U.S. Soccer

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

Read more
MNT May 27, 2014

U-17 WNT Continues Women's World Cup Preparations with Two Matches Against Brazil in Michigan

CHICAGO (July 26, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will come together from Aug. 1-13 at a training camp in Michigan that will be highlighted by two matches against the Brazil Under-17 WNT as preparations for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup continue.

The USA will take on fellow U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifier Brazil on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at DeMartin Soccer Stadium on the campus of Michigan State in East Lansing with a kickoff at 6 p.m. ET.

The teams will play again on Friday, Aug. 12 at Van Andel Soccer Stadium on the campus of Hope College in Holland, Mich. Kickoff is 7 p.m. ET.

Admission to both matches is free.

The matches will be among the final chances to evaluate the players before Snow chooses the final roster for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

“The decisions that we will have to make to finalize our roster will be exceptionally difficult and that is why playing these two international games is so vitally important,” Snow said. “The state of Michigan has a rich soccer tradition and we were ecstatic when we found out that we would be able to bring these two international games there. These games offer us one of the last opportunities to assess our players and our team so we are hoping to simulate a World Cup environment as much as possible. We will be playing in two first class facilities and the hope is that we can work to together with the soccer communities in Michigan to showcase the growth of women’s soccer at the youth level.”

Snow has called up 28 players for the camp, which includes all 20 players who were on the squad that in mid-March won the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship played in Grenada while earning a berth to the upcoming World Cup.

Midfielder Ashley Sanchez returns to the U-17’s after playing with the U.S. U-20 WNT since qualifying. Sanchez won the Golden Ball as the best player at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament after scoring five goals in Grenada, including the first in the 2-1 victory against Mexico in the championship game.

“We are extremely excited to bring our U-17 Women’s National Team to Michigan,” said Snow, who hails from Kalamazoo, Mich., and who played college soccer at Indiana. “The opportunity to be together for two weeks during some of the final preparations before the Women’s World Cup this fall is critical. We will be capping a long and rigorous evaluation process and the players that have matriculated their way here deserve a ton of credit. The depth of this player pool has been extraordinary, so the fact that they are even in the conversation for a final roster spot at this point in time is something that these players should be extremely proud of.”

Brazil was drawn into Group C at the 2016 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan along with Nigeria, England and Korea DPR. The USA was drawn into Group D with Paraguay, Ghana and Japan. The USA and Brazil could potentially meet in the knockout rounds in Jordan should both advance out of the group.

The U.S. plays its first Group D match against Paraguay on Oct. 1 at Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET) before facing Ghana on Oct. 4 at King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play on Oct. 8 against Japan at Amman International Stadium (7 p.m. local / Noon ET).

The players on the roster come from three birth years with 16 being born in 1999, which is the age-cut for participation in this fall’s World Cup. Eight players were born in 2000 and four were born in 2001, including three who were on the qualifying squad: defenders Kennedy Wesley and Kate Wiesner and forward Jordan Canniff.

The U-17’s are undefeated in 10 international games this year.

U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
Hillary Beall (So Cal Blues; Laguna Beach, Calif.), Zoe Clevely (Irvine Strikers; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Laurel Ivory (West Florida Flames; Surfside, Fla.), Meagan McClelland (PDA; Kearny, N.J.), Katie Meyer (Real So Cal; Newbury Park, Calif.)                         
Kerry Abello (Benet Academy; Aurora, Ill.), Sierra Enge (Carlsbad Elite; Cardiff, Calif.), Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Shea Holland (PDA; Toms River, N.J.), Kiara Pickett (Eagles; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Isabel Rodriguez (Michigan Hawks; Canton, Mich.), Karina Rodriguez (So Cal Blues; Torrance, Calif.) Emily Smith (De Anza Force; Los Gatos, Calif.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.)
Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Frankie Tagliaferri (PDA; Colts Neck, N.J.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion; West Chester, Penn.)                                                                      
Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Lia Godfrey (JFC Storm; Fleming Island, Fla.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Civana Kuhlmann (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Adrienne Richardson (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Oakdale, Minn.), Ashley Sanchez (So Cal Blues; Monrovia, Calif.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Windsor, Colo.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.)

Read more
U-17 WNT Jul 26, 2016

Panama to Host 2017 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship

CHICAGO (July 26, 2016) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced Panama as the host country for the 2017 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, set to take place April 21-May 7, 2017.

Panama will host the region’s top 12 U-17 national teams at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez and Estadio Maracana in Panama City. The nations will vie to qualify for one of the Confederation’s four spots at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

The 12 teams will include: Panama as host, three additional Central American Football Union (UNCAF) teams, five Caribbean Football Union (CFU) teams and three from North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States). Caribbean teams will begin their Qualifying tournament in July, while Central American teams will begin qualification in November.

The official draw for the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship will take place in Panama City in December.

The USA has captured the U-17 CONCACAF title three times (1983, 1992, 2011), while also earning second place five times in its 15 years competing in the region’s World Cup Qualifying tournament.

Read more
U-17 MNT Jul 26, 2016

MNT Weekend Rewind: MLS, Liga MX Go Full Tilt, European Season Nears

With the European season just around the corner, MNT players in MLS and Liga MX continue to make their case for inclusion in the side’s World Cup Qualifying camp which gets back under way in late August with the last two matches of Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying.

Here’s a look at some of the highlight performances MNT players had for their clubs this past week.

Beginning at midweek, Gyasi Zardes continued his fine form for the LA Galaxy in the club’s 4-2 comeback win against Seattle Sounders FC in the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.

With the Galaxy trailing 2-1, Zardes and teammate Giovani dos Santos entered in the 74th minute. It took just three minutes for the tandem to bring the Galaxy level, as Zardes’ pressure on the back line forced a turnover straight to dos Santos who coolly finished past Tyler Miller in the 77th minute. Eight minutes later, Zardes earned his first assist when he played a ball for Baggio Husidic, whose final pass was turned into the net by Sebastian Lletget in the 85th minute. In the 88th, a back and forth combination between Lletget and Zardes saw Lletget bag his second goal of the match as the Galaxy moved on to the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals for the first time since 2006.

WATCH: Zardes sparks LA Galaxy’s comeback U.S. Open Cup win vs. Seattle Sounders

Back in action on Saturday afternoon, Zardes helped the Galaxy run out to a 2-0 lead against the Portland Timbers inside the first 11 minutes. On the goal scoring play, center back Jelle van Damme played a long ball over the top for Emmanuel Boateng whose cross from the left was nodded inside the back post by Zardes for his fifth goal of the season.

WATCH: Zardes tallies the winner in LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win vs. Portland Timber

MNT teammate Darlington Nagbe would help pull a goal back in the 11th minute when Zarek Valentin combined with him near the top of the area on a passing sequence that set up Valentin to slot a shot inside the bottom left corner in the 41st minute.

WATCH: Nagbe provides assist for Zarek Valentin

On Friday night, both Chris Wondolowski and David Bingham were instrumental in the San Jose Earthquakes earning a 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake. Wondolowski tallied his eighth goal of the season, pinging a ball in the box home at the left post in the ninth minute. Bingham was then called in to service, making several strong saves, including a stop on Kyle Beckerman’s long-distance effort in the 15th minute, before preserving the road draw with a one-on-one save on Olmes Garcia in the 72nd.

WATCH: Chris Wondolowski scores his eighth of the season

Not to be outdone, Tim Howard made five saves in the Colorado Rapids 1-1 draw vs. FC Dallas. Howard notably made two huge stops, one in first half stoppage time when he sprawled out to paw away Walker Zimmerman’s header at the right post. Howard then helped preserve the draw when he denied Michael Barrios with point-blank kick save in the 83rd minute. Colorado remains unbeaten in the league (2-0-2) since Howard official joined the side at the beginning of July.

On Sunday, Graham Zusi returned from a hamstring strain to provide an assist on the first goal of Sporting KC’s 3-0 rout of Seattle Sounders FC in the 21st minute. Zusi lasted until the 41st minute when he was withdrawn after re-aggravating the injury, though reports suggested it wasn’t severe.

WATCH: Zusi provides assist on Dom Dwyer’s 21st minute header

Finally, Jozy Altidore continued the road back from a hamstring strain, playing the final 18 minutes of Toronto FC’s 4-1 victory against D.C. United. The appearance was Altidore’s first since picking up the injury back on May 14.

Check out a full rundown of how MNT players did for their clubs this past week:

Jozy Altidore – 18 minutes as a substitute in Toronto FC’s 4-1 win vs. D.C. United (July 23)
Ventura Alvarado – 90 minutes in Club America’s 3-0 win at Venados (July 20; Copa MX)
Paul Arriola – 23 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 3-2 defeat at Puebla (July 24)
Kyle Beckerman
– 90 minutes in Real Salt Lake’s 1-1 draw vs. San Jose Earthquakes (July 22)
David Bingham – 90 minutes, SIX SAVES in San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake (July 22)
Steve Birnbaum – 90 minutes in D.C. United’s 4-1 loss at Toronto FC (July 23)
Edgar Castillo – 90 minutes in Monterrey’s 1-0 defeat at Guadalajara (July 23)
Clint Dempsey – 90 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC’s 3-0 defeat at Sporting KC (July 24)
Brad Evans – 90 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC’s 3-0 defeat at Sporting KC (July 24)
Ethan Finlay – 31 minutes as a substitute in 2-2 draw vs. Orlando City (July 23)
Greg Garza – 42 minutes, YELLOW CARD in 3-2 defeat at Puebla (July 24)
Omar Gonzalez – 90 minutes in Pachuca’s 2-0 win at Chiapas (July 23)
Ethan Horvath - 90 minutes in Molde’s 1-0 defeat to Sarpsborg (July 23)
Tim Howard 90 minutes, FIVE SAVES in Colorado Rapids’ 1-1 draw with FC Dallas (July 23)
Jordan Morris – 8 minutes as a substitute in Seattle Sounders FC’s 4-2 defeat at LA Galaxy (July 20; USOC); 90 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC’s 3-0 defeat at Sporting KC (July 24)
Darlington Nagbe – 90 minutes, ASSIST in Portland Timbers 2-1 defeat vs. LA Galaxy (July 23)
Lee Nguyen – 88 minutes in New England Revolution’s 1-0 defeat of Chicago Fire (July 23)
Nick Rimando – 90 minutes, TWO SAVES in Real Salt Lake’s 1-1 draw vs. San Jose Earthquakes (July 22)
Chris Wondolowski – 90 minutes, GOAL in San Jose Earthquakes’ 1-1 draw at Real Salt Lake (July 22)
William Yarbrough – 90 minutes, TWO SAVES in Club Leon’s 0-0 draw vs. Necaxa (July 23)
Gyasi Zardes – 16 minutes as a substitute, TWO ASSISTS in LA Galaxy’s 4-2 win vs. Seattle Sounders FC (July 20; USOC); 90 minutes, GOAL in LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win at Portland Timbers (July 23)
Graham Zusi – 41 minutes, ASSIST in Sporting KC’s 3-0 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC (July 24)

Read more
MNT Jul 25, 2016

Olympic Rookies Ready for Golden Chance in Brazil

When head coach Jill Ellis named her roster for the 2016 Olympic Games, there were many familiar names. The team assembled to travel to Brazil is an exciting mix of veterans and up-and-coming talents, but one roster note stands out: of the 18 players named to the team, 11 will be competing in their first Olympic Games.

The group of Olympic rookies, featuring players with more than 50 caps down to those with just a few, includes: Morgan Brian, Crystal Dunn, Whitney Engen, Lindsey Horan, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Allie Long, Alyssa Naeher, Christen Press and Mallory Pugh.

“Certainly going into the World Cup, we recognized we had more of a senior roster,” Ellis said in discussing the Olympic Team selection. “Now, it’s not just having your eye on the Olympics this summer, it’s having your eye on what’s beyond that. Getting younger players experience in this world event will help down the line. I think that’s part of what you have to do in this position is always plan to continue winning world championships. It’s a great infusion of new players – a slightly different style in terms of different players and pieces and putting it all together – and that’s actually been good. It’s refreshing, as a staff, to work with different faces and try to blend them.”

Brian, Engen, Johnston, Klingenberg, Krieger, Naeher and Press were all part of the World Cup championship team in 2015, while Dunn, Horan, Long and Pugh will experience their first world championship at the senior level, although the quartet have each have represented the USA in a youth World Cup.

“Myself and other older players do have some experience from last year’s World Cup, even if this is our first Olympic Games, so we can bring that to the table,” Naeher said. “Those that have been at the Olympics before will give support to us first timers and we can reciprocate by bringing what we learned during the World Cup experience to those who are experiencing their first world championship.”

Defender Julie Johnston (left) and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher were part of a U.S. defense that pitched a convincing shutout in
the team's final pre-Olympic warm-up game, a 4-0 win vs. Costa Rica in Kansas City.

Krieger, who started every game at the 2015 Women’s World Cup at right back, was an alternate for the 2008 Olympic Team and was almost certain to make the 2012 squad when a devastating ACL injury dashed her dreams. Four years later, soon-to-be 32-year-old Krieger became the oldest first-time U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympian – a fact she embraces.

“After three tries, it’s finally happened,” Krieger said. “I’ve waited for this my entire life and I’ve trained for it my entire life. You play to be able to compete at the highest level and you dream of this when you’re young, so making it a reality is amazing. Add to that, we are playing for ourselves and for Team USA so it’s inspiring to see so many athletes be a part of this. There’s extra motivation and extra support.”

Four years ago, Klingenberg and Press were still trying to break into the team when they were named alternates for the 2012 Olympic squad. Klingenberg had just two caps at the time and Press had yet to debut.

Now, after starting every match at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and playing the most minutes (384 out of 450) of any U.S. player in the Olympic Qualifying tournament, Klingenberg is a key cog on the back line. Press has an impressive strike rate, having scored 34 goals in 70 caps since debuting at the beginning of the 2013, including her first World Cup goal that came against Australia in the tournament opener last summer.

“When Jill called me she said, ‘this call is a bit different than four years ago,’ and it was one of the best things,” Klingenberg said. “I was happy and proud in 2012 as an alternate but I wanted to be on the team and win a medal with my teammates and win a medal for the USA. So to be able to go to Brazil is special and I’m humbled and honored to represent it with this group of people. We have a great team with incredible people.”

Dunn, who was among the final 25 players vying for 2015 Women’s World Cup spots before the roster was trimmed to the 23 that represented the USA in Canada, has become a valuable part of the U.S. attack, scoring 10 goals in 2016, behind only Alex Morgan’s 11. Horan, who came back to the U.S. this year after playing professional soccer in France with Paris Saint-Germain for more than three years, has developed into a strong presence as a holding midfielder, while her club teammate and fellow midfielder Allie Long made a return to the WNT scene in April and played her way into a spot on the Olympic Team.

As for Pugh, the 18-year-old forward became the second youngest women’s soccer Olympian in U.S. history. She will be about a month older than Cindy Parlow was at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The selection put an exclamation point on an incredible debut year for Pugh, who has played in 14 of the USA’s 15 games so far in 2016 and has recorded seven assists, a team-leading mark, as well as scored three goals.

Morgan Brian (back) and Mallory Pugh (front) are the two youngest players on the USA's Olympic roster at 23- and 18-years-old, respectively.

“When [Jill Ellis] called, a bunch of emotions were going through my mind,” recalled Pugh, who is also the captain of the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team that will compete in the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea later this fall. “I was a bit in shock because I know I’ve worked hard and it’s because of my teammates on the National Team, on the U-20s and back at home that have pushed me. I appreciate that from them and I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today without them. I thought, did that really just happen? Am I going to go to the Olympics? I will not only be with amazing athletes on my team but also on Team USA. It will be so cool to see so many different athletes, find out their journeys and be inspired by them.”

To win the gold, teams will have to slog through six games in 16 days, including three group games in the span of a week. Among several other strong contenders to win the tournament, the USA is poised to make a strong run, one in which several first-time Olympians will no doubt play major roles should the Americans once again step to the top of the podium.

The U.S. WNT will kick off Group G play at the 2016 Olympic Games against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte on Aug. 3 (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo). The team then remains in Belo Horizonte to face France on Aug. 6 (4 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo) before taking off to Manaus for its final Group G game vs. Colombia (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).

Read more
WNT Jul 25, 2016

Carr Names 18-Player Roster For 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls' Championship

CHICAGO (July 25, 2016) - U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team head coach Mark Carr has named an 18-player roster that will participate in the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship.

The USA will be competing in the tournament for the first time with the competition taking place from August 9-21 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney in Orlando.

The tournament will be a capper of sorts for this two-year cycle of U-15 players before they move to the U-17’s in 2017, although there will be two more events in the fall for this group, which features players born mostly in 2001.

“I want to congratulate the whole pool of players that we’ve worked with through this cycle over the last 18 months,” said Carr. “It was not easy to narrow down the roster to 18, and that’s a credit to the depth in this age group. Moving forward, I know that the future is very bright for all of these players who are just starting their journey in our National Team programs.”

Carr chose 16 players born in 2001 and two who were born in 2002. Four players on the roster hail from Georgia, while two each come from California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas. Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois have one player each.

U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team Roster – 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Championship
Ruthie Jones (Charlotte SA; Charlotte, N.C.), Lindsey Romig (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.)
DEFENDERS (6): Talia DellaPeruta (Tophat SC; Cumming, Ga.), Tori Hansen (CASL; Raleigh, N.C.), D'awncey Jones-Black (Honolulu Bulls SC; Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Atlanta, Ga.)
Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta Ga.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Eleanor Glenn (Tophat SC; Avondale Estates, Ga.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Gabrielle Robinson (BRYSC; Springfield, Va.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Sunshine Fontes (Honolulu Bulls SC; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass.; Douglas, Mass.), Samantha Meza (Dallas Kicks; Balch Springs, Texas), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Eclipse Select SC; Buffalo Grove, Ill.)                                                                             

Twenty-two CONCACAF teams and one CONMEBOL team will participate in this year’s tournament, designed to encourage development for youth players from across the confederation while promoting competition at the international level. 

“I am very excited about the group of players we have selected to represent the USA at this tournament,” said Carr. “It’s a technical group that is very creative, unpredictable and exciting to watch. We have a good balance of different personalities that will complement each other and that will allow us to play an exciting brand of soccer. I am looking forward to seeing us improve and come together as the tournament progresses.”

The young Americans were drawn into Group A where they will face Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. All matches in the tournament will be 70 minutes with 35 minute halves.

The USA opens its tournament on Aug. 9 against Trinidad & Tobago (9 a.m. ET), before facing Mexico on Aug. 10 (9 a.m. ET), Haiti on Aug. 12 (11 a.m. ET), and the Dominican Republic on Aug. 13 (9 a.m. ET).

“It’s going to be a very intensive event with little rest time in between games, so our goal will be to maximize our performances on the field and then quickly recover and focus on the next game,” said Carr. “Because the games come quickly, it will require that every player be ready to help the team be successful.”

The teams were divided into three groups of five and two groups of four. All group winners, including the second place teams from groups A, B and C, will advance to the quarterfinals on Aug. 17. Semifinals will take place on Aug. 19 with the winners advancing to the final set for Aug. 21.

The inaugural CONCACAF tournament for this age group took place in 2014 in the Cayman Islands with Canada defeating Haiti 4-1 in penalty kicks to take the title.


Group A: United States, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Dominican Republic

Group B: Canada, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Jamaica, El Salvador

Group C: Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Santa Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Group D: Barbados, U.S. Virgin Islands, Curả«ao, Anguilla

Group E: Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas

Read more
U-15 GNT Jul 25, 2016