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

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Despite trailing at halftime, the USMNT came from behind to defeat Peru 2-1 at RFK Stadium tonight. Jozy Altidore bagged both goals for the U.S., who will now look ahead to Tuesday’s match against Brazil

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While getting a win is always the end result, tonight’s performance was more about getting ready for the CONCACAF playoff match against Mexico, coming up in October. With players looking to prove to Jurgen Klinsmann they deserve to start in that Rose Bowl match, let’s take a look at how they fared against Peru.

GK — Brad Guzan: 9/10 — With Tim Howard returning to the fold for the USMNT, Guzan confirmed that he’s fully capable of being the No. 1. The goal took a bad deflection that left Guzan helpless, and his amazing double-save was the turning point in the match.

LB — Tim Ream: 8/10 — Ream got a much-deserved start in the defense tonight, and should hold onto his spot after putting in a strong performance. It’s a surprise he hasn’t gotten more of a run with the USMNT over his career.

CB — John Brooks: 6/10 — Brooks was average defensively tonight, but he’ll be most remembered for a terrible miss from close-range in the first half. Still not sure how his shot went so far over the bar.

[ RELATED: Three things we learned from the USMNT’s comeback win vs. Peru ]

CB — Omar Gonzalez: 5/10 — A tough day for Gonzalez, who was taken off at halftime. He gave his mark too much space on the ball, and the ensuing shot deflected off of him and into the back of the net. Center-back remains an issue for the U.S.

RB — Michael Orozco: 7/10 — You didn’t hear Orozco’s name that much during his half of play, but sometimes that’s a good thing for a defender. Expect Geoff Cameron to start in his place moving forward.

Gyasi Zardes continues to impress for the USMNT.

LM — Gyasi Zardes: 9/10 — Zardes played as a traditional outside-midfielder today rather than his preferred winger or striker role, but he was once again one of the best players on the pitch. His speed and willingness to take on defenders caused big problems for Peru, as Zardes’ growth over the past year has been monumental.

CM — Jermaine Jones: 6/10 — Jones returned to the side after missing the Gold Cup through injury, and managed over an hour on the pitch. When Michael Bradley returns to the side, Jones will likely move to the bench.

CM — Alejandro Bedoya: 6/10 — Bedoya only got a half of play tonight, being replaced by Mix Diskerud at the break. Playing in the middle of the pitch in a 4-4-2 formation doesn’t necessarily suit his skill-set the best.

RM — DeAndre Yedlin: 8/10 — Yedlin has been played all over the pitch by Klinsmann, but tonight found himself as an outside midfielder. Similar to Zardes, his speed was a handful as the youngster was very impressive, constantly streaking forward on the attack.

FW — Jozy Altidore: 8/10 — Jozy’s form for the national team has been poor as of late, but he was handed the captain’s armband tonight and delivered with two goals. He’s still not at the top of his game, but when a striker scores twice, it’s a successful night.

FW — Bobby Wood: 6/10 — A quiet night for Bobby Wood, who didn’t see much of the ball up top. Still not a top-choice for Klinsmann in the attack.

Subs:

Panama v United States
Besler helped clean up the defense off the bench tonight.

CB — Matt Besler: 8/10 — While the starting center-backs struggled, Matt Besler looked much, much better when he came on for John Brooks. Sound defensively and very confident on the ball.

CB — Ventura Alvarado: 6/10 — Alvarado replaced Omar Gonzalez at halftime, but he struggled at center-back as well. He’s not the most trustworthy with the ball at his feet.

RB — Geoff Cameron: 8/10 — One of the biggest surprises tonight was not seeing Cameron’s name in the starting lineup. The Stoke City man came on at halftime and helped tighten things defensively, and his patented long-throw led to Altidore’s penalty.

CM — Mix Diskerud: 7/10 — Dikserud has struggled recently for both the USMNT and NYCFC, but looked a bit better tonight against Peru. Similar to Jermaine Jones, the center of the pitch will belong to Michael Bradley when he returns.

CM — Danny Williams: 6/10 — Williams only got 20 minutes of play tonight, so it’s hard to judge his performance. He’s a question mark for the U.S. roster when they face Mexico in October.

FW — Aron Johannsson: 7/10 — Johannsson made some strong runs when he came in off the bench, and at times was dangerous after being kept quiet in a few of his previous appearances for the USMNT. If the goals start to come, he could be a difference maker.

World Cup’s only black coach says there should be more

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MOSCOW (AP) — The only black coach at this year’s World Cup says there is a need for more in soccer.

“In European countries, in major clubs, you see lots of African players. Now we need African coaches for our continent to go ahead,” Senegal’s Aliou Cisse said through a translator on Monday, a day ahead of his nation’s World Cup opener against Poland.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The percentage of black players at this year’s tournament and with clubs in the world’s top leagues is far higher.

Cisse was captain of Senegal when it reached the 2002 quarterfinals in the nation’s only previous World Cup appearance.

“I am the only black coach in this World Cup. That is true,” Cisse said. “But really these are debates that disturb me. I think that football is a universal sport and that the color of your skin is of very little importance.”

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cisse cited Florent Ibenge, the coach of Congo’s national team, as a sign of progress.

“I think we have a new generation that is working, that is doing its utmost, and beyond being good players with a past of professional footballers,” Cisse said. “We are very good in our tactics, and we have the right to be part of the top international coaches.”

Africa’s best performance at the World Cup has been to reach the quarterfinals, accomplished by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I have the certainty that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup,” Cisse said. “It’s a bit more complicated in our countries. We have realities that are not there in other continents, but I think that the African continent is full of qualities. We are on the way, and I’m sure that Senegal, Nigeria or other African countries will be able win, just like Brazil, Germany or other European countries.”

A lack of minority managers also has been documented at the club level. The Sports People’s Think Tank said in November there were just three minority managers among the 92 English professional clubs as of Sept. 1.

World Cup: Saudi team safe after plane caught fire mid-flight

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The Saudi Arabian national team arrived alive and well in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Monday after a terrifying incident that saw their plane catch fire in the air.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The blaze was caused by “a technical failure in one of the airplane engines,” which the airline, Rossiya, claims was caused by a bird flying into the engine. Each of the planes engines were reportedly in operation upon landing at its final destination.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted a message on Twitter later on Monday, saying they “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely.”

The Green Falcons will face Uruguay in Rostov, hoping to rebound from their tournament-opening 5-0 loss to Russia on Thursday, in each side’s second game of Group A action on Wednesday (11 a.m. ET).

Seismologists clarify Mexico fans didn’t cause earthquake

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Seismological Service says there was seismic activity around the country’s capital Sunday, but it wasn’t linked to soccer fans celebrating their country’s game-winning goal vs. Germany at the World Cup.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The service says in a report that there were two small earthquakes at 10:24 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. The goal came around 11:35 a.m. local time.

A geological institute reported Sunday that seismic detectors had registered a false earthquake that may have been generated by “massive jumps” by fans.

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

Mexico’s Seismological Service explained Monday that the city’s normal bustle of traffic and other movement causes vibrations that are detected by sensitive instruments.

It says those vibrations notably quieted during the match as people gathered in front of TVs to watch, and rose after the goal.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 6 — Colombia vs. Japan; Salah’s debut?

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Day 6 of the 2018 World Cup is up next, on Tuesday — and would you believe it? — there’s another three games on the schedule. This whole “back-to-back-to-back games of soccer” thing isn’t so bad.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Up first, it’s the 2018 debut of Colombia, winners of tens hundreds of millions of hearts in 2014, as they take on Japan. In the day’s other Group H fixture, it’ll be Robert Lewandowski and Poland facing Sadio Mane and Senegal. Star power aplenty.

Then, we swing things back around to Group A, where the hosts Russia will look to continue their hot start against Egypt with Mohamed Salah expected to make his World Cup debut.

Below is Tuesday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Tuesday, June 19

Group H
Colombia vs. Japan: Saransk, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Poland vs. Senegal: Moscow, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group A
Russia vs. Egypt: St. Petersburg, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE