Grade on the Jose Torres-left back experiment: incomplete

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TAMPA, Fla. – Whether you call “Jose Torres at left back” the bold experiment of a gambli’ man unafraid to roll the dice, or an act of desperation borne of inadequate planning, it sure was interesting watching the creative, technically gifted midfielder operate out of the unfamiliar position.

So how did he grade out? Impossible to say, really.

And it wasn’t just that Torres left early in the second half with an ankle contusion.

It’s impossible to say how Torres would perform if asked to deploy at left back once again because there won’t be another game in this round that looks like Friday’s.

He was predictably effective on offense, spending ample time in the Antiguan end, but did get caught way out of position on one sequence that nearly turned disastrous for the Americans in the first half.

And he sure wasn’t tested much defensively.  Antigua and Barbuda simply isn’t blessed with players (or a team as a whole) that can do that.

There was nobody good enough, for instance, to make the United States pay when they made little positional mistakes, or little booboos with the ball, such as Maurice Edu’s silly give-away in the 25th  minute. The visitors had no one capable of running an effective counter attack. They were way too slow in the transition into offense.

Specifically on his side, none of the visiting attackers presented a sufficient threat that would require Torres to be a little more honest in his positioning.

It all may be moot, anyway; U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he’s optimistic that Fabian Johnson can re-join the lineup Tuesday.

“We are still very, very hopeful for Fabian, and it’s not looking bad,” Klinsmann said in Friday’s press conference.