Brad Guzan

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England rocks USMNT in Rooney send-off

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The United States men’s national team largely failed to show up at Wembley Stadium as England blasted the Yanks 3-0 on Thursday.

Callum Wilson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Jesse Lingard scored for England, who celebrated the career of Wayne Rooney before, during, and after the game.

The Yanks’ next game is Tuesday against Italy in Belgium, while England faces Croatia in the final match of the UEFA Nations League group stage.

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Brad Guzan was busy early, and defiant when his sliding intervention in the box felled Callum Wilson.

England wouldn’t be held for long, as the USMNT was truly poor in the first half hour of the match aside from a Christian Pulisic-inspired chance.

But it wasn’t just star play for Pulisic, who didn’t really look up to it until the second half.

He gave the ball away and the Three Lions attacked down the left flank. Pulisic’s lackadaisical tracking allowed Lingard an acre space to curl a delightful first goal around Guzan.

It was 2-0 within moments, this time with Jadon Sancho laying off for Alexander-Arnold to hit past Guzan, with Jorge Villafana sleepwalking on the left flank.

The U.S. was wasteful in possession, with Wil Trapp a minor bright spot in breaking up play. Julian Green forced Jordan Pickford into a rare save.

The second half was much better for the USMNT, and substitute Wayne Rooney was stymied by the hands of Brad Guzan in a bid for a goal in his final England match.

Wilson then scored on debut, side-footing a cross off the post and past a flailing Guzan. Rooney then had a stoppage time chance to beat Guzan, but the ex-Aston Villa keeper stooped to collect the ball.

FOLLOW LIVE: Sargent starts for USMNT vs. Peru

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There’s a veteran at the back and a kid up front as Dave Sarachan’s USMNT looks to post a win over Peru in Connecticut on Tuesday.

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Brad Guzan will start in net for his 59th cap and first since a 1-1 away draw against Honduras in World Cup qualifying last September.

Josh Sargent, 18, is up top for the Yanks, earning just his fifth cap in a lineup with several youngsters. Jonathan Amon, Timothy Weah, and Reggie Cannon also start.

Sargent has six goals and two assists in 10 matches for Werder Bremen II, and scored in his other start for the USMNT (May 29 vs. Bolivia).

Ben Sweat, Aaron Long, and Cameron Carter-Vickers join Cannon on the backline, while Wil Trapp captains the team in the midfield with Kellyn Acosta and Marky Delgado.

USMNT set to focus on result against Peru

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The United States fell to a 4-2 defeat to Colombia on Thursday, and the feeling after that match was overtly positive despite the final score. The team of mostly youngsters was more than competitive against a side that featured several well-known stars – James Rodriguez, Falcao, Juan Cuadrado to name a few – and only a pair of late goals proved the difference.

That will be less acceptable on Tuesday as the USMNT gets set to take on Peru at Rentschler Field in East Hartford at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Against a team with fewer recognizable stars and less international pedigree, a loss with positives will be far more difficult to swallow, especially after Thursday’s result. While Peru is certainly no CONMEBOL pushover – they’re coming off a 3-0 whipping of Chile – the opponent’s public perception goes a long way in determining the acceptability of a defeat in an international friendly.

Given the positive yet mistake-riddled performance against Colombia, a big focus will be on correcting mistakes. On Thursday, we saw some spotty man marking (see: Yedlin on Borja’s goal), poor wing play against speedy midfielders (see: Antonee Robinson vs Cuadrado), and struggles keeping up on the counter (see: Falcao goal). So against a more beatable opponent, how will the team respond? Mistakes are good if the players can learn from them.

Much of the focus last week was on Michael Bradley’s long-awaited return to the national team, and he delivered against Colombia, helping control play in the middle of the field, a vital resource against a superior opponent. So while Dave Sarachan promised “a lot of changes” to the starting lineup this time around, Bradley will almost certainly retain his place. Another pair of players we could see against Peru is Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent, who both came on late against Colombia and were positive influences on the game. Watching Bradley feed those two up front could be an excitable vision towards the future.

Brad Guzan will be in goal after Zack Steffan left the camp with an injury. He will face a Peruvian attack that looked positive last time out, but that lacks a proven goalscorer. The two true forwards in the Peru squad are Yordy Reyna and Raul Ruidiaz, who have a combined six goals in 52 appearances. The leading scorers in the squad are midfielders Christian Cueva and Edison Flores, and they will prove the biggest threat for Guzan at the back should they find the starting lineup.

Ultimately, while performances have been more important than results of late, a failure to earn three points will be a disappointment because in a match like this against a quality opponent, it will take a positive performance to earn the win.

Steffen leaves USMNT camp; Horvath, Guzan remain

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USMNT backstop Zack Steffen has been sent back to Columbus for precautionary reasons ahead of the Crew’s MLS run-in.

U.S. Soccer announced that tightness in the goalkeeper’s right hamstring would keep him away from the team for Tuesday’s match against Peru in Connecticut.Steffen, 23, allowed four goals in Thursday’s loss to Colombia, but at least three of them won’t give him much pause (James Rodriguez was on fire).

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That leaves Brad Guzan and Ethan Horvath as the keepers for Tuesday, and Dave Sarachan will be tasked with choosing between the veteran and a one-time presumed GK of the future.

Guzan, 34, has eight clean sheets in 31 matches for Atlanta United this season. He’s earned 58 caps for the USMNT and won the Golden Glove at the 2015 Gold Cup (so much gold!).

Horvath, 23, has two caps but has found his playing time scarce since transferring from Molde to Club Brugge in 2017. He has 24 appearances with five clean sheets, but is second choice to an even younger backstop in former Hajduk Split man Karlo Letica.

NYRB 2-0 Atlanta: Supporters’ Shield race not over yet

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The New York Red Bulls did the impossible. They held Atlanta United scoreless for a full 90 minutes.

The hosts kept their Supporters’ Shield hopes alive by beating visiting Atlanta United 2-0, ahead for good on a first-half penalty by Daniel Royer. The penalty was given after Chris McCann clearly handled the ball on a set-piece as Aaron Long looked to nod in a corner with his head. Royer sent Brad Guzan the wrong way from the spot to give New York the advantage.

They would kill the game off with 16 minutes to go as Alex Muyl timed his run perfectly and slid to chip the ball over a charging Guzan, leaving Tim Parker to tap in on the doorstep.

Atlanta struggled mightily against New York’s defense, holding 55% possession but only managing one lone shot on target out of seven attempts on goal. Meanwhile, Guzan had plenty of work to do, needing a big save to keep Kaku out late with Atlanta already down 2-0.

The result marked the first time since a May 9th loss to Sporting KC that Atlanta United was held without a goal in Major League Soccer play. It also means New York completes the double over Atlanta this season, although head-to-head record is not a tiebreaker used by MLS in the standings. The result does, however, push New York within two of Atlanta on goal differential, with Atlanta at +27 and New York at +25.

The win pulls New York within one of Atlanta, and each team has three games remaining. Atlanta has home games against New England and Chicago before a visit to Toronto to end the season. New York, meanwhile, has road trips to San Jose and Philadelphia before finishing at home against Orlando City.