USMNT RATINGS VS. ECUADOR
RECAPS
EXTRA TIME
KYLE SCHNITZER - Sunday, October 12, 2014
In Landon Donovan's final game wearing the red, white and blue, his send off party was spoiled by a beautiful late goal from Ecuador's Enner Valencia, as the US and Ecuador tied, 1-1.

There are a lot of positives, specifically from the back line and some of the younger players. But the head scratchers continue to make you question.

Starters:

Brad Guzan, G: Guzan made three great saves in succession midway in the game which gave US fans a taste of his ability. Later in the game, he struggled with footing as the field seemed to fall apart. Besides those three saves, any other chances were basic saves he should make. And he did. You can't fault him for not saving Enner Valencia's shot from deep, although he did break to the right and was caught flat-footed. 6.5

Timmy Chandler, D: The ups-and-downs for Timmy Chandler continued against Ecuador but there's a lot to appreciate from his effort. He has a patient way of playing defense which isn't a knock on him but perhaps the Bundesliga mentality. He had one major hiccup when he misjudged a ball that gave Renato Ibarra a breakaway. But in the 71st minute, he showed his ability on offense, keeping the ball close to his feet as he had a solid run down the right sideline, only to flop inside the box, which didn't fool anyone in the stands. 5

Michael Orozco, D: Orozco doesn't wow you with his ability but he gets the job done. He provided a solid performance up the middle with John Brooks but received an unnecessary yellow card. 5.5

John Brooks, D: Early in the game, the rust appeared for Brooks. He looked a little out of sync with the pace of the game but adjusted well. His physicality is something that he can bring each game and once he learns how to use it, can change the game. His problem now is to figure out his club situation and we can see how he develops. 5.5

Greg Garza, D: His first start for the national team, Garza impressed throughout. He found ways to get forward while getting back where he was needed. He an interesting piece moving forward because of his age and ability to possibly play a bigger role in the future. 6.0

DeAndre Yedlin, M: After his stellar World Cup performance, Yedlin picked up right where he left off. He brings a dynamic style-of-play when slotted out wide, streaking up the sidelines with his speed while possessing skill with the ball. He looks much more confident than he did in Brazil. He impressed with his ability to get up-and-down the field and truly looks like a budding star. 7.0

Mix Diskerud, M: If you ever questioned it before, Diskerud really proved to be a field general against Ecuador. He knows when to push the ball and when to slow the pace. He did well in the air and was rewarded with a solid goal to put the US up early. 7.0

Alejandro Bedoya, M: Bedoya always delivers a sneaky performance. Sometimes wowing viewers, sometimes leaves us scratching our heads. He looked more natural playing in the middle of the field, where he should be. 6.0

Joe Gyau, M: Before coming off in the 22nd minute with a knee injury, Gyau really impressed. With him on the left flank and Yedlin on the right, it's as if you have two track sprinters who never seem to tire. The disappointment of his performance was the injury but before that, he showed a lot of potential which can continue to grow as he finds time at Borussia Dortmund. 6.0

Landon Donovan, M: Landon Donovan's final performance for the United States was memorable but could have been even more memorable. He had two opportunities, one where he clanked it off the far post, another barely missing the net. Nonetheless, Donovan played with excitement. In an era where we are used to seeing athletes leave their careers at their absolute lows, it was incredibly refreshing to watch Landon Donovan leave the game on top. 6.5

Jozy Altidore, F: Altidore showed rust- a lot of rust. While some gush over his physicality, I came away unimpressed. He looked lost sometimes, whether it was a poor first touch or his pace with the rest of the players. He had multiple scoring opportunities but failed. He needs to take control of the ball when he has it. His one moment for optimism was the goal from Diskerud, where Altidore trapped the ball and attracted defenders in to find DeAndre Yedlin. Some feel he deserves more at Sunderland, but he needs to do much more with his opportunities. 5.0

Substitutes:

Bobby Wood, F: In the late stages of the game, Bobby Wood's poor performance could have been erased but he added to hesitance and frustration of his appearance. He was closing on Ecuador goalkeeper Maximo Banguera but instead of taking the shot, he played a weak ball to a streaking Chris Wondolowski who never got there. On a positive note, he does well moving forward and knows how to get back. But at the same time, it isn't pretty. He looked lost at times. 3.5

Joe Corona, M: He replaced Donovan in the 41st minute and did not really impact the game. He floated around quietly. 4.0

Alfredo Morales, M: Like Corona, Morales seemed to have little-to-zero impact on the game. The problem with Corona and Morales was they failed to adapt to the pace of the game, which was more of a counter style rather than controlled possession. 4.0

Omar Gonzalez, D: Gonzalez is growing as a soccer player. He came on in the second half and dominated in the air and did well to keep pace with Ecuador's speedsters, specifically Joao Plata and Enner Valencia. 5.5

Tim Ream, D: Ream impressed after subbing in the 62nd minute. The forgotten piece of the US defense, he had a number of huge clearances late in the game. He creates an interesting competition with other central defenders, if he can continue to contribute at this level. 6.5

Chris Wondolowski, F: Replaced Altidore in the 76th minute. Had one chance but Wood botched, but that was about it. NR
IntheLou
Tuesday October 14, 2014 3:41 pm
Wow. Seems harsh on Wood. I thought he was doing alright on the whole. It's the first time I'd seen him, so I didn't expect much, but he did make the chance he blew, which meant he was doing something right, and blowing one good opportunity you yourself make shouldn't get you a "3.5"!
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