US SoccerUS Soccer
  • DateFriday, October 10, 2014
  • VenueEast Hartford, Conn.
  • TVESPN, WatchESPN
  • Kickoff7:00 PM ET
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U.S. MNT Homecoming set for Oct. 10 Against Ecuador in East Hartford

CHICAGO (Aug. 14, 2014) – Fresh off capturing the imagination of the U.S. public with its performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, fans will have their first opportunity to welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team home when the USA hosts Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff at Rentschler Field is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET only) and at the XL Center ticket office starting Monday, Aug. 25 (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.]

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, Aug. 22, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy. We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning. The U.S. team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”

The United States holds a 2-5-4 record against Ecuador in a series dating back to 1984. Both of the USA’s victories came on U.S. soil, including a 1-0 win on March 10, 2002, in Birmingham, Alabama, that saw U.S. goalkeeper and New Jersey native Tim Howard earn his first cap and first shutout.

Led by Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups, (2002, 2006 and 2014) and just missed the South American playoff spot during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Drawn into Group E along with France, Switzerland and Honduras, La Tricolor compiled a 1-1-1 record in Brazil.

Rentschler Field has hosted big-time matches for the MNT, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group match. Brian McBride scored the game-winner in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005 , against Trinidad & Tobago in final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, then Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won its group on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States holds a 3-1-0 record at the venue.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 5-3-2 record this year.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Tim Howard’s MNT Roots Trace Back to Ecuador Shutout Win in 2002

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to host Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, marking the first home appearance post-2014 FIFA World Cup.

It is without question that goalkeeper Tim Howard was the rock star from the USA’s World Cup team, especially after recording a tournament-record 15 saves against Belgium in the knockout stage.

The upcoming USA-Ecuador matchup serves as a time capsule moment of sorts for Howard, seeing as how Ecuador was his first international opponent on March 10, 2002.

Howard earned a clean sheet during his 90-minute debut as the USA defeated Ecuador 1-0 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Howard made three saves, including a noteworthy first-half stop against Edison Mendez in the 33rd minute. The USA also had to play shorthanded for much of the second half following a Clint Mathis red card in the 58th minute.

“It was a real challenge for our players,” former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “We dealt with a lot of adversity with the red card early in the second half, but I think our team showed a lot of maturity and composure.”

Tim Howard

Howard was playing professionally for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars at the time, and the 23-year-old told the New York Times that he was honored for the opportunity.

“I was a little bit anxious at the beginning, but once I got into it, I felt very comfortable,” Howard said. “I’m very pleased that we were able to get the win, and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities. I just have to keep working hard and keep learning.”

More than 12 years later, Howard is now the USA record holder for goalkeeper wins (55), starts (103), caps (104), and is the most-capped U.S. goalkeeper in the modern era of the FIFA World Cup with eight appearances.

Prior to his MNT debut, Howard was a member of the Youth National Team system, appearing for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams, including the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Tim Howard

Klinsmann's Compliments for Altidore

The U.S. Soccer world was thrilled to see Jozy Altidore back on the field for the Men’s National Team after returning from injury, and no one more so than head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The MNT boss felt the on-field presence of the 24-year-old striker during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil would have made a huge difference. Now with a fresh start in the new cycle, Altidore will be given greater responsibility, symbolized when Klinsmann handed him the captain’s armband for the 1-0 win against Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague. According to Klinsmann, with his contributions on and off the field, Altidore looked more than ready to answer that call.

The Younger Yanks Are Coming

ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”

ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”

ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”

ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field.  I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”

Ticket Sales for USA-Ecuador on Oct. 10 Surpass 20,000

CHICAGO (Sept. 10, 2014) – Ticket sales have surpassed 20,000 for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s high-profile friendly against Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.

The match will be the final opportunity for fans to see USA forward Landon Donovan in international competition. Among those planning to see Donovan off in style will be more than 3,000 fans from organized supporter groups, led by the American Outlaws. The USA’s all-time scoring leader will retire from soccer at the end of the current Major League Soccer season.

“The game in East Hartford with the farewell to Landon Donovan is very special, so we want to give him the most exciting event possible,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Looking towards the October games against Ecuador and Honduras, we definitely look at the strongest squad possible. It’s exciting for the fans and for us. We look at bringing the players back that won in the Czech Republic, and also to mix them with the players here in MLS.”

Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET only) and at the XL Center ticket office in downtown East Hartford (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.] (TICKETS)

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

Rentschler Field has previously hosted big-time MNT matches, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group match. In the USA’s initial visit, Brian McBride scored the game-winner in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005, against Trinidad & Tobago in the final round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In the team’s most recent stop, Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won its group on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States holds a 3-1-0 record at the venue.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 6-3-2 record this year, and is coming off a 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague.

Immediately following the match in Connecticut, the U.S. Men will travel to South Florida to take on CONCACAF rival Honduras on Oct. 14 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida (TICKETS).

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