New Tune in Nashville
Friday’s friendly against Guatemala marks the fourth time the U.S. Men’s National Team will play in the “Music City”. Though the team is just 1-2-0 all-time in Nashville, the city does hold a few memorable moments for a couple of the current crop of players.
Gold Cup captain Michael Bradley actually saw his name on a game-day roster for the first time here as a guest player with the side in their send-off friendlies prior to leaving for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Bradley was an unused sub in the team’s 1-0 defeat to Morocco on May 23, 2006, before earning his first U.S. cap three days later in a 2-0 win vs. Venezuela in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s now just two away from joining the Century Club.
Of course, the biggest U.S. moment in Nashville came when then 19-year-old Jozy Altidore became the youngest player in MNT history to score a hat trick, bagging all three goals in the side’s 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against Trinidad & Tobago.
Beyond the individual memories, every time the U.S. MNT has come to Nashville, the support has been strong and the crowds have grown larger. That’ll be no different on Friday night as more than 37,500 tickets have already been sold, smashing Nashville’s previous best attendance record of 29,059 on March 29, 2011 against Paraguay.
Bradley/Altidore/Dempsey Together Again
Jurgen Klinsmann has made no secret of the fact that his approach to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is to win now so the team can directly qualify for a place at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. A big part of that is calling in an experienced roster that has an average of 30.5 caps, including the three most seasoned players on the roster: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey.
Friday night will likely be the first time since February’s 2-0 win against Panama that the trio will appear together on the field after injuries and the birth of Clint Dempsey’s child kept it from happening more recently. Should all three appear against Guatemala, it would mark the 50th time the trio has played together with the National Team.
Captains…Leaders on the Gold Cup Roster
While Klinsmann has international experience in his squad heading into the Gold Cup, he’s also got leadership, with four players on the roster captaining their club teams: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Current U.S. number one goalkeeper Brad Guzan received the first of his 30 international caps during the team’s 4-0 rout of Guatemala in a friendly on February 19, 2006.
It’s not quite déjà vu, but Friday’s falls almost two years to the day of midfielder Alejandro Bedoya’s first U.S. MNT goal, which also came in a Gold Cup warmup against Guatemala. With the U.S. already laying a 5-0 thumping on Los Chapines, Bedoya popped up with his first strike in the 88th minute to close the scoring at 5-0.
Bedoya joined Jeff Agoos (June 13, 1988), Brian McBride (November 3, 1996) and Frankie Hejduk (December 21, 1996) as notable U.S. players that scored their first international goal against Guatemala.
Jurgen on the Friendly
The 2013 friendly win ran the U.S. MNT’s unbeaten streak against Guatemala to 20 matches, the team’s longest-ever unbeaten run against any nation. Despite having handily defeated Guatemala last time out, Klinsmann said the Central American side will provide a tough final test for his team Friday ahead of the Gold Cup.
“It’s definitely a different Guatemala [team] than we played two years ago. Two years ago we played them in San Diego and it was 6-0 -- they basically came off vacation -- they were not qualified for the Gold Cup. This is a different Guatemala team. This is a Guatemala team that wants to do well in this Gold Cup. We expect some difficulties, a tight game and a lot of work.
We have respect for their individual qualities. All Central American teams are technically different and can put you into some problems in a split second with a set piece or a counter break. They will also have respect for us. They see what we did over the last couple of years. That’s why I said a few weeks ago, we will face teams that will play extremely defensive-minded against us. [The team] has to find ways to solve it. They have to find ways to create chances and put them in the back of the net.”
CHICAGO (July 1, 2015) – The second night of 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 action started with goals galore before tighter results out west provided a bit more drama.
Dom Dwyer’s four-goal outburst led Sporting Kansas City to a 6-2 rout of FC Dallas, while second-half goals on the Wasatch Front saw Real Salt Lake past the Portland Timbers. Additionally, both the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy won regional derbies to earn their first Quarterfinal appearances since 2011.
U.S. Soccer will announce the dates and times for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals on Thursday morning.
The U.S. Men’s National team will face off with Guatemala in a final friendly before the team embarks on its title defense of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The game will be played at Nissan Field in Nashville, Tennessee. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT and the match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network.
With more than 33,000 tickets sold, it will be the most-attended soccer game ever in the state of Tennessee, breaking the MNT’s own record, which was set in 2011 when 29,059 fans watched USA-Paraguay. Over the three matches the National Team has played in Nashville, the average attendance has been 27,720.
The USA is coming off road wins against sixth-ranked Netherlands and reigning World Cup champion Germany. The matchup with Guatemala will serve as the final tune-up for the team before it starts play at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup 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 23-player U.S. roster is an experienced group. Sixteen players were a part of the MNT’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, making the highest return rate of players between the two rosters in years where the Gold Cup has followed the World Cup (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013). Additionally, six players on the roster were a part of the team that won the Gold Cup in 2013. All together, the 23 players average 30 international appearances with 14 having played in a minimum of 20 matches for the U.S. MNT.
The USA has played seven international friendlies in 2015, going 4-2-1. The team is riding an impressive four-game unbeaten streak that includes wins over world No. 1 Germany, sixth-ranked Netherlands, archrival Mexico, and a 1-1 draw with then No.-12 ranked Switzerland in Zurich.
Guatemala and the United States have met 24 times. The U.S. is unbeaten in the last 20 matches between the two (14-0-6), its longest unbeaten streak against any nation.
USA vs. Guatemala:
- The United States is 14-4-6 all-time against Guatemala. The MNT is unbeaten in the last 20 games, which is the MNT’s longest streak against any nation and dates back to 1988. Five of the last six games have been wins for the USA.
- All four of the USA’s losses to Guatemala have been on the road in Guatemala City, and three of the four ties were also away from U.S. soil. In the USA, the MNT’s record against Guatemala is 14-0-1.
- The USA has outscored the Guatemala 39-17.
- The teams’ last meeting was also a Gold Cup tune-up ahead of the 2013 edition of the tournament. On July 5, 2013 in San Diego, California, the U.S. rolled to a 6-0 win. Alejandro Bedoya and Chris Wondolowski each contributed a goal.
- In 2012 the team’s met for a pair CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. The first took place in June in Guatemala City, where the two tied 1-1. In that game Fabian Johnson assisted Clint Dempsey for the USA’s goal. Guatemala’s Marco Pappa bent in a stunning free kick in the 83rd minute of the game to level it and secure the only point for the Guatemalans against the U.S. in the last eight years. Later that year in October, Dempsey would find the net against Guatemala two more times, notching a brace to lead the U.S. to a 3-1 win. Michael Bradley assisted on Dempsey’s second score.
- Pappa is teammates with Dempsey and Brad Evans at Seattle Sounders FC, while Guatemala defender Elias Enoc Vasquez plays alongside Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman at Real Salt Lake.
- This will be the third matchup between the teams during Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach (2-0-1).
U.S. Men’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/2007), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/2011, 2013), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC/2009), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy/2013), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers/2011)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake/2009, 2013), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/2011, 2013), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/2007, 2011), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC/2013), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/2011), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC/2005, 2007, 2011), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes/2011, 2013)
*Years listed after players’ clubs denote inclusion in previous CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters.
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- Sixteen players on this roster were a part of the MNT’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, marking the highest return rate of players between the two rosters in years where the Gold Cup has followed the FIFA World Cup (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013).
- Six players were a part of the USA team that won the Gold Cup in 2013: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez, Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski
- The USA has reached the Gold Cup Final in five straight tournaments and six out of the last seven. The team finished in third place in 2003 after losing to a Kaka-led Brazil.
- Clint Dempsey (15), Michael Bradley (11) and Beckerman (11) have all played in more than 10 Gold Cup games. Bedoya and Wondolowski are also experienced players with eight Gold Cup caps each.
- Twelve players on the roster have previously played in the Gold Cup, nine of whom have lifted the trophy.
- The 23 players on the roster average 30.5 international appearances with 14 having played in a minimum of 20 matches for the U.S. MNT.
- The USA has won the Gold Cup five times (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013) and finished as the runner-up four times (1992, 1998, 2009, 2011). The MNT has finished outside of the top four only once (2000).
- Dempsey (5), Wondolowski (5), Beckerman, Bradley, and Diskerud, have all scored goals in previous Gold Cups. All five of Wondolowski’s goals came in the 2013 Gold Cup, where he tied for the tournament’s Golden Boot.
- Dempsey is the only two-time winner (2005, 2007) and the only three-time Gold Cup participant on the U.S. roster.
- Seven different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, Bradley, John Brooks, Dempsey, Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, and Gyasi Zardes.
- The win against Germany in its most recent match was the fourth victory for the U.S. MNT over a top-10 ranked opponent since Jurgen Klinsmann took over the helm in 2011.
- Brad Evans assisted on the game-winning goal in the team’s win over the reigning World Cup champions.
- Tim Ream has earned honors as Bolton Wanderers’ Player of the Year each of the last two seasons.
- Against Netherlands on June 5, Brad Guzan made his first appearance since he played against Colombia on Nov. 14, 2014. It was his first start of 2015. After picking up the win against Germany, Guzan is now a perfect 2-0-0 in 2015.
- Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga that earned the club an automatic spot in the 2016 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup this season.
- Johannsson recorded four goals in his final three matches as AZ Alkmaar snatched the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League.
- Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany and subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga.
- Bradley has played every minute of the USA's seven matches so far in 2015. In addition to Bradley, two other MNT players have appeared in all seven games this year: Gyasi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin.
- In the absence of Dempsey, Bradley has started as the team’s captain in five straight matches.
- Graham Zusi was a part of the team that represented the U.S. in the World Cup last summer and is the only player on the roster without an appearance for the MNT in 2015.
- William Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. In recent seasons he marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.
- Ventura Alvarado has appeared in five straight matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League title and a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup. Alvarado has started in the last three games for the U.S. MNT, in which the team is 3-0-0.
- Seven leagues from six countries are represented on the roster: Canada, England, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands and the United States.
- Altidore leads the team in points with five in 2015 on two goals and an assist.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS:
- Midfielder Michael Bradley is on track to earn his 100th cap in the MNT’s opening match with Honduras on July 7. He now has 98 appearances since debuting for the USA in 2006. He is in sole possession of 16th place on the MNT all-time list.
- Bradley, who assisted on Mix Diskerud’s equalizer in the 2-1 win against Germany on June 10, is now tied for sixth on the U.S. MNT all-time list for assists with 14. His 13 goals rank him No. 13 all-time.
- Following the win over Germany, Brad Guzan moved into fifth on the all-time wins list with 14.
- U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (37-17-12) ranks third among the USA’s all-time winningest coaches. Ahead of Klinsmann are National Soccer Hall of Famers, Bruce Arena (71) and Bob Bradley (43).
IN FOCUS: GUATEMALA
National Football Federation of Guatemala
FIFA Affiliation: 1946
Head Coach: Ivan Franco Sopegno
FIFA World Ranking: 93
Best World Cup Finish: Never Qualified
Leading Cap-Winner: Carlos Ruiz (116)
Leading Goalscorer: Carlos Ruiz (57)
Guatemala Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Victor Ayala (Antigua GFC), Ricardo Jerez (Alianza Petrol), Paulo Motta (Municipal)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Castrillo (Comunicaciones), Stefano Cincotta (Chemnitzer), Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas), Wilson Lalin (Comunicaciones), Deniss Lopez (Municipal), Ruben Morales (Comunicaciones), Elias Enoc Vasquez (Real Salt Lake)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Jorge Aparicio (Comunicaciones), Gerardo Arias (Petapa), Jose Contreras (Comunicaciones), Carlos Figueroa (Comunicaciones), Kendel Herrarte (Comunicaciones), Brandon De Leon (Comunicaciones), Jonathan Marquez (Comunicaciones), Carlos Mejia (Comunicaciones), Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders)
FORWARDS (4): Jairo Arreola (Comunicaciones), Edgar Chinchilla (Antigua GFC), Minor Lopez (Atlético CP), Carlos Ruiz (Municipal/Guatemala)
- Carlos Ruiz is the oldest player (35) on the roster, and is the leading cap-winner (116) and goalscorer (57) in Guatemala national team history
- Ivan Sopegno became the head coach of the Guatemalan side on May 21, 204. Prior to taking the reins, the former Argentine goalkeeper coached Guatemalan club CSD Comunicaciones to five titles between 2008-2014
- Eleven players from this roster play for Comunicaciones
- The roster is almost entirely domestic. Only four of the 23 players come from non-Guatemalan clubs: Ricado Jerez (Alianz Petrol/Colombia); Moises Hernandez (FC Dallas); Elias Enoc Vasquez (Real Salt Lake), and Marco Pappa (Seattle Sounders FC)
- Guatemala closed out 2014 with wins in five of its last seven games, but has only won once in 2015 (1-0, vs. Bermuda, June 15) with a 1-3-2 record
- 22-year-old Jorge Aparicio is the youngest player on the roster.
On the field for USA against Guatemala:
July 6, 2013 – Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, California – International Friendly
USA 6 Herculez Gomez 43, Landon Donovan 55, 72; Chris Wondolowski 71,
Clarence Goodson 84, Alejandro Bedoya 88
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 21-Clarence Goodson, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 14-Kyle Beckerman (8-Mix Diskerud, 46), 16-Jose Torres (11-Stuart Holden, 46); 10-Landon Donovan (17-Will Bruin, 73), 6-Joe Corona (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 59), 2-Edgar Castillo (23-Brek Shea, 59); 9-Herculez Gomez (19-Chris Wondolowski, 59)
Substitutions Not Used: 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 12-Sean Johnson, 18-Jack McInerney
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GUA: 1-Ricardo Jerez; 2-Carlos Castrillo, 3-Enoc Vasquez, 13-Victor Hernandez (14-Luis Cardona, 59), 5-Carlos Gallardo (6-Milton Leal, 78); 24-Jonathan Lopez (17-Enrique Miranda, 76), 8-Sergio Trujillo (9-Wilber Perez, 59), 16-Jonathan Marquez, 22-Edward Santeliz; 18-Minor Lopez Campollo (19-Angelo Padilla 85), 10-Jose Contreras (capt.) (7-Marlon Sequen, 86)
Substitutions Not Used: 11-Kevin Arriola, 12-Victor Ayala
Head coach: Victor Monzón