Posted: Tuesday March 27, 2012 1:15AM ; Updated: Tuesday March 27, 2012 1:23AM
Avi Creditor
Avi Creditor>INSIDE SOCCER

Shocking failure (cont.)

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

Player Ratings

STARTERS

GK, Bill Hamid, 4.5 -- Did not look to have a dip in confidence after his shocker against Canada but tweaked his ankle and got beaten near the post on a corner kick and, amid complete confusion, couldn't quite get to the bending ball before Andres Flores' goal. He needed to be subbed out after the goal, which ultimately cost Caleb Porter a substitute he could have sorely used later in the match.

D, Jorge Villafana, 4.5 -- Had the pace to hang with El Salvador's wingers and started strong, but was burned by Isidro Gutierrez on a few occasions and was among the four that got caught ball-watching on the second El Salvador goal. Never got the chance to contribute much going forward, and completely gave away possession on a late free kick that could have been used to kill more clock.

D, Perry Kitchen, 4.5 -- Like Villafana, watched as Flores rounded the defense to get to Jaime Alas' bending shot-turned-cross. Making matters worse, his giveaway in a horrible part of the field led to the scoring sequence that put the U.S. in a 2-1 hole. Of all the U.S. defenders, he was probably the most stable, but that's not saying much for a unit that never really inspired confidence.

D, Ike Opara, 4 -- Just never looked comfortable or at ease during the tournament against Cuba, Canada or El Salvador and failed to close out space on Alas on his game-winning shot. Also, while a step behind the rest of the defensive line, turned away instead of attempting to make a play on the ball as Alas' cross grazed by him untouched for the earlier goal. Just an all-around sub-par showing.

D, Kofi Sarkodie, 4.5 -- Had the brutal assignment of being matched up with Alas, and while Sarkodie held his own early, the talented Salvadoran winger ultimately won out. Also let Lester Blanco get position in front of him for the header that brought El Salvador level at 1-1.

M, Amobi Okugo, 4 -- Out of control in the beginning of the game, picked up an early yellow and nearly picked up second that would have left the U.S. down a man for the bulk of the match. Recovered and made a few sporadic tackles to protect the defendse but also leisurely tracked Alas in the moments before the game-winning goal.

M, Joe Corona, 5.5 -- Corona had an awkward game. For the second straight match he contributed little over the duration of the match, but he also turned in what appeared to be the game-winning goal with his header off Freddy Adu's cross. An uneven tournament to say the least for the confident, composed attacker.

M, Mix Diskerud, 5 -- His service off corner kicks never gave the U.S. players a chance to take advantage of their height edge, and he was far from the maestro that picked apart Cuba on Thursday. Had a part in Corona's goal, playing the ball out wide that Adu ultimately crossed.

F, Brek Shea, 6 -- Shea's play in the opening minutes was top notch, as he repeatedly won his matchup on the left and fed Terrence Boyd for the opening-minute goal. His effectiveness waned as the match wore on and his legs began to tire. He also failed to come up with a clearance in the final seconds, electing instead to try and connect a short pass, which was errant and led to El Salvador's last-second equalizer sequence.

F, Terrence Boyd, 7 -- His two goals were finished with absolute class, and if there's a positive to take from the night, it's that Boyd has the makings of a star. Boyd's toughness, work rate, willingness to come back for the ball and ability to be a lethal finisher were all on display.

F, Freddy Adu, 7.5 -- Adu absolutely carried the U.S. in the second half, assisting on the tying and go-ahead goals, and he walked off the field a proud and deserved captain. Unfortunately for him, his teammates couldn't hold on in the brief moments, and his effort went to waste.

SUBSTITUTES

GK, Sean Johnson, 4 -- Had come up with a diving effort to deny one attempt at an equalizer but completely flubbed Alas' last-second shot, parrying it into his own goal and costing the U.S. a trip to the semifinals. For all of Johnson's talents, he has a knack for not making a clean save from time to time, and this instance came at the worst possible time.

M, Michael Stephens, N/A -- Was subbed on for Corona in the 88th minute and didn't have much time to make an impact. Tried to feed Boyd in the final third when the forward was offside and also came up with a challenge that should have led to the U.S. punting the ball and killing the game.

M, Joe Gyau, N/A -- Like Stephens, was subbed on in the final moments to take time off the clock. Probably should have been brought on earlier to interject life into what was clearly a tiring and overworked U.S. midfield.

1 2
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs NFL schedule LaMarcus Aldridge Michael Pineda Phil Jackson Tiger Woods
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint