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Player ratings: Few positives in USMNT’s Copa America loss to Colombia

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Remember that U.S. national team optimism we all felt four or five hours ago? Well, it’s all out the window after the USMNT’s 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the 2016 Copa America Centenario opener Friday night.

[ FULL RECAP: USA 0-2 Colombia ]

More so than anything, for the manner in which they accepted their fate and failed to put up a fight. Below are player ratings for the USMNT, none of which are favorable…

Goalkeeper/defenders

GK – Brad Guzan: 5.5 — Very little the Aston Villa ‘keeper could have done on either one of Colombia’s goals. Made five saves on the night.

LB – Fabian Johnson: 6 — Outside of less than a handful of moments, Juan Cuadrado had a totally forgettable night. Prior to kickoff, it was Johnson, who played all of two games at left back for Borussia Monchengladbach this season, the biggest liability and likeliest to be skinned again and again. Width in the attack was lacking, though, and that was (fairly or unfairly) another big ask of Johnson.

CB – John Brooks: 7 — Carlos Bacca, who prior to kickoff many foresaw giving Brooks trouble for 90 minutes, was mostly kept quiet (three shots, one on target). Long balls were easily dispatched; the gaps between Brooks and Geoff Cameron was minimal; he was commanding in a way we’ve rarely (never?) seen from the 23-year-old (yup).

CB – Geoff Cameron: 5 — Totally lost Cristian Zapata, his man, on the game’s opening goal. Despite claiming he was picked, Cameron took the longest route had his head turned the wrong direction at the wrong time as the corner kick came in.

RB – DeAndre Yedlin: 6 — Responsible for the penalty kick that made it 2-0, but made a heroic sliding block on Carlos Bacca halfway through the second half that would have surely made it 3-0, if not for his intervention.

[ MORE: Three things JPW learned from USA 0-2 Colombia ]

Midfielders

MF – Michael Bradley: 4 — One of the worst performances Bradley has ever put forth for the Stars and Stripes. His giveaway led directly to the penalty (second goal), and it was far from the only one on the night. Short memory certainly required after this one.

MF – Jermaine Jones: 5 — If there’s one instance in which Jones is particularly terrible: when the opposition presses fast and furious in the middle third of the field. Colombia did just that, and Jones’ inability to make quick decision and precise passes were a huge hindrance.

MF – Alejandro Bedoya: 5 — Easily the best American player in the USMNT’s final pre-Copa friendlies, Bedoya struggled in much the same way Jones did. He also relied on Bradley to play him the ball quickly in transition and, well, as discussed above, that just didn’t happen.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | Copa America 2016 ]

Forwards

FW – Bobby Wood: 5 — Herculez Gomez, working as a studio analyst for this game, said it best. Can’t blame that on Wood, per se, but he’s the one who flounders on the field.

FW – Clint Dempsey: 6.5 — He’s not a no. 9, and he’s certainly not a no. 10 — he’s the underneath forward in a 4-4-2, if you’re wondering — asking Dempsey to lead the line is a sin at the feet of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. With that said, Dempsey managed to be the most dangerous attacker over the 90 minutes.

FW – Gyasi Zardes: 6 — That designation actually belonged to Zardes through 30 — maybe even 45 — minutes, but he faded badly in the second half.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

Substitutes

MF – Darlington Nagbe: 5.5 — At his best, Nagbe gets on the ball two, three or four times every possession, and runs at defenders, creating space for the following pass and the pass after that and so on. With Colombia pressing the way they did, good luck.

FW – Christian Pulisic: 5.5 — By the time Pulisic and Nagbe entered the game (66th minute), Colombia had dropped the line of confrontation by about 10 or 15 yards and, while still pressing the with the forwards and wingers, offered precisely zero space either through the center or out wide.

MF – Graham Zusi: N/A — Too little time to make an impact (86th-minute sub), and he didn’t

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Liverpool

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After weeks of having a game in hand on Premier League title chasers Manchester City and Leicester City, the full extent of Liverpool’s lead will be revealed when the Reds visit West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Once the full-time whistle blows at the London Stadium, all 20 PL sides will have played 24 games. Ahead of kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side leads second-place Man City by a whopping 16 points.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

West Ham, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table and are only clear of the relegation zone by way of goal differential. That’s something that could very easily change between now and 5 p.m. ET.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Man United

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It’s time for leg two of the Manchester derby in the semifinals of the EFL Cup (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Man City v. Man United ]

Manchester City lead 3-1 following their first-leg dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In theory, it’s a mere formality to reach the final at Wembley, where they would take on Aston Villa following their late dramatics on Tuesday.

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with all of the reaction and analysis.

LINEUPS

Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110m? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.

Man United confirm agreement for Bruno Fernandes

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


Bruno Fernandes is on the brink of becoming a Manchester United player after the club announced on Wednesday that an agreement has been reached with Portuguese side Sporting CP.

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

From the club’s website, which is currently unreachable at the time of posting:

“Manchester United are delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.

“The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

The dollar figure most commonly reported is $61 million (potentially reaching $88 million after add-ons). Fernandes, 25, is reportedly in the process of visiting the Sporting offices to terminate his current contract and record a goodbye video for fans before boarding a flight to Manchester.

Fernandes came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but an agreement could never be reached between the involved parties and they ended up signing Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis instead.