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Player ratings from another head-shaking USMNT loss

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Forget the World Cup: The U.S. is getting waxed by CONCACAF.

The United States’ experimental lineup put forth very little to like in a 1-0 home loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

The Yanks were thoroughly out-played by Los Ticos, with very few clear-cut chances coming for the home side and Tim Howard under duress if not shots from the visitors.

[ MATCH RECAP: USMNT 0-1 Costa Rica ]

Who fared well? Not too many. Let’s dig into the sadness.

Starting XI

Tim Howard — 7 — He’s flat out better than Brad Guzan. Not saying we’re talking Confederations Cup if the plays Gold Cup — or even Saturday — but Tim Howard is your starting goalkeeper. Period. Shame he took a hiatus.

Tim Ream (Off 64′) — 8 — Perhaps the most effective Yank in a bad team first half, the steady Fulham man again impressed for his country.

Michael Orozco — 4 — It would’ve been hard not to look like an upgrade over Matt Besler after Saturday night, but Orozco struggled despite a few good tackles and recoveries. Work on the goal was poor.

Geoff Cameron (Off HT) — 6 — Nothing outstanding, nothing poor. Steady GC stuff.

Brad Evans — 7 — Saved a pair of goals and accounted for himself really well. Not a guy to help possession on the night, but baby steps.

Brek Shea (Off 73′) — 5 — Good free kick late in the first half, and was one of the few to play lively. If you can believe it, he — gasp — won a few free kicks himself with aggressive play.

Danny Williams — 2 — Looked rusty, giving the ball away in the middle of the pitch and having an all-around night to forget. Two might be generous.

Jermaine Jones (Off HT) — 4 — Screamed at Brad Evans at one point and picked up a yellow card at another, but mostly was average.

DeAndre Yedlin — 5 — Needs more playing time for club and country. Still a massive prospect but looks a bit out-of-control at times.

Gyasi Zardes (Off 73′) — 4 — You need someone to give you the ball to play well with it. Zardes barely saw it. Still needs to up his game to be the instant starter Klinsmann seems to think he has in the Galaxy man. 

Jozy Altidore (Off HT) — 3 — Really bad giveaway about 12 minutes in was his first true statement of the match. What happened to the guy who seemed to be putting it together ahead of World Cup 2014?

SUBS

Ventura Alvarado (On HT) — 4 — Beaten behind for the goal. Not a hero in distribution.

Bobby Wood (On HT) — 7 — Hey, a player with energy!

Mix Diskerud (On HT) — 5 —  Possessed the ball more than the first half center mids, but that’s not saying much.

Jonathan Spector (On 64′) — 5 — Nothing special on the night, but nothing horrific.

Andrew Wooten (On 73′) — N/A — Congrats on the debut kid.

Lee Nguyen (On 73′) — N/A — Works better as the focal point for a team, but does he have the quality to be an international focal point? At New England, it’s obvious.

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