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Three things we learned from the USMNT’s loss to Mexico


It took 120 minutes, but Mexico defeated the United States 3-2 at the Rose Bowl tonight. While Mexico heads on to the Confederations Cup, the U.S. has some questions to answer.

[ RECAP: USA 2-3 (a.e.t.) Mexico ]

Here are three things we learned tonight, although the list could have been much longer.


Is the United States a possession team? Is the United States a counter-attacking team? Tonight against Mexico, the United States was neither. It’s been four years with Jurgen Klinsmann as manager, and the USMNT is still without an identity.

[ PLAYER RATINGS: Cameron shines while Dempsey struggles ]

Mexico controlled possession and kept the U.S. pinned in their own half for a good portion of the match. On the few times the U.S. got forward, they didn’t have enough numbers to create anything meaningful. One way to combat this would have been to slow down the play and control possession for a few minutes, allowing the tired players to catch their breath. Then, the team could move forward as a unit and try to attack. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as Mexico walked away with a deserved win.

It looked like the U.S. went out as eleven guys playing a soccer game, with no gameplan and no identity. It showed, and it cost them.


Clint Dempsey is one of the most important players for the United States, but was invisible tonight. While Dempsey tried to press forward, sometimes it would have been better suited for the U.S. for Dempsey to check back and demand the ball.

Dempsey is known for scoring goals, his 48 tallies are second all-time in USMNT history, but his biggest asset for the national side is his playmaking ability. Especially in a match like tonight when Mexico had more of the possession, if Dempsey was able to come back and collect the ball, he would have had an opportunity to dictate the tempo for Klinsmann’s men. Dempsey getting on the ball more often would have helped keep possession for the U.S., while allowing Clint to spread the play and then turn on the attack.

In the biggest moments, you want your biggest players to take control. Dempsey sat back as a bystander.


The defense continues to be a soft spot for the United States. While the back-line settled in and played better as the match progressed, early errors gave Mexico the lead. Mexico started the match flying, and their pace and continuous movement was a handful.

[ WATCH: Wild extra-time sees three goals ]

On the opening goal, Matt Besler was pulled way out of position leaving acres of space behind him, and El Tri took full advantage. While Mexico players checked in-and-out and swapped positions on runs, a lack of communication left the defense exposed. The back-line of Johnson, Cameron, Besler, and Beasley played together in the 2014 World Cup, but since then, Klinsmann has failed to stick with a consistent defensive unit. The strongest national sides have defenses that rarely change, with four names locks to be in the starting lineup. Moving forward, the United States needs to choose a back-line and let them get a prolonged run of matches together as a unit.

Watch Live: PL Asia Trophy – Newcastle v. West Ham, Man City v. Wolves

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Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers aim to collect a bit of silverware on the second Premier League Asia Trophy match day of the summer.

But first, a pair of Uniteds look to get off the map after beatdowns in their tournament openers.

Newcastle United and West Ham United were both walloped in Nanjing, and old hands Steve Bruce and Manuel Pellegrini would be happy to massage a victory out of their men.

Then Pep Guardiola and PL champions City get a taste of Wolves before their Oct. 5 meeting in league play.

Below is the full schedule for Saturday’s games in Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium.

Newcastle United v. West Ham United – 5 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE
Man City v. Wolves – 7:30 a.m. ET – STREAM LIVE

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

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Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.


Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.