Player ratings: Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman impress in USMNT’s 2-1 loss to Colombia

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The US national team continued a disturbing trend of conceding late goals (nine in nine games after the 80th minute) in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of current FIFA No. 3-ranked Colombia on Friday (highlights above). A handful of players showed well for 45 minutes, and then fell off.

This is how I rated the 16 players who saw the field.

Starters:

Brad Guzan, GK — 6.0: While not heavily tested in the first half, Guzan calmly guided a center back pairing featuring a learning-on-the-job convert and a 21-year-old with seven total caps to a 45-minute shutout. The defense looked solid in the first half, and then the second half happened, for which Guzan was largely not at fault.

DeAndre Yedlin, RB — 5.5 : Oh yeah, Yedlin played in this game. Relatively quiet — meaning few moments where he looked lost defensively — which is usually a good thing for a 21-year old, though the bulk of Colombia’s attack came down the USMNT’s left.

[WATCH: Jozy Altidore’s first-half goal ]

Jermaine Jones, CM masquerading at CB — 5.0 : He was fine for 45 minutes without much to do, but was massively out of position for Colombia’s first goal and more than a full second late seeing and closing down the run that led to the game-winner. Once he got there, he did well to block the initial cross, but it was pretty much over the second Edwin Cardona took his first touch that close to the 6-yard box. Can you really blame Jones, though? He’s not a center back. Him playing there rests at the feet of someone else.

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John Brooks, vs. Colombia — Getty Images

John Brooks, CB — 6.5 : At fault for neither of the goals and a 17-time winner of the ball in this one, Brooks gave maybe his best full-game performance of his short USMNT career.

Greg Garza, LB — 5.5 : After three promising outings in a row, he finally had a bit of a stinker in this one. Not entirely his fault as Johnson, the winger ahead of him, was a train wreck and left him with lots of 1-v-2 defending in space against a superbly talented Colombian counter-attack. Garza is still only an OK defender, but very good going forward.

Kyle Beckerman, CM — 7.5: His left-footed chipped ball onto the head of Rubin in the 37th minute was a thing of beauty. An inch or two lower, Rubin gets his head on it and scores. Beckerman operates so comfortably on every level of the midfield and could very well make the 2018 World Cup team at age 36.

[ RELATED: Three things learned from USA vs. Colombia at Craven Cottage ]

Mix Diskerud, CM — 5.0: First things first, we’re halfway through the month and that mustache gets a 10/10. By Dec. 1, it might be worthy of a Ballon d’Or nomination. Otherwise, Diskerud struggled on Friday, losing the ball time and again, and watching opponents dribble by as if he wasn’t there.

Alejandro Bedoya, RW — 6.5: Bedoya’s set-piece and open-play service was maybe the best he’s ever shown for the USMNT. Rubin’s second should-have-scored moment came in the 47th minute when Bedoya clipped a perfectly weighted ball to the Colombian back post and Rubin headed inches wide.

Fabian Johnson, LW — 4.5: As the right back, Johnson was superb — perhaps the USMNT’s best player — at the World Cup. As a winger on Friday, he was anything but. His number one job had to be to pin back Juan Cuadrado and Santiago Arias, Colombia’s right midfielder and right back, respectively. He didn’t do that, and he gave the ball away continuously.

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Rubio Rubin, vs. Colombia — Getty Images

Rubio Rubin, FW — 5.5: Should have scored once — maybe twice — which certainly hurts his overall marks, but was dangerous on too many occasions to simply write off this 18-year-old making his senior-team debut. The FC Utrecht youngster combined very well with Altidore, who holds the ball up and drags defenders across the backline. Rubin showed a great understanding of how to fill those vacated spaces created by Altidore. He’s still got a long way to go, but early signs look good.

Jozy Altidore, FW — 7.0: Scoring a goal doesn’t automatically equate a “good performance” for a forward, in my mind — there’s so many other facets to the position: holding the ball up, linking play and running the channels — but in Altidore’s case, anytime he scores it’s big news, even if it’s and extremely nervy penalty kick. Outside of the goal, he was a beast for the Colombian defenders to deal with. He earned himself a look from some forward-starved teams in Europe.

Subs:

Bobby Wood — 5.0: Had the USMNT’s best chance of the second half, but was turned away by Camilo Vargas, one-on-one with the Colombian goalkeeper. It was the kind of chance a young forward hoping to continue earning future call-ups has to finish, and he didn’t.

Alfredo Morales — N/A: Not enough action to rate.

DaMarcus Beasley — N/A: Not enough action to rate.

Lee Nguyen — 6.0: He was the only reason to get excited for this game, so we’re going to critique his cameo and cry out for more USMNT minutes, and soon, regardless. Had one moment of involvement in attacking buildup, and made the most of it. This clever backheel flick created Wood’s 1-v-1 chance. Three players in the USMNT player pool try and frequently enough pull off that move: Diskerud, Clint Dempsey and Nguyen. We’ll see you in January camp, Lee, where you’ll have a chance to earn a first-team starting spot.

Julian Green — N/A: Not enough action to rate.

16-year-old Cherki scores 2 as Lyon advances in French Cup

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PARIS (AP) Two goals and two assists from 16-year-old forward Rayan Cherki helped Lyon win 4-3 at Nantes and reach the last 16 of the French Cup on Saturday.

But the run of Reunion Islanders JS Saint-Pierroise ended with a 1-0 loss away to Epinal, which scored deep into extra time.

Cherki put Lyon ahead in the first minute, deftly rounding goalkeeper Alban Lafont and then clipping the ball beyond a defender. He made it 2-0 in the ninth, slotting the ball through Lafont’s legs after being set up by right winger Bertrand Traore.

New signing Renaud Emond headed in Moses Simon’s cross from the left to pull a goal back for Nantes in the 16th. Cherki then showed great awareness to release forward Martin Terrier with a fine pass from midfield in the 37th for 3-1.

Cherki shaved the crossbar with a shot in the 60th and won a penalty in the 67th after robbing the ball off Thomas Basila. He generously allowed striker Moussa Dembele to take it, but Lafont saved Dembele’s attempt.

Two minuter later, Cherki threaded the ball down the right to Dembele, who slotted in, and the irrepressible Cherki set up another chance for Terrier.

Lyon’s defense remains vulnerable and Simon set up Imran Louza’s goal before heading in late on to ensure a tense finish.

Saint-Pierroise had caused an upset in the previous round by knocking out second-division Niort and the players again traveled 6,000 miles (around 9,700 kilometers) from the small island in the Indian Ocean, located off the east coast of Africa.

Saint-Pierroise, the former club of France midfielder Dimitri Payet, was looking to become the first club from the Reunion Islands to reach the last 16 and almost forced a penalty shootout, despite having forward Jean-Michel Fontaine sent off in the 15th minute.

But substitute Adel Berkane rifled home a half-volley for fourth-tier Epinal with two minutes left in extra time.

Also, there were wins for first-division sides Nice, Lille, Saint-Etienne and Strasbourg.

Lille won 2-0 at fifth-division Gonfreville thanks to goals from forwards Loic Remy and Victor Osimhen, while coach Patrick Vieira’s Nice side held on to beat third-tier Red Star 2-1.

Saint-Etienne won 3-2 at Paris FC, a team fighting relegation in the second division.

Paris FC led 2-1 with goals from former Paris Saint-Germain forward Jeremy Menez and ex-Rennes winger Jonathan Pitroipa. Teen forward Charles Abi equalized for Saint-Etienne with 20 minutes left before veteran right back Mathieu Debuchy netted the winner.

Strasbourg won 5-1 at fourth-tier Angouleme.

On Sunday, Rennes plays at fifth-tier Athletico Marseille and PSG travels to face second division league leader Lorient.

Rennes beats PSG in last year’s final.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

‘I’m very happy for this’: Jimenez becomes Wolves all-time leading PL goalscorer

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Raul Jimenez has carved his name in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ history books.

“I want to say thank you to all my teammates, to the staff, to the coach, because without all of them, I can’t achieve this goal,” Jimenez said following Wolves’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Southampton on Saturday.

Just minutes earlier, in front of a fervent stand of Wolves supporters at St. Mary’s Stadium, Jimenez scored his 23rd Premier League goal for Midlands side, becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League era. The Mexican surpasses Steven Fletcher‘s record of 22 goals, which stood since 2012.

“I’m very happy for this, and I want to keep scoring,” he added.

With Wolves disputing Europa League qualifying matches in August, the 28-year-old began to build early on what is now a monstrous campaign – 19 goals and 9 assist in throughout all competitions. Half a year down the road, there are no signs of Jimenez’s magic running out. In fact, his brace against the Saints is clearest indicator of why that’s the case.

With his divine hold up play, well-calculated pressing and hunger for redemption, Jimenez emotionally inspired Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side comeback. And in the 65th minute, his trademark penalty overturned a two-goal deficit, turning emotional to physical inspiration.

“[Coming back] was very important for us after a very bad first half,” he told Wolves reporters following the match.

Jimenez was full of praise for his team’s collective grit. He lauded his team’s “fantastic” second half – full of pressing and chances created. The tactic alterations implemented by Nuno Espirito Santo influenced Adama Traore’s run that led to Jimenez’s third and winning goal.

“In the end, we know that it depends on us – what we want to do, what we want to achieve. So, we need to keep going until the last minute. Keep trying to score, keep going with our football that makes us Wolves.”

We now know that Jimenez is Wolves’ all-time Premier League goalscorer, too.

Lampard calls for Chelsea to finish chances: ‘We know where we need to strengthen’

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Chelsea’s dramatic last-gasp loss to Newcastle United was, in a way, a blessing in disguise for Frank Lampard and company.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The Blues conceded their first first loss since Boxing Day, dropping crucial points in the league’s top-four race. With plenty of chances to score at hand, the visit to St. James’ Park is one of sheer frustration.

But at the same time, the London side learned an invaluable lesson: Chelsea are in dire need of a new striker before the January transfer window comes to a close. Chelsea registered 19 shots (4 on target) on Saturday but squandered most, while Newcastle’s netminder Martin Dúbravka did his job and saved a few.

“We know we have problems at the top of the pitch in terms of we don’t get enough goals,” Lampard said following his team’s 1-0 loss, via the BBC.
“If you don’t score you are always liable for a sucker punch and they got it.”

“If we are looking for people to bring in to the areas to win games when you are controlling it, it is scoring goals.”

From RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner to Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, Chelsea has been linked to a striker all winter long. With Olivier Giroud a signature away from sealing a move to Inter Milan, a replacement is necessary.

Sure, Tammy Abraham‘s return to Stamford Bridge is an outright success – 13 goals and two assists in 22 league appearances – but rotation is visibly needed. Michy Batshuayi replaced Abraham, but failed to show any promising signs. The 26-year-old has scored just once in 13 matches this season.

“We can’t work anymore in training on finishing,” the 41-year-old manager added. “You need to have that killer instinct in front of goal. We need to score more goals from front-line areas if we are going to get to where we want to be.”

Lampard gave no indicator that his side are on the brink of landing a new goalscorer up top. With the transfer window open for just 13 days, however, Chelsea are going to have to get intentional on their search.

“It’s quite clear from what I am saying now that we know where we need to strengthen but we shall see.”

Bundesliga wrap: Adams, Leipzig star as Leipzig pads lead

Americans star in Bundesliga play
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The Bundesliga returned Saturday after its winter break, bringing a cavalcade of impactful American stories to the field.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule


RB Leipzig 3-1 Union Berlin

The table leaders got two goals from Timo Werner and a goal and an assist from Marcel Sabitzer to open the second phase of the season with a bang.

Leipzig has a five-point lead on second-place Gladbach, though Bayern Munich can pull within four points with a win at Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin on Sunday morning.

American midfielder Tyler Adams had another strong day in the win, going 86 minutes and gathering over 100 touches while completing 84 percent of his passes. He registered two key passes and a shot on target to go with a clearance, blocked shot, interception, and tackle. Adams was fouled four times.

Augsburg 3-5 Borussia Dortmund

Erling Braut Haaland became the first Borussia Dortmund player to score a hat trick on debut since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as BVB came back from 2-0 and 3-1 holes to move onto 33 points.

Watch Haaland’s incredible day here. Jadon Sancho had a goal and an assist, while Julian Brandt also scored for BVB. Florian Niederlechner scored twice for Augsburg, with Marco Richter also finding the back of the net.

American teenager Giovanni Reyna also made his debut in the win, earning praise from manager Lucien Favre.

Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

That’s right wing Timmy Chandler to you.

After missing all but one match last season due to injuries and fitness, the 29-year-old former USMNT mainstay has his first Bundesliga goal since Feb. 19, 2018.

Chandler rose above the fray to power home a match-winning header to move Eintracht four points clear of the relegation places, surprising a Hoffenheim side with designs on a return to Europe.

Bas Dost scored Eintracht’s other goal, with Konstantinos Stafylidis equalizing just after halftime.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 0-1 Werder Bremen

American forward Josh Sargent made his return from injury, playing 86 minutes in a huge win for Bremen. The visitors climbed over the now 17th place hosts via a Florian Kastenmeier goal.

USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales played well over 71 minutes in the loss, while Zack Steffen missed out with a reported knee injury.

Elsewhere

Schalke 2-0 Borussia Monchengladbach — Friday| RECAP
Koln 3-1 Wolfsburg
Mainz 1-2 Freiburg
Hertha Berlin v. Bayern Munich — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Bayer Leverkusen — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 18 12 4 2 51 21 30 6-2-1 6-2-1 40
 Mönchengladbach 18 11 2 5 33 20 13 7-1-1 4-1-4 35
 Bayern Munich 17 10 3 4 46 22 24 6-1-2 4-2-2 33
 Borussia Dortmund 18 9 6 3 46 27 19 5-3-0 4-3-3 33
 FC Schalke 04 18 9 6 3 31 21 10 5-4-1 4-2-2 33
 SC Freiburg 18 8 5 5 29 24 5 4-2-2 4-3-3 29
 Bayer Leverkusen 17 8 4 5 23 21 2 3-4-2 5-0-3 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 18 8 3 7 26 30 -4 4-1-5 4-2-2 27
 VfL Wolfsburg 18 6 6 6 19 21 -2 3-4-2 3-2-4 24
 FC Augsburg 18 6 5 7 31 36 -5 4-2-3 2-3-4 23
 Eintracht Frankfurt 18 6 3 9 29 30 -1 4-3-2 2-0-7 21
 1. FC Union Berlin 18 6 2 10 21 27 -6 5-0-4 1-2-6 20
 1. FC Köln 18 6 2 10 22 33 -11 4-1-4 2-1-6 20
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 4 8 22 29 -7 3-1-4 2-3-4 19
 FSV Mainz 05 18 6 0 12 26 41 -15 3-0-6 3-0-6 18
 Werder Bremen 18 4 5 9 24 41 -17 1-2-5 3-3-4 17
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 18 4 3 11 18 37 -19 3-1-5 1-2-6 15
 SC Paderborn 17 3 3 11 20 36 -16 2-1-6 1-2-5 12