USMNT player ratings: How Klinsmann’s men fared against Germany

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They’ve done it again. The U.S. national team has come from behind to beat one of the world’s top teams — this time the top team, reigning world champions Germany — on European soil.

[ FULL RECAP: Germany 1-2 USA ]

Following last Friday’s thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Netherlands, Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT has a great deal of confidence ahead of this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup (July 7-26).

Without any further ado, player ratings for the USMNT’s 2-1 victory over the world champs…

GK — Brad Guzan: 7/10 — His save of Mario Gotze in the 31st minute kept the early deficit at one, allowing the late comeback to take place. A couple more strong saves shortly before the equalizer seemed to spread confidence throughout the team. Good luck winning “your job” back, Tim Howard.

LB — Fabian Johnson: 5.5/10 — The best of the four defenders in the first half, which isn’t saying a whole lot. The German goal began in Johnson’s part of the field, but his lack of closing down was hardly the most egregious error on the play.

CB — John Brooks: 5/10 — Wednesday was better from Brooks, but his tendency to fall asleep and leave massive areas of space wide open with some of the world’s best attackers (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on Friday and Mario Gotze on Wednesday) has already and will continue to cost the U.S. at the highest level.

CB — Ventura Alvarado: 5/10 — Showed once again that he’s not yet ready to face the world’s top teams, but this week will be a very good learning experience for the 22-year-old in the end.

RB — Timothy Chandler: 3/10 — Speaking of the most egregious error on the German goal, what in the world is Chandler doing/where does he think he’s going? That’s inexcusable, and if we’re being honest, a sign that he isn’t fully committed to the team when he steps out on the field and/or simply not good enough for this level.

[ EDWARDS: After NED, GER victories, USMNT riding newfound wave of momentum into Gold Cup ]

CM — Danny Williams: 5/10 — Came off at halftime following a subpar first half in which he was forced to run around like a chicken with his head cut off, thanks to the defensively failures of those in front of him. Somehow didn’t misplace a single pass in his 45 minutes on the field.

source:
Mix Diskerud, USMNT

CM — Mix Diskerud: 6/10 — Scored the equalizer, but an unmitigated disaster defensively in the first half. Was pulled out wide to create massive passing lanes far too easily, which kept Williams, Johnson and Brooks under constant pressure. It could should have been 2-0 or 3-0 early, and Diskerud was a key cog in the breakdowns.

RM — Gyasi Zardes: 5.5/10 — The first half was a huge test for Zardes — whether or not he could figure out the narrower-sitting midfield position in the 4-4-2 diamond. It didn’t go so well, but looked better in the second half after moving up and using his size and strength in hold-up play very well.

CM — Michael Bradley: 7.5/10 — He’s not a No. 10, but on Wednesday you sure wouldn’t have known that based on his man-of-the-match performance. The ball over the top to Diskerud for the equalizer was poetry in motion, and not only does he manage to work himself out of trouble on numerous occasions every game, but he does the same for others around him as well.

[ RELATED: Klinsmann names 35-man provisional roster for 2015 Gold Cup ]

FW — Juan Agudelo: 5/10 — The U.S. had so little of the ball in the first half that Agudelo had very little chance to affect the game in his limited action (came off at halftime). He still has to figure into the USMNT going forward (exceptional talent and all that), but this was his chance to stake a claim to a starting spot, and it just didn’t happen.

FW — Aron Johannsson: 5.5/10 — Johannsson was better than his nightmare against the Dutch, but showed once again why he’s also probably a better off the bench, thanks to his tendency to disappear for prolonged periods.

Subs

RM — DeAndre Yedlin: 6/10 — Not nearly the impact he had upon entering the game against the Dutch, but still brought more in terms of wing play than Chandler, the first-half right back, did on overlapping runs. In a way Yedlin gets credit for Chandler’s poor performance.

CM — Kyle Beckerman: 6.5/10 — Steady as ever (just three misplaced passes in 45 minutes, one of which was a 50-yard diagonal ball) and showed once again the difference between himself and any other defensive midfielder in the entire player pool. He’s an absolute lock for the Gold Cup, and a borderline guaranteed starter.

[ RECAP: Netherlands 3-4 USMNT | Player ratings | Three things we learned ]

RB — Brad Evans: 6.5/10 — It was Evans’ pacy through ball that found Bobby Wood for the game-winner. Much like Yedlin, Evans is made to look better in the second half by Chandler’s struggles in the first 45.

source: Getty Images
Bobby Wood, USMNT

CM — Alfredo Morales: 5/10 — Asked to serve as the left-sided shuttler upon entering the game in the 74th minute, Morales struggled to find his rhythm and connect passes. It’s pretty clear there’s only one position in which he’s serviceable, and unfortunately for him, Beckerman is currently holding onto that starting spot for dear life.

FW — Bobby Wood: 7/10 — I’m not really sure what else to say. There are certainly aspects of Wood’s game that make him an interesting prospect (he’s still only 22?!), but his finishing has long left much to be desired. His strike for the winner, a curled blast from nearly 25 yards, was pure perfection. Klinsmann has repeatedly called the kid in despite struggles for his club teams, yet Wood’s name is somewhat surprisingly absent from the Gold Cup roster.

FW — Jordan Morris: 6.5 — Jordan Morris comes off the bench for the U.S., and the kid changes games. That’s just what he does. Barely 20 seconds after entering the game on Wednesday, he went inches from scoring a winner of his own. He’s fearless, he’s ferocious and he’s confident. He runs at defenders, he turns defenders and he’s a better technician than most other (professional) forwards in the player pool. At this point, he almost has to be on the Gold Cup roster.

Josef Martinez scores 2 more in win, including sensational solo work

AP Photo/John Minchillo
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Josef Martinez scored his 25th and 26th goals of the MLS season, and if he challenges his MLS record of 31, he may also stare down soccer royalty.

The Venezuelan striker scored two more on Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of FC Cincinnati in Ohio to give him goals in 15-straight league contests.

He now has 76 goals in 80 MLS games, which is good.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

On the season, he’s six goals shy of matching the Major League Soccer record he set with last season’s 31 regular season goals.

According to MLSSoccer.com, he’s six games shy of tying Lionel Messi’s world record for consecutive league matches with a goal.

Even that’s a little tricky: Messi scored in 21-straight games in which he was eligible for selection, but 19-straight before missing two matches for injury. In that remarkable run of 21, he also had a run of six-straight braces.

It’s not really worth it to attempt to compare the two streaks: If Martinez gets to 21 (or even 19), it’s amazing stuff and worth celebrating on a worldwide level. Everyone has a bad game every now and again, but Martinez still finds the score sheet in ’em.

Look at the magician’s tricks he used for this one, including a back heel first touch and two freeze-frame cut moves. That’s not even mentioning the finish.

USWNT announces final matches of World Cup-winning year

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CHICAGO (AP) The Women’s World Cup champion U.S. team will wrap up 2019 with matches against Sweden and Costa Rica.

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that the U.S. will face Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7 and Costa Rica in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 10.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

The team is wrapping up its World Cup victory tour next month with matches against South Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and on Oct. 6 in Chicago.

Coach Jill Ellis is stepping down following the match in Chicago after leading the team to a pair of consecutive World Cup titles.

The United States is 15-1-2 this year and currently riding a 14-game winning streak.

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

Report: Mane to get big raise, Liverpool contract through 2025

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Liverpool’s Senegalese sensation looks set to stay at Anfield deep into his 30s.

Sadio Mane is in talks with the Reds hierarchy over a new deal that will run through 2024-25, and pay him more than $15 million per season.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

Mane, 27, currently has a deal through 2023, but surely wouldn’t mind a raise. And Liverpool will be happy to tie him down on Merseyside a bit longer.

He’s scored six times in seven matches this season, also grabbing an assist. That’s on a better pace than his 26 goals and five assists over 50 appearances in 2018/19.

Mane has 70 Premier League goals at the moment. Do you tip him to eclipse 100 while still at Anfield? 125?

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves, Arsenal begin group stage

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The Europa League begins its group stage on Thursday, with the three Premier League combatants taking on clubs from Kazakhstan, Portugal and Germany.

Manchester United’s kids are gonna get some playing time when Astana visits Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Teenager Mason Greenwood and 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe will start, and Sergio Romero will be between the sticks.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

And the Manchester Evening News notes that Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could also start at Old Trafford, meaning the veterans in the fray will be quite important.

Enter Fred, the forgotten $68 million man from Shaktar Donetsk. The 23 minutes he played last week versus Leicester City account for his lone time on the pitch this season.

Here’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

“I’m sure we’ll see more and more of Fred. We spoke about it earlier, he’s had some great games in midfield with Scott against PSG and Arsenal, for example, and we’re just waiting for that to flourish.”

Fred had an odd record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season, barely in the squad when the team started hot but trusted against PSG and Barcelona in the Champions League.

Speaking of little-used midfielders, Arsenal boss Unai Emery is getting a little grief for leaving Mesut Ozil behind for the Gunners’ trip to Germany for a big match with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ozil made his first start of the season in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Watford at the weekend, playing 71 minutes and departing with the club up 2-1.

So why not even bring him abroad? Rest.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday,” Emery said, via The London Evening Standard. “My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11 and after that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.”

Sokrastis Papastathopoulos is also out, having played a big role in the embarrassing performance at Watford.

There have been tough times for Wolves as well, who sit in the relegation zone after five matches of the Premier League season.

They’ve been quite good in Europa League, though, dispatching a pair of minnows before winning both legs against Serie A side Torino.

Why the inconsistency? It’s not fixture congestion, according to Ruben Neves:

“I don’t think fatigue has anything to do with it, Neves said, via The Birmingham Mail. “We’re all top players, we’re used to it, we’re used to playing a lot of games in quick succession. I don’t think the Europa League has (anything) to do with our position in the Premier League. Obviously, we haven’t had the start that we’ve wanted, but it’s been a beautiful journey into the Europa League. This is a historic moment for Wolves and we’re going to do our best in this competition.”

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in Portugal to meet Braga, one of three tricky opponents in Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow