The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped its final game of the year against the Republic of Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Yet, with every negative comes a positive, and in the case of Development Academy alum and current Stanford University striker Jordan Morris, the game versus Ireland represented a truly special night.
Morris came in the game during the second-half as a substitution in the 76th minute. The moment marked his debut with the MNT.
“Obviously it wasn't the result we wanted,” Morris said of the game. “But it's something I've been dreaming of since I was a little kid, so it was an unbelievable honor and a great experience.”
Morris, who scored a game-winner for the U.S. U-23 MNT against the Bahamas in August, was named the 2012-13 Development Academy Player of the Year for the U-18 age group while playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. He is the first active college player to be included on a roster under Klinsmann.
“I was super excited,” Morris said of being called into the MNT roster. “Talking to Jurgen, he stresses patience, and I think that that's a thing you've got to learn, especially moving up in the ranks, that there are such good players all over the place, so it's going to be tough to get on the field. I was definitely itching to get on and was going to make the most of it when I did get on. I'm happy it happened. It was really exciting.”
Morris’ Academy ties and his incredible success at Stanford, the 2014 Pac-12 Champions, have allowed him to become one of the new youngsters that Klinsmann is excited to keep challenging on the path toward the next World Cup.
“We’re happy for some that made kind of their starts today,” said Klinsmann of the fresh faces that played against Ireland. “Whether it’s Jordan Morris or Bill Hamid from the start in goal, those are the experiences they need, the younger ones, so we’ll take it.”
Also excited to see new faces get their first taste of what it means to play in the National Team is veteran forward Jozy Altidore, who despite only being 25 years old, is one of the players Klinsmann hopes can share some advice and help this new group be successful.
”I remember my first cap and how special it was for me, what I took with it, along in my career. I'm honored that I get to see now a lot of these guys come through and have that same experience.”
CLAIREFONTAINE, France (Nov. 19, 2014) – The U.S. Under-16 Boys’ National Team, in the midst of its weeklong camp in France, defeated Paris Saint-Germain 5-4. Midfielder Nicholas Taitague scored two goals in the final three minutes, including the 90th-minute game-winner.
In the final minute, Jeanpaul Marin stole the ball from PSG in the midfield and slipped the ball through PSG’s defense to Taitague. With PSG’s goalkeeper rushing off of his line, Taitague took one touch to the right to elude him and finished with a low shot that found the back of the net.
USA forwards Marty Raygoza and Andrew Carleton added a goal each, and the U.S. benefited from an own goal in the 53rd minute.
The U.S. U-16 BNT faces France’s U-16 national team on Thursday, Nov. 20.
The U-16 BNT roster is comprised of mostly 1999-born players and was formed to provide the younger age group of U-17s with an opportunity for additional competition and training. U.S. Soccer technical advisor and former U.S. U-17 MNT assistant coach Clint Peay is overseeing the camp.
Academy U-14 West Regional Wraps Up at NTC: The Development Academy’s final regional event for the U-14 age group took place over the Nov. 15-16 weekend at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California. The event included three competitive games for the respective clubs over that stretch. Additionally, ussoccer.com spoke with Academy midfielders Roberto Hategan of the San Juan Soccer Club and Carlos Anguiano of Chivas USA to chat about the event, training with the U.S. Under-14 Boys’ National Team and more.
Also on ussoccer.com:
- Academy U-14 Central Regional Highlights
- Academy U-14 Central Regional Photo Gallery
- Academy U-14 Central Regional Recap
- Academy U-14 East Regional Highlights
- Academy U-14 East Regional Photo Gallery
- Academy U-14 East Regional Recap
- Academy Coaching Spotlight: Growth Through Experience
Academy Winter Showcase Schedule to be Released Friday: The 2014 Development Academy Winter Showcase will be held from Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The schedule featuring all U-16 and U-18 Academy teams will be released on Friday. The Winter Showcase runs Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 2 for U-18 teams and Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 3 for U-16 teams. An Academy Select U-16 match (1998- and 1999-born players) will be held Monday, Dec. 1. This event runs in conjunction with the 2014 Nike International Friendlies, when the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team faces England (Nov. 28), Australia (Nov. 30) and Brazil (Dec. 2).
For the latest Development Academy news, follow us on Twitter @ussoccer_acad and Instagram, or like us on Facebook. Share your Academy news, comments, photos, links and more using the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.
ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Nov. 15-16):
- West Conference: The LA Galaxy U-15s edged Arsenal FC 3-2 on Saturday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southwest Division. Sam Hefter scored two goals and Ethan Zubak also chipped in a goal for the Galaxy, who improved to 6-1-3 (2.10 points per game). Christian Gutierrez and Alejandro Lara each scored a goal for Arsenal, which is second in the division at 8-3-2 (2.00 points per game).
- Central Conference: In the upper table of the Mid-America Division, Sockers FC’s U-18s earned a wild 3-2 victory against the Chicago Fire in a match that featured three goals in the final six minutes. Sockers FC appeared to be on its way to a victory carrying a 2-0 lead with goals from Jelani Pieters and Frank Bak. But the Fire’s Ryan Sierakowski and Collin Fernandez tallied back-to-back in the 85th and 86th minutes to tie the score at 2-2. In the 89th minute, Pieters scored his second goal of the match to help Sockers FC retake the lead and earn a much-needed three points, improving to 4-2-3 (1.67 points per game) this season. Sockers FC is even in points per game with the fourth-place Fire (5-2-5; 1.67 points per game) in the division.
- East Conference: The New England Revolution U-16 team traveled to Montreal on Sunday and earned a 1-0 victory. Alex Clarke, making his debut, came off the bench to score the game’s only goal in the 78th minute. The Revolution is in second place in the Northeast Division at 6-1-3 (2.10 points per game). The New England Revolution U-18s also played the Montreal Impact to a scoreless draw. Montreal is atop the Northeast Division at 8-0-2, and the Revolution U-18s moved to 3-5-2.
- Academy Player of the Week: Juventus Sport Club’s Marc Joshua was named Academy Player of the Week after scoring two goals to lead the U-16 team to a 3-2 victory against Crossfire Premier on Sunday, Nov. 16. Joshua leads Juventus with nine goals in 11 games this season as the team moved to 4-3-4 on the season in fourth place in the Northwest Division.
- Academy Referee of the Week: Samantha Martinez, a Grade 8 referee from southern California, was named Academy Referee of the Week for her work during the U-14 match between Merced Atlas and the Santa Barbara Soccer Club. This is Martinez’s first season in the Academy. She has also worked as an assistant referee for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team this year.
For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:
U-20 MNT Goes 2-1-0 at Marbella Tournament: The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team capped off its three-game trip, posting a 2-1-0 record at the 2014 U-21 International National Teams Football Tournament in Marbella, Spain. The USA dropped a 1-0 decision to Canada in Tuesday’s finale. Prior to that game, former Concorde Fire forward Dembakwi Yomba scored the lone goal as the U.S. shut out Ireland 1-0 on Saturday and preceded by a thrilling 4-3 win against Russia’s U-21s on Nov. 12.
U-17 MNT Opens Three-Game Tournament in Chile: The U.S. U-17 MNT is in the midst of a three-game Copa Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins tournament in Chile, opening with a 2-2 draw against host Chile on Tuesday. PA Classics product Christian Pulisic had a goal and an assist. Richie Williams’ 20-player roster features 13 current Academy players and 19 who have ties to the Academy. The U-17 MNT faces Brazil on Thursday and Qatar on Saturday before focusing on the 2014 Nike International Friendlies one week later.
UPCOMING ACADEMY SCHEDULE:
- The Nov. 22-23 Academy weekend, the 12th of the 2014-15 season, features 48 games – 22 at the U-14 age group and a combined 26 games at the U-16 and U-18 age groups.
- 2014-15 Academy Schedule page
- Sports Illustrated: Emerson Hyndman: Growing up at Fulham
- mlssoccer.com: Seattle Sounders Academy Product Morris Soaks Up ‘Surreal’ MNT Debut
- Colorado Rapids: Shane O’Neill, Sheffield Wednesday U-21s Earn 1-0 Win
- Colorado Rapids: Former Academy Trio Leads Denver to Summit League Title
- D.C. United: Development Academy Update
- Houston Dynamo: Academy Alum Wall and Notre Dame Begin Quest for Back-to-Back Titles
- New England Revolution: Development Academy Update
- San Jose Earthquakes: Development Academy Update
- Seattle Sounders FC: Yedlin Returns from MNT Duty to Sounders for Postseason (video)
- Sporting Kansas City: Six Alumni Represent Teams at NCAA Tournament
On November 19, 1989, Paul Caligiuri was keeping track of the time left in the game against Trinidad and Tobago after scoring in the 30th minute. Each time the clocked counted down one minute, the United States was one minute closer to attending the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, the first World Cup in 40 years for the American squad.
A different U.S. team than the one Caligiuri was on will be starting a similar countdown in that same city on Feb. 9, working their way towards a fifth consecutive World Cup.
Just over 15 years later, Coach Caligiuri, head of the men’s and women’s soccer programs at California Polytechnic University at Pomona, is keeping track of a lot more than game-time, although he certainly hasn’t been counting the years.
“When you asked me the question, I almost freaked,” said Caligiuri about the 15 years that have passed since ‘the goal heard around the world.’ “It’s been a long time but it seems like yesterday. I can literally still see the play and still feel the moment. I’m fortunate enough to still keep in touch with the guys on that team on a regular basis. It’s been a fun ride.”
These days, Caligiuri isn’t as focused on his own goals as much as those of the 53 men’s and women’s soccer players at Cal Poly Pomona, where he has coached both programs for three years. Since his now famous goal in 1989 led the U.S. into Italia ‘90, opening the floodgates for the development of the sport in the United States, Caligiuri’s role has changed from imposing defender to coach.
After his third season as coach of Division II school Cal Poly Pomona, Caligiuri has the chance to teach another generation of players. Players who may be too young to remember watching his famous goal, but who have certainly been influenced by it. He has also had a chance to learn from his job, everything from how to budget for two programs, schedule games and make travel arrangements, to how to control his emotions going from one practice or game with guys to another one with girls. He has also mastered the art of tracking players’ grades and make sure the team is bonding well and playing well.
“When you’re dealing with two programs, it’s really challenging,” Caligiuri said. “Time management has been the biggest area of challenge to maximize in providing the best quality to the student athletes.”
Time management during the season includes showing up to work at 9 a.m. after dropping his two daughters, Ashley and Kayley, off at school, preparing for the day’s practices and upcoming games, arranging travel, actually going to the two teams’ practices and then going home to his daughters. It also includes double headers at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on game days as well as time he sets aside to make himself available to whoever would like to learn a little bit from his experience.
“I played youth soccer here and in Germany (and) professionally here and in Germany,” Caligiuri said. “I spent 15 years in the national team program, and I like people to know that I am accessible. The world of soccer is small and we’re all very much in tune with what’s going on. As part of the soccer family, I’m here to help in any way I can.”
The past three seasons have been challenging, but rewarding as well. Caligiuri’s women’s team is an Academic All-American and went from having the eighth highest grade point average among Pomona athletics to having the highest. The men’s team is ranked third among Cal Poly Pomona Men’s athletics, one thousandth of a point behind the second place team. Both teams boast GPAs over 3.0. There’s also the personal growth he has experienced.
“I think it is (rewarding), particularly in the areas I’ve had to improve on,” Caligiuri said. “It’s a matter of enjoying learning and I’ve enjoyed the process. I have to hire assistant coaches and graduate assistants. There’s a lot of delegating and I’ve learned a lot of those professional skills I didn’t need as a soccer player. Now I feel I’m more rounded and capable of running a corporation if I had to. If I was ever to go to a different level or stage in my career, I’d be up for the challenge.”
Caligiuri, who played for 15 years with the U.S. Men’s National Team, as well as playing professionally in Germany and in the U.S., was inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. last summer, along with Michelle Akers and Eric Wynalda. Some would argue that Caligiuri’s goal launched the rebirth of American soccer. It sent the U.S. to its first World Cup in 40 years, giving a number of young players valuable experience for the 1994 World Cup at home in the U.S. as well.
After 1994 came the 1996 launch of Major League Soccer, a domestic league that has showcased the likes of Brian McBride, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Ed Johnson, and helped many of them move on to Europe. Others, such as Claudio Reyna and Steve Cherundolo, established themselves overseas, where Caligiuri was the first American-born player to play in the German Bundesliga. Now, well more than 100 American players earn their keep among the different ranks in countries such as England, Germany, Holland, France and Norway.
But the floodgates didn’t just open for the players. Caligiuri’s goal had an impact on soccer fans in the U.S. as well. According to Caligiuri, today there is a growing fan base and a lot more games available on TV due to changes in how the sport is perceived in the U.S. since 1990, after four consecutive World Cup appearances. More people are watching, more people are playing and more people in general have accepted the sport as “American” versus “European” or “South-of-the-Border.”
While some credit those changes to the growth of the sport in general, there are those who can count back 15 years to one particular goal and one particular win.
“The relevance of that victory (against Trinidad and Tobago) seems to grow every day,” said Caligiuri, who is frequently asked about his Nov. 19, 1989 goal. “It’s kind of cool to leave my imprint.”