USMNT Report Card: Player Grades in 4-1 Loss to Ireland


Simply said, the United States put forth a disappointing performance against Ireland. The World Cup hangover is real. Despite eleven changes to their starting lineup, Ireland took this match to the Yanks, and ultimately came away with a 4-1 victory.

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Jurgen Klinsmann has made it known that he wants to play an attractive, possession-based style, and he is not afraid to turn over every rock to make it happen. That was highlighted today when Jordan Morris, currently playing at Stanford University, was given his first cap when he replaced Timothy Chandler in the 76′.

This friendly marked the end of the year for the USMNT, and moving forward, Klinsmann will have plenty of decisions to make. Regardless, there was a match today, and we graded the individuals that played a part in it for the States. Needless to see, not many of them passed.

B. Bedoya continued to be the most consistent player post World Cup for the United States. He was dangerous in the right channel, solid in possession when he tucked inside, and even contributed a lovely flick on to Fabian Johnson and a nutmeg on the byline for good measure.. Midfield. FC Nantes. ALEJANDRO BEDOYA

BILL HAMID. C. Hamid made his second career start for the United States National Team. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have much help. On three of the four goals conceded, there was absolutly nothing that he could do. In addition, he came up with a big save 28′ in and dealt with crosses very competently.. Goalkeeper. DC United

Midfield. Rosenborg. MIKKEL DISKERUD. C. Mix failed to fully recover from his tough outing against Columbia. While his play was better, he failed to be much of an outlet in possession, and he seems to get lost when playing in front of Kyle Beckerman. He wasn’t on the ball nearly enough for a player in the No.10 role. However, his high ball pressure and perseverance did lead to the lone goal, scored by Mix himself.

Johnson, while he has yet to return to the form that we saw in Brazil, was better against Ireland than he was against Colombia. He was a lot more comfortable bombing forward down the right channel when Bedoya pinched in, and he even nearly added a goal but was unfortunate to see his shot hit the right post. Defensively, Johnson left a lot to be desired. At one point, when faced with pressure deep in the defensive third, he opted to try to play a forward pass as opposed to clearing or conceding a throw, and that lead to Ireland regaining possession and scoring just moments later.. Defender. Borussia Monchengladbach. FABIAN JOHNSON. C

C. Wondolowski struggled out of the gate, and his touch failed him multiple times. However, as usual, Wondolowski continued to play and ultimately found the game. On Mix’s goal, it was Wondolowski that used his head to lay the ball off for the assist off the Jozy Altidore cross.. Forward. San Jose Earthquakes. CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI

Forward. Sunderland. JOZY ALTIDORE. C-. As a result of his frustration at the club level, Altidore has failed to regain the form that once made him a lethal goal scoring option for the United States. It looks like he is lacking confidence on the pitch, and while understandable, for the United States to be successful, they need their star striker to be dangerous. Against Ireland, outside of one shot that hit the crossbar, he was never really in a position to score a goal. 

Midfield. Real Salt Lake. KYLE BECKERMAN. C-. Beckerman has been the one American to continue impressing after returning from Brazil. After his performance against Colombia, Beckerman drew worldwide praise. While he never did anything to really hurt the Yanks against Ireland, this was a game that his calming presence in possession could have been extremely beneficial.

TIMOTHY CHANDLER. D+. Like the rest of the United States defense, Chandler did little to slow down the Irish attack. However, Chandler did make a couple of positive moves up the pitch and even whipped in a couple dangerous crosses.. Defender. Eintracht Frankfurt

D. Returning to the center back role next to Matt Besler, Cameron was rather disappointing. While he won possession back for the Yanks at times, Cameron was muscled off the ball or allowed little resistance to the Ireland attack far too often.. Midfield. Stoke City. GEOFF CAMERON

D. Besler was impressive in Brazil in all four matches. However, he was a part of the leaky faucet that was the United States defense against Ireland. In the 7′, Besler got turned around and beat in behind by Anthony Pilkington for the first Irish goal. On another occasion, there seemed to be a lack of communication between Besler and Cameron, but luckily for them, Hamid came up with a big save.. Defender. Sporting Kansas City. MATT BESLER

Defender. Club Tijuana. GREG GARZA. C. Garza didn’t do anything to hurt the progress that he has made in the national team picture as a substitute, but he also did little to help. Klinsmann opted to use him as a midfielder in front of Chandler initially, and while it did slow down the Ireland attack on that side briefly, only one thing became apparent: Greg Garza is not fast

Hats off to Morris. He earned his first cap before making his professional debut. In addition, Morris was rather positive in his 14′. He seemed mature, poised, and even set up a goal scoring opportunity for Greg Garza.. Forward. Stanford. JORDAN MORRIS. C

C. Wood impressed many with his performance against Colombia. While anyone could tell you that his quality in front of net could use some drastic improvement, for a young player to get himself into good spots on the pitch the way that he does is encouraging.. Forward. 1860 Munich. BOBBY WOOD

RUBIO RUBIN. C-. After starting and impressing in his national team debut against Colombia, Rubin saw just the last 14′ of action against Ireland. Unable to make much of an impact in large part to the United States’ inability to get out of their own half, Rubin was unable to build off of his last performance.. Forward. FC Utrecht