USA 2, Spain 0: Who was your Man of the Match?

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The above group of eleven Americans just delivered one of the best team performances in U.S. Soccer history, defeating seemingly unbeatable Spain, 2-0, on Wednesday. It took every one of the above players to make it happen, and there were several outstanding performances, but there are sure to be varying opinions on who delivered the best performance.

Who was the U.S. team's Man of the Match? Was it Tim Howard for his countless clutch saves? Landon Donovan for his tireless effort and fearless determination? Oguchi Onyewu for his dominance in the penalty area? Jay DeMerit for his timely challenges against two of the world's best strikers?

My pick is Clint Dempsey. Not just for his pass to Jozy Altidore on the U.S. team's first goal, or his finish on the second goal, but for the work he put in all match long. His defensive effort, passing and overall work rate helped the U.S. team win the battle on his side of the field against the formidable tandem of Albert Riera and Joan Capdevila. While any number of players are worthy of the nod, Dempsey gets SBI's vote (though after watching the second half again, I'm going to say Tim Howard is just as deserving).

Now it is your turn. What U.S. player (and you can only pick one, and hedge like we just did) gets your pick for Man of the Match? Cast your vote after the jump and share your reason for your pick below:

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126 Responses to USA 2, Spain 0: Who was your Man of the Match?

  1. Just voted for Timmy… And although he clearly wasn’t on the field, I think Bob Bradley could get some run in this conversation. He took a lot of abuse over the last 10 days – some of it deserved (Beasley?) – but came through today with a smart and aggressive game plan.

  2. EDB says:

    I thought it was Jay. Any time there was a big defensive stop it seemed to be Jay that did it.

  3. Hugo Scheckter says:

    The whole team was superb. I dont think I could just pick one.

  4. lessons says:

    The back four….no doubt

  5. jim b says:

    MOTM is Onyewu.., Ricardo Clark deserves an honerable mention though. His phone will be ringing off thee hook after this game.

  6. Iammetro says:

    I don’t think anyone on the defensive side should be man of the match. We beat Spain because we put it in the back of their net, twice. The US is always gonna defend, and have great keepers. Those are never gonna be issues for the team. The US needs offensive power now. They want to make it to the next level, it needs better forwards, wingers, and box to box midfielders. This game the Man of the Match should be at least someone on the attacking side of the team. You can’t beat Giants with scoring goals. The US did just that.

  7. dena says:

    The back four was immense, especially Gooch, not a ball passed him all night, but when they got beat Howard was there to shut down Spain down, out of a team filled with MOTM’s Howard is mine.

  8. SBI Mafia informant says:

    Sergio Ramos and iker casillas

  9. Iammetro says:

    sorry, I meant

    “You can’t beat Giants without scoring goals….”

  10. Nice goal by Jozy, but he is still not in good form. Casey should have been starting since the beginning of the tournament.

    Torres and Adu need to be given more playing time for the times that they will be needed instead of Feilhaba. Clark was fantastic though.

    Howard gets MOTM for maintaining composure under heavy attack.

  11. patrick says:

    jozy and or tim howard. GW goal and about 20 GW saves

  12. LA NORTE says:

    Llego un dia de alegria y felizidades

  13. Craig says:

    I would have voted for Conor Casey.

  14. I voted for Jay DeMerit, since he played here in Chicago for UIC.

  15. Kris says:

    Honestly… Bradley’s game was very underrated. He stole the ball from Xavi — widely regarded as the best MF in the world over the past year — countless times and shut down Xavi, Xabi, and the whole right side of Spain. He’s my most underrated player, although not sure if MoM. Probably him or Howard.

  16. RSLfan says:

    I refuse to pick anyone, it was just such a great TEAM effort from everyone, even Casey was running around a bit when he came in. Great match.

  17. Sushant Rao says:

    No way I can pick one MOTM. This was a team win and no *one* player stood out from anyone else.

    To me, the best players on the pitch for the US were: Timmy, Gooch, DeMerit (what a relevation!), Bradley and Donovan.

    Next come everyone else (Boca, Clark, Spector, Jozy, Dempsey, Davies and Feilhaber). Not that they didn’t have good games, I just don’t remember them making as many plays as the ones listed above.

    Dempsey is a bit of a curious one. I thought he should have put his chances a on frame (the glancing header and the shot) but I guess I didn’t see him the same way SBI did.

  18. Chase says:


  19. gj says:

    I want say everyone on that team was a hero today.

  20. MZ says:

    It’s Demerit without question
    BBC Sport Quote: “The way Demerit is playing, Real Madrid is going to come in with a 45 million pound bid soon.”

  21. RedLine55 says:

    Just a great team effort. I want to say the whole back four, but the mid was just as important at times. Party time.

    And for all the Bob Bradley haters: Don’t stop now. All the criticism was warranted and accurate. He finally decides to field a side that doesn’t resemble an MLS team, and look what happens!

    Still… we just beat Spain in a (somewhat) meaningful match. Let this soak in! Get off your computers and celebrate!

  22. Ives says:

    Okay, so I watched the second half again and have to say Tim Howard deserves it, but as many have said, most of the team deserves it.

  23. Frank Jordan says:

    What sort money does the US Federation get for participating in Cup Confederations Cup? Also, how money is Semi-final and final match worth? Just curious. It has to be in the millions. I know there is considerable amount of jack available in the WWC rounds.

  24. Stoltz says:

    The true sign of a team effort is when you have this hard of a time picking an MVP. Lots of good arguments for everyone on this list but Jay was a workhorse, never got beat on the dribble, and was simply the stopping point of the Spanish attack. He has really elevated the US defense to a new level.

  25. centrejack says:

    GOOOOOCHHHHHHH – I hoped he hasn’t signed with Fenerbache yet because his price just went up … alot

  26. Jim says:

    Rico Clark was FANTASTIC. He broke up so many plays AND added composure on the ball to his game. You put this performance alongside the matches he had against Egypt and Honduras and I believe he’s cemented a place in the US lineup.

    That being said, MOTM is probably Timmy. Gooch and DeMerit were great as well, but those forwards got goalside a little too often for me to put their performance above Howard.

  27. dwbpnm says:

    I’m going to be visiting SanFran on Sunday anybody have suggestions for where to go to watch the US in the final? Man that sounds great the US in a final!

  28. Brett says:

    Tim Howard.

    Many players had great matches, but with an average keeper Spain probably puts 2 in the net. Howard was beastly.

  29. froboy says:

    Prize Money
    The total prize money for the 2009 Confederations Cup is US$17.6 million, with the winner billed to receive US$3.75 million, the runner up US$3.25 million, third-place team US$2.75 million and the fourth place winner, US$2.25 million. The teams ranked fifth to eighth will each receive US$1.4 million.

  30. Tom A says:

    The back 5!!! Timmmmmyyyyyyy!!

  31. David says:

    Michael Bradley.

    If you saw Bob Bradley’s post game comments, he said the key to the game was shutting down Xavi and passing lanes in the middle of the field. Michael Bradely did his job.

  32. Gage says:

    I think Donovan really silenced the critics today. He was playing the entire field, I couldn’t believe his work rate. I’d see him clear a ball in the box and then join in on a counter attack. Just awesome.

  33. Tolik says:

    I voted Landon

    I think Landon, Howard and Dempsey deserve 10 for the game.

    Besides Casey, nobody gets less than 8 from me.

    If Landon does not land a good team after this, there is only 2 possible solutions: they are all crazy, or I am.

  34. DC Josh says:

    It was very hard to pick only one player, with the win coming from a collective team effort, but I voted for Landon simply because he has been the best player for the US this entire tournament. He puts in a great deal of work every game, and has sparkled every game.

    It just goes to show everyone that soccer comes down to which team has better chemistry and wants to win more, not who is better on paper.

    I’d have to give Timmy or Gooch my close second picks BTW. They have been rock solid in the back.

  35. V says:

    The prize money is waaay too even. Only $.5M difference b/n winner and runner up? And 5-8 get the same? Kinda Lame.

    Not enough capitalistic profit motive.

    No wonder people call soccer a socialist sport. There is a little redistribution of wealth going on. I guess Obama is getting more involved in soccer than just lobbying for and attending World Cups.

  36. Eric says:


    Just a thought but it might be worth looking into how everyone on the US team has helped their stock in the trade market after this tournament. Look at Gooch, DeMerit, and Jozy. The three of them have to have shot up their stock some after these matches.

  37. Tony in Quakeland says:

    All of them.

    Seriously, I couldn’t possibly pick between Howard, Donovan, gooch and Dempsey

  38. Tony in Quakeland says:

    dwbpnm: Watching in SF – tons of places. If you are going to be near Union Square, try Johnny Foley’s Irish House.

  39. Adam M. says:

    DeMerit’s contribution cannot be understated. Coming in, he was the third choice central defender on a team that was widely considered to be relatively lousy. Now he just shut down Torres and Villa and shut out the European and African Champs in back to back games, has presumably secured his spot in the starting 11 for the U.S. and undoubtedly attracted notice from better European sides. Although many U.S. players have had great games or individual moments, DeMerit’s play simply has to be considered the most valuable (Gooch isn’t far behind).

  40. papa bear says:

    Without Demerit we lose this game 4-2 and the goals are meaningless. He was HUGE today. As they said on the BBS ‘as it happens’ commentary, he added £5m to his price tag with this performance. He was a monster.

  41. RSF says:

    Gooch Donovan or Howard with DeMerit number 4

  42. Mingjai says:

    I voted Michael Bradley too. He was all over the field as he has been all tournament, putting pressure on defense and on offense.

    I caught the feed at work on BBC, and they ran a feature on MB and his amazing work rate this tournament.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some bigger clubs are interested in him after this tournament, though I’ll be happy with him getting playing time in the Bundesliga.

  43. JohnC says:

    Landon has been fantastic. His work rate amazing and leaving everything on the field. He is the MoM because he is the instigator for all of the US Attacks. Great game by all of them. I really like the Gooch Demarit pairing- I like Boca but two CBs whose can only control the air is not a good combo- Demarit’s ability to tackle and shut down men with the ball has allowed Gooch to flat out own the air in the box. I was never worried about their corners or long crosses because of how dominant Gooch has been.

  44. Youngee8 says:

    Altidore Davies

    Donovan Clark Benny F Dempsey

    Boca Demerit Gooch Spector

    Timmy H

    Torres may may not have to wait until the Gold Cup. Second half sub for Davies since Michael B is out.

    BB- if you put in Sasha WE ALL WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED.

  45. bung says:

    demerit and onyewu split it – they were allowing NOTHING in the center

  46. Steve says:


    But agree Rico may have earned himself a lot of money over the last week.

  47. This Guy says:

    If Timmy Howard is not your MotM, then I doubt you watched the same match I did.

  48. Katatonia says:

    It’s Demerit without question
    BBC Sport Quote: “The way Demerit is playing, Real Madrid is going to come in with a 45 million pound bid soon.”

    Posted by: MZ | June 24, 2009 at 07:19 PM

    new message board sig

  49. Drew says:

    Donovan – was all over the field.

  50. kpugs says:

    Very tough, for me it was Timmy by a knows over Landycakes, but very close.

  51. kpugs says:



  52. chatnoir says:

    Voted Demerit because of so much right place, right time defending.

    Timing was superb on tackles from Clark and Bradley did really well. Donovan was a great leader.

    Most fun I’ve had watching in a while

  53. understood says:

    you can go with a bunch of guys…

    donovan…dempsey finally with a 90 min effort (or whatever it was til he got subbed)…demerit and onyewu…bob bradley…gotta eat crow and give him the most credit IMO…as far as howard and also guzan in the last game…despite their heroics…i think the credit has to go to the team defensively because neither had to make a spectacular save…most of the shots the US has faced in the last two games have been speculative long range efforts or right at the goalies…plus a million shots got blocked also..great all around team win

  54. Brandon says:

    A celebratory cigar in my mouth and a whiskey in my hand! Great win!

  55. Laurie says:

    I’d have a hard time picking any offensive player, since this game was at least 75% defense. I had a hard time choosing between Onyewu, DeMerit and Howard, but in the end went with Gooch because he was just always there when needed.

  56. Brian says:

    I voted for Rico, he had timely tackles, great distribution, and actually kept his head this game. My player of the tournament is Michael Bradley; he is the best player the US has without a doubt. Unfortunately I thought today was a subpar performance from Mike, and that ridiculous red card will surely hurt the US come Sunday. As for Donovan, sure he works his ass off, but there are so many players the world over that do so. He is a very suitable MLS player but those of you asking for Europe to come calling don’t realize that it takes more than running your ass off.

  57. EA says:

    When the “worst” player on the field had far and away the best game of his international career (Clark), I think it’s safe to call today a good day.

  58. ThaDeuce says:


  59. Barry U says:

    Rico was really good. Blocking and breaking up plays. He has some head scratching offensive decesions but I really think he did well.

    The Back 4 was really good.

    I can’t decide man.

    The entire 11 is my pick. I mean even benny made an impact his passing was vital in the second tally.

    No we have a chance to win a trophy. Go USA.

  60. Chris P says:


    Connor Casey? That’s a joke right? hahaha

  61. Alissa says:

    Definitely DeMerit and couldn’t agree with RedLine55 more…Getting the back four right by using DeMerit and Spector with Bocanegra on the left was way overdue.

  62. Dominghosa says:

    Then Landon. Then Onyewu. The Donovan. Then DeMerit. Then Altidore. Though all of them are very, very close to each other.

  63. GO USA says:

    I thought it was Jay. Any time there was a big defensive stop it seemed to be Jay that did it.

    Posted by: EDB | June 24, 2009 at 07:05 PM

    It’s Demerit without question
    BBC Sport Quote: “The way Demerit is playing, Real Madrid is going to come in with a 45 million pound bid soon.”

    Posted by: MZ | June 24, 2009 at 07:19 PM

    These posts basically said everything I wanted to say. Demerit was stopping Villa and Torres. Unbelievable… Demerit played like one of the best CB’s in the world today, he definitely deserves a nice big fat contract after this tournament because he played amazing against some of the best players in the world.

    However I also think this was a team effort and many people could have gotten the man of the match, but if i had to give it to one its Demerit.

  64. madmax says:

    I have a three way tie between, Gooch, Dempsey, and Donovan.

  65. I’ve got to go with Tim Howard. He made save after save after save and saved our behinds at the end when we camped in our defensive third.

  66. Isaac says:

    We may have just come up with the best back line in American history







  67. Jerro says:

    Great points made by everybody in this thread. Any one of these players could have been MotM on any other day.

    For me, it’s Landycakes. He was constantly digging balls out on defense, but every time the US broke forward he was flying up with a dangerous idea. I’ve never liked him, but he’s won me over with this tournament. He’s a different player than he was a year ago, and he’s a huge reason why the US was able to pressure Spain’s defense today with so little possession.

    I still wish someone else (Boca? Deuce?) would give the postgame interviews to ESPN. Landy still sounds like a little girl, but he plays like a /real/ grown-ass man.

  68. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    To the tune of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, the song of the day is:

    We’ve got Timmy Howard
    OH! We’ve got Timmy Howard
    We’ve got Timmy Howard… Read More
    You can’t score!

  69. kevin says:

    I voted for Howard but I think him and Donovan were easily the top 2. Everyone did brilliantly though. couldn’t be happier right now

  70. Alf says:

    The most ridiculous statistic of this game has to be the number of goals Spain scored divided by the number of times they attacked: 0.

    You know that scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf is on the bridge shouting “You shall not pass!” as he stands up to the Balrog? Well, today Spain was the Balrog and Howard, Onyewu, and DeMerit were Gandalf.

    This U.S. defense played absolutely out of its mind.

    I voted for DeMerit, because he must have saved 5 goals, but I wish I could also vote for Onyewu and Howard.

  71. BlueWhiteLion says:

    MEN of the Match (minus Casey, and he gets a “good guy” award).

    I loved the moxie of little Charlie Davies in the opening sequences of the game. DeMerit was lock down tight. Rico redeemed himself mightily (defensively speaking). Donovan worked his a** off and is the type of player to make Spain worried. Howard saved us. and saved us. and saved us. Dempsey finally pulled it all together and laid his heart on the field. Not to mention scored. Jozy got the monkey and Capdavilla off his back and scored big time. Onyewu was a monster. Bradley was a major disruptor . . . on and on.

    No, not a perfect game. Our passing still sucks too often. But it truly was team.

    And BB, for keepin the joint together.

    PS. Anybody else think BB looks like the love child of Robert Duvall and Paul Newman?

  72. patriot71 says:

    Very, very tough call. I voted for Donovan as he was all over the freaking field for 90+ minutes and you know how much he had to inspire the entire squad. If I had my way, I would have picked three MOTM:

    Donovan, DeMerit, Onyewu

    Our 2 central defenders were absolute beasts against Spain.

    Huge props to the entire squad. Great job, boys!

  73. Isaac says:









    Feilhaber was great coming into the match. Did almost all the work on the final goal, showed his range of passing, displayed great skill and deceptiveness on the ball, and put in some good work defensively. Bocanegra actually showed some glimpes going forward early, especially with one cross I think Davies got to, but had to drop back to help and resorted to some good long passes.

  74. BringParkeBack says:

    What about Spector?? Is he not worthy of consideration?

  75. Alf says:

    I’m also giving incredible props to Donovan for giving zero respect to Spain and refusing to be humbled right from the start. He was tough, relentless, and in your face. Can’t get much more American than that.

    I also loved Bradley’s decision to start Davies. His energy and mettle at the beginning really set the tone for the rest of the match.

    I can’t wait for Sunday. The U.S. national team made so many more fans today.

  76. jballin says:

    Donovan was by far our best player on the field today. Gooch is always a monster out there, but Landon played box to box, made great decisions, and was our outfield leader. No doubt the US should really be proud to produce such a (newly) complete player.

  77. Whoopie says:

    People actually think Casey deserves MOTM? I want some of the crack they’re smoking. He’s awful.

  78. Alex says:

    I wish I could pick the whole team. Everyone was absolutely outstanding. But LD was simply EVERYWHERE today. He was the focus of many attacks, got into good positions even if he didn’t get the ball played to him, defended like the best of them… By far his best performance in recent memory, perhaps ever. Here’s to hoping he gets picked up by a good Euro team this summer. He deserves it. He, and the rest of the team as well.

  79. Sutehoot says:

    Very tough call. I’d have picked Landon if Tim hadn’t gotten so much pressure (we really need some better central midfielders). I think the back four all deserve it, but since I could only vote for one, I chose Tim not just for the saves, but for the poise he showed. I think that helped the rest of team on D, which we all know was why we won (we got kinda lucky on both those goals).

  80. sammyt says:

    I think Gooch deserves the MoM. He was dominant in the air and was never beaten. The Spanish were not able to finish because the crosses never got past Gooch.

  81. hc says:

    I voted for Donovan though certainly the whole team is worthy. It seemed like his fearlessness and confidence to successfully attack Spain spread to the entire team. On a side note, Bayern Munich look much more ridiculous today.

  82. DAVE says:

    John Harkes by a long way!

  83. DAVE says:

    The center Ref. What a d^&k!

  84. Jay says:

    Props to the whole squad for their collective effort, especially the back line! I voted for Landon though, because he was everywhere!! The guy has got to have super-human lungs!! I’ve ALWAYS been a huge fan of LD, and i’m not going to slam anyone who has bashed him the last few years… i’m just glad he’s starting to win some of you over! He is, without a doubt, the face of this team!!! GO USA!!!!

  85. ChelseaMatt says:

    Jay DeMerritt was my hero. He was a monster out there. We looked like Chelsea against Barcelona out there — except our goalkeeper hasn’t lost it. But all of our players looked so confident on the ball. The last time we played this well was against Germany in Korea in 2002

  86. John says:

    What stood out to me was we didn’t NEED Howard to be MOTM. Yes, he played a very solid match, but the defense covered so well, he wasn’t forced to stand on his head like he did last summer against Argentina.

  87. Andrew says:

    A toss up between Howard and Gooch.

  88. r.benjamin says:

    Demerit and Donovan..

    Jay and Gooch were everywhere they needed to be..

    Will be interesting to see Benny for 90 mins on Sunday.

  89. Adam says:

    A bunch of players put themselves in the shop window today. I voted for Demerit, he was inch perfect so many times today but it was a very close choice. Great “team” performance.

  90. ThaDeuce says:

    The whole team though, really deserve it. My overall pick, (which is like 12 out of 10 while everyone else is just an 11) is demeritt.

  91. Steve says:

    Other than Casey, I can’t think of a player who doesn’t deserve kudos. Everyone had their share of amazing moments.

    I voted for Landon because I don’t think anyone should forget how amazing of a game he played today. I’ve been a Donovan fan, but this was far and away the best I’ve ever seen him play.

    I’d also like to mention Feilheiber, who hasn’t gotten many mentions. Played good defense, and had a gorgeous pass to spring Donovan on the second goal. Book it now, Benny and Bradley will be the CM’s in ’10.

    Even though I voted for Landon, and went out of my way to mention Benny, everyone who watched this game knows that the MOTM was Howard. With just a decent performance in goal, the US loses this game 4-2. He played like one of the 3 or 4 best keepers in the world today.

  92. Alf says:

    ESPN2 is showing the match again right now. It’s already got the “Instant Classic” badge on the top left of the screen. That was quick.

  93. Alf says:

    My bad, top right of the screen.

  94. jpc says:

    Xavi’s non existent left foot is my MVP

  95. jcdunn says:

    Demerit got my vote, but it was close. So many guys made themselves a bunch of money tonight… Lando was the freaking energizer bunny out there, Demerit and Onyewu muscled and owned the center and Boca and Specter showed that THIS is our back 4.

    When I saw the starting lineup, I knew we had a chance. I’ve not been vocal one way or the other about Bob Bradley, but I’ve been clamoring for this lineup for a while. Putting Dempsey up top after he’s a bit gassed is perfect. His defensive liability is lessened and he can be left to clean up the scraps around the goal in spurts. Altidore and Davies up top? They are HUNGRY to score goals, just look at their eyes (ala Luis Fabiano) when they smell that chance… something lacking in many other strikers we’ve attempted up there.

  96. miller says:

    I thought Onyewu played solid so he was my choice for MOTM. I’m usually a fan of Bocanegra but I saw him beat badly a couple of times today. It surprises me that Feilhaber isn’t a regular starter

    I think Casey is lousy. Cannot believe he was put in over Adu, Torres, and Sacha.

    What ever happened to Frank Simek playing for the US team?

  97. Mike says:

    Demerit was un-freaking-belivable. He was in the correct place, every single time that danger was imminent. I’m not taking anything away from Howard, who was under fire more than the troops at Normandy, or Landon, but Demerit had the best game I’ve seen a center back play in quite some time. For any team.

  98. r.benjamin says:

    Thank the football gods for the Confederations Cup. Just think how much stubborn BB and the team itself has learned.

    At this point we truelly know who the best 11 is.

    We would all still like to see some Torres and Adu and JONES. And no more Casey. But thats a long way from 10 days ago.

  99. we are lions says:

    rossi, I just wanted to thank that guy, he made this moment/tournament even sweeter

  100. Patrick says:

    Here’s an indepth look at all 14 U.S. players in their historic upset:

    When it come to man of the match, I think you have to give it to the man between the posts.

  101. Neumannator says:

    Landon Donovan. He gets ripped a lot for being Landycakes (and I’ve joined the fun on many occasions) but the dude showed the heart of a lion today. He was one of the only Americans able to slow down the play, his decision-making was spot on and I’ve never seen him contribute more defensively than he did today. Obviously the whole team was superb, but Donovan gets my vote.

  102. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I think the entire Confederations CUp has made obvious what I have believed for a long time: Landon Donovan is the best soccer player this country has ever produced. He is at this point easily MVP of the tournament.

  103. Harvey says:

    I just rewatched the game. I’d give the nod to Donovan. Howard and Onyewu would be my next choices. I’d also give consideration to DeMerit and Dempsey. Underrated performance by Spector. I thought Bradley was a bit off this game. Clark defended well, but his passing was bad. Jozy had a goal, but I think he could have had a better game.

  104. Steve says:

    For the record, there are quite a few of us who have absolutely no desire to see Adu or Torres right now. Simply put, they aren’t even close to one of the 11 best players.

  105. A.S. says:

    Who are these people saying Michael Bradley, and which game were they watching???

    Bradley was bad – as usual, he does a ton of running without much effect. And, BTW, did you notice that he got a freaking red card? Spain’s midfield was able to keep possession throughout, and Bradley was lucky that the centerbacks were able to clean up so much, that Landon was a beast, and that Rico played the best game of his career.

    It’s amazing to me that so many US fans think that the sun shines out of Michael Bradley’s behind – that Bradley can do no wrong.

    I thought Landon and Timmy were players of the game. The centerbacks played great defensively, but need to work on their distribution out of the back. There was entirely too much room on the wings – luckily the centerbacks and Rico prevented that space on the wings from leading to goals on crosses. Landon played one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play – he was everywhere, played great defense, and was the best US player with the ball.

    Timmy – 8
    Demerit – 8
    Gooch – 7
    Boca – 4
    Spector – 4
    Clark – 6
    Bradley – 3
    Dempsey – 6
    Donovan – 8
    Jozy – 6
    Davies – 5

    Bob Bradley – 11

  106. John says:


    Balrog? Really? A LOTR reference? Congrats, you get the GOTB (Geek Of The Blog)

  107. Supsam says:

    I so hope the Onyewu to Fenerbahce isnt a done deal cuz his stock just crashed through the ceiling! Same can be said for alot Americans today: Bocanegra, DeMerit, Clark, Bradley, Donovan

  108. kswiss says:

    My first thought was Howard, but eventually I went with Donovan. Even Ives said it during his match commentary: Landon was the best player on the field today.

    It’s easier to say we wouldn’t have won without Howard, which is true. But it’s just as true that without Donovan playing like he did today, this game ends up totally different.

  109. HomeyBoehme says:

    I said DeMerit just because he was the more unexpected of the team. I always know Howard is going to make those saves, and Gooch will win everything in the air, and Donovan will be Donovanian, but DeMerit was just incredible.

  110. Leonardo says:

    like i said in another post, what a great debate to have “Who is the BEST of the BESTEST?” wonderful to have so many different options/opinions.

    MOTM requires:
    1. Presence – in the right place at the right time all the time.
    2. Pace – controls the pace of the game.
    3. Fortitude – the game is won in the mind first.
    4. Bonus – that game changing factor, that trump card, that one trick up your sleeve. The bonus here is how the player inspires his teammates and strikes fear + respect into his opponents.

    Landon Donovan.

    ^^^”Donovanian” (i like that HomeyBoehme)

    He was downright RIDICULOUS.

    Presence: He was everywhere, forming the attack, heading out lethal crosses on D, back to charging towards goal, and back again. He was in every play, and open on many (that would have resulted in more goals no doubt!). i can’t count how many times he had his hand up waving for the ball – seriously! just feed him the damn ball.

    Pace: Key factor vs Spain. Espana relies on possession, and to deter them from this is to mess up their game. I think this was key. yes they got most of it, but they had no time to recover from their attacking waves. Did you see how exhausted their defenders were? how their midfield would give up balls and not track-back? whenever Donovanian had the ball he manipulated the pace to his preset desires. He slowed it down or picked it up. Spain had no time to catch their breath. (see Pique after the 2nd goal).

    Fortitude: LD face says it all. he is *FIERCE*. his unwavering fortitude is contagious. He out-willed Espana. No one could counter his strong-will (cockiness doesn’t compensate for determination).

    Bonus: game-changer. his timing, precision, intensity, and his vision put him above his peers. he had more influence on the game than anyone else. no one argues that he was just downright *RIDICULOUS* today. WOW.

    Landon Donovan = Man of the Match

  111. Scott in Houston says:

    FYI, I looked at Steve Goff’s (gag) player ratings. He gave Clark a 5, Bradley a 6, and Davies a 7. Everyone else was an 8 or 9.

    So, the central midfield that just helped shut down three of the best center mids in the game (Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas) were just AVERAGE??????

    Goff’s a tool, as if we didn’t know that already.

  112. Tom P says:

    Howard and the back 4.

    I also think Donovan should not have any critics left this last 10 days. They should all just shut up from now on.

  113. Marmaduke says:

    Man, did Dempsey ever prove me wrong. I just voted for him above. Gooch was a close second, and I may go back and vote for him, too. He certainly was the player of the tournament for the US. He stepped up big time in Bocanegra’s absence and played even better on his return. The back four that was out there yesterday looked awesome.

  114. Mike says:

    Donovan was the man of the match with Howard a very close second. Landon was unstoppable, made no mistakes and was the calming force in midfield. He didn’t let the other guys make mistakes; he kept possession when we needed it most. He was awesome. (And I’m not a Landon fan)

    Let’s put this in some historical context: Was it the greatest win in U.S. soccer history?

    link to

  115. BrianK says:


    Do you have a clip of the red card ‘foul’ committed by Bradley. I am more interested in seeing that play. Also,…is the US going to contest the red card? Thanks.

  116. deuce says:

    Some in Europe think Bob Bradley: BBC Quote:
    “posted 10 Minutes Ago
    ‘How is american coaching of a higher standard then spain, france, holland etc.’

    You can’t polish a trud, the interest might not be there on a large scale but the infrastructure and coaching is.
    add comment | complain about this comment”

  117. FCB says:

    MOTM: Onyewu Demerit. Outstanding game.

  118. deuce says:

    I just hope Bob continues to play the best in form players at game time, and doesn’t revert back to old favorites again (beasley, kljestan) or pick some possible new favorites if they become out of form in a year (Bradley, Clark, Davies, Demerit). These players are the back bone of the team today, but who knows what form they will be in a year? It took Coach Bradley 2 games to work out the kinks. For the world cup, he needs to have his line-up worked out before he gets on the plane for South Africa.

  119. RC says:

    MotM = Donovan.

    Nearly the whole squad played masterfully, but one man who was above and beyond the rest, and it was Landon.

    The guy was everywhere, especially just before and after the second goal when he was finding space on nearly every possession, but his teammates were not finding him. He was already killing the game before the 80th minute—and that’s on top of sprinting box to box to get back and contribute on defense.

    Admittedly, Howard and the whole back line were amazing, but there was one player who was there in defense with them, and also was grinding it out in the middle third, and still completing his runs into our attacking third, and it was Donovan.

    Hopefully (HOPEFULLY!!!!!!!) he has finally earned his ticket out of LA and into some mid-table squad in any of the big four leagues of Europe where he can get even better.

    Donovan takes the #1 spot in yesterday’s perfomance. But if there was a #1 1/2 spot, there’d be about an eight-way tie including Howard, the back line, Dempsey, Boca, and Feilhaber.

    And special mention goes to Gooch’s insane clearance at about the 32nd minute with the scorpion kick thing, the most stunning “Did I actually just see that?” moment I’ve seen in a very long time.

    (*: I said “almost.” Conor Casey, bless his heart, looked like a guy they’d picked out of the stands as some kind of sweepstakes winner who gets handed a jersey and as the winner is allowed to run around on the field, in the game, for the last ten minutes.)

  120. Angel says:

    To me it was a Team effort and I’m very proud of the way they play and show some balls and heart. But if I have to pick a player it has to be Donovan who has been a consistant player all this time. Now we need this team to bring that back for the August 10 at the Azteca and make another History.

  121. soccerjohn says:

    Here’s the thing: Howard made a ton of saves, but only one truly extraordinary one–the kick save in the first half. He was rock solid and he had some other great saves as well, but there are lots of goalies who could have done what he did.

    Gooch was rock solid, but so was Demerit. Too much scrambling and luck to say those performances were superlative.

    Dempsey played really well, and you could see the look in his eyes change after he scored. The guy was finally engaged. His pass to Altidore was good, but the goal was entirely Altidore’s–he shielded beautifully and finished well enough. Dempsey’s goal was opportunistic, but not better than Davies’ goal vs Egypt.

    My vote is for Donovan. I think he was the lynchpin for the US last night. He was everywhere! When’s the last time you saw a guy cover so much ground? And he was the only US player (prior to Feilhaber’s entry) who could consistently hold the ball and get it somewhere it needed to go. He kept Spain honest on defense and harried them on defense. Our best player was our most active player.

    Howard, Gooch, and Dempsey were all huge last night. I think it’d have been hard or impossible to relace any of them and have the same result. But Donovan was transcendant. There’s no chance that the US wins that game last night without him playing like he did.

  122. Steve says:

    LD was a total beast on the field, but it was truly inspiring to watch the entire team (to a man) step up and make themselves felt.

  123. James says:

    Nothing more clearly showed that when Landon wants to play, he can be the catalyst for an amazing US team.

    Come on son, learn how to play at that level all the time!

  124. Steve says:

    I voted LD over Timmy because of his overall play and work rate for the full 90. I thought he was the best player on the field like Ives said in his commentary even though he voted Clint later…