Clint Dempsey finished atop the Castrol Index for yesterday afternoon's performance, but two Honduras defenders had an even bigger impact on the proceedings.
The United States lost 2-1 to Honduras last night in their first World Cup qualifier Hexagonal round, their first final round opener loss in 24 years. As the US is currently on a streak of six straight World Cup qualifications, that means the last time the US didn't win their final round opener is the last time the US didn't qualify for the World Cup.
The Castrol US soccer index lists Clint Dempsey as the top player in the match, and he was selected Man of the Match by US Soccer as well. His goal is essentially the sole reason for his high ranking; he barely beat out Fabian Johnson on the Castrol Index. No one was given a very good score for this match, but with only two shots on goal the goalscorer reigns.
According to our own Offensive Impact Rating, defenses again stood out. This time it was Honduras' defense that made an impact. Whereas in the US vs. Canada match the backline was praised on soccer moves alone, Honduras' defense notched one goal, drew five fouls, and by MLS rules had three assists. Even without MLS rules, the defense had both of Honduras' assists.
What this speaks to is a lack of pressure in the midfield. The first Honduras goal came off a corner kick restart with defender to defender action, then a defender again finds the space to slot the ball to Bengtson. Perhaps playing Eddie Johnson in the midfield wasn't the best idea.
For an explanation on the Castrol Index, check out this video. Offensive Impact Rating is always graciously given to us by Patrick Johnston.