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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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Academy Preview: Playoffs Race Continues to Heat Up

D.C. United will host rival Bethesda-Olney U-15/16s in a battle for the D.C. area on Saturday. Bethesda-Olney has won two of its last three games and D.C United is coming off of a 5-0 victory over Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-15/16. Donovan Pines scored a goal in the 78th minute to lead D.C. to a 1-0 win over Bethesda-Olney the last time these teams met on October 5, 2014.

Bethesda-Olney will go head-to-head with D.C. United U-17/18s on Saturday April 25 at 9 a.m. Bethesda-Olney is coming off a win over Everton FC Westchester last week, while D.C. United is unbeaten in April and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

On Saturday April 25, Chicago Magic PSG will travel to New Lenox, Illinois, for a matchup with the Mid-American division’s top-ranked team, Shattuck St. Mary’s U-17/18s. Chicago Magic PSG is fourth in the Mid-American division and Shattuck St. Mary’s is riding a six-game winning streak.

On Sunday April 26, Shattuck-St. Mary’s will take on Chicago Fire U-17/18s in a battle for the top spot in the Mid-American Division. Shattuck-St. Mary’s is currently first in the division with 2.05 pts/gp, but the Fire is not far behind with 1.94 pts/gp.

A highly competitive New Jersey Rivalry is set to take place this weekend as New York Red Bulls U-15/16s and U-17/18s face in-state and Atlantic Division rival Players Development Academy. The U-17/18s Red Bulls continue their control atop the Academy, currently claiming the top spot in the East Division and in the playoffs pool. PDA for its part is in the 18th spot of the playoff pool sitting with 1.81 pts/gp, trailing 17th-place Concorde Fire by only a 0.01 point per game differential.

In the U-15/16s age group, an even tighter race is brewing between the two sides, as NYRB are second in the Division standings and PDA is in third place. Both teams are also in a good direction to continue with post season play, with NYRB in the second spot and PDA in the 17th positon of the playoffs pool.

Finally, things are heating up in LA, as Pateadores and Chivas USA go head -to-head in both the U-15/16s and U-17/18s age group. For Chivas USA U-15/16s, the game will represent a chance to bounce back from a loss to Arsenal FC last weekend that saw the team drop its first decision since January. Currently, 19th in the playoffs pool, Chivas will need to perform well to hold on to its spot.

Pateadores U-17/18s hopes to continue riding its high following a 5-1 victory over Real So Cal last weekend, by facing Chivas on Sunday. Pateadores, who is currently in the playoffs pool sitting at number 18.

U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round Set To Kick Off Saturday

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round – Notes

Cal FC
Founded:
2011
Coach:
Ross Greaney
Affiliation:
USASA Region IV
Previous Appearances:
2012 (Fourth Round), 2014 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 3-2-0

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Cal FC’s 2012 U.S. Open Cup run was one of the better Cinderella stories in recent memory. Led by former U.S. international Eric Wynalda, the team made up of former pros and players on the cusp of contracts defeated Kitsap Pumas (3-1), USL-PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads (4-0) and upset Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers (1-0 AET) before bowing out to Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round.
  • A majority of the players on the 2012 Cal FC side went on to sign professional contracts later that year or next. Two players, Richard Menvijar and Derby Carillo have become regulars for the Salvadorian Men’s National Team.
  • Danny Barrera, a former U.S. youth international who scored four of eight goals in the team’s 2012 run to the Fourth Round of the Open Cup returns after stints with the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks and San Antonio Scorpions.  
  • Jesus Gonzalez, the only other returning player from the 2012 Cal FC side, is suspended for Saturday’s match after picking up a red card while playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 3-1 quarterfinal defeat to the Chicago Fire on July 9, 2014.
  • The 2015 Cal FC squad features a number of other former professional players including: defenders Jake Hustedt (San Jose Earthquakes), Edgar Espinoza (Atlanta Silverbacks), Conor Hearn (Orange County Blues), midfielder Abraham Villon (Oklahoma City Energy) and forward Luis Hernandez (Orange County Blues).
  • Cal FC head coach Ross Greaney returns to the Bay Area where he finished his collegiate career with the University of San Francisco in 1997.

San Francisco City FC
Founded:
2001
Coach:
Andrew Gardner
Affiliation: U.S. Club Soccer (NorCal Premier League)
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Qualified by defeating Stanislaus United Academica 3-0 on February 2 at San Francisco State University’s Cox Field.
  • San Francisco City FC has a supporter-ownership structure, with nearly 300 members paying $50 annual dues or a $350 lifetime stake in the club.
  • The club plays home matches at San Francisco’s historic Kezar Stadium, former home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
  • Key players include former UCLA forward and 2010 California High School Player of the year Reed Williams, former University of San Francisco midfielder Mauricio Diaz De Leon, former Georgetown left back Gabriel Padilla and ex-Harvard goalkeeper Austin Harms.
  • Head coach Andrew Gardner is a former kicker for the Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Harpo’s FC
Founded:
1997
Coach:
Johnny Freeston
Affiliation: U.S. Specialty Sports Association
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • Evolved out of Colorado University’s successful club soccer team, which won the Club National Championship in 2010.
  • Team is named after Harpo’s Bar and Grille in Boulder, Colorado, where club trophies are housed and post-game celebrations take place.
  • Though they didn’t win the USSSA Championship, they advanced as the organization’s representative as opponents KC Athletics had already qualified for the Open Cup via USASA Region II.
  • In that competition, Harpo’s FC beat KC Athletics 4-1 on March 13 in group play before falling to them 3-1 in the final on March 15. Both matches were played in Overland Park, Kansas.
  • Because of the above, Harpo’s FC actually clinched qualification by virtue of a 3-2 win vs. Colorado Rovers on March 14. Twenty three year old forward Shane Wheeler scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute.
  • Wheeler has trialed in the past with Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads and Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

KC Athletics
Founded: 2001
Player/Manager:
Kyle Perkins
Affiliation: USASA Region II
Previous Appearances: 2010 (First Round), 2012 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 1-2-0

  • Founded via the merger of Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club in 2001.
  • KC Athletics make its third tournament appearance after qualifying as a USASA Region II representative. The team is also the defending USSSA national champion.
  • KC Athletics initially won its USASA Region II match to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, but a protest by Dearborn Stars was upheld because the field the match was played on was deemed too narrow. Unable to make it to the replay in Chicago, KC Athletics withdrew from the match, missing out on the 2013 Open Cup.
  • Features former professional players Steven Emory (Colorado Rapids), Ryan Kowaluk (Portland Timbers), Bobby Reese (Atlanta Silverbacks) and Peter Kariotis (Niki Voulo; Greece).

KC Athletics Looks to Leave Controversy Behind, Earn its Third Open Cup Berth

When asked what sets his club apart from others in the United States, Kyle Perkins, the manager of Saturday’s U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” participants KC Athletics can’t help but chuckle.

“We’re really not a club, necessarily,” he says. “We’re just one team that’s done alright for ourselves over the years.”

Before describing his side as “the most amateur team in the tournament”, Perkins explains that the team came into existence back in 2001 through a merger between the Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club.

“It was a mix of guys that were decent, some of who went to college and played and others that didn’t,” he said. “After school, guys came back and still had some desire to keep playing competitively – it’s sort of grown from there.”

On Saturday, KC Athletics will visit Harpo’s FC in Commerce City, Colorado, kicking off its third U.S. Open Cup tournament appearance since first qualifying in 2010. As they do, they’ll hope to put to bed the controversy that saw them miss out on the 2013 edition.

The side appeared to have earned its third Open Cup berth that year after downing Michigan-based Dearborn Stars 1-0 in a USASA Region II qualifying match, but the visitors from metro-Detroit protested the match, citing the size of the field KC arranged for the teams to play on. Indeed, the width was three yards short of the minimum required 65 yards and a replay was ordered shortly after to be played at a neutral site in Chicago.

With only a few days to coordinate travel for his players to go 500 miles to Chicago, KC instead withdrew from the replay and missed out on the tournament.

“Our team is all nine-to-five types with kids and families,” said Perkins. “Getting away isn’t easy for us in general, getting away weekend after weekend right after we’d already played it wasn’t something we could pull together. It was disappointing, but I think we knew we’d be back here and we’ve put it behind us.”

As they go up against Harpo’s on Saturday, they’ll do it with the experience of former Colorado Rapids midfielder Steven Emory, former Portland Timbers defender Ryan Kowaluk, ex-Atlanta Silverbacks defender Bobby Reese and the return of Peter Kariotis, who played professionally in Greece with Niki Voulo FC and Aetos Skydra.

They’ll also have a familiarity with their hosts. With KC already earning one of USASA’s Region II’s qualifying berths, the side also entered in the USSSA qualifying tournament, held in nearby Overland Park, Kansas last month.

The two teams met twice in the tournament. Harpo’s won the group stage match 4-1, went on to the tournament final and since KC was the other finalist and had already qualified, Harpo’s earned their berth without having to play the USSSA championship match. The Colorado-based side took that match lightly and fell 3-1 as KC Athletics ended up USSSA champs, even though it’s not how they qualified for the Open Cup.

“It’s sort of weird playing the same team three times so close together,” Perkins said. “We know a little bit about them. We know they have a huge roster to choose from, they might have a few guys we don’t know about, but we go there now with some experience in this tournament and ultimately knowing what’s on the line.”

Sharp Calls in 16 Players for PNT Camp at NTC in Carson

CHICAGO (April 24, 2015) – U.S. Paralympic National Team head coach Stuart Sharp has called in 16 players for the team’s second domestic training camp of 2015. The camp will run from April 29-May 6 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

“This camp is extremely important as it will serve as the final opportunity for players to make an impression before we select our squad for the World Championships which are taking place in June,” Sharp said. “The squad is carrying a few injuries into camp and some key players are missing due to college finals but this will provide an excellent opportunity for our trialists and peripheral players to step up and claim a place in the final squad.”

The USPNT returns to the NTC for the first time since Sharp first held training camp with the team back in January 2014.

The PNT is coming off a third-place finish at the FOOTIE 7-Povoa Tournament, which took place in late March in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal. Nine players from that roster are a part of the group for this training camp.

“It has been a quick year with the World Championships taking place so early”, Sharp continued. “But I am confident off the back of some good results during last month’s competition in Portugal, that the team will be ready to perform when the whistle goes to begin our first group stage match against Venezuela. “

The 16-player roster includes two new players for 2015: defender Pablo Duque and forward Joshua Brunais. It also includes a first time participant with the PNT under Sharp’s tenure in defender Vincent Juarez.  

For the USA, the camp will continue to serve as preparation for the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships, which will run from June 16-28 at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire, England.

For game updates and more insight on the U.S. PNT, like them on Facebook or follow @ussoccer_PNT on Twitter 

Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Hendricks (Columbus, Ohio), Daniel Hoffman (Reisterstown, Md.), Keith Johnson (Houston, Texas)
DEFENDERS (5): Chris Ahrens (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Bryce Boarman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Pablo Duque (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Kevin Hensley (Memphis, Tenn.), Vincent Juarez (San Jose, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mason Abbiate (San Diego, Calif.), David Garza (Chula Vista, Calif.), Jarrett Razon (Niceville, Fla.), Gavin Sibayan (Colorado Spring, Colo.), Marthell Vazquez (Long Beach, Calif.), Jordan Weise (Jacksonville, Fla.)
FORWARDS (2): Joshua Brunais (Washington, D.C.), Michael Moore (Plano, Texas)

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