Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Golazo 100 men’s countdown heads to the top 20; USMNT boss crush’s his team’s effort in Colombia blowout loss

Hello there! The Golazo 100 returns with another round of names as we count down to the men’s game’s best player, while the U.S. men’s national team has plenty of soul-searching to do after a massive loss to Colombia on Saturday. I’m Pardeep Cattry with the latest as the big summer tournaments inch closer.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, June 10
🌍 Friendly: Netherlands vs. Iceland, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ FS2
🏆 TST: Men’s tournament championship, 8:30 p.m. ➡️ ESPN+

Tuesday, June 11
🌍 Friendly: Portugal vs. Ireland, 2:45 p.m. ➡️ FS2

⚽ The Forward Line

💯 Golazo 100 returns with 20 more names

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Getty Images

There’s no better way to kick off a week than with another batch of players that cracked the Golazo 100, and so today we’re back with the list of the players ranked 40 through 21. The latest group includes some very accomplished names, including UEFA Champions League victors and two Ballon d’Or winners.

Coming in at No. 40 is Luka Modric, who is coming off a double-winning season with Real Madrid. The Ballon d’Or winner’s excellence in midfield is still as visible as ever even at the age of 38, emerging as an essentially timeless player. Here’s Jonathan Johnson on Modric’s qualities as he maintains his spot amongst the game’s elite players.

  • Johnson: “An unexpected turnaround means that we have not seen the last of the Croatia international with Real Madrid as he promised to see Los Blancos’ fans ‘next season’ after their record-extending UEFA Champions League final win. Luka Modric is a class act despite his advancing years and the technical loss but also the experience which goes with Toni Kroos will be cushioned somewhat by one more year of the 38-year-old. With just two goals and six assists across all competitions, Modric is used sparingly by Carlo Ancelotti in La Liga but also the UCL and his ability to change games can still come in handy — even if it is not at the level of his 2018 Ballon d’Or win. World soccer should be grateful that we get one final season of the former Tottenham Hotspur man’s wizardry before he potentially hangs up his boots in the same way that Kroos is doing this summer. When he does finally do that, the Spanish giants’ midfield will be in good hands.”

Four other Real Madrid players — including soon-to-be-retired great Toni Kroos — also feature in this section of the Golazo 100, a signal that the club is succeeding in their mission to collect as many of the game’s best players as they can. This portion of the list also includes Cristiano Ronaldo, who comes in at 36 about a year and a half after he left Europe for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr.

There’s a lot of love for veteran talents amongst this group, but the Golazo 100 as a whole has also been a celebration of the rising stars of the game. One of the breakout stars of the last season was Chelsea’s Cole Palmer, who will compete for England at the Euros after posting 25 goals and 15 assists in his first season with the Blues. Here’s James Benge on the 22-year-old, who comes in at No. 30.

  • Benge: “If you were crafting a blueprint for how to spoil a young talent it might go like this: take them out of a stable environment where their minutes will be carefully allotted, ideally on transfer deadline day so he has no time to settle. Then you thrust him into a club riven by mismanagement, a squad that has barely had time to learn each other’s names. The coup de grace would then be to task this 22 year old with a huge role in offense, one far beyond any normal youngster with only a few hours of Premier League football to their name. Cole Palmer should have flopped like a fair few other big name Chelsea additions have. Instead he bore the weight of Stamford Bridge expectations like a loose fitting linen shirt. No wonder he was always so cold. With 15 assists and 27 goals (albeit a fair few penalties), Palmer was perhaps more valuable to his team than anyone else in the English top flight. Before his debut season was out, his team mates were being challenged to prove they are ‘Chelsea FC, not Cole Palmer FC.’ There might still be work to do on that front.”

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🇺🇸 USMNT falter against Colombia

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USATSI

The U.S. men’s national team’s preparations for the Copa America took a massive hit on Saturday, when a sloppy performance led them to lose 5-1 to Colombia in their penultimate match before the competition begins.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter went with a first-choice lineup, though Joe Scally filled in for Sergino Dest after he tore his ACL in April and Johnny Cardoso played in midfield while Tyler Adams manages his fitness. The fact that the Americans’ best players were on the pitch, though, did not matter as the USMNT went down 2-0 before the 20th minute and conceded three more in the final 15 minutes of the game. Timothy Weah’s 58th minute goal was the hosts’ lone silver lining but the shocking performance forced the usually mild-mannered Berhalter to make his harshest post-game comments since taking the job in 2019.

  • Berhalter: “Really disappointed with the result. We’re not framing it as a lesson learned. We’re actually referring to it as a wake-up call. Really poor performance against a top team. I know if you give a team like that the opportunities that we gave them, you’re going to have no chance to win and that’s what is really disappointing about the game. I think the first half, if you look at the two goals they had, maybe two and a half chances in the first half and scored two goals and then from the 75th minute on it was, I think, a lack of respect for our opponent and the game of soccer, what we were doing.”

The USMNT aim to use the Copa America, as well as the pre-tournament friendlies against Colombia and Brazil, as a measuring stick for their progress ahead of the 2026 World Cup on home soil, where they hope to impress. This summer’s tournament is meant to be a step up in competition for the U.S., who mostly brushed off the regional competition by winning the Concacaf Nations League in March, and so this loss raises plenty of questions about the USMNT’s ceiling.

Chuck Booth was at FedEx Field for the lopsided loss over the weekend, and argued that the game brought back memories of the USMNT’s 3-1 loss to the Netherlands in the round of 16 at the World Cup. Then-Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal outcoached Berhalter that day and the result against Colombia on Saturday might showcase that the U.S. have made limited progress in the last year and a half.

  • Booth: “Some difficulties were expected with the absence of Sergino Dest, but in fact, right back wasn’t one of the top five issues in falling to Colombia. Under Berhalter, the USMNT is 35-5-8 against Concacaf opponents but only 8-7-7 against the rest of the world. While opportunities for friendlies against top nations can be hard to come by, so far, the USMNT haven’t proven to be ready for those opportunities as they still seek a signature win and continue to make silly mistakes, as they did against the Dutch a year and a half ago. … The accountability factor that both [Christian] Pulisic and Weah show are going to be things that help the USMNT move past this result but belief can’t be the only thing that this team runs on. It will only get them so far, and when they come up against tactically, well-drilled teams, it won’t be enough alone to prove to be the difference. Tactics and skill are needed to topple top 20 teams in the world.”

The USMNT have a chance to rebound on Wednesday, when they take on Brazil at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium before their Copa America campaign on Sunday against Bolivia.

🔗  Top Stories

💯 USMNT in Golazo 100: Christian Pulisic may be the only American in the Golazo 100, but here’s a look at the top 25 players in the pool that might have a chance of cracking the list in the future.

🇺🇸 USMNT player ratings: Here’s a round of player ratings after the USMNT’s disappointing loss to Colombia, in which Folarin Balogan was the only starter who scored above 5.

⚽⚾ Red Stars at Wrigley: More than 35,000 people filled Wrigley Field as the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars hosted Bay FC, setting the league’s attendance record in the process.

🎯 Gotham on the rise: As midseason approaches, the latest NWSL Power Rankings are unchanged at the top, but show Gotham rising up the table as they start to recover from their rash of injuries.

😢 Real Madrid to attend Club World Cup: The Spanish giants confirmed that they would attend the CWC hours after boss Carlo Ancelotti said that they would turn down the invite.

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Friendly: Portugal vs. Ireland, Tuesday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Bruno Fernandes to score (+170) — Portugal are the heavy favorites in their final friendly before the Euros, so a lopsided victory is very much possible before they leave for Germany. There are several contenders to actually score on Tuesday, including Bruno Fernandes, who ranks 23rd in the Golazo 100. The central midfielder is multi-talented but one of his trademarks is his goalscoring ability and after scoring three goals this season and six goals through qualifying, it might be a smart bet to pick him to score again this week.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Charlie Davies and friends cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

🎽Shop Now: Elevate your game-day style, shop curated collections inspired by Golazo Network. Paramount will receive a portion of sales.          

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