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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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Across the Academy – Oct. 29, 2014

ACADEMY/YNT SPOTLIGHT:
Academy Coaches Soak in U-17 MNT Methodology: The Southeast region of the Development Academy had the invaluable opportunity to spend a full day with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team and head coach Richie Williams. The connection from the Academy to the Youth National Team system and senior National Team is a continual point of emphasis, and the response for this opportunity was strong. There were 42 coaches and scouts on hand, representing nearly every Academy club in that region.

U-14 Academy Regionals: Central Players Get Taste of Elite Environment: The Development Academy’s U-14 Central Regional event wrapped up Oct. 26 at Grand Sports Park in Westfield, Indiana, providing a highly competitive environment for the players and teams on hand. ussoccer.com had the opportunity to speak with Sockers FC’s Tim Bielic and the Chicago Fire’s Nick Fernandez on the event, as well as their experience at the preceding U.S. U-14 Boys’ National Team camp. Two more regional showcases are on the horizon, with the East Regional from Nov. 8-9 in Advance, North Carolina, and the West Regional from Nov. 15-16 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California.

Window Closing for Full-Time Player Adds: A reminder to all Academy clubs: This Friday, Oct. 31, is the last day to add any full-time players before this first window ends. Please send all requests to Nery Amaya at namaya@ussoccer.org.

For the latest Development Academy news, follow us on Twitter @ussoccer_acad and Instagram, or like us on Facebook. Share your Academy news, comments, photos, links and more using the #OpportunityKnocks hashtag.

ACADEMY QUICK HITS (Weekend of Oct. 25-26):

  • West Conference: The San Jose Earthquakes swept its set against Northwest Division rival Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday. San Jose’s Theo Huxham scored two goals – one in each half – to lead the U-16 team to a 2-0 victory to help the team improve to 5-1-1 on the season. The Earthquakes U-18s moved to 6-0-1 with a 2-1 win against Seattle. Yousef Diyab scored two goals in the opening 20 minutes and held on for the win despite a 90th-minute Sounders goal from Sean Bowman.
  • Central Conference: In the Frontier Division, the Dallas Texans U-16 team moved into second place with a 1-0 victory against the third-place Colorado Rush on Sunday. Malik Key scored the game’s only goal in the fifth minute. He now has four goals this season, tying for the team lead with Jesus Varela. Both plays scored a goal during Saturday’s 3-2 win against Real Colorado. The Texans have now won three straight to move to 6-1-0 (2.57 points per game).
  • East Conference: In a crossover matchup, the Northeast Division’s Oakwood Soccer Club had a standout performance at both the U-16 and U-18 age groups, earning identical 3-1 victories against Atlantic Division side D.C. United on Sunday. Brandon Garland recorded a brace and Simon Becher added a goal to lead the U-16s, who have now won back-to-back games after recording one win in its first seven matches. DeAndre Brown’s two second-half goals led Oakwood’s U-18s past D.C. United. Danny Griffin contributed a first-half tally for the U-18 team (5-2-2, 1.89 points per game).

Stat of the Week: The Academy U-14 Central Regional event included 39 games and featured 97 goals and 10 draws.


Academy Honors:

  • Academy Player of the Week: Oakwood’s Brandon Garland earned Academy Player of the Week after posting two goals in each of his team’s victories against Richmond United and D.C. United over the Oct. 25-26 weekend. He now leads Oakwood’s U-16 squad with five goals this season.
  • Academy Referee of the Week: Matt Printup, a Grade 7 referee from Minnesota, was named Referee of the Week for his work during the U-18 match between the Minnesota Thunder Academy and Crew Soccer Academy. Printup has been working Academy matches since 2012, and also has experience in the North American Soccer League and PDL.

For all Development Academy results, standings and more, visit academy.demosphere.com or click on the following links:

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Academy Alumni: Pfeffer Notches First MLS Goal: Philadelphia Union midfielder and FC DELCO alum Zach Pfeffer scored his first Major League Soccer goal during the Union’s finale on Sunday against the Columbus Crew. Pfeffer, the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s leading goal scorer in international competition, made five MLS appearances after spending 2013 on loan at Hoffenheim. Elsewhere, Internationals alum and Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe scored his first goal of the 2014 season to lead Portland to a 2-0 win against FC Dallas.

UPCOMING ACADEMY SCHEDULE:

  • The Nov. 1-2 Academy weekend, the ninth of the 2014-15 season, features 123 games – 47 at the U-14 age group and a combined 76 games at the U-16 and U-18 age groups.
  • 2014-15 Academy Schedule page

OTHER LINKS:

Development Academy U-14 Central Regional Showcase Highlights

Watch highlights from the first of three regional showcases in the Development Academy’s U-14 age group. Teams from the central region showcased their talents Oct. 25-26 at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.

Academy Coaches Soak in U-17 MNT Program’s Methodology

The Southeast region of the Development Academy has the advantage of being located close to the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

The connection from the Academy to the Youth National Team system and senior National Team is a continual point of emphasis, so for Academy coaches and scouts, it was an invaluable opportunity to spend a full day recently with the U-17 MNT and head coach Richie Williams. They had the chance to see firsthand how their program works.

U.S. Soccer Technical Advisor Juan Carlos Michia, who regularly scouts players and teams in the Academy’s Southeast Division, invited a group of coaches and scouts to take part in the event, and the response was strong. There were 42 coaches on hand from the Southeast, with nearly every Academy club represented.

The morning included a meeting with Michia, an introduction by Williams, and then the opportunity to watch a full training session, from the warm-up process to specific goalkeeping session work led by U-17 assistant coach Anthony Latronica.

The coaches had multiple meetings, including an afternoon presentation by Williams focusing on style of play, training sessions and scheduling.

Academy coaches and scouts also had an open conversation about systems and high-level training environments, as well as video analysis from previous U-17 MNT games.

“It was a very good experience, and I received some great response from many of the coaches who spent the day with the U-17 National Team,” Michia said. “Richie Williams and his staff did a tremendous job and were open with sharing the U-17 program’s system and methodology. It’s something that many of the coaches want to be a part of again in the future.”

Juan Carlos Michia

U-14 Academy Regionals: Central Players Get Taste of Elite Environment

The first of three regional showcases in the Development Academy’s U-14 age group wrapped up Oct. 26 at Grand Sports Park in Westfield, Indiana.

Among the Academy’s Central region teams, Chicago-area Sockers FC and Michigan-based Vardar each had a perfect 3-0-0 showing.

Sockers FC had a 3-0-0 showing at the showcase. On Saturday, Sockers opened with a 3-2 win against Solar Chelsea and a 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo. Sockers FC capped off the regional with a 6-3 victory against Sporting Kansas City.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Abby Wambach up for FIFA Year-End Awards

CHICAGO (Oct. 28, 2014) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been named to the 10-man shortlist for FIFA World Coach of the Year.

The three finalists for the award will be announced on Dec. 1, and the winner will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or in Zurich on Jan. 12, 2015.

Klinsmann led the USA through the “Group of Death” at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The USA earned a victory against Ghana and a draw against Portugal to join fellow Group G side Germany in the Round of 16. Germany went on to win the tournament.

Overall, Klinsmann has a 33-13-11 record since becoming the 35th coach in the history of the U.S. MNT on July 29, 2011. Klinsmann is third on the U.S. MNT’s all-time coaching wins list. This year, Klinsmann and the USA have posted a 6-3-4 record.

Klinsmann has guided the USA to a current 17-game home unbeaten streak (16-0-1) and also led the team to a record-setting 13 straight wins at home from June 2, 2013, to Feb. 1, 2014.

As a player, the former Germany striker was voted third for FIFA World Player of the Year in 1995.

Abby Wambach

On Friday, FIFA announced its shortlist for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. USA forward Abby Wambach, the 2012 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, is one of 10 players in contention for this year’s honor.

FIFA World Coach of the Year Shortlist:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus/Italy national team), Pep Guardiola (Spain/Bayern Munich), Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany/USA national team), Joachim Loew (Germany/Germany national team), Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea), Manuel Pellegrini (Chile/Manchester City), Alejandro Sabella (Argentina/Argentina national team), Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid), Louis van Gaal (Netherlands/Netherlands national team/Manchester United)

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Shortlist:
Nadine Angerer (Germany), Veronica Boquete (Spain), Nilla Fischer (Sweden), Nahomi Kawasumi (Japan), Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil), Aya Miyama (Japan), Louisa Necib (France), Lotta Schelin (Sweden), Abby Wambach (USA)

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