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MNT Strikers Embrace Competition for Spots on CONCACAF Cup Squad

As Men’s National Team camp convened Sunday in Washington, D.C., U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called for all players to “prove a point” that they belonged on the roster that will face Mexico in next month’s CONCACAF Cup.

With Clint Dempsey absent from the first part of the international window – he scored seven goals in the 2015 Gold Cup - the opportunity is even greater at the striker position where Klinsmann has summoned five players all aged 25 years or younger. Heading into this camp, Klinsmann said “so far, nobody has a real big advantage over another guy.”

With 83 caps and two World Cups under his belt, Altidore isn’t just the most experienced of the current forward crop, but also one of the most seasoned international players on the team. While the veteran striker departed the team following the Gold Cup group stage, he’s returned to the side after scoring three goals in his last two matches for Toronto FC.  

It’s nice to come back into camp with some goals,” Altidore said. “You put the work in. You have to train to get back to how you were and get your fitness back. I’m feeling better and excited to have the chance to come back into camp and hopefully I can get on the field and make a difference.”

With the match against Mexico looming on Oct. 10 and CONCACAF World Cup qualifying kicking off the following month, Klinsmann has said it’s crucial for the next generation of forwards to step and claim their place.

“There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team,” he continued. “Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


Senior Men's National Team debutante Andrew Wooten has his eyes set on his first full international appearance with the USA.

Johannsson and Wood are joined in camp by two familiar faces in Altidore and Gyasi Zardes, as well as newcomer Andrew Wooten. The debutant 25-year-old earned his first National Team call by starting off the 2.Bundesliga campaign with five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

I always dreamed of playing one time in the Men’s National Team,” Wooten told ussoccer.com. “I’ve worked really hard in my club and I’m very happy now to be called up for my first time. Hopefully I can put on some good performances to stay here and play maybe in the next camp and next games.”

The striker with the best goal scoring form coming into camp, Wooten has already provided a new spark to the competition up top according to Johannsson.

“It’s always difficult to get on the field for the full team, especially now with a new face coming into the camp who is going to try and get some minutes,” the newly minted Werder Bremen striker said.

“It’s the National Team. Every time you come to camp, it’s going to be difficult to get in the starting 11. We have good players. Jozy is obviously the most experienced, and so it’s going to be interesting to see who he plays. On the other hand it’s nice as well because we have some good competition and everybody is fighting every training to prove to the coach they should be playing.”


Bobby Wood unleashes a shot during MNT training in the lead up to the team's Oct. 4 friendly against Peru.

Few players in world soccer can say their first two international goals came against the Netherlands and Germany, and even less can say they were game winners. Bobby Wood can.

After two magnificent strikes at the beginning of the summer, the 22-year-old was given time off during the Gold Cup to work on establishing himself at his new 2.Bundesliga side, Union Berlin.

With his club situation clarified, Wood will hope games against Peru and Brazil help him build off his early summer performances and earn another roster spot for the team that faces Mexico next month.

“These are two awesome games in the U.S. and I’m just going to take advantage,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much time I get, whatever it is I’m going to do my all to prove that I want to be here. We’ll see what’s up from there.”

Despite the hefty international experience he holds over his fellow forward counterparts, Altidore has embraced the open competition Klinsmann has put in place.

“The competition is lovely,” he said. “It’s part of being at this level with the National Team, and it’s something we all have to acknowledge. It’s part of the job. It’s been part of the job for my whole career.”

MNT Returns to Nation's Capital for CONCACAF Cup Tune-Up vs. Peru

The U.S. Men’s National Team is back in Washington D.C. for the first time since 2013 for an international friendly at RFK Stadium against Peru on Sept. 4. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network.

The friendly will serve as one of two MNT tune-ups for the CONCACAF Cup, the playoff game against Mexico which will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Oct. 10. The winner of that game will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, a dress rehearsal of confederation champions in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After its match with Peru, the MNT will head north to Massachusetts where it will take on five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough as the final prelude to the playoff.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has labeled these two friendlies an opportunity for players to “prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.” [Klinsmann Q&A] A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

The MNT is coming off of a fourth place finish in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and will look to return to the form it had earlier in 2015 when it went on a six-game winning streak and was unbeaten in a stretch of nine matches from the end of March to July. Four of those games were against opponents ranked in the top 20 in the world in which the U.S. posted a 3-0-1 record and included wins against World Cup champion Germany in Cologne, sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam and rival Mexico in San Antonio.

The match will be the first between the pair since the U.S. collected a 1-0 win the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup. The USA is 2-2-1 all-time against Los Incas.

The MNT has a long history at RFK Stadium and has competed in its confines more times than in any other stadium in the world, going 14-3-5 in 22 games since 1977. In its most recent match in the nation’s capital, the team celebrated the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation with a 4-3 win against Germany, which at the time was ranked second in the world.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Jonathan Spector became the 24th player on the roster when he was added Tuesday.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States.
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC. On Sunday, the 24-year-old netted his first Bundesliga goal in Werder’s win against Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • This is the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

HOME SWEET HOME:

  • The MNT is unbeaten in its last eight games in the nation’s capital (7-0-1).
  • In July, the MNT set attendance records in four games:
    • #USAvGUA in Tennessee was the most-attended soccer match in the state’s history.
    • #USAvHON was the most-attended international match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
    • #USAvHAI was the most-attended U.S. MNT Gold Cup match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
    • #USAvJAM at the Georgia Dome was the most-attended MNT match in the Peach State.
    • Since 1990, the MNT has averaged 33,876 in attendance at RFK Stadium, drawing 47,359 in the most recent visit against Germany.

USA vs. PERU:

  • The U.S. holds a 2-2-1 record all-time against Peru, with the two sides first meeting in 1989 in New Jersey that resulted in a 3-0 shutout win for the United States.
  • This matchup is the first between the teams in more than 15 years. Most recently, the U.S. defeated Peru 1-0 in Miami in the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, with Cobi Jones scoring the game-winner.
  • No player from the current U.S. side has ever faced Peru, nor have any Peru players matched up against the USA.
  • This will be the MNT’s second match against a South American nation in 2015, with the other being the USA’s 2-3 loss to Chile in January.

IN FOCUS: Peru
Federación Peruana de Futbol
Founded: 1922
FIFA Affiliation: 1924
Head Coach: Ricardo Gareca
FIFA World Ranking: 46
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals: 1970, 1978
Leading Cap-Winner: Roberto Palacios (128)
Leading Goalscorer: Teofil Cubillas (26) 

Peru Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal)
DEFENDERS (7): Luis Advincula (Bursaspor), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Carlos Ascues (Wolfsburg), Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Christian Cueva (Toluca), Paolo Hurtado (Reading), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Joel Sanchez (San Martin), Renato Tapia (FC Twente), Juan Manuel Vargas (Real Betis)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Daniel Chavez (Cesar Vallejo), Jefferson Farfan (Al-Jazira), Edison Flores (Universitario), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Yordy Reyna (RB Salzburg)


PERU NOTES:

  • Peru advanced to the semifinals of South America’s confederation championship this summer, finishing second in its group behind Brazil and ahead of Colombia and Venezuela. Los Incas defeated Bolivia 3-1 in the quarterfinal round before falling in the semifinals 2-1 to eventual tournament champion Chile. Peru defeated Paraguay 2-0 to take third place.
  • Nineteen players from Peru’s Copa America roster are traveling to the United States.
  • Paolo Guerrero has scored four goals for Peru in 2015, including his hat trick in the team’s win against Bolivia in the Copa America quarterfinals.
  • Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca is in his first year with Los Incas.
  • Four players from the roster have scored goals in 2015: Cueva, Carrilo, Guerrero and Farfan

LAST TIME OUT:

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Peru
Feb. 16, 2000 – The Orange Bowl – Miami, Fla. – Gold Cup, Group Stage

USA    1          Jones 59’       
PER    0

USA: 1-Brad Friedel, 3-Greg Vanney, 7-Eddie Lewis, 9-Jovan Kirovski; 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 11-Eric Wynalda, 13-Cobi Jones, 14-Chris Armas, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 20-Brian McBride, 23-Eddie Pope
Reserves: 4-Robin Fraser, 5-C.J. Brown, 12-Jeff Agoos, 18-Tony Meola, 19-Ben Olsen, 21-Richie Williams, 22-Ante Razov
Head coach: Bruce Arena

PER: 1-Oscar Ibanez, 3-Juan Reynoso, 4-Marcial Zalazar Orbe, 6-Cesar Miguel Rebosio, 8-Juan Jayo, 10-Roberto Palacios, 11-Roberto Holsen, 14-Jorge Soto, 19-Abel Lobaton, 20-Jose Del Solar, 23-Henry Quinteros Sanchez
Reserves: 2-Jorge Huaman, 5-Jose Soto, 12-Marco Flores, 15-Ysrael Zuniga, 16-Freddy Suarez, 17-German Pinillos Rioja, 18-Waldir Saenz 

Klinsmann Adds Defender Jonathan Spector ahead of Peru, Brazil Friendlies

CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector into training camp ahead of U.S. friendlies against Peru on Sept. 4 and Brazil on Sept. 8, Mass. The roster now includes 24 players, who will continue to train in Washington, D.C. in preparation for Friday’s match at RFK Stadium [TICKETS]. 

Last called into camp for a friendly against Ukraine on March 5, 2014, Spector has experience playing across the back line for the MNT and has a chance to make his first appearance since taking part in the side’s historic 1-0 win against Italy on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa. 

Spector has appeared in each of Birmingham City’s first four league matches this season, helping the club to a 2-0-2 record to begin the 2015/16 English League Championship campaign. 

Friday’s match marks the first meeting between the U.S. and Peru in 15 years, when the MNT defeated Los Incas 1-0 during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage in Miami, Florida. Kickoff at RFK Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow the game live @ussoccer on Twitter.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Veterans Return to MNT with Eyes on Claiming a Place in CONCACAF Cup Squad

As the U.S. Men’s National Team ramps up its final preparations for next month’s CONCACAF Cup playoff with Mexico, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought several veteran faces back into the fold to compete for spots in October’s playoff.

Three of the players that return to the mix are midfielder Jermaine Jones, defender Matt Besler and goalkeeper Tim Howard – a trio that played nearly every minute of every match at last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. All recently absent from the team for different reasons, the three returned to MNT camp this week with joy at seeing teammates again and anticipation for the task ahead.

“It’s always nice to be back with the boys,” Jones told ussoccer.com Monday. “I think every player is happy to represent his country and I always want to play.”

Set to join the National Team for June’s friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, Jones suffered a groin injury in his last match with the New England Revolution prior to leaving for the games. The injury required surgery, which subsequently kept him from last month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

While he got to see his teammates when they came to Boston for their second group match against Haiti, all he could do was watch. In the end, he felt the same disappointment as his teammates on the field when the U.S. fell 2-1 to Jamaica in the tournament semifinals, setting up October’s showdown with Mexico.

“It’s always bad if you have to fix an injury and be out because of it,” he said. “I was sad to sit upstairs and not play and watch on TV. I think the whole team isn’t happy with the result at the Gold Cup, but we have a chance on October 10 where we can fix it. This is the goal, and now we have two games with Brazil and Peru.  I think we see them differently than other friendlies.”

Having first returned with New England a month ago, Jones has gradually built up his fitness, playing the first hour of the Revolution’s 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union over the weekend.

“I try to get my fitness back,” he added. “I got 60 minutes with my club team now. It’s good to get a little bit harder training and get some good balance. I want to get my body to 100 percent as quick as possible.”

State of the Squad: Position Battles Abound in Important Friendlies against Peru, Brazil

As the U.S. Men’s National Team convenes in Washington, D.C.  on Sunday to prepare for their final friendlies before taking on Mexico in the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff, the message from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is clear: “Prove a point that you want to be at The Rose Bowl.”

The two friendlies against Peru and Brazil have taken on a new meaning from the time when they were originally planned. Scheduled with an eye on preparation towards November’s World Cup qualifying matches and next year’s Copa America Centenario, the two games now serve as the ultimate proving ground for veteran and young players alike to make their case for the October playoff.

“This is now a huge opportunity for the players to show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation because of what happened in the Gold Cup. Experience or no experience, this is not about developing things. This is about proving a point.”

While 15 players return from July’s Gold Cup roster, Klinsmann’s eye towards more competition in the team has seen the return of four World Cup veterans in goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Jermaine Jones and center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron all returning after varying levels of absences over the last year.

Besler and Cameron rejoin a U.S. center back pool that also features Gold Cup starters Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks as well as Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco and Tim Ream.


MNT defender Tim Ream battles Panama's Adolfo Machado during the 2015 Gold Cup.

With seven options providing a good mix of youth and experience, Klinsmann made clear, “The heat is on in that position.”

“Some positions are definitely there to grab, but you've got to grab them with a lot of determination and a lot of ambition,” he added. “That's why bringing back Tim Howard now and Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron kind of signals the fight and the competition now happening between the older established ones and the new wave of players. This is what we want to see from Sunday on in training. We want to see competition, and then we're going to make some calls. Obviously the most crucial calls come for the roster that goes to the Rose Bowl.”

After taking the summer off following strong performances in the June friendly wins against The Netherlands and Germany, forward Bobby Wood and midfielder Danny Williams also returned to the fold, while the lone newcomer in camp is forward Andrew Wooten. The 25-year-old striker has been tracked by Klinsmann and his staff for two years and has started the 2.Bundesliga season off strong, scoring five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

“We like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals. He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water right away and swim really fast.”

Wooten’s good form and entrance into the National Team picture has come at an opportune time for the striker as he comes into the fold with no clear cut pecking order after Clint Dempsey. Though the U.S. veteran won the Golden Boot with six goals at the Gold Cup, injury issues will force him out for at least the Peru match, leaving Wooten, Wood, Aron Johannsson, and Jozy Altidore a chance to prove they belong in the squad come October.

“I think the situation with our forwards is wide open,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team.

“Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


MNT forward Aron Johannsson controls the ball in the USA's match against Jamaica during the 2015 Gold Cup.

While Dempsey and captain Michael Bradley will miss out on the Peru match, other regulars that would have otherwise been part of the camp were ruled out due to injury.

“Of course this is normal whenever we have international games,” Klinsmann said. “Unfortunately for Fabian Johnson he got injured a couple weeks after a very good start to the season with Monchengladbach. We have some cases where guys are nursing some injuries, like Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman in Salt Lake.”

Originally slated to continue with the National Team after coming out of international retirement last month, veteran DaMarcus Beasley was also forced to pull out of the squad after suffering an injury over the weekend with the Houston Dynamo.

 With the experimental period following the World Cup now coming to an end, Klinsmann put an impetus on the younger players that have received opportunities over the last year to sink or swim with established veterans back involved with the team.

“We gave the younger generation a lot of confidence and a lot of support and a lot of help, which is our job from a coaching standpoint,” he said. “Now the moment comes and they have to prove it. They have to go face-to-face with the established guys and try to steal their spot. This is what it’s about now. We will find out if they are ready for it. We have the playoff game for one, and then we have World Cup qualifying which is not experimenting any more. In a certain way you can tell that the transition phase comes to an end and now they need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

Q&A: Klinsmann, "Now the players need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

ussoccer.com: What was the approach to putting this roster together?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for Mexico game a month from now. Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

“With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation we’re in because of what happened in the Gold Cup. These games are not about developing things for the future. This is about proving a point towards the Mexico game.”

ussoccer.com: What is the objective for these matches?
JK: “Coming into two games like this against Brazil, whose accomplishments speak for themselves, and Peru coming off a third place finish in Copa America, this is now a huge opportunity for the players to  show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash. Initially with the games – and also going back to the games against Holland and Germany – our goal was to get these experiences for World Cup qualifying and Copa America next summer. Now obviously the focus has shifted and we are zoomed in on the CONCACAF Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.”

ussoccer.com: How will having some of the veterans back help this team in camp?
JK: “We will just want to make it very, very intense and competitive from the first day on in training, so the veterans need to set the tone and they need to understand that there's a high energy there. The ones that were not a part of the Gold Cup, and the other ones that were with us before like a Danny Williams or a Bobby Wood, they need to prove a point now. This is really now about truly competing. It’s about competing for spots, competing for the Rose Bowl and obviously also towards the World Cup qualifiers.”

ussoccer.com: You said that you have been tracking Andrew Wooten for a while. What do you like about him and what kind of opportunity does he have with this camp?
JK: “We've been watching him for more than two years now and we like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals.  He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water and right away swim really fast.” 

ussoccer.com: Is there an opportunity for a player to step up in the striker position?
JK: “I think the situation with our forwards is wide open. Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team. Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”

Klinsmann Calls 23 Players for CONCACAF Cup tune-ups against Peru and Brazil

CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named the initial 23-player roster that will gather for friendlies against Peru and Brazil in the final preparation games before the decisive Oct. 10 playoff against Mexico at the Rose Bowl for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The U.S. faces Peru, which finished third in Copa America this summer, on Sept. 4 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (7 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network) and four days later meets five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (8 p.m. ET; ESPN Networks, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network).

“The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now,” said Klinsmann. “Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones could see action for the first time since February and fellow 2014 World Cup teammates Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are back in the mix for the first time in 2015. Meantime, SV Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten will make his first appearance in an MNT camp, the 25-year-old having scored five goals in the first five games this season.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will be added to the U.S. roster for the match against Brazil, and goalkeeper William Yarbrough will return to his club and be replaced by Chicago Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson. Any additional changes will be determined following the game against Peru.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

While the MNT works on the east coast, the U-23 Men’s National Team will hold a camp of its own in England, where it will play both England and Qatar in its final preparation before it competes for a spot in the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio at the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, which runs from Oct. 1-13 in the United States.

ROSTER NOTES

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC.
  • This will be the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

Supporters Club Members Have First Opportunity to Purchase Tickets for Unprecedented USA-Mexico Clash on Oct. 10

CHICAGO (Aug. 27, 2015) – U.S. Soccer will hold a special sales process for its allotment of tickets for the USA-Mexico clash in the CONCACAF Cup on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. The match pits the champions of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups in a winner take all showdown for the right to represent the region at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

Similar to other previous ticket sales, U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members and other members of the U.S. Soccer community will have an opportunity to purchase tickets from the allotment and will be seated in designated U.S. fan sections. U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members must have been registered before Aug. 26.

In early September, these supporters will receive information directly from U.S. Soccer via email about the ticket purchasing process. The exact details and timing of the process will be communicated directly at that time. Supporters will be able to purchase up to six tickets per household on a first-come, first-served basis while the supply of allocated tickets lasts.

Last Week in Review: MNT Players Stay Hot as Summer Winds Down

This time next week, the Men’s National Team will be in camp training for friendlies against Peru and Brazil ahead of the critical CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of these friendlies that “we want to see the players make statements towards the Mexico game,” so making the roster is a critical step. With those choices looming, several U.S. players made an impact with their club teams last week.

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore led the way for Toronto FC, which cruised to a 5-0 win against Orlando City SC. The match was an important one because at its onset Toronto and Orlando City were separated by just three points in a close playoff race in the East. The captain was up to the challenge and responded by assisting on two of Toronto’s first three goals. Late in the second half, his long-time MNT teammate Altidore came off the bench and made an impact. While only playing 18 minutes, he made the most of them by scoring from the penalty spot and finishing off a set piece in rapid succession. WATCH: Match Highlights

Two MNT teammates combined for a goal in Saturday night’s matchup between Sporting KC and Columbus Crew. Matt Besler sprung Graham Zusi into the attack, the midfielder then offering a fantastic solo effort capped by a curling shot to the right corner that gave his squad a 2-1 lead. The Crew would rally and end up winning 3-2, but Zusi’s goal earned honors as an MLS Goal of the Week nominee.

In Sunday’s marquee game, the first between LA Galaxy and New York City FC, Gyasi Zardes showed out on the big stage, rising above the NYC FC defense to head home the first goal of the game. The Galaxy would play on to a 5-1 win.

Real Salt Lake held strong at home against the visiting Seattle Sounders FC, with Nick Rimando backstopping his team to a 2-0 win. The shutout was Rimando’s seventh of the season, and the win snapped a three-game losing streak.

While the Earthquakes were far away from home taking on D.C. United, that didn’t stop Chris Wondolowski from adding to his tally. Wondolowski got the action started early, finishing into the lower left corner from six yards out in the game’s fourth minute for his 12th goal of the year. It was a big week for Wondo, who scored a double, including his 100th goal as an Earthquake, in the team’s game on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, across the pond the MNT was also active. Danny Williams scored Reading FC’s goal in its 1-1 draw on Aug. 19 against Sheffield Wednesday. Tim Ream completed a transfer to Fulham from Bolton Wanderers, joining a long list of U.S. internationals to ply their trade at Craven Cottage. Ream earned honors as Bolton’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons and will look to carry that that success over to Fulham.

In Germany, Aron Johannsson made his first start with his new Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and played 80 minutes in the team’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin.

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado made his second consecutive start for Club America. The defender has been a part of a strong America backline that has only surrendered one goal in its last four games (4-0-0).

All-Important October Matches Loom Large for MNT and U-23s

At the start of the year, the clearest goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team was to lock up a spot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The road to Russia now has one final hurdle, and it’s a mouth-watering matchup with its biggest rival.

On Oct. 10, the United States and Mexico will meet in a do-or-die, one-match playoff at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, with the winner taking CONCACAF’s spot at the World Cup warm-up competition.

While the U.S. has largely been successful against Mexico on home soil in the last 20 years, the task of facing a charged Mexican side at a giant venue like The Rose Bowl will serve up a new challenge. Four of the six largest crowds ever to watch the MNT play have watched a USA-Mexico match in southern California, and often with a heavy pro-Mexico tilt. That tide has turned in other venues – most notably Columbus Crew Stadium – and now the opportunity exists to make the Rose Bowl another example of the growing legion of U.S. supporters. After experiencing strong fan turnout during domestic matches throughout 2015, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann stressed the importance of making sure American fans turn up for the team at the imperative playoff match.

MNT Strikers Embrace Competition for Spots on CONCACAF Cup Squad

As Men’s National Team camp convened Sunday in Washington, D.C., U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called for all players to “prove a point” that they belonged on the roster that will face Mexico in next month’s CONCACAF Cup.

With Clint Dempsey absent from the first part of the international window – he scored seven goals in the 2015 Gold Cup - the opportunity is even greater at the striker position where Klinsmann has summoned five players all aged 25 years or younger. Heading into this camp, Klinsmann said “so far, nobody has a real big advantage over another guy.”

With 83 caps and two World Cups under his belt, Altidore isn’t just the most experienced of the current forward crop, but also one of the most seasoned international players on the team. While the veteran striker departed the team following the Gold Cup group stage, he’s returned to the side after scoring three goals in his last two matches for Toronto FC.  

It’s nice to come back into camp with some goals,” Altidore said. “You put the work in. You have to train to get back to how you were and get your fitness back. I’m feeling better and excited to have the chance to come back into camp and hopefully I can get on the field and make a difference.”

With the match against Mexico looming on Oct. 10 and CONCACAF World Cup qualifying kicking off the following month, Klinsmann has said it’s crucial for the next generation of forwards to step and claim their place.

“There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team,” he continued. “Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


Senior Men's National Team debutante Andrew Wooten has his eyes set on his first full international appearance with the USA.

Johannsson and Wood are joined in camp by two familiar faces in Altidore and Gyasi Zardes, as well as newcomer Andrew Wooten. The debutant 25-year-old earned his first National Team call by starting off the 2.Bundesliga campaign with five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

I always dreamed of playing one time in the Men’s National Team,” Wooten told ussoccer.com. “I’ve worked really hard in my club and I’m very happy now to be called up for my first time. Hopefully I can put on some good performances to stay here and play maybe in the next camp and next games.”

The striker with the best goal scoring form coming into camp, Wooten has already provided a new spark to the competition up top according to Johannsson.

“It’s always difficult to get on the field for the full team, especially now with a new face coming into the camp who is going to try and get some minutes,” the newly minted Werder Bremen striker said.

“It’s the National Team. Every time you come to camp, it’s going to be difficult to get in the starting 11. We have good players. Jozy is obviously the most experienced, and so it’s going to be interesting to see who he plays. On the other hand it’s nice as well because we have some good competition and everybody is fighting every training to prove to the coach they should be playing.”


Bobby Wood unleashes a shot during MNT training in the lead up to the team's Oct. 4 friendly against Peru.

Few players in world soccer can say their first two international goals came against the Netherlands and Germany, and even less can say they were game winners. Bobby Wood can.

After two magnificent strikes at the beginning of the summer, the 22-year-old was given time off during the Gold Cup to work on establishing himself at his new 2.Bundesliga side, Union Berlin.

With his club situation clarified, Wood will hope games against Peru and Brazil help him build off his early summer performances and earn another roster spot for the team that faces Mexico next month.

“These are two awesome games in the U.S. and I’m just going to take advantage,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much time I get, whatever it is I’m going to do my all to prove that I want to be here. We’ll see what’s up from there.”

Despite the hefty international experience he holds over his fellow forward counterparts, Altidore has embraced the open competition Klinsmann has put in place.

“The competition is lovely,” he said. “It’s part of being at this level with the National Team, and it’s something we all have to acknowledge. It’s part of the job. It’s been part of the job for my whole career.”

Veterans Return to MNT with Eyes on Claiming a Place in CONCACAF Cup Squad

As the U.S. Men’s National Team ramps up its final preparations for next month’s CONCACAF Cup playoff with Mexico, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought several veteran faces back into the fold to compete for spots in October’s playoff.

Three of the players that return to the mix are midfielder Jermaine Jones, defender Matt Besler and goalkeeper Tim Howard – a trio that played nearly every minute of every match at last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. All recently absent from the team for different reasons, the three returned to MNT camp this week with joy at seeing teammates again and anticipation for the task ahead.

“It’s always nice to be back with the boys,” Jones told ussoccer.com Monday. “I think every player is happy to represent his country and I always want to play.”

Set to join the National Team for June’s friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, Jones suffered a groin injury in his last match with the New England Revolution prior to leaving for the games. The injury required surgery, which subsequently kept him from last month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

While he got to see his teammates when they came to Boston for their second group match against Haiti, all he could do was watch. In the end, he felt the same disappointment as his teammates on the field when the U.S. fell 2-1 to Jamaica in the tournament semifinals, setting up October’s showdown with Mexico.

“It’s always bad if you have to fix an injury and be out because of it,” he said. “I was sad to sit upstairs and not play and watch on TV. I think the whole team isn’t happy with the result at the Gold Cup, but we have a chance on October 10 where we can fix it. This is the goal, and now we have two games with Brazil and Peru.  I think we see them differently than other friendlies.”

Having first returned with New England a month ago, Jones has gradually built up his fitness, playing the first hour of the Revolution’s 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union over the weekend.

“I try to get my fitness back,” he added. “I got 60 minutes with my club team now. It’s good to get a little bit harder training and get some good balance. I want to get my body to 100 percent as quick as possible.”

State of the Squad: Position Battles Abound in Important Friendlies against Peru, Brazil

As the U.S. Men’s National Team convenes in Washington, D.C.  on Sunday to prepare for their final friendlies before taking on Mexico in the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff, the message from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is clear: “Prove a point that you want to be at The Rose Bowl.”

The two friendlies against Peru and Brazil have taken on a new meaning from the time when they were originally planned. Scheduled with an eye on preparation towards November’s World Cup qualifying matches and next year’s Copa America Centenario, the two games now serve as the ultimate proving ground for veteran and young players alike to make their case for the October playoff.

“This is now a huge opportunity for the players to show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation because of what happened in the Gold Cup. Experience or no experience, this is not about developing things. This is about proving a point.”

While 15 players return from July’s Gold Cup roster, Klinsmann’s eye towards more competition in the team has seen the return of four World Cup veterans in goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Jermaine Jones and center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron all returning after varying levels of absences over the last year.

Besler and Cameron rejoin a U.S. center back pool that also features Gold Cup starters Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks as well as Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco and Tim Ream.


MNT defender Tim Ream battles Panama's Adolfo Machado during the 2015 Gold Cup.

With seven options providing a good mix of youth and experience, Klinsmann made clear, “The heat is on in that position.”

“Some positions are definitely there to grab, but you've got to grab them with a lot of determination and a lot of ambition,” he added. “That's why bringing back Tim Howard now and Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron kind of signals the fight and the competition now happening between the older established ones and the new wave of players. This is what we want to see from Sunday on in training. We want to see competition, and then we're going to make some calls. Obviously the most crucial calls come for the roster that goes to the Rose Bowl.”

After taking the summer off following strong performances in the June friendly wins against The Netherlands and Germany, forward Bobby Wood and midfielder Danny Williams also returned to the fold, while the lone newcomer in camp is forward Andrew Wooten. The 25-year-old striker has been tracked by Klinsmann and his staff for two years and has started the 2.Bundesliga season off strong, scoring five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

“We like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals. He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water right away and swim really fast.”

Wooten’s good form and entrance into the National Team picture has come at an opportune time for the striker as he comes into the fold with no clear cut pecking order after Clint Dempsey. Though the U.S. veteran won the Golden Boot with six goals at the Gold Cup, injury issues will force him out for at least the Peru match, leaving Wooten, Wood, Aron Johannsson, and Jozy Altidore a chance to prove they belong in the squad come October.

“I think the situation with our forwards is wide open,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team.

“Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


MNT forward Aron Johannsson controls the ball in the USA's match against Jamaica during the 2015 Gold Cup.

While Dempsey and captain Michael Bradley will miss out on the Peru match, other regulars that would have otherwise been part of the camp were ruled out due to injury.

“Of course this is normal whenever we have international games,” Klinsmann said. “Unfortunately for Fabian Johnson he got injured a couple weeks after a very good start to the season with Monchengladbach. We have some cases where guys are nursing some injuries, like Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman in Salt Lake.”

Originally slated to continue with the National Team after coming out of international retirement last month, veteran DaMarcus Beasley was also forced to pull out of the squad after suffering an injury over the weekend with the Houston Dynamo.

 With the experimental period following the World Cup now coming to an end, Klinsmann put an impetus on the younger players that have received opportunities over the last year to sink or swim with established veterans back involved with the team.

“We gave the younger generation a lot of confidence and a lot of support and a lot of help, which is our job from a coaching standpoint,” he said. “Now the moment comes and they have to prove it. They have to go face-to-face with the established guys and try to steal their spot. This is what it’s about now. We will find out if they are ready for it. We have the playoff game for one, and then we have World Cup qualifying which is not experimenting any more. In a certain way you can tell that the transition phase comes to an end and now they need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

Last Week in Review: MNT Players Stay Hot as Summer Winds Down

This time next week, the Men’s National Team will be in camp training for friendlies against Peru and Brazil ahead of the critical CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of these friendlies that “we want to see the players make statements towards the Mexico game,” so making the roster is a critical step. With those choices looming, several U.S. players made an impact with their club teams last week.

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore led the way for Toronto FC, which cruised to a 5-0 win against Orlando City SC. The match was an important one because at its onset Toronto and Orlando City were separated by just three points in a close playoff race in the East. The captain was up to the challenge and responded by assisting on two of Toronto’s first three goals. Late in the second half, his long-time MNT teammate Altidore came off the bench and made an impact. While only playing 18 minutes, he made the most of them by scoring from the penalty spot and finishing off a set piece in rapid succession. WATCH: Match Highlights

Two MNT teammates combined for a goal in Saturday night’s matchup between Sporting KC and Columbus Crew. Matt Besler sprung Graham Zusi into the attack, the midfielder then offering a fantastic solo effort capped by a curling shot to the right corner that gave his squad a 2-1 lead. The Crew would rally and end up winning 3-2, but Zusi’s goal earned honors as an MLS Goal of the Week nominee.

In Sunday’s marquee game, the first between LA Galaxy and New York City FC, Gyasi Zardes showed out on the big stage, rising above the NYC FC defense to head home the first goal of the game. The Galaxy would play on to a 5-1 win.

Real Salt Lake held strong at home against the visiting Seattle Sounders FC, with Nick Rimando backstopping his team to a 2-0 win. The shutout was Rimando’s seventh of the season, and the win snapped a three-game losing streak.

While the Earthquakes were far away from home taking on D.C. United, that didn’t stop Chris Wondolowski from adding to his tally. Wondolowski got the action started early, finishing into the lower left corner from six yards out in the game’s fourth minute for his 12th goal of the year. It was a big week for Wondo, who scored a double, including his 100th goal as an Earthquake, in the team’s game on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, across the pond the MNT was also active. Danny Williams scored Reading FC’s goal in its 1-1 draw on Aug. 19 against Sheffield Wednesday. Tim Ream completed a transfer to Fulham from Bolton Wanderers, joining a long list of U.S. internationals to ply their trade at Craven Cottage. Ream earned honors as Bolton’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons and will look to carry that that success over to Fulham.

In Germany, Aron Johannsson made his first start with his new Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and played 80 minutes in the team’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin.

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado made his second consecutive start for Club America. The defender has been a part of a strong America backline that has only surrendered one goal in its last four games (4-0-0).

All-Important October Matches Loom Large for MNT and U-23s

At the start of the year, the clearest goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team was to lock up a spot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The road to Russia now has one final hurdle, and it’s a mouth-watering matchup with its biggest rival.

On Oct. 10, the United States and Mexico will meet in a do-or-die, one-match playoff at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, with the winner taking CONCACAF’s spot at the World Cup warm-up competition.

While the U.S. has largely been successful against Mexico on home soil in the last 20 years, the task of facing a charged Mexican side at a giant venue like The Rose Bowl will serve up a new challenge. Four of the six largest crowds ever to watch the MNT play have watched a USA-Mexico match in southern California, and often with a heavy pro-Mexico tilt. That tide has turned in other venues – most notably Columbus Crew Stadium – and now the opportunity exists to make the Rose Bowl another example of the growing legion of U.S. supporters. After experiencing strong fan turnout during domestic matches throughout 2015, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann stressed the importance of making sure American fans turn up for the team at the imperative playoff match.

Klinsmann Talks MNT Players at European Clubs and Potential Deadline Deals

The return of foreign-based U.S. MNT players to their clubs following July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup always had the potential to present challenges for the players trying to win starting spots. Missing the full preseason on international duty puts their club teammates ahead of the curve, and so far results have been a mixed bag, with some players growing into new situations while others have work ahead to earn back their places in the first team.

“What we’ve seen after the Gold Cup is a little similar to what we saw after the World Cup last summer in Brazil,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann explained. “Some players struggle to get back into rhythm and get their starting spots right away.”

The time away with the National Team while clubs were going through their preseason paces has left the likes of John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Ventura Alvarado (Club America) – all starters for during last month’s Gold Cup – on the bench to begin their respective league campaigns.

“It’s kind of a consequence of maybe that they came late into the preseason of their club teams and the coaches gave the other players a head start first. They have to fight their way back; it’s as simple as that.”

On the positive side, the former Germany striker has seen forward Aron Johannsson make a summer transfer splash.

Having battled back from injury to help Dutch club AZ Alkmaar qualify for the UEFA Europa League last season, Johannsson secured the biggest summer move among his U.S. teammates, transferring to German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen earlier this month. 

After seeing the 24-year-old striker score 29 goals in 58 appearances for the Dutch side, Klinsmann was pleased to see the budding striker rise to a bigger club challenge.

MNT on TV: A Baker’s Dozen of Matches Featuring 25 MNT Players this Weekend

Behold the rising action. Another weekend of soccer brings about 13 matches featuring 25 current MNT players. It’s a sure bet that Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. MNT coaching staff will be tuned in with the team just two weeks away from huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil, which prelude the decisive USA-Mexico playoff on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. Here’s a look at the action featuring U.S. Men’s National Team players around the world this weekend.

Bundesliga
Aron Johannsson is settling in nicely with his new club Werder Bremen. A week ago he made his debut, coming on in the 57th minute against Schalke. This week Bremen will look to snare all three points against Hertha Berlin on Friday, where Johannsson will hunt for his first Bundesliga goal. Trying to stop him will be his MNT teammate and Hertha center back John Brooks. Brooks, who is still getting into a club rhythm after missing preseason while on international duty, entered in the 84thminute of Hertha’s 1-0 win against Augsburg a week ago.

Like Brooks, Timmy Chandler is also working hard to get back into form with his club after returning from the Gold Cup. He’ll look to seize the opportunity as Frankfurt tries to rebound from its 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg with a positive result against Augsburg on Saturday.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

2:30 p.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/22

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League
On Saturday morning, a trio of matches features MNT players in Premier League action across the pond. Watch them simultaneously as Tottenham and DeAndre Yedlin seek their first win of the season when they face Leicester City, Brad Guzan marshals Aston Villa’s backline in its road matchup with Crystal Palace and Geoff Cameron and Stoke City meet Norwich City. Guzan has looked sharp early on in the season, posting a clean sheet in Villa’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth in the club’s season opener and limiting Manchester United’s potent offense to a single goal.

On Sunday, Tim Howard will lead the Everton defense when it goes up against the goal-happy Manchester City attack, which has produced a Premier League leading six goals in its first two games. Klinsmann officially revealed that Howard will be back in the mix when the MNT takes the field in September, and after posting a shutout a week ago against Southampton, the ‘keeper will look to maintain his form.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Leicester City vs. Tottenham

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Extra Time

Norwich  City vs. Stoke City

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Everton vs. Manchester City

Tim Howard (Everton)

Liga MX
A pair of MNT players will clash in Saturday night Liga MX action as Ventura Alvarado and Club America challenge Joe Corona and Veracruz. Alvarado and the America defense have held opponents scoreless their last three games.

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have already recorded a win this week. The team defeated Correcaminos on Monday and will look to increase their lead as the top team in Liga MX when they tackle Chivas on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

5 p.m. MT

UniMas, UDN

Club America vs. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

Telemundo

Leon vs. Chivas

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

MLS
On Friday night, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo enter the cauldron which houses the Portland Timbers. Earlier this week, Klinsmann reviewed the conversation he had with Beasley following the Gold Cup, and it’s now clear that Beas is fully back on board with the MNT.

Saturday kicks off with Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore hosting Orlando City SC, where Brek Shea is nearer to returning from sports hernia surgery. Toronto has stumbled to back-to-back losses, but its last win came against the Lions. While that game is going on, down in the nation’s capital MLS Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United will see Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen host Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes. The ‘Quakes are coming off a 5-0 rout of Sporting KC on Wednesday in which Wondo scored twice, increasing his career total to 100 league goals.

Thirty minutes after that game begins, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi will lead Sporting KC against Columbus Crew SC. Sporting had been riding a four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1), before the loss to San Jose at Sporting Park. In Utah, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake square off with MNT teammates Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans of Seattle Sounders FC. The meeting is the first between the two teams this year. The clubs share similar territory in the Western Conference standings, as both have won seven games this season.

On Sunday, LA Galaxy and New York City FC meet for the first and only time this season. The MLS marquee matchup pits Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes against fellow U.S. international Mix Diskerud. The Galaxy sits atop the Western Conference table, while NYC FC is battling for a playoff spot in the East.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

8 p.m. PT

UDN, UniMas

Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo

DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

Toronto FC vs. Orlando City SC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

D.C. United v. San Jose Earthquakes

Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

 8/22

 7:30 p.m. ET

 MLS Direct Kick

Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

8/23

Noon PT

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLS Direct Kick

LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Mix Diskerud (NYC FC)

Beasley, Howard Return to MNT Mix for Friendlies vs. Peru and Brazil

With the decisive match against Mexico set for Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl, the U.S. Men’s National Team has shifted its focus to the preparation matches in September against Peru, the third-place finishers in the 2015 Copa America, and five-time World Cup champion Brazil.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be able to call on two veteran hands as four-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley and 2014 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year goalkeeper Tim Howard will be included in the squad leading up to the all-important 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup playoff.

Beasley retired from international play last December, but returned to the squad after being approached by Klinsmann for the Gold Cup knockout stage last month. After suffering an injury in his first training session back, Beasley played just the final 30 minutes of the team’s shootout defeat to Panama in the Third Place match.

Though the game was billed before as a sendoff for Beasley, both player and manager indicated afterwards that they’d be open to seeing the defender continue.

Ready, Set, Watch: 22 Televised Games Feature MNT Players this Week

With the huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil on the horizon next month set against the backdrop of the massive USA-Mexico match on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl, you can be sure Jurgen Klinsmann and the coaching staff is keeping a close eye on the player pool. Their job is made a lot easier thanks to the impressive number of games being televised this week involving MNT players. A total of 22 matches featuring more than 30 current MNT players will be broadcast. Here’s a look at what to watch for in the action around the world.

Bundesliga Begins

Let the games begin in Germany. With the highest average attendance of the top leagues in Europe, Bundesliga play for the 2015-16 season begins this weekend, as does the first season of these matches being broadcast on FOX. A number of MNT players will look to get off on the right foot.

Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the league last year, which ultimately earned the club a spot in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup in the first half of 2015, and begins this year’s run on Saturday against rival and traditional powerhouse Borussia Dortmund.

John Brooks is back for his third year at Hertha Berlin. Brooks has earned 71 appearances there since debuting in 2012, becoming a regular starter in the latter stages of the season. Berlin begins its season against Augsburg on Saturday.

Timmy Chandler, who scored his first international goal this summer in the MNT’s match against Guatemala, is back for another year at his hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt. The team begins the year against Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Aron Johannsson makes his debut in the German top flight. He finished the year at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, recording four goals in his final three matches as his former club snatched the third spot and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Now Johannsson takes his talents to Werder Bremen, which opens its campaign on Saturday against Schalke.

Alfredo Morales March 31 Match DenmarkAlfredo Morales

Alfredo Morales led FC Ingolstadt to a first place finish in second Bundesliga a year ago which promoted the team to the premier division. Ingolstadt debuts against Mainz on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com, FOX Deportes

Augsburg v. Hertha Berlin

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Werder Bremen v. Schalke

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)

8/15

9:30 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Mainz v. FC Ingolstadt

Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

8/15

12:30 p.m. ET

FOX Sports 2, FOXSoccer2go.com

Dortmund v. Borussia Monchengladbach

Fabian Johnson (‘Gladbach)

8/16

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Sports 1, FOXSoccer2go.com

Wolfsburg v. Frankfurt

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League Continues

The English Premier League got started last weekend and play continues across the pond this week.

Brad Guzan, who earned the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper in the 2015 Gold Cup, posted a clean sheet in the season opener. Now he’ll stand between the posts against perennial Premier League powerhouse Manchester United on Friday. Fellow netminder Tim Howard will also be in action for Everton, as the Toffees take on Southampton.

Brad Guzan

DeAndre Yedlin continues to challenge for a spot at Tottenham Hotspur. The club hosts its home opener against Stoke City, where Geoff Cameron started at centerback in his side’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/14

2:45 p.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/15 7 a.m. ET NBC Sports Network Southampton vs. Everton Tim Howard (Everton)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Tottenham vs. Stoke City

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham), Geoff Cameron (Stoke)

Vamos Vamos

Liga MX is in full swing now and a number of MNT players will be in action south of the border.

Ventura Alvarado scored his first goal of the season last week in Club America win against Motagua in the Champions League. This week the team will look to keep up the momentum when it faces Santos on Friday night.

Joe Corona, coming off a sweet assist that led to the game-winner last week, plays with Veracruz on Tuesday night against his former team Club Tijuana and the current home of defender Michael Orozco.

Greg Garza and Atlas can be seen twice on TV this week. The first game is against Pumas on Wednesday, the second is Saturday night against Puebla.


Greg Garza

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have a pair of games this week. Leon takes on Tigres on Tuesday night, then can be seen Saturday night when they travel to Morelia.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/11

7:50 p.m. PT

Azteca

Club Tijuana v. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Michael Orozco (Tijuana)

8/12

8 p.m. MT

Galavision

Pumas v. Atlas

Greg Garza (Atlas)

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

NBC Universo

Leon v. Tigres

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

8/14

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Club America v. Santos

Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/15

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Atlas v. Puebla

Greg Garza (Atlas),

8/15

11:30 p.m. ET

Azteca

Morelia v. Leon

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon) 

MLS Heating Up

With the playoff race heating up, the MLS season is getting very interesting.

A quartet of MNT players will be in action Wednesday in the semifinal of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup when Sporting Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando will do their best to push RSL through, but their MNT teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi from Sporting KC stand in the way.

League MLS matches continue on Thursday, when New York City FC hosts first place D.C. United at Yankee Stadium. Mix Diskerud is in a New York state of mind, while D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen will try to pick up another road win.

On Friday, Chris Wondolowski will try to score his 10th goal of the season when San Jose Earthquakes host Colorado Rapids.

MLS Saturday is MNT Saturday. Captain Michael Bradley, who scored a brilliant MLS Goal of the Week nominee last weekend, and Jozy Altidore travel with Toronto FC to Harrison, N.J., for a match against the Red Bulls. Shortly after that game kicks off, New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo play in a game featuring five MNT players (Juan Agudelo, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones). Moving westward, the LA Galaxy with Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez visit FC Dallas, while up in Kansas City, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Sporting KC host Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The night concludes with Real Salt Lake taking on Portland Timbers in Sandy, Utah, where Kyle Beckerman will captain RSL with Nick Rimando between the posts.


Brad Evans

On Sunday afternoon, Seattle Sounders FC featuring Clint Dempsey and their team captain Brad Evans will do their best to hold off the visiting Orlando City SC.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

youtube.com/ussoccer

Sporting KC v. Real Salt Lake

(Open Cup Semifinal)

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/13

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York City FC v. D.C. United

Mix Diskerud (NYC FC), Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)

 

8/14

 

8 p.m. PT

 

UniMas

 

San Jose Earthquakes v. Colorado Rapids

 

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

8/15

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York Red Bulls v. Toronto FC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

8/15

7:30 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New England Revolution v. Houston Dynamo

Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Jermaine Jones (New England), DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

FC Dallas v. LA Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

Sporting Kansas City v. Vancouver Whitecaps

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/15

7 p.m. PT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake v. Portland

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

8/16

2 p.m. PT

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

Seattle Sounders FC v. Orlando City SC

Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

 

Gallery: U.S. MNT Announces Return to St. Louis for World Cup Qualifier

Photos from the U.S. Soccer press conference with the St. Louis Cardinals to announce the return of the Men's National Team to St. Louis for its opening World Cup Qualifying match of the 2018 cycle. The match will be played at Busch Stadium on Nov. 13 against the winner of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines-Aruba Third Round qualifying match. 

MNT Returns to Nation's Capital for CONCACAF Cup Tune-Up vs. Peru

The U.S. Men’s National Team is back in Washington D.C. for the first time since 2013 for an international friendly at RFK Stadium against Peru on Sept. 4. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network.

The friendly will serve as one of two MNT tune-ups for the CONCACAF Cup, the playoff game against Mexico which will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Oct. 10. The winner of that game will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, a dress rehearsal of confederation champions in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After its match with Peru, the MNT will head north to Massachusetts where it will take on five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough as the final prelude to the playoff.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has labeled these two friendlies an opportunity for players to “prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.” [Klinsmann Q&A] A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

The MNT is coming off of a fourth place finish in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and will look to return to the form it had earlier in 2015 when it went on a six-game winning streak and was unbeaten in a stretch of nine matches from the end of March to July. Four of those games were against opponents ranked in the top 20 in the world in which the U.S. posted a 3-0-1 record and included wins against World Cup champion Germany in Cologne, sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam and rival Mexico in San Antonio.

The match will be the first between the pair since the U.S. collected a 1-0 win the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup. The USA is 2-2-1 all-time against Los Incas.

The MNT has a long history at RFK Stadium and has competed in its confines more times than in any other stadium in the world, going 14-3-5 in 22 games since 1977. In its most recent match in the nation’s capital, the team celebrated the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation with a 4-3 win against Germany, which at the time was ranked second in the world.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Jonathan Spector became the 24th player on the roster when he was added Tuesday.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States.
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC. On Sunday, the 24-year-old netted his first Bundesliga goal in Werder’s win against Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • This is the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

HOME SWEET HOME:

  • The MNT is unbeaten in its last eight games in the nation’s capital (7-0-1).
  • In July, the MNT set attendance records in four games:
    • #USAvGUA in Tennessee was the most-attended soccer match in the state’s history.
    • #USAvHON was the most-attended international match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
    • #USAvHAI was the most-attended U.S. MNT Gold Cup match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
    • #USAvJAM at the Georgia Dome was the most-attended MNT match in the Peach State.
    • Since 1990, the MNT has averaged 33,876 in attendance at RFK Stadium, drawing 47,359 in the most recent visit against Germany.

USA vs. PERU:

  • The U.S. holds a 2-2-1 record all-time against Peru, with the two sides first meeting in 1989 in New Jersey that resulted in a 3-0 shutout win for the United States.
  • This matchup is the first between the teams in more than 15 years. Most recently, the U.S. defeated Peru 1-0 in Miami in the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, with Cobi Jones scoring the game-winner.
  • No player from the current U.S. side has ever faced Peru, nor have any Peru players matched up against the USA.
  • This will be the MNT’s second match against a South American nation in 2015, with the other being the USA’s 2-3 loss to Chile in January.

IN FOCUS: Peru
Federación Peruana de Futbol
Founded: 1922
FIFA Affiliation: 1924
Head Coach: Ricardo Gareca
FIFA World Ranking: 46
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals: 1970, 1978
Leading Cap-Winner: Roberto Palacios (128)
Leading Goalscorer: Teofil Cubillas (26) 

Peru Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal)
DEFENDERS (7): Luis Advincula (Bursaspor), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Carlos Ascues (Wolfsburg), Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Christian Cueva (Toluca), Paolo Hurtado (Reading), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Joel Sanchez (San Martin), Renato Tapia (FC Twente), Juan Manuel Vargas (Real Betis)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Daniel Chavez (Cesar Vallejo), Jefferson Farfan (Al-Jazira), Edison Flores (Universitario), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Yordy Reyna (RB Salzburg)


PERU NOTES:

  • Peru advanced to the semifinals of South America’s confederation championship this summer, finishing second in its group behind Brazil and ahead of Colombia and Venezuela. Los Incas defeated Bolivia 3-1 in the quarterfinal round before falling in the semifinals 2-1 to eventual tournament champion Chile. Peru defeated Paraguay 2-0 to take third place.
  • Nineteen players from Peru’s Copa America roster are traveling to the United States.
  • Paolo Guerrero has scored four goals for Peru in 2015, including his hat trick in the team’s win against Bolivia in the Copa America quarterfinals.
  • Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca is in his first year with Los Incas.
  • Four players from the roster have scored goals in 2015: Cueva, Carrilo, Guerrero and Farfan

LAST TIME OUT:

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Peru
Feb. 16, 2000 – The Orange Bowl – Miami, Fla. – Gold Cup, Group Stage

USA    1          Jones 59’       
PER    0

USA: 1-Brad Friedel, 3-Greg Vanney, 7-Eddie Lewis, 9-Jovan Kirovski; 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 11-Eric Wynalda, 13-Cobi Jones, 14-Chris Armas, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 20-Brian McBride, 23-Eddie Pope
Reserves: 4-Robin Fraser, 5-C.J. Brown, 12-Jeff Agoos, 18-Tony Meola, 19-Ben Olsen, 21-Richie Williams, 22-Ante Razov
Head coach: Bruce Arena

PER: 1-Oscar Ibanez, 3-Juan Reynoso, 4-Marcial Zalazar Orbe, 6-Cesar Miguel Rebosio, 8-Juan Jayo, 10-Roberto Palacios, 11-Roberto Holsen, 14-Jorge Soto, 19-Abel Lobaton, 20-Jose Del Solar, 23-Henry Quinteros Sanchez
Reserves: 2-Jorge Huaman, 5-Jose Soto, 12-Marco Flores, 15-Ysrael Zuniga, 16-Freddy Suarez, 17-German Pinillos Rioja, 18-Waldir Saenz 

Klinsmann Adds Defender Jonathan Spector ahead of Peru, Brazil Friendlies

CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector into training camp ahead of U.S. friendlies against Peru on Sept. 4 and Brazil on Sept. 8, Mass. The roster now includes 24 players, who will continue to train in Washington, D.C. in preparation for Friday’s match at RFK Stadium [TICKETS]. 

Last called into camp for a friendly against Ukraine on March 5, 2014, Spector has experience playing across the back line for the MNT and has a chance to make his first appearance since taking part in the side’s historic 1-0 win against Italy on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa. 

Spector has appeared in each of Birmingham City’s first four league matches this season, helping the club to a 2-0-2 record to begin the 2015/16 English League Championship campaign. 

Friday’s match marks the first meeting between the U.S. and Peru in 15 years, when the MNT defeated Los Incas 1-0 during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage in Miami, Florida. Kickoff at RFK Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow the game live @ussoccer on Twitter.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Q&A: Klinsmann, "Now the players need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

ussoccer.com: What was the approach to putting this roster together?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for Mexico game a month from now. Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

“With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation we’re in because of what happened in the Gold Cup. These games are not about developing things for the future. This is about proving a point towards the Mexico game.”

ussoccer.com: What is the objective for these matches?
JK: “Coming into two games like this against Brazil, whose accomplishments speak for themselves, and Peru coming off a third place finish in Copa America, this is now a huge opportunity for the players to  show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash. Initially with the games – and also going back to the games against Holland and Germany – our goal was to get these experiences for World Cup qualifying and Copa America next summer. Now obviously the focus has shifted and we are zoomed in on the CONCACAF Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.”

ussoccer.com: How will having some of the veterans back help this team in camp?
JK: “We will just want to make it very, very intense and competitive from the first day on in training, so the veterans need to set the tone and they need to understand that there's a high energy there. The ones that were not a part of the Gold Cup, and the other ones that were with us before like a Danny Williams or a Bobby Wood, they need to prove a point now. This is really now about truly competing. It’s about competing for spots, competing for the Rose Bowl and obviously also towards the World Cup qualifiers.”

ussoccer.com: You said that you have been tracking Andrew Wooten for a while. What do you like about him and what kind of opportunity does he have with this camp?
JK: “We've been watching him for more than two years now and we like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals.  He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water and right away swim really fast.” 

ussoccer.com: Is there an opportunity for a player to step up in the striker position?
JK: “I think the situation with our forwards is wide open. Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team. Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”

Klinsmann Calls 23 Players for CONCACAF Cup tune-ups against Peru and Brazil

CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named the initial 23-player roster that will gather for friendlies against Peru and Brazil in the final preparation games before the decisive Oct. 10 playoff against Mexico at the Rose Bowl for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The U.S. faces Peru, which finished third in Copa America this summer, on Sept. 4 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. (7 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports Go, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network) and four days later meets five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts (8 p.m. ET; ESPN Networks, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network).

“The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now,” said Klinsmann. “Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones could see action for the first time since February and fellow 2014 World Cup teammates Geoff Cameron and Tim Howard are back in the mix for the first time in 2015. Meantime, SV Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten will make his first appearance in an MNT camp, the 25-year-old having scored five goals in the first five games this season.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey will be added to the U.S. roster for the match against Brazil, and goalkeeper William Yarbrough will return to his club and be replaced by Chicago Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson. Any additional changes will be determined following the game against Peru.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

While the MNT works on the east coast, the U-23 Men’s National Team will hold a camp of its own in England, where it will play both England and Qatar in its final preparation before it competes for a spot in the 2015 Olympic Games in Rio at the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, which runs from Oct. 1-13 in the United States.

ROSTER NOTES

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC.
  • This will be the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

Supporters Club Members Have First Opportunity to Purchase Tickets for Unprecedented USA-Mexico Clash on Oct. 10

CHICAGO (Aug. 27, 2015) – U.S. Soccer will hold a special sales process for its allotment of tickets for the USA-Mexico clash in the CONCACAF Cup on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. The match pits the champions of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups in a winner take all showdown for the right to represent the region at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

Similar to other previous ticket sales, U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members and other members of the U.S. Soccer community will have an opportunity to purchase tickets from the allotment and will be seated in designated U.S. fan sections. U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members must have been registered before Aug. 26.

In early September, these supporters will receive information directly from U.S. Soccer via email about the ticket purchasing process. The exact details and timing of the process will be communicated directly at that time. Supporters will be able to purchase up to six tickets per household on a first-come, first-served basis while the supply of allocated tickets lasts.

Neymar to Lead Star-Studded Brazil When U.S. MNT Faces Five-Time FIFA World Cup Champion, Presented By Liberty Mutual Insurance

CHICAGO (Aug. 13, 2015) – Barcelona striker Neymar leads a star-studded roster for Brazil that will face the U.S. Men’s National Team on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Brazil head coach Dunga revealed the 24-player squad today. A total of 10 players were part of league-championship winning teams in the top leagues in Europe last season, including three each from Premier League champion Chelsea and Ligue 1 champion Paris St-Germain. Along with Neymar, defender Daniel Alves captured the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League crown. Orlando City SC midfielder Kaka returns to the fold, the 2002 World Cup champion and 2007 FIFA Player of the Year back in for Brazil for the first time in nearly a year.

Kickoff for the match is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on an ESPN Network as well as UniMas and the Univsion Deportes Network. Fans will also be able to follow the match via Twitter @ussoccer and Instagram @ussoccer.

Brazil Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jefferson (Botafogo), Marcelo Grohe (Gremio), Alisson (Internacional)
DEFENDERS (8): David Luiz (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Miranda (Inter Milan), Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Filipe Luiz (Atletico Madrid), Danilo (Real Madrid), Douglas Santos (Atlético Mineiro)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Luis Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Elias (Corinthians), Ramirez (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Firmino (Liverpool), Willian (Chelsea), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Lucas Lima (Santos)
FORWARDS (4): Neymar (Barcelona), Lucas (PSG), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich)

Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the region. Starting Monday, August 3, tickets also become available at the Gillette Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which 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 match against No.6-ranked Brazil will be the third of the year for the United States against a team ranked in the world top 10. The U.S. defeated sixth-ranked Netherlands, 4-3, as well as world No. 1 and reigning World Cup Champion Germany 2-1 in June. This will be the 15th time Gillette Stadium has hosted the MNT and second this year, following the team’s 1-0 win against Haiti in the Gold Cup on July 10. Overall, the U.S. is 10-2-2 at the venue.

The United States is preparing for a CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The match, featuring the Gold Cup Champions from 2013 and 2015, will determine the CONCACAF representative at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

Press Credentials:

The U.S. Soccer press credential application for media who plan to cover the match against Brazil is available on ussoccer.com. The deadline to submit the application is Friday, Aug. 28.

U.S. MNT to play 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier in St. Louis on Nov. 13

The U.S. Men’s National team will play its first home match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will be played Nov. 13 against the winner of the Third Round Qualifying match between St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Aruba.

Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). 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 kickoff time and broadcast information will be provided in the near future. The two-legged playoff between St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Aruba is scheduled for Sept. 4 and Sept. 8.

This past weekend, the U.S. was drawn into Group C for the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. During the Semifinal Round, the MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away. The dates of the games are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6, 2016; the opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the Third Round of Qualifying (Schedule below). Group C includes Trinidad & Tobago, and the winners of Third Round Qualifying matches between St. Vincent & the Grenadines/Aruba or Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala. The Group C winner and runner-up advance to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying known in CONCACAF countries as the Hexagonal.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be playing our first World Cup qualifier towards Russia 2018 in St. Louis,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “There is no more appropriate place to start this campaign than a city that has contributed so much to the history and tradition of soccer in the United States. Some of the best players we have ever produced have ties there, and now we look forward to bringing the National Team back home to St. Louis where we know the support will be incredible.”

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ one-time soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997. It will be the first World Cup qualifier played in the St. Louis area since the USA’s 0-0 tie with El Salvador in 1989, which was also played at Busch Conference & Sports Center.

“This is a historic opportunity for St. Louis as the U.S. Men’s Team kicks off its quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at Busch Stadium,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’re incredibly excited to be the host for this match and are looking forward to showing that we have some of the best soccer fans in the country.”

The MNT is 5-2-1 all time in the city of St. Louis (4-1-1 in World Cup Qualifiers) and is 7-2-2 in the state of Missouri.

In April, the U.S. Women’s team played a World Cup tune-up in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, drawing a crowd of 35,817, which ranks as the largest crowd in U.S. history for a standalone Women’s National Team friendly match.

World Cup Qualifying Match Dates

Date

Match A

Match B

Nov. 13, 2015

USA v VIN-ARU winner

ATG-GUA winner v TRI

Nov. 17, 2015

TRI v USA

VIN-ARU winner v ATG-GUA winner

March 25, 2016

ATG-GUA winner v USA

VIN-ARU winner v TRI

March 29, 2016

USA v ATG-GUA winner

TRI v VIN-ARU winner

Sept. 2, 2016

VIN-ARU winner v USA

TRI v ATG-GUA winner

Sept. 6, 2016

USA v TRI

ATG-GUA v VIN-ARU winner

MNT to Face Mexico in Playoff for 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Berth

The U.S. Men’s National Team will face archrival Mexico in a playoff game for a berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be played on Friday, Oct. 9, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. 

Kickoff time and television information are still to be determined. Participating member associations and supporter groups will have access to purchase tickets in advance of the public sale. Tickets will be available to the general public in September. 

The USA’s place in the playoff was secured when it won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mexico won the 2015 edition of the tournament and in so doing qualified for the playoff. The Oct. 9 playoff game will be played during a FIFA international match window.

The loss to Jamaica in the semifinal ended a nine-match unbeaten run for the United States in 2015 that included consecutive victories against Mexico in San Antonio, and away wins against then sixth-ranked Netherlands and 2014 FIFA World Cup winners Germany. Overall, the U.S. has a 3-1-1 record this year against teams ranked in the top 20 in the world.

In April of 2013, CONCACAF announced the split of the region’s berth to the Confederations Cup between two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, assuring that both editions of the Gold Cup in each four-year cycle have the same competitive importance.

The Confederations Cup is the prestigious dress rehearsal that takes place in the host country a year before the World Cup. In 2017, the Confederations Cup will be played in the same stadiums the teams will use during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In the 2009 edition in South Africa, the USA beat then No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals and advanced to the final, finishing as runner-up to Brazil.

Dempsey Wins Golden Boot, Guzan Wins Golden Glove at 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

CHICAGO (July 27, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey won the Golden Boot and goalkeeper Brad Guzan won the Golden Glove at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Golden Boot is awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the tournament. Dempsey tallied seven for the U.S., the most scored by an American player in a single Gold Cup in the 13 editions of the tournament. Dempsey has scored 12 Gold Cup goals in his career, tying him for the second most on the regional tournament’s all-time list with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alvarez. The pair trail only Landon Donovan’s 18 Gold Cup goals.

The Golden Glove award is given to the tournament's top goalkeeper. Guzan marshaled the USA backline to a pair of clean sheets, against Haiti in the group stage and Cuba in the quarterfinal. In six Gold Cup matches with Guzan between the posts, the U.S. surrendered only five goals. The only previous USA goalkeeper to win a Gold Glove award at a senior international tournament is Tim Howard, who claimed the honor at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. 

MNT Falls To Panama on PKs in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place Match

CHESTER, Pennsylvania (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was defeated by Panama 3-2 in penalty kicks in the Gold Cup Third Place match Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. 

Trailing 1-0 at the tail end of the second half, substitutes DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey combined to level the match, 1-1. 

As the clock continued ticked away, both sides attacked and generated chances, but none found the back of the net, and after an additional 30 minutes of extra time, the match was off to penalty kicks. 

In PKs, the U.S. converted its two opening penalties, but then saw a miss and two consecutive saves by Panama ‘keeper Luis Mejia, which made Harold Cummings’s conversion in the fourth round the winning kick. With the result, the MNT finished fourth at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Later this year, the MNT will face the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – either Jamaica or Mexico – in a one-game playoff for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The playoff pits the winner of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups against one another for a spot at the tournament in Russia the year before the World Cup. The USA last featured at the Confederations Cup in 2009 when the team beat then No. 1-ranked Spain and advanced to the Final against Brazil. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN– Roberto Nurse (Ronaldo Blackburn) 55th minute: Roberto Blackburn slipped a pass up to Nurse, who attacked U.S. defenders Tim Ream and John Brooks and pushed into the box. Nurse sidestepped Brooks, freeing himself to curl a shot around Guzan and into the net for the game’s first goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (DeAndre Yedlin) 70th minute:  Michael Bradley looped a long ball to Yedlin, who chested it down in the box, took a turn and sent it across to Dempsey on a late run. The defense and goalkeeper had collapsed on Yedlin, which freed Dempsey to bury his seventh goal of the tournament to level the game. USA 1, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL)

Penalty Shootout:
USA-Aron Johansson: Johansson sent the first shot right down Broadway and in for a score. USA 1, PAN 0
PAN-Roman Torres: Torres responded with a well struck goal into the top right corner. USA 1, PAN 1
USA-Clint Dempsey: In what was signature style for the month of July, having already chipped two goalies on PK’s, Dempsey did so again to put the U.S. ahead. USA 2, PAN 1
PAN-Abdiel Arroyo: Arroyo stutter stepped and blasted a shot low and hard by a diving Guzan. USA 2, PAN 2
USA-Fabian Johnson: Johnson came up third for the U.S. and sent his kick over the crossbar. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Armando Cooper: Cooper rolled his attempt and Guzan dove to his left and corralled it to keep the shootout level. USA, 2, PAN 2
USA-Michael Bradley: The U.S. captain sent a shot hard to the left, but Mejia guessed right for Panama and deflected it away. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Harold Cummings: Cummings sent a shot to the left, Guzan dove and got a hand to it, but the ball powered into the net. USA 2, PAN 3
USA-DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley blasted a shot toward the right side of the goal, but Mejia was headed that way, and he made a diving save to end the game in Panama’s favor. USA 2, PAN 3 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Time Ream 36th minute: Armando Cooper intercepted an errant MNT pass and countered with pace down the center of the field. He attacked the box, beat a defender and then slid a shot past Brad Guzan towards the back post. Fortunately for the U.S., Tim Ream was there, booting the ball off the goal line and out of bounds for a corner kick.

USA – Fabian Johnson 54 minute: From a corner kick, Panama sent a ball in that forward Ronaldo Blackburn headed sharply at goal. Fabian Johnson was there to clear it off the goal line to safety.

USA – Brad Guzan (save) 81st minute: A Panama cross from the outside on the left found the head of Ronaldo Blackburn, who directed it firmly toward the back post. Brad Guzan fully extended and just reached the ball with his left hand, pawing it down before taking another dive to smother it.

USA– Brad Guzan (save) 108st minute: Roberto Nurse was freed on the left side for an attack at goal. As he wound up and fired off a shot, DeAndre Yedlin slid in and deflected it. The Ball continued to spin at goal, but Guzan was ready for it and knocked it away on a dive.

Coming up Next: #USAvPER
Location: RFK Stadium – Washington D.C.
Date: September 4, 2015
Opponent: Peru 

Milestone Watch:

  • Clint Dempsey’s game-tying goal was his seventh of the competition, which is the most-ever by an American player in a single Gold Cup tournament.
  • Dempsey’s 12 Gold Cup goals tie him with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alves for second on the tournament’s all-time list behind only Landon Donovan (18).

Additional Notes:

  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to his starting XI from the team that began Wednesday’s Semifinal against Jamaica: Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski all came into the lineup.
  • Corona earned his first start of the tournament. 
  • Brad Guzan and Michael Bradley were the only two U.S. players to start all six matches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The match was the U.S. MNT’s third in a Gold Cup third place match and marked the first time the team had not won the game (2-1-0)
  • The U.S. MNT record against Panama dropped to 12-1-4 (5-1-3 in Gold Cup games)
  • The MNT is now 3-2-3 all-time in matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Highlights: MNT Falls to Panama in Gold Cup Third Place Match PKs

The U.S. Men’s National Team was defeated by Panama 3-2 in penalty kicks in the Gold Cup Third Place match Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.

Behind The Crest: Ep. 6 - #USMNT at the Gold Cup

After a tough loss in the semifinal, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads to Philadelphia looking to close out the Gold Cup with a positive performance in Panama. Jurgen Klinsmann and Michael Bradley look ahead to the match and the next steps for the team beyond the tournament.

Behind The Crest: Ep. 5 - #USMNT at the Gold Cup

The U.S. Men's National Team begins the knockout round with a comprehensive win against Cuba in Baltimore. From there the group shifts focus quickly to the semifinal where they meet Jamaica in Atlanta.

Highlights: USA Rolls Cuba on March to Gold Cup Semifinals

The U.S. Men's National team dominated its Quarterfinal match-up against Cuba at M&T Stadium, winning 6-0 to punch its ticket to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals.

GOAL: Dempsey Puts USA Up Early Against Cuba

Clint Dempsey opens the scoring to put the United States up 1-0 against Cuba.

Behind The Crest: Ep. 4 - #USMNT at the Gold Cup

After topping Group A, the U.S. MNT travels to Baltimore before kicking off the knockout stage against Cuba. The team takes advantage of three allowed roster changes at this stage and DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona, and Alan Gordan join the team with five days to prepare for the quarterfinal match.

Behind The Crest: Ep. 3 - #USMNT at the Gold Cup

The U.S. Men's National Team makes it six points from two games in Gold Cup group play. The win secures a spot in the quarterfinal but there's still work to be done and the team moves to Kansas City looking to beat Panama to maintain its momentum going into the knockout stage.

Highlights: MNT Downs Haiti, Claims Top Spot in Group A

The #USMNT clinched first place in Group A at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Haiti.
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