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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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MRS. 300

I am proud to have been able to play so many games for my country but, I've never been one who likes attention. More than any number of caps, I’m proud to have been able to play so long because of the experiences I've had in the game and the fact that I've been able to keep learning along the way on this amazing journey. Since I played my first game for the National Team in 1997, I've grown tremendously as a person, as a mom, and as a player. Even approaching 300 caps, I’m still learning about the game. I’m playing for my fifth head coach and I’m glad to be able to embrace change.

People often ask me to look back over all these caps, but I’m a person who likes to look forward. You can always think back and say ‘I wish I was this fit or this confident 10 years ago,’ but you learn from those experiences and move forward; that’s part of being successful. I will say, sometimes when I have a bad game, I stop and think, ‘I have almost 300 caps, how could I have a bad game!’ That’s soccer – nothing is given, everything is earned.

My family will likely be at my 300th cap, and my oldest daughter Rylie is starting to understand what I've done in my career, although she probably has no idea what a cap is. She knows about the big events, the World Cups and the Olympics, and all the players she’s been able to hang out with and places she’s gone. Someday, I’ll try to explain to her how I've gotten to this point in my career.

Difficult Road Tests on Horizon for Week 8 of Academy Season

While the U-13/14 age division focuses on its Central regional event this weekend in Westfield, Indiana, the older age groups continue to forge ahead through the 2014-15 regular season.

Several teams will face some difficult road challenges over the Oct. 25-26 weekend, which could potentially set the tone within their respective divisions.

Out West, De Anza Force heads north for two tough road tests in Northwest Division play. On Saturday, De Anza Force takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC, followed by Crossfire Premier on Sunday. The Whitecaps U-17/18s are 7-0-0 (3.00 points per game) and their U-15/16 team is 5-1-1 (2.29 points per game), good for second place behind the San Jose Earthquakes. Both De Anza Force teams are in third place in the division, with the U-17/18s at 4-1-0 (2.40 points per game) and the U-15/16s as 2-1-2 (1.60 points per game). Crossfire Premier’s U-17/18 team is off to a good start this season with a 4-2-2 record and 1.75 points per game, in fifth place.

In the East, a highly anticipated matchup at the U-17/18 age group features Weston FC traveling to face Kendall SC. Kendall leads the Southeast Division with a 6-1-1 record and 2.38 points per game, and Weston is in fifth place at 4-2-2 (1.75 points per game).

One of the toughest road trips among the Central teams is in the Frontier Division. Sporting Kansas City heads to Texas to face FC Dallas, which is in first place at the U-15/16 level at 4-0-0 and 3.00 points per game and third at the U-17/18s at 3-1-0 (2.25 points per game). Sporting’s U-17/18s are right on FC Dallas’ heels in fourth place (3-1-1, 2.00 points per game).

WNT Set for Semifinal with Women’s World Cup Berth on the Line

The U.S. WNT is focused and ready for its semifinal clash with Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. After handily winning Group A, the U.S. team is taking nothing for granted as a victory will earn a berth to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Women’s National Team Captain Christie Rampone Set to Earn Historic 300th Cap

CHICAGO (Oct. 24, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team captain Christie Rampone is set to earn her historic 300th cap should she play tonight against Mexico in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rampone, who debuted for the USA in 1997, would become just the second player in soccer history to play 300 times for their country, following former teammate Kristine Lilly who finished her illustrious career with a world record 352 games from 1987-2010.

Rampone, 39, is currently the most capped active player in the world. Even more remarkable, she is a rare player who has achieved international success with the USA after playing at a small soccer school. She was a two-sport star at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. where she was also the starting point guard on the basketball team. As a college striker, she scored 79 career goals.

She switched to defense for the U.S. WNT under then head coach Tony DiCicco, and aside from a brief stint at flank midfielder, has played on the back line since.

Rampone was named captain by former head coach Pia Sundhage in 2008, and since then, the USA has compiled an 88-8-13 record with the New Jersey native wearing the armband.

Additional Notes:

  • Rampone has played in four Women’s World Cups (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011) and four Olympic Games (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012) with the USA.
  • She has played the most games in her career against Canada (29), followed by China (27), Brazil (22) and Mexico (22).
  • Rampone has played for the USA in 134 cities in the USA and around the world.
  • She has earned caps in 17 different countries and 32 different U.S. states plus the District of Columbia.
  • Rampone has four career goals, two of them coming against Iceland on April 5, 2000.
  • Rampone has played for six U.S. WNT coaches, with the most games coming under Pia Sundhage (93).
  • She has played 157 friendly matches and 142 matches in various tournaments, including 22 Olympic matches and 17 Women’s World Cup matches.

U-17 WNT to Hold November Camp at NTC in Los Angeles

CHICAGO (Oct. 23, 2014) – U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has named 25 players for a training camp running from Nov. 1-8 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. in the second domestic event of this cycle.

The U-17s are coming off a highly successful trip to the Korea Republic at the end of August/beginning of September in which they earned two convincing victories against the hosts.

This U-17 camp, which features mostly players born 1999 and a few in 2000, will run concurrently with the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team camp, which features players mostly born 2000 and a few in 2001.

The age cut-off for the next U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016, which is currently scheduled to be played in Jordan, is for players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999.

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Kat Asman (Concorde Fire SC; Roswell, Ga.), Hilary Beall (San Diego Surf; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Brooke Bollinger (Orlando City; Orlando, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (7): Kerry Abello (Team Chicago; Aurora, Ill.), Karlie Paschall (Tennessee SC; Brentwood, Tenn.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.), Izzy Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Jackie Schaefer (JFC; Atlantic Beach, Fla.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Pa.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Rachael Dorwart (Penn Fusion; Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Chloe Frisch (San Diego Surf; Carlsbad, Calif.), Bri Halverson (Futura Futbol Club; Bolivar, Mo.), Nicki Hernandez (Eclipse Select; Naperville, Ill.), Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brooke Redington (So Cal Blues; Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Jordan Taylor (Ohio Premier Eagels; Wadsworth, Ohio), Taryn Torres (Solar-Chelsea Soccer Club; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Joanna Harber (Eastside FC; Bellevue, Wash.), Rachel Jones (Tophat 18 Gold; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colt Neck, N.J.), Emma Thomson (Sockers FC; Parkridge, Ill.)

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