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

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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.

Subs

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

Newcastle takes three points at Sheffield United

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Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey scored goals and VAR made its presence felt as Newcastle United toppled Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Its Newcastle’s fifth result from six following a loss to Chelsea, while Sheffield United sees the end of its seven-match unbeaten run.

The Magpies pull into 11th place with 19 points, two spots below the Blades on goal differential.

Sheffield United meets Norwich City on Sunday, when Newcastle hosts Southampton.


Three things we learned

1. Blades make rookie mistake in VAR era: The linesman’s flag was raised when Andy Carroll flicked a header into the Blades final third, but Shelvey kept running onto the ball and referee Stuart Atwell allowed play to continue into the 1v1 chance between the midfielder and Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson. Shelvey passed around Henderson and into the goal, the backstop apparently spotting the flag and assuming the call. Big mistake, as VAR negated the linesman’s flag.

2. Bruce rewarded for lineup risk, and ASM breaks down the door: Manager Steve Bruce pulled the plug on big money striker Joelinton‘s automatic spot in the Starting XI, installing veteran center forward and hometown hero Andy Carroll in that spot. Carroll was solid with Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron on his flanks, and won the pivotal assist in the second half.

Saint-Maximin is either the league’s best dribbler or a fixture in the debate, but he’s been unable to find the back of the goal whether through fine saves or misfired shots. Raise your hand if you had 50-50 header for his first Premier League marker. Didn’t think so. If this busts down the door, look out.

3. Magnificent Martin deserves a rest: Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka was the biggest factor in the result, as the Slovakian national team goalkeeper was at his shot-stopping best. He was stopping all of the Olivers, with fine stops on McBurnie and Norwood in the first half and a well-controlled box in the second 45.

Man of the Match: Dubravka — Respect to Carroll, but the keeper made six saves on the night for a richly-deserved clean sheet.


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

A deflection off Miguel Almiron forced Martin Dubravka into a fine reaction stop in the sixth minute.

Newcastle then had the ball for a spell without real threat, as Blades’ Oli McBurnie’s curl wide in the 15th minute was the next moment of danger for either side.

The Magpies scored soon after, Saint-Maximin rising high to thump a header inside the post after Andy Carroll laid off for Javi Manquillo‘s cross.

McBurnie then forced an incredible save out of Dubravka when George Baldock sent a terrific cross into the heart of the box.

Almiron gave away a dangerous free kick in first half stoppage time, but Dubravka was again there for a two-handed parry of Oliver Norwood‘s rip.

VAR made its voice heard in the 71st minute, when it ruled that

Everton must think bigger than retread replacement for Silva

Photo by Richard Sellers - PA Images via Getty Images
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Marco Silva is out as Everton manager, the Toffees turning the page on a disappointing execution of their ambitious vision.

Despite plenty of investment, Silva’s Everton wasn’t able to do much of anything good and now sits in the Premier League’s Bottom Three after 15 match days.

[ MORE: Everton sacks Silva ]

Silva’s men finished eighth in the league during his first season, but the best he can say about his truncated sophomore campaign is that the club are into the League Cup quarterfinals.

So what will Everton do now? Well, Duncan Ferguson is in charge for the Toffees’ Saturday visit from Chelsea, though the club has vowed to “swiftly” find their next full-time boss.

Frankly, the club could do its next man a favor by taking its time, as the post-Chelsea fixtures are Manchester United, Leicester City in the aforementioned cup fixture, and Arsenal.

Back on topic, what the Toffees should do is appoint a man with vision. While it would be tempting to slide into the comfortable slippers that are David Moyes, appointing him or some Sam Allardyce or Mark Hughes type would be another step in the wrong direction.

That’s because this is truly an opportunity for the right coach to take the club in a tremendous direction. Everton might be in the drop zone, but its talent is a mile ahead of true relegation candidacy.

Whoever is hired — and this is why Big Sam is probably holding aloft a boombox outside Goodison Park — is going to “save the Toffees” and earn another season at the helm. Allowing that to be some retread would be a mistake.

Rafa Benitez isn’t going to come to Goodison Park because of his relationship with Liverpool, but a a manager of his ilk should very much be in play. The Toffees boast a still-improving star forward in Richarlison and two proper fullbacks in Lucas Digne and Djibril Sidibe.

Richarlison is 22, Alex Iwobi is 23, and Moise Kean just 19 and adapting to a new country. Defenders Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate, and Michael Keane are all under 26. A manager who can develop and fine tune talent will have a field day with this roster. Imagine Dominic Calvert-Lewin reaching his potential.

Their 9.1 shots allowed per game is a figure bettered by only Man City and Chelsea. The side has been prone to allowing those shots to be dangerous ones, but there’s every reason to believe that fixing their fourth-worst goals conceded total should happen soon given some adequate goalkeeping performances.

Jordan Pickford is England’s No. 1, but hasn’t been right for the Toffees. Logically, he’ll get back to at least average and start stealing some points. The goals are going to keep coming, and likely increase with the wins; Everton is eighth in the xG table.

The Premier League is better when Everton is a good side. The Toffees are not going to be relegated this season, and need to approach that hiring with that mindset. Get someone worth believing in, not just blind hope and a nod to the past.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Brighton, Sheffield Utd v. Newcastle

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Matchweek 15 of the 2019-20 Premier League season wraps up on Thursday, with two more midweek clashes featuring two mid-table sides, and two more from much nearer to the relegation zone, in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

First up, PL new boys (and 9th-place side) Sheffield United will host 14th-place Newcastle United, who sit just two points outside the relegation zone ahead of kickoff. 45 minutes later, 10th-place Arsenal will host 16th-place Brighton & Hove Albion in Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game as Arsenal interim manager.

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The schedule for Thursday’s two games is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


2:30 p.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Newcastle United [STREAM]
3:15 p.m. ET: Arsenal v. Brighton & Hove Albion [STREAM]

Marco Silva fired by Everton

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Marco Silva has been fired as manager of Everton, making him the fourth Premier League manager to lose his job in the last 16 days.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Silva reported for a regular day’s work at Everton’s training ground on Thursday, a day after suffering a 5-2 defeat to local rivals Liverpool, all while a conference call was expected to take place involving the relevant figures: owner Farhad Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and director of football Marcel Brands.

15 games into the 2019-20 PL season, the Toffees currently sit 18th in the league table with less than a point per game — relegation territory — on the back of three straight losses and just four wins all season. Silva’s only victory since mid-October came against fellow bottom-four side Southampton nearly a month ago.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

It’s not just the number of losses for Everton (now up to nine) on the season thus far, but many of the sides to which they’ve lost (newly promoted Aston Villa, 12th-place Bournemouth, newly promoted Sheffield United, 11th-place Burnley, 16th-place Brighton & Hove Albion and 19th-place Norwich, to name a few) that forced them further and further down the table and made relegation a semi-serious threat, at least for the time being.