AP Photo/Moises Castillo

USMNT player ratings from a shameful, history-making loss in Guatemala

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No, it’s not just a bunch of zeroes…

The United States men’s national team sacrificed a 21-year winning streak against Guatemala and again put its 2018 World Cup hopes in jeopardy with a clunker in Guatemala City, losing 2-0 on Friday.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

How bad was it? Let us count the ways the Yanks’ first loss to Guatemala in 21 years let us down:

  1. Poor defending
  2. Poor passing
  3. Poor possession
  4. Poor shooting
  5. Extremely poor tactics

But, hey, Tim Howard was back. Onto the ratings:

Starting XI

Tim Howard — 4 — Wasn’t much he was going to do on either Guatemala goal, but those were also the only times he was really challenged. Would’ve loved to see Superman steal a point, but even one fantastic save wouldn’t have been enough for this impotent attack.

Edgar Castillo — 5 — Some good tackling, but not a lot going forward. Something to build on.

Omar Gonzalez (Off 66′) — 4 — Poor. Just not as poor as his CB mate.

Michael Orozco (Off 59′) — 2 — After totally losing Ruiz on the second Guatemala goal, Gonzalez glanced over at Orozco while chasing the striker as if to say, “Center back… you’ve played it recently?” Awful night. He’s not even playing for his club team, but Jurgen Klinsmann apparently thinks Matt Hedges is the singer of an indie band.

Geoff Cameron — 6 — Penny for his thoughts as he found himself at right back with a CAM in his preferred CDM role and two monumental disappointments at CB. Whoops. Funny how it all tightened up once he moved central.

Mix Diskerud (Off at HT) — 3 — If this were little league, Mix would get credit for working super hard (and probably a popsicle). This, however, is a World Cup qualifier. Out-of-position or not, Diskerud was poor.

[ OLYMPIC PLAYOFF: U.S.-Colombia recap | 3 things ]

Michael Bradley — 4 — Really struggled with his distribution, and his touch was off all night. Not a good night for the States’ best player.

Alejandro Bedoya — 6 — One of the lone bright spots for the first 70 minutes, he has to wonder where the form of, well, every one of his teammates went.

DeAndre Yedlin — 4 — Playing in an advanced position, Yedlin was essentially invisible. Slotted back at RB later in the contest, he was a bit more comfortable.

Bobby Wood — 5 — The only service he received was long balls. Hard to fault the Hawaii islander.

Clint Dempsey — 4 — Created a couple strong scoring chances, but you knew this wasn’t a vintage Clint night when he hit a beautiful chance to pull the Yanks within one right at Motta. Looked disinterested at times, but managed to inject some life into his match in the final 20 minutes

Substitutes

Darlington Nagbe (On at HT) — 5 — Started a very good bit of play that should’ve led to a Dempsey goal but failed to gain momentum and disappeared as the match dragged to its conclusion.

Gyasi Zardes (On 59′) — 5 — Lively enough. Given the garbage casserole around him, he made his case to start on Tuesday.

Jozy Altidore (On 67′) — 5 — Wish he was 90 minutes strong, but also wish he would’ve beaten Motta for that late goal. Great save, but still.

Gold Cup: Mexico secures place in knockout round with win over Canada; Martinique over Cuba

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The Mexico National Team at the 2019 Gold Cup has been very focused on introducing inexperienced players into the squad, and yet, it was a veteran on Wednesday that reminded everyone how much he still has left in the tank.

Mexico captain Andres Guardado, who came off the bench for the injured Erick Gutierrez in the first half, scored a brace as Mexico held off a surging Canada late in the match. Guardado’s first goal was an absolute golazo from 30-yards out, while his second showcased his poise and calm in the box.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Mexico – as is custom for El Tri – controlled possession and looked very confident on the ball, zipping it around midfield and at times, playing on a faster speed than Canada, it seemed. However, with Canada sitting in a low defensive block, it took until the 40th minute for Mexico to get on the board through Roberto Alvarado finishing into an empty net after a big save from Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.

Canada pushed higher up the field in the second half and seemed to be turning the tide before Guardado picked up a loose ball – and there may have been a foul on Canada – and el Principito unleashed a rocket that Borjan had no chance to keep out.

Canada made six changes in the starting lineup from its first game and it was the introductions of Scott Arfield, Jonathan Osorio and Jonathan David in the second half that began to get Canada back into the game. A mistake by centerback Nestor Araujo in the 75th minute, trying to be fancy with a Cruyff turn allowed David to advance down the Mexico goal on a breakaway. After a cutback, David played Luca Cavallini in the box and Cavallini scored to cut it to 2-1.

However, Guardado, and LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antuna, put the game away for good two minutes later. Antuna got around his defender and centered to Guardado. The wily midfielder took three Canada defenders out of the play with a quick touch to his right, before scoring a deflected goal off the post and in.

Earlier in the evening, Martinique recorded a dominant 3-0 victory over ten-man Cuba. Star striker Kevin Parsemain didn’t score, though he did play a role in Martinique’s third goal with an outstanding back-heel pass.

Copa America: Watch Newcastle’s Almiron sets up Paraguay opener with 60-yard sprint (video)

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For the second time in as many games, Argentina has allowed it’s opponent to score the first goal. This time, it has Miguel Almiron to thank.

Starting with a dummy that lead to a more than 60-yard sprint to the end-line, Almiron showcased his top-line speed, strength, and dribbling ability as he lead Paraguay down the field in transition, eventually crossing into the middle. It was there that Olimpia’s Richard Sanchez met the cross and sliced it home to put Paraguay up 1-0 in the first half.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Atlanta United fans saw plenty of that blazing speed during Almiron’s two years in the U.S. If Newcastle fans get to witness this in person more this coming season, Almiron will be a fan-favorite.

 

 

Transfer Roundup: Neymar to cost $337 million? Could Jorginho follow Sarri to Juve?

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Will he stay or will he go?

That’s the main question surrounding Neymar this summer. If reports out of France – and there are many – are to be believed, Neymar will have to stay.

[READ: Landon Donovan to lead USL franchise]

Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that if Neymar was to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer, it would cost an insane $337 million (€300 million) in transfer fees. With that price, and UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, it pretty much rules out any club from Europe from signing the Brazilian star. Neymar has recently been linked with a move back to Barcelona, with $112 million and other players reportedly included in a deal from Barcelona to PSG.

There’s so many moving pieces involved in any case. Antoine Griezmann is expected to leave Atletico Madrid, with Barcelona the rumored destination. But if Neymar goes to Barcelona, could Griezmann head to PSG? Meanwhile PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi pretty much called out Neymar for some of his off the field – and on the pitch – antics, likely hurting their relationship.

So while it seems like Neymar – and PSG – may want the relationship to end, PSG won’t miss out on getting its money back.

Here’s more transfer stories from around Europe:


Jorginho to Juventus? 

Jorginho is to Maurizio Sarri like red wine is to a medium-rare steak. They just go great together.

With Sarri moving to Juventus, that raises the question that Jorginho, who moved with Sarri to Chelsea, could move back to Italy this summer. There’s plenty of reasons why it could make sense. Despite playing 56 times for the Blues, including helping lead them to the UEFA Europa League title, he took plenty of criticism from the media and fans for his lack of defensive ability. Fans were also upset with Sarri’s insistence of playing Jorginho at the 6, and not at the 6 or as part of a double pivot with N’Golo Kante. In Premier League games that Chelsea was undone, it was because Jorginho was overrun in midfield.

Jorginho meanwhile could go back to Italy, where he has citizenship, plays for the national team and enjoyed so much success with Napoli.

According to reports out of Italy, Jorginho’s agent said that the player is happy in London, but they would wait and see what happens next from Juventus.

“Chelsea have a four-year contract with the man,” Joao Santos said, via Football Italia. “We’ll wait a few days to figure out whether there is any truth in this interest mentioned in the papers. His past at Napoli won’t be an issue, because Jorginho is a professional. Right now, Jorginho is happy at Chelsea. He found a great atmosphere and we can’t really say that he’d like to go elsewhere, but anything can happen on the transfer market. We’ll wait and see…”

Follow Live: Mexico faces Canada in Gold Cup doubleheader nightcap

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From Mile High USA, Denver, Colo., the 2019 Gold Cup continues with a highly-anticipated matchup between Mexico and Canada.

El Tri is coming off a 6-0 rout of Cuba in the opener at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena last week, while Canada thrashed Martinique, 4-0 in its opener. All of which leads to Wednesday, when an up-start Canada faces a young and firing Mexico in the 10 p.m. ET nightcap.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores ]

The LA Galaxy’s Uriel Antuna, a late addition to the squad, scored a hat-trick against Cuba and is one of the many young players getting their first chance to impress new Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. Meanwhile, Canada is having a recent resurgence, with young stars Jonathan David, Alphonso Davies and Mark-Anthony Kaye all making an early impact.

Meanwhile, Cuba and Martinique now battle it out in the first match of the night from Denver at 8 p.m., with both sides hoping for three points and a chance to emerge from the group in third place. Cuba has already lost one player to asylum in the U.S., but it’s unclear what kind of impact that will have on the team.

Follow along with us on the link above and in the comments below.