I’m not going to say “Back to reality for the Nats.” I’m not going to say, “The result was unfair.” I’m not going to say “Brazil was on form.” I’m just going to get into some player ratings.
Tim Howard was solid in goal but was strung out to dry by his defense.
Carlos Bocanegra was decent in tonight’s game. He didn’t make any spectacular last ditch tackles but wasn’t exposed.
The same cannot be said for Oguchi Onyewu. I am a big fan of Onyewu but he was out of his depth tonight. He was called for the handball that led to Neymar’s penalty goal, he was one of four American players who failed to pick up Marcelo on his goal, and he kept Pato onside on his goal. His recovery to pre-knee injury form does not seem to be as far as we had hope.
Fabian Johnson impressed against Brazil. He was consistently a threat attacking down the left side, set up Gomez’s late first half goal, and was as good in the back as anyone in a U.S. shirt.
Steve Cherundolo didn’t make many mistakes defensively and combined well going forward. He managed to laugh off Marcelo’s annoying antics in the second half.
Maurice Edu made some important tackles but was not crisp with his passing.
Jermaine Jones made a few lung busting runs this game and had a delightful tackle on Neymar that the referee thought was worthy of a yellow card (I politely disagree). Jones has proven himself to be a solid force in the midfield for the U.S.
Michael Bradley is the passing maestro for the U.S. in the midfield. He played a great ball through for Johnson to run onto in the build up to the team’s goal. He not only has the ability to see a pass but is not afraid to get dirty and make a strong tackle.
José Torres was involved in attacking movements for the U.S. but did not make much of an impression before getting substituted.
Landon Donovan showed today that when he is not firing, the U.S. lacks production up top. He routinely failed to get by Marcelo but continued to take him head-on. He did play several dangerous corners into the area in the second half.
Herculez Gomez showed what a center forward needs to do in Klinsmann’s 4-3-3. He played tremendously with his back to goal, drew several fouls from Brazil’s central defenders, was active in attacking sequences, and spread the ball out well when passes were played into him. His first touch let him down and had that been better, the team might have had a couple more goals tonight.
Clint Dempsey subbed in for Torres and made a few chances in his time on the field. He had a wonderful opportunity when Gomez headed down for him on a short cross from Johnson and put a header just wide from a Donovan corner.
Terrence Boyd had a poor shot attempt wide and hit his rebound from Gomez’s chance right at Brazil’s keeper Rafael. He desperately needs more match experience to develop his raw forward ability.
Michael Parkhurst replaced Cherundolo and didn’t do too poorly. He did get embarrassed by Neymar on one play down the left, but what defender hasn’t?
Kyle Beckerman didn’t make much of a positive impact on the game as a late substitute, but he did manage to prevent making a negative impact.
Edgar Castillo faced a challenge coming on for the most dynamic American player tonight.; Johnson. He didn’t make many mistakes in his ten minutes except for allowing Pato space on Brazil’s fourth goal, even though he thought he was pulling the A.C. Milan forward offside.
At least we know the match against Canada will be a much easier test than this Brazil side.