Player Ratings vs Italy
As always, player ratings are up for debate:
Kasey Keller 7: beaten by another header, but made some great saves in the second half
Steve Cherundolo 7: up and down that touchline all day long. not quite as solid as Bocanegra defensively, but some effective attacks down the right flank.
Carlos Bocanegra 8: below average going forward, he just can’t cross like Lewis. luckily he doesn’t defend like Lewis either and was really impressive, giving the Italians more or less nothing down that flank. must have won the spot from Lewis, and we can only dream of what might have been had he played against the Czech Republic.
Oguchi Onyewu 8: looked clumsy early on and failed to get out for the failed offside trap, but from there on out he was an absolute rock. hope he took Toni out of his pocket after the game, or will be in trouble for kidnapping.
Eddie Pope 5: unlucky to be sent off, but didn’t inspire confidence while on the field.
Mastroeni 7: outstanding before he saw red. made a lot of strong tackles, distributed well and had one great long range shot that could have snuck in. was also part of the reason Lippi felt Totti had to come out. the tackle to get sent off wasn’t too clever, but 9 / 10 times (maybe more?) it’s just a booking.
Clint Dempsey 8: full of running, and confident enough to make some aggressive forward runs. his swagger is what was missing against the Czech Republic. Italian defenders didn’t quite know what to make of him.
Bobby Convey 6: crossing wasn’t fantastic, and not as threatening as Dempsey, but worked hard. withdrawn by Arena for tactical reasons after the red cards, mostly based on his inexperience.
Claudio Reyna 8: ran around like a man in his 20s, not 30s, setting an example as captain. great touch and vision as usual but also won his share of challenges.
Landon Donovan 9: more like it. ran hard, tackled hard and always looked dangerous on the ball. he was everywhere in midfield, always making himself available in central positions, back making challenges and forward often enough to support McBride. most importantly, he had the confidence in himself to dribble (often successfully) at the Italian defence.
Brian McBride 7: missed one golden chance from Donovan, but his bravery is unquestionabe. determined to play on after De Rossi’s elbow when lesser men would have left the game. most impressive was his willingness to simultaneously play the forward role and fill in everywhere else while we were down to 9 men (and remember this isn’t a young guy we’re talking about). can you imagine Ronaldo doing that for his team?
Jimmy Conrad 6: had a decent enough game, especially when compared to Pope, but was a little too eager to exchange shirts with Iaquinta and lucky not to have given away a penalty.
DaMarcus Beasley 6: looked (a bit) more like the DMB we know and used to love, though could have put his pace to better use in such an open game and didn’t always track back. had the ball in the net and unlucky not to be the matchwinner.
Man of the Match: Cristian Zaccardo.
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