June 12, 2006

Player Evaluation from game vs. Czech

I am extremely embarrassed and disappointed. This is to understate my emotions toward the game today. Saying that, I do realize that the Czech are a powerhouse. They are without a doubt a top-3 team in the world. Pavel Nedved was brilliant; Cech was barely tested. Here is a grade for each player based on performance. Feel free to leave comments to vent or dispute.


  • GK - Keller: Only had one save in 4 chances (shots on goal). Not much to say here, all 3 goals were spectacular! [B- -]
  • D - Eddie Lewis: Quite possibly the worst game i've ever seen him play. Never looked comfortable. He seems to have forgotten how to play the ball on the ground. Totally ineffective. [D-]
  • D - "Gooch": Possibly our lone bright spot all game. He did have a defensive error that led to the first goal, but that mistake was shared by Pope and caused by Lewis (left his area). Overall, very impressive. Should see a big payday after the Cup. [B]
  • D - Cherundolo: Even though he scared me to near death several times, he was solid in back. We will need consistency throughout if we are to advance to the knock-out stage. [B-]
  • D - Pope : He played better than I expected him too. He stoned Nedved, when I thought he would have been abused. The NC-born defender held his own. Will need to be a better ball server in game 2 against Italy, with maybe a chance to get forward on a corner. [B-]
  • M - Mastroeni : Ineffective, at best. The Midfield as a whole and as individuals can take the blame for the loss today. [C-]
  • M - Reyna: Had a lot of touches, but they seemed to mostly go to the other team. Midfield struggled in part because Reyna was MIA for most of the match. He did have the best US chance. Too bad the shot off the post doesn't even go down as a Shot on goal. [D+]
  • M - Beasley: To his credit (i guess), he was playing on his non-preferred side. He normally plays the left wing where Convey was. I thought he fought hard to the end. His play definitely suffers when the CM's can't control the Middle. [C]
  • M - Convey: I don't want to be too harsh on Convey for his effort today. All in all, I felt he did what was expected of him. He was definitely outsized, but his speed and dribbling ability did produce a few near chances. Hope to see him in rare form on Saturday. [B-]
  • F - Donovan: Did he play today??? I thought maybe he had been a sub when I saw him at the end of the match. Regardless of his position, he must be effective. He was not the leader he needs to be. Pavel Nedved showed him how to "run the show" today. Maybe a young Donovan learns and follows suit on Saturday. [C-]
  • F - McBride: McBride shouldn't be on the field if the Midfielders cannot serve him good crosses. I don't remember a single chance he had. Face it, his strength isn't on the ground. Someone should send a telegram to the Midfield to request possession of the ball, wing play, and good crosses. All in all, McBride not a fault. [no grade]

Improvements:

  1. Energy: a half-hearted effort will not be accepted. There are subs [Dempsey, Olsen, Ching] who will be zealous if the others are not.
  2. Why the 4-4-2 or 4-5-1??? : C'mon Bruce. You are a great coach, but we can't win playing another team's style of ball. He wanted to have the defensive help, and it ended up that we lost every important battle on the field. We are a team that attacks from the wings and corners. It was not there today. I think they should return to a conservative 3-5-2 approach.
  3. Kick Eddie Lewis to the John Brown moon! The lad could have only played worse by pulling a Jeff Agoos and netting one in his own goal. What about John O'Brien or Clint Dempsey. I was very angry with his performance. A 3-5-2 conviently places Lewis sitting the pine.
  4. Donovan needs to play CM: He did not get into the attack today playing FORWARD. Reason being, there was no one to create and possess. I plead with you Bruce, let Donovan play his position.
  5. Today (not always) the ball needed to be played on the ground. Too much air attack. It was ineffective nearly every time. The two chances we had with Reyna and Johnson were the result of ground attack.

I know Arena knows more than I, but I was not pleased with his decisions nor the team's play today.