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Player ratings from USMNT 1-1 Peru

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The United States came within a handful of minutes of giving their fans a win over a World Cup participant, but instead had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Peru in the final home match of 2018.

[ MORE: Match recap | 3 things ]

Here’s how the individuals fared:

Starting XI

Brad Guzan — 6 — You’d like him to do better on the goal, but he made a big stop on a crazy free kick in stoppage time to save the draw.

Ben Sweat — 5 — Struggled in the first half but put in a solid second 45.

Aaron Long — 7 — A decent performance from an unfamiliar center back pairing, and Long was the better of the two.

Cameron Carter-Vickers — 6.5 — Needs to get more playing time at club level to work out his propensity for making spectacular plays… but also occasionally looking like he’s unsure of his responsibilities. Both happened Tuesday.

Reggie Cannon  (Off 83′) — 6 — Not a bad debut at all, as the FC Dallas man was involved from minute No. 1. He almost drew a penalty in the first 10 minutes, and had a few gutsy tackles.

Wil Trapp — 6 — Some good interventions, but not a major factor moving forward. Is the 25-year-old capable of raising his game to the international level.

Jonathan Amon  (Off 55′) — 6 — The 19-year-old Nordsjælland winger fought his touch early but showed good vision and an ability to try the daring pass.

Kellyn Acosta (Off 78′) — 7 — Dangerous for sure, but his touch betrayed him on a number of solid moves. Executed the short free kick to Sargent to perfection.

Marky Delgado — 6 — Composed and technical, if unspectacular on the night.

Timothy Weah (Off 90+2′) — 8 — Just looks to have that extra special something, to go with a competitor’s mentality. The future is very bright when the USMNT can put him on one wing and Christian Pulisic on the other.

Josh Sargent — 8 — Like Amon, he looked a little rattled early but also showed a number of clever flicks and tricks in his arsenal. A goal is a goal, but his lay off for Weah moments earlier was the stuff of promise (even if you maybe like him to tear into a shot there).

Subs

Julian Green (On 55′) — 5 — For all of his offensive gifts, he does not in the slightest get stuck in as a midfielder. Timid.

Bobby Wood (On 69′) — 6 — Followed up his goal against Colombia with an industrious 20 or so minutes.

Michael Bradley (On 78′) — 6 — Moves into third all-time in USMNT caps.

DeAndre Yedlin (On 84′) — 4 — Maybe he wasn’t prepared to come off the bench, but quite simply the reason Flores was able to equalize. He won’t want Rafa Benitez to see the tape.

Antonee Robinson (On 90+2′) — N/A

Late concession denies USMNT win vs. Peru

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The United States men’s national team lost focus late in a 1-1 draw with Peru in Connecticut on Tuesday.

Josh Sargent scored his second USMNT goal, but Edison Flores took advantage of sleepy defending at the back post to snare an equalizer.

The U.S. finishes its 2018 with matches against England and Italy in November.

[ MORE: Player ratings |  3 things ]

Timothy Weah continued to produce in the national team’s shirt, playing Kellyn Acosta into the box. The Colorado Rapids man was quickly challenged and pushed his shot wide of the near post.

Picking up a flick from Josh Sargent, Jonathan Amon had a chance to cue up a streaking Weah in the Peruvian box. His outside of the boot pass was too ambitious and the PSG man could not reach it.

Peru, though, enjoyed the first half more than their hosts, though very chances ended up meeting Brad Guzan.

There weren’t any changes at the break, and Amon swept a pass over the top of the Peru defense to allow Sargent a path into the box. Sargent squared for Weah, whose shot missed wide of the near post.

Sargent made good on his promise in the 49th minute, a short free kick from Kellyn Acosta that took a deflection off Renato Tapia.

Amon came off in the 55th minute for Julian Green.

Peru brought the match to life with an Andy Polo bullet off the cross bar.

The Yanks then broke back the other way, with Reggie Cannon starting a rush that Julian Green marshaled into a chance. The end product was a blocked Ben Sweat shot.

Dave Sarachan put in a number of veterans late, and one of them was at fault for Peru’s equalizer.

DeAndre Yedlin failed to react to a cross that bounced twice on its way through the six, and Flores was at the back post to punch it into the goal.

And Brad Guzan might’ve not liked his decisions on the goal, but the Atlanta United backstop saved the Yanks’ bacon with a punch save on a late free kick.

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.

With changes expected, how will USMNT line up v Peru?

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The U.S. men’s national team host Peru in their latest friendly game under interim head coach Dave Sarachan on Tuesday, with plenty of changes expected from the team which lost 4-2 to Colombia in Tampa on Friday. 

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Speaking at his pre-game press conference on Monday in East Hartford, Connecticut, Sarachan said “there will be a lot of changes” and confirmed that Brad Guzan will start in goal for the USMNT after his 12-month spell away from the national team setup.

Sarachan also spoke about where the USMNT must improve most against Peru, and perhaps with one eye on their friendlies against England and Italy next month.

“Over the last year, I believe there has been a real process of bringing together a number of players we feel will be part of the program for years to come…we’ve pushed this program forward in identifying guys that will make it or some that won’t make it,” Sarachan said. “I wouldn’t say the US is afraid of Peru. The group I’ve worked with over the last year has no fear — they embrace the challenge. I’d like us to do better with the ball. The other night, it was a combination of impatience and making plays that weren’t quite there. To use a tennis phrase, a lot of unforced errors. That part has to get better.”

[ MORE: Latest USMNT news

Below is a look at how Sarachan could line up his team from the start against their South American opponents.


JPW’s starting lineup for USMNT vs. Peru – Option 1, Newbies galore (4-1-3-2)

—– Guzan —–

— Cannon — Carter-Vickers — Long — Sweat —

—- Trapp —- 

— Picault — Delgado — Amon — 

—– Sargent —– Novakovich —–


JPW’s starting lineup for USMNT vs. Peru – Option 2, Best of both (3-4-3)

—– Guzan —–

—- Carter-Vickers — Miazga — Long — 

—- Yedlin —- Trapp —- Bradley —- Robinson —-

—- Weah —- Wood —- Amon —-


Evaluation

Well, Sarachan isn’t exactly keeping his cards close to his chest here, is he? The USMNT interim head coach said there will be “a lot of changes” for this game against Peru and it seems likely that anybody who didn’t start against Colombia (a stronger opponent, on paper, than Peru) would get a start in Connecticut. Cameron Carter-Vickers is due a full 90 minutes but if Sarachan does go with Option 1, the USMNT will be extremely inexperienced in defense with Aaron Long and Reggie Cannon yet to make their debuts. When has that stopped him throwing players into the mix in 2018 though, right? In midfield, Trapp didn’t feature against Colombia so we can expect him to play, while Picault, Amon and Delgado would be good bets to play in attacking midfield positions as they can interchange easily. Giving Josh Sargent and Andrija Novakovich a run-out up top would also be beneficial despite Tim Weah and Bobby Wood building a strong connection in recent games. Option 2 would be my selection, as I’d like to see the flexibility of this USMNT in a slightly more attack-minded 3-4-3 which allows the three center backs to possess the ball (something Sarachan wants to see more of) and have more options in front of them to pass to. Mixing in regulars Michael Bradley, DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Wood would also give the U.S. a strong spine but still have plenty of youthfulness in the side.

FIFA threatens to suspend Peru if law is changed

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LIMA, Peru (AP) FIFA has threatened to suspend the Peruvian soccer federation if the country’s congress changes a law affecting the local body’s statutes.

The Peruvian federation said on Twitter on Thursday that a letter sent by FIFA’s secretary-general Fatma Samoura threatens to suspend Peru if there is any change in the law.

FIFA requires local federations to be independent from state intervention, but Peruvian lawmakers believe that a law strengthening their local soccer federation is unconstitutional.

The law in question does not allow the Peruvian state to oversee the finances of the federation. It also allows its chairman Edwin Oviedo to call a new election in 2019.

Oviedo runs the Peruvian federation since 2014. Under his management, Peru qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.