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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

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:

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

USA Tops Olympic Qualifying Group with 4-0 Win against Panama

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Oct. 6, 2015) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team moved on to the semifinal round of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament as the top seed out of Group A after a 4-0 win against Panama at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Panama gamely held the USA scoreless through the first half, but the Yanks' depth told in the second half as Jerome Kiesewetter and Jordan Morris entered at halftime to spur the U.S. attack. An own goal by Panama defender Fidel Escobar in the 50th minute opened the floodgates as Kiesewetter and Morris both bagged a goal a piece in the ensuing six minutes to give the U.S. a quick 3-0 lead before Luis Gil capped the scoring from the penalty spot in the 71st minute. 

The match was also the first of the tournament for goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, who had been with his club Molde FK during the USA's first two games, but entered the lineup seamlessly to deliver the team's first shutout of the competition.  

The USA will face the loser of Group B's Mexico-Honduras clash (if the teams tie, the U.S. will play Honduras) in the first semifinal which kicks off from Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on Oct. 10. The second semifinal will follow immediately after from the same stadium and both matches will be broadcast on Telemundo.

Goal Scoring Summary:
USA-Fidel Escobar (own goal) 50th minute: 
Gboly Ariyibi did the work on the left side, cutting past one defender and speeding by another to free himself to send a cross into the box. Ariyibi hit a low hard ball in towards a breaking Jordan Morris; Escobar cut in front and attempted to clear it away, but his clearance ended up in the back of the net.  USA 1, PAN 0 

USA-Jerome Kiesewetter (Luis Gil) 53rd minute: Just three minutes after the first goal, Kiesewetter found the net to double the U.S. lead. A series of passes put the ball at the feet of Luis Gil, who took a turn at the top of the box and threaded a pass to Kiesewetter, who ripped a shot from the right side to bag his third goal of the tournament. USA 2, PAN 0 

USA-Jordan Morris (Jerome Kiesewetter) 56th minute: Again three minutes later and the USA had another goal.  Kiesewetter and Morris, the pair that had already combined for multiple goals in the tournament, were at it again. Kiesewetter drew the defense as he jetted down the right side, which freed Morris centrally. Kiesewetter found him with a pass and Morris converted with a glancing touch for his third goal of the tournament. USA 3, PAN 0 

USA-Luis Gil (penalty kick) 71st minute: Kiesewetter set up the penalty, making a number of nifty moves to get into the box, before being brought down. Luis Gil stepped up to take the penalty, his second of the tournament, and confidently tucked it in. USA 4, PAN 0 (FINAL)

-U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Panama
Date: Oct. 6, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Group A
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT
Attendance: 3,313
Weather: 55 degrees; Light rain

Scoring Summary:             1          2          F                                   
USA                                      0          4          4
PAN                                      0          0          0 

USA-Fidel Escobar (own goal)                            50th minute
USA-Jerome Kiesewetter (Jordan Morris)           53
USA-Jordan Morris (Jerome Kiesewetter)           56
USA-Luis Gil (penalty kick)                                71

USA: 12-Ethan Horvath; 2-Boyd Okwuonu, 5-Will Packwood, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 7-Dillon Serna; 13-Matt Polster (8-Emerson Hyndman, 59), 10-Luis Gil (capt.), 16-Gedion Zelalem (9-Jordan Morris, 46); 19-Maki Tall (17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 46), 11-Alonso Hernandez, 20-Gboly Ariyibi
Subs Not Used: 1-Zack Steffen, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-Wil Trapp, 14-Fatai Alashe, 15-Marc Pelosi, 18-Charlie Horton
Head Coach: Andi Herzog

PAN: 1-Elieser Powell; 3-Kevin Galvan, 4-Michael Murillo, 6-Fidel Escobar, 14-Roberto Chen; 5-Pedro Jeanine (capt.), 10-Miguel Camargo (8-Jhamal Rodriguez, 55), 11-Edgar Barcenas, 18-Josiel Nunez (15-Francisco Narbon, 73); 9-Abdiel Arroyo, 19-Jorman Aguilar (16-Justin Simons, 85)
Subs Not Used: 2-Chin Hormechea, 7-Jesus Gonzalez, 12-Jamie de Garcia, 13-Jesus Araya, 20-Orlando Mosquera
Head Coach: Leonardo Pipino

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 18 / 13
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4        
Offside: 3 / 0
Fouls: 11 / 12

Misconduct Summary:
PAN-Kevin Galvan (caution)         65th minute
PAN-Abdiel Aroyo (caution)          70

Referee: Hugo Cruz (CRC)
1st Referee: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
2nd Referee: Jairo Morales (PUR)
4th official: Javier Santos (PUR)

Revenge at the Rose Bowl

Site of Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup, The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Califrnia, has been host to some of American soccer’s biggest triumphs.

It held the U.S. MNT’s first World Cup victory in 44 years – an unforgettable 2-1 win against Colombia in 1994, the WNT’s 1999 World Cup Final win against China and the men’s repatriation of the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup thanks to a 2-0 win in the final against Costa Rica.

While it’s seen great moments, it also played host to a match most U.S. fans would rather forget. Nine years on from the 2002 win against Costa Rica, the MNT returned to Pasadena to play for the same Gold Cup trophy against heated rivals Mexico.

While the game was in the United States, the vast majority of the 93,420 in attendance were behind El Tri. Despite the disadvantage in support, the U.S. ran out to a dream start as Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan scored to give the team a 2-0 lead inside the first 23 minutes.

Micheal Bradley celebrates with Landon Donovan after the pair had put the MNT up 2-0 in the first half of the 2011 Gold Cup final. 

“We started that game off really well – you couldn’t ask for a better start up 2-0,” remembered MNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.

Just as the MNT made it look easy to go up two goals early on, Mexico made coming back to equalize look just as simple as Pablo Barrera and Andres Guardado pulled their side level by the 36thgminute. Locked 2-2 at the break, Mexico fed off the crowd as Barrera put El Tri ahead 3-2 in the 50th minute before Giovanni dos Santos’ 76th minute chip confirmed the result for Mexico.

“We just bottled it,” continued Bedoya. “If we could have that start again, I would take it in a heartbeat. It’s just about finishing the game off.”

No stranger to big matches, MNT captain Michael Bradley said even though four years have passed since the match, the game and El Tri’s celebration afterwards still sticks in his memory.

“Any time you lose a final, you don’t forget that quickly,” Bradley told “I think while it was a great game that day – both teams went at it – in the end, they were able to make a few more plays than we did and when you have to watch your big rival lift a trophy, that stays with you.”

“That was tough,” agreed Bedoya. “It was tough to just be a player and having to wait on the field at The Rose Bowl, standing there and seeing them walking across that stage, celebrating on our home soil… it left us all with a bitter taste in our mouths.”

Alejandro Bedoya challenges Gerardo Torrado in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

While the memory of 2011 still stings, with a ticket to Russia on the line, Bedoya said he’ll use the memory as motivation for Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup.

And with the way the U.S. fan base has grown with groups like the American Outlaws leading the charge, Bedoya expects a different atmosphere Saturday.

“I remember there were a lot of Mexican fans in attendance,” Bedoya said. “In four years, I think a lot has changed in terms of soccer in this country. I don’t think we’ll be seeing those same numbers at The Rose Bowl this year. I think our fans will come out in full support and that’s all we can hope for. The rest just comes down to us playing and doing whatever it takes to win, going all out and knowing that this result means a lot to so many people everywhere.”

The game certainly means a lot to Bradley. In the buildup to the match last week, the U.S. captain chose a message about the Mexico match to debut the public setting on his previously private Instagram account.

With CONCACAF announcing tickets for the match sold out on Monday, fans have certainly recognized the magnitude of the occasion and according to Bradley, outside of the World Cup, there are few international matches that will compare to Saturday’s game.

“Games against Mexico don’t come around every day,” he said of the post. “Games against Mexico that have so much on the line don’t either. You can play friendlies, you can play games where nothing matters, but in a game like this, with the way everything has been built up, it means everything. The atmosphere is going to be amazing. It’s two good teams who want to win, who want to go at each other and I think it’s set up to be a great night.”

Master Over Mexico

As the U.S. Men’s National Team inches towards Saturday’s all-important CONCACAF Cup playoff with Mexico, MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann heads into the match having proved to be a difficult nemesis for El Tri.

Whether as a player, coach of the German National Team or his current tenure with the USA, Klinsmann has never lost to Mexico, going 5-0-5 all-time.






German International

1-1 D



German International

0-0 D



German International

2-1 W (goal)

World Cup


German Coach

4-3 W

Confederations Cup



1-1 D




1-0 W




0-0 D

World Cup Qualifying



2-0 W

World Cup Qualifying



2-2 D




2-0 W


As U.S. head coach, Klinsmann’s 3-0-3 record against El Tri is the longest unbeaten run any MNT manager has earned against Mexico, having arrived at that record by getting results at home and on the road.

In 2012, Klinsmann became the first U.S. head coach to earn a victory at the vaunted Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Less than a year later, he joined Steve Sampson as the only U.S. managers to earn a World Cup Qualifying point on Mexican soil, as the MNT played to a 0-0 draw at the Azteca on March 26, 2013. Following that result in Mexico City, the team embarked on a record 12-match winning streak which extended through the MNT’s fifth CONCACAF Gold Cup title that July. That following September, Klinsmann continued the MNT’s “Dos a Cero” tradition against Mexico in Columbus as the U.S. qualified for its seventh straight FIFA World Cup.

Once there, the U.S. team’s 2-1 victory against Ghana to open last summer’s FIFA World Cup finally avenged the side’s back-to-back knockouts from the previous two World Cup tournaments. Combined with a 2-2 draw against Portugal in the following match, Klinsmann helped guide the U.S. to the tournament’s knockout stage, marking the first time the MNT has advanced from World Cup group play in back-to-back tournaments.

The MNT has achieved other historic results against traditional soccer powers since Klinsmann’s tenure as U.S. manager began in 2011. Over the course of his four years in charge of the MNT, the U.S. has defeated Germany (twice), while also earning its first-ever wins against four-time World Cup champion Italy and then sixth-ranked Netherlands, with three of those four wins coming on the road.

In fact, Klinsmann has the record for most wins by a U.S. coach in Europe with five, adding victories against Slovenia in 2011 and Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2013 to his list of accomplishments as U.S. manager.

With a .653 winning percentage, Klinsmann ranks second all-time among U.S. head coaches to only Bruce Arena, but the difference is marginal, as the former U.S. boss’s all-time mark stands at .658. Now 75 matches into his tenure as MNT head coach, Klinsmann’s percentage sits higher than that of Arena’s at the same point in his tenure (.620).

#RoadToRio Part 2- One Game at a Time

The journey continues for the U-23s.... After defeating Cuba and Canada in its first two matches of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and clinching a spot in the all-important semifinal match, the U-23 #USMNT heads to Denver for #USAvPAN, looking to secure the top spot in Group A.

Josh Wolff and the Spark that Set the Dos a Cero Fire

When the schedule for the Final Round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup came around, the U.S. Soccer Federation had a different idea.

Drawn to play rivals Mexico first, and in February no less, the U.S. Soccer Federation decided to try and maximize home-field by taking advantage of the new phenomenon in the American game – the soccer specific stadium.

Columbus Crew Stadium (now MAPFRE Stadium) was the only one at the time, but with its smaller capacity and location in the heart of the Midwest, the venue proved a perfect spot for the U.S. to have its own unique home atmosphere in response to the heat, altitude and intensity that 100,000 fans at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City could provide. 

“It was a tremendous atmosphere,” remembered U.S. forward Josh Wolff. “It was brutally cold. We had a fantastic crowd and there was a lot to play for. Obviously it’s a qualifier, but it’s even bigger when you’re playing against Mexico. It couldn’t have been any nicer – a chilly night that the Mexican players probably didn’t enjoy, but for us, it was probably a bit of gamesmanship. I think we were excited about the idea of playing in front of our fans on a nice cold night where we could take advantage of it.”

Wolff didn’t start the match that night in late February 2001. When Bruce Arena selected him for the game-day 18, if he was to be used at all, the idea was more likely as a late-game sub.

After 15 minutes, things changed.

With Brian McBride’s right eye looking like he received a haymaker from Mike Tyson more than the clash of heads he took going up for a 50/50 ball, Wolff was called upon as his replacement and got his taste of the chippiness in the match when he was shown a yellow card for a foul on Rafael Carmona in the 40th minute.

He’d been joined on the field just before halftime by an old familiar face in Clint Mathis. Wolff’s former college teammate at the University of South Carolina was tapped to enter the game for Claudio Reyna, who pulled up with a groin injury after stepping to make a seemingly routine pass.

Having burned two subs to replace two of the side’s key players, Wolff and Mathis were certainly the unlikeliest of heroes for the second half, but they proved the odds wrong.

Just after the break, the South Carolina boys, who both hailed from neighboring Georgia, connected on what has become one of the more memorable goals in U.S. World Cup Qualifying history.

“The ball fell to Clint and Mexico was playing a pretty high line,” Wolff recalled. “Obviously I’d played with Clint for a number of years and we had a pretty good understanding of one another. It was just me taking a chance to run the line really well there.”

Mexico’s back line was so high that they were all pinching into the U.S. half of the field when Mathis quickly hit the ball into space for Wolff, who was a step inside the USA half of the midfield stripe.

“Clint hits a great ball over the top,” Wolff continued. “It’s a bit of a foot race with Jorge [Campos] and it was just one of those balls where it’s a 50/50 and I was able to come out with the other side of him. At that point, you just kind of roll it in the open goal and get on with the celebration. The goal was a scramble in the end, but it was a good way to start that game for me and helped fuel us the rest of the match.”