Player ratings: Stars and flops for the USMNT in 1-1 draw at Switzerland


A Jozy Altidore red card, the type you don’t normally see given in friendlies, forced the United States men’s national team to try in vain to keep Switzerland from canceling out Brek Shea’s first-half free kick goal in a 1-1 draw in Zurich on Tuesday.

How did each Yank fare on the day? Some were very good (John Anthony Brooks, Ale Bedoya), while some struggled a great deal. The States again allowed a second-half goal, though this one feels much different than the previous friendly failures.

[ MATCH RECAP: Switzerland 1-1 USMNT ]

Without further ado, let’s go!

U.S. player ratings (out of 10)

Nick Rimando – 6

Didn’t have much to do, which always gives the “player rater” a problem assigning a number.

Brek Shea — 8

His free kick goal was a splendid (WATCH HERE), dipping ball that traced the top of the Swiss wall and ducked into the goal. Shea has a big, big body and good physical skills, and he’s looked better and better as a back. It’s an experiment worth continuing for sure. #brekfeast

John Anthony Brooks — 8

More and more impressed by the young Hertha Berlin man, and would love to see him alongside Geoff Cameron or Omar Gonzalez sometime soon (Matt Hedges?). One potentially big poor clearance late, but it came right back to him.

Michael Orozco — 6

Don’t have much to say about his performance, which is pretty decent considering the USMNT allowed zero goals in his 45 minutes.

Timmy Chandler — 5

His crosses are marvelous. We knew that. Still waiting to see a consistent defensive effort, or at least a match where he doesn’t commit a gaffe in his own end.

Danny Williams — 6

Solid, if unspectacular, and a big part of helping Bradley close down the Swiss through the middle. Good return to the pitch for the Reading midfielder.

Michael Bradley — 5

Likely among the poorer USMNT offensive performances in his distinguished career, but don’t let the two missed sitters take away from the lack of chances for Switzerland in the engine room.

[ MORE: Brek Shea’s good-looking free kick goal ]

source: Getty ImagesAlejandro Bedoya — 9

He was absolutely magical in the first half, more of what we expected from Klinsmann giving more license to the Nantes man. Bedoya moved well with and without the ball, and showed good creativity.

Alfredo Morales — 4

For 60 minutes, he had his longest stretch of solid play in a U.S. kit. He still looked shaky, though, and it’s hard to imagine the 24-year-old featuring on a full-strength roster any time soon. Kasami abused either him or Ventura Alvarado for a free header that should’ve been a goal in the 76th minute, then he clearly woofed a headed clearance on the equalizer.

Gyasi Zardes — 5

There was a moment in the 65th minute that shows why the 23-year-old could do well to move to Europe. Made a scything run down the left and cut inside with a touch that would’ve allowed him a strike in Major League Soccer. Against Switzerland, it was gobbled up. Chance over. But he did yeoman’s work as the lone man up top after Altidore’s red card, grinding out consistent pressure when the ball did reach the Swiss backs or keeper.

Jozy Altidore — 4 (7 minus 3 for red card)

Before his double yellow for a poor tackle and protest to the referee put the States down a man, Altidore was strong. That doesn’t excuse his condemning his side when a result meant all the difference in the world, especially for a silly “bleep you” or “bleep off” to a referee. Needless. What if it was in a big match?

Maybe he’s a guy who just feels more comfortable for country than he did at Sunderland, but the big man was a presence in both games. He’s looking more and more like the player the USMNT missed at World Cup.


William Yarbrough (halftime) — 6

Bailed out Chandler on some poor touches, and probably would’ve liked to get a piece of the goal (though Stocker was left point blank). Also liked his positioning on Kasami’s free header, as he had a good chance to make the save if the former Fulham man didn’t botch the job. Decent first cap in a tough spot.

Ventura Alvarado (halftime) — 5

It was either Alvarado or Morales who missed Kasami on the free header. Otherwise wasn’t poor.

DeAndre Yedlin (77′) — 5

Collided with Morales on the equalizer, but it was the Ingolstadt man who ducked out of the way of Yedlin’s clear.

Tim Ream (89′) — N/A

Jordan Morris (89) — N/A

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.


“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).

Report: Chelsea, Real $38M apart on Hazard

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

How much for Hazard?

Real Madrid are willing to pay $127 million, no small fee, to bring Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but that’s well off the Blues’ evaluation according to Sky Sports.

Chelsea sees Hazard’s price as $165 million. Belgian writer Kristof Terreur told Sky that Hazard wants his future sorted by June 4.

[ MORE: Bayern wins double ]

The Blues’ superstar is entering the final year of his contract, and could begin negotiating with other clubs in January and leave on a free transfer.

Hazard turns 29 in January. He recorded 19 goals and 16 assists in 51 matches this season, his best output in a Blues uniform.

The report says Chelsea feels no pressure to sell Hazard, but it would be a surprise if it dug in its heels too deeply considering the state of the Belgian’s contract.

Even for Chelsea, letting over $100 million walk out the door is wild, and for all Hazard’s won with Chelsea there’s also been consternation under several managers and a more than occasional habit of disappointing on the table.

MLS roundup: Timbers end road trip with emphatic win in Philly

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Leave a comment

A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in MLS…

[ MORE: USA topped by Ukraine in U-20 World Cup opener ]

Philadelphia Union 1-3 Portland Timbers [ HIGHLIGHTS ]

Just when everyone had begun to take the Union seriously — to give them the respect befitting a first-place team — Jim Curtin’s side fell flat on its face and fell out of the Eastern Conference’s top spot. Saturday’s defeat to the suddenly streaking — and homeward bound — Timbers snapped Philadelphia’s six-game unbeaten run (four wins).

24-year-old attacker Brian Fernandez, signed as a Designated Player earlier this month, made his first MLS start and marked the occasion with two first-half goals (31st and 36th minutes). Diego Valeri added the third (87th) after Kacper Przybylko pulled the Union back to 2-1 in the 47th.

Now, with 14 points from their 12-game road trip to start the season, Portland heads home for 17 of their final 22 games to be played inside a newly renovated — and expanded — Providence Park. The gap between themselves and a Western Conference playoff place is just four points.

New England Revolution 1-1 D.C. United [ HIGHLIGHTS ]

With the Union slipping up and dropping all three points, D.C. United made the most of their opportunity to return to the top of the East on the back of Wayne Rooney‘s 90th-minute penalty kick to snatch a 1-1 draw with (what will soon be) Bruce Arena’s Revolution.

Juan Agudelo put the home side ahead with a header in the 61st minute, and the lead held firm for nearly the final half-hour. Alas, video review reviewed a handball late in the game, which presented Rooney the chance to play the part of hero. He duly obliged and hammered his spot kick past backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who replaced Matt Turner following his 56th minute red card for cleaning out Rooney.

Arena is expected to take charge of Revs training this week and make his debut as head coach next Sunday, when his new side visits… his old side, the LA Galaxy.

Colorado Rapids 3-2 Columbus Crew SC [ HIGHLIGHTS ]

Don’t look now, but the Rapids have won two straight games under interim head coach Conor Casey and appear set on clawing their way out of the league’s basement.

Sure, they blew a pair of leads at home, but they also hit back with another goal of their own every time Crew SC drew level, culminating in a stunning winner from Nicolas Mezquida.

The gap between Colorado and 23th place is now just three points, as expansion side FC Cincinnati come closer and closer on the horizon.

Elsewhere in MLS

Chicago Fire 1-1 New York City FC [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 FC Dallas [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
FC Cincinnati 0-2 New York Red Bulls [ HIGHLIGHTS ]
Minnesota United 1-0 Houston Dynamo [ HIGHLIGHTS ]

Sunday’s MLS schedule

Sporting Kansas City v. Seattle Sounders — 6 p.m. ET
Toronto FC v. San Jose Earthquakes — 7:30 p.m. ET