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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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A glimpse at the U.S. WNT's fifth day of training in Portugal ahead of the annual Algarve Cup. The USA takes on Norway on March 4 in its opening Group B match. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and will also be available on FOX Sports Go. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer's coverage on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt,@ussoccer_esp and Instagram @ussoccer_wnt.

U-23 WNT Defeats Norway 2-0 at La Manga Tournament

CHICAGO (Feb, 28, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team made it two wins in a row at the Six Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, defeating its counterpart from Norway, 2-0, on goals from forward Shea Groom and midfielder Danielle Colaprico. 

The USA out-shot Norway 16-2, but didn’t get on the board until a few minutes before halftime. Midfielder Samantha Mewis, the only player on the U.S. roster with senior WNT caps, played a pass into Groom near the left side of the penalty box. Groom took a long touch inside to beat the defender and finished hard inside the near post. 

Groom, a second round pick by FC Kansas City in the 2015 NWSL Draft, turned provider on the insurance goal. In the 70th minute she got to the end line and played a pass back across the face of the goal. Boston Breakers fourth-round draft pick Stephanie Verdoia made a perfect dummy run and the ball rolled to Colaprico, a Chicago Red Stars first-round pick, who finished from the top of the six-yard box. Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell picked up the shutout for the USA. 

The USA was coming off a 1-0 victory against Japan on Feb. 26 and will try to make it a three-game sweep at this friendly tournament against England on March 2. After Mewis captained the side against Japan, defender Emily Sonnet wore the armband against Norway. 

The 22-player U.S. squad features 14 professional players, including 13 who were taken in the recent 2015 NWSL Draft. The only one-year pro is Chicago Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo. 

- U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team vs. Norway U-23 Women’s National Team
Date: February 28, 2015
Competition: Six Nations Tournament
Venue: La Manga Football Centre; La Manga, Spain 

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F                                             
USA                              1          1          2
NOR                             0          0          0 

USA - Shea Groom (Samantha Mewis)               42nd minute
USA - Danielle Colaprico (Shea Groom)             70 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jane Campbell; 17-Andi Sullivan, 13-Emily Sonnett (capt.), 23-Kristin Grubka, 4-Caprice Dydasco (7-Jaelene Hinkle, 46); 9-Rose Lavelle (16-Daphne Corboz, 78), 21-Lo’eau LoBonta, 14-Samantha Mewis (2-Danielle Colaprico, 46); 6-Shea Groom, 10-Stephanie Verdoia, 5-Makenzy Doniak (19-Cheyna Williams, 65)
Subs not used: 3-Vanessa DiBernardo, 8-Sarah Killion, 11-Stephanie McCaffrey, 15-Cari Roccaro, 18-Abby Smith, 20-Lynn Williams, 25-Abby Dahlkemper
Head Coach: Steve Swanson 

NOR: 1-Nora Neset Gjoen, 2-Cecilie Redisch Kvamme, 4-Stine Pettersen Reinas, 15-Maria Thorisdottir, 5-Nora Byon-Nilssen, 17-Maria Dybwad Brochmann (6-Tonje Pedersen, 61), 16-Anja Sonstevold, 10-Andrine Stolsmo Hegerberg, 7-Victoria Ludvigsen, 9-Melissa Bjanesoy, 8-Guro Reiten (19-Lisa Fjellstad Naalsund, 46)
Subs not used: 3-Ane Sund Walsoe, 11-Synne Skinnes Hansen, 12-Hilde Gunn Olsen, 13-Mali Lilleas Naess, 14-Ingrid Ostervold Stenevik, 18-Therese Asland, 12-Anniken Jerre 

Stats Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 16 / 2
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside:  1 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: J. Lavrenovaite
Assistant Referee 1: I. Siliuniene
Assistant Referee 2: V. Skiptitene

Quote Sheet: U-17 MNT Excited by Big Win in Opening game of 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship Quote Sheet
USA 5, CUBA 0
Feb. 27, 2015

U-17 MNT head coach RICHIE WILLIAMS
On the 5-0 victory to begin the Under-17 Championship:
"It was a good start for the team. Obviously it was important to come in and start off on the right foot, get three points and score some goals. So I thought it was a solid showing today against a Cuba team that is difficult and makes it hard on you, and I thought at times were physical and defended well. So it was difficult at times but I thought the guys did a great job.”

On being considered a favorite to win the Championship:
"You’re always happy with a win, no matter what. The objective is to go out and win. Again, we want to take one game at a time. Trinidad is next and we have to focus on Trinidad, who’s going to be a good opponent. Again we take one game at a time. We have to get the results, play well, and then hopefully we’ll continue that one game after another and into the final on the last day of the tournament.”

On how the team dealt with the climate:
“We were fine. We train full time in Florida so we also have a lot of heat in Florida - we trained the last year and half in Florida. We felt fine. The guys came through the game with no issues. We have a strong squad of 20 players that we trust that will be able to come in and play for us at certain times and do well for us if need be.”

On the play of Joe Gallardoin his first major competition after coming back from a broken leg in August 2014:
“It’s great to see Joe back from his injury. Joe’s a good goal scorer – he was proving it up until his injury. Now he’s back, and obviously got three goals tonight. He worked extremely hard, he played well and he was rewarded with his three goals. I believe that he’ll continue to do that throughout the tournament. Again it’s great for him to be able to recover from the injury and to be back with this team.”

On if he expects the coming games will be more difficult:
“Anybody in international soccer can beat anybody. So we’re not going to relax and take any team for granted. We respect all the teams; they’re all competitive and we don’t feel that there’s going to be any easy game. We have to show up and make sure that we play well offensively and defensively and have good team outings.”

U.S. U-17 MNT midfielder CHRISTIAN PULISIC
On starting the tournament with a 5-0 victory:
"It was great. We played really hard right from the start and got that early goal, which really helped us. After that we didn’t hold back. All the guys did their job and played really well. We kept a clean sheet and we’re all happy and looking forward to the next game.”

On turning corner kick drills into an early goal:
“It’s awesome. To practice that with Richie showing us the plays we’d like to do, and just being able to execute is really important. So it was really good to get that first goal like that.”

On having two goals called back early on:
“We weren’t worried. Things like that happen. We just had to keep pushing and we knew they’d (goals) come.”

U.S. U-17 MNT midfielder ALEJANDRO ZENDEJAS

On starting the tournament off with a convincing win:
"It’s definitely exciting. Of course we still want to look at the good things we did and the things we can do better. But I think we’re all very happy to start off with a win. And now we’re just ready for the next game.”

On getting an early goal and being able to add to the lead:
“It was great, but we knew we still had to keep our composure and keep playing, keep scoring. And obviously we were able to do that.”

On how his goal came about:
“Josh (Perez) sent a ball from the left side and Haji (Wright) tried to play it back. It was kind of bouncing around. Joe (Gallardo) laid it off and I just hit it first time. We’ve practiced finishing a lot, and it paid off, so I’m happy.”

U.S. U-17 MNT forward JOE GALLARDO
On scoring three goals in the win to start the tournament:
"I’m happy I got the hat trick, but more happy that we got the win as team. We played really well and I’m just happy for the victory today.”

On how he scored the first goal:
“As coach always tells me, run to the first post, and that’s what I did. I saw a clear path for Christian, he got it across and I was able to tap it in.”

On returning to the form he had prior to his injury:
“I’m just happy that I’m back to how I used to play. I’m thankful to God that he gave me the strength and perfect mindset to come back and play really well.”

Photo Gallery: U-17 MNT Off to Flying Start at 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship

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U-17 MNT vs. Cuba: Highlights - Feb. 27, 2015

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