Of the 21 players on the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team that is in New Zealand for the FIFA U-20 World Cup, 17 have been on a U.S. U-17 or U-20 team at one point or another entering 2015.
Maki Tall, Desevio Payne, Gedion Zelalem and Thomas Olsen had not.
The four players were called to their first U.S. Youth Team over the past two months and here they are representing the USA at the U-20 World Cup.
Pride for the USA, Not a Tall Order
“The USA is becoming a great football nation, so just being invited to the team was a great honor,” said Tall of being called to his first U-20 camp in England this past March. “And to play in a World Cup, that’s not an every day thing. Every player wants to play in one, and we had been fighting for roster spots. And now that we’re here, everybody wants a shot to help the team do great things.”
Tall and his two brothers and sister were born in Washington D.C. Their father is from France and their mother is from Ivory Coast. Because of his father’s job, the family moved to Senegal and then Ivory Coast before Maki was offered an opportunity to try out with clubs in France. He elected to join the youth academy at Le Mans and then signed with Lille in 2012.
Along the way he was called in to play for France’s U-18 and U-19 teams, where he appeared in nine friendlies – including a match against the U.S. in 2013. Through it all, he was never distant from his hometown, made much easier when his mom and his two younger siblings moved back to D.C. a few years ago.
Tall scored against England’s U-20s during his USA debut in March, and then again last week against Australia. And while it took a while to put on the USA jersey, he’s excited and ready for the current opportunity to proudly represent his nation.
“I can’t regret the time past, because without those experiences I probably wouldn’t be here,” said the forward, who has scored eight goals while on loan to Red Star since January. “I’m really happy about the future and I see great things down the road.”
U-20 MNT members Maki Tall, Gedion Zelalem and Tommy Thompson kick the ball around during training.
No Payne, No Gain
Defender Desevio Payne also made his first USA appearance during the England camp last March.
Born in Greewood, South Carolina, Payne was only a year-and-a-half when his family moved to the Netherlands. He comes from a sporting family - his father is from Trinidad and Tobago, and his mom is from Holland. The two met at Landers University when they went to play soccer and softball, respectively.
Growing up in Holland, Payne spoke English with his father and Dutch with his mom. Among his siblings, they speak English with each other.
At age 13, he joined the academy of 100-year-old HFC Haarlem. However when the club dissolved, he moved to lower tier side Zeeburgia. In 2013 he signed with Groningen in the Eirdevisie, and was eventually invited to a Holland U-18 camp. He made his professional debut with Groningen on Feb. 22, 2015 in a 3-1 loss to Heerenveen. A short time later, he received a call from U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos.
“Tab called me to introduce himself, and ask about me and tell me about the England camp,” Payne said. “I was excited for the invitation, but I didn’t know what to expect. I just told him that I would do my best in England and wanted to show myself.”
In early May, the former judo competitor was contacted again.
“It’s all happened so quick,” he said. “I thought I had a good first camp, so I was hopeful I would get another call from Tab. I was nervous as the weeks went by, but was really happy when I got that email that I was going to the World Cup.”
U-20 MNT's Desevio Payne walks to training with Landon Donovan.
American Dream is Worth the Wait
Unlike the rest of his World Cup teammates, Gedion Zelalem had not been to any camps before meeting the team in Australia on May 18. Born in Germany to Ethiopian parents, Zelalem and his family moved to Bethesda, Maryland when he was 10 years old. After middle school, he attended Walter Johnson High School and played club soccer on various teams.
In 2011, while playing for Olney Rangers at the prestigious Dallas Cup, he was seen by an Arsenal scout and attended try outs. He first joined the Gunners’ academy and then eventually made his senior team debut in January 2014.
Zelalem also played for Germany from the U-15 age group through the U-17s, but dreamed of a chance to play for the USA. After obtaining his citizenship late in 2014, he was granted a one-time switch from FIFA in mid-May and was added to the U-20 World Cup roster.
“I’ve always wanted to represent the USA,” Zelalem said. “I feel more American than I feel German, so it was a no-brainer for me on which country to chose. Ever since I left the U.S. to go play in England, I’ve wanted to play for the U.S.”
Zelalem is now getting his chance. And like all his teammates, he has bigger dreams.
“I want to make the most of this World Cup,” he said. “And I want to keep going to make it to the first team.”
Not lost on him is the chance to be with fellow American players his age again.
“It’s been great, all the guys are great,” he said of his first week in camp. “They’re all down-to-earth guys. We’re all together here, and there isn’t one player who thinks he’s better than the other. I really like that about this group, and I’m really happy to be here.”
U-20 MNT midfielder Gedion Zelalem is interviewed by the media before practice.
From Campus to the World Stage
Thomas Olsen is one of two college players on the roster. However, unlike Jeff Caldwell, his USA teammate from the University of Virginia, Olsen had never been part of a USA camp before March.
Caldwell was on the U.S. U-17 MNT at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, and was part of several other camps in different age levels.
Olsen, who was named the 2014 WCC Freshman of the Year at the University of San Diego, earned his first USA invite for the camp in England.
“You’re shocked initially to see that you’ve reach that level,” Olsen said. “You see the names and see they are pros, and you’re in college. And the first thing I thought was, ‘awesome, now let’s see if I can play with these guys.’”
Olsen backed up Caldwell in the match against England’s U-21s on March 30. But in the back of his head, he thought he had a good camp and kept a sliver of hope that maybe he could make the U-20 World Cup roster.
When the initial squad was announced on May 7, the three goalkeepers were Zack Steffen, Caldwell, and Ethan Horvath. However, almost immediately, Olsen received a call from U-20 goalkeeper coach Russell Payne telling him to come to camp in Carson, California, the following week.
Olsen showed up at StubHub Center when camp broke on May 11 and learned the situation. There was a chance that Horvath wouldn’t be released by his club in Norway. He returned to San Diego to take two more finals on Wednesday, and it was then when he was officially informed that he would be added to the roster in place of Horvath.
“Being a competitor, no matter on what team, you want to be the one,” Olsen said. “Obviously, on this team I have to take a step back and realize that I’m blessed to be here. For me this is more of a learning experience, taking on what coach Payne says, and getting to train with all of these guys. And how I can contribute is by being a leader, by pushing people at training – especially Zack (Steffen) and Jeff – and by being ready if my number is called.”
U-20 MNT's Thomas Olsen stands with goalkeeper coach Russell Payne in Australia.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will conclude its three-game Send-Off Series leading into the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it takes on Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The match is almost sold out (tickets available) for what will be the U.S. WNT’s final game before departing to Canada to begin play on women’s soccer’s biggest stage. It will be the third time the U.S. Women play in Harrison and the second game between the teams at this venue following their most recent meeting on June 20, 2013. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN and WatchESPN at 4:30 p.m. ET and on Univision Deportes at 9:00 p.m. ET (delayed). Fans can follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and watch highlights on ussoccer.com.
2015 LOOK BACK: On May 17, the USWNT defeated CONCACAF rival Mexico 5-1 at StubHub Center in Carson, California, in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 fans in its second Send-Off Series game. Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way with two goals each while Lori Chalupny added a tally, her second of the year. Just a week prior, the U.S. Women began the Send-Off Series with a dominating 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in San Jose, California. The Irish did not manage to get off a shot. Abby Wambach scored twice and defender Julie Johnston notched her third goal in three games to give the sold-out crowd a special win on Mother’s Day. The win was the second at home for the WNT in 2015, who defeated New Zealand 4-0 on April 4 in the first domestic match of the year at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Earlier in the year, the WNT took home the trophy at the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, where the Americans triumphed 2-0 against France in the championship game to win its 10th title at the annual tournament. The USA comes into the match against the Korea Republic with a 7-1-1 overall record so far in 2015.
USA VS. KOREA REPUBLIC SERIES
- The USA has dominated the all-time series against the Korea Republic, holding a 7-0-1 record and outscoring the Taegeuk Ladies 31-3.
- The last time the Korea Republic scored on the USA was on June 15, 2013, during the first match of a two-game series between both nations that started in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The USA won the game 4-1, and then went on to defeat the team again 5-0 just five days later in New Jersey in what turned out to be Abby Wambach’s record-breaking goal scoring night.
- All eight matches between the two nations have taken place in U.S. soil, although the USA has played two Peace Queen Cup tournaments in its history in South Korea.
- The last encounter between the USA and the Korea Republic was in 2013 and it was also at Red Bull Arena where the USA will look to wrap up its Send-Off Series and remain perfect on home soil before departing to Canada.
On the field for the USA vs. KOR:
June 20, 2013 – Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey
USA 5 Wambach 11, 19, 29, 45+1; Holiday 64
USA: 1-Hope Solo (21-Jill Loyden, 46); 6-Crystal Dunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 48), 14-Whitney Engen, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 52); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney (16-Yael Averbuch, 71), 15-Megan Rapinoe; 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 49), 20-Abby Wambach (23-Christen Press, 58)
Subs Not Used: 17-Tobin Heath
Head Coach: Tom Sermanni
KOR: 1-Kim Jungmi; 4-Shim Seoyeon (capt.), 6-Kim Seonjoo, 20-Kim Hyeri, 5-Lee Sejin (13-Lee Mina, 56), 8-Cho Sohyun, 15-Kim Narae, 17-Park Heeyoung (14-Kwon Hahnul, 60), 10-Ji Soyun (19-Shin Jiyoung, 86), 12-Yoo Younga, 18-Jeoun Eunha (16-Kim Sangeun, 76)
Subs Not Used: 2-Kim Jihey, 3-Jeong Younga, 7-Lee Eunhye, 9-Park Heeyoung, 11-Lee Jangmi, 21-Yoon Younggeul, 22-Lee Jungeun
Head Coach: Yoon Dukyeo
NINTH MEETING: The USA and the Korea Republic have met on eight previous occasions, with Saturday’s contest being the ninth meeting between the two countries. The USA holds a 7-0-1 record advantage and has never finished with anything worse than a 0-0 draw against Korea Republic. The first meeting between the two sides came on May 2, 1997 in Milwaukee, where the U.S. easily won, 7-0. Since then, the Red, White and Blue’s goal advantage has increased to 31-3. Additionally, the three goals against the WNT have come in separate matches as the U.S. Women have never allowed more than one goal scored against them in a match versus the Taegeuk Ladies.
ABBY’S HISTORIC NIGHT: During the last meeting between both teams on June 20, 2013, Abby Wambach etched her name in the history books as the greatest scorer in women’s soccer, scoring four times in a 5-0 win over the Korea Republic at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Wambach’s four goals all came in the first half; however, it was her third tally that gave her 159 goals in her illustrious career, a number that moved her past former USWNT forward and FIFA World Cup champion Mia Hamm, who scored 158 goals during her tenure with the USA. Wambach currently has 182 goals.
ALL GOOD IN THE GARDEN STATE: Overall, the U.S. WNT has played nine times in the state of New Jersey, and twice at Red Bull Arena. At the home of MLS’s New York Red Bulls, the U.S. Women have a perfect 2-0-0 record and have outscored opponents 6-0. The U.S. Women’s World Cup team features four players who hail from New Jersey in captain Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant), and midfielders Carli Lloyd (Delran), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick) and Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge). The Jersey contingent is expected to get huge support from the home state crowd at RBA.
JERSEY HAS OUR BACK: As the women prepare to face Korea Republic and leave U.S. soil on a high note before making their way to Winnipeg, USA supporters around the New Jersey area and beyond will come together during Saturday’s match to demonstrate that the Garden State and the nation believes in the Red, White and Blue. On game day, there will be a large-scale tifo created by local supporters that will be raised in the south endline after the national anthem is played. The tifo is a collaborative effort involving different people who represent many different supporters groups. These include: Sammers SC (@sammerssc), American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws), South Ward (@RBA_SouthWard) and Cloud 9 (@cloud9_SkyBlue).
CANADA, HERE WE COME: Following the game against the Korea Republic, the U.S. players will have a couple of days to relax and pack their bags before departing for Canada and the start of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament kicks off on June 6 and the U.S. opens group play against Australia on June 8. After dropping its first match of the year to France 2-0 in Lorient on Feb. 8, the USA has gone unbeaten and has outscored opponents 20-2.
GROUP D AWAITS: The U.S. Women’s National Team was drawn into Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden. The seventh edition of the tournament takes place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. opens the tournament against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, face Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, and finish Group D play against Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- On April 14, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis named the 23-player roster that will represent the USA at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. All 23 players were a part of the 25-player roster that was called up for the Algarve Cup in March and the match vs. New Zealand game on April 4 before Ellis named her final roster.
- The 23-player Women’s World Cup Team is the roster for all three Send-Off Series games.
- In its last eight games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and has scored 20.
- The USA’s current 95-game unbeaten streak at home (84-0-11 since Nov. 6, 2004) is a team record. The next-highest streak is 50 games (48-0-2) from Feb. 10, 1996, through April 22, 1999. The USA tied the record on May 14, 2011 (2-0 win against Japan at Columbus Crew Stadium) and broke the record with the 51st game on May 18, 2011 (another 2-0 win against Japan at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina).
- U.S. forward Abby Wambach broke the all-time goal scoring record previously held by former U.S. forward Mia Hamm (158 goals) during the USA’s last match against the Korea Republic on June 20, 2013. The game also took place at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey and Wambach scored four goals in the 5-1 USA victory. Lauren Holiday added the fifth score.
- Wambach leads the U.S. roster with five goals in 2015. She has scored a brace in each of the last two games.
- U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s next goal would give her 30 for her career, making her the 13th U.S. female player to score 30 goals and tally 30 assists. She currently has 32 assists.
- Lori Chalupny earned her 100th cap against Ireland on May 10. She became the 32nd player to reach 100 caps in U.S. WNT history. She will be honored for the achievement during the USA’s fall matches.
- Chalupny scored against New Zealand in her hometown of St. Louis, marking it her first goal for the USA since she scored against the Republic of Ireland on Sept. 20, 2008. She scored her second goal of the year against Mexico on May 17, just 45 seconds after coming into the match as a second half sub.
- Meghan Klingenberg scored her second National Team goal on a long-range blast against New Zealand. Her first goal was a similar long-range effort that came against Haiti on Oct. 8, during Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament last year.
- Julie Johnston has three goals in 2015, all coming in consecutive games. Her three goals were all from set pieces and all assisted by Lauren Holiday.
- Ten different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Chalupny, Sydney Leroux and Carli Lloyd.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone is currently the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with 305 appearances.
- Rampone earned her 300th cap against with Mexico on Oct. 24, 2014, and currently has 305 games, the most of any active player in the world and behind only former teammate Kristine Lilly.
- Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every game for the USA. She has played the most minutes (789) of anyone on the team.
- Carli Lloyd was the only player to play all 450 minutes during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She was named MVP of the tournament after scoring five goals.
- Lauren Holiday leads all U.S. players on the rosters in assists with five in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
- Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named the 2013 and 2014 Hermann Trophy winner while playing for the University of Virginia.
- While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 182 goals, Lloyd is next with 63 career international goals and Morgan has 51. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
- Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil last December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
- All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the Women’s World Cup roster.
KOREA REPUBLIC ROSTER NOTES
- Nine of the players on this current roster saw action the last time the two teams played on June 20, 2013.
- Goalkeeper Kim Jungmi is the most capped player on the roster with 89. Midfielder Cho Sohyun (78) and forward Ji Soyun (74) follow close behind.
- Soyun is the leading scorer on the roster with 38 international goals. Jeon Gaeul is next with 32.
- Forward Park Eunsun was the leading scorer during World Cup qualification, notching six goals and tying China’s Yang Li for the most goals scored in the tournament.
- Only two players in the 23-woman roster play outside of South Korea: Park Eunsun for Rossiyanka in Russia and Ji Soyun for Chelsea Ladies in England.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS:
- With three goals against Argentina on Dec. 18, Carli Lloyd upped her career total to 61 and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 63 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
- Megan Rapinoe became the 31st American female player to reach the century mark in caps against New Zealand on April 4. She currently has 102 caps. Lori Chalupny became the 32nd player against Ireland on May 10.
- Heather O’Reilly is the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 218, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (241) and Christie Rampone (305) are the only active players ahead of her.
- O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
- O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
- In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013, performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added six more and now sits at 45. She has 37 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
- Sydney Leroux is tied with April Heinrichs in 14th place on the all-time U.S. WNT goal scoring list with 35 goals.
- With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 51.
- Hope Solo has a U.S. record 83 career shutouts and has 169 caps with the USWNT, the second-most for a goalkeeper in U.S. history behind Brianna Scurry (173; 1994-2008.)
- Solo has the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with a 163, surpassing Scurry’s 159 (from 1994-2008). Solo is in 10th place on the WNT’s all-time starts list surpassing Brandi Chastain (160 games from 1988-2004).
- Solo is currently second all-time in goalkeeper wins with 130, behind only Scurry who had 133.
BY THE NUMBERS:
0.44 Goals per game the USA has allowed in 2015
2 USA’s FIFA ranking
2.22 Goals per game the USA scored in 2015
4 Number of players on the WWC from the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City, most of any NWSL teams.
8 Assists by Carli Lloyd to lead the team in 2014
10 Number of different U.S. players to score a goal in 2015
20 Goals in 43 National Team games for Christen Press, a goal in slightly less than every two games
63 Goals by Lloyd, most ever for a WNT player who has played exclusively as a midfielder
82 Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Sydney Leroux in her career
83 Shutouts by Hope Solo, an all-time U.S. WNT record
96 Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Alex Morgan in her career
98 Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Abby Wambach in her career
114 U.S. victories when Wambach scores a goal (114-2-8 overall)
130 Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Mia Hamm in her career
305 Caps by Christie Rampone, second all-time to Kristine Lilly (352)
BY THE NUMBERS, WWC EDITION:
2 Number of players in U.S. history to be named to Women’s World Cup rosters for non-consecutive tournaments: Brandi Chastain (1991, 1999) and Lori Chalupny (2007, 2015)
6 Players on the roster who hail from California. Four are from New Jersey, two are from Georgia and two are from St. Louis, Mo.
7 Number of games it will take to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup, up from six in the previous six editions of the tournament.
8 U.S. players making their first Women’s World Cup roster: Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.
13 Goals by Abby Wambach in Women’s World Cup play, a U.S. record.
18 Women’s World Cup matches played by Wambach, the most on the 2015 WWC roster. Rampone has played in 17 Women’s World Cup games while Boxx has 15. Other players in double figures in Women’s World Cup matches are Carli Lloyd (11), O’Reilly (11) and Hope Solo (10).
22 Age of Brian, the youngest player on the WWC roster. Johnston is 23.
24 Number of nations that will participate, for the first time, in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams.
27 Total Women’s World Cup goals scored by the USA’s WWC roster.
28 Average age of the USA’s WWC roster.
32 Goals allowed by the U.S. Women in WWC play.
36 Number of matches played by the USA in the WWC (27-4-5), most by any team.
39 Age of Rampone, the oldest player on the WWC roster. Boxx is 38.
98 Goals scored by the U.S. Women in WWC play.
101 Average caps per player on the WWC roster.
122 Number of Women’s World Cup matches combined played by the WWC roster.
304 Caps for Rampone, most of the Women’s World Cup roster, most of any active player in the world, and second most in soccer history.
HYERES, France (May 29, 2015) – Goals from Jerome Kiesewetter, Alonso Hernandez and William Packwood spurred the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team to a 3-1 win over the Netherlands in the second group stage game of the 2015 Toulon Tournament in Hyeres, France.
After opening the tournament with 3-1 loss to France on May 27, the U.S. responded in its second match, coming from behind and earning a convincing win.
The win leveled the U.S. and Netherlands in the Group A pool, where both hold three points on 1-1-0 records. The U.S. is now in second place in the standings, behind group leader France (2-0-0). Next, the U-23 MNT will face Costa Rica on Sunday, May 31 at 11 a.m. ET on beIN Sport to wrap up group play.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
NED – Brahim Darri, 10th minute: Darri dribbled the ball through the center of the field and elected to send a shot at goal from thirty yards out. The ball drifted and Cody Cropper reached it on a dive, but it slipped through his hands and into the back of the net. USA 0, NED 1
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter, 19th minute: Benji Joya brought the ball up from midfield and jetted through a pair of Dutch defenders. Near the edge of the box, Joya trickled a ball across to Julian Green, who had room on the left-hand side. Green made a move to the center and blasted a shot that ricocheted off of a group of Netherlands defenders. Kiesewetter was first to the rebound and he kicked it in to level the score. USA 1, NED 1
USA – Alonso Hernandez (Jordan Morris), 24th minute: The U.S. was positioned with a free kick from 25 yards out and Julian Green took it and sent it off the top of the wall of Netherlands defenders. The ball bounced high into the air and Jordan Morris out-jumped a defender near the goal and headed it back to Alonso Hernandez, who promptly smashed it into the back of the net from close range. USA 2, NED 1
USA – William Packwood (Julian Green), 42nd minute: The USA came out on the attack in the second half and earned a corner in the first minute. Julian Green played a beautiful curling ball in and Will Packwood headed it in to give the U.S. a two-goal lead. USA 3, NED 1. FINAL
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
NED – Jesse Bertrams (Save), 21st minute: Fatai Alashe intercepted a Netherlands pass and took off toward the goal. With a man coming in from the left Alashe ripped a shot at the upper right corner, but Bertrams dove high and wide to deflect it over the bar to set up a U.S. corner.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 48th minute: Netherlands broke away on a counter and got the ball across to Brahim Darri, who had already scored in the first half. Darri from the left side tried to slide a shot into the lower right corner of the goal, but Cropper dove and pushed it away.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 62nd minute: Anwar El-Ghazi stole the ball for the Netherlands and bore down on the U.S. goal with strength. El-Ghazi held off a defender and tried to curl a left-footed shot into the upper left corner of the goal but Cropper was there and made another diving save.
Next: USA vs. Costa Rica on Sunday, May 31
Broadcast information: Live at 11 a.m. ET on beIN Sport
Social: Twitter @ussoccer
- With his assist Jordan Morris has now tallied a point in three-straight games, with goals in the two previous matches against France on May 27 and Mexico on April 22. He has recorded at least a point in five of his six games with the U-23 MNT.
- Jalen Robinson earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT.
- Jerome Kiesewetter tallied his first goal of 2015 for the U-23 MNT.
- Benji Joya made the start as the team’s captain for the second-straight game. When Marc Pelosi came on for him in the 55th minute, Shane O’Neill finished the match with the captain’s armband.
- O’Neill made the start at center back. He has started and played 90 minutes in all five matches for the U-23s this year.
- Joya and O’Neill are the only players on the roster that have started all five games for the U-23’s this year.
- Julian Green’s assist was his first as a member of the U-23 MNT.
- William Packwood’s goal was his first in 2015 of his career with the U-23’s.
- This match was the first between Netherlands and the USA at the U-23 age level.
- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Netherlands
Date: May 29, 2015
Competition: 2015 Toulon Tournament; Group A
Venue: Stade Perruc; Hyères, France
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local time
Weather: 77 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
NED 1 0 1
NED- Brahim Darri 10th minute
USA- Jerome Kiesewetter 19
USA- Alonso Hernandez (Jordan Morris) 24
USA- William Packwood (Julian Green) 42
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 3-Boyd Okwuonu (18-Jalen Robinson, 72), 5-Will Packwood, 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna; 8-Benji Joya (capt.) (10-Marc Pelosi, 55); 13-Fatai Alashe; 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 16-Julian Green (15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 67), 9-Jordan Morris, 11-Alonso Hernandez (16-Daniel Metzger, 64)
Subs Not Used: 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 6-Sam Strong; 12-Charlie Horton, 20-Tyler Turner, 22-Tyler Miller
Head coach: Andreas Herzog
NED: 16- Jesse Bertrams; 15-Sean Klaiber; 12-Peet Bijen; 13-Jordy De Wijs (6-Clint Leemans, 46); 14-Django Warmerdam; 10-Joris Van Overeem; 17-Jelle Vander Hyden (9-Rai Vloet, 46); 4-Danny Bakker; 7-Mohamed Rayhi; 19-Vincent Janssen; 20-Brahim Darri (11-Anwar El-Ghazi, 53)
Subs Not Used: 1-Timo Plattel; 2-Hans Hateboer; 3-Derrick Luckassen; 5-Bas Kuipers;; 8-Thom Haye; 18-Elvio Van Overbeek
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 8 / 15
Shots on Goal: 4 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 4 / 3
USA– Marc Pelosi (caution) 69th minute
NED – Rai Vloet (caution) 80
Referee: Coulibaly (CIV)
Assistant Referee 1: Kangah (CIV)
Assistant Referee 2: Bi Gouho (CIV)
4th Official: Zourak
ussocer.com Man of the Match: Jerome Kiesewetter
The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will continue its run at the 2015 Toulon Tournament with a match against the Netherlands on Friday, May 29 (11 a.m. ET, BeIN Sport).
The U-23’s are coming off of a 3-1 opening-game loss to host-France. The U.S. battled in the second half and Jordan Morris scored his third goal of 2015 with the U-23’s, but the team could not overcome the 3-0 first-half deficit.
Netherlands opened with a 3-2 win over Costa Rica behind a pair of goals from Rai Vloe and a score from Anwar El Ghazi. The Dutch and Costa Rica sides played in Stadeo Le Lagrange, just before the U.S. kicked off against France.
The USA has been drawn into Group A of the 2015 Toulon Tournament alongside host France, Netherlands, Costa Rica and Qatar. The U.S. is set to play Netherlands on Friday, followed by matches with Costa Rica (May 31, 11 a.m. ET), and Qatar (June 2, 12 p.m. ET). The top team from the group will advance to the final, while the second-place finisher will move on to play for third. The advancing pair from Group A will match up with the top two finishers from Group B, which includes China PR, England, Ivory Coast, Mexico and Morocco. The placement matches will be played on June 7.
The game against the Netherlands, and all of the following U.S. group-stage tournament games will be broadcast on BeIN SPORTS. Fans can also follow the U.S. games on Twitter @ussoccer.
- Post-game Quote Sheet: USA vs. France
- Q&A: U-23 MNT Head Coach Andi Herzog Talks Toulon
- U-23 MNT 2015 Toulon Tournament Roster
U.S. Tournament Notes:
- With his goal against France, Jordan Morris has now scored in back-to-back games with the U-23s and three straight for the U.S. overall counting his goal with the senior team in its 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
- Morris is the U-23’s leading scorer, having tallied three goals in 2015. In five career games with the U-23’s, Morris has scored four goals.
- Getting the start in the match against France, Marc Pelosi made his first appearance in a U.S. uniform in more than two years, having recovered from a series of injuries. He earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT and tallied an assist.
- Coming on as second-half subs against France, Alfred Koroma Shams (62nd minute) and Sam Strong (73rd minute) earned their first caps with the U-23 MNT.
- The Match between France and the USA was the first at the U-23 age level.
- Benji Joya, who scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the match against France in the 2013 Toulon Tournament (when the teams met as U-20 opponents), captained the team in this year’s game against France. Joya and Shane O’Neill started in the match with France and are the only players on the roster to have started all four games in 2015.
- Julian Green earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT.
USA vs. Netherlands Notes
- The USA has faced Netherlands one time in Olympic history, when the pair faced off in Tianjin, China as a part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The teams drew 2-2 in the second group game, with goals from Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore.
- Netherlands midfielder Thom Haye plays for Dutch Eredivisie club AZ Alkmaar, where he is teammates with U.S. MNT forward Aron Johannsson.
- 20-year-old Anwar El Ghazi scored nine goals for Dutch Eridivisie club Ajax, and earned honors as the AFC Ajax Talent of the Year for 2015.
Six-year-old Whitney Engen watched Kerri Strug’s final vault during the 1996 Olympics and decided there and then that she was going to be a gymnast. Fully absorbed in her gymnast aspirations, Engen had no intention of playing soccer.
“But my Mom and Dad basically said, ‘Sorry, you have to do this, you gotta play two sports a year’ – I think they just did that because I was such an active kid that they just wanted me to be tired before bed,” laughs Engen.
While she didn’t care much for the game itself, she did like the rituals surrounding it: 1) She got candy after every practice, and 2) When her dad drove her to the game in his old diesel Mercedes, he blasted opera music as they wound up the hill toward the field. They both jokingly sang along, car-rattle helping their operatic vibrato.
Engen in her early days as a soccer player
Then, in her third season of gymnastics, she was dismissed from her gym because she was too big.
“I wanted to be a gymnast more than anything in the world,” says Engen. “But when you’re a 5’7, 100-pound third grader, it doesn’t really work out for you. I was a huge, huge kid. I’ve basically been this tall my whole life. I don’t want to say it was traumatizing, but it was definitely impactful. I towered over everyone.”
On the soccer field, things weren’t going much better than gymnastics.