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Open Cup Debutant FC Tacoma 253 Looks to Begin Dream Run against Kitsap Pumas

Every year, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup gives clubs around the country an opportunity to write some soccer history of their own.

Debuting NPSL side FC Tacoma 253 took their first opportunity earlier this year, improbably using the club’s first two competitive matches to qualify for the 2015 edition of the tournament.

Having launched last September, the club which has ties to Italian Serie A side Fiorentina and was founded in part to provide cultural exchanges to Italian players, used locals to dispatch last year’s NPSL Northwest Conference Champion Spartans Futbol Club 2-1 on February 20. The lone win earned Tacoma a one-game playoff with the Southwest Conference qualifying winners San Diego Flash, who were thrashed 6-1 by the NPSL upstarts on March 23 in Tukwila, Washington.

COPA

U.S. U-23 MNT To Take Part in Prestigious Toulon Tournament

CHICAGO (May 4, 2015) --The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will compete in the 43rd edition of the renowned Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in southeastern France.

The U.S. will collide with some of the world’s best teams, facing off with 2014 Toulon Tournament-runner up France on May 27, Netherlands on May 29, Costa Rica on May 31 and Qatar on June 2. The championship and third-place games are scheduled for June 7 and will take place in Toulon.

“Toulon is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world at this age level, and we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the world,” said U.S. head coach Andi Herzog. “Having seen matches here many times before, I know the type of talent we will face. This is huge for us as we get ready for qualification this October, and is another step in the development of our players in international competition.”

The tournament is comprised of two five-team groups. The U.S. is joined by Costa Rica, France, Netherlands and Qatar in Group A, while Group B consists of China PR, England, Ivory Coast, Mexico and Morocco. The top teams from each group will meet in the tournament final on June 7, and the second-place teams from each group will play in a third-place game also set to take place on June 7.

The first Tournoi Espoirs de Toulon was played in 1967 and included club teams. Since 1974, the tournament has been limited to international teams. The USA’s best finish came in 1989, when it finished in third place, behind Bulgaria and tournament-champion France. The U.S. last appeared in the tournament in 2013, where the U-20 MNT went 1-3-0.

The U-23s have logged three matches in 2015 (2-1-0), opening with a 5-2 win over Bosnia and falling 0-1 to Denmark in March before bouncing back with a 3-0 win against Mexico on April 22 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. This tournament will play a part in the team’s continued preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which will be played in the United States from Oct. 1-13.

Defender Crystal Dunn Called in to Train with U.S. Women’s World Cup Team

CHICAGO (May 2, 2015) – U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath will likely be unavailable for the USA’s first two Send-Off Series matches, on May 10 against the Republic of Ireland and May 17 against Mexico, due to a right hamstring strain suffered during training last week.

As a result, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has called in defender Crystal Dunn to train with the Women’s World Cup Team, but she will not miss any NWSL matches with the Washington Spirit. Dunn will return to her club for the May 9 match at Portland and the May 16 home clash with Sky Blue FC.

Dunn, who was one of the final cuts from the 23-player Women’s World Cup Team, has 13 caps for the USA. Heath, who was named to her second Women’s World Cup roster on May 14, has 90 caps.

MNT to Face Guatemala in Final Gold Cup Tune-Up

CHICAGO (May 4, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will face Guatemala on Friday, July 3, at 5:30 p.m. CT at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and the Univision Deportes Network.

'We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a team like Guatemala before the Gold Cup," said U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "They are similar to our opponents in the group stage, so we couldn't ask for better preparation. Our goal is to win the tournament, and this will be an important first step. Nashville has always been a great home to the National Team, and we look forward to having a fantastic crowd at LP Field."

Tickets go on sale to the public on Thursday, May 7, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Central Tennessee (including Kroger and Walmart stores) and the LP Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

The matchup will serve as the final tune-up for the team before it starts play at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup with an opening round match against Honduras on July 7 at 8:30 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. That game will also be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and UniMás.

The U.S. MNT competed in front of 29,059 fans the last time it played at LP Field in 2011, which was the largest crowd for a soccer match in the state of Tennessee. In three matches where the USMNT has played in Nashville, the average attendance has been 27,720.

The U.S. and Guatemala last met on July 5, 2013, in a game that also served as final preparation ahead of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The USA prevailed in that matchup by a 6-0 score line, improving its all-time record against Guatemala to 14-4-6.

The USA has played five international friendlies in 2015, going 2-2-1. The year for the MNT has been highlighted by a 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico in April, a 2-0 win over Panama in February, and a draw with No. 9 FIFA-ranked Switzerland in Zurich in March.

Before the matchup with Guatemala, the U.S. will travel to Europe for a pair of friendlies with international powerhouse and No. 6 FIFA-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam on June 5 (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network), and reigning FIFA World Cup-champion and top-ranked Germany on June 10 in Cologne, Germany (2:45 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, UniMás, Univision Deportes Network). Fans can also follow all matches on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Richie Williams Names 20-Player Roster For U-17 MNT Camp

CHICAGO (May 2, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the team’s first domestic training camp of 2015 in East Hanover, New Jersey.

The camp will run from May 2-11, and the team will hold practice at New York Red Bulls’ practice facility. This will mark the first time the team gathers in a full time capacity since it competed at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Honduras earlier this year.

The team finished CONCACAF qualifying with a 3-1-2 record to secure a spot in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, following a thrilling 5-4 shootout victory over Jamaica on March 15. The 2015 U-17 World Cup will be held from Oct. 17-Nov. 8 in Chile.

The U.S. has qualified for 15 FIFA U-16 or U-17 World Championships. The 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup was the only occurrence wherein the USA did not qualify for the tournament. The USA’s best performance was a fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matt Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Tex.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Academy; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis Mo.), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union Academy; Media, Pa.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls II; Wappinger Falls, N.Y.), George Braima (Columbus Crew Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Terrell Lowe (Portland Timbers Academy; Hillsboro, Ore.), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas; El Paso, Tex.)
FORWARDS (5): Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC Academy; Port Chester, N.Y.), Mckinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Tex.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Haji Wright (New York Cosmos; Los Angeles, Calif.)

Roster Notes:

  • In addition to the matches during CONCACAF qualifying, the U-17s have played four international matches in 2015. The U.S. split a two-game set against Panama on Feb. 2 and 4, then showcased a strong offensive display with a 5-2 victory against Bermuda on Friday, Feb. 20, followed by a 4-0 win in a rematch two days later.
  • Fifteen players from this roster were a part of the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship roster
  • Josh Perez scored four goals and tallied an assist for the U.S. in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
  • Goalkeeper William Pulisic started in all six games of that tournament.
  • Perez has scored six goals in 2015, the most of any U-17 MNT player. He also boasts a roster-leading three assists on the year
  • Haji Wright is the most experienced player of the group having earned 34-career caps with the U-17 Men’s National Team
  • Wright was the leading goal scorer for the U-17s last year with 18 goals in 22 matches and was a nominee for the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year award.
  • Much of this U-17 MNT roster played a big role in the USA’s 17-7-3 international campaign in 2014. Matt Constant, Terrell Lowe, Auston Trusty and Brandon Vazquez joined the team in 2015
  • Fourteen players from this roster were a part of the team that earned a runner-up finish in the 2014 Nike Friendlies.
  • Nineteen of the 20 players have ties to the Development Academy

U-15 BNT Wins Tournament delle Nazioni with 3-2 Victory over Austria

GRADISCA D’ISONZO, Italy (May 1, 2015) --The U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team defeated Austria 3-2 to win the 12th Tournament delle Nazioni today in Gradisca D’Isonzo, Italy. Andrew Carleton scored two first-half goals and Tim Weah added a score in the second half, as the team was able to hold off Austria to take home the tournament title.

The U.S. struck first in the 12th minute when George Acosta sent a pass up to Carleton, who got past the last Austrian defender, dribbled around the goalkeeper and scored. Ten minutes later Carleton added to his tally by running onto the ball after a U.S. shot had rebounded off the post and firing it into the bottom right corner of the goal, doubling the U.S. lead.

In the second half the U.S. scored first again when Tim Weah received a pass, took a turn and fired from the top of the box to put the U.S. up 3-0. Austria got on the board a minute later and made things interesting by adding another score in the 77th minute.

While Austria threatened in the game’s final minutes, the U.S. defense stood firm and held on for the 3-2 win.

- U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-15 BNT vs. Austria
Date: Friday, May 1, 2015
Competition: Torneo Delle Nazioni, FINAL
Venue: Gradisca D’Isonzo, Italy
Kickoff: 3:30pm
Attendance: 500
Weather:  63 degrees; cloudy /light rain 

Scoring Summary:            1              2              F                            
USA                                        2              1              3                            
AUT                                  0              2              2 

USA – Andrew Carleton (George Acosta)                                       11 minute
USA – Andrew Carleton (Ayo Akinola)                                          23
USA – Tim Weah (Ayo Akinola)                                                      61
AUT – Nicolas Meister                                                                       63
AUT – Nicolas Meiser                                                                         76

Lineups:
USA: 1-Eric Lopez, 17-Zico Bailey, 19-Jaylin Lindsey, 3-Kelee Cornfield-Saunders, 21-Chandler Vaughn, 8-Chris Durkin, 18-Chris Goslin (4-Jake Arteaga, 67), 13-George Acosta (15-Carlos Anguiano Diaz, 55), 9-Lucas Del Rosario (7-Tim Weah, 55), 16-Ayo Akinola (20-Adrian Villegas, 67), 11-Andrew Carleton (2-Bryan Perez, 83)
Subs not used: 5-Rayshaun McGann, 6-Blaine Ferri, 22-Alex Budnik
Not dressed: 10-Nicholas Taitague

Head Coach: John Hackworth 

AUT: 1-Semir Karalic, 12-Benedikt Donnerer (20-Philipp Riegler, 41), 4-Dario Maresic, 5-Luca Meisl, 3-Alexander Burgstaller, 6-Valentino Muller, 18-Jorg Wagnes, 8-Florian Fischerauer, 7-Philipp Sittsam (11-Kenan Kirim, 35), 9-Nicolas Meister, 10-Christoph Baumgartner (17-Philipp Sturm, 49)
Subs not used: 21- Mario Schragl, 14-Maurice Mathis, 16-Elvedin Buljubasic, 2-Leonardo Zottele, 15-Hannes Wolf, 13-Patrick Obermuller
Not dressed: none

Head Coach: Andreas Heraf

Stats Summary: USA / AUT
Shots: 4 / 10
Shots on Goal: 4 / 7
Saves: 9 / 3
Corner Kicks: 1 / 5
Fouls: 12 / 14
Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: Chiffi Daniece
Assistant Referee 1: Savorgnani Stefano
Assistant Referee 2:  Masini Giovani

'One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.' Series On The USA’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, Presented By Clorox

CHICAGO (April 29, 2015) - The U.S. Women’s National Team has three matches left before traveling to Canada for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in June, but as the excitement for the tournament ramps up, U.S. Soccer is proud to release its "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." series, presented by Clorox.

The exclusive video content featured on ussoccer.com profiles each member on the U.S. WNT roster and provides fans the opportunity to get to know the players and their stories from outside the soccer field before they cheer them on this summer in Canada during the world’s biggest sporting event for women.

Sprinkled with humor, fun and heartfelt stories, the videos give fans insight into the players’ personalities, families, motivations, and some of the challenges they’ve experienced on the different roads they’ve traveled to earn the right to represent the United States in the ultimate competition for a soccer player. The videos feature a wide range of material and topics as we delve into their 23 Stories.

The series is supported by an extensive collection of information produced by U.S. Soccer that features video, photos, narratives and biographies with each player.

Prior to departing for the World Cup in Canada, the U.S. WNT will embark on a three-game Send-Off Series across the United States in May. Tickets for the Send-Off Series matches are now on sale. The U.S. will play the Republic of Ireland on Sunday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. PT, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California; Mexico on Sunday, May 17, at 6 p.m. PT, at StubHub Center in Carson, California; and Korea Republic on Saturday, May 30, at 4:30 p.m. ET, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

This summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team will face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA opens against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, followed by Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg and Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver.

2015 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team Roster: 
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC) 
DEFENDERS (8): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash),Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars),Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash),Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit),Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC),Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) 
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash),Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC),Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City),Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash),Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC) 
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC),Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars),Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)

ONE NATION. ONE TEAM. 23 STORIES.

SHANNON BOXX
At 38, Shannon Boxx will be playing in her fourth and final Women’s World Cup. To get there, she had to overcome significant health challenges as well as return to the field after the birth of her daughter, tests she has managed with tremendous perseverance, dedication and the support of her friends, family and especially her teammates.

MORGAN BRIAN
At 22, Morgan Brian is the youngest player on the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team and has starred at the Youth National Teams level for some time, helping the USA win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. But it wasn’t always that way. As an under-sized youth player in Georgia and Florida, she earned the nickname “Plankton” and was cut from the Olympic Development Program team. Despite hitting some obstacles along the way, with hard work, self-belief, ambitious goal-setting and inspirational guidance from a coach, she made herself into one of the best young players in the world.

LORI CHALUPNY
While Lori Chalupny may admittedly still be a bit shy, she credits her U.S. Youth National Team experience with helping her come out of her shell and find her voice. Now the St. Louis native is a college coach and a veteran player who, after five years away from the team, has a heightened appreciation for the opportunity to compete for a Women’s World Cup title.

WHITNEY ENGEN
Whitney Engen grew up in what you might call a “fun household” where her parents were always encouraging her and her brother through games and activities. Today, she knows those experiences helped mold not only her competitive nature, but also her ability to thrive in such an environment. She now feels comfortable dealing with the good days and the bad ones, whether it be while competing for and earning a spot on the USA’s Women’s World Cup Team, or catching a tossed ice cube in a cup after a full 360-degree spin.

ASHLYN HARRIS
During her childhood in Satellite Beach, Fla., Ashlyn Harris was a wild child, a grom and a skater who hit both the surf and the concrete ramps with abandon. She played sports with and against the boys and had to earn their respect. Somewhere along the way she realized that soccer might be her way out of the small town. It was, as she won the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in 2002, went on to a stellar career at North Carolina, was a standout for her pro clubs and now has earned a place on her first Women’s World Cup Team. Having found her voice, she wants to use it to help others through their struggles while blazing her own path and living life freely.

TOBIN HEATH
Tobin Heath is a free spirit. It’s a distinct part of her personality that informs her style of play on the field and her life off of it. The joy she feels with the ball at her feet and her pursuit of new experiences have carried her around the country and the globe. This soccer vagabond has bounced from place to place, embracing a warm community of family and friends in between soccer trips, but she knows that one day she will settle down. Even after she does, Heath will cling to that sense of adventure and continue to seek out different situations, people and cultures that challenge her and help her grow.

LAUREN HOLIDAY
Open-heart surgery at the age of three didn’t slow down Lauren Holiday, who enjoyed a childhood replete with competition against her siblings, which led her to a first call-up for the U.S. Women’s National Team at the tender age of 17. Now 27, the central midfielder has grown up on the U.S. team and into one of the team’s most important players.

JULIE JOHNSTON
Julie Johnston has played soccer for as long as she can remember, and fueled by competition with her sister, she became one of the best young players in the country, and then the world, when she captained the USA to the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title. Still, she struggled with self-confidence trying to make the huge jump to the full National Team, and without the constant support of her friends and family, she says she might not have made it to her first Women’s World Cup.

MEGHAN KLINGENBERG
The only thing small about Meghan Klingenberg – just call her Kling -- is her height. Her personality, toughness, competitive desire and talent on the soccer field certainly loom large, so much so that the third-degree black belt in taekwondo has molded herself into one of the best attacking outside backs in the world. Who would have known that a girl from Pittsburgh, who did a demo with Nunchucks to NSYNC’s “Here We Go” in her fifth grade talent show, would one day rise to the U.S. Women’s National Team? Kling would -- that’s who.

ALI KRIEGER
Ali Krieger had a near-death experience while in college, and at the time, didn’t know if she would be able to follow her dreams of playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team, or even continue playing soccer at all. With the support of her family and teammates, and armed with a new perspective, she was able to recover and offer support to her brother who was going through his own struggles at the time. Now, the siblings are each other’s role models and confidents, lending each other perspective while helping each other achieve success and happiness.

SYDNEY LEROUX
Sydney Leroux played all sorts of sports with boys while growing up and always left everything on the field. She eventually grew out of her tomboy stage, but the aggressive style she honed as a youth is the same one fans see from her on the field today. While her road to the U.S. National Team was certainly untraditional, the daughter of a single mom gives all the credit to Sandi Leroux for providing her with the love, opportunity and support to help her follow her dreams.

CARLI LLOYD
Carli Lloyd has used a tremendous work ethic, honed on the fields of New Jersey, often times by herself, to become one of the best and most clutch midfielders in the world. She cherishes the most important games and relishes the chance to put her training into action on the grandest of stages. Lloyd embraces the pressure of her own high expectations and looks forward to having her teammates count on her in the biggest of moments.

ALEX MORGAN
Alex Morgan's childhood in Diamond Bar, Calif. involved a lot of sports. She decided only in her early teenage years to concentrate on soccer, but that focus paid off eight years later, when as the youngest player on the USA's 2011 Women's World Cup roster she played a major role off the bench. Now, as she heads to her second World Cup, Morgan is incorporating lessons she's learned from her teammates with a new set of responsibilities on the field, along with her status as a role model.

ALYSSA NAEHER
Alyssa Naeher and her twin sister were drawn to opposite ends of the soccer field: Amanda would become a high scoring forward in college while Alyssa gravitated to the goal. After an early mishap, the duo rebounded, learning to complement each other and hone each other's competitive edge. Today, each Naeher sister calls herself the other's biggest fan.

KELLEY O’HARA
Georgia native Kelley O’Hara is a southern girl at heart, and as she grew up playing all sorts of sports in Peachtree City, she never thought she would want to leave home. But her soccer travels for the USA’s youth and senior national teams, as well as a brilliant collegiate career at Stanford, have led her to live on both coasts and have taken her around the globe, opening up her eyes to a world she embraces while living life to the fullest.

HEATHER O’REILLY
Heather O'Reilly grew up with three older brothers who loved including her in their sporting exploits and watched with pride as her athleticism grew...even when she started beating their friends. Later, O'Reilly would discover that she shares something else with one of her brothers: the game face.

CHRISTEN PRESS
Christen Press’ journey took her from a highly successful but often stressful college career in California, to a folded pro league in Florida, to a fresh start in Sweden, and then to a spot as an alternate on the 2012 Olympic Team in England. Along the way she found peace with herself, and in her game, while scoring nearly a goal for every two games she has played for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

MEGAN RAPINOE
Growing up in a small town in northern California with her twin sister Rachael helped shape Megan Rapinoe into the person and player she is today. While her childhood pursuits were not good for the crawdads in the pond by her house, it positively impacted her outlook on life and strengthened a family bond that has propelled her to great success on the soccer field.

CHRISTIE RAMPONE
Through eighteen years on the U.S. Women’s National Team, defender Christie Rampone has grown from a tremendously shy dual-sport athlete out of a small New Jersey school to the long-time captain of her country. Along the way she has learned from the many players and coaches who have graced the U.S. team over the past two decades. Rampone earned the monikers of Captain America and America’s #1 Soccer Mom while raising two daughters who have grown up around the team. She feels incredibly fortunate to have had so many great role models for Rylie and Reece, who are anything but shy.

AMY RODRIGUEZ
Amy Rodriguez knew that returning to the field after having her son following the 2012 Olympics was not going to be easy. After a trade to a new club, she found new motivation, helped lead FC Kansas City to a NWSL title and earned a spot on the Women's World Cup Team. After giving birth to her son Ryan, she realized she was not nearly ready to hang up her cleats and underwent a shift in perspective. Fueled by her desire to make Ryan proud when he came of age to understand her accomplishments, Rodriguez sought to pursue her goals to the fullest. Mission accomplished.

BECKY SAUERBRUNN
At times, growing up with two older brothers wasn’t easy, but it certainly helped mold Becky Sauerbrunn into the tremendous competitor she is today. While her brothers did in fact dress her in make-shift goalie gear and shot hockey pucks at her, they also helped her learn to read, which opened up a new universe of literature and in turn nurtured her passion for knowledge. Now Sauerbrunn makes a point to learn about new cultures in all the places she’s been able to travel with the U.S. Women’s National Team while always looking to expand her education.

HOPE SOLO
From an early age, Hope Solo wanted to be a professional soccer player. She just didn’t think it would be in goal. A highly-decorated scorer as a forward in high school in Richland, Wash., she didn’t come to terms with being a goalkeeper until her later years in college. With the support of her coaches at the University of Washington, she was told she could be the best in the world. They were right. Since then, she has been dedicated to her craft, and while she says that no one can perfect the art of goalkeeping, she loves the challenge it brings, and that’s what continues to motivate her.

ABBY WAMBACH
One of the greatest competitors and winners in the history of women's soccer grew up as the youngest of seven kids in Rochester, New York. Her competitive fire was partly fueled by a loss during her senior year of high school and stoked by another crushing defeat on the biggest stage four years ago. As she pursues an elusive Women's World Cup title in her last go-around, no one realizes more than Abby Wambach that you are defined not by falling down but by how you respond when you get up.

U.S. U-23 MNT to Continue Olympic Prep in England in September

CHICAGO (April 29, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will convene in England for camp in early September, highlighted by matches with England’s U-23 National Team on Thursday, Sept. 3 and Qatar’s U-23 National Team on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

“We are absolutely excited about this invitation to compete with these teams,” U.S. U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog said. “We have emphasized the need for this group to be together as much as possible, and to get another chance to train and play against England and Qatar will be a great opportunity to evaluate players as we look to finalize our roster for Olympic Qualifying.”

The camp serves as part of the preparation process for qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship will be played in the United States from Oct. 1-13.

The U-23s have logged three matches in 2015 (2-1-0), opening with a 5-2 win over Bosnia and falling 0-1 to Denmark in March before bouncing back with a 3-0 win over Mexico on April 22 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Next month, the team will be back together for the renowned Toulon Tournament in France at the end of May. There, the U-23’s will collide with some of the world’s best teams, facing off with France on May 27, Netherlands on May 29, Costa Rica on May 31 and Qatar on June 2. The championship and third place games are scheduled for June 7.

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