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U.S. MNT Opens Send-Off Series with 2-0 Win Against Azerbaijan, Powered by Yingli Solar

SAN FRANCISCO (May 27, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team opened its three-game Send-Off Series with a 2-0 victory against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park as second-half substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson each scored a goal.

The match, powered by Yingli Solar, saw U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard tie Kasey Keller’s record of 53 career U.S. MNT victories. Howard also posted his 35th career shutout, making two saves for the clean sheet.

Next up for the USA is a match against Turkey on Sunday, June 1, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey (2 p.m. ET). The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision, Univision Deportes Network and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow the MNT on Twitter @ussoccer.

Throughout the first half and into the second, the USA always seemed like the team that would score the first goal and the U.S. finally broke the stalemate in the 75th minute. Substitute Brad Davis delivered a free kick from the left side and Azerbaijan’s Ilkin Girtimov headed the ball up, but not out of danger.

Diskerud got a head on the falling ball it and it bounced to Michael Bradley, whose shot from 13 yards out was alertly blocked by Azerbaijan defender Elvin Yunuszade on the goal line with his left foot. The ball ricocheted to Diskerud, who had entered the match just four minutes earlier, and he finished with skill and powered it into the right side of the net. It was Diskerud’s third career tally and first of 2014. (SEE GOAL)

In the 81st minute, Johannsson doubled the USA lead off a Davis corner kick from the right side. Johannsson was completely unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box and he flicked his header into the upper right corner of the goal for the 2-0 lead. It was Johannsson’s first goal of 2014 and second of his young U.S. MNT career. (SEE GOAL)

Though the first half was scoreless, the U.S. created the majority of the scoring chances. Forward Chris Wondolowski, who got the start after Clint Dempsey was a precautionary scratch due to some soreness in his groin, put headers on frame in the fourth and 15th minutes. Both were saved spectacularly by Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Aghayev, the first with his legs and the second with a tremendous tip over the crossbar.

In the second half, the USA had several chances but shot high, including a Michael Bradley took a free kick in the 49th minute that sailed just over the goal. The placement of that free kick carried some controversy as Brad Davis appeared to have been fouled just inside the penalty area, but the free kick was awarded a foot outside the box.

Budweiser Man of the Match Jozy Altidore also had a couple scoring chances, including a 63rd-minute sequence in which he received a pass on the ground from Bradley, held off his defender well on the turn and fired over the crossbar.

Defensively, Howard needed to make only two saves for the clean sheet, the biggest stop coming in the seventh minute against Vagif Javadov after the USA gave up the ball outside the box. In swirling winds, Howard confidently pushed the shot away for a corner kick.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard tied Kasey Keller’s record of 53 victories, and Howard is now 53-28-15 since debuting for the U.S. MNT in 2002. Keller was 53-27-18 during his tenure from 1990-2007.
  • Howard is two appearances away from reaching the 100-cap milestone. He now has 98 career appearances as he looks to become the 15th U.S. MNT player to reach the century mark.
  • With Tuesday’s victory, Jurgen Klinsmann (29-11-8) is now one win away from matching Bora Milutinovic’s career wins total (30) for third on the all-time list. Ahead of them are Bruce Arena (71) and 2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Bob Bradley (43).
  • DaMarcus Beasley, who is looking to become just the third USA player to appear in four World Cups, earned his 115th career international cap and his first of 2014. He is fifth on the all-time caps list.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT faces Turkey in the second game of the Send-Off Series at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 1, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision, Univision Deportes Network and ESPN Deportes Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • This was the USA’s first international matchup against Azerbaijan.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 2-1-1 in 2014.
  • The USA is 2-2-0 at Candlestick Park.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann went with a starting lineup that featured goalkeeper Tim Howard, left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and a center back pairing of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron.
  • The midfield in Klinsmann’s 4-4-2 included Alejandro Bedoya on the left, Graham Zusi on the right, Jermaine Jones as the holding midfielder and Michael Bradley at the top of the diamond.
  • Chris Wondolowski and Jozy Altidore were paired up front.
  • Howard wore the captain’s armband for the first time in 2014 and the 10th time in his career. The U.S. MNT is 5-4-1 in games when Howard is the captain.
  • Klinsmann made three halftime subs as he readies this 23-player roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He made two defensive subs, bringing in center back Omar Gonzalez for Cameron and left back Timmy Chandler for Beasley. In the midfield, Brad Davis replaced Zusi to open the second half.
  • For Chandler, it marked his first appearance with the U.S. MNT since the squad’s 2-1 loss to Honduras on Feb. 6, 2013, in World Cup qualifying.
  • With Davis entering the match on the left side of the midfield, Bedoya switched roles to the right side.
  • In the 62nd minute, forward Aron Johannsson entered the game for Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin replaced Johnson. Johannsson made his eighth career appearance and Yedlin his third. Both players also have former ties to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy – Yedlin with Seattle Sounders FC and Johannsson with IMG Academy.
  • Mix Diskerud was the USA’s final sub, replacing Bedoya in the 71st minute.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Azerbaijan, powered by Yingli Solar
Date: May 27, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Candlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Attendance: 24,688
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy

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

USA – Mix Diskerud                            75th minute
USA – Aron Johannsson (Brad Davis)  81

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 62), 20-Geoff Cameron (3-Omar Gonzalez, 46), 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 46); 19-Graham Zusi (14-Brad Davis, 46), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Mix Diskerud, 71); 17-Jozy Altidore, 18-Chris Wondolowski (9-Aron Johannsson, 62)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 8-Clint Dempsey, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

AZE: 1-Kamran Aghayev, 3-Rasim Ramaldanov, 4-Mahir Shukurov (capt.) (25-Ilkin Girtimov, 46), 7-Vagif Javadov (13-Dmitrij Nazarov, 60), 8-Gara Garayev, 10-Rufat Dadashov (28-Pardis Fardjad-Azad, 66), 11-Rauf Aliyev, 15-Ruslan Abishov (2-Badavi Guseynov, 46), 20-Ufuk Budak, 24-Abdulla Abasiyev (18-Maksim Medvedev, 71), 29-Elvin Yunuszade
Subs Not Used: 5-Shahriyar Aliyev, 9-Jihan Ozkara, 12-Emil Balayev, 14-Rashad Sadigov, 23-Salahat Aghayev
Head Coach: Berti Vogts

Stats Summary: USA / AZE
Shots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 11 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 16
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Armando Castro (HON)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

  • DateTuesday, May 27, 2014
  • VenueCandlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.
  • Kickoff7:00 PM PT
  • Attendance24,688
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Tickets Selling Fast for WNT and MNT Games in April

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – Two hours into the public sales window, tickets for the U.S. Women’s National Team match in St. Louis and Men’s National Team game in San Antonio during the month of April are selling fast.

As of 12 p.m. CT today, more than 23,500 tickets have been sold for the WNT match against New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, requiring the upper level sections to be opened.

Attendance is already projected to be the largest for a U.S. Women’s National Team home game in over 11 years (since 25,253 watched the WNT beat Canada at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup third-place match at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Oct. 11, 2003). Meanwhile, more than 33,000 tickets have been purchased for the MNT’s game against CONCACAF rival Mexico, Presented by AT&T, on April 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Tickets for the WNT match can be purchased 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. to 4 p.m.).

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

The U.S. WNT match in St. Louis will be the team’s first domestic contest after starting the year with six matches in Europe and is the first of four final preparation matches, and the only appearance in the Midwest, before the team departs for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The match against New Zealand kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1. Fans can follow all the upcoming WNT matches on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp.

For the MNT match against Mexico, Presented by AT&T, tickets are still available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout San Antonio, as well as the Alamodome ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 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 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 U.S. MNT opened up its 2015 schedule with a 3-2 defeat to Chile on Jan. 28. Next, the team returns to the U.S. to open its domestic schedule with a game against Panama on Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California (TICKETS). After two away matches during the international window in March against Denmark and Switzerland, the spotlight will turn to one of the biggest rivalries in international soccer when the U.S. faces Mexico.

The match against Mexico kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Alamodome and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the game at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp

Ellis Convoca A 24 Jugadoras Para Partidos Contra Francia E Inglaterra

CHICAGO (30 de enero, 2015) -- La directora técnica de la Selección Femenina de Estados Unidos Jill Ellis nombró a 24 jugadoras a un viaje de 13 días a Europa que incluirá partidos contra Francia el 8 de febrero en Lorient (12 p.m. ET por ESPN2) y contra Inglaterra el 13 de febrero en Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET por FOX Sports 1).

EE.UU. no ha jugado en Francia desde 1995 cuando también se preparaba para la Copa Mundial Femenina y jugó tres partidos en cinco días contra Italia, Canadá y Francia. La última vez que EE.UU. jugó un partido amistoso en Inglaterra el 2 de abril, 2011, cuando cayó 2-1 contra Inglaterra. Estados Unidos jugó cuatro de sus seis partidos de los Juegos Olímpicos del 2012 en Inglaterra. Los primeros dos se jugaron en Glasgow, Escocia.

Francia e Inglaterra terminaron invictas en sus campañas de eliminatoria mundialista de la UEFA.  Francia terminó con un registro de 10-0-0, anotando 54 goles y cediendo solamente tres. Inglaterra también terminó 10-0-0, con 52 goles a favor y sólo uno en contra. Francia actualmente ocupa el tercer puesto en el ranking de la FIFA e Inglaterra está en el sexto lugar.

"Estos partidos son exactamente lo que necesitamos," dijo Jill Ellis cuando los partidos fueron anunciados. "Nuestra meta antes de la Copa Mundial es jugar contra algunos de los mejores equipos. Estos son dos rivales que nos retarán y definitivamente son dos equipos que podríamos enfrentar en Canadá. Ambos equipos son excepcionalmente organizados, tienen un alto nivel de atletismo y posarán excelente desafío."

Veintitrés de las 24 jugadoras convocadas participaron en el campamento de tres semanas de Estados Unidos, con la única adición siendo la primera convocatoria de Tori Huster, una mediocampista del Washington Spirit.

Notas adicionales:

  • Estados Unidos estará sin tres jugadoras regulares para esta gira ya que Megan Rapinoe (rodilla) y Christie Rampone (espalda) adquirieron lesiones menores durante el campamento de enero y no estarán listas para la acción, y la portera Hope Solo está suspendida.
  • Estados Unidos jugó contra Francia dos veces en junio del 2014 en dos partidos altamente competitivos: una victoria de 1-0 de EE.UU. en Tampa, Florida, con un gol de Sydney Leroux y un empate de 2-2 en East Hartford, Connecticut, con dos goles de Alex Morgan.
  • El grupo de EE.UU. en la Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2015 incluye a Australia, Suecia y Nigeria. Inglaterra y Francia están en el Grupo F con Colombia y México.
  • EE.UU. tiene un registro de 14-0-2 contra Francia. Los equipos se encontraron en las semifinales de la Copa Mundial Femenina de la FIFA 2011 y durante la fase de grupos de los Juegos Olímpicos 2012.
  • Estados Unidos tiene un registro de 7-3-1 contra Inglaterra. Los equipos no se han enfrentado desde el partido en Londres en el 2011.
  • EE.UU. tiene jugadoras que han jugado profesionalmente tanto en Francia como en Inglaterra. Tobin Heath jugó con Paris Saint-Germain en el 2013-14 mientras que Whitney Engen ayudó a Liverpool Ladies al título de la liga en el 2013.
  • Carli Lloyd y Christen Press encabezaron la lista de partidos jugados con EE.UU. en el 2014. Las dos jugaron en 23 de los 24 partidos. Lloyd fue titular en los 23 partidos.

 

Nómina de la Selección Femenina de EE.UU. Por Posición

ARQUERAS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)

DEFENSAS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)

MEDIOCAMPISTAS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)

DELANTERAS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodríguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

Ellis Names WNT Roster for Matches in Europe against France and England

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players for a 13-day trip to Europe that will feature matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and against England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The USA has not played in France since 1995 when it was also preparing for a World Cup and played three matches against Italy, Canada and France over a span of five days. The USA last played a friendly match in England on April 2, 2011, falling to England, 2-1. The USA played four of its six 2012 Olympic matches in England with the first two being played in Glasgow, Scotland.

Both France and England went unbeaten in their UEFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups. France compiled a 10-0-0 record while scoring 54 goals and allowing just three. England also went 10-0-0, while netting 52 goals against just one allowed. France is currently ranked third in the world and England is sixth.

"These games are exactly what we need," said Jill Ellis when the matches were announced. "Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best teams. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges."

Twenty-three of the 24 players named participated in the USA’s three-week January camp, with the only addition being first-time call-up Tori Huster, a midfielder with the Washington Spirit.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA will be without three regulars for this tour as Megan Rapinoe (knee) and Christie Rampone (back) picked up minor injuries during the USA’s January training camp and will not be ready for action, and goalkeeper Hope Solo is serving a suspension.
  • The U.S. Women played France twice in June of 2014 in two highly competitive matches: a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a score from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, in which Alex Morgan scored both goals.
  • The USA’s group for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup features Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. England and France are in Group F with Colombia and Mexico.
  • The USA is 14-0-2 all-time against France. The teams met in the semifinal of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and during group play at the 2012 Olympics.
  • The USA is 7-3-1 all-time against England. The teams haven't met since the match in London in 2011.
  • The U.S. WNT includes players who have played professional club soccer in both France and England. Tobin Heath played with Paris Saint-Germain from 2013-14 while Whitney Engen helped the Liverpool Ladies to a league title in 2013.
  • Carli Lloyd and Christen Press led the USA in games played in 2014, both seeing action in 23 out of the 24 total games. Lloyd started all 23 of her matches to lead the team.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

Hall of Fame Builder Milton Aimi Passes Away at Age 88

CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2015) – Former U.S. Soccer Federation chairman and National Soccer Hall of Fame builder Milton Aimi passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 27. He was 88.

Memorial and funeral proceedings are being arranged and will be held in Houston on Feb. 2 and 3.

The Brazilian-born Aimi became a longtime contributor toward the sport of soccer in the U.S. and was recognized for his commitment and efforts with his 1991 induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Aimi spent more than five decades involved in soccer in the U.S., primarily in southern Texas. He was the president of the Texas State Soccer Association from 1972-2000 as the association grew from two leagues to more than 20 during his tenure. Aimi also was the first chairman of the United States Senior Soccer Division Inc.

He was appointed to U.S. Soccer’s National Referee Committee and was the Region III director in 1979. In 1982, Aimi was elected vice president of the national body and chairman of the U.S. Soccer senior division, handling the administrative work for the Federation’s adult and Olympic programs for all 50 states.

In 1987, Aimi was appointed to organize the National Under-23 Player Development Program, and a year later he became a member of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors and vice president/chairman of the U.S. Soccer Amateur Division (now known as the United States Adult Soccer Association).

Prior to his involvement at U.S. Soccer, Aimi founded the West Texas College soccer program in 1947 and he launched the Fort Worth International Soccer Club in 1952. Aimi moved to Houston in 1967 and was appointed Youth Commissioner of the South Texas region. One year later, he was one of the primary founders of the Houston District Junior Soccer Association and would serve as its president from 1972-78.

In 1979, the Houston District Junior Soccer Association recognized Aimi as its Person of the Year.

Photo Gallery: MNT vs. Chile

Photos from the U.S. MNT's 3-2 loss to Chile at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua in the team's opening match of 2015. 

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