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Player ratings from another head-shaking USMNT loss

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Forget the World Cup: The U.S. is getting waxed by CONCACAF.

The United States’ experimental lineup put forth very little to like in a 1-0 home loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

The Yanks were thoroughly out-played by Los Ticos, with very few clear-cut chances coming for the home side and Tim Howard under duress if not shots from the visitors.

[ MATCH RECAP: USMNT 0-1 Costa Rica ]

Who fared well? Not too many. Let’s dig into the sadness.

Starting XI

Tim Howard — 7 — He’s flat out better than Brad Guzan. Not saying we’re talking Confederations Cup if the plays Gold Cup — or even Saturday — but Tim Howard is your starting goalkeeper. Period. Shame he took a hiatus.

Tim Ream (Off 64′) — 8 — Perhaps the most effective Yank in a bad team first half, the steady Fulham man again impressed for his country.

Michael Orozco — 4 — It would’ve been hard not to look like an upgrade over Matt Besler after Saturday night, but Orozco struggled despite a few good tackles and recoveries. Work on the goal was poor.

Geoff Cameron (Off HT) — 6 — Nothing outstanding, nothing poor. Steady GC stuff.

Brad Evans — 7 — Saved a pair of goals and accounted for himself really well. Not a guy to help possession on the night, but baby steps.

Brek Shea (Off 73′) — 5 — Good free kick late in the first half, and was one of the few to play lively. If you can believe it, he — gasp — won a few free kicks himself with aggressive play.

Danny Williams — 2 — Looked rusty, giving the ball away in the middle of the pitch and having an all-around night to forget. Two might be generous.

Jermaine Jones (Off HT) — 4 — Screamed at Brad Evans at one point and picked up a yellow card at another, but mostly was average.

DeAndre Yedlin — 5 — Needs more playing time for club and country. Still a massive prospect but looks a bit out-of-control at times.

Gyasi Zardes (Off 73′) — 4 — You need someone to give you the ball to play well with it. Zardes barely saw it. Still needs to up his game to be the instant starter Klinsmann seems to think he has in the Galaxy man. 

Jozy Altidore (Off HT) — 3 — Really bad giveaway about 12 minutes in was his first true statement of the match. What happened to the guy who seemed to be putting it together ahead of World Cup 2014?

SUBS

Ventura Alvarado (On HT) — 4 — Beaten behind for the goal. Not a hero in distribution.

Bobby Wood (On HT) — 7 — Hey, a player with energy!

Mix Diskerud (On HT) — 5 —  Possessed the ball more than the first half center mids, but that’s not saying much.

Jonathan Spector (On 64′) — 5 — Nothing special on the night, but nothing horrific.

Andrew Wooten (On 73′) — N/A — Congrats on the debut kid.

Lee Nguyen (On 73′) — N/A — Works better as the focal point for a team, but does he have the quality to be an international focal point? At New England, it’s obvious.

WATCH: Camila’s wicked swerving goal for Brazil

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The Tournament of Nations got underway earlier Thursday, with Brazil and Japan drawing 1-1 in Seattle.

While some in the crowd may’ve been waiting to see the United States women’s national team and Australia in the second game of the twin bill, they got an absolute treat from Brazil’s Camila.

[ MORE: Galaxy’s season-changing signing ]

The Orlando Pride midfielder is yet to scoop up 10 caps, but blasted this 25-yard goal home with a wicked outside bend.

The aesthetics are terrific.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).

Joey Barton’s gambling ban lowered by almost 5 months

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Joey Barton’s 18-month ban for betting on almost 1,300 soccer-related events has been lowered to 13 months and one week.

Putting aside the hilarity of grown men and women discussing whether an extra week was necessary, the alteration means he’ll be eligible to return to football on June 1, 2018.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

While that still hampers the idea of the 34-year-old playing again — he’ll be 36 when the ban ends — it’s a significant change if he’s open to the idea of returning to the game.

Barton’s original ban expired in late October 2018, well into a season. From Sky Sports:

The appeal board also agreed: “It was clear that Mr Barton was not involved in any cheating, he did not influence any games and there was nothing suspicious about his bets.

“(The reduction) reflects the overall seriousness of the breaches and also the mitigation of Mr Barton’s addiction.”

Barton’s remarkably controversial career has including several suspensions and imprisonment, but he always found his way back to the field and was very good when in form. After time at Manchester City and Newcastle United, Barton fended off naysayers with stints at QPR, Marseille, Burnley, and a regrettable move to Rangers.

We may see him on the field in August 2018.

FIFA fines Qatar after players’ political support for Emir

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has fined Qatar’s soccer federation after national team players breached rules against political statements by displaying T-shirts of the country’s Emir at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host.

[ MORE: Nainggolan staying at Roma ]

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, amid a dispute with regional rivals Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar’s players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea wearing white T-shirts with an image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to show their support for him.

FIFA says the charges related to “displaying a political image” and “political displays” by spectators.