Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Berhalter after loss to Mexico: “We’re making progress” but media won’t say it


United States men’s national team Gregg Berhalter is trying to put a positive spin on his side’s throttling at the hands of a rival, at home, on Friday.

Mexico pumped the USMNT by a 3-0 score line on Saturday, seizing control of the match after 20 minutes and never letting go. The bright spots were very few, and the Yanks couldn’t even take advantage of its subs producing a penalty kick when Josh Sargent saw his effort saved by Jonathan Orozco.

[ MORE: 3 things | USMNT player ratings ]

Berhalter was touchy from the word go at his post-match presser, turning a question about how his side could not handle Mexico’s high pressing into a ‘fake news’ situation.

It went from there to a nearly indefensible comparison of the performances against Mexico in the Gold Cup Final, and two months later in Friday’s friendly.

Look, Berhalter is not going to say, “Yeah the guy they didn’t interview for this job worked me over two months ago, and tonight it went even worse.”

And no one’s expecting the coach to admit that his fledgling program was taken to school by its rivals and outclassed in every area of the game, but perhaps there’s a better thing to say than the following.

We’ll tell you who’s not happier: the supporters and neutrals who knew after 20 minutes that your team was not turning it around. At least in the Gold Cup Final, the Yanks were in shouting distance. They played the game.

And let’s revisit that game: Memo Ochoa robbed Christian Pulisic early. Jozy Altidore missed a sharp chance to give the Yanks a lead. They were very much in that game, and did not have John Brooks or Tyler Adams (who were also missing on Saturday).

Now there’s the other shout coming out of the hot takery when a team plays bad, and that’s going bunker mentality. Berhalter’s apparently up for that, too.

You have been making progress, Gregg, but tonight is not the time to make that claim.

It’s actually been a bit of a roller coaster, but until Friday was on an upward trend.

Berhalter’s men were decent against lesser program’s B teams as he started his tenure. They were then upset by Jamaica and humiliated by Venezuela in what seemed to set a very poor tone for the Gold Cup, only to perform very well and come within the aforementioned chances of claiming an improbably Gold Cup against a clearly superior El Tri.

The fact of the matter is that performances like Friday’s loss, or the similar one against Venezuela, have to carry some sense of responsibility. Either you’re choosing the wrong guys, or you choosing the wrong tactics. Stats say it’s the former, especially given Berhalter’s record of out-performing his talent with Columbus, but you can’t overlook how poor his side was playing out of the back in New Jersey.

Or at least blame the injuries. We would’ve more readily accepted that answer, coach, with John Brooks, Tyler Adams, Tim Weah, and Matt Miazga all unavailable and at least three of them easy starters.

This was their next time out, and they puked. The head coach isn’t going to admit that in public, obviously, but that’s where we are right now. Hopefully we’re not there come Tuesday night at this time.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup
Leave a comment

Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

Getty Images
Leave a comment

TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

EURO qualifying wrap: France, Iceland, Turkey earn wins

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.

[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]

Albania 0-2 France

Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.

Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.

Andorra 0-2 Turkey

Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.

Moldova 1-2 Iceland

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

With 19 points throughout 10 games, Rúnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.


Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic