There’s no sugar coating it, this was one stinky fish of a week for United States’ No. 1 Tim Howard.
The mid-week international was one to forget for every man in U.S. colors, including manager Jurgen Klinsmann. (Well, let’s not misplace those lessons learned, but … well, you know what we mean.)
There was ample blame for spreading around on the Honduran game-winner – including some lack of midfield pressure that we probably aren’t talking enough about – but Howard must share culpability. An backstopper of Howard’s experience knows he must hold his spot and be a shot-stopper there, or else be quicker to the spot and claim the doggone ball, no question about it.
Let’s move on.
Sunday during Everton’s biggie at Old Trafford, Howard looked something less than super as Manchester United striker supreme Robin van Persie rounded him twice before halftime. A rare moment of lesser from the Dutchman bailed out Howard the first time as van Persie’s shot into the near-empty Everton goal banged off the post.
(MORE: Drilling Down On Manchester United 2, Everton 0)
But a clever ball later in the half put van Persie clean through. Facing one of the globe’s top strikers one-on-one is surely a 911 moment, a time when odds are mounting that something is about to go very wrong from a goalkeeping point of view.
It’s not just that Howard got beat, he didn’t look particularly nimble, stumbling to his left as van Persie left no doubt about his second time around Everton’s highly regarded ‘keeper.
Fox Soccer Channel and former U.S. international Eric Wynalda was especially critical of Howard here. He knows the man was in a tough spot, but wanted to see Howard put up a little more resistance on that goal:
Is that what we’re used to seeing from Tim Howard? No. That’s a guy who is getting up there in years and a little slow on the turn. It is what it is. He made some bad decisions in mid-week for the US national team and we talked a little [about Howard] before the game. I’m not happy with him right now.”
LIMA, Peru (AP) Peru has extradited the country’s former soccer boss to the United States for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights.
Manuel Burga was sent to New York on a commercial flight before dawn on Friday.
He has been in jail since December 2015 as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June cleared the way for his extradition and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski signed a decree authorizing the move a week ago.
Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing.
While the battle for MLS Cup 2016 has been dwindled down to two sides, the rest of the league continues to make roster transactions in preparation for next season.
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The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Friday that the club has exercised options on six players, including goalkeeper David Bingham, Fatai Alashe, Kip Colvey and Victor Bernardez.
Additionally, the Earthquakes have released nine players, including U.S. Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson, Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson, however, the latter two are reportedly in talks to return to the club in 2017.
NAPLES, Italy (AP) Napoli eased to a 3-0 win over Inter Milan in Serie A on Friday, with two goals in the opening five minutes.
[ MORE: Top 5 PL storylines heading into weekend ]
The home side got off to a lightning start as, following a wonderful team move, Jose Callejon headed back Marek Hamsik’s chipped pass for Piotr Zielinski to volley into the bottom left corner.
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Zielinski turned provider moments later as Hamsik beat the offside trap to run onto his pass and fire into the bottom right corner.
It was Hamsik’s 104th goal for Napoli, moving him level with Edinson Cavani in third in the clubs’ goalscoring charts. The Slovakia forward needs 11 more to equal Diego Maradona’s record.
Inter started the second half aggressively but hopes of getting back into the match were scuppered six minutes after the restart when Lorenzo Insigne netted his fourth goal in three league matches after visiting goalkeeper Samir Handanovic only flapped at a corner.
Napoli moved level on points with Atalanta, which visits league leader Juventus on Saturday, and fourth-placed Lazio, which hosts Roma in the capital derby on Sunday.
Inter, which beat Fiorentina 4-2 on Monday for its first win under coach Stefano Pioli, remained eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.
On a day where Atlanta United added another young talent, the 2017 MLS expansion side could be preparing to make a major splash for a South American playmaker.
According to numerous Argentine media outlets, Atlanta is closing in on signing Paraguay international Miguel Almiron for an MLS-record fee of $13 million from Lanus at the end of 2016.
Almiron, 22, has scored three goals in 34 appearances for Lanus since joining the Argentine club in 2015. The young winger began his professional career back in 2013 with Cerro Porteno, where Almiron also played for the club’s youth academy.
On the international stage, Almiron has already earned seven caps for Paraguay after previously representing the nation’s Under-17 and U-20 national teams.