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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. 

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

St. Louis - A History of the USMNT in the Gateway to the West

The U.S. MNT returns to one of the country’s soccer hot beds when it opens 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ historic soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last paying to a 0-0 draw against Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997.

What made St. Louis such a bastion for soccer in the United States?

Clubs from the city made an early mark on the U.S. Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup), with Ben Millers first lifting the Dewar Trophy in 1920. Scullin Steel followed up two years later before Stix, Baer and Fuller (later known as St. Louis Central Breweries) went to four straight finals from 1932-1935, winning all but the first.

Much of St. Louis’ continuing soccer strength came from the city’s representation on the U.S. team that went to the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five of the 11 players that appeared in the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against England hailed from St. Louis: goalkeeper Frank Borghi, defenders Charlie Colombo and Harry Keough and midfielders Gino Pariani and Frank Wallace.

In 1948, Borghi, Colombo and Pariani all won National Challenge Cup titles with Simpkins Ford, while Wallace joined them to win the title in 1950. Keough would taste domestic cup glory of his own, winning with St. Louis Kutis in 1957.

Upon retirement as a player, Keough wrote another chapter in the city’s soccer history when he became the head coach of St. Louis University. With five NCAA tournament championships already in the trophy case, Keough guided the Billikens to another championship in his first season in 1967. He’d go on to lead the school to four more tournament titles in five years from 1969-1973.

One of the top players in U.S. MNT history, Brian McBride attended the school from 1990-1993, before going on to play in three World Cups and build a famous club career, most notably with Fulham FC in the English Premier League. Other World Cup participants that hail from St. Louis include Mike Sorber (1994) and Brad Davis (2014).

Current U.S. MNT defender Tim Ream, as well as former U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Klein and Pat Noonan also earned their soccer stripes coming up in the Gateway to the West.

Though it’s been a while since the MNT’s last appearance in St. Louis, the team has been successful in the Mound City, going 5-1-2 all-time with the only defeat being a World Cup qualifying loss to Canada on July 6, 1957. Six of the eight matches played in St. Louis have been World Cup qualifiers, with the MNT earning two wins (against Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a draw (against El Salvador) in the team’s successful campaign to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. 

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. 

#USAvPAN Post Game Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Gold Cup – Third Place Game
July 25, 2015

U.S. MNT Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

His thoughts on the match:
“Overall, obviously it was a game that was pretty much overshadowed with what happened a couple days ago. A game that basically Panama and us didn’t really want to play in terms of how do you pump the players up after what happened on Wednesday night. Both teams deserve a huge compliment. They went all the way through, they went 120 minutes and into the penalty shootout. They were both extremely tired and gave what was left in them. I give credit to Panama for how they went through that tournament and stayed on course. For us it’s clear that we look towards September – two friendly games to build things in order to be prepared for the playoff in October.”

On the differences for the team between the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups:
“I think all the teams were really competitive. All the teams were into the competition and wanted to win it. There was just a lot of stuff going on outside the field. There was always a sense of being uncertain of what happens next. When I talk to the players this morning, I told them we didn’t know what would happen because every time you go on the field you don’t know what happens with the refs with either way they go. You feel really sorry for the refs, because if they make a mistake one side or another goes at them. This feeling was there from the beginning of the tournament where you always wonder what will happen. It kind of overshadowed everything that went on really. Going through it from our end, we started fine. We got two wins and qualified for the quarterfinals. We took care of the quarters and then Wednesday night happened. It took the wind out – that’s just normal, that’s fine. It shows you also how competitive this region is. Nations that maybe weren’t regarded as high before the tournament earned a lot of respect, earned a lot of compliments, like Haiti for example, or especially Jamaica being in the final. You have to give them credit as well.”

On improvements since he took over the team in 2011:
“This is year one after we went to Brazil. The goal is always to go further in the next World Cup than we did in Brazil. This is a working process right now that here and there will give us some setbacks, some situations where you make a step back maybe and hopefully make two forward. That process is ongoing. We had the discussion on Wednesday night after Jamaica. This team will grow, this team will get better. The youngsters will learn out of mistakes that they make on the field. They will become more responsible, more accountable, gain more personality. I can’t blame anybody for the last four weeks, because they really showed great character. The spirit was good throughout the entire tournament, they kept going and going. Our goal is to move things forward, to become a little more proactive and not too reactive – that discussion we had over the last couple of years. That process will keep on going.”

On balancing the growth for the future with the need to win:
“You always have an eye on the growth of the team and the program, and at the same time you also zoom in and when a tournament is happening, you want to win the tournament. The goal was to win this Gold Cup with the best team available. That’s what we had – we had the best team in the tournament. The only bummer was that DaMarcus Beasley got injured on his first day of training, otherwise he probably would have been on the field the other two games. We keep building in the background. We build an Olympic team that goes into the qualifiers in October. We build the next cycle of the U-20s that did extremely well in New Zealand, just losing against the World Champions in the quarterfinals, so that goes parallel. When it’s tournament time, it’s tournament time and you want to win it, and we didn’t win it.”

On the status of DaMarcus Beasley’s international career:
“Beas is a guy that whenever he’s needed, he just wants to help. As I said the other day, he’s a giver and I said right after the game in the locker room, ‘Beas I don’t know if you can walk out like that. We might have to get you back in.’ The guys were clapping because they love him. The locker room loves Beas. We’ll see – it depends on him. He made that decision a year ago. He came back for the team – the plan was for the knockout stage. It didn’t work out that way because of this little strain, but from my end I’m always open and maybe that’s a question for him when he walks out of the locker room.”

On handling the goalkeeper situation with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard:
“I will have a phone call with Tim probably next week and also with Brad and see how we want to move forward. Brad kept us in the game with some tremendous saves. Defensively we allowed too many chances, there’s no doubt about it. Again, this game today was under a very weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to make sure nothing bad happened, let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any of the players if there were a couple too many mistakes.”

On the pressure of going into October’s Confederations Cup playoff:
“There’s constant expectations, constant pressure for everybody. That’s just normal – it’s part of our job. We didn’t use that opportunity to finish things off in this tournament so we have to finish it off in October. If there’s a rise in expectations, that’s totally cool.”

On what he learned about the group and what he might have done differently:
“We’ll watch the games again and see more detailed stuff.  There’s always something you find that you think afterwards you could have done things differently. I think overall when you look through it, we started well in the tournament and in a three-day rhythm in that group, which was the most difficult group, we got out right away with two wins, already qualified for the quarterfinals and then Wednesday night happened. Overall I think we could have won this tournament, but at the end of the day we didn’t. We’ll take our lessons from there, analyze it and then talk to the players.”

U.S. MNT defender DAMARCUS BEASLEY

On what it was like to be back:
“It was great to be back after the injury to my calf. It’s tough to lose like that, and I’m not just saying that because it could be my last game. We didn’t get the result that we wanted. It wasn’t anything about me playing in what could be my last game, it was about getting the result and getting the win. We wanted to end on a good note. It didn’t happen, but we have to pick ourselves up and move forward and obviously take the criticism after losing two games to our neighbors, Jamaica and Panama, but this is just going to make us a stronger team. It’s only a year after the World Cup. There’s a lot of young guys that will grow in this team and we look forward to seeing how to develop them.”

On the positives of this trip:
“Playing. You can’t get away from experience. This is what qualifying is going to be about - playing at home with these teams. Some guys have never been through a qualifying cycle. This is what it’s going to be, hard games, tough games. There won’t be any easy games whether you’re at home or on the road. This is giving them a taste of what it’s going to be like come qualifying time. I’m 100 percent sure we’ll be ready for it.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN

On tonight’s game:
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. We’ll be able to look at these games and analyze them and know where we need to improve and where we need to get better in terms of going forward to the friendlies in September and the [Confederations Cup] playoff in October.”

On the how the September friendlies will help the team:
“They’re huge. They’re against Brazil and Peru. They’ll be two difficult games that will definitely get us ready. Every time we come together as a country we want to use that time wisely.”

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.

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.

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.

U.S. Drawn into Group C for Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

CHICAGO (July 25, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group C of CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. will begin its quest to qualify for an eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup when CONCACAF Semifinal Round play begins in November.

The U.S. was drawn into Group C with Trinidad & Tobago, and will be joined by the winners of St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala from the Third Round of qualifying. CONCACAF’s Group B is composed of Costa Rica and Panama and the winners of Grenada/Haiti and Jamaica/Nicaragua, while Group A features Mexico, Honduras and the winners of Curaçao/El Salvador and Canada/Belize.

The MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away, in round-robin play. The dates of the ties 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. The group winner and group runner-up advance to Final Round of World Cup Qualifying.

The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when it last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. The MNT cruised past Guatemala 4-0 in July when the teams faced off in a Gold Cup tune-up, and is unbeaten against the Central American team in 12 World Cup Qualifying matchups. The USA has only matched up with Antigua and Barbuda twice – for World Cup qualifiers in 2012 – and won both of those games. The meeting between St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba will be the first for the U.S. against either team. The Final Round will feature a group of six teams. Each of the Semifinal Round group winners and runners-up making up the well-known ‘Hexagonal’ that determines which CONCACAF nations will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The top three teams from round-robin play will book their place in Russia, with the fourth place team playing a home-and-away intercontinental playoff against a team from the Asian confederation. The USA has finished first in the Hexagonal during the past three FIFA World Cup cycles. The U.S. completes play in the 2015 Gold Cup today against Panama in the third-place game. It will next see action in September for a pair of important friendlies against competitive opponents. The USA will first matchup with Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4 followed by a game with Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass on Sept. 8.

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. 

St. Louis - A History of the USMNT in the Gateway to the West

The U.S. MNT returns to one of the country’s soccer hot beds when it opens 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ historic soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last paying to a 0-0 draw against Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997.

What made St. Louis such a bastion for soccer in the United States?

Clubs from the city made an early mark on the U.S. Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup), with Ben Millers first lifting the Dewar Trophy in 1920. Scullin Steel followed up two years later before Stix, Baer and Fuller (later known as St. Louis Central Breweries) went to four straight finals from 1932-1935, winning all but the first.

Much of St. Louis’ continuing soccer strength came from the city’s representation on the U.S. team that went to the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five of the 11 players that appeared in the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against England hailed from St. Louis: goalkeeper Frank Borghi, defenders Charlie Colombo and Harry Keough and midfielders Gino Pariani and Frank Wallace.

In 1948, Borghi, Colombo and Pariani all won National Challenge Cup titles with Simpkins Ford, while Wallace joined them to win the title in 1950. Keough would taste domestic cup glory of his own, winning with St. Louis Kutis in 1957.

Upon retirement as a player, Keough wrote another chapter in the city’s soccer history when he became the head coach of St. Louis University. With five NCAA tournament championships already in the trophy case, Keough guided the Billikens to another championship in his first season in 1967. He’d go on to lead the school to four more tournament titles in five years from 1969-1973.

One of the top players in U.S. MNT history, Brian McBride attended the school from 1990-1993, before going on to play in three World Cups and build a famous club career, most notably with Fulham FC in the English Premier League. Other World Cup participants that hail from St. Louis include Mike Sorber (1994) and Brad Davis (2014).

Current U.S. MNT defender Tim Ream, as well as former U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Klein and Pat Noonan also earned their soccer stripes coming up in the Gateway to the West.

Though it’s been a while since the MNT’s last appearance in St. Louis, the team has been successful in the Mound City, going 5-1-2 all-time with the only defeat being a World Cup qualifying loss to Canada on July 6, 1957. Six of the eight matches played in St. Louis have been World Cup qualifiers, with the MNT earning two wins (against Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a draw (against El Salvador) in the team’s successful campaign to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. 

#USAvPAN Post Game Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Gold Cup – Third Place Game
July 25, 2015

U.S. MNT Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

His thoughts on the match:
“Overall, obviously it was a game that was pretty much overshadowed with what happened a couple days ago. A game that basically Panama and us didn’t really want to play in terms of how do you pump the players up after what happened on Wednesday night. Both teams deserve a huge compliment. They went all the way through, they went 120 minutes and into the penalty shootout. They were both extremely tired and gave what was left in them. I give credit to Panama for how they went through that tournament and stayed on course. For us it’s clear that we look towards September – two friendly games to build things in order to be prepared for the playoff in October.”

On the differences for the team between the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups:
“I think all the teams were really competitive. All the teams were into the competition and wanted to win it. There was just a lot of stuff going on outside the field. There was always a sense of being uncertain of what happens next. When I talk to the players this morning, I told them we didn’t know what would happen because every time you go on the field you don’t know what happens with the refs with either way they go. You feel really sorry for the refs, because if they make a mistake one side or another goes at them. This feeling was there from the beginning of the tournament where you always wonder what will happen. It kind of overshadowed everything that went on really. Going through it from our end, we started fine. We got two wins and qualified for the quarterfinals. We took care of the quarters and then Wednesday night happened. It took the wind out – that’s just normal, that’s fine. It shows you also how competitive this region is. Nations that maybe weren’t regarded as high before the tournament earned a lot of respect, earned a lot of compliments, like Haiti for example, or especially Jamaica being in the final. You have to give them credit as well.”

On improvements since he took over the team in 2011:
“This is year one after we went to Brazil. The goal is always to go further in the next World Cup than we did in Brazil. This is a working process right now that here and there will give us some setbacks, some situations where you make a step back maybe and hopefully make two forward. That process is ongoing. We had the discussion on Wednesday night after Jamaica. This team will grow, this team will get better. The youngsters will learn out of mistakes that they make on the field. They will become more responsible, more accountable, gain more personality. I can’t blame anybody for the last four weeks, because they really showed great character. The spirit was good throughout the entire tournament, they kept going and going. Our goal is to move things forward, to become a little more proactive and not too reactive – that discussion we had over the last couple of years. That process will keep on going.”

On balancing the growth for the future with the need to win:
“You always have an eye on the growth of the team and the program, and at the same time you also zoom in and when a tournament is happening, you want to win the tournament. The goal was to win this Gold Cup with the best team available. That’s what we had – we had the best team in the tournament. The only bummer was that DaMarcus Beasley got injured on his first day of training, otherwise he probably would have been on the field the other two games. We keep building in the background. We build an Olympic team that goes into the qualifiers in October. We build the next cycle of the U-20s that did extremely well in New Zealand, just losing against the World Champions in the quarterfinals, so that goes parallel. When it’s tournament time, it’s tournament time and you want to win it, and we didn’t win it.”

On the status of DaMarcus Beasley’s international career:
“Beas is a guy that whenever he’s needed, he just wants to help. As I said the other day, he’s a giver and I said right after the game in the locker room, ‘Beas I don’t know if you can walk out like that. We might have to get you back in.’ The guys were clapping because they love him. The locker room loves Beas. We’ll see – it depends on him. He made that decision a year ago. He came back for the team – the plan was for the knockout stage. It didn’t work out that way because of this little strain, but from my end I’m always open and maybe that’s a question for him when he walks out of the locker room.”

On handling the goalkeeper situation with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard:
“I will have a phone call with Tim probably next week and also with Brad and see how we want to move forward. Brad kept us in the game with some tremendous saves. Defensively we allowed too many chances, there’s no doubt about it. Again, this game today was under a very weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to make sure nothing bad happened, let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any of the players if there were a couple too many mistakes.”

On the pressure of going into October’s Confederations Cup playoff:
“There’s constant expectations, constant pressure for everybody. That’s just normal – it’s part of our job. We didn’t use that opportunity to finish things off in this tournament so we have to finish it off in October. If there’s a rise in expectations, that’s totally cool.”

On what he learned about the group and what he might have done differently:
“We’ll watch the games again and see more detailed stuff.  There’s always something you find that you think afterwards you could have done things differently. I think overall when you look through it, we started well in the tournament and in a three-day rhythm in that group, which was the most difficult group, we got out right away with two wins, already qualified for the quarterfinals and then Wednesday night happened. Overall I think we could have won this tournament, but at the end of the day we didn’t. We’ll take our lessons from there, analyze it and then talk to the players.”

U.S. MNT defender DAMARCUS BEASLEY

On what it was like to be back:
“It was great to be back after the injury to my calf. It’s tough to lose like that, and I’m not just saying that because it could be my last game. We didn’t get the result that we wanted. It wasn’t anything about me playing in what could be my last game, it was about getting the result and getting the win. We wanted to end on a good note. It didn’t happen, but we have to pick ourselves up and move forward and obviously take the criticism after losing two games to our neighbors, Jamaica and Panama, but this is just going to make us a stronger team. It’s only a year after the World Cup. There’s a lot of young guys that will grow in this team and we look forward to seeing how to develop them.”

On the positives of this trip:
“Playing. You can’t get away from experience. This is what qualifying is going to be about - playing at home with these teams. Some guys have never been through a qualifying cycle. This is what it’s going to be, hard games, tough games. There won’t be any easy games whether you’re at home or on the road. This is giving them a taste of what it’s going to be like come qualifying time. I’m 100 percent sure we’ll be ready for it.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN

On tonight’s game:
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. We’ll be able to look at these games and analyze them and know where we need to improve and where we need to get better in terms of going forward to the friendlies in September and the [Confederations Cup] playoff in October.”

On the how the September friendlies will help the team:
“They’re huge. They’re against Brazil and Peru. They’ll be two difficult games that will definitely get us ready. Every time we come together as a country we want to use that time wisely.”

MNT Looks Ahead

Playing in Saturday’s CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place match isn’t what U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann or any of his 23-man roster envisioned they’d be preparing for at this point.

U.S. captain Michael Bradley admitted that coming to terms with Wednesday’s 2-1 semifinal defeat to Jamaica will take some time.

“That part is never easy,” he told ussoccer.com. “When you have a goal and everything goes into that for a few weeks and when that ends, there’s disappointment, frustration -- there’s sadness. There’s a need for everybody to take some time and digest it and sift through it all. In some ways that’s something that’s not going to end in the next few hours or even before the game starts tomorrow.”

The U.S. now looks to October 9 and the playoff to determine CONCACAF’s representative in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, facing the winner of Sunday’s final. The game against Panama now becomes the first in preparation for that huge match, along with big international friendlies against Peru and Brazil scheduled for early September.

“Any time you’re with the national team, it’s a chance to continue to build on the work you’ve previously done,” Guzan told ussoccer.com. “You want to continue to push forward and there aren’t many opportunities to get together as a National Team before that playoff. Everyday we’re together, including tomorrow, it’s a chance for us to get better as a team and push forward, make sure we’re on the same page and show our appreciation for the fans. We do that by putting together a good performance and a good result.”

Winning the playoff not only crowns the de facto giant of the region, a place in the Confederations Cup provides the participants a massive opportunity to get a dry run in Russia a year before the World Cup.

“The Confederations Cup is something that means a lot to us and regardless of who that game is against, we’ll be ready to give everything we can to take care of business and find a way to get ourselves there. After that, November will come quick and World Cup qualifying begins.”

Though one of the team’s main goals wasn’t accomplished, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann still feels his team has made strides in 2015, defeating world champions Germany and World Cup semifinalists Holland, as well as bringing along a young group of players that will no doubt play a part in the team’s bid to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 “I think this year after the 2014 World Cup has been very, very useful,” said the U.S. boss. “We played highly competitive friendlies overseas. We did well in some -- others we lost. We brought younger players into the program that are already locked into the inner group of the National Team, like Ventura Alvarado, like John Brooks who seem to be growing, like Gyasi Zardes who is really impressing and getting stronger and stronger.”

Specific to 22-year-old center backs Alvarado and Brooks, the pair gained valuable experience playing together in seven matches over the course of this year already. Overall, the MNT went 4-1-2 with the pair on the field together, the lone loss coming in Wednesday’s semifinal.

Klinsmann indicated that the criticism the young defenders have faced after the defeat isn’t surprising, but the growth and adversity the two have gone through so far in 2015 will only help going forward.

“I’m absolutely not negative about certain players that maybe now have some of the heat on. If you look at our young center backs, there’s enormous talent that is growing through. We’re going to help them. If I look just at Ventura and John Brooks, I think they played together in seven games and we only lost this one just a few days ago. They were on the field against Germany and Holland. They have to go through this pain, we’re going to go through pain here and there -- do a step back here and there. It’s part of their growth and if there’s a moment to criticize, that’s fine.”

Before players go back to their clubs for regular season games or preseason preparation, they hold the additional goal of finishing on a high note for the fans that have provided tremendous support throughout the tournament.

“We have a responsibility to ourselves, to our fans, to step on the field tomorrow and give everything we have to play well, be sharp and to win and give everybody that walks into that stadium a good show,” Klinsmann said. “We’ll have a group of guys that will be ready to do that.”

MNT Gold Cup History Against Jamaica

The U.S. MNT is a perfect 3-0-0 against Wednesday’s semifinal opponents Jamaica in CONCACAF Gold Cup play. While they’re undefeated, the games haven’t always been the easiest. Here’s a look back at the three matches.

1993 - Eric Wynalda’s goal guides U.S. past Jamaica in Gold Cup opener

In the 24th minute, the U.S. team nearly took the lead when Roy Wegerle ran onto a long ball out of the back and got past goalkeeper Warren Barrett before seeing his shot cleared off the line by Reggae Boyz midfielder Anthony Corbett.

Jamaica had a close call of their own in the 40th minute. A quick one-two combination put Winston Anglin in alone on goal, where he beat the onrushing Tony Meola, but saw his effort come off the right post, before Walter Boyd fired the rebound wide of the goal.

The U.S. would take the lead in the when a punt from Meola was flicked on by Wegerle for Eric Wynalda, who chipped over Barrett in the 67th minute.

Three minutes later Thomas Dooley rattled his header off the post, but the U.S. was able to hang on for a 1-0 victory at The Cotton Bowl.

 
U.S. Lineup:
1- Tony Meola; 15-Desmond Armstrong, 4-Cle Kooiman, 5-Thomas Dooley, 21-Fernando Clavijo; 13-Cobi Jones, 6-John Harkes (22-Alexi Lalas, 71), 9-Tab Ramos, 19-Chris Henderson; 11-Eric Wynalda (8-Dominic Kinnear, 84), 17-Roy Wegerle

2005 – DaMarcus Beasley runs wild in 3-1 quarterfinal victory

Twelve years after their first Gold Cup meeting, the U.S. was matched against the Reggae Boyz in the 2005 quarterfinals at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Already playing in his third CONCACAF Gold Cup, DaMarcus Beasley got things started early, when his shot from the top of the area redirected off of Chicago Fire teammate Josh Wolff and past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in the sixth minute.

Almost instantly, Jamaica won a penalty kick, but Andy Williams saw it saved by Kasey Keller in the eighth minute.

Beasley would double the lead in the 42nd minute as Landon Donovan slipped him free into the box, allowing an easy finish past Ricketts.

The U.S. found its third goal when another Fire teammate, Chris Armas broke through the Jamaica back line and centered for Beasley whose first effort was saved, but slammed home the rebound in the 83rd minute.

Ricardo Fuller pulled one back for Jamaica in the 88th minute and Donovan missed a stoppage time penalty, but the result had been long assured with Beasley’s brace.

U.S. Lineup:
18-Kasey Keller; 6-Steve Cherundolo (15-Ben Olsen, 25’), 4-Oguchi Onyewu, 12-Jimmy Conrad, 3-Greg Vanney; 19-Steve Ralston (9-Santino Quaranta, ,84’), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 5-John O’Brien, 10-Landon Donovan; 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 16-Josh Wolff (14-Chris Armas, 80’)

2011 – U.S. peppers Jamaican goal in 2-0 quarterfinal victory

The U.S. pelted the Jamaican goal in the first half as ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts made five saves, including two on Clint Dempsey and one each on Juan Agudelo and Sacha Kljestan.

The deadlock didn’t last long after the break though when Jones’ shot from outside the area redirected off a Jamaican defender and wrong footed Ricketts, giving the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute.

As Jamaica began to press forward for an equalizer, the U.S. found space to catch them out and the second goal would finally come in the 79th minute when a combination between Landon Dononvan and Juan Agudelo found Dempsey alone in the area. The attacker rounded Ricketts and buried into an empty net to give the U.S. a 2-0 win.

U.S. Lineup:
1-Tim Howard; 3-Carlos Bocanegra, 21-Clarence Goodson, 14-Eric Lichaj, 6-Steve Cherundolo; 8-Clint Dempsey, 13-Jermaine Jones, (7-Maurice Edu, 75’), 4-Michael Bradley, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 22-Alejandro Bedoya, (10-Landon Donovan, 65’), 17-Jozy Altidore, (9-Juan Agudelo, 12’)

 


Big Game Brad

No player on the current U.S. roster has had as long of a gap between CONCACAF Gold Cup tournaments as defender Brad Evans. And after last summer, there was no guarantee it would ever come to pass.

In May 2014, he was one of 30 players named to the team’s preliminary World Cup roster, but was eventually edged out when the final 23 was named.

No doubt disappointed to have contributed to the qualifying efforts and come so close to a World Cup only to miss it, Evans has earned a new chance with the National Team at this summer’s Gold Cup. Along with Joe Corona, he’s one of two players on the current roster that were the final cuts for last summer’s FIFA World Cup.

“To be back in the picture is great,” Evans said. ”You never know when your time is going to be up with this team. In the grand scheme of things, it’s so short for most players. It’s maybe 20-25 games. You get the odd players that have built a career around it that get 100 caps, or 75 games, but for most players it’s really short. You have to learn to relish it so that when your chance comes again, make sure that you do whatever it takes to stay in the fold.”


Brad Evans has found plenty of success with the USMNT against Jamaica in the past and
will hope to contribute in another big game against the Reggae Boyz in the 2015 Gold Cup Semifinals.

Evans began his National Team career at age 25, already a third-year pro when he received his first call-up playing under Bob Bradley at the 2009 Gold Cup. Because of the team’s involvement in the FIFA Confederations Cup weeks before, the team was more patchwork than what would normally be sent to a regional championship.

“It was different, mostly MLS guys and guys that were truly fighting for their lives to claw their way into the National Team picture,” Evans told ussoccer.com.

Evans appeared in three of the team’s six matches and came on as a substitute in a 2-1 extra time win against Panama in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Ultimately, the team made its way to the final, but was overmatched by a stronger Mexico side in the final at Giants Stadium.

“It was a team that fought hard, got a couple overtime results, and we found ourselves in a good position in the final. We make a couple errors; you don’t finish your chances – it’s something I look back on and I’d like to forget. The reality is, you learn from your mistakes.”

After gaining more experience with his club side Seattle Sounders FC, Evans started to earn more regular call-ups under U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, carving out a role with the team in key final round World Cup qualifiers in 2013.

The right back’s best moment came in a June qualifier that year against Wednesday’s opponent, Jamaica. Following a 30th minute goal from Jozy Altidore, the U.S. clung to a 1-0 lead for much of the match until Jamaica’s Jermaine Beckford headed home an equalizer in the 89th minute.

Just as it looked like the U.S. would have to settle for a 1-1 draw, Michael Bradley drove to the endline and centered for Evans in the box. The Sounders FC man turned on a dime and poked an effort inside the opposite post in the 92nd minute to give the team a 2-1 win.


Brad Evans celebrates his last-gasp winner on the road against Jamaica in 2013 World Cup Qualifying.

“I have very fond memories of that game. The whole experience was one I’ll remember forever. Certain firsts you remember. Your first cap and first goal is something you always remember. Especially playing defense, it’s a little bit unheard of, for me it’s something that is a definite highlight of my career.”

The Jamaica game was one of five appearances for Evans during the 2013 ‘Hex’ and kept him in the mix for the team’s World Cup roster the following spring.

Now as he preps for the possibility of facing Jamaica in Wednesday’s semifinal, he’ll lean on the experience gained from that qualifier in Kingston, as well as the return leg the U.S. won 2-0 in Kansas City four months later.

“Those types of performances, results in those big games and big environments against very good teams have an impact. In the back of your mind you always know you can do it,” he said. “It gives you confidence going forward that you can do it.

“I remember the game against Bosnia as well that we ended up winning. I came off the field and Jurgen said, ‘This is it, you can do it, this is the level you’re performing at.’ That’s something I’ve always remembered since then, whenever someone doubts or I start to doubt myself – just knowing past performances have put me to where I am now. Knowing I have those in the back of my mind is something I can carry forward.”

#OTD July 21: A Victorious Day in U.S. MNT Gold Cup History

With two semifinal advancements and a quarterfinal thrashing, July 21 is a pretty historic day in U.S. MNT Gold Cup history…

#OTD 1993: U.S. MNT downs Costa Rica to advance to Gold Cup Final

In a game the U.S. largely dominated, the side saw chance after chance either well-saved by Costa Rica goalkeeper Erick Lonnis or go begging just wide of goal, forcing extra time at The Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

In the golden goal period, both teams had early opportunities to advance to the tournament final in Mexico City, but the sudden death winner would come from one of the most unlikely of sources.

A quick restart on the right saw Cobi Jones lay off for Roy Wegerle, whose deflected cross fell perfectly for center back Cle Kooiman. The Cruz Azul defender one-timed the cross out of the air, smashing it past Lonnis in the 103rd minute to send the U.S. to a second consecutive Gold Cup final. 

#OTD 2005: U.S. MNT comes back with 2-1 semifinal win against Honduras

The U.S. stared semifinal elimination straight in the face in this match after Honduras midfielder Ivan Guerrero gave Los Catrachos  a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute.

Things appeared to get worse when U.S. head coach Bruce Arena was sent off for complaining about a foul on Chris Armas in the 59th minute. With his assistant Glenn “Mooch” Myernick in charge, the U.S. left the equalizer late as Oguchi Onyewu’s ball over the top found Landon Donovan in the box. The young forward laid off for John O’Brien on his right, who finished from close range in the 86th minute.

Just as it looked the match would head to extra time, Donovan’s free kick from the right picked out Onyewu whose diving header beat Honduras ‘keeper Victor Coello to give the U.S. a 2-1 win in the 92nd minute.

Taking His Shot

As the U.S. progressed through three hard-fought matches to advance from a tough Gold Cup group last week, opportunity arose.

For the team, there was recognition that while they had difficult moments, nearly the entire roster had contributed to winning the group. Individually, three new additions were brought in to make their mark on the tournament, while some of those that stayed earned a bigger opportunity to play, beginning with Saturday’s Quarterfinal against Cuba.

Perhaps no one better advantage of their opportunity than forward Aron Johannsson, who stepped into the starting XI next to Clint Dempsey following Jozy Altidore’s departure. The 24-year-old combined well at times with his veteran front line partner as Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes ran the U.S. out to a 2-0 lead inside the first 15 minutes.

Then it was Johannsson’s turn to take center stage. Just after the half-hour mark, Michael Bradley hit a well-paced ball over the top as the fleet-footed attacker perfectly timed his run to get an extra step on the Cuba back line. Johannsson let the ball bounce as the defenders closed but saw Cuban goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra off his line, and rather than try to dribble through markers, cleverly chipped his effort home from the top of the penalty area.

The goal was his first in Gold Cup play, but would have been his second if his first-half strike against Haiti hadn’t been incorrectly ruled offside.

“For a striker to get his first goal of the tournament, it’s huge,” Johannsson told ussoccer.com. “Obviously I would have hoped it would come sooner, but to score in the knockout stage is always good.”

Gallery: MNT Trains Ahead of Gold Cup Semifinal vs. Jamaica

Photos from the #USMNT's training session on the campus ahead of its Gold Cup showdown against Jamaica on Wednesday. The Semifinal match-up between CONCACAF foes kicks off at 6 p.m. ET at the Georgia Dome and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and UniMas. Get in on all the action surrounding the game by following the #USMNT on Facebook, Twitter @ussoccer and Intstagram @ussoccer.

Flight Trackers

Keeping up with the Gold Cup when it’s not your match day can be a challenge.

Case in Point: The MNT’s Sunday night trip from Baltimore to Atlanta.

Prior to leaving for the airport and all the way to the tarmac, U.S. players tracked the match day’s first Quarterfinal between Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. Tied at the end of regulation, the U.S. team began boarding the plane as the match went into extra time. As has been the case throughout the tournament, the team was joined on the aircraft by Wednesday night’s semifinal opponent Jamaica as well as representatives from CONCACAF for the 80-minute flight. Both groups had already boarded and were also following along.

With takeoff time slightly delayed as baggage continued to be loaded on to the plane, the full complement of travelers were able to take in the beginnings of the penalty shootout, but just as the ground crew loaded the final bags on to the plane, the flight attendants gave that dreaded warning to “turn off electronics and set mobile devices to airplane mode”.

As the plane prepared for takeoff and flight attendants took their seats, one U.S. player, who may or may not be teammates with Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo at the LA Galaxy, continued to show the tiebreaker, holding his cell phone on the headrest of the seat in front of him for all behind to see.

The entire plane was captivated by the long-lasting shootout: a miss or two here and there to go with the successful conversions brought cheers and jeers throughout the aircraft as all on board hoped to see the result before the loss of cell phone signal.

Surely any second the internet access to the phone would die. Surprisingly, it stayed on long enough to allow all passengers to see Trinidad & Tobago twice have a chance to advance. Just as Panama forward Blas Perez set his ball on the spot, the signal finally died and the biggest collective groan came from all on board.

With no available Wifi connection on the plane, perhaps fittingly all passengers had to wait 90 minutes for touchdown in Atlanta to see who had advanced to Wednesday’s other semifinal.

As soon as the wheels hit the ground, whispers of “Panama” spread quickly, bringing to end any lasting speculation.

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.

U.S. Drawn into Group C for Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

CHICAGO (July 25, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group C of CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. will begin its quest to qualify for an eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup when CONCACAF Semifinal Round play begins in November.

The U.S. was drawn into Group C with Trinidad & Tobago, and will be joined by the winners of St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala from the Third Round of qualifying. CONCACAF’s Group B is composed of Costa Rica and Panama and the winners of Grenada/Haiti and Jamaica/Nicaragua, while Group A features Mexico, Honduras and the winners of Curaçao/El Salvador and Canada/Belize.

The MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away, in round-robin play. The dates of the ties 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. The group winner and group runner-up advance to Final Round of World Cup Qualifying.

The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when it last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. The MNT cruised past Guatemala 4-0 in July when the teams faced off in a Gold Cup tune-up, and is unbeaten against the Central American team in 12 World Cup Qualifying matchups. The USA has only matched up with Antigua and Barbuda twice – for World Cup qualifiers in 2012 – and won both of those games. The meeting between St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba will be the first for the U.S. against either team. The Final Round will feature a group of six teams. Each of the Semifinal Round group winners and runners-up making up the well-known ‘Hexagonal’ that determines which CONCACAF nations will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The top three teams from round-robin play will book their place in Russia, with the fourth place team playing a home-and-away intercontinental playoff against a team from the Asian confederation. The USA has finished first in the Hexagonal during the past three FIFA World Cup cycles. The U.S. completes play in the 2015 Gold Cup today against Panama in the third-place game. It will next see action in September for a pair of important friendlies against competitive opponents. The USA will first matchup with Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4 followed by a game with Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass on Sept. 8.

MNT Squares Off with Panama for Gold Cup Bronze

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Gold Cup – Third Place Match
PPL Park – Chester, Pa.
July 26, 2015

U.S. MNT SQUARES OFF WITH PANAMA FOR GOLD CUP BRONZE: The U.S. Men’s National Team will meet Panama in the third place match of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wed, July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 and Univision.

The U.S. MNT has played in the third place game twice in the 13 editions of the tournament, and has won both times. In 1996, the USA defeated Guatemala 3-0 in Los Angeles and seven years later came from behind to win 3-2 against Costa Rica in Miami.

Meantime, Panama has reached the third place game or the final in each of the last three Gold Cups.

The USA saw its title defense end in the semifinal round in Atlanta when the team fell 2-1 to Jamaica, ending a nine-match unbeaten streak dating back to March. The U.S. is 3-1-1 in this tournament after defeating Cuba 6-0 in the quarterfinal and winning Group A with a 2-0-1 record, which included a 1-1 draw with Panama. Los Canaleros reached the semifinal after falling 2-1 in extra time to Mexico at the Georgia Dome. Panama got to that game after defeating Trinidad and Tobago in 6-5 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw.

The USA is 12-1-3 all-time against Panama. They have met eight times in the Gold Cup, in which the USA holds a 5-1-2 record, including the group finale on July 13 in which Michael Bradley leveled the game on a goal in the 55th minute.

The MNT has played one other match at PPL Park, a scoreless draw on Oct. 12, 2010 against Colombia. The MNT is 3-2-2 all-time in matches in the state of Pennsylvania.

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Clint Dempsey has scored six goals in this tournament and is the current leader in the race for the Golden Boot. He notched a hat trick in the Gold Cup quarterfinal win against Cuba, and in so doing pushed push his career total to 11 in the tournament, which ranks second in MNT history behind only Landon Donovan (18). In the last five games Dempsey has scored seven goals and increased his career total to 47 international goals, which ranks second on the USA’s all-time list, behind only Donovan again (57).
  • Michael Bradley has played every minute of the USA’s 13 matches so far in 2015. In addition to Bradley, Gyasi Zardes has appeared in all 13 games this year:
  • Bradley is the captain for the MNT for the USA’s run in the Gold Cup. Bradley has started as the team’s captain in eight straight matches.
  • The U.S. MNT set attendance records in three games in July: #USAvGUA in Tennessee was the most-attended soccer match state history, #USAvHON was the most-attended international match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and #USAvHAI was the most-attended MNT Gold Cup match at Gillette Stadium. A sell-out crowd was also on hand in Kansas City for #USAvPAN.
  • Twelve MNT players made their Gold Cup debuts in this tournament: Greg Garza, Alan Gordon, Brad Guzan Timmy Chandler, Ventura Alvarado, John Brooks, Aron Johannsson, Fabian Johnson, Alfredo Morales, DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes and Graham Zusi.
  • After the group stage, three roster changes were made. Greg Garza, Alfredo Morales and Jozy Altidore were replaced with DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona and Alan Gordon. Corona came on at the start of the second half in the match against Cuba.
  • Beasley joins the group as the MNT’s most experienced player of the 23, having earned 121 caps for the United States. Beasley is the only American to play in four World Cups and last appeared for the USA and last appeared for the USA in the team’s 2-1 loss to Colombia on Nov. 14, 2014 in London, England. Beasley now returns for his sixth Gold Cup (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013), having already been a part of four Gold Cup title winning teams, including as captain of the 2013 title winning team.
  • Alan Gordon was a part of the team that won the Gold Cup in 2013, the LA Galaxy striker made his 2015 debut for the National Team in the semifinal against Jamaica. Joe Corona played a big part in the MNT’s 2013 Gold Cup title run, scoring twice in the tournament and debuted in this tournament in the quarterfinal match with Cuba
  • Chris Wondolowski (5), Kyle Beckerman, Bradley, and Mix Diskerud have all scored goals in previous Gold Cups. All five of Wondolowski’s goals came in the 2013 Gold Cup, where he tied for the tournament’s Golden Boot.
  • Sixteen players on this roster were a part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, marking the highest return rate of players between the two rosters in years that the Gold Cup has followed the FIFA World Cup (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013).
  • Seven players were a part of the USA team that won the Gold Cup in 2013: Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez, Nick Rimando and Wondolowski.
  • The USA has reached the Gold Cup Final in five straight tournaments and six out of the last seven. The team finished in third place in 2003 after losing to a Kaka-led Brazil.
  • Dempsey (19), Bradley (15) and Beckerman (14) have all played in more than 10 Gold Cup games. Wondolowski (10) and Bedoya (10) have also seen their share of Gold Cup action.
  • Nine different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, Bradley, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler, Dempsey, Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Wondolowski and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Tim Ream has earned honors as the Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.
  • Against Netherlands on June 5, Brad Guzan made his first appearance since he played against Colombia on Nov. 14, 2014. It was his first start of 2015. Also picking up wins against Germany, Guatemala and Honduras, Haiti and Cuba. Guzan is an unbeaten 6-1-1 in 2015.
  • Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga that earned the club a spot in the 2016 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup this season.
  • Johannsson recorded four goals in his final three matches as AZ Alkmaar snatched the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johannsson scored his first Gold Cup goal in the quarterfinal against Cuba.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany and subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga.
  • Zusi was both part of the team that represented the U.S. in the World Cup last summer and this year’s Gold Cup roster. He made his first appearance of 2015 in the match against Guatemala on July 3 in Nashville.
  • William Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. He has marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.
  • Ventura Alvarado, who is now cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the match against Honduras on July 7, has appeared in seven straight matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup. He has started five of the last six games for the U.S. MNT, in which the team is 4-1-0.
  • Seven leagues from six countries are represented on the roster: Canada, England, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands and the United States.
  • William Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. He has marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.
  • Dempsey leads the team in points with 10 in 2015 on five goals. 

USA vs. PANAMA:

  • The U.S. holds a 12-1-3 all-time against Panama, with the two sides first meeting at the 1993 Gold Cup.
  • Saturday’s match marks the third meeting between the teams in 2015. Most recently, the U.S. and Panama played to a 1-1 draw in their final Group match of the 2015 Gold Cup. MNT captain Michael Bradley scored the equalizer in the 55th minute.
  • Goals from Bradley and Clint Dempsey helped give the MNT a 2-0 friendly victory against Los Canaleros on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.  
  • Bradley, Dempsey and Graham Zusi have each scored two career goals against Panama while Kyle Beckerman and Aron Johannsson have also tallied single strikes against the Central American nation.
  • The MNT is 72-23-23 against Central American nations all-time. 

USA in the GOLD CUP:

  • The U.S. MNT is 2-0-0 all-time in CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place matches.
  • The MNT’s first Third Place match came during the 1996 Gold Cup against Guatemala. Goals from Jeff Agoos, Jovan Kirovski and Eric Wynalda eased the side past Los Chapines 3-0 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 21, 1996.
  • The team’s other appearance in a Third Place match came during the 2003 Gold Cup against Costa Rica. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the MNT rallied with goals from Earnie Stewart, Carlos Bocanegra and Bobby Convey to earn a 3-2 win at Miami’s Orange Bowl on July 23, 2003.
  • The MNT is 20-7-4 in knockout matches all-time in the Gold Cup.
  • The USA has won its group in 12 of the 13 Gold Cups, and following the win against Cuba is 8-0-1 all-time in quarterfinal matches.
  • The U.S. is now 52-8-6 all-time in Gold Cup matches and has reached the quarterfinal in each of the last seven events, going a perfect 7-0-0 in those games.
  • The USA has won the Gold Cup five times (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013) and finished as the runner-up four times (1992, 1998, 2009, 2011). The MNT has finished outside of the top four only once (2000). 

Last time out:

The USA fell 2-1 to Jamaica in the semifinal of the tournament at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

  • With his goal, U.S. captain Michael Bradley became the fourth #USMNT player in history to record 15 goals & 15 assists (Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda).
  • Bradley tied goalkeeper Tim Howard for 11th on the all-time MNT cap list with 104 appearances.
  • Midfielder Kyle Beckerman made his 50th all-time appearance. 

IN FOCUS: Panama
Federación Panameña de Fútbol
Founded: 1937
FIFA Affiliation: 1938
Head Coach: Hernan Gomez
FIFA World Ranking: 62
Best World Cup Finish: Never Qualified
Best Gold Cup Finish: Runners-up: 2005, 2013
Leading Cap-Winner: Gabriel Gomez (111)
Leading Goalscorer: Luis Tejada (38) 

Panama Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3) – Jose Calderon (Coatepeque/Guatemala); Luis Mejia (CA Fenix/Uruguay); Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy/USA)
DEFENDERS (6) – Harold Cummings (Independiente Santa Fe/Colombia); Erick Davis (Sporting San Miguelito/Panama); Luis Henriquez (Lech Poznan/Poland); Adolfo Machado (Saprissa/Costa Rica); Angel Patrick (Arabe Unido/Panama); Roman Torres (Millonarios/Colombia)
MIDFIELDERS (8) – Miguel Camargo (Chorrillo FC/Panama); Armando Cooper (FC St. Pauli/Germany); Anibal Godoy (Budapest Honved/Hungary); Gabriel Gomez (Herediano/Costa Rica); Valentin Pimentel (Plaza Amador/Panama); Darwin Pinzon (Sporting San Miguelito/Panama); Alberto Quintero (Lobos BUAP/MEX); Alfredo Stephens (Chorrillo FC/Panama);
FORWARDS (6) – Abdiel Arroyo (Arabe Unido/Panama); Rolando Blackburn (Comunicaciones/Guatemala); Roberto Nurse (Dorados Sinaloa/Mexico); Blas Perez (FC Dallas/USA); Luis Tejada (Juan Aurich/Peru); Gabriel Torres (Colorado Rapids/USA);

PANAMA NOTES:

  • Panama is 10-10-13 all-time in the Gold Cup.
  • Thirteen players from this roster were a part of the 2013 Panama team that advanced to the Gold Cup Final.
  • Panama head coach Hernan Dario Gomez is an experienced manager having helmed Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala before taking over Panama in 2014. He led Ecuador to its first World Cup in 2002.
  • Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo will miss the game, serving a two game suspension.
  • Luis Tejada is not eligible for the game after a red card against Mexico. Valentín Pimentel picked up his second yellow card of the knockout stage in that game and is also suspended.
  • Seven players on the roster play for clubs in Panama
  • Three players on the roster play in MLS: Gabriel Torres (Colorado Rapids), Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy) and Blas Perez (FC Dallas)
  • Panama has reached the third place game or the final in each of the last three Gold Cups
  • Blas Perez has scored 11 goals in the Gold Cup, which ties with Clint Dempsey for the third most in tournament history

On the field against Panama:  
July 13, 2015 – Sporting Park – Kansas City, Kansas. – 2015 Gold Cup - Group A

USA                1          Michael Bradley 55’
PAN                1          Blas Perez 34’

USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 21-Timmy Chandler, 13-Ventura Alvarado, 6-John Brooks, 23-Fabian Johnson; 5-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (9-Aron Johannsson, 71), 7-Alfredo Morales (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 46), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 18-Chris Wondolowski (8-Clint Dempsey, 46), 20-Gyasi Zardes
Subs Not Used: 12-Nick Rimando, 22-William Yarbrough; 3-Omar Gonzalez, 10-Mix Diskerud, 14-Greg Garza, 15-Tim Ream, 16-Brad Evans, 17-Jozy Altidore, 19-Graham Zusi
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

PAN: 1-Jamie Penedo; 11-Armando Cooper, 5-Roman Torres (capt.), 3-Harold Cummings, 15-Erick Davis; 2-Valentin Pimentel (14-Miguel Camargo, 62), 20-Anibal Godoy, 6-Gabriel Gomez, 19-Alberto Quintero (22-Abdiel Arroyo, 86); 7-Blas Perez, 10-Luis Tejada (9-Roberto Nurse, 71)
Subs Not Used: 4-Alfredo Stephens, 8-Gabriel Torres, 12-Luis Mejia, 13-Adolfo Machado, 16-Rolando Blackburn, 17-Luis Henriquez, 18-Darwin Pinzon, 21-Jose Calderon, 23-Angel Patrick
Head coach: Hernan Gomez

The Road Through Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup

The U.S. Men's National Team will get a view of the it's road through qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia when the sport's world governing body holds the Preliminary Draw for the tournament tomorrow in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The match schedules for the 2018 World Cup and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup - the annual tournament staged a year in advance of the main event as a trial run in the World Cup host nation - was released by FIFA today. The USA, winners of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, will contest this year's winner of the Gold Cup - either Jamaica or Mexico - in a one-game playoff later this fall for the right to attend the 2017 Confederations Cup. The U.S. last reached the Confederations Cup in 2009, making the Final after beating then-No. 1 ranked Spain in the Semifinal. 

For the upcoming World Cup Qualifying cycle the USA enters the regional qualifying competition in the Fourth (Semifinal) Round. The First and Second Rounds have been completed. The Third Round match-ups will be determined during Saturday's Preliminary Draw in Russia. The winners of those six Third Round matches will advance to the Fourth (Semifinal) Round of World Cup Qualifying when the USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago join the Qualifying competition. 

SECOND ROUND CONCACAF QUALIFIERS:

Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, Canada, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St. Vincent & Grenadines all advanced from Second Round of Qualifying, which was played in June.

THIRD ROUND

The ten teams that advanced from the Second Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, as well as Jamaica and Haiti will be divided into two pots according to FIFA Rankings and paired against each other during Saturday’s draw.

They will contest the Third Round in a two-legged series on Aug. 31 and Sept. 8.

FOURTH (SEMIFINAL) ROUND

The six winners in the Third Round will join USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago in the Fourth (Semifinal) Round.

The 12 teams will be drawn into three groups of four teams. The winners and runners-up of the Fourth Round groups advance to the Hexagonal.

The Fourth Round will be played from Nov. 7, 2015 to Sept. 6, 2016. The draw for the Fourth Round also takes place Saturday.

FIFTH ROUND / HEXAGONAL

Begins play Nov. 7, 2016 and extends to Oct. 10, 2017.

MNT to Host Brazil, Presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, Sept. 8 in Foxborough

CHICAGO (July 23, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its competition against the top talent in the world when it hosts five-time World Cup champion Brazil on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

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.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, July 31, at 10 a.m. ET 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 18th meeting between the teams and the fifth since 2009, the most recent a 4-1 win for the Seleção on May 30, 2012, in front of more than 67,000 fans at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. In the history between the teams, the U.S. has gone 1-16-0 in a series that dates back to 1930. The U.S. and Brazil squared off in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final, the USA’s first championship match in a major FIFA competition. After defeating No.1-ranked Spain in the semifinal, the U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan before Brazil rallied for a 3-2 victory.

The match with Brazil will be the 15th for the MNT at Gillette Stadium and second this year, following the 1-0 win against Haiti in the Gold Cup on July 10. Overall, the U.S. is 10-2-2 at the venue.

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, August 28.

#USAvJAM Postgame Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Gold Cup Semifinal
Georgia Dome - Atlanta, Ga.
Post-Game Quote Sheet

U.S. MNT Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On his thoughts on the match:
“Obviously the team is disappointed, the fans are disappointed because you wanted to play the big final on Sunday in Philadelphia. It was a very, very good performance. I really told them at halftime as well, ‘Just keep playing like that, you’re going to get opportunities and sooner or later you’re going to put them in the net and we’re going to turn this game around.’ We lost this game with two set pieces that we conceded. It’s as simple as that. We had enough chances to put three, four, five in there. We didn’t do that, and that’s why at the end of the day we lost it. That’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. Congratulations to Jamaica being in the final, and we have to swallow that pill.”

On similarities with the team’s previous loss to Jamaica in 2012:
“I’m not comparing the games in the past. It’s similar to a couple years ago with two set pieces when they scored two goals in Kingston. They won that game with two free kicks. Today was a throw-in and a free kick and they come away as the winning team. Compliment to them and they come away as the winning side, but I cannot complain about the performance of the team. They gave everything. They kept pushing, pushing, pushing and we had enough chances at the end of the day to score the goals we needed in order to get to the final and we didn’t do that. That’s maybe the only point where you can see we were missing today.”

On a change in the pace of the match after the first 15 minutes:
“You cannot go that tempo for all 90 minutes that the guys went. They kept really pushing. They kept going until the very end. Defensively Jamaica did a very good job. It’s a very physical team, they know how to interrupt the game and slow the game down.”

On whether he regrets sticking with young center backs John Brooks and Ventura Alvarado:
“I don’t regret it, not at all. On that header there, John came up a little too late, but he played an excellent game, and Ventura too. Now we have a couple of very, very good center backs that we keep building. They keep progressing and they will have a very intense competition between each other and going into the future. There’s no reason to criticize them for the game, actually the opposite. They were all over the place, they did their job and we came up short at the end of the day.”

On the play of his young center backs Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks:
“Planning ahead towards 2018 wasn’t the factor. Right now, the fact is they deserve to play these games. They deserve to play the Gold Cup. We’ve had to raise the competition with some center backs and some outside backs. We want to see that competition going on and it’ll just get better over the next couple of years. That’s not a problem at all.

“We had enough chances to put this game away. The luck was not with us maybe, but also we were not clinical enough. Effort-wise, rhythm-wise, passing combinations – everything was there. There was a lot of good stuff that we saw. At the end of the day, it’s the goals that matter.”

On Olympic qualifying in the fall and preparations for the Confederations Cup playoff:
“As far as I know, it goes parallel with that time in October the Olympic qualifiers and our playoff then for the Confederations Cup. We’ll figure that out, but if you look at the youngsters like DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, there are some other kids in there that I would love to have for the senior level. We’ll figure that one out.”

On what comes next:
“Finishing off in style Saturday in front of our fans, being third then and doing that with the right attitude and right approach. You owe that to fans and the tournament. Swallowing that pill, it’s not nice to swallow, but it is what it is, you can’t change that anymore. Then we keep building, we keep progressing, we keep working hard in order to go towards World Cup qualifying by the end of the year and it starts all over again.”

On the play of Aron Johannsson in the Gold Cup:
“We need to see the strikers. We need to have them play those games and we need them to kind of prove a point every time they come into camp. They’re trying to do that in training and they’re trying to do that in the games as well. I think Aron made another step forward in this tournament, with the group and also within ranking of the team. He was a bit unlucky today with the rebound on the free kick from Fabian Johnson. If that one goes in, it might become the game-winner. This is part of our job as coaches, to bring them along, to help them in that process, to also help them in their club environment whenever we can in order to get them ready for the next level.”

U.S. MNT captain MICHAEL BRADLEY

On tonight’s game:
“Coming in we knew it was going to be a difficult game. Going down 2-0 in the first half makes it even more difficult. The response after halftime was good to try and get back into it, but unfortunately we couldn’t find an equalizer.”

On what Jamaica did to cause problems for the U.S. tonight:
“These games are never easy, like I said. Teams are committed to defending and closing down space, and obviously when you give away two goals off set pieces the task becomes even harder.”

On the team and the chances it had to win:
“The response was good. Again, it’s a difficult game at the start and then going down makes it very, very difficult.”

On turning the page and moving on from the loss:
“That’s life. There’s no choice but to move ourselves forward. Obviously it’s a disappointment right now, that’s normal, but we’ll be back at it. There’s no other way to go.”

U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN

On what went wrong:
“I think from our point of view we obviously conceded two set piece goals and that left us a bit disappointed, but in saying that we had chances. We had quite a few chances, and on another day, maybe two or three of those go in and its happy days, but obviously that wasn’t the case tonight and that’s soccer.”

On how the team moves on from the loss:
“It’s obviously a disappointing loss. All the boys are upset, especially because we played some of our best football this game. We combined really well. We created chances we got forward, but ultimately just putting the ball in the back of the net just wasn’t to be tonight. It’s disappointing, but we’ll pick ourselves up. It doesn’t make us a bad team. It doesn’t erase a lot of the good stuff we’ve done. Just as when we beat Holland and Germany, a single game doesn’t define us. It’s a loss in a tournament that was very important for us, but now we’ve got to pick ourselves up and make sure we’re ready for the playoff.”

On Saturday’s third place game:
“We want to finish on a high. We want to make sure that we go in and put together a good performance and finish this Gold Cup on a win.”

On stepping over the line with the ball:
“Listen. In all my years as a professional, I’ve never seen that call. I’ve seen a still image of it. It may be an inch or two over the line, but for a linesman to make that decision I think he’s got to be at the top of the 18-yard-box and he’s probably about two or three yards behind it. Those decisions sometimes don’t go in your favor and in your way, but it’s a free kick and you’ve got to defend it and he hit it well.”

 

MNT Falls to Jamaica in Gold Cup Semifinal

ATLANTA (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was eliminated from the 2015 Gold Cup Wednesday night after a 2-1 Semifinal loss to Jamaica at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Trailing 2-0 at the start of the second half, the U.S. came out quickly on the attack and Michael Bradley scored his second goal of the tournament to cut the Jamaica in half. Chances continued to come for the MNT, but none found the net, and when the final whistle blew, it signaled the USA’s first loss to Jamaica in Gold Cup play.

Jamaica led at the break after two quick goals from set pieces late in the first half. Darren Mattocks headed home a long throw in the 31st minute and Giles Barnes doubled the lead five minutes later with a free kick from just outside of the box.

The USA will play either Panama or Mexico in the third-place game on Saturday, July 26 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The broadcast information on the semifinal is still to be determined.

The MNT will also face the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The one-game 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:
JAM – Darren Mattocks (Kemar Lawrence) 31st minute: A long throw in from Kemar Lawrence found Mattocks in the center of the box, where he rose highest and flicked a header to the back post. The ball floated over diving U.S. ‘keeper Brad Guzan and bounced in off the post. USA 0, JAM 1

JAM – Giles Barnes 36th minute:  Brad Guzan was whistled for a handball after he was deemed to have advanced out of the penalty area. Jamaica was awarded a free kick on the right side of the box and Barnes stepped up to take the kick, curling it over the wall and in at the near post to put Jamaica up by a pair. USA 0, JAM 2

USA – Michael Bradley 48th minute: Just after the restart, the ball was played into Aron Johannsson at the top of the box. He took a turn and fired at Jamaica’s goalkeeper Ryan Thompson, who batted it down in front of him. Dempsey followed and got a shot away before Michael Bradley followed up for the third time to tap it home from eight yards.USA 1, JAM 2 (SEE GOAL ) (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JAM – Ryan Thompson (save) 30th minute: Fabian Johnson barreled down the left side on the attack and made a sharp cut in to his right, crossing his defender and freeing himself for a shot. Johnson placed a shot toward the far post, but Thompson dove to his left to deflect it away.

JAM – Ryan Thompson (save) 44th minute: Alejandro Bedoya threaded a pass to Clint Dempsey in the box, who shielded a man away and ripped a shot with his left foot. Thompson came out and smothered the shot.

JAM – Ryan Thompson (save) 57th minute: USA captain Bradley turned on the edge of the area and blasted a vicious swerving drive toward goal. Thompson was momentarily fooled but managed to get his body behind the shot, deflecting it off his chest and off the post to preserve the lead.

JAM – Ryan Thompson (save) 71st minute: Brad Evans sent a long throw in into the box, which John Brooks Reached with a header. Brooks’ header went on frame, but Thompson dove to stop it.

Coming up Next: Gold Cup Third-Place Game
Location: PPL Park – Chester, Pa.
Opponent: TBD
Broadcast information:  TBD 
Social:  Twitter (@ussoccer@ussoccer_esp);  FacebookInstagram  

Milestone Watch:

  • With his goal U.S. captain Michael Bradley became the fourth player with 15 goals & 15 assists for the #USMNT (Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones, Eric Wynalda)
  • With tonight’s start, Bradley ties goalkeeper Tim Howard for 11th on the all-time MNT cap list with 104 appearances.
  • Midfielder Kyle Beckerman made his 50th all-time appearance for the USA in tonight’s match.

Additional Notes:

  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made two changes to his lineup from the Cuba Quarterfinal match: John Brooks returned to central defense after serving a one-game suspension, while Brad Evans stepped in at right back.
  • Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan continued as the lone U.S. players to start all five matches of the tournament.
  • The start was the first for Evans since the second Gold Cup group match, a 1-0 victory against Haiti on July 10 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
  • The MNT is now 13-2-8 all-time against Jamaica and is 10-1-3 against the Reggae Boyz at home. The U.S. record against Jamaica in the Gold Cup falls to 3-1-0.
  • The MNT is 2-1-0 all-time in Atlanta.
  • The loss was the first for the MNT under Jurgen Klinsmann in the Gold Cup.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match:  U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date:  July 22, 2015
Competition:  2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup; Semifinals
Venue:  Georgia Dome; Atlanta, Georgia
Kickoff:  6 p.m. ET
Attendance:  TBA
Weather:  indoor

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          1          1
JAM                            2          0          2

JAM – Darren Mattocks (Kemar Lawrence)         31st minute
JAM – Giles Barnes                                               36
USA – Michael Bradley                                        48

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 16-Brad Evans, 6-John Brooks, 13-Ventura Alvarado, 23-Fabian Johnson; 5-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 67) , 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 20-Gyasi Zardes, 8-Clint Dempsey, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 78); 9-Aron Johannsson (26-Alan Gordon, 73)
Subs Not Used : 12-Nick Rimando, 22-William Yarbrough; 3-Omar Gonzalez, 15-Tim Ream, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 19-Graham Zusi, 21-Timmy Chandler, 24-Joe Corona, 25-DaMarcus Beasley
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

JAM: 23-Ryan Thompson; 19-Adrian Mariappa, 4-Wes Morgan, 3-Michael Hector, 20-Kemar Lawrence; 22-Garath McCleary, 17-Rodolph Austin (capt.), 10-Jobi McAnuff, 15-Je Vaughn Watson; 9-Giles Barnes (2-Christopher Humphrey, 85), 11-Darren Mattocks (18-Simon Dawkins, 57)
Sub Not Used: 1-Andre Blake, 6-Lance Laing, 7-Andre Clennon, 8-Michael Seaton, 13-Dwayne Miller, 14-Allan Ottey, 16-Joel Grant, 24-Omar Holness, 25-Sean McFarlane
Head coach: Winfried Schäfer

Stats Summary: USA / JAM
Shots: 21 / 10
Shots on Goal: 10 / 3
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 11 / 8
Fouls: 13 / 10
Offside: 1 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Kyle Beckerman (caution)      31st minute
JAM – Garath McCleary (caution)     45+1
USA – DeAndre Yedlin (caution)      88

Officials: 
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavio Jara (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Warner Castro (CRC)
4th Official: Henry Bejarano (CRC)

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBA

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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