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Ramos Names U-20 MNT Roster for NTC Invitational

CHICAGO (July 10, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament that will take place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, from July 14-18.

The U-20 MNT will gather for training camp in Carson beginning July 10 before playing its first games of the NTC Invitational against Chile on July 14 and Bermuda on July 16 with both matches scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. PT. The U.S. concludes tournament play against Australia on July 18, a match that will be broadcast on ussoccer.com at 7 p.m. PT. The day’s other match between Bermuda and Chile will also be broadcast on ussoccer.com beginning at 4 p.m. PT.

The U.S. roster for the tournament is made up of a solid group of players with extensive experience in the U.S. Youth National Team Program as 11 players have reached a minimum of 10 YNT call-ups already in their young international careers. Six of those 11, including Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas Academy), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana) and Zack Steffen (Maryland) all have over 20 career YNT events under their belts, with Requejo Jr. leading the way with 33 to his name.

Dating back to last November’s international training camp in Verona, Italy, when this current iteration of the U-20 MNT was assembled, seven players have been included in a roster-high four U-20 MNT events: goalkeeper Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), defenders Donovan, Moore and Requejo Jr., midfielder Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) and forwards Pfeffer and Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC). Steffen, who was part of Ramos’ squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, is also be making his fourth appearance on a U.S. U-20 roster.

The roster blends a good mix of foreign- and domestic-based talents with eight players plying their trade outside the U.S., including Club Tijuana trio Fernando Arce – receiving his first call-up to a U.S. YNT event – Paul Arriola and Requejo Jr., who represent the most players named to the squad from one club.

Arriola, Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Moore, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., and Steffen are among 12 players on the roster who helped the team to a second-place finish in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 2014 Dallas Cup earlier this year in its last international competition.

After the conclusion of the NTC Invitational, Ramos and his staff will look to assemble the team again in early September for an international training camp.

U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]                 Location                                        Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v CHI      4 p.m.             Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                        none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com
                                    USA v AUS     7 p.m.               StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG  Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)

Seattle Sounders FC Thrives in OT, Advances Past Portland in U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals

CHICAGO (July 9, 2014) – In a match filled with heavy dramatics and swings, Seattle Sounders FC forward Kenny Cooper scored a game-winning goal in the 111th minute to lead Seattle past the Portland Timbers 3-1 in overtime of the quarterfinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

Cooper’s go-ahead goal against his former Timbers team started with a left-footed cross from Gonzalo Pineda. Cooper, with his back to the goal, got in front of Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and Cooper redirected his header into the left side of the frame for a 2-1 lead.

Seattle’s Marco Pappa, predominantly left-footed, sealed Portland’s fate with an insurance right-footed goal in the 116th minute from about 21 yards out for the 3-1 final score line.

The Sounders’ two final tallies also came after Diego Chara was shown a red card for a two-footed tackle against Pappa in the first 15-minute overtime.

With the victory, the Sounders will stay at home for the semifinal stage when they host the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday, Aug. 13, at the Starfire Sports Complex.

The quarterfinal game was part of ussoccer.com’s “Game of the Round” coverage of the 101st edition of the U.S. Open Cup, and the semifinal featured match will be announced at a later date.

2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Game of the Round” Coverage:

Seattle seemingly had the match in its pocket during regulation. Osvaldo Alonso broke a scoreless deadlock in the 69th minute with a martial arts-like, right-footed goal inside the near left post for a 1-0 lead that lasted until second-half stoppage time. In the buildup toward Alonso’s goal, Brad Evans provided a nice back-heel pass from the right side of the box to Lamar Neagle. Neagle crossed toward the left edge of the six-yard box, and Alonso leapt with both feet, lunging with his right and slotting to the left side of the frame past Ricketts for the 1-0 lead.

In the waning seconds of stoppage time, Timbers second-half sub Darlington Nagbe found a clutch equalizer to force overtime, playing a give-and-go with Steve Zakuani on the right side and then firing his shot inside the far left post past a diving Stefan Frei.

Playing up a man for the final 22 minutes of overtime, Seattle was in control the rest of the way with Cooper’s and Pappa’s tallies and improved to 4-1-0 against Portland in the U.S. Open Cup. Wednesday’s match marked the first time the two sides faced each other as MLS clubs.

Quarterfinal Roundup:

Chicago Fire (MLS) 3, Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) 1: Jeff Larentowicz converted a penalty kick with 10 minutes remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 deadlock and Alex added an insurance goal as Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire advanced past the North American Soccer League’s Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday at Atlanta Silverbacks Park in Chamblee, Georgia. Quincy Amarikwa had Chicago’s first goal and Deon McCaulay tallied Atlanta’s lone goal early in the second half. The Fire, a four-time winner of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, advances to its second-straight semifinal.

FC Dallas (MLS) 5, Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 2: Blas Perez scored three goals to lead FC Dallas to a victory against the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. With the victory, FC Dallas will now host fellow MLS side Philadelphia Union in the semifinals at 8 p.m. CT on Aug. 12 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Philadelphia earned a 2-0 quarterfinal win against the New England Revolution on Tuesday. After the RailHawks’ Zack Schilawski gave his side a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute, Perez scored back-to-back goals for a 2-1 lead. Carolina’s Enzo Martinez equalized in the 37th minute with a penalty kick, but it was all FC Dallas from that point. Fabian Castillo scored in his third straight U.S. Open Cup match in the 44th minute to give Dallas a 3-2 lead heading into halftime. It stayed that way until the final minute of regulation as Mauro Diaz and Perez scored back-to-back.

2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule

Quarterfinal Round Results

Date

Game

Time

Venue

July 8

New England Revolution (MLS) at Philadelphia Union (MLS)

0-2

PPL Park; Chester, Pa.

July 9

Chicago Fire (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)

3-1

Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Chamblee, Ga.

July 9

FC Dallas (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)

5-2

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

July 9

Portland Timbers (MLS) at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

1-3 (OT)

Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

Semifinal Round Possible Pairings

Date

Game

Time

Venue

Aug. 12

Philadelphia Union (MLS) at FC Dallas (MLS)

8 p.m. CT

Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas

Aug. 13

Chicago Fire (MLS) at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a tense 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

U-15/16: Chicago Magic, Strikers, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake AZ Clinch Spots in Academy Semifinals

Chicago Magic PSG, Strikers FC, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake AZ U-15/16 teams advanced to the 2013-14 Development Academy Championships following their quarterfinal victories. Most quarterfinal action finished Tuesday, but Real Salt Lake AZ needed to postpone its match because of inclement weather. The defending U-15/16 national champion RSL AZ won its quarterfinal match Wednesday morning.

Another previous national title winner is still among the U-15/16 field. The LA Galaxy is in search of its second crown at this age group, having won at the U-15/16s during the 2010-11 season.

The U-15/16 semifinalists will head to California for the 2013-14 Development Academy Championships taking place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. This is the first season that the Academy has implemented a knockout round following the Academy Playoffs. The semifinals are Thursday, July 17, and the championship matches for both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels will be held Saturday, July 19, at StubHub Center. The title games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

Chicago Magic PSG 2, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1: Chicago Magic PSG’s Kendall Stork notched a first-half brace to lead his side to a quarterfinal victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC and a trip to the Academy Championships. The win was Chicago Magic PSG’s 20th of the season (20-9-2) and the team improves to 3-0-1 during the postseason. For Stork, it was his first two goals of the postseason. He now has a team-leading 20 tallies in 2013-14.

Strikers FC 2, New York Red Bulls 2 (Strikers FC wins 6-4 in PKs): Strikers FC went on the road and withstood the New York Red Bulls’ late momentum in regulation to earn a 6-4 win in penalty kicks to earn a spot in the semifinal round. Strikers FC built a 2-0 lead in the first half, benefiting from an own goal and then taking a two-goal advantage on a Jackson Kerins goal in the 22nd minute. The Red Bulls responded with a Marcello Borges tally in the 39th minute and a dramatic 80th-minute score from Ethan Lochner to force overtime. Strikers FC, which advanced to the Academy Playoffs as a wild card team, improved to 3-0-1 in the postseason and is now 16-7-8 overall.

LA Galaxy 5, Vardar 3: With three lead changes, the LA Galaxy ultimately prevailed by scoring three straight goals down the stretch to win its quarterfinal match at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, the host site of the Academy Championships. Rey Ortiz scored back-to-back goals in the 58th and 67th minutes, the latter giving the Galaxy a 4-3 lead that the team would not relinquish. Dylan Smith added a goal in second-half stoppage time and Ethan Zubak contributed a first-half brace that gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute. Vardar had a remarkable stretch to open the second half as Alex Ofeimu got the team on the score sheet in the 49th minute and Tommy Dokho scored in the 52nd and 56th minutes to take a 3-2 lead against the Galaxy. With the win, the Galaxy is now 4-0-0 in the postseason and 22-3-6 overall in 2013-14.

Real Salt Lake AZ 1, San Jose Earthquakes 0: Real Salt Lake AZ, the 2012-13 national champion, inches closer toward having a chance to defend its U-15/16 crown with Wednesday’s quarterfinal victory at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. Midfielder Evan Waldrep scored the game’s lone goal in the second half. Inclement weather disrupted the match Tuesday night in the first half, with RSL leading 2-0. Because the game was not yet official due to Development Academy rules and regulations, it was restarted at the opening minute Wednesday. Real Salt Lake improves to 3-1-0 during the postseason and 24-5-3 overall in 2013-14.

For Development Academy results, visit academy.demosphere.com. Follow the Academy postseason on social media on Instagram, Facebook and on Twitter (@ussoccer_acad) with the #AcademyKnockouts and #AcademyFinals hashtags.

Philadelphia Union Reaches Semifinals of U.S. Open Cup

CHICAGO (July 8, 2014) – Sebasten Le Toux set a modern era goal scoring record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Philadelphia Union defeated the New England Revolution 2-0 to open this year’s quarterfinals at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Le Toux’s free kick goal early in the second half of the all-MLS quarterfinal match gave Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. It was Le Toux’s 14th goal in the Open Cup, surpassing the previous record of 13 he shared with David Bulow, Johnny Menyongar and Jaime Moreno.

Conor Casey opened the scoring in the ninth minute and the Union now hits the road for the tournament’s semifinal stage against either the Carolina RailHawks (NASL) or FC Dallas (MLS). The game was delayed for approximately an hour in the second half because of weather.

The other three quarterfinals take place Wednesday, July 9, capped off by U.S. Soccer’s “Game of the Round” coverage between the Portland Timbers (MLS) and host Seattle Sounders FC (MLS). The live stream of the match will be available at ussoccer.com, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. PT at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Schedule

Quarterfinal Round Schedule

Date

Game

Time

Venue

July 8

New England Revolution (MLS) at Philadelphia Union (MLS)

0-2

PPL Park; Chester, Pa.

July 9

Chicago Fire (MLS) at Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

Atlanta Silverbacks Park; Chamblee, Ga.

July 9

FC Dallas (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

July 9

Portland Timbers (MLS) at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

 

Semifinal Round Possible Pairings

Date

Game

Time

Venue

Aug. 12

Philadelphia Union (MLS) at FC Dallas (MLS)

8 p.m. CT

Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas

  or

 

 

 

Aug. 12

Philadelphia Union (MLS) at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)

7:30 p.m. ET

WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

Aug. 13

Chicago Fire (MLS) / Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) winner at Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Starfire Sports Complex; Tukwila, Wash.

  or

 

 

 

Aug. 13

Chicago Fire (MLS) / Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) winner at Portland Timbers (MLS)

7:30 p.m. PT

Providence Park; Portland, Ore.

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s National Club Championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 100 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000 and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. D.C. United is the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its third tournament title (following triumphs in 1996 and 2008) after a tense 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, 2013. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.

U-17/18: FC Dallas, Bethesda-Olney, PDA and Montreal Impact Advance to Semifinals

Two Development Academy staples and two newer Academy clubs will represent the U-17/18 field at the 2013-14 Academy Championships on July 17 and 19 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

FC Dallas and Players Development Academy won their respective quarterfinal matches Monday while first-season Development Academy club Bethesda-Olney and the Montreal Impact, in its second Academy campaign, have also advanced to the semifinal stage.

FC Dallas won a national title at the U-17/18 age level during the 2011-12 season and was the national runner-up in 2010-11. PDA is in search of its first national title, but this is certainly familiar territory for the club having earned second place at Academy Finals Week in 2008 at the U-15/16s.

The four semifinalists will now head to California for the Academy Championships. This is the first season that the Academy has implemented a knockout round following the Academy Playoffs. The semifinals are Thursday, July 17, and the championship matches for both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels will be held Saturday, July 19, at StubHub Center. The title games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

FC Dallas 3, Colorado Rush 2: At FC Dallas Sports Park in Frisco, Texas, host FC Dallas’ Santiago Agudelo scored two goals, including the game-winner in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time. FC Dallas took control early with an Antonio Aguilar tally in the 11th minute and Agudelo’s first score in the 57th minute to take a 2-0 lead in the second half. The Colorado Rush responded late as Eduardo Reza converted two penalty kicks in a 10-minute span to tie the score at 2-2 late in the half. With the match seemingly bound for overtime, second-half sub Agudelo thrilled the host side with a toe-poke tally in the waning seconds. FC Dallas is now 4-0-0 during the postseason and 22-4-6 overall.

Players Development Academy 3, Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy 1: Host PDA defeated 2012-13 national runner-up Shattuck on Monday, with Jared Stroud’s 57th-minute goal proving to be the game-winner. Brian White opened the scoring in the 28th minute and Anderson Asiedu contributed a goal in the 64th minute. For Shattuck-Saint Mary’s, which advanced through a difficult group at the Academy Playoffs that included 2012-13 national champion New York Red Bulls, Ricardo Lopez-Espin scored his team’s lone goal in the quarterfinals. PDA improved to 22-3-4 overall this season and is now 3-0-1 in the Academy postseason.

Bethesda-Olney 2, Chivas USA 0: Through a scoreless 90-minute regulation, Bethesda-Olney found its scoring touch in overtime at Maryland SoccerPlex. Jake Rozhansky scored the game-winning goal in the 94rth minute and Daniel Kaiser added an insurance goal 10 minutes later for the victory and a spot in the Academy Championships. This is Bethesda-Olney’s first season in the Academy, and the club has impressed to the tune of a 4-0-0 postseason and a 27-2-0 overall record in 2013-14.

Montreal Impact 3, Seattle Sounders FC 0: Marco Dominguez’s 33rrd-minute tally opened the scoring and the Impact held Seattle’s offense in check during Monday’s quarterfinal at Starfire Sports Complex. Fabio Morelli added a goal in the 53rd minute and Sam Duffek capped off the scoring with a goal in second-half stoppage time. Montreal shut down a Sounders side that outscored its opponents 16-1 during the three-game Academy Playoffs in Indiana. The Impact moves to 3-0-1 in the postseason and 18-6-3 overall.

For Development Academy results, visit academy.demosphere.com. Follow the Academy postseason on social media on Instagram, Facebook and on Twitter (@ussoccer_acad) with the #AcademyKnockouts and #AcademyFinals hashtags.

Coaching Q&A: Women's National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis

The U.S. Soccer Coaching Education Department continues a new series of articles to introduce coaches to its National Instructional Staff. Each month, the department will feature a Q&A with a member of the staff that will delve into his or her background and coaching experience.

The National Instructional Staff consists of top coaches from across the country, leading the sport in coaching education. We aim to share with coaches a small glimpse of our instructors' history, knowledge and expertise that they provide at U.S. Soccer educational events.

U.S. Soccer to Host 2014 NTC Invitational July 14-18

CHICAGO (July 3, 2014) – U.S. Soccer will host the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament, consisting of four teams from the United States, Australia, Bermuda and Chile, this July 14-18 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

The round-robin style tournament is predominantly for players born prior to Jan. 1, 1995, who will be age eligible for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Matches will be played on July 14, 16 and 18, with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team taking on Chile, Bermuda and Australia in that order.

The final two tournament matches – USA vs. Australia and Chile vs. Bermuda – on July 18 will be streamed live on ussoccer.com. Additionally, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship matches for the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups, which are also taking place at the National Training Center in Carson, will be streamed live on ussoccer.com on July 19.

Teams can bring up to 20 players for the NTC Invitational, which will decide a champion using a group table format wherein the team with the most points (three points for a win, one point for a tie, zero for a loss) at the end of the three match days is declared the winner. Should two or more teams be tied on points in the final standings, goal differential, then greatest number of goals scored in all matches will be used as the first two tiebreakers.

The U.S. U-20 MNT roster for the NTC Invitational will be announced at a later date.

U.S. Soccer previously hosted the U-17 Women’s NTC Invitational this past February and plans to host more Youth Men’s and Women’s National Team tournaments in addition to the marquee Nike International Friendlies that have provided top level international competition for the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team every year since 2001.

U.S. Soccer NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date                Teams             Time [PT]        Location                                                    Broadcast
July 14                        AUS v BER     1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v CHI      4 p.m.             Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 16                        AUS v CHI      1 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
                                    USA v BER     4 p.m.              Mooch Myernick Field                         none
July 18                        BER v CHI      4 p.m.              StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com
                                    USA v AUS      7 p.m.              StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com
July 19                        DA U-15/16     4 p.m.              StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com
                                    DA U-17/18      7 p.m.              StubHub Center                      ussoccer.com

World Cup Quote Sheet: Jurgen Klinsmann Final Press Conference

U.S. MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
Thanking the media and those in Brazil who helped the MNT on the trip:
“First of all, before we get into the questions, we really would love to thank São Paulo FC for hosting us during those couple weeks. It’s been tremendous. It’s been an amazing experience for all of us. Also, [thanks to] the setup of the hotel in the city and the people there. Everywhere we went we were just welcomed with open arms. It’s been a special time here. We want to thank you guys for hanging in there with us. It’s been almost seven weeks now. A lot of you were already up in Stanford and the whole journey through New York to Jacksonville down here, then obviously city by city here in Brazil. A big thank you to all of you, the way you approach everything very, very respectfully. A great relationship. We are all in this together, as we always say. We all try to make this game grow in our country and get it to the next level and working hard on it. It doesn’t mean you can’t have critical questions or critical comments or critics. It’s all totally fine. I think it’s been a great time. Unfortunately it came to an end last night with that game against Belgium. We have to accept that. But overall I think everybody’s proud of their team that went to their limits. Everybody can take a lot from those six, seven weeks that we spent together.”

On how to continue developing the team and soccer in the U.S.:
“I think it’s hugely important for us to make the game grow, the players grow, and really find ways to improve on every front. Having next summer’s Gold Cup with that, hopefully being qualified for the Confederation’s Cup in 2017; in 2016 having an Olympics that is very, very important to us. We’ve got to do much better than the last cycle there. Having a Copa America in the United States, it’s pretty much the second biggest competition you can have. I understand the European Championship is huge, but Copa America is huge as well. Hosting that means a lot to us. That’s another huge platform to make the team grow, make players grow and obviously hopefully qualify for the Confederations Cup. Every year you have big benchmarks that you can approach. In all that, the relationship with MLS is extremely important. It’s very good. We bounce so many things back and forth. We’re constantly communicating with each other. We’re trying to get on the same page more and more schedule-wise, which is important so we hopefully can get all the players that we need in order to be internationally successful.”

On how each of the players can grow from the World Cup experience:
“After analyzing every game of this World Cup, and we will do that, we will watch them over and over again and then look at details and communicating those details then to the players, in a couple weeks from now after they have their break, we’ll tell you in which areas we need to improve, in which areas we have to learn. When you play a tournament like that, I mentioned it last night, you play every four or five days, so you have to be on top of your game in every one of them. In the tournament, the maximum is seven games, but if you go through an entire season and you play in a rhythm of every four days, that is really demanding. This is about consistency, it’s about living the right way, all these on and off topics. It’s about keeping the highest tempo, the highest level of concentration, not giving away anything. It’s about the spirit of the group, being connected, helping each other out everywhere.”

On helping players regardless of where they play their club soccer:
“We always said that if they play in Mexico, if they play in MLS, or if they play in Europe, our job is to help them to play to their highest capabilities, to reach their highest personal level. When we get the players, we will try to push them. I think quite a lot of the players reached their highest level in the last couple weeks. I think we saw outstanding performances. This is our job as coaches. We are not there not to control their personal paths in terms of what clubs they play in and how they structure their careers. We don’t really have that much of a say in them. I mentioned it many times, I maybe sound like a broken record – do we want them in the biggest clubs possible? Do we want them in the highest competitions possible? Yes. I think that’s just normal. It’s in every sport the same way. But no matter where they are coming from, if we are convinced that they have the potential and they have the quality to be part of the senior National Team, we’re going bring them in no matter where they play and help them to raise the bar again.”

On injuries, the medical staff and the rigors of the World Cup:
“We knew that bringing Jozy on the bench was not meant to have Jozy on the field. He still needs a couple more days. But he’s healthy now. He’s ready to go back and build. We kept them on the edge with training and demanding because we knew that we’re going to play the best in the world every four days, so you’ve got to maximize every little area you have. Our fitness coaches did a tremendous job. Out medical staff was on top of the players every day. They worked day and night on all the players. This is what a World Cup is about. It’s a non-stop thing. It’s 24/7 for these couple of weeks.”

On Tim Howard’s performance against Belgium:
“I think it’s been a fantastic performance by Tim. He kept us in the game and he made it possible that we could have won this game or at least equalized in the last couple of minutes and go into a penalty shoot-out. It would be better for him to answer that question, maybe it was the best game that he played in his career, but only he can tell us. I didn’t watch all of his games. It’s fantastic because it also shows you how all the games of the World Cup were received back at home. Many people watched this competition, maybe more than four years ago in South Africa. It’s fun to see that and he deserves every compliment for his game last night.”

On the intensity of the knockout round:
“It’s little things that decide if you go on in the knockout stage or not. All of the knockout stage games were great, with two or three exceptions, but other ones were very, very close games and went into overtime, went into even penalty shootouts. Brazil had to go through that right away. It shows you that things are doable. In order to make them happen, it’s little things that make the difference. A little bit of luck, also maybe a little bit of individual plays that put the ball in the net or not.”

On the mentality and accountability of players changing with the growth of soccer in the U.S.:
Overall, we’re going in the right direction. I think the players understand – we often talk about this grinding attitude or mentality. You’ve got to wear a team down. You can’t loosen up. You can’t relax, never in a game. In CONCACAF, you can go and think it’s going to be an easy game; it’s no easy game anymore. All the teams globally caught up. They know how to train. They know how to play an all year-round season. They have strong domestic leagues. Their best players play in Europe, most of them. Therefore, you know how challenging it is. I think with the competition that we have now happening every year, it will help us to understand that we need to become more consistent. It’s also more demanding, more demanding on the players. Not just letting them get away with things, getting critical in certain moments, and make it clear that if you would have put that ball in the net yesterday, we would be in the next round. So think about that for a second without making it too harsh, but they need that sense of accountability, a sense of criticism, and people around them care about it. It’s good. We discussed that many times. We all have different opinions. We all would play 11 different players from the beginning on, but that is good because it gives a sense of people caring about the game. This is what happens right now in the United States. Fans and the media, you care about it and you bring in your own opinions and different opinions that the coach or the players have, it makes them feel accountable and not just walk away from a bad performance and nothing happens. No. If you have a bad performance, people should tell you that so you can make sure the next game is not bad anymore and you step it up and be alert about that. This is the growth of the game in our country. People now are starting to care about it. Fans care about it. They comment on social media, they comment everywhere about it. And that’s good. We need to make this grow and make that continue, that they get a sense of that.”

On if he feels vindicated looking back on the tournament now about his comments that the U.S. wasn’t ready to win the World Cup:
“I think saying that we come into the World Cup [that we are going to] win the World Cup is not right because you would raise the expectations to a level that is just over the moon. Is it possible to come through the group that we were in? Yes, because we did it. It is doable, it is possible. Is it possible now to go game by game and maybe even win four games? Yes it is possible. But, you can go in there and say we are going to win the World Cup because you have teams like Brazil, Germany and all the big, big countries in there. You have to take it one step at a time. If we equalize the [Belgium] game, if Wondo’s ball goes in and you win it 1-0 in the last minute, you play now Argentina and is Argentina beatable? Absolutely. If you go through Ghana, Portugal, Germany and Belgium then you take on Argentina. Absolutely we would have taken on Argentina. Crazy enough, Greece won the Eruos in 2004, and everybody though this is unbelievable. But it depends on how you create the focus in our own environment going into a tournament like the World Cup, and I thought it’s not the right thing for me to say that we’re coming to Brazil to win the World Cup. Is this a dream for everybody? Absolutely.

On what the expectations would be when the U.S. is a regular top eight or top four team in the world:
“This is definitely something we want to break into rather sooner than later. Was it our goal to come here and make it to the quarterfinals? Absolutely. Or, Maybe even surprise some people more and make ti to the semifinals? Absolutely, yes. After the ending last night we have to wait another four years for trying to do that, but I think we can only grow. Our upside is far bigger than a lot of other countries because the game is breaking through on all levels. We have to help the game grow in many different ways: with coaches educations, with referee education , with player development, with connecting the dots between the professional leagues and with U.S. Soccer as well. It’s still a work in progress, but why not try to get into those top eight? We tried before the tournament to get friendlies against different countries, they said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘We don’t want to play this U.S. team because we don’t know how to take them; they might beat us.’ They don’t want to go with a negative experience to the World Cup. Now after this World Cup, a lot of countries look at us differently and say OK, and they give us a game. If it’s South American countries, or it’s European countries; they’re not taking us lightly anymore no matter where we go. So, we’re building that respect more and more. Hopefully, we are ready now to say we are in those top eight, top 10 teams rather sooner than later.”

On which players over 30 he sees being part of the team moving forward:
“There’s no, ‘Thank you and bye.’ It’s always defined by performance, by what you bring to the table. I think there’s a good thing about going into the next year is that we have the opportunity to see a lot of young players come into our platform, into the senior team and we can give them time to show where they’re at right now. So the more experienced players, we can tell them now for the next couple of months, listen, ‘Play in your club environment. We know you inside and out. We know what you bring to the table.’ But, maybe right now for the next couple friendlies that come up and for the next year, we want to see the young players grow and see how far they can make it. Then obviously comes the Gold Cup. We want to go to the Gold Cup with the strongest team possible. Then it’s going to be similar to a World Cup or the last Gold Cup; we want to play our best team possible. We want to see how many of the more experienced players are still in it and how many of them are out. This transition year now coming up is definitely an opportunity to bring a lot of young players through the ranks and see what they are capable to do already.”

On if U.S. players are good enough to win more World Cup games on a talent level and how he can help make them better over the next four years:
“We get benchmarked at the World Cup and our benchmark ended last night. There’s definitely stuff we have to improve and get better in. It’s many things off the field and many things on the field. Playing at that kind of a tempo, at that kind of a rhythm every four days – this has to become the norm, which [it is not yet.] Maybe an example is Fabian Johnson with Hoffenheim, he never played every four days because they don’t play Europa League or Champions League. So he played every week just one game. Now suddenly you hit this kind of level at the highest tempo and your body gives you signals [that it’s too much.] Even though we trained the Send-Off games, players are not used to it yet. So our job as coaches is how can we make it clear that in order to get further and further we need to add the work load, we need to add the competition level, we need to make them understand what recovery time means, what their life off the field plays a role in many things you can achieve in your career. We have to continue to communicate that, to show them and especially start to implement that with our Under-17, Under-18, Under-20, Under-21, which will be the future Olympic team because that’s the next Generation that’s going to break in. The more we get that message to those kids, the more we will benefit a couple of years from now. When you go out in the Round of 16, clearly it gives you the message you have a lot of work still ahead of you.”

On how he can get the players to play higher up the field, toe-to-toe with top teams:
“I think it’s a mentality topic that we have to break through in a certain way because the interesting thing is every time we go down a goal, we shift it up. Then suddenly we build the pressure higher up and give [our opponent] a real good game. There’s still this sense of too much respect often. That’s why I try to play friendly games against European teams. Yes you respect your opponent, but to leave that respect off the field and go and give them the real games. A good example was in Bosnia. We were down 2-0 at halftime and I told the guys, ‘You have a game here. You just have to take it. You Have to shift it up there, put them under pressure and they will be surprised.’ We turned that game around, won 4-3, and Bosnia after the game said, ‘Yeah, actually [the U.S. can do that.’ So, it is still a mentality topic that we are working on. Not dropping to deep, not giving the opponent the first move all the time. Once you concede a goal, what’s your reaction? Now you have to chase the game and suddenly we are capable to do it. We could have turned [the Belgium] game around in the last 15 minutes of extra time. Absolutely, we had enough chances to win it 3-2 in extra time. But why not do it earlier? This is a constant discussion we have. This is why it’s so important that I have [U.S. U-20 MNT head coach] Tab Ramos with us, [U.S. U-18 MNT head coach] Javier Perez with us, [U.S. U-17 MNT head coach] Richie Williams with us, to make them clear that we have to start this process earlier with younger players, so we are not reacting to the opponent, and we try to take the game to them. Play it. Play it and here and there if you lose a game you get a lesson and that will be it. I believe it’s more a mental topic that we have to work on then it is a talent topic.”

On how losing Jozy Altidore changed the team’s tactics for the subsequent games:
“It had an impact definitely because he’s a big part of our spine. He’s a player that keeps two center backs on their toes, he can hold the ball and he gives Clint then more space and more freedom to roam around him and to get the whole game higher up the field. Not having Jozy was not ideal for us; it had an impact, but it’s not a complaint. It is what it is. Injuries happen to other teams as well, so it’s not at all an excuse, but definitely it had an impact.”

On the positives to take away from the World Cup and the first thing to start working on:
“We look into the younger generation first of all. We look into what comes through now in the U-21s, U-20s and U-18s. We have had discussions already with Tab and Javier, and we want to see how much of the talent there is going to be close to break into the senior National Team. This year coming up is an opportunity to work on many different fronts and the next benchmark will be the Gold Cup next summer. We are eager to keep working. We have a tremendous staff built now; a staff that not only works within the United States but works internationally. I think the help of Berti Vogts this last couple of weeks was a real pleasure. It was outstanding with his wisdom that he brings to the table and his eyes on things from the outside was very helpful to us. We have an established network now in Europe that can observe our young players coming through the ranks in Europe, which we have a couple of very good talents coming there as well. We built all that now over the last two, three years. It’s there, it’s working and we continue to build on it, but still in every area we discuss about player development we can do better.”

On how he views the record viewing numbers in the U.S.:
“We are all very excited about that. We are excited seeing soccer breaking through or just getting a lot of recognition in the United States now. A lot of people being on TV and being at fan festivals and getting that connection to millions of people. The game has always been very popular in the United States. Millions of children play soccer. It’s popular in high school, college and the league now is a national league that does tremendously well being built 20 years ago, getting better and better. At the end of the day, like in every country, the locomotive of getting to the next level is the National Team. The National Team, whenever a World Cup comes along, it has to do well, it has to inspire the home country to jump on board. This team now inspired the fans back at home to jump on board and have fun, to enjoy those dramatic games that they saw and keep their fingers crossed and go through emotions positively and negatively. It has been huge what happened the last couple of weeks and the connection to the fans in the United States through you media people. They should be proud of that, the players should be proud of that and the fans should be proud of that too. We saw this building the last two, three years with the American outlaws coming with more and more chapters throughout the country. Our World Cup Qualifying games were all sold out, we had a huge response there. Our Send-Off games before the World Cup, we’re finishing them in Jacksonville in front of more than 50,000 people. That all shows you that soccer’s breaking through. That is deserved recognition without taking anything away from the other big American sports. I think it’s important that people identify themselves with how the American team is playing. The energy and the commitment and tempo that we played with made people proud at home and surprised a lot of people outside of the United States, maybe in Brazil or in Europe. I got many emails and comments from European people in Italy, France and Germany who said, ‘Wow, we never saw this before that you were so close to beat the big ones.’ That’s a compliment and we take that compliment but it makes us even more hungry for the next time.”

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