Gradebook: How did each country fare at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?

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With the 2014 World Cup done and dusted, it is time to wrap things up and reflect on how each team performed in Brazil.

From Champions Germany to the disappointing early exits of Italy, Spain, England and Portugal, we run the rule over all 32 teams who took part in South America.

[ RELATED: Story of the 2014 World Cup

How did the U.S. do, you ask?

Well, scroll down a little bit and you will find out!

Enjoy.

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GRADE
 source:  Champions A+
GERMANY: The Champions had a wonderful tournament and hardly put a foot wrong. The ‘Golden Generation’ deserved the golden trophy. Goals galore and solid as a rock.
 source: Getty Images  Third Place A
NETHERLANDS: Louis van Gaal’s men restored the pride of a nation as veterans and youngsters combined to dazzle. Unlucky not to make the final. A joy to watch.
 source: AP Runners Up A
ARGENTINA: Sabella’s men only trailed for 7 minutes the entire tournament. That was the final 7 minutes of the final. Messi tried to inspire them, but they came up agonizingly short.
 source: AP  Quarterfinals A
COSTA RICA: The real surprise package as the CONCACAF nation topped their group and were within PKs of the semifinals. Marvelous from Los Ticos.
 source: AP  Quarterfinals A- COLOMBIA: The darlings of the tournament, James Rodriguez was sublime and Los Cafeteros played sexy soccer. Should have made the semis.
 source: AP  Round of 16  B+ CHILE: They almost knocked out Brazil in the last 16 and probably deserved too. Sanchez, Vidal and co. will be back. Wonderful energy.
 source: Getty Images  Quarterfinals  B+ FRANCE: Didier Deschamps has constructed a fine French side. Benzema scored goals, Pogba and Varane are talents. Unlucky no to make the final four.
 source: AP  Round of 16  B+ USA: Out of the ‘Group of Death’ and so close to snatching a miracle win vs. Belgium. Klinsmann’s men have made progress. Can they kick on from this?
source: AP  Round of 16  B+ ALGERIA: They defended for their lives and gave Germany a real scare in the last 16. The Desert Foxes can be proud.
source: AP  Round of 16  B+ MEXICO: We love Herrera’s celebrations and El Tri were two minutes away from the quarterfinals. Wonderful unity after the qualifying debacle.
source:   Quarterfinals B BELGIUM: The Belgians never truly got going but came close to making the final four. They kept every game close, but the offense never sparked. Slightly disappointing.
 source: Getty Images Fourth place B
BRAZIL: They were expected to win this and were crushed in the semifinals 7-1. They limped through the knockout rounds and Neymar’s injury was the last straw. Not a great Brazil side, but they battled.
 source: Getty Images Round of 16 B
SWITZERLAND: The Swiss are such a funny team. They were hammered by France, then took Argentina all the way to the 118th minute before being knocked out. Stubborn.
 source: AP  Round of 16   B- GREECE: How they got to the last 16, I do not know. However they lost on PKs to Costa Rica and predictably failed to get going offensively.
 source: AP  Group Stage   B-
BOSNIA: They didn’t make it out of their group, but they should have. They beat Iran, just lost to Argentina and somehow lost to Nigeria when they missed a hatful of chances. Great showing by the rookies.
 source: AP Round of 16   C+ URUGUAY: They just made it out of Group D ahead of England and Italy but were shown up by Colombia. Luis Suarez let Uruguay down and were the reason they left early.
 source: AP Round of 16   C+ NIGERIA: Solid but unspectacular, the African champions did well. They escaped from an easy group, battled vs. France but poor defending undid their good work.
 source: AP  Group Stage  C-
ITALY: Beating England in their opener should have been the perfect springboard. Wrong. Two 1-0 defeats to Costa Rica and Uruguay sent the Italians home. Poor showing.
 source: AP Group Stage   D+
IVORY COAST: Even Didier Drogba couldn’t inspire Les Elephants to the knockout rounds. On paper they are superb but at times the defending was woeful.
 source: AP Group Stage   D+
ENGLAND: No wins. One point. Hopes of a nation shattered. England looked bright vs. Italy and Uruguay but silly mistakes cost them. Bright future but how long will this rebuild take?
 source: Getty Images Group Stage  D- GHANA: They gave it a good go, but poor finishing cost them time and time again. Defeat to the U.S. and Portugal was the killer. Played well to draw with Germany.
 source: Getty Images  Group Stage  D- AUSTRALIA: Lost all three games but certainly not disgraced. Took the Netherlands all the way and they were in a tough group. New era for the Socceroos as Cahill, left, hang up the boots.
 source: AP  Group Stage D- RUSSIA: Fabio Capello has a lot of questions to answer as his side crashed out. Awful goalkeeping errors aside, Russia never looked comfortable. The hosts of the next World Cup must improve.
 source: AP  Group Stage D- ECUADOR: So close, but so far. When all was said and done the Swiss just pipped Ecuador. However the South Americans just didn’t have the quality in the final third. Silly mistakes throughout.
 source:   Group Stage D- IRAN: Carlos Quieroz almost secured a famous draw for his side vs. Argentina but a late Messi wondergoal undid Iran. Not bad. Not great either.
 source: AP Group Stage F
CROATIA: Robbed vs. Brazil in the opener and never recovered. Mexico battered them. Olic and co. looked tired and ageing.
 source: AP Group Stage F
KOREA: Just poor from South Korea. They led Russia briefly but that was as good as it got. No wins. Bottom of their group.
 source: AP Group Stage F
PORTUGAL: Ronaldo’s boys failed miserably. They beat Ghana at the death, but they were hammered by Germany and grabbed a last-gasp point vs. USA. Shaky throughout.
 source:  Group Stage F
SPAIN: The inquest started a while ago as the defending champs were dumped out. A 5-1 hammering by Holland, then 2-0 by Chile, the stuff nightmares are made of. End of an era?
 source: Reuters Group Stage F
HONDURAS: No points. Just one goal scored. The CONCACAF minnows continue to qualify for World Cups but don’t do anything when they get there.
source: AP  Group Stage F
JAPAN: Very disappointing for the Japanese as Honda and Kagawa couldn’t create anything. One point and that was it.
 source: AP Group Stage F
CAMEROON: A shamble from start to finish. Squabbling over bonuses led to a lack of focus. Outclassed in every game as they lost all three.

Study: MLS improves racial hiring, slides in gender hiring

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A diversity report shows improved racial hiring practices for Major League Soccer but also highlighted a continuing decline in gender hiring efforts.

The annual report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at Central Florida on Wednesday gave MLS an A with 93.9 points for racial hiring in 2019 for its highest score in 15 years.

[ MORE: Top 25 players in USMNT pool ]

But the gender score of 72 points for a C grade fell for the third straight time, down from 76.8 points in 2018 and 81 points as recently as 2016.

The overall grade for MLS was a B at 82.9 points, falling from a B-plus and 85 points in 2018.

TIDES director Richard Lapchick, the lead report author, called lower gender hiring numbers across men’s professional sports a “systemic problem.”

Online: http://tidesport.org/

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Medel: Chile players decline friendly over civil unrest

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Chile had already canceled a home friendly with Bolivia this international break, and now the players will not play Tuesday in Peru either due to unrest in their country.’

A nationwide strike and protests against the government, spurred by a rise in metro fares, have Chile on edge.

[ MORE: USMNT-Canada preview ]

La Roja stars Gary Medel and Arturo Vidal both posted lengthy messages on their Instagram accounts, saying that the decision was made “in response to the social moment in our country.”

They urged both protestors and law enforcement to turn away from violence.

From Mega.CL:

“We are soccer players, but above all people and citizens. We know that we represent a complete country and today Chile has other priorities much more important than next Tuesday’s game.”

Chile is ranked No. 17 by FIFA and 22 in Elo Ratings.

Slumping USMNT big favorites v. Canada

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Let’s start with two statements which might be a bit controversial given the tone and tenor of the United States men’s national team program.

  1. The CONCACAF Nations League very much matters to Gregg Berhalter’s era and the program in general, even if the coach’s job is not in jeopardy and the tournament is in its infancy.
  2. The USMNT are the oddsmakers’ heavy favorites to win (nearly +500), even given the current injury problems, and it will be shocking but not surprising if they lose to the Canadians.

Point No. 1 might be a bit surprising, but this is a competition with silverware and Berhalter hasn’t won any of it yet in his tenure as USMNT boss. It’s also relevant because losing to Canada twice in a month after not losing to them since the Billboard No. 1 single was the sensual “One More Night” by Phil Collins.

And even without Christian Pulisic and a raft of injury excuses, plus taking into account Canada’s sincere re-emergence on the CONCACAF scene, the USMNT has no business losing a meaningful match at home to a team that, while improved, has far more holes than the hosts.

If you remember from October, Berhalter didn’t call upon his men to press an inexperienced Canadian back line (I just realized I’m still angry about this). There is literally no way he’ll do that at home.

If John Herdman keeps his backs the same as the one that shut out the Yanks at BMO last month, he’ll have Kamal Miller, Derek Cornelius, Steven Vitoria, and Richie Laryea out there. Three of the four aren’t full-time starters for their MLS clubs (Vitoria is an every week man in Portugal’s top flight). Goalkeeper Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) is capable of stealing a result, but shouldn’t have the chance if the Yanks pressure the ball on Friday.

The midfield and attackers are where the U.S. will have its hands full. Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David beg speedy and/or smart defenders. John Brooks being in the mix should help in both counts, plus he’s the best passing back in the pool right now.

Whether the match is cagey or comfortable will come down to the midfield. Scott Arfield is going to make it difficult on the Yanks, but Alfredo Morales plays with a nasty streak and will not be as bullied as his peers were in Toronto.

The one thing to fear is how bamboozled Berhalter was by Herdman’s plan in Ontario. This isn’t to pile on the coach, who is known for his tactics but hasn’t seen them deliver against too many opponents of quality. Herdman may be the novice in terms of overall club experience, but he’s got a better handle on the international game.

If the Yanks look out-foxed and unprepared on Friday, that’s a big problem.

How will the USMNT line up versus Canada?

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No Christian Pulisic.

No Tyler Adams.

No Timothy Weah.

No Michael Bradley, Matt Miazga, and no Zack Steffen, either.

Ugh.

[ MORE: NYCFC teen signs for Gladbach ]

Still, the United States men’s national team will be favored to get a home decision over Canada on Friday as the CONCACAF Nations League begins its final two match days of the group stage.

How will Gregg Berhalter line up his team without so many key components?

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan is probably going to get the start here, and he won’t kill the team, but we’d love to see Sean Johnson get a chance to improve on his 100% clean sheet success rate across two tournament caps for the U.S.

Back line: It would be insane if Sergino Dest didn’t start at one of the full back spots given his election of the USMNT over the Netherlands. Also insane would be not starting a finally-healthy John Brooks.

After that, it seems likely Berhalter will opt for Aaron Long to pair with Brooks. If his left back option is Dest, then it’ll be DeAndre Yedlin at right back (or Reggie Cannon). If Dest is on his preferred right side, than Daniel Lovitz may get a look over Tim Ream on account of the speed in Canada’s attack.

Midfield: Might Berhalter pull back an attacker and use a four-man midfield against the Canucks? Weston McKennie and Alfredo Morales will take two spots, and it seems pretty likely Jackson Yueill will get the chance to be a deep-lying playmaker with McKennie and Morales running their shorts off to make his life easier. We suppose Berhalter could opt for Wil Trapp over Yueill. It’s possible. A little too possible.

Attack: Josh Sargent is going to get the center forward spot, and it would be wild if Jordan Morris doesn’t join him. Then it’s down to Tyler Boyd or Paul Arriola, exciting versus a bit safer. And Arriola would give him more of a midfield presence than the forward-thinking Boyd.

Here’s how we think Berhalter starts in Orlando:

Guzan

Yedlin — Long — Brooks — Dest

Yueill

Morales — McKennie

Morris — Sargent — Arriola