Photo by Jane Gershovich/Soccer By Ives
By IVES GALARCEP
It was as dominant a Gold Cup-opening performance as we have ever seen from the U.S. Men’s National Team, but even a 6-0 victory felt a little flawed for a team still coming together.
There were a few points that needed improvement, but overall there were many more positives than negatives for the U.S. after dominating Belize for the better part of 90 minutes.
USMNT 6, BELIZE 1: SBI PLAYER GRADES
NICK RIMANDO (6)- Had very little to do early on, but made a very tough save in the first half and dealt with the few issues that came his way in the second half.
DAMARCUS BEASLEY (5.5). Didn’t have a ton to do, and never really threatened defensely, but also didn’t get overly involved in the attack.
CLARENCE GOODSON (5.5). Not really tested that much defensively, and tried a few forays into the attack in the first half. Pretty uneventful day for him.
MICHAEL OROZCO-FISCAL (6). Looked comfortable in defense, and tried to be a threat on set pieces, delivering his second career USMNT goal in the process.
MICHAEL PARKHURST (5). Looked extremely shaky in the first half, and lost his mark on Belize’s goal, but did redeem himself with an assist on a Wondolowski goal.
KYLE BECKERMAN (5.5). Had some bad turnovers, and looked to press at times, but he kept the ball moving and did deliver an assist to Wondolowski for his third goal before being replaced at halftime.
MIX DISKERUD (6.5).
Did a very good job if circulating the ball throughout the attack, and flourished against Belize’s non-existent pressure on the ball.
JOSE TORRES (6).
A better showing than his game vs. Guatemala, Torres played with more purpose in the attack, and his aggressiveness helped him contribute much more. Much like Diskerud, he benefited from a lack of ball pressure from Belize.
JOE CORONA (5.5).
Looked rattled, or just plain off in the first half, but came out in the second half and really went at the Belize defense and showed the qualities that made Klinsmann want to start him in the first place.
LANDON DONOVAN (7.5).
Active in the first half, but really turned it up in the second half, tearing apart Belize’s defense and cementing his place as a key to this team’s attack.
CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI (8).
Was fearless, moved well and took his chances excellently. That’s a second straight solid game for Wondolowski, who looks to be a very real threat for the rest of this Gold Cup now that he has shaken off the “Can’t score for the national team” label.
STUART HOLDEN (6.5).
Another quality showing for Holden, who was left out of the starting lineup to keep him from carrying a heavy work load on artificial turf. His confidence on the ball is impressive, and he looks very ready to take his place in the starting lineup for the rest of the tournament.
BREK SHEA (5).
Didn’t really show much in his 29 minutes. Might not want to pencil him into a starting role just yet. Looks like he will need a few games to really get into the flow of things.
ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (5).
Much like Shea, Bedoya couldn’t really get a grasp of the match as he entered with the blowout already decided. Did draw the penalty with his cross attempt.
JURGEN KLINSMANN (7)
He gave Chris Wondolowski, Mix Diskerud and Michael Orozco-Fiscal starts and all three came through with strong outings. The team did what he wanted it to do, focus on sending in quality service and having Wondolowski finish it off. The defense still isn’t quite where it needs to be yet, but overall Klinsmann gets a good grade for his team’s overall performance.
What do you think of our grades? Who do you feel was graded too harshly? Who do you think received too high a grade?
Share your thoughts below.