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US Vs. T & T Gold Cup 06/09/07; Individual Player Ratings

Predicatably, Trinidad was not very good. Would’ve liked to see the US get 3 or 4, but oh well; a win’s a win.

Keller: 5.5; didn’t have to make any big saves; distribution was inconsistent
Spector: 6; had his best performance for the National Team this year, although he still has some work to do; instrumental in Ching’s opening goal
Parkhurst: 6; never going to dominate in the air, but displayed quickness, skill, and an impressive knack for reading the game; had a few near-disastrous miscommunications with DeMerit, but I really like the way he plays
DeMerit: 6; distribution was a little inconsistent; a few miscommunications with Parkhurst caused some problems, but overall played well
Simek: 7; Frankie looks like he is going to make a serious push to be the first-choice right back heading into World Cup Qualifying; Trinidad wasn’t the strongest of opponents, but Simek defended well when called upon and was dangerous going forward the entire game; displayed very sound technical ability, strong tackling, and advanced tactical awareness
Clark: 6.25; had a quiet game, but that’s typically a good thing for a holding midfielder because it means he was well-positioned, controlled the midfield, and distributed the ball soundly
Feilhaber: 6; ended up playing a pretty solid first half after taking about 10 minutes to get into sync with an entirely different group of players; continues to display his intelligence on the pitch and his exceptional technical ability; his more dangerous passes were for naught due to the ineptitude of the far-side linesman
Mapp: 6.5; very nice work to set up the Ching goal; continues to display talent, but still has some work to do; I would like to see Bradley try him at a right-mid with Dempsey and Donovan up-top. He could be very effective on the right drawing his defender wide and cutting in to shot with his left like he did at the end of the 1st half (his assist to Bornstein against Denmark also came off a run down the right).
Ralston: 5; not one of his best games, but he was not terrible by any means
Johnson: 6; linesman robbed him of some well-deserved opportunities to add to his tally; hopefully 1. the injury isn’t too bad and 2. the goal will boost his confidence when he is able to return
Ching: 6; squandered several opportunities, but did get on the board eventually; played the key pass that sprung Donovan to set-up the second goal

Donovan: 7; changed the game when he came on at half-time; picked up where he left off on Thursday with another good performance
Bradley: 5; seems like he’s been trying to do too much lately
Twellman: 5.5; not enough time to make a major impact

I’m surprised to see so many low marks for Parkhurst. I thought he played pretty well for his first cap. He seems to be shouldering most of the blame for the miscommunications between he and DeMerit. I think that those were largely due to the fact that Parkhurst and DeMerit have very little experience playing together. Parkhurst is never going to dominate in the air, but he’s very skilled, quick, and he reads the game well. The thing that intrigues me most about him is that he is not the prototypical American center back. Aside from Eddie Pope, just about every center-back that has figured significantly for the National Team in the last 15 years has been some combination of big, slow, or marginally skilled (Lalas, Balboa, Dooley, Berhalter, Agoos, Onyewu, Conrad). Parkhurst brings something different to the table. I’m glad he’s cap-tied to the US now and I hope he continues to progress.

Clearly, EJ still hasn’t pleased some people, which is fair enough. He hasn’t played well for the US over the last year and knocking in a sitter against a Trinidadian reserve team doesn’t really prove anything. However, I’m amazed that he continues to get bashed for laziness in the Trinidad game while Justin Mapp seems to be the consensus pick for Man of the Match. I know Mapp made an outstanding play to set-up the goal and he deserves credit for that (I gave him a good score for this match), but before you rip EJ for not running off the ball, watch Mapp’s off the ball movement and compare the two. Better yet, watch Mapp when the other team has the ball. I think you’ll feel differently about either EJ’s work-rate on the field or Mapp’s.


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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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