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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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U.S. PNT Moves into Second Place in Group at America Cup

TORONTO, Canada (Sept. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Paralympic National Team earned its first victory at the 2014 America Cup, defeating Mexico 3-0 in Group A play at the University of Toronto.

Seth Jahn and Renteria each scored a goal in the first half and Kevin Hensley added a second-half goal for the USA (1-1-0, 3 points) to move into second place in the group.

Brazil (1-0-0, 3 points), with a game at hand, is even in points and ahead of the U.S. in goal differential. Brazil faces Mexico (0-1-0, 0 points) in Sunday’s Group A finale. The top two finishers in Group A and Group B advance to the tournament’s semifinal stage.

“I am delighted with the character shown by the players that led to an excellent victory against Mexico,” U.S. PNT head coach Stuart Sharp said. “The squad as a whole has been working hard to prepare for this competition, and I feel we have deservedly made the semifinal stage. We’re now waiting to see who we meet in our next match, and whoever the next opponent may be, we will be focused on a victory.”

All games at the 2014 America Cup are shown live on the Ontario Soccer Association’s LiveStream page.

-U.S. Paralympic National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Paralympic NT vs. Mexico
Date: Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
Competition: America Cup 2014
Venue: University of Toronto; Toronto, Canada
Kickoff: 3 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET)
Attendance:
Weather: 56 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          2 1 3
MEX                         0 0 0

USA – Seth Jahn               10th minute
USA – Rene Renteria        24
USA – Kevin Hensley       54

Lineups:
USA: 18-Alex Hendricks 7, 2-Gavin Sibayan 7 (5-Bryce Boarman 5, 48), 4-Tyler Bennett 7 (capt.), 6-Chris Ahrens 7, 7-Marthell Vazquez 5, 9-Seth Jahn 6 (17-Michael Moore 7, 37), 11-Rene Renteria 8 (10-Kevin Hensley 8, 45),
Subs not used: 1-Keith Johnson 7, 14-David Garza 6, 15 Daniel Hoffman 15
Head Coach: Stuart Sharp

MEX: 1-Juan Gonzalez 7, 2-Gonzalo Yerena 7, 3-Jorge Reyes 7, 5-Salvador Magana 7, 7-Salvador Aguilar 7, 9-Pedro Villanueva 5, 10-Edgar Roman 7
Subs not used: 4-Julio Hernandez 8, Jose Gutierrez 7, 8-Leon Salvador 7
Head Coach: Ricardo Ortiz

Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 7 / 4
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 3 / 0
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 3 / 3

U.S. PNT Opens America Cup with 3-0 Loss to Brazil

TORONTO, Canada (Sept. 19, 2014) – The U.S. Paralympic National Team opened Group A play at the 2014 America Cup with a 3-0 loss to Brazil at the University of Toronto.

The USA now turns its focus to Mexico at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 20. The game will be live on the Ontario Soccer Association’s LiveStream page.

The U.S. stayed even with Brazil throughout the first half, but Brazil eventually broke through in the second half with Ronaldo Almeida de Souza’s 33rd-minute goal.

“We were very much on the back foot in this match against one of, if not the best, teams in the world,” U.S. PNT head coach Stuart Sharp said following the loss to Brazil. “That said, we knew this would be the case and the players worked hard to maintain our shape and tried to hit them on the break when possible.

“We had three good chances in the match, but unfortunately couldn’t make them count. We certainly can take some positives from this game despite the loss. We now need to concentrate on getting a win against Mexico in our next game to ensure we make the semifinal stages.”

Players and staff wore black arm bands in memory of Jon McCullough, chairman of U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council and a longtime leader and volunteer in the Olympic and Paralympic movements, who passed away in August after succumbing to cancer. A moment of silence was observed in both of Friday’s tournament games.

U.S. Paralympic National Team

-U.S. Paralympic National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Paralympic NT v. Brazil
Date: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Competition: America Cup 2014
Venue: University of Toronto; Toronto, Canada
Kickoff: 5 p.m. ET
Attendance:
Weather: 56 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                          0 0 0
BRA                          0 3 3

BRA – Ronaldo Almeida de Souza    33rd minute
BRA – Wanderson S. Oliveria           50
BRA – Wanderson S. Oliveria           57

Lineups:
USA: 1-Keith Johnson 7, 2-Gavin Sibayan 7 (13-Marthell Vazquez 5), 4-Tyler Bennett 7, 6-Chris Ahrens 7, 9-Seth Jahn 6 (17-Michael Moore 7, 54), 10-Kevin Hensley 8 (capt.) (11-Rene Renteria 8, 46), 14-David Garza 6
Subs not used: 5-Bryce Boarman 5, 15-Daniel Hoffman 15, 18-Alex Hendricks 7
Head Coach: Stuart Sharp

BRA: 1-Marcas Ferreria dos Santos 1, 3-Jose Carlos Mantero 3, 6-Marcelino de Oliveira Cleiton 7, 7-Ronaldo Almeida de Souza 7, 9-Igor Romero Rocha 7, 10-Wanderson S. Oliveria 8, 11-Luciano Da Costa 7
Subs not used: 2-Luciano Costa Silva 7, 4-Fernando Junior Dos Santos 7, 5-Malcas Cabral 8, 8-Evandro De Oliveria Gomez de Souza 5, 12-Gilvano Diniz Da Silva 7, 14-Diego Delgado da Silva 7
Head Coach: Dolvair Paschoal Castelli

Shots Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 2 / 16
Shots on Goal: 1 / 6
Saves: 10 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 10
Fouls: 1 / 5

Frontier Division Opens Play in Third Week of Academy Season

The Sept. 20-21 weekend of Development Academy play will be the busiest slate of games to date. A whopping 157 matches are scheduled among the U-13/14 through U-17/18 age groups.

The majority of the Frontier Divisions are looking forward to their first games, though last weekend the Colorado Rapids U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams started their new campaign with victories against the San Antonio Scorpions Youth Academy.

Many eyes will naturally be on FC Dallas – the defending division champion at the U-15/16s and U-17/18s – which faces a tough opponent right out of the gate in Solar Chelsea SC on Sunday. Solar was third in the division at the older age group last season and the U-15/16s were fourth. FC Dallas continually boasts some strong talent, though other players will have to step up at the U-17/18s with Weston McKennie and Alejandro Zendejas spending the fall semester with the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

LA Galaxy Academy

In the West, an interesting crossover match on Saturday features the Northwest Division’s San Jose Earthquakes against the Southwest’s LA Galaxy. Both Quakes teams won their openers against Academy newcomer Juventus Sport Club last weekend while the LA Galaxy U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams are both 2-0-0 to start the season. The Galaxy U-17/18s have scored 10 goals while posting shutouts in their first two games.

In the East, the New England Revolution of the Northeast Division caps off its weekend with a Sunday matchup against the Atlantic Division’s Philadelphia Union. The U-15/16 matchup, in particular, could be one to watch closely. The Union U-15/16s are in good form early on with two wins, outscoring their opponents 8-0. The New England Revolution U-15/16 team opened its season with a robust 4-0 victory against Albertson SC.

WNT vs. Mexico: Highlights - Sept. 18, 2014

Amy Rodriguez, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and Alex Morgan all scored as the U.S. WNT defeated Mexico, 4-0.

WNT vs. Mexico: Reaction

The U.S. WNT defeated Mexico 4-0 at a chilly Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. in its final match before heading into Women’s World Cup qualifying this October. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, midfielder Megan Rapinoe, forward Amy Rodriguez and Rochester-native Abby Wambach react to the win, the momentum gained heading into the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and the difficult of choosing a roster for that tournament.
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