US player ratings in Chile draw
Several US national team players' parents will be happy with the report card from Saturday night's 1-1 rally draw with Chile at the Home Depot Center.
Three debutants put on enticing displays, while Red Bull New York teammates Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo continued forcing their way into the US picture. Here are the ratings for the game:
Nick Rimando (7) - The Real Salt Lake backstop didn't have a great deal to do, but handled a couple of tricky assignments with great ease.
Sean Franklin (6) - The debutant had a few problems with losing the ball or his man in bad locations during the first half, but worked nice and clean after the break. The Galaxy defender showed enough poise for more looks.
Omar Gonzalez (5) - The Los Angeles policeman was a bit clumsy with the ball early, but his mistakes went unpunished. The last half of his 45 minutes went smoother.
Tim Ream (7.5) - Say hello to Clarence Goodson's understudy? With his organizational skills and passing out of the back, that doesn't seem a stretch – at least until Jay DeMerit is finally back in action.
Zach Loyd (7) - The FC Dallas handyman was a buzzing bee on his debut, to say the least. Loyd got up and down his wing with abandon and even wandered inside to make a couple plays. There were a couple of flubs and his energy level showed a downside with the card, but we'll see more of him soon.
Jeff Larentowicz (6.5) - It wasn't a star show, but the debut international showed that a call-up was overdue. He calmed things down several times, broke up some Chile rushes and sprayed a few fine outlet passes.
Dax McCarty (5) - It was, in many ways, a rather untypical showing by the night's captain. McCarty did test the 'keeper with a long bomb and teed up a good second-half chance, but there were far too many poor passes. He battled his way back from a slow start to close the first half strong, then regressed in the second.
Alejandro Bedoya (5.5) - With play going down the left for much of the opening half hour, Bedoya had long waits for touches and was late getting into the game. He was more involved in the second half and finally able to create some danger.
Mikkel Diskerud (5.5) - After a good start to the match characterized by easy touches, Mix had troubles executing technically for much of the evening. Even with his playmaking somewhat on the fritz, Diskerud still managed to run Chile defenders mad and pop up in smart linking locations to open up lanes.
Brek Shea (7) - Before he departed, was there a US move he wasn't heavily involved in? There was no end product, but Shea impressed with several fine turns, use of his size in the build and challenging runs at a defender. He even supplied a pair of excellent pressure valve plays in his end.
Chris Wondolowski (5) - It was a fairly anonymous debut for the San Jose ace, who got the ball stuck in his feet on his lone chance to breach the area. To be fair, he didn't get much service and routinely dropped back to help with possession.
Coach Bob Bradley (5.5) - This match wasn't about the result, so let's grade the boss more on how well he organized a green group while teaching the USMNT way. While most of the defensive headaches were caused by individual errors, the consistent lack of proper attack shape after a long camp is of concern. Most prominently, the wide midfielders still need to refrain from squeezing inside quite so much.
One also has to question starting the wanderer Wondolowski on top of this formation. Teal Bunbury (pictured at top) is clearly more suited to that role. Sure, the final score didn't matter here, but there is a noticeable pattern of Bradley making influential changes to turn matches.
It begs the question: Are his subs too often more effective than the starters they relieve? Despite my couple of particular complaints, there were also plenty of encouraging signs of another helpful Camp Cupcake on display.
Sean Johnson (6) - Though he can't be faulted for the goal, the Chicago Fire netminder did look a bit wide-eyed on a couple of occasions.
Marvell Wynne (4.5) - Alright, we've seen enough of him as a US center back for the time being. Aside from the odd flailing on the Chile goal, Wynne was exposed at the back far too many times for 45 minutes of work. Truth be told, it was more nerve-racking when he made plays.
Juan Agudelo (7) - Once again complicit in turning a game off the bench, the RBNY prodigy may already have an inside track on the 2014 World Cup impact sub role. You've got to love the way Agudelo hustles his tail off to keep 40-60 balls alive for his side. That kind of thing is always bound to pay off in the attack zone sooner or later.
Teal Bunbury (7) - The penalty stroke was true, and besides that, Bunbury offered good value for a half hour in causing Chile problems. His blend of strength and silkiness is impressive.
Anthony Wallace (-) One of three Colorado Rapids involved on the night, the left back was not overly involved over 17 minutes. He did show a willingness to get forward.
Eric Alexander (-) His appearance was too short to grade, but do note that he played two dangerous balls into the area in just seven minutes.