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Player ratings from Argentina’s 4-0 demolition of the USMNT in Copa America semi


Argentina was excellent and the United States was not.

That’s boiling Tuesday night’s Copa America Centenario blowout down to its simplest answer is the easy part. What went wrong individually? And did anything go right?

[ MORE: Match recap | Messi’s magic free kick ]

That’s what we’re here for, to analyze your nightmares before you go to sleep. Argentina was electric, and showed the Yanks just how far they have to go to be truly relevant on the tournament schedule.

Starting XI

Brad Guzan — 4 — Terribly timid on the first goal, debatably rough on the Messi free kick — come on, though — and I kinda wanna dislike his soft parry or non-catch on the third (but that’s being pretty harsh). Great save on Messi late, though.

Fabian Johnson — 5 — Some good interventions to keep the score line relatively modest, but was all sorts of overwhelmed on the opening goal.

John Brooks — 6 — Did some very good things throughout, but lost Higuain on the backbreaking third goal. That said, his midfield kept him under duress all night. Mistakes were going to happen. Even Tim Howard couldn’t blank Belgium during one of the finest performances in USMNT, so Brooks can get a pass here.

Geoff Cameron — 7 — Not sure anyone deserves a 7, but Cameron is close to blameless for this debacle.

DeAndre Yedlin — 5 — Won a foot race with Messi in the second half, and had one good bombing run forward. That’s one more than many of his teammates.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from USA 0-4 ARG ]

Kyle Beckerman (Off, 60′) — 3 — Just a terrible evening overall. In the first few minutes alone, the fill-in frittered away possession, was roasted by a dribble and finally was lost in the clouds as Ezequiel Lavezzi cruised past him to beat Guzan for the opener. Ugly.

Michael Bradley — 2 — This was not Michael Bradley, as one of the best players in USMNT history had one of his worst games in any shirt. Take the tape and burn it, then bottle the embers and fire said bottle into space. Then end space exploration.

Gyasi Zardes — 5 — Ran his shoes off, and had little support when he had the ball in any sort of attacking position.

Graham Zusi — 5 — Unsure what else you wanted to ask from him given the spot start against the electric outside attack of Argentina.

Clint Dempsey (Off 78′) — 5 — Had to drop into the midfield just to sniff the ball. Have a hard time faulting him.

Chris Wondolowski (Off HT) — 2 — Tactically, perhaps he was told to not pressure the Argentina backs when they had the ball, but his giveaway allowed Lionel Messi to score his marvelous free kick.


Christian Pulisic (On HT) — 5 — Looked like a 17-year-old, which he is. Such is life.

Steve Birnbaum (On 60′) — 4 — His Benny Hill moment on the fourth Argentine goal was tough to watch.

Darlington Nagbe (On 78′) — N/A

Vancouver adds versatile Juarez, formerly of Monterrey, Celtic

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Efrain Juarez is bringing his game to Major League Soccer.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 39-times capped Mexico veteran has inked a deal with the Vancouver Whitecaps, joining a strengthened unit which came within a point of winning the West last season.

Juarez, 29, was unveiled as a midfielder by the ‘Caps, though he’s primarily played right back in his club career. He’s played at Celtic, Real Zaragoza, Club America, Monterrey, and Pumas.

Last capped by El Tri in 2012, Juarez has played every position except goal, center attacking mid, and center forward in his career (picture a ‘U’ on the pitch).

“I’m so happy and excited for this new stage in my career,” Juarez said. “It’s an opportunity for me to keep growing in a new league and to be a part of an amazing club in Vancouver. From the moment they showed interest me, Carl Robinson and the Whitecaps staff have made me feel very important. I promise to put all my effort into this club and do my best to help us achieve our goals.”

VIDEO: Asensio goal ends Real Madrid’s winless run

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Marco Asensio’s eighth goal of the season and second of this Copa del Rey put an end to an unlikely Real Madrid winless run in a 1-0 victory at Leganes.

[ MLS: 2018 Mock SuperDraft ]

The 21-year-old darted in front of a defender to volley home from in-tight, giving Real Madrid a first leg lead in the tournament quarterfinals.

More importantly, perhaps, it gives struggling Real a boost in morale after draws with Celta Vigo and Numancia, and a loss to Villarreal.

Real is home to Deportivo de la Coruna in La Liga before hosting Leganes in the second leg.

Hopeful Newcastle buyer Staveley: Offer still on the table

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is probably happy that his for-sale club is away this weekend, even though his side’s up against Manchester City.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 24  ]

That’s because hopeful buyer Amanda Staveley has responded to claims that her hopeful takeover of the team won’t be happening any time soon.

Talks had stalled, said Tuesday reports, much to the chagrin of an #AshleyOut brigade that at times can make Arsenal’s #WengerOut brigade look like a yard full of happy puppies.

A “source” had said, “Attempts to reach a deal have proved to be exhaustive, frustrating and a complete waste of time,” but Staveley shot back on Thursday to reignite the fire. From the BBC, taken from The Times:

“Our bid remains on the table. This is an investment, but it has to be a long-term investment. Newcastle would be run as a business, but we want it to be a successful, thriving business that is an absolutely integral part of the city.”

She also said that popular manager Rafa Benitez is integral to her interest in the team, and that fact combined with her insistence that an offer remains on the table will have many Newcastle fans seething with current ownership (and there have been protests for years). It’s Ashley’s move now.

2018 MLS Mock Draft: LAFC, Galaxy hold the keys

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Major League Soccer’s latest batch of hopeful rookies learn the next steps of their professional careers beginning Friday with the first two rounds of the MLS SuperDraft.

There are several intriguing prospects, including accomplished Stanford center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and dangerous Michigan winger Francis Atuahene.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

An MLS mock draft is always tricky given the wildly varying opinions on players from the college game. This year, it’s even trickier as clubs without picks and some with multiple first round picks may be looking to move up and down even more than the norm.

Here’s how we think the draft could play out:

  1. LAFC – Tomas Hilliard-Arce, CB, Stanford
  2. LA Galaxy – Jon Bakero, FW, Wake Forest
  3. DC United – Francis Atuahene, FW, Michigan
  4. Montreal – Joao Moutinho, LB, Akron
  5. Minnesota – Wyatt Omsberg, CB, Dartmouth
  6. Orlando City – Ema Twumasi, FW, Wake Forest
  7. Montreal – Chris Mueller, FW, Wisconsin
  8. New England – Mo Adams, MF, Syracuse
  9. New England – Chris Lema, MF, Georgetown
  10. Real Salt Lake – Justin Fiddes, LB, Washington
  11. FC Dallas – Marcelo Acuna, FW, Virginia Tech
  12. San Jose – Brandon Bye, RB, Western Michigan
  13. Sporting KC – Ed Opoku, FW, Virginia
  14. Atlanta – Alex Roldan, MF, Seattle
  15. Chicago – Mason Toye, FW, Indiana
  16. New York Red Bulls – Alan Winn, MF, North Carolina
  17. Vancouver – Tristan Blackmon, RB, Pacific
  18. Sporting KC – Jon Gallagher, FW, Notre Dame
  19. New York City FC – Daniel Musovski, FW, UNLV
  20. Houston – Mo Thiaw, FW, Louisville
  21. Columbus – Brian White, FW, Duke
  22. Seattle – Tim Kubel, MF, Louisville
  23. Toronto FC – Oliver Shannon, MF, Clemson

There are a few players to keep an eye on for the later rounds that I won’t project for the first round due almost exclusively to first person bias (Some I’ve seen play in college, others at other levels). Afonso Pinheiro from Albany produced like crazy until this season, and Bowling Green defender Alexis Souahy has a skill set that could really transmit to the MLS level.

Mac Steeves (Providence) is a prototypical big body scorer, while Evansville’s heady Ian McGrath has a flair for the absurd and can play almost every position up the center of the pitch. Charleston’s Thomas Vancaeyezeele was a D-2 monster and is probably worth a shot earlier than people suspect.