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The Good, The Average, and the Ugly

June 5, 2010

Altogether tonight’s performance was a good sign. Our offense seems to be more potent than it has ever been, and we constantly look dangerous on the break. With Buddle bagging a brace, and Gomez netting one, it is good to see our strikers are confident and scoring. The downside is that our defense still looks shambolic, and hasn’t shown any signs of improving greatly. We can’t leave space at the far post when we play against England, because Crouch won’t miss. And Jay DeMerit can’t keep following his man into midfield. Rooney will pull him out of position all day, and Steven Gerrard will bag tons of goals cutting into the open space. Also, our midfielders need to do a better job of dropping back and showing for the ball when our defenders get pressed. None of our center backs are terribly comfortable on the ball, and they need to be able to play simple passes to relieve pressure. With Wayne Rooney on the opposing team, that is going to be a real issue. Check out the assessment of the players individually after the jump.

The Good

Edson Buddle– Buddle was excellent up top. He played a hell of a game, and did wonderfully with the chances he got. He also showed good awareness with some balls he played, specifically the ball he played across goal for Findley.

Robbie Findley– Findley showed a lot of potential, but didn’t follow up on it. He seemed to have gotten over sprinting to the touchline, and did a much better job know where to run and when to run. That being said, he had two glorious chances, with the goal at his mercy, and couldn’t put the ball on target. But some days just aren’t your day, and I know both chances were more difficult than they looked. All in all he showed that he could be dangerous, and it was a positive outing for him.

Michael Bradley– Was Michael Bradley, as usual. His distribution was solid, his defense was great, he made good runs into the box, and did everything he always does.

Landon Donovan– Donovan did well enough today, but didn’t produce anything spectacular. He was involved in some great build up play, and delivered a killer ball for Gomez to score off of.

Tim Howard– Howard looked dominant, as should be expected. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look so angry as he was when Cahill scored. I thought he was going to punch somebody (most likely a US defender).

The Average

Clint Dempsey– Dempsey still couldn’t find his touch. It didn’t help that every time he got the ball he was scythed down by some Australian dickhead, but he had a few touches that were atrocious considering the quality of the balls being played into him.

Herculez Gomez– Gomez didn’t see very much time, but showed a good awareness, and finished off a killer goal.

Ricardo Clark– I find myself still wondering why Bob Bradley sticks with him. I just don’t understand it. His distribution is mediocre, his defense is okay, and he doesn’t do a great job of showing for the ball when a defender or forward gets into trouble. I am very disappointed that neither Torres nor Edu saw the field.

Steve Cherundolo– Cherundolo didn’t look quite as good as he has in the previous two friendlies, getting exposed a few times on the right. His offense was spot on, however, as he delivered a great cross for Buddle to put in the back of the net.

Carlos Bocanegra– Bocanegra seemed largely absent. He wasn’t terrible, he just didn’t seem to be very involved.

Jonathan Bornstein– Bornstein, on the other hand, actually looked good in the twenty or so minutes he played. He was assured on the ball, made good passes, timely interventions, and looked like a real live defender. It was great.

Marcus Hahnemann– Hahnemann had some good saves, but also some questionable decisions. He was lucky a few times when he came out, as he missed the cross completely only for someone to miss a shot or for it to roll harmlessly away. That being said, he was more convincing than Guzan was against the Czechs.

Clarence Goodson– Once again, Goodson did nothing spectacular, but still played solidly in the back. While he and DeMerit don’t seem to gel together in the middle of defense, it seems to be through no fault of Goodson.

The Bad

Jay DeMerit– Not DeMerit’s best outing. He seemed to drift into midfield too much, committed too many fouls, and just didn’t seem to be playing well. His form doesn’t bode well with England lurking in the very near future.

Oguchi Onyewu– Just didn’t seem convincing. The coaches said they worked him hard in training all week, so maybe that was a part of it. But overall Gooch just didn’t seem to be with the program, and unlike last Saturday, he didn’t settle the defense down when he came in.

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