Thursday, August 11, 2011
USA-Mexico: How our boys fared
By Scott French
Grades for So Cal's figures in the U.S. national team's 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Mexico in a Philadelphia friendly:
ROBBIE ROGERS (Palos Verdes/Huntington Beach)
A-: The Columbus Crew winger made a huge impression off the bench, scoring one goal (on an easy-as-can-be tap-in from Brek Shea's ball across the goalmouth) and speeding past Mexico's defense en route to what might have been another -- and should have been a red card when he was dragged down by Gerardo Torrado.
LANDON DONOVAN (Redlands)
B+: The Galaxy attacker, stationed in his usual post on the right, got better as the game went on, was the Americans' most consistent attacker and was pivotal in their late dominance. Should have been rewarded with what would have been a winning penalty kick in the 78th minute.
CARLOS BOCANEGRA (Alta Loma)
B+: Edgar Castillo's nightmare at left back might have been cause to move the U.S. captain back to the flank, but he's at his best in the middle -- and was solid marshaling a backline while flanked by two rookies, more or less. He'd have a goal, too, if not for Guillermo Ochoa's diving, slapping save 10 minutes into the second half.
MICHAEL BRADLEY (Manhattan Beach)
B: Lot of eyes on former head coach Bob Bradley's son, who was fine in central midfield even though out of position -- in an attacking role that at times seemed beyond him. But he was always involved, and his inability to stop Oribe Peralta on Mexico's goal can be forgiven.
MICHAEL OROZCO FISCAL (Orange)
C+: The Mexico-based defender's surprise call-up was followed by an even more surprising assignment next to Bocanegra in central defense. He was a little too aggressive early on, quite understandable, and had some fine moments, although not enough to warrant first-choice consideration.
JURGEN KLINSMANN (Huntington Beach)
B+: The result wasn't bad, although it mattered not at all, and not all of the decisions worked quite as planned, but a decent start for the new U.S. coach, whose spirit on the sidelines, in dealings with his players and when addressing the media is certainly infectious.