U.S. Soccer

Jozy Altidore Scores Twice as U.S. MNT Defeats Nigeria 2-1 in Final Match of Send-Off Series

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (June 7, 2014) – Forward Jozy Altidore scored his first two goals of 2014 as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Nigeria 2-1 in front of a Florida-record crowd of 52,033 at EverBank Field.

With the start, goalkeeper Tim Howard became the 15th U.S. MNT player to reach 100 caps while also picking up the victory to break Kasey Keller’s all-time goalkeeper wins record for the United States.

The U.S. went 3-0-0 during the Send-Off Series and now sets its sights on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The USA will depart for South America on June 8 to begin final preparations for its Group G opener against Ghana on June 16 at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson), 31st minute: A fantastic series of passes down the right side set up Jozy Altidore to break the deadlock. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya dribbled down the right wing and spied Fabian Johnson making a darting run into the penalty area. He cut a short pass to the overlapping right back who slide a cross on the ground into the six-yard box where Altidore was unmarked for the tap-in. For Altidore, it is his first goal of 2014. USA 1, NGA 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley), 68th minute: Michael Bradley played a beautiful ball from midfield to Jozy Altidore in the left side of the penalty area. Altidore settled, cut inside to evade Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo and then fired the ball past Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama inside the near left post. His second tally of the match was his 23rd  international goal. USA 2, NGA 0 (SEE GOAL)

NGA – Victor Moses (penalty), 86th minute: With the game wide open in waning minute minutes and both teams attacking with fervor, Nigeria’s Victor Moses drew a penalty against U.S. defender Matt Besler and took the subsequent penalty kick. Moses took a slow approach on the kick before placing his right-footed shot into the lower left corner as U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard went the opposite direction. USA 2, NGA 1 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
NGA – Godfrey Oboabona, 20th minute: The U.S. spent the first 20 minutes trying to get a hold of the game, but did have some good moments on the counter attack, and one potential chance came when Clint Dempsey stole the ball at midfield and fed to DaMarcus Beasley on the left. Beasley crossed into the box, but Nigeria defender Godfrey Oboabona broke up the USA’s opportunity to keep the score level at 0-0.

NGA – Vincent Enyeama, 23rd minute: Quick touches from Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey in the midfield paved the way for Michael Bradley on the right side. After a couple touches, Bradley shot with his right from just outside the box and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made a diving save to his right, parrying the ball away for a U.S. corner kick.

USA – Tim Howard, 44th minute: Nigeria held the ball in its half for nearly the final five minutes of the first half. The closest chance came off of a corner kick from the left side as Eric Efe Ambrose rose for the header in between Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey. His low shot was driven toward Tim Howard’s feet and the U.S. goalkeeper was quick to smother just in front of the end line.

USA – Tim Howard, 83rd minute: Nigeria second-half sub Emmanuel Emenike turned and shot with his right foot just about the penalty area with eyes on the left side of the net. Tim Howard dove to his right for the stop.

Milestone Watch:

  • Correction: Tim Howard broke Kasey Keller’s wins record on Saturday against Nigeria. Howard was incorrectly named the winner of the USA’s 2-1 victory against Turkey on June 1. Though he left at halftime with the lead, second-half goalkeeper Brad Guzan was awarded the win as he was in the net while Clint Dempsey scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.
  • With Saturday’s win, Howard is 54-28-15 all-time, moving just ahead of Keller who finished his brilliant career with a record of 53-27-18. Brad Guzan is now 11-7-3 all-time following the victory against Turkey.
  • Howard is the 15th player and third goalkeeper in U.S. MNT history to reach the 100-cap mark. Howard is now tied for 13th all-time with 100 caps with Tony Meola and Joe-Max Moore.
  • With his 22nd and 23rd goals, Jozy Altidore moves into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time goal scoring list, moving ahead of Bruce Murray who had 21 goals from 1985-93.
  • Clint Dempsey played in his 105th game and is now in 10th place, one appearance behind Eric Wynalda (106 caps from 1990-2000) on the all-time list.
  • Michael Bradley now has 10 assists in his career, tying for 12th all-time with Steve Cherundolo, Chris Henderson, Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart.
  • Bradley earned his 86th cap, moving ahead of Frankie Hejduk and Bruce Murray for 20th all-time. Bradley is also one game behind 19th-place Cherundolo (87 games from 1999-2012).

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT now heads to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The USA opens Group G play against Ghana at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, June 16, at Estadio das Dunas at Natal.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and ESPN Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is 2-0-0 in the all-time series against Nigeria.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 4-1-1 in 2014.
  • The USA is 17-16-9 all-time in games based in Florida and 4-0-1 in Jacksonville.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann started a defensive that featured Tim Howard in goal and a back line featuring left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and center backs Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler.
  • Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya played side-by-side in the 4-3-2-1 formation, with Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey in front of them.
  • Striker Jozy Altidore played up top in the formation.
  • The U.S. is now 8-3-2 with Dempsey as the captain.
  • For the only time in the Send-Off Series, Klinsmann made no changes to start the second half. The USA’s first sub came in the 60th minute, when Graham Zusi entered for Bedoya.
  • With a 2-0 lead in place, Klinsmann went back to his bench in the 72nd minute with Mix Diskerud replacing Beckerman.
  • In the 75th minute, Timmy Chandler replaced Beasley at left back and in the 80th minute, Omar Gonzalez entered for Altidore.
  • Chris Wondolowski was brought in for Dempsey in the 87th minute.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: June 7, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 52,033
Weather: 83 degrees, overcast

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 1 2
NGA                       0 1 1

USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson)    31st minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley)   68
NGA – Victor Moses (penalty kick)        86

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 75); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 60), 15-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (18-Chris Wondolowski, 87), 17-Jozy Altidore (3-Omar Gonzalez, 80)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 6-John Brooks, 9-Aron Johannsson, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

NGA: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo (capt.), 5-Eric Efe Ambrose, 13-Juwon Oshaniwa, 14-Godfrey Oboabona; 10-John Obi Mikel (4-Ruben Gabriel, 46), 15-Ramon Azeez (25-Michael Uchebo, 74), 17- Ogenyi Onazi; 8-Peter Osaze Odemwingie (18-Michael Babatunde, 46), 11-Victor Moses, 23-Shola Ameobi (9-Emmanuel Emenike, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Elderson Echiejile, 6-Azubuike Emmanuel Egweukwe, 7-Musa Ahmed, 12-Kunle Odunlami, 16-Austine Ejide, 19-Uche Nwofor, 21-Agbim Chigozie, 22-Kenneth Omeruo
Head Coach: Stephen Keshi

Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Mariner (ENG)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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MNT Jun 7, 2014

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: June 7, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 52,033
Weather: 83 degrees, overcast

Scoring Summary:  1          2          F
USA                             1          1          2
NGA                            0          1          1

           

USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson)           31st minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley)           68
NGA – Victor Moses (penalty kick)                 86

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 75); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 60), 15-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (18-Chris Wondolowski, 87), 17-Jozy  Altidore (3-Omar Gonzalez, 80)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 6-John Brooks, 9-Aron Johannsson, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

NGA: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo (capt.), 5-Eric Efe Ambrose, 13-Juwon Oshaniwa, 14-Godfrey Oboabona; 10-John Obi Mikel (4-Ruben Gabriel, 46), 15-Ramon Azeez (25-Michael Uchebo, 74), 17- Ogenyi Onazi; 8-Peter Osaze Odemwingie (18-Michael Babatunde, 46), 11-Victor Moses, 23-Shola Ameobi (9-Emmanuel Emenike, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Elderson Echiejile, 6-Azubuike Emmanuel Egweukwe, 7-Musa Ahmed, 12-Kunle Odunlami, 16-Austine Ejide, 19-Uche Nwofor, 21-Agbim Chigozie, 22-Kenneth Omeruo
Head Coach: Stephen Keshi

Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)      
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Mariner (ENG)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

Klinsmann agrega a Sacha Kljestan a nómina de eliminatoria mundialista

CHICAGO (29 de agosto, 2016) -- El director técnico de la Selección Masculina de EE.UU. Jurgen Klinsmann convocó a Sacha Kljestan a la concentración de EE.UU. en preparación para los partidos de eliminatoria mundialista contra San Vicente y las Granadinas el 2 de septiembre y contra Trinidad y Tobago el 6 de septiembre.  Adicionalmente, el defensa John Brooks no se presentará en la concentración debido a problemas de espalda.

Kljestan, mediocampista de los New York Red Bulls, tiene 46 partidos y cuatro goles con la Selección masculina después de debutar en el 2007. Fue parte de la nómina preliminar de EE.UU. para la Copa Mundial de la FIFA, Kljestan lleva cinco goles y encabeza la lista de pases a gol de la MLS con 15 en 26 partidos en lo que va de la temporada de los Red Bulls.

Actualmente en segundo lugar con dos partidos aún por jugarse, la Selección de EE.UU. tiene que jugar por todo ya que no se ha definido quién del grupo avanza a la ronda final. EE.UU. primero viajará a enfrentarse a San Vicente y las Granadinas el 2 de septiembre (3:30 p.m. ET; beIN SPORTS). Cuatro días después, la U.S. MNT cierra el Grupo C contra Trinidad y Tobago en EverBank Field en Jacksonville, Fla.  (8 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMás) [BOLETOS].

NÓMINA POR POSICIÓN DE ESTADOS UNIDOS:
PORTEROS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENSAS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar González (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
DELANTEROS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

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Espanol Aug 29, 2016

Klinsmann Adds Sacha Kljestan to USA's World Cup Qualifying Roster

CHICAGO (Aug. 29, 2016) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called Sacha Kljestan into training camp ahead of U.S. World Cup Qualifying matches at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 and against Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 6. Additionally, defender John Brooks will not join the team in camp after suffering from back issues.

Kljestan, a New York Red Bulls midfielder, has earned 46 caps and scored four goals since making his MNT debut in 2007. A member of the preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he last appeared for the U.S. in a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014 in Lanarca, Cyprus. Kljestan has amassed five goals to go along with his MLS-leading 15 assists in 26 matches for the Red Bulls this season.

Sitting in second place with two games remaining, the MNT still has all to play for as advancing to the final round is still up for grabs. The U.S. travels first to face St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 in Kingstown (3:30 p.m. ET; beIN SPORTS). Four days later, the MNT closes out Group C action against Trinidad & Tobago at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (8 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas) [TICKETS].

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)

DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

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MNT Aug 29, 2016

Klinsmann Calls 26 Players for Decisive World Cup Qualifiers

CHICAGO (Aug. 28, 2016) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named 26 players to the roster that will train in advance of the decisive World Cup qualifiers of the Semifinal Round. The team begins gathering Sunday in Jacksonville.

The U.S. travels first to face St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 in (3:30 p.m. ET - beIN SPORT). Four days later, the MNT closes out Group C action against Trinidad & Tobago (8 p.m. ET – FS1, UniMas) [TICKETS].

ALL TO PLAY FOR

Heading into the last two matches, the United States sits in second place in the group on seven points, three behind T&T and one ahead of Guatemala. The MNT has its destiny in its own hands, since two wins would guarantee a spot in the Hexagonal. However, the only way the U.S. can qualify on Matchday 5 is beating St. Vincent AND Trinidad winning at home against Guatemala. Any other combination means that the matches on Sept. 6 will determine which two teams advance out of the group [STANDINGS & SCENARIOS].

CONSISTENCY FROM COPA AMERICA

After taking fourth place in Copa America Centenario this past June – tying the USA’s best finish in the tournament - Klinsmann has kept most of the group together, recalling 19 of the 23 players from the roster.

“We definitely think that the group that got fourth in the Copa America deserves a certain priority going on to the next World Cup qualifiers because they did tremendously well in the Copa America,” Klinsmann said. “It was an exciting tournament with great games. The whole group learned a lot, playing teams like Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. This is a big stage, and they deserve to come back and confirm what they did in the tournament in these upcoming, very important World Cup qualifiers. We are preparing for these two games very seriously, with a lot of urgency because we want to finish off our group in first place if possible, and this group of players gets the chance to do that.”

STRONG STRIKE FORCE

Despite the absence of Clint Dempsey due to health concerns and Gyasi Zardes due to injury, the U.S. attacking corps enters in fine form. Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore is back with a vengeance, tallying five goals in his last six matches. Bobby Wood began his Bundesliga career at Hamburg by scoring the team’s opening goal of the campaign. San Jose captain Chris Wondolowski has recorded nine goals in 21 matches, while Jordan Morris is tied at the top of Seattle Sounders FC strikers with eight goals.

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MNT Aug 28, 2016

Klinsmann Convoca a 26 Jugadores para Partidos Decisivos de la Eliminatoria Mundialista

CHICAGO (28 de agosto, 2016) -- El director técnico de la Selección Masculina de Estados Unidos Jurgen Klinsmann convocó a 26 jugadores a la nómina que entrenará antes de los importantes partidos de la Ronda Semifinal de la eliminatoria mundialista. El equipo empieza a reunirse el domingo en Jacksonville.

EE.UU. primero viajará a enfrentarse a San Vicente y las Granadinas el 2 de septiembre (3:30 p.m. ET; beIN SPORTS). Cuatro días después, la U.S. MNT cierra el Grupo C contra Trinidad y Tobago (8 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMás) [BOLETOS].

A JUGAR POR TODO
Al iniciar los últimos dos partidos, Estados Unidos se encuentra en el segundo lugar del grupo con siete puntos, tres menos que Trinidad y Tobago y uno más que Guatemala. La U.S. MNT maneja su propio destino, ya que dos victorias garantizarían un puesto en la fase Hexagonal. Sin embargo, la única manera que EE.UU. pueda clasificar en el Día de Partidos 5 es ganarle a San Vicente y que Trinidad y Tobago gane en casa contra Guatemala. Cualquiera otra combinación significa que los partidos el 6 de septiembre determinarán cuales dos equipos avanzarán fuera del grupo.

CONSISTENCIA DE LA COPA AMÉRICA
Después de tomar el cuarto lugar en la Copa América Centenario en junio -- empatando el mejor puesto de EE.UU. en el torneo -- Klinsmann ha mantenido la mayoría del grupo, convocando a 19 de los 23 jugadores de ésa nómina.

"Definitivamente pensamos que ese grupo que terminó en cuarto lugar en la Copa América merece cierta prioridad al enfrentar los próximos partidos de eliminatoria mundialista porque hicieron muy bien en la Copa América," dijo Klinsmann. "Fue un torneo emocionante con buenos partidos. Todo el grupo aprendió mucho jugando contra equipos como Colombia, Ecuador y Argentina. Éste es un escenario grande y merecen regresar y confirmar lo que hicieron en el torneo en estos próximos, y muy importantes partidos de eliminatoria. Estamos preparando para estos dos partidos muy seriamente y con mucha urgencia porque queremos terminar en primer lugar del grupo si es posible, y este grupo de jugadores tiene la oportunidad de hacer eso."

FUERZA EN EL ATAQUE
A pesar de la ausencia de Clint Dempsey debido a razones de salud y de Gyasi Zardes debido a una lesión, el cuerpo de ataque de EE.UU. llega en buena forma. El delantero del Toronto FC Jozy Altidore regresó arrasando, anotando cinco goles en sus últimos seis partidos. Bobby Wood empezó su carrera en la Bundesliga con el Hamburgo anotando el primer gol del equipo de la temporada. El capitán de San José Chris Wondolowski lleva nueve goles en 21 partidos, mientras que Jordan Morris está empatado en la cima de la lista de goleadores del Seattle Sounders FC con ocho tantos.

SALTANDO POR LAS ISLAS
Jugando contra naciones que son islas en su casa presenta más retos que lo que aparenta. Además de enfrentar a rivales determinados, hay cuestiones de viaje, clima, condiciones de campo y otras idiosincrasias que combinan para que obtener resultados sean una verdadera prueba. En la eliminatoria para las Copas Mundiales de la FIFA 2002 y 2014, partidos contra equipos del Caribe fueron hasta la raya y casi le costaron a EE.UU. un puesto en la ronda final. Para la U.S. MNT, el viaje a San Vicente empieza con varios cambios de avión. Debido a que el tamaño de la pista de aterrizaje en la isla no está lo suficientemente grande para que puedan aterrizar jets, el equipo aterrizará en Barbados y cambiará a una serie de 19 avionetas para completar el viaje. Se ocupará un avión solamente para el equipaje del equipo, la mayoría del cual se quedará en Jacksonville. El Estadio Arnos Vale de 11,000 asientos - mejor conocido como los Playing Fields - albergará el partido. Construido en 1981 como sede para el cricket, es la casa del Winward Islands Cricket Team. El estadio no tiene luces reflectoras, y de allí proviene el inicio temprano.

APOYO DE LOCAL EN JACKSONVILLE
EverBank Field y los aficionados en Jacksonville han demostrado ser excelentes anfitriones para la U.S. MNT y el equipo ha respondido de igual manera. Con un apoyo impresionante y una superficie de juego excepcional, EE.UU. ha obtenido dos victorias y anotado siete goles, cediendo solamente dos goles. En el 2012, un triplete de Landon Donovan y goles de Michael Bradley y Jermaine Jones impulsaron a EE.UU. a una victoria de 5-1 contra Escocia. En el último partido de despedida antes de la Copa Mundial de la FIFA 2014, Altidore anotó dos en la victoria de 2-1 contra Nigeria. En general, EE.UU. tiene un registro de 4-0-0 en Jacksonville que data desde 1997.

NÓMINA DE ESTADOS UNIDOS POR POSICIÓN:
ARQUEROS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENSAS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha BSC), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar González (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
DELANTEROS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

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Aug 28, 2016

Klinsmann Q&A: "Approach These Games with a lot of Urgency."

Ahead of the decisive World Cup qualifiers against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, and four days later home to Trinidad & Tobago, U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann discusses why the roster represents a continuation of Copa America and the approach to these two matches.

ussoccer.com: The roster looks a lot like the group that finished in fourth place in Copa America this summer. Are you looking to build on the success and performances from this summer?
Jurgen Klinsmann:
“We definitely think that the group that got fourth in the Copa America deserves a certain priority going on to the next World Cup qualifiers because they did tremendously well in the Copa America. It was an exciting tournament with great games. The whole group learned a lot, playing teams like Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. This is a big stage, and they deserve to come back and confirm what they did in the tournament in these upcoming, very important World Cup qualifiers. We are preparing for these two games very seriously, with a lot of urgency because we want to finish off our group in first place if possible, and this group of players gets the chance to do that.”

ussoccer.com: The job of qualifying for the final round isn’t finished, and we could be in a pressure situation for the last game against Trinidad. What is the message to the group going into this camp?
JK: “Our message for players coming into this camp for the two World Cup qualifiers is very clear: approach it with a lot of urgency. It’s not easy to go into those Caribbean countries and get the results, so it’s not going to be easy in St. Vincent on a very difficult field with heat and whatever else to get the goals as quickly as possible. We’ve got to be patient, but we have to play with urgency and determination in our approach. That’s how we are going to go and prepare for that game. Depending on the result between Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala, we will see if that takes us to a decisive game in Jacksonville against Trinidad & Tobago. We love to play in Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a very good place for the senior National Team because the games that we’ve played there before, we’ve always had tremendous support and a great crowd behind us - very loud, enthusiastic and emotional. So it will be fun to be back in Jacksonville.”

ussoccer.com: You have called in 27 players for the camp, which includes some younger faces in the larger pool. What are the reasons for having this bigger group?
JK: “Bringing in a little bit of a bigger group gives us opportunity, depending on what happens in the first game and also paralleled in the Trinidad & Tobago against Guatemala game, that we might be able to change certain things for the second game, but the priority is the group that played in Copa America. They need to get the job done in St. Vincent, and then see how we can modify little things. It also gives us a chance during a couple of days to work with a couple extra guys - younger guys - that we’ve had an eye on since quite a while, like Caleb Stanko or Rubio Rubin. They are players that are knocking at the door and are doing well in their club environment, so that’s nice to see them. Then we have the situation with the suspended players - Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco - and they are not eligible for the first game. Jermaine Jones is still struggling with his knee injury, so we will take it one day at a time with him. So having a couple extra guys is a good thing. We are going to go with only 23 players down to St. Vincent, so a few will stay behind. Hopefully we get the job done down there and then we can adjust for the second game.”

ussoccer.com: With the European seasons just getting underway and MLS and Liga MX in full swing, will that inform decisions about the rosters for these two games?
JK: “Having Liga MX and the MLS running strong in the middle of their seasons and the European-based players just starting, it’s always tricky for some players because they are not in a full run yet, but it’s always something we’ve dealt with in the past. Once players come into the National Team environment, they adjust and know how important World Cup Qualifying is and they’re going to step it up. I’m not worried about the Europeans being behind a little bit.”

ussoccer.com: We are going back to Jacksonville, which has shown great support for the National Team. What has your experience been like in Jacksonville, and how important will that support be on Sept. 6 against Trinidad?
JK: “We are thrilled to be back in Jacksonville because Jacksonville treats us super. If you look back on the past couple of years, we had two friendlies there - one against Scotland and a sendoff game for the 2014 World Cup against Nigeria with a win and a great crowd. We know that we are in good hands as Jacksonville.”

ussoccer.com: A number of MNT strikers are finding the back of the net recently. How important is it to have your strikers rounding into form coming into this camp?
JK: “What makes us optimistic going into these qualifiers is watching our strikers scoring goals. Clint Dempsey has been back scoring and we wanted to have him here, but of course his health comes first. We’re thinking of Clint and hoping that he will be okay. With our other forwards, Jozy is back scoring. Jordan Morris is doing really well. Then we’ve had the European-based players Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin starting their season right now. It looks good. Wondolowski is scoring as well, and Gyasi Zardes is also, so that’s a good thing for us. We know our strikers are hungry for goals, and hopefully they can start with that right away in St. Vincent.”

ussoccer.com: Once again there is a situation coming into September matches where several players are still being impacted by the transfer window, either with late moves or their future still in the balance. Does that have an effect when they come into camp?

JK: “Every time you go into a National Team qualifying window in early September is a bit tricky because FIFA has that rule to close the transfer window on August 31st. Player who are not transferred before August 31st, or maybe are in jeopardy on not knowing where to go, bring that kind of atmosphere into the National Team environment. So this is not ideal. We had this in the past where we had transfers done at the last moment and it was real difficult for players to focus on what is really important, meaning the game. So hopefully our players will be all set as quickly as possible over the next couple of days, knowing where their future takes them, we can focus fully on the World Cup qualifiers.”

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MNT Aug 28, 2016
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