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

La Liga roundup: Celta spoil Hazard’s return in Real Madrid draw

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Real Madrid’s draw against relegation-battling Celta Vigo highlights La Liga’s Sunday action.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s La Liga coverage ]

Real Madrid 2-2 Celta Vigo 

Celta’s Santi Mina scored in 85th minute to give a depleted Celta Vigo a precious point at the Santiago Bernabeu, spoiling Eden Hazard‘s return to Real Madrid’s lineup after a notable absence.

Madrid’s eighth draw of the season moves champions Barcelona just one point behind Zinedine Zidane’s side.

Returning from ankle injury that kept his out of action for three months, Hazard returned to the pitch in fine style, leading all players on the field in chances created with three and earning a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted to put Real Madrid ahead.

Hazard – and all of his flair – left the field in the 70th minute, granting Vinicius Junior the final 20 minutes of the match.

Ramos’ sixth goal of the season builded on Toni Kroos’ left-footed strike early in the latter half of the match. Real Madrid, more or less, were cruising against Celta, who had a goal to their name following Fyodor Smolov’s early opener.

Celta, who had arrived in Madrid in 18th place and had lost their last seven at the host’s home, were destined to do the unthinkable. Denis Suarez and Mina – both utilized as substitutes – paired up for the equalizer with five minutes to go, spoiling Hazard’s return.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Sevilla 2-2 Espanyol

Leganes 0-0 Real Betis 

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Osasuna

Teammates appear to stop Marega leaving after racist slurs

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LIBSON, Portugal — FC Porto striker Moussa Marega, who tried to walk off the field after being the target of racist slurs from fans, faced apparent attempts Sunday by his own teammates and opposition players to prevent him from leaving.

Marega, who is black and from Mali, was visibly angered by monkey noises targeting him after he scored Porto’s second goal in a 2-1 win at Guimarães in the Portuguese football league.

But when Marega started to walk off the field, several players from both Porto and Guimarães appeared to argue with him. Porto coach Sérgio Conceição also went on the field and spoke with Marega.

It took Marega several minutes to leave the field when he was substituted.

Marega held his thumbs down at the crowd as he went into the tunnel to the changing rooms. The crowd responded with loud jeers.

The attitude of the other players has drawn criticism on social media.

“We are indignant with what has happened. Moussa was insulted from warmups (before kickoff),” Conceição said after the match.

“We are a family. One’s nationality, color, or height does not matter. We are human beings. We deserve respect and what happened was despicable.”

Marega received a yellow card following his goal in the 61st minute when he appeared to respond to the slurs by pointing at his skin and by picking up a seat that had been thrown on the pitch.

Timothy Weah returns to action with Lille after lengthy| absence

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Timothy Weah was back in action in Lille’s 2-1 loss to Marseille on Sunday after a 183-day absence.

The American attacker played the final 10 minutes of the defeat after being inactive since Lille’s second match of the season back in August 17 in which he suffered a “very bad hamstring tear“.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Weah arrived at Lille in June on a $12 million deal from Paris Saint-Germain, placing high expectations on the 19-year-old son of Ballon d’OR winner George Weah.

Since, however, the U.S. men’s national team player has had little activity with the French side, accumulating less than 100 minutes over a three-game stretch.

Lille manager Christophe Galtier will likely ease Weah’s way into the a starting role moving forward – which is largely contingent on his performances at practice and in official play.

Lille, who’ve accumulated 40 points in 25 matches, are currently fourth in Ligue 1.

WATCH: Ashley Young opens his Inter Milan account with volley

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The first English goalscorer in Serie A this decade is 34-year-old Ashley Young.

Inter Milan’s newly-integrated wingback opened his Serie A account in proper fashion – scoring with a first-time right-footed volley strike against a strong Lazio side.

Why did Manchester United let Young walk away from Old Trafford during the winter transfer window? Surely, Young will answer that in detail when the time is right. At this moment, he’s too busy scoring goals – stellar ones, too – as we can see for ourselves above.

Young arrived at Inter in January on a reported $2-million deal for the remainder of the season, with an option to extend for another season.