USMNT player ratings: How Klinsmann’s men fared against the Dutch


First things first, let’s all take a deep breath and try to compose ourselves after what we witnessed this afternoon.

Yes, the U.S. national team just came from behind — 3-1 down with 20 minutes to play — to beat the Netherlands, third-place finishers at last summer’s World Cup, 4-3, on Dutch soil.

[ FULL RECAP: Netherlands 3-4 USA ]

Yes, it was “just a friendly,” but it was the kind of friendly victory that couldn’t have come at a better time — and broken a worse trend — for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side just 32 days before the start of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Without any further ado, player ratings for the 4-3 victory over the Dutch…

GK — Brad Guzan: 6/10 — Other than having to pick the ball out of his own net three times, Guzan was just fine in goal. The saves he did make were pretty routine, with the exception of Robin van Persie’s close-range header in the 47th minute. The USMNT is in good hands with Tim Howard still out of the picture through this summer.

LB — Brek Shea: 5/10 — Memphis Depay and Quincy Promes found lots and lots of joy — too much, to be honest — down the wings in the first hour, which led to the first two Dutch goals.

source:  CB — John Brooks: 6/10 — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That pretty much sums up Brooks’ outing, which will be remembered as much for the lesson that Klaas-Jan Huntelaar taught to him in the first half, as his surging run through midfield for his 70th-minute goal.

CB — Ventura Alvarado: 5/10 — A first half to forget, and a second half on the bench. Alvarado, 22, was subbed off at halftime after repeatedly losing track of Huntelaar — more frequently than so did Brooks, even — and spending more time chasing back toward his own goal than anything else.

RB — Timothy Chandler: 5.5/10 — As was the case with Shea, too much space and time for the talented Dutch wingers led to two easy goals in the first 60 minutes. Has Chandler developed at all since debuting for the U.S. in 2009, or has he actually regressed?

[ MORE: Three things we learned from the USA’s wild win in Amsterdam ]

CM — Kyle Beckerman: 7/10 — Protecting Michael Bradley (more on him in a second) with a true defensive midfielder is the first thing necessary to get the most out of the USMNT’s best player (Bradley), and Beckerman did just that.

CM — Alfredo Morales: 6/10 — See above: Beckerman, Kyle, only slightly less effective.

CM — Michael Bradley: 8.5/10 — On Friday, Bradley reminded us all what many have known all along — he’s the most important USMNT player by a country mile, and every lineup should be built to maximize what he does best: tireless work from end to end, driving runs through the heart of midfield and providing the second-to-final through ball from deeper midfield positions (all three on display HERE). Bradley did all of those things late on against the Dutch, and the entire team — by that point, mostly youngsters — were nigh unstoppable.

[ MORE: Comeback win massive for USMNT confidence ahead of big summer ]

source:  LW — Gyasi Zardes: 7/10 — 81 minutes of work, and he got a goal, but some might feel he could/should have had a second and/or third. Still, his rise from MLS benchwarmer to fighting for a Gold Cup roster spot in the span of 16 months is pretty remarkable.

CF — Aron Johannsson: 4.5/10 — To put it nicely, Johannsson had a stinker in Amsterdam. Sure, he worked hard and that’s important for a lone center forward, but the role doesn’t really suit him all that well. For all the work defensively and trying to hold the ball up against two, three and four defenders at a time, he was never really able to link up and bring anyone else into the game.

RW — Fabian Johnson: 7/10 — Johnson, naturally a left-sided player, built upon his best club season (Borussia Monchengladbach finished third in the Bundesliga and qualified for next year’s Champions League) with another strong performance. His cross for Zardes’s goal was pinpoint, while Chandler would have had an even worse game without Johnson’s defensive assistance.

[ MORE: USMNT moves up one spot in latest FIFA rankings ]

CB — Michael Orozco: 5/10 — Completely lost Huntelaar four minutes after entering the game, setting the tone for the onslaught that was the first 20 minutes of the second half. Klinsmann’s constant changing of center back partnerships isn’t doing his players any favors, either.

CM — Mix Diskerud: 5/10 — One of the earlier subs to come on, but had very little impact on the game. Hit a couple of dangerous cross-field balls, but mostly served as a defensive presser.

RW — DeAndre Yedlin: 7/10 — In his 33 minutes on the field, Yedlin completely changed the game for the USMNT, just as he did at the World Cup, constantly providing width and a running in behind the Dutch defense time and again. He remains the U.S.’s ultimate late-game weapon.

CM — Danny Williams: 6.5/10 — No noticeable drop-off when he replaced Beckerman, and he took his goal — wicked deflection and all — well in the 89th minute.

CF — Bobby Wood: 7/10 — Forget the goal — OK, just kidding — but Wood was a huge improvement over Johannsson in the 65th minute. The game was more open by that point, but Wood took what was in front of him and made the most out of his latest opportunity.

LW — Jordan Morris: 7/10 — This kid continues to have an impact, no matter the level of competition — Ireland, Mexico or the Netherlands. Such a smart player, sees and uses space so well, and provided the perfect cutting cross to Wood for the winner. We’re going to find out how he fares in a competitive game sooner than later.

Premier League social media wrap: Brighton, teqball, remembering Tiote

Premier League social media
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Premier League sides are fully back in the flow of training with scheduled matches coming within a fortnight.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

So it’s no surprise that banter’s back, too.

That’s where we’ll start Friday, with Irish center back Shane Duffy making sure he’s keeping things light as Brighton and Hove Albion prepares to defend its Premier League place.

Duffy turned a sprinkler on his teammates at training, showing that, yes, your high school career has some things in common with Premier League footballers.

How about some skills as Manchester United gets ready for its return to the PL pitch?

Bruno Fernandes and Andreas Pereira tangled with Fred and Diogo Dalot in a match of Teqball.

You’ll have to watch to see who won.

There’s also a sad anniversary on this day.

It’s been three years since former Newcastle United wrecking ball Cheick Tiote passed away at age 30 after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing Enterprises, causing shock and grief around the Premier League.

His former teammates were remembering him on Friday, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner was definitely beloved and will always be remembered for his incredible goal to cap off Newcastle’s 4-4 comeback draw with Arsenal.

We’ll start with Norwich City backstop Tim Krul, who spent time with Tiote at Newcastle.

Former Magpies wizard Yohan Cabaye pinned an old memorial to his Twitter wall.


Preview: Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin

Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha preview, how to watch
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Four Bundesliga teams are unbeaten in their last five matches and Hertha Berlin is the unlikeliest of the bunch.

They’ll tangle with Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday in the latest challenge of the Bruno Labaddia era in Berlin.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Labbadia is Hertha’s third manager of the season and Hertha has played a scrappy brand of football that has punched and counter-punched under his tutelage. That doesn’t mean they’ve failed to find finish, as Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic and Brazilian youngster Matheus Cunha have been potent.

Borussia Dortmund is a bigger ask, though Hertha made RB Leipzig make mistakes in a 2-2 tie.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Will it be able to get a result at the Westfalenstadion? Perhaps this is a bridge too far, because Dortmund’s shown an explosive offense and its defense has been strong far more often than not this season.

That said, Erling Haaland is just returning to fitness and has just one goal since the league’s restart from the coronavirus pause. Mats Hummels will miss with a yellow card suspension and Marco Reus still isn’t back.

Maybe American teen Giovanni Reyna will get prolonged run along with Jadon Sancho. We’ll see!

Borussia Dortmund v. Hertha Berlin, how to watch

  • TV Channels: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • Americans Abroad: Giovanni Reyna (Dortmund)
  • When: Saturday, June 6 – 12:30 p.m. ET: Dortmund v. Hertha

Sheffield United season restart preview

Sheffield United season restart preview
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Sheffield United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Blades when it comes to the season restart.

Outlook: Sheffield United has welcomed itself to the Premier League and put its feet up on the big boys’ tables while asking what’s for dinner. Blades sit seventh and will hope to continue a fairytale which has them on the precipice of the Europa League. Their fixture list in monstrous, especially at Bramall Lane, but Wilder’s proven capable of outwitting even the smartest of bosses for long periods of time. A name to remember is Simon Moore. The backup keeper and starter from Blades’ League One days could become vital should Manchester United defy expectation and pull Dean Henderson home from his loan upon its June 30 expiry.

[ MORE: Ranking every Southampton player in 2019-20 ]

Tactical analysis: Chris Wilder has flummoxed many a Premier League manager with his creative use of defenders in attack. United typically uses Jack O’Connell, John Egan and Chris Basham as a back-3 with Enda Stevens and George Baldock as the two wingbacks. Those players have accounted for six of United’s 18 PL assists this season. For more on the tactics, Wilder laid things out in entertaining fashion for Arlo White late last month.

Possible XI (3-5-2) 

—– Henderson* —–

— Basham — O’Connell — Egan —

— Baldock — Fleck —  Berge —– Norwood — Stevens—

—– McBurnie —– Mousset —–

The challenge here is fitting January signing Berge into the mix, as fellow central midfielders John Fleck, Oliver Norwood, and John Lundstram have been instrumental in this amazing season. Lundstram seems the most likely to cede his spot if someone will, which really says something about Berge’s immense talent. David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp have provided a lot up top, so McBurnie and Mousset will see plenty of time on the bench. And the biggest question of all is Henderson, who’s on loan from top seven rival Manchester United.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Sheffield United’s chances ]

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Spurs, Wolves, Chelsea, Everton
Away: Newcastle, Manchester United, Burnley, Leicester City, Southampton

Predicted finish: The Blades will get the chance to defend their home turf from not one, not two, not three, but four would-be European rivals (It’s a little generous to include Everton, but the talent is there). Throw in Leicester and Manchesteer United away, and there is a huge bridge to cross for Wilder’s men to keep their incredible season on the path toward unprecedented heights. It’s not just about keeping Spurs and Arsenal in the rear view mirror, as Blades meet the next four teams above their seventh-place footing.

Petersen’s header leads Freiburg past 10-man Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach recap
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Nils Petersen’s second half goal led Freiburg to a huge 1-0 win over 10-man Borussia Monchengladbach at the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday.

Freiburg keeps its Europa League hopes alive by moving onto 41 points, one behind sixth and seventh.

Gladbach fails in a bid to go third and remains fourth with 56 points, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential.

A second yellow card to Plea was a double curse to Gladbach, who went down a man and now will miss a star forward against Bayern Munich.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Bayer’s Ramy Bensebaini utilized a slick backheel turn to nutmeg an opponent and send in a cross that was put out for a corner kick.

Freiburg keeper Alexander Schwolow made a tight-angle save on Alassane Plea just after the quarter-hour mark.

Gladbach saw a chance chalked off after two dangerous bids resulted in an offside deflection into the goal.

Florian Neuhaus came close to scoring again when Lars Stindl headed the penultimate move of a fine team play into the six, but he popped it over the frame.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Gladbach’s second half again settled into the Freiburg final third, but it was a home sub that paid dividends at the other end.

Petersen improved his club record for goals when he nodded Vincenzo Grifo’s free kick home in the 59th.

Stindl wasn’t too far from equalizing with a 17-yard shot at the hour mark, but Plea’s second yellow card damaged Gladbach’s hopes of a comeback.