Donovan and Torres Shine Bright Against the Ticos
The United States' 1-0 win against Costa Rica didn’t feature many breakout performances, but, as always, some players looked better than others. Here are our player ratings from the Group C finale.
BY Jon Arnold PostedSean Johnson: 7 In his first significant action with a U.S. crest on the shirt since an Olympic qualifying gaffe, Johnson performed well and showed he can be a serviceable back-up. He had a good stretch early with a nice take in the 10th minute and good awareness to come for a ball over the top three minutes later. His match will be remembered for the tremendous save in the 82nd minute when he extended and blocked a shot from a Costa Rica corner. The ball was subsequently cleared and the counter attack started for the lone U.S. goal. Michael Parkhurst: 4.5 Parkhurst was involved in some very good battles with Costa Rica’s Junior Diaz and may have been hamstrung by Alejandro Bedoya in front of him, but it was a very average night at right back for the Augsburg defender. He had a few nice runs and Mix Diskerud found him on a couple occasions but the majority of his efforts ended up being blocked. Clarence Goodson: 6.5 The center back was tentative early but quickly found his comfort level with an excellent header in the 9th minute to clear a corner kick. He made important stops on multiple occasions and even got forward to put in a nice cross in the 36th minute and help out the attack. It was a fine performance and encouraging for the national team future of the Earthquakes' new signing. Michael Orozco: 6 Orozco and Goodson worked together well. Though it’s not his position with Puebla, Orozco's Gold Cup performances at center back thus far have given the indication that he could be a serviceable back up for the full national team. At the very least, it looks like he’s ready to start there in the knockout stages. DaMarcus Beasley: 6 Beasley was positive in the first few minutes, showing his experience. He had a bad giveaway in the seventh minute that resulted in him getting knocked in the head. It didn’t seem to affect him too much with Beasley continuing to make good runs but there were multiple occasions where a Torres track-back saved him defensively and Beas disappeared for long stretches of the second half. Mix Diskerud: 5.5 Diskerud filled the role Klinsmann wanted him to, keeping possession, finding players like Alejandro Bedoya and Michael Parkhurst on the right side, and getting forward for a shot or two himself. He wasn’t able to do too much more but did his job without incident and didn’t commit any defensive blunders. Stuart Holden: 5 There was nothing wrong with Holden’s performance in midfield, which saw a couple good passes and solid defense, but it lacked the pep he provided when brought into previous matches as a substitute. It’s good to see him logging full 90s again, but American fans would be even happier if he can show the same energy he does in his substitute appearances. Alejandro Bedoya: 3.5 Like Parkhurst, Bedoya had the misfortune of doing battle with Junior Diaz, but while his Costa Rican counterpart looked inspired, Bedoya looked insipid. He played wide but managed very few balls of any consequence, and mishit a free header in the 29th minute that could’ve opened the scoring. Landon Donovan: 6 Donovan had a forgettable first half, save for good work in the 32nd minute to get wide when Jose Torres came forward. He looked better in the second half but will rue a missed chance in the 57th minute. In the end, a reminder of just how classy a player he is boosts his score. He hit a superb pass to free Brek Shea for the 82nd-minute goal. Jose Torres: 7.5 This was the best match Torres has played for the national team. He did excellent work early tracking back to help Beasley and also combined with a few guys going forward. The Tigres player also showed why Jurgen Klinsmann has him hitting set pieces with an excellent 57th-minute free kick and a few more good efforts from dead balls. Chris Wondolowski: 3.5 Costa Rica’s defense is much stronger than that of previous foes Guatemala, Belize, and Cuba, and Wondolowski didn’t stand up to the test. Part of it was certainly the lack of help from anyone on the field, but a stretch just after the 50th minute epitomized the difficulties he had. He hosed Donovan in the 53rd by jumping offside and just staying there when the Los Angeles Galaxy attacker made a run forward and then a minute later smashed Alejandro Bedoya’s only good cross of the match over the bar. It’s tough to see Wondolowski working as a lone striker, but even so he should’ve done better Tuesday. Jurgen Klinsmann: 5 His line-up choices were okay. You could understand why he went with what was generally a more attacking line-up against a Costa Rica team that hadn’t allowed a goal for more than 700 minutes. But it didn’t really work, and it took Klinsmann a really long time to go to the bench. Two of his subs played parts on the goal, but you can’t help but wonder if it would’ve come sooner had he made changes earlier.
July 16, 2013
July 16, 2013