We only caught portions of this game live, and each of those portions was a good one for the U.S., giving us an initially skewed impression of this encounter between a U.S. team starting a new chapter and a Polish team gearing up to host Euro 2012.
We thought the Yanks looked surprisingly good, especially Holden, Jones, Dempsey and Altidore. Then we saw the whole thing on tape, and had our impression rearranged a bit. Those players still stood out, but Altidore should have had three goals instead of one, and Jones’s giveaway led directly to Poland’s second goal. Also, the U.S. did not control the game nearly as well as we first thought.
In any case, here are the BP player ratings (1 = Mattheus in MLS 10 = Schelotto in MLS):
Tim Howard 7: Stopped a breakaway by Lewandowski, and everything else that was stoppable.
Steve Cherundolo 6: The word “steady” will invariably crop up in every description of a Cherundolo performance.
Oguchi Onyewu 5: He scored a goal and almost notched another one in stoppage time. Otherwise his score would be lower. Played like a man who … hasn’t played in a while.
Maurice Edu 5: He plays in midfield for Rangers, but adjusted fairly well to the move to centerback. Solid on the ball as always; shaky in positioning at times.
Carlos Bocanegra 4: Hard to believe we’re typing this, but the speedy Jonathan Bornstein would have been a better option against Poland’s surprisingly fast wingers. We bet Heath Pearce gets the nod here against Colombia on Tuesday.
Stuart Holden 7: Too bad he wasn’t 100% for South Africa. He was dynamic and confident and showed why he’s nailed down a starting spot for Bolton. Killer outswinging corner on Gooch’s goal.
Jermaine Jones 7: Excellent debut, and you have to think he’ll only get better as he gels with his new teammates. Deadly ball to Altidore for U.S.’s first goal (and other great passes) outweighed giveaway that led to Poland’s second.
Michael Bradley 5: Just an average performance for the normally excellent center midfielder. Adjusting to the big presence of Jones? Maybe, and they’ll sort it out with more games together.
Clint Dempsey 6: He’s been playing well for Fulham and it transferred here, as he excelled in a new role as attacking mid behind Altidore. Up-for-it, solid.
Benny Feilhaber 4: Yeah, the second division in Denmark, where he’s been lighting it up lately, is not the same as a full interanational. MIA.
Jozy Altidore 6: Great finish on the goal, but as we said, should have buried two more. But, hey, as long as he’s getting chances….Now he just needs more PT at Villarreal.
Alejandro Bedoya 4: We keep hoping for more out of the second-year pro based in Sweden. Maybe next time?
Here are the highlights: