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Winners and Losers: USA vs. Netherlands

The United States Men's National Team fell 2-1 to The Netherlands in their first true test of 2010. With manager Bob Bradley set to name his 23-man World Cup roster before the next friendly, the match provided some players on the fringe with their last opportunity to impress.

Winners

Jozy Altidore

The 20-year-old striker didn't manage to score, but he did prove troublesome for the Netherlands backline at times. He showed a growing prowess in the air -- flicking on a couple balls that Robbie Findley made a mess of -- and created a chance out of nothing in the 23rd minute when he took a throw in from Landon Donovan, held off his defender, turned and fired. Thought his shot was blocked, the sequence showed that the Hull City attacker is developing his ideas in the English Premiere League. (The post-up play was reminiscent of his tally against Spain.) Altidore displayed his quick feet at the death of the match, but Maarten Stekelenburg pushed away his vicious shot from just outside the 18-yard box. He needed more service -- and perhaps a little less running of his mouth -- but overall a good performance by the young attacker.

Carlos Bocanegra and Jay DeMerit

The duo paired well at the center of the U.S. backline. On a night when both fullbacks struggled to contain the opposition, the American captain and Watford's skipper did well to clean up most messes. Both need to work on their distribution, and they were badly beaten by Wesley Sneijder's wonderful ball over the top to Eljero Elia at the beginning of the second half but the pair demonstrated it's a serviceable one. When Oguchi Onyewu returns from injury, however, the partnership will end, especially given Jonathan Bornstein's struggles. Bocanegra's goal, a good finish even if he was completely unmarked, proved once again the Americans are dangerous on set pieces.

(Honorable mention: DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Clarence Goodson)

Losers

Jonathan Bornstein
This was a scary performance from the Chivas USA jack-of-all-trades. After looking solid against El Salvador, Bornstein found himself a step behind the faster, stronger, and frankly, better, Dutch. Arjen Robben got behind the left back on a free kick in the 19th minute, only to see the Bayern Munich attacker's touch abandon him. Bornstein showed his worth in the attack with a lovely ball to Altidore after an excellent run up the flank, but then conceded a stupid penalty. He could have been called for a second when a cross bounced up and struck his hand. He did well to sprint back and catch Elia on a breakaway, though the Dutch winger should have shot well before Bornstein arrived. Against better opponents, the defender can't play a match free of a major error. Bocanegra and Heath Pearce will get looks to fill the left back position.  

Jose Torres

The Pachuca man looked out of sync during his 45 minutes next to Michael Bradley. He couldn't maintain possession -- usually one of his strengths -- and didn't help himself on the defensive side of the ball. A couple times, the diminutive player simply bounced off Dutch midfielders. In the early going, he miscommunicated with Donovan on a ball near the U.S. box and gave the Netherlands a half chance. Torres nearly scored on the U.S. net in the 12th minute, forcing Tim Howard to tip his clearance attempt over the bar. He ran into the match after Holden went out -- Torres picked up a caution on the play -- and ripped a left-footed blast from 25 yards that sailed just over the crossbar, but then allowed Sneijder to abuse him on the play that led to the penalty. He has a spot on the team, but it's not in the Starting XI.

Robbie Findley
A surprise starter, Findley did little to make anyone think he should reprise the role. He frequently found himself in an offside position. While he used his speed to get behind the Dutch backline on a couple occasions, he failed to make anything happen. On Findley's best opportunity, he rushed his acute angle shot and the ball sailed straight at the Dutch goalkeeper. Quite simply, this wasn't the performance Bradley wanted to see from a potential second striker.  

(In consideration: Jonathan Spector, Landon Donovan)


Noah Davis covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com and will be reporting from the World Cup in South Africa.


Visit the U.S. national team page on Goal.com for more