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Grades that bobble the mind

June 13, 2010
Carlisle By Jeff Carlisle
ESPN.com
(Archive)

After all the hype, the U.S-England match is in the books. Here's our rundown of ratings for all the players, starting with the U.S. squad:

The Grades

Player ratings: (1-10; 10 = best)

United States

Tim Howard, goalkeeper, 8 -- Could do nothing about the goal, and made a brave save at Emile Heskey's feet to thwart an England attack. He came up big against Heskey and Shaun Wright-Phillips on second-half breakaways.

Carlos Bocanegra, defense, 5 -- Held up well initially but simply wore down trying to contain Aaron Lennon and Glen Johnson.

Jay DeMerit, defense, 6 -- Struggled in his aerial battles with Heskey and was slow to deny him the ball on Steven Gerrard's goal, but he did well to keep Wayne Rooney quiet for the most part. He got better as the game went on.

Oguchi Onyewu, defense, 6.5 -- Another player whose positioning looked suspect on Gerrard's goal, as he got pulled forward, creating space in behind. He was fairly composed the rest of the way though, repaying Bob Bradley's faith in him. Had a vital late challenge on a Frank Lampard effort.

Steve Cherundolo, defense, 7 -- Forced England into an early sub by continually beating James Milner. The introduction of Wright-Phillips changed things but he continued to defend well.

Clint Dempsey, midfield, 6 -- Sure, his goal was lucky, but he made his good fortune by doing what he does best, taking risks. Gave a huge effort on defense as well.

Michael Bradley, midfield, 6 -- Did his usual yeoman's work in midfield, clogging the passing lanes, although his distribution was poor at times.

Ricardo Clark, midfield, 4 -- Bore the most responsibility for England's goal as he failed to track Gerrard. Clark did recover to make some vital tackles and interceptions but struggled to connect with his teammates.

Landon Donovan, midfield, 5.5 -- Starved of service early on, Donovan forced his way into the game with some excellent crosses into the box. His influence was limited in the second half as he was restricted to mostly defensive duties.

Jozy Altidore, forward, 6 -- Showed some good hustle and was unlucky not to score on a surging run in the second half when he was denied by Robert Green.

Robbie Findley, forward, 5 -- Threatened with his pace, but his decision-making needed to be quicker.

Subs:

Edson Buddle, forward, 4.5 -- Had little impact after coming on for Findley.

Stuart Holden, midfield, not rated -- It was a very late cameo for the Bolton midfielder.

England

Robert Green, goalkeeper, 2 -- His terrible error on Dempsey's goal threw the U.S. a lifeline when it needed it most. While he did have a nice save from Altidore's shot, Green cost England the win.

Ashley Cole, defense, 5 -- Solid defending and had an easier time once Wright-Phillips entered the match. Wasn't as much of a threat going forward as was expected.

John Terry, defense, 6.5 -- Was largely untroubled in dealing with Altidore and Findley.

Ledley King, defense, 6 -- Looked to be having a solid game before being substituted at halftime.

Glen Johnson, defense, 6 -- Was a constant threat going forward, which nearly was the difference.

Steven Gerrard, midfield, 7 -- Took his goal with aplomb and did his bit on the defensive end as well.

James Milner, midfield, 3.5 -- Was getting abused by Cherundolo before being mercifully subbed for after 30 minutes.

Frank Lampard, midfield, 5.5 -- Seemed to struggle to find his game in the first half but got more involved in the second half.

Aaron Lennon, midfield, 6 -- Had some dangerous crosses that were denied only by some desperate American defending.

Emile Heskey, forward, 6 -- His clever touch set up Gerrard for the opener. He also won plenty of head balls, but his teammates were rarely around to claim them. As good as his hold-up play was, his finishing was suspect.

Wayne Rooney, forward, 5 -- Was kept quiet by the U.S. even when he ventured into midfield. Had a slightly bigger impact in the second half, but much more was expected.

Subs:

Shaun Wright-Phillips, midfield, 4 -- Did plenty to shore up the left side of the England defense but offered little in attack. Should have done better on a late chance that was set up by Rooney.

Jamie Carragher, defense, 4 -- Seemed a step slow and was cleanly beaten by Altidore, only to be bailed out by Green.

Peter Crouch, forward, 5 -- Offered less than Heskey, even in the air.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPNsoccernet. He is also the author of "Soccer's Most Wanted II: The Top 10 Book of More Glorious Goals, Superb Saves and Fantastic Free-Kicks." He can be reached at eljefe1@yahoo.com.