BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The United States defeated Slovenia 3-2 on Tuesday night in the team's first win on European soil under Jurgen Klinsmann.

Here are my match ratings for the US team

Starting lineup

Tim Howard - 6 - There wasn't too much he could have done on either goal and he wasn't asked to make any phenomenal saves like he did against France.

Steve Cherundolo - 6 - Cherundolo was his usual solid self. Didn't really get forward all that much but Slovenia did not attack much down the right side.

Clarence Goodson - 4.5 - It was a tough match for the Brondby captain who struggled on defense and did not communicate with Bocanegra on the backline.

Carlos Bocanegra - 5.0 - A subpar game from the American captain. The defense looked overrun for a period in the second half.

Timothy Chandler - 6 - Chandler looked sharp moving forward and in his connections with Fabian Johnson. His position was still off as he kept Slovenia attackers on-side at a few key moments.

Kyle Beckerman - 4.5 - It was Beckerman's weakest game form the US as he was beaten on Slovenia's second goal. Still, he was forced to cover a lot of ground in part because of the struggles of the American backline. He looked very tired in the second half.

Michael Bradley - 7.5 - MAN OF THE MATCH - For long stretches Bradley was the best player on the field for either team. He made many key defensive plays and his passing game was crucial in the American's transition from defensive to attack. He needs to be part of the team moving forward.

Fabian Johnson - 7.0 - The German-born Johnson was a revelation in his first start for the US national team. He was constantly finding space on the left side and he drew the penalty on the American's third goal. He should have had an assist in the first half as well but Altidore missed from close range.

Clint Dempsey - 7.0 - Demspey is the heart and soul of the US team. Whenever he had the ball he caused fear among the Slovenian defense. His goal off the header was the result of a great move to get open on the corner.

Jozy Altidore - 6.5 - Altidore was dangerous for the US team. He missed a sitter in the first half but was still a handful for the Slovenian defense.

Edson Buddle - 7.0 - Buddle has been criticized a lot by the American press but he answered those critics early with a well taken goal in the 9th minute. He worked hard throughout the game.


Maurice Edu - 5 - The US had begun to settle down when Edu entered the game in the 78th minute. He was asked to defend on occasion and did well.

Brek Shea - 5 - Shea came on in the 61st minute and did not do as well as Fabian Johnson - the player he replaced. He looked tired and was not able to create any dangerous opportunities.

Robbie Rogers - NR

Jermaine Jones -NR

Danny Williams - NR
Tuesday November 22, 2011 9:56 am
Bradley is def our best cmdf. Beckerman wasn't as bad as everyone is making him out to be. In the long run he's too slow, but as a holding cmdf he is seviceable, and would probably do well against CONCACAF competition. So it's Bradley and who else? I don't see this team being a 4-3-3 team in the near future. It's obvious we're a 4-4-2 team right now. I agree with wwb5029 in that Dempsey needs to play higher up the field. Not sure who the other cmdf should be...Edu isn't good enough on the ball, Jermaine Jones is a center back, Holden is always hurt, do we not have any young guys to go to? Dax Mccarty? I'd almost be tempted to try Donovan, but I know that's probably not happening.
Sunday November 20, 2011 1:24 am
I am seriously done with beckerman. He is a sub at best on the national level unless he steps his game up. The midfield has to include bradley as well if they want to move forward. If shea steps up, a very decent midfield for the us will be able to be played bc the only major weakness in it is the middle of the midfield that seems to be better with bradley. Possibly a bradley, shea, and donovan midfield seems to be the future. Dempsey has to be higher up to make any kind of push forward, making him not available for midfield use. Possibly a attacking midfielder at best is all that dempsy can be counted on to contribute to the midfield as he is the best attacker we have.
Mike E
Saturday November 19, 2011 3:39 pm
If that's the best that Kyle Beckermann can do, Jurgen might as well bring in one of the Chicago Fire's three midfield stooges (Corben Bone, Daniel Paladini, or the old thug Logan Pause).
John Roche
Thursday November 17, 2011 9:18 pm
NO IDEA why he insists on bekerman in this side. The guy is slow & 29 years old. What about Sacha? Even Feilhaber? And ADU, for crying out loud, after the tournament he had in the summer?
Wednesday November 16, 2011 5:18 pm
I don't know if Mickey B was man of the match but he certainly showed that he is a level above Beckerman and Edu. Some fans underestimate him because of how smooth he is with the ball, keeps it moving and keeps it out of trouble. The odd thing is, people clamor for the US to play a more possession oriented match but dislike our best midfielder when it comes to keeping that same possession. Now, swap him out for Beckerman and put Donovan in the right and that would be my first team of healthy players; although I'm not entirely sold on Buddle yet.
Wednesday November 16, 2011 3:40 pm
I agree about Beckerman. He's had his chance. And even though he is a quality player; he is yet to impress at the international level. One has to have more than just a good work rate to compete at this level. VERY little creativity.
Wednesday November 16, 2011 3:19 pm
Weakest player for the USA was Chandler who's terrible positioning exposed the defensive time after time but he did make one nice cross so all of the school boy defending is forgotten. These grades are like a fan who doesn't really see the game but has his thinking clouded by a couple of plays. Sad.
Wednesday November 16, 2011 10:02 am
Beckerman was there because of MLS quotas! Bradley did well, but he is still slow on passing the ball forward. Thus we missed opportunities on 2nd half.
Wednesday November 16, 2011 10:01 am
Super impressed with Johnson and Bradley's performance yesterday. Both were quick, decisive, creative, and dangerous on offense. All the things the team has been missing for the last several years. Altidore played ok as did Buddle. Would be interested to see if Shea could be a better option in either of their places. Beckerman, while working very hard, again showed he doesn't have the speed or skill for this level. And the back line communication was horrible. Maybe that gets better when Gooch is back in the line up. Still, we're going to have to get some miles on the young defenders. Gooch, Boca, and Dolo have been great, but they're going to be too old by the next WC. Suggestions at the back other than who we've been using?
Wednesday November 16, 2011 6:21 am
No way Bradley was a 7.5! He was a pretty good player but didn't stand out much at all...he was not our best player. Man of the match should definitely go to Johnson or Dempsey. Overall a good performance from the USNT. Our CB's are too slow though.
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