USMNT 3, Honduras 1: SBI Player Grades

Landon Donovan


Landon Donovan turned in yet another outstanding Gold Cup performance, but there were some new faces among the U.S. Men’s National Team’s list of top contributors in Wednesday’s 3-1 win vs. Honduras.

Alejandro Bedoya enjoyed a standout evening, delivering a pair of assists and being an overall pest on the wings for the Honduran defense.

Kyle Beckerman played one of his better games in a USMNT uniform, controlling the midfield and dominating his Honduran counterparts, which set the tone for the U.S. team’s control of the match.

Who else did well on Wednesday night for the USMNT? Here is a rundown of the SBI USMNT Player Grades vs. Honduras:


NICK RIMANDO (5.5)– Made just one save on the night and didn’t have much to do, but did very well to come off his line and bail out Clarence Goodson after a dangerous turnover at the top of the penalty area.

DAMARCUS BEASLEY (6.5)– Got forward well but didn’t provide much service from the wing. Handled his defensive duties well and kept Andy Najar quiet for most of the night.

MATT BESLER (7). Quietly turned in another outstanding game in central defense. His passing was sharp, he dominated his area of the field and gave Honduran attackers no room to operate.

CLARENCE GOODSON (6.5). Not as impressive defensively as Besler, but Goodson earns his grade on the strength of a pair of quality passes that helped lead to U.S. goals. Did have a scary moment in the second half where he got too casual with the ball and nearly gifted Honduras a goal.

MICHAEL PARKHURST (5). Offensively, he wasn’t nearly efficient enough, committing 13 turnovers out of a total of 60 possessions. Wasn’t very effective passing the ball in the final third, but did do his part defensively.

KYLE BECKERMAN (7.5). Provided the perfect shield in front of the U.S. defense, breaking up several Honduran attacks and circulating the ball efficiently. His 37-of-41 passing percentage was best among the U.S. team, and you could see the U.S. team’s hold on the match slip when he left the match.

JOSE TORRES (6). When the U.S. team was knocking the ball around well, Torres was usually playing a part in that. Having said that, it wasn’t his strongest performance overall, but his defensive contributions did help the U.S. contain Andy Najar.

STUART HOLDEN (6.5). Holden might fall victim to high expectations when it comes time to judge his performances, but it’s tough not to give him some credit for a good outing vs. Honduras. He covered ground excellently, passed the ball well (completing 51 of 58) and did his part defensively to help keep Honduras from building through the middle.

ALEJANDRO BEDOYA (7.5). An excellent match, not only for the two assists he delivered, but for the hustle he provided all over the right flank. He put together defensive stats that would have been strong for a defender to post, while also contributing to the attack and making a good case for starting in the Gold Cup final.

LANDON DONOVAN (8). Another top-class showing from the U.S. star. His pass to set up Johnson’s goal was excellent, and his finish on his first goal was perfect. He has shown a real ability to pick his spots perfectly to attack and punish opposing defenses.

EDDIE JOHNSON (7). Set the tone for the match with his impressive run and finish for the opening goal, but looked to fade in the second half. Did well to draw fouls and put pressure on the Honduran defense, which create space for Donovan and Bedoya to do damage.

MIX DISKERUD (5.5). Active, and did his part to break up Honduran attempts to build attacks, but was sloppy with the ball, committing eight turnovers in 23 possession during his 23 minutes.

BREK SHEA (NR). Ran around, but was largely ineffective in his cameo.

CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI (NR). Closed out the match trying to be a pest for the Honduran attack as it searched for a way back into the game.


What do you think of the grades? Which rating do you consider too high? Who did we give too low a grade to?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

152 Responses to USMNT 3, Honduras 1: SBI Player Grades

  1. Freddie Footballer says:

    Brek Shea should have gotten a low rating, he was out there long enough to get one.

    • chris says:

      he put in more dangerous crosses than torres

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        I’m glad someone else is paying attention

      • Yes – he sent the cross that should have been EJ’s 2nd that just missed wide.

        • Iggy says:

          That cross only fell to EJ because it was overhit and behind the main guy (not sure who it was) making the more dangerous run. Still it was a good chance created.

          To be fair, could just change his to just:

          “ran around”

      • away goals says:

        That’s not really a worthwhile comparison. You may as well say he had more crosses than besler. Torres isn’t supposed to hug the line, he’s a possession outlet shading just left of center.

        While torres is in, it’s beasley’s job to get around him and attack down the left flank while corona/bedoya are charged with staying wide on the right.

        It’s asymmetrical but has been very effective so far.

      • Michael says:

        That’s a joke right? Right??

      • Left Wing says:

        On the flip side he had a bad give away in the defensive third that was almost as dangerous as Goodson’s. An NR rating is generous. His touch was terrible. Torres contributed to controlling the game. Shea contributed to unsettling it.

        I don’t see him getting in the 18 at Stoke at this point. I hope he finds it.

      • Paul Miller says:

        Especially if you count wayward reverse diagonals that turn into crosses for Honduras.

    • recoveredamishman says:

      If memory serves he came on at about the 65 minute mark. Fortunately the team didn’t need much from him because he didn’t provide much and had a couple of bad giveaways.

      • Redneck says:

        Shea was terrible. His wooden first touch returned, as did his inability to take on a defender without losing the ball. Sometimes I think his best attributes are that he’s tall and can run fast.

        • MidWest Ref says:

          What do you mean, you “think” those are his best attributes? They are.

        • 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

          Coaches at Shea’s HS all begged him to play (American) football since it was obvious he was such a special talent athletically. So, you may be right that’s his ‘best attributes’, but hes also a pretty good soccer player. My two cents is that he still doesnt appear 100% healthy yet, which imo is more troubling than just simply not playing well

        • ATX_Colin says:

          “wooden first touch” man thats right on, dude is all speed and power and im not sayingthat in a good way.

          • Dennis says:

            I don’t understand why people have to rag on players. It seems today’s whipping boy is Shea. A NR is perfectly reasonable, barring that, a 4.5-5 would seem fair, he injected some energy Torres lacked and he hustled to defend, but mostly his play was disjointed and did not contribute much to the attack. I have always held that he has strengths and weaknesses and I think his strengths are not enough to compensate the weaknesses at the international level at the moment. But that does not mean he is terrible, or that he does not possess some upside, while his first touch can let him down at times, calling it wooden is a bit much.

            • Chazcar2 says:


            • Michael says:

              We have too many great players now to justify Shea getting more playing time. “Not being terrible” is just not good enough anymore. That’s why people feel the need to rag.

            • Steven C says:

              Dennis, I think people/we are just frustrated by him. We’ve seen what he can do, and what he can bring to the table, but it happens so inconsistently it just makes us/me frustrated by his play.

        • Dan M says:

          Eddie Johnson had metal clad boots when he first joined USMNT, but look how he has evolved. Give Brek some time in England and he will clean up his act. Also, that cross to Johnson, alone, was a significant contribution. Johnson just needed to do better with his finish.

          • Michael says:

            If you give any pro soccer player the game time Shea has seen, he would make a good cross eventually. It’s the 55 bad ones that you should be worried about.

          • Lil' Zeke says:

            When Eddie first joined USMNT, his boots were freaking PLATINUM yo!

        • Michael says:

          Shea has a lead foot, and I’m not talking about his speed.

    • Fredo says:

      Shea gets a 2 from me.

  2. Micronesia Justin says:

    Didn’t Shea play the awful pass that put Goodsen in a bad spot?

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      His error came before that when he didn’t continue out wide for the return ball. He sort of drifted and then had nothing to do but dump the ball back to Goodson.

  3. Ah says:

    Brel Shea played enough to earn a rating of 2.5. He was awful. So much for that one goal getting him back on track…

    • Michael says:

      So true. I was a Shea fan and wanted to see him get a chance, but he is just not good at soccer. All there is to it.

      Even that goal was a bad shot. If you watch the replay of that goal you can see him cringe right after he shoots it. Luckily the keeper blew it.

      • Ben says:

        Shea was the best player on an MLS team that made a run to the finals and secured the first ever MLS victory over a Mexican team in Mexico in concacafe champions league play. He was then acquired even though on an injury by an EPL team. Clearly Shea is just not good at soccer.

      • Jim says:

        I thought the same and went back to review it and it was a bad shot that curved right into the keeper but he was so contorted going to his left that he could do nothing with it.

  4. Frank says:

    I know these are player grades but I’d like to see grades for the coach and ref as well.

    • Snack Time says:

      Klinsmann: 5
      Quesada: -5

      Here’s hoping Marco Antonio Rodriguez can be chosen for the final

      • ed - houston says:

        yeah, “Little Dracula” has been one of the best refs in concacaf for a while now.

    • Matt says:

      Klinsman, 8
      Decisions to start Bedoya and Johnson paid off
      Ref, 2
      Just about as bad as you can do without actually screwing up a big call that ruins the game. Missed obvious PKs earned by Wondo and Holden, ignored PI on Torres, let the game get chippy by keeping the cards in his pocket all game.

    • mikeandike says:

      Klinsmann -8
      Ref -2

    • AlexH says:

      I don’t like Klinsmann’s tendency to use the 3rd sub with lots of time on the clock. There is too much time left for somebody to get injured and put us a man down for a significant period of the game. This is especially true given Honduras’s aggressive tactics and the ref’s see no evil approach to the game.

      • Dinho says:

        I totally agree with this. Too much of a risk.

      • Bac says:

        My guess is that’s had more to do with making sure he’s got fresh legs to choose from come Sunday, don’t forget they were running around on green concrete
        I doubt we’ll see the same strategy Sunday

        • SwerveZ says:

          +1, you’re correct!
          To stay on topic, that ref really cared not about the health of the players on the field with his no calls…poor job and I’m glad Klinsy let him have it. I was letting my tv have it, I’ll tell you that much.

      • g-dub says:

        This is a good question and something that could be answered with a good statistical analysis. With the right data you could easily weigh the probability of injury during the last x minutes of the game against the added value of bringing on a fresh player. I’m sure someone somewhere has already run this. I’d like to see the outcome.

  5. SMP says:

    Bedoya should be dinged for failing to mark on Honduras goal. Otherwise, agreed.

    • Hunt Daddy says:

      Yep. Although he did so much other work on both sides of the ball I wouldn’t want to see him any lower than a 7.

      • Redneck says:

        Bedoya’s assist on the third goal was classy. Handled a long pass from Goodson and gave a perfectly weighted ball to Donovan. All Landon had to do was make sure he struck it cleanly.

        • peterprinciple says:

          really just make sure it bounced off him anywhere except the hands. Nice pass

    • TomG says:

      Not sure it was his mark, but maybe. There were a bunch of guys that could have taken that mark. It’s something Klinsi HAS to get a hold of as it has happened repeatedly. DMB also needs to take a hit as it was his foul that caused the set piece. EJ also deserves some credit for his flick on header to Bedoya on the second goal.

    • Barrett says:

      I actually think Bedoya had a stinker of a game. He gave the ball away frequently, including one horrific time in our own box on the end line. He seemed late to the catch on to plays, a step behind the game, etc.

      That said, he had two wonderful touches, and were they glorious indeed! Perfect layoffs to Donovan on plays that he did well to get forward on. So, I give him a pass on the rest, because he made up for it so well, but, otherwise, he was crap.

      • away goals says:

        Guys can only be brilliant or crap on the internet, huh?

        How about his clever short p-ss to eddie at the end? Or the first half cross he put on donovan’s foot that donovan couldn’t convert? Or his volley off an eddie header that forced a smart save?

        I guess aside from those contributions plus his two assists, yeah he was pretty much crap the rest of the way.

      • Mike Lamb says:

        Well, that makes one of you…

      • Adam says:

        Seriously, were you watching the same game?

  6. Ramon says:

    Costa Rican officiating crew gets a grade of 1. Missed PK on Holden and possible red card for elbow to head by Honduran defender. Torres was fouled 8 times by same Honduran defender, but gets card 4 dissent 4 flashing universal card gesture, and finally the dismissal of Klinsman was way over the top. The ref should have left his ego and agenda at home. I’ve never been a fan of CONCACAF refs, but they’ve improved since the 1990s. The ref last night was a show.

    • Jake says:

      Torres didn’t get a card. He deserved one. Not anywhere near as much as the guys fouling him of course. I get his point, but it seemed a little whiny and counterproductive to get in the refs face that early in the game and so often.

      • SwerveZ says:

        You wouldn’t have gotten in the refs face for those fouls? He didn’t have to flash the “yellow card hand”, but I would have let that dude hear about it for sure.

  7. Bac says:

    So the debate for the finals is……

    Does Bedoya get the start, and if so.. for who…
    On the right over Corona where he just looked sharp,
    Or on the left over Torres, who looked good but a step slower than the competition…

    • Eurosnob says:

      In fairness to Torres, he was taken down by Honduran players everytime he touched the ball. Same with Beasley.

      • Bac says:

        Yup, they were even given a few light forearm shivers when they didn’t have the ball…lol

        I’ve been ok with JFTs play, he’s gotten some negative reviews on here but I like his game- and his left foot… but Panama has some big strong fast guys, I’m wondering if we see Corona & Bedoya get the call Sunday

  8. Juest says:

    I like the ratings for the starting XI, and I loved watching them play. I think all 3 subs were sloppy for the first 5-10 minutes they were in the game because they had to get used to the field conditions. After that, Mix and Shea (to a lesser extent) improved their touch on the ball. So, I would have given Mix a 6 and Shea a 4. Wondo didn’t have many touches and had less time to impress, so I agree that you can’t grade him.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Definitely agree!

      Every sub had issues at first and I think you hit the nail on the head about the field conditions.

  9. The Other Jeff says:

    In fairness to Parkhurst, he played much higher up the field in this game than previously. Of his unsuccessful touches, most advanced the ball into a dangerous position. If had the same success/failure ratio staying home in the back it would be a bad sign but not so bad given how aggressively he joined the attack.

    • Barrett says:

      I think Ives has a thing about Parky. I thought he looked as good on the right as Beas did on left. Better defensively, not as good going forward. About a wash overall. In the previous game, the US as a whole got credit for the well-thought-out corner kick, Donovan got credit for staying in the empty space, bringing the ball down and crossing, but Parky didn’t get any credit for a perfectly placed chip over the D to Donovan. Inch perfect ball that made the play possible, not mentioned in his write up.

    • Mig says:

      I agree. Parkhurst’s turnovers were in the attacking zone which is different than coughing it up in your own half. That said, he did not cross the ball all that well. But he really did contribute to the way we just tore up Honduras on that side and he and Bedoya were in perfect understanding all game.

  10. SanFran415 says:

    Wondo was great when he was out there. His physicality and hard work to get at that ball against a top team was something people said he couldn’t do.

    They were forced to take him down–twice. Don’t blame him for crooked refereeing. He earned two penalties in that sequence.

    And if he isn’t dragged by the CB he burned he probably scores too.

    And Shea was on long enough for a rating–he wasn’t very good and that turnover in our third was atrocious.

    • Luke says:

      I’m not knocking Wondo’s play from last night, since I didn’t get to watch the game. But from this post and your previous post concerning Wondo, I think you have a man-crush on him. Hahaha!

  11. Sushant says:

    Based on what I’ve seen, I wonder if Bedoya can play as a RB and with Corona as a RM and then interchange.

    If it wasn’t the GC final, I would like to see this as a lineup
    Torres/Castillo —- LD —- Corona
    ——-Mixx —— Beckerman ——
    DMB – Besler – Omar/Clarence —- Bedoya

    This can play as a 4132 with LD up top with EJ and Mixx in the CM and Beckerman as DM.

    Yes, I still want to experiment with Castillo as LM and Bedoya as RB. Heck, if Brad Evans can come in and do such a good job as RB, it may be worthwhile to try Bedoya (no slight intended to Brad)

    The only person I feel that needs a run as well is Orozco. Very impressed with him so far.

    Lots of good showing by this team.

  12. Ah says:

    CONCACAF gets a 0 rating for continuing to be a joke of an organization. After the game, CONCACAF press secretary initially put out statement saying that by rule JK would not be allowed on sideline for the final, then said he actually did not know, then that it would be decided by a committee. These jokers seem to just make $&@! up as they go. Other than that and the atrocious field in Dallas, I’ve had a lot of fun watching this tournament.

  13. Charles says:

    I lower everyones number a bit, the team struggled the second Landon left the field ( and Beckerman too ).
    It was pretty clear JK was resting those guys ahead of Sunday . To me everyone else in mid seemed like a toss up for playing time in trying to win the most important game.

  14. beachbum says:

    love that pic! look at the faces on those guys

  15. Ah says:

    I was slightly worried that JK might have pulled Donovan and Beckerman too early. After they left, we struggled to possess and kill of the game. All’s well that ends well though. Never seen a US team so thoroughly dominate other teams and create chances like this, even within the region. This has been a lot of fun. Cutting down the roster to 23 for Brazil is going to be a tough task.

    • Dennis says:

      I think as this tournament progresses we are seeing the US players look more to playing the ball through Donavon. That has worked pretty well and has certainly helped Donavon’s stats. The danger in that became obvious when he was subbed out. The guy the US team were looking for was not there and they hesitated in their decision-making. The opponents took advantage of that hesitation and upped the pressure which made the end of the game a whole lot more testy than it needed to be.

      • Dave80 says:

        I had a similar thought, that the subs for LD and Beckerman were not interchangeable parts – the whole group had to adjust.

        • peterprinciple says:

          I think “strurgle to kill the game” is too harsh. There was one opportunity for Honduras after they left that was really dangerous and USA created it. Even that last free kick may have been let go by a different official. Meanwhile Wondo got mugged in the box and Eddie missed a chance to run free off Wondo earlier, creating the two best scoring chances after KB and LD left the game.

          The struggled to dominate the game, not kill it.

  16. Del Griffin says:

    Panama will be the closest we come this whole tournament to a regular CONCACAF side. I hope our defense is prepared after all the weak attacks they have been facing. I like Goodson over Omar, based on his ability to distribute and win aerial battles without Omar’s penchant for a few mental mistakes. Otherwise, keep the back line the same and play bedoya, johnson, Beckerman, Corona, Holden and landycakes, and should be a good final.

    • Tyrone says:

      Agreed with your thoughts re: Goodson/Gonzo. Goodson has shown well this tournament (particularly with his offense) and I’m not sure Gonzo has ever shown as well in any of the matches he’s featured in.

  17. Charles says:

    I am probably in the minority and I am not trying to start a fight with anyone posting above, but it is kind of annoying…Wondo not getting a PK annoying, ironically enough…the complaining about the soccer and the soccer management in the Americas.

    It isn’t going to be perfect, so at what point is it whining ? Holden PK for me starts to get to be whining….he got hit the face and went down. PK….sure…maybe. I probably don’t call it, others do I can see that. JK seemed to think that he was out of line in his press conference, so the ref is supposed to ignore it ?

    Don’t even get me started on the fields, if it doesn’t look like the lawn in front of the White House, you can’t play soccer on it….period. Like I said annoying. Countries are poor, and while Dallas and Seattle are not, they like to watch soccer too.

    • SanFran415 says:

      I’m going to be rude since you’re being rude…

      If you wouldn’t call the elbow to Holden’s head a penalty and readily admit that–then nothing else needs to be taken seriously in the post.

      That was a straight red card and penalty 10 out of 10 times.

      And Klinsmann didn’t think he was out of line in any way, shape or form. He apologized because he needs the disciplinary committee to rule in his favor.

      • Joe says:

        He’s not being rude but go on and keep being rude, pretty much you’re MO Mr “Soccer must be played on the most pristine grass imaginable”

      • Mig says:

        It was not a straight red card 10 out of 10 times. It was a straight red 0 out of 1 time.

        It could have been called a PK, sure. But it was FAR from a certain thing because it could have been seen as incidental contact. In fact, I guess it was ruled as that.

        • Luke says:

          No way this would have been a red card. Penalty, it probably should have been, yellow card probably, but a straight red? Not in my book. First, he was not the last defender, the goalie was in good position to cut off Holden’s angle. So the defender did not deny an obvious goal scoring opportunity. While the elbow as high from the defender, it did not appear to be intentional or malicious.

          • Dave80 says:

            Not a ref, here, but an elbow above the shoulder when jumping is not part of the body movement seems to be intentional to me. Even in contesting a high header it’s called. I think the ref just didn’t see it. I missed the first 20 of the game (commute traffic!!!) so I’ve only seen what is in the highlights. But if I’d been standing in front of the play, I believe I would have pointed to the spot and at least cautioned the defender.

            • Mig says:

              See, this is how adults discuss whether a call was right. We may disagree a bit but clearly there is room for interpretation on this call.

              And it may have been that the ref didn’t see the elbow but also thought the play was not obstruction. It is a bit of a hole in the rules maybe. Could he have called a yellow (or red) for dangerous play but not awarded the penalty?

            • Mueller says:

              Even if he didn’t see it, Im glad he didn’t call a red. That would have effectively ended the game in the 20th minute by putting us up 2 and them a man down. As fun as it is to watch us score tons of goals, for me it would have been a wasted opportunity to see the team play.

    • Chris Becker says:

      I can understand wanting to play this in JerryWorld to capture the maximum possible attendence from the Mexican fans, but the turf was really bad. When you can see the ball hop periodically over the seams from the TV POV — that’s bad. Don’t recall Seattle being that bad.

      They’ve done it once. IMHO new Cowboy stadium gets a #fail for a venue. Don’t go back until they find a different solution for the turf.

    • Ross says:

      Dude, what? There was 1 inch of turf on top of concrete. Player safety was a potentially huge issue.
      The elbow to Holden’s face was a straight red. Look at the red the Cuba player got for his foot.

      • Luke says:

        If you think this should have been a straight red than re-watch the USMNT vs Slovenia game from the 2010 World Cup. By your interpretation of the Laws of the Game, Clint Dempsey should have received a red card for his elbow to the head of Zlatan Ljubijankic going up for a header and that was far worse than what I saw last night.

    • Casey says:

      The point is that something needs to change in CONCACAF. The officiating outside a few Mexican and American officials is that it is atrocious. Whether it is that they can’t handle a game of that magnitude or just plain hatred/corruption. It needs to change in this confederation. There needs to be better officials regardless of what country they are from. There needs to be more accountability from the confederation on the officials.
      All the official did was talk last night. It did nothing to stop what was going on in the game. The Hondurans knew they could get away with a lot so they started doing it.

      Btw not related but the set pieces by Torres were awful.

      • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

        Agreed, Torres took some terrible set pieces, surprised Landon didn’t take them after a while

    • away goals says:

      I’m with you charles, the level of whining from fans on here after the game was embarrassing.

      There are terrible referees employed by every FA in the world. Even good referees will have a poor outing. We had a bunch of calls go against us wednesday. Get over it.

    • away goals says:

      I’m with you charles, the level of whining from fans on here after the game was embarr-a-ssing.

      There are terrible referees employed by every FA in the world. Even good referees will have a poor outing. We had a bunch of calls go against us wednesday. Get over it.

      This will show up twice because of a-ss but it’s so gd insightful you should read it again.

      • beachbum says:

        embarrassing is to pretend it wasn’t what it was imo. Klinnsman called Quesada out after watching his captain get dumped hard again right in front of him. Was that an embarrassing outburst? Folks here posted similar frustration.

        On his apology, I found it contrite in a funny way

      • beachbum says:

        embarra$$ing to me is to pretend it wasn’t what it was. Klinnsman called Quesada out after watching his captain get dumped hard again right in front of him. Was that an embarra$$ing outburst? No. Folks here posted similar frustration.

        On his apology, I found it contrite in a funny way

        moderators: please delete my above identical posts, ty

        • away goals says:

          It’s possible to acknowledge how poor the officiating was without turning it into a “we got screwed/huge conspiracy” whine-fest.

          I’m glad JK said his piece on the field and he probably deserved to be sent to the stands.

          I just hope the day is coming when we can all take a game full of horrible calls in stride and smile about how well we played in a 2-0 win in azteca.

          • Casey says:

            I’ll be glad when people like you can admit something needs to change in CONCACAF with regards to officiating. You are too content for the status quo, and won’t work on fixing the problem.

  18. Tar Heel says:

    Perhaps this is the wrong article to post this point on, but here it goes.

    Wondolowski’s uncalled PK that he earned illustrates a facet to the “diving” debate that is rarely discussed. Sometimes players HAVE to embellish just so (incompetent) referees know to award a foul. For example, Wondow last night….clearly earned a PK (was fouled twice) but stayed on his feet, doesn’t get the penalty awarded. As incompetent as last night’s ref was…I think if Wondow goes down there, the ref absolutely has no choice but to award a PK.

    So in other words, sometimes players NEED to embellish/dive just to ensure that the refs correctly call a foul that really did occur. I find this pretty disturbing because I hate it when players dive and embellish and feign injury (the biggest black mark on the game of soccer and what keeps causal fans away IMO), but in some instances…bad referees force players to dive just to get calls. Does that make sense? Thoughts?

    (Oh and as to the ratings, I would’ve given Johnson a 7.5, not a 7. Great run and finish for first goal, and hockey assisted on LD’s goal.)

    • away goals says:

      Going to the ground is a lot different than feigning injury. It’s simply communicating to the referee that there’s no advantage and he should call the foul.

      I like the americanized version of this communication: simply stopping your play and turning your body to the referee. Usually accompanied by a “cmon” gesture of some kind.

    • Aero says:

      By letting the multiple fouls against Wondo in the box go without penalty, the officials are indeed making the case for diving. Anyone could see the fouls, it was obvious. But it appears officials think it is ok to foul in the box if the player doesn’t go to ground. Absurd.

      • Mueller says:

        I wouldn’t have called the foul. Its like when the ref plays the advantage, then blows the play dead a couple seconds later when the player loses the ball. For me you either have an advantage or a foul. You shouldn’t be able to keep playing the ball until you lose it, then get the foul called.

        In Wondo’s case, if he goes to ground he either gets the call or not, but after he keeps playing on I don’t think you can give him the foul.

        • peterprinciple says:

          I think he doesn’t get that call. I think he earned it, but the physicality- even if he dives- wasn’t enough to get that official to award a PK.

  19. Yevgeniy says:

    Even if USA loses the final, a great tournamen by the team! I am really hoping that one of the things that this tournament achieves is opening the eyes of those USMNT fans who think very little of MLS an/or don’t follow it at all (in my estimation, at least 40% of the USMNT fans). You can see that guys like Beckerman, EJ, Wondolowski, Besler, Goodson, certainly Donovan are all very good players and are absolutely worth your time following in MLS. And it’s not like they are all All-Stars and everyone else is way below. There are plenty of international players who are just as good. If all USMNT fans supported their local MLS team (if they have one) and watched big matches and play-offs on TV, the league would be in a very different place – I would say easily as the level of Eredivisie.

    • Tar Heel says:

      “If all USMNT fans supporter their local MLS team (if they have one)….”

      Can’t speak for all, but the problem for me is I don’t have one. I’m in Georgia (went to school in N.C.). Who am I supposed to support? KC? DC? Those are the closest two and those are 7ish (KC) and 9 (DC) hours away from where I live.

      Love the USMNT and watch every game, but honestly I can’t get into MLS without a local team to support. MLS is missing out on a HUGE untapped market in the Southeast. And no, putting a team in Miami and/or Tampa isn’t the Southeast. I watch the nationally televised MLS games occasionally, but obviously don’t get regional coverage of any games. EPL matches, however, are on my TV every Saturday and Sunday…..

      • Jacknut says:

        Of course you should support DC. All right-thinking people should.

      • Eurosnob says:

        Tar Heel, if MLS had promotion/relegation system, teams from other areas of the country (including the area where you live) would have had a chance to prove on the field that they belong in the top division. Unfortunately, MLS is a closed system that operates like an exclusive country club rather than an open merit-based system. Garber and his minions decide who belongs to the country club and who does not. The quality of the product on the field are irrelevant.

        • Mueller says:

          “Garber and his minions decide who belongs to the country club and who does not.”

          This seems pretty short-sighted. Why would anyone invest in a MLS club if it could be relegated? I hope once this league is fully developed, it looks like MLB. 30-32 top level teams with affiliated minor leagues below them.

          • Eurosnob says:

            Why would anyone invest in any of the European or South American clubs, since those clubs could be relegated?

            • beachbum says:

              not even an apples to apples comparison, as if the business of soccer in the USA is anything like in Europe or South America. We just want the league to continue, to keep helping and pushing to build stadiums and develop academies, to not fold

        • Travis says:

          Nonsense eurosnob. EPl or any euro league wouldn’t have promotion/relegation either if the league formed in the 90s as the mls did.

          • Jim says:

            Excellent point — seldom considered.

          • Eurosnob says:

            Thanks for a nice bit of speculation regarding European leagues. By the way, several Eastern European leagues were formed in 90s and they have promotion/relegation. Promotion/relegation system has been adopted by virtually every country in soccer with the exception of US and perhaps a couple other oddball cases.

      • Yevgeniy says:

        Tar Heel. You don’t have a local team and you watch some games. You are good in my book :) I am calling out people who don’t watch MLS because it was bad quality when they last saw a game …. in 1998

    • Justin El Matador says:

      I am one of those die-hard US fans that just doesn’t watch much MLS… I don’t actively seek it out. However, when I do see it’s on, I definitely watch. I must say that Yevgeniy is correct; the level in MLS is getting much better. Moreover, if you look back at the most successful US team in recent memory, ala 2002 WC, it had a great blend of experienced European blood and burgeoning MLS talent. I would even venture to say that a lot of American MLS players could do well in Europe. Zusi, Gonz & Besler need to find their way into top 4 Euro leagues. Eddie Johnson, again IMHO, is a class striker. For me, his situation is similar to Juan Roman Riquelme’s, in being away from his home, he was not comfortable. Had EJ not struggled with depression and personal issues, I think he Wouldve been more successful. On the other hand, the aforementioned 3 need to pack their bags.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      I go out of my way to look for MLS games to watch, and seriously cannot find them. I’m lucky to find 1 match a week that is televised. Totally untapped market.

      In MN, the closest team is Chicago or KC (6 hours each) and we have no hope of getting a team as the new Vikings stadium will be a fixed roof.

    • Gene says:

      I have to agree with my namesake (I shortened my name:)

      I’ve been watching MLS since its inception and it has gotten a lot better progressively. It is definitely watchable and there is something to be said for a league where the same 4-5 teams are on top year after year. Watching MLS does not have to be an alternative to watching a quality Euro club match or supporting (whatever) the national team (you support).

  20. David M says:

    I think Rimando deserves better than 5.5. He was clearly in command of the area, very sure-handed on some tricky crosses.

  21. unitedinTX says:

    What about Mixx Diskerud? no Grade for him???

  22. Beto says:

    Love the passing stats, thanks for working those into the ratings.

  23. Bobb says:

    Beasley handled his defensive duties well? His man put the ball by him, forcing him to foul, which led to the goal. This is after giving up the penalty last game…

  24. ATX_Colin says:

    Man im chugging this kool aid Klinsy is brewing. Cant recall the last time I felt so good about the USMNT, maybe after last confed cup run. Keep it up boys and carry that momentum into WC 14.

  25. Dan M says:


    Is this on a scale of 1 to 8? What does LD have to do to be better? I think you scoring is always too stingy. Let’s give these guys some love. Even Messi coughs the ball up more often than he turns an opponent and creates a chance. We have to judge on the whole package, and LD was just plain outstanding yesterday. You even called a goal for him and EJ in your pre-game and he over delivered!

  26. Garth says:

    From Law 12 – Included in the cautionable offenses: Persistently infringes the Laws of the Game. This applies to an individual player or to a concerted effort by the team. Despite Torres’ constant complaining, it sure looked like he and Beasley were repeatedly chopped down as part of the Honduran strategy. Just for the fun of it, I’d like to see the ref enforce some of the rules – not to mention elbows to the face in the penalty area.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      One yellow card in the first half would’ve solved everything. It got to the point where talking to a player and saying “that’s enough,” or “no more!” lose their weight significantly. Why bother playing by the rules when they are not enforced?

      As a referee I generally go out of my way to stick up for them, but this crew was TERRIBLE

      • Dennis says:

        I agree on that. I recall a game I was at several years ago between, I think, ACMilan U-20s and Tiaichi. Every time a player received a p@ss when facing back, he was kicked from behind, hard, but not hard enough to dump him on the ground and fouls were called. The referee let it go on for about 10 minutes with out much ado, then issued 3 yellow cards in quick succession for the fouls. Magically the fouls ended and the rest of the game was much better soccer.

      • Chazcar2 says:

        I think torres upset the ref and set him against the official right away. I was watching the game after reading the result and comments and torres was whining about fouls almost right from the beginning. He did that counting thing before the second goal. After that, Honduras could have murdered him and he wasn’t going to get a call. Yeah, refs should be more neutral and calm than that but torres didn’t help his cause there.

        • Michael says:

          Sounds like you’re defending a horrible referee. I bet if you were getting hacked the way Torres was consistently you’d be a little frustrated too. We’re lucky no one was hurt in that game. There could have been ten cards, easily.

  27. Ron says:

    I don’t get Torres, he turns over way to many balls, his crosses are terrible and the same goes for his free kicks. He practically ripped the ball out of Donavan’s hand during the first game.

    • Dennis says:

      Actually I think Torres delivers very good free kicks. I think his weakness comes from taking too long on the ball, way too often he uses 3-5 touches when one or two would be enough. That means when he tries to serve a ball from the run of play, he is under heavy pressure and it allows defenders to close him down and tackle. He is good at shielding the ball so would-be tacklers sometimes commit fouls. You don’t get fouled 8 times (almost in a row) if you are playing the ball sooner.

      • Michael says:

        Rewatch the game. Many times he was fouled after or before his first touch. He was fouled so often because Honduras didn’t want him to have time on the ball because he is dangerous.

      • Jim says:

        When Torres has someone to pass to he has a lethal one touch. Having to take more touches is often the result of no one showing for him.

    • Michael says:

      And do you think Donavan would have let him do that if he didn’t know Torres was good? I don’t think Donavan would let Shea even close to the ball on a free kick. LOL!

    • SBI Troll says:

      Torres is one of the top players in the pool at free kicks. He wasn’t great last night but he’s earned a bad night or two on those. Also Donovan wasn’t much better yesterday. He couldn’t get it past the first man on his only corner kick.

  28. AlexH says:

    I would have liked so see Ives go into who was at fault for the goal and had the offender suffer in the ratings. It looked kind of confused and I couldn’t figure it out so I was hoping that somebody with a more practiced eye could enlighten me.

    • Mig says:

      Sometimes a set piece goal is just a very good delivery and an attacker finding a seam with the right timing to rise to a ball. I often hear announcers criticize the defense for these plays and think that it was just really good execution by the attackers.

      In this case, it was maybe as you said a bit of confusion between Goodson and Bedoya but man that was a good ball and a really strong jump and header.

      • Chazcar2 says:

        On a rewatch, just before the corner bedoya p@sses the man off to beckerman, but beckerman already had a man to mark. Goodson was marking someone else. Bedoya shouldn’t have p@ssed him off but there was a player in front of him that he was picking up.

        Definitely appears to be a coaching issue on how to mark and p@ss off players as they move around pre-kick.

      • away goals says:

        nah it’s always an unforgivable mistake that should result in the player dropping at least two slots on the depth chart.

  29. Joe A. says:

    Can Bedoya play on the left..?

  30. Goalscorer24 says:

    Love seeing the joy on everyones face in that photo! Hope we can take it to Panama. It is going to be a very physical game.

  31. JoKr says:

    I’ve gotta agree with ATX_Colin, this is the best soccer I’ve ever witnessed from a US national team. The tone set over the first 10 minutes of yesterday’s game, in the face of high and consistent pressure from Honduras was a treat to watch. I was a Beckerman critic but have enjoyed the crow I’ve been served to eat over the last games. Likewise, albeit in smaller portions, for Parkhurst. Bedoya played the best game I’ve seen from him, ever. But that is no reason to suddenly shift him to the opposite side in place of Torres who, IMHO, was an integral component of the US’ success in the first half (and, again IMHO, a far better option than Castillo in that role).

    Donovan has abeen a joy to watch. As a Galaxy fan, I firmly believe that playing with the likes of Beckham and Robbie Keane have taken his game up multiple levels. My question, is he now a better option than Dempsey sitting behind Altidore? He’s quicker, offers more movement and brings other into the attack with his first touch far better (don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of current captain but he may fit better in the current Torres role)

  32. Jim says:

    How shall we rate Walter Quesada, the ref?

  33. Very similar to my grades. Granted, I had them out 12 hours ago, but ya know, whatever.

    Shea deserved a low rating though, he was out there for a while and played awful.

  34. Klinsmann says:

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned yet, has anyone noticed Eddie Johnson’s been bulking up? I thought it could possibly hurt his mobility but looks like it’s really helped!

  35. David Petruska says:

    One last comment about Brek Shea. I feel that he is not playing in a position that suits him. He is not a winger. He may be better as a central defender (height, speed, aggressiveness?), or central forward. Any other thoughts????