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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.

U.S. Open Cup: Goals a-plenty as Atlanta, Minnesota advance

Frank de Boer justin Meram Atlanta United
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The first two quarterfinal berths in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup were earned Tuesday with 3-2 away wins.

Columbus Crew 2-3 Atlanta United

A pair of goals from Brandon Vazquez helped Atlanta United overcome both the Columbus Crew and a 48-minute weather delay.

Miles Robinson also scored for Atlanta, while David Accam bagged a goal for the hosts.

A 71st minute Brad Guzan own goal set up a nervy final 20 minutes for the Five Stripes, but they navigated the obstacles and emerged into the quarterfinals

Atlanta will play the winner of FC Cincinnati and Saint Louis FC.

Houston Dynamo 2-3 Minnesota United

The Houston Dynamo thought they were cruising to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, and instead just waltzed right out of the tournament.

Up 2-0 at home and at halftime, the Dynamo conceded three times in the final 24 minutes to bow out of the USOC.

The victor, who deserves full marks, is Minnesota United. Darwin Quintero struck twice and Mason Toye scored in the 89th minute as the Loons advanced to play the winner of New Mexico United and FC Dallas. No Texas Derby in the cup this year.

Berhalter names first USMNT Starting XI for Gold Cup

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Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Michael Bradley all start as the United States men’s national team will look a bit more like its best for Tuesday’s Gold Cup opener against Guyana.

The 10 p.m. ET kickoff in Minnesota will see the Yanks without injured Tyler Adams, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin, and Sebastian Lletget, but Jozy Altidore has been relegated to the bench — perhaps not fully fit — behind Gyasi Zardes.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores, stats, lineups ]

The back line will see Nick Lima, Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, and Tim Ream, while Bradley, McKennie work atop them.

Paul Arriola and Tyler Boyd will be out wide, with Christian Pulisic central underneath Zardes.

The substitutes are Sean Johnson, Tyler Miller, Omar Gonzalez, Wil Trapp, Jordan Morris, Reggie Cannon, Cristian Roldan, Daniel Lovitz, Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Lewis, Matt Miazga, Djordje Mihailovic.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]

Chinese club reportedly offers $15M contract to Newcastle’s Benitez

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It would be peak Newcastle United of recent seasons to lose their coach to a squabble over the sort of players the manager wants to sign.

Rafa Benitez‘s contract expires at the end of this month, and he makes decent money at St. James’ Park, but his $6 million pales in comparison the money being offered by a Chinese Super League club.

[ MORE: Mata staying with Man Utd ]

Benitez wants to stay at Newcastle, but his concerns aren’t about his wages as much as being allowed to build a contender under stingy owner Mike Ashley. With the team possibly getting a takeover, Benitez is not guaranteed the chance to improve his roster. Not to mention Newcastle operates under club-wide restrictions.

Sky Sports says, “the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Valencia boss wants to be given the green light to sign players over the age of 26, which has been against club policy in previous years.”

Sky Sports reports that Benitez is mulling a $15 million offer from Dalian Yifang, the CSL team currently sitting in 11th place under former South Korea national team manager Kang-hee Choi.

Dalian Yifang currently employs transfer rumor mainstay Yannick Carrasco, as well as Marek Hamsik and young Ghanaian striker Emmanuel Boateng.

If Newcastle allows Benitez to leave and the takeover is not completed, it would be the most embarrassing thing for the club since Joe Kinnear couldn’t pronounce half of his players’ names. That’s saying something.

Gold Cup LIVE – USMNT meets Guyana after Panama, T&T tangle

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Gregg Berhalter’s shaky USMNT welcomes several of its star players into the fold when it kicks off its 2019 Gold Cup campaign against Guyana on Tuesday.

[ LIVE: Latest Gold Cup scores ]

The match comes 2.5 hours after one between the two sides which conspired to keep the Yanks out of the 2018 World Cup.

While the USMNT played the biggest role in that monumental failure, Trinidad and Tobago is the team that beat the Yanks in Couva on the same night that Panama scored a ghost goal to push the U.S. into fifth in the Hex.

Guyana has lost to Haiti, Bermuda, and French Guiana in the last eight months, and it would be stunning if the U.S. didn’t post a generous amount of goals on the scoreboard even after miserable efforts against Jamaica’s B team and Venezuela.

Panama and T&T, on the other hand, should be a beauty, with Los Canaleros getting a bit older in the tooth and the Soca Warriors maturing a bit as a side.

Panama and T&T kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the USMNT expected to kickoff with Guyana a little after 10 p.m.