeyt360 - Jul 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Err, we won 6-1 and yet only one grade was above 7.

  2. twayward - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Generally agree with rankings.

    I understand you gave Beckerman a 6 due to his lovely cross to set up the second USMNT goal. But his general lack of offense seems to be a drag on his midfield partners — Torres vs Guatemala and Diskerud vs Belize. Assuming all are healthy, I hope Beckerman’s not in Brazil next year.

    Disappointing that Torres didn’t seem to play with more urgency tonight. There’s no doubting his abilities. But he may be running out of chances to prove he belongs in the World Cup squad.

    Stuart Holden’s form warms this USMNT supporter’s heart. Long may it continue,

  3. skinnydinosaurs - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Stuart Holden’s form warms this USMNT supporter’s heart. Long may it continue…
    I just wanted that to be posted twice here.

  4. docstraw - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    It’s great seeing Holden on the field, and he adds so much to the team’s rhythm and attack it is ridiculous. One thing I have noticed is that he has totally changed his style when the other team has the ball and I think it will become more apparent as the US plays better competition in this tournament. Before the 2011 injury he was a master at slide tackles, in fact, I think he was among the leaders in the Premiership that season. Over the course of the last 90 minutes of action, he hasn’t come anywhere close to getting “stuck in”. Two things to consider: Most obviously, it is a concession to the injuries he has suffered, perhaps a conscious decision to change his style of play when defending. He might be content to simply clog passing lanes and toe poke when necessary. The other factor is that he simply has not had to do it yet because Guatemala and Belize were not much of a threat attacking down the middle of the field. Anyway, it’s something I am going to keep an eye on. If it turns out he is less inclined to slide into challenges the way he used to or the way a Jermaine Jones or Michael Bradley might, how does he fit into the larger picture, especially when some of us are ready to put him in the starting line up come the fall qualifiers?

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