U.S. Soccer

USA Begins 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with 5-0 Win vs. Jamaica

PANAMA CITY, Panama (April 23, 2017) - The U.S. U-17 Men's National Team scored a resounding opening win at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championsip, pulling away from Jamaica in the second half to record a 5-0 victory thanks to goals from Chris Durkin, Tim Weah, Josh Sargent and a brace from Ayo Akinola. A full Match Report will be available shortly. 

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U-17 MNT Apr 23, 2017

USA Opens 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship vs. Jamaica | 1:30pm ET

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team kicks off the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship on April 23 against Jamaica at Estadio Maracaná de Panamá in Panama City, Panama. The match can be seen via livestream on the official CONCACAF Facebook page at 1:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-17 MNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos (Benfica; Philadelphia, Pa.), Justin Garces (Kendall SC; Miami, Fla.)

DEFENDERS (5): Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.), James Sands (New York City FC; Rye, N.Y.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.), Akil Watts (IMG Academy; Fort Wayne, Ind.)

MIDFIELDERS (7): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Taylor Booth (Real Salt Lake AZ; Eden, Utah), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Atlanta United FC; Locust Grove, Ga.), Indiana Vassilev (IMG Academy; Savannah, Ga.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.)

FORWARDS (6): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ont.), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Atlanta United FC; Clarkston, Ga.), Bryan Reynolds, Jr. (FC Dallas; Little Elm, Texas), Joshua Sargent (Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.) Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; Rosedale, N.Y.)

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U-17 MNT Apr 23, 2017

GALLERY: Through the Years with Kyle Beckerman on his 35th Birthday

Still going strong with Real Salt Lake, central midfield terrier Kyle Beckerman celebrates a milestone 35th birthday on Sunday. Known for his iconic dreadlocks and tireless work effort in the middle of the park, Beckerman has been in the U.S. Soccer consciousness since manning the midfield for the U-17 MNT in their fourth-place finish at the 1999 World Championships in New Zealand.

Half a lifetime later, we take a photographic look at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup champion and key piece of the USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad.

Long before his dreads, future MNT midfielder Kyle Beckerman showed he had style…  

Young Kyle Beckerman Suit

Growing up in Bowie, Md., Beckerman began playing club soccer with the Bowie Bulldogs.

Outside of games and organized training sessions, he would often come home from school and leave notes for his parents telling them he was out playing pick-up games, signing them as “Kyle Beckerman, USA #15” because as he says, “That’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a National Team player. I made up my mind back then.”

As he progressed in his club career, he continued to wear No. 15 for the Laurel Wildcats…

Kyle Beckerman Laurel Wildcats

…before working his way through the Olympic Development Program to be a part of the inaugural U-17 MNT Residency Class in 1999. 

Beckerman joined the likes of Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu and Bobby Convey in the U-17 MNT program in Bradenton, Fla., qualifying for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Once in New Zealand, Beckerman appeared in each of the team’s six matches and even tallied the game-winning goal in the USA’s 3-2 Quarterfinal victory against Mexico. 

Painstakingly, the U.S. fell to Australia 7-6 on penalty kicks in the Semifinal before dropping a 2-0 result to Ghana in the Third-Place Match. 

After leaving Residency and graduating high school, Beckerman signed with the M.L.S. in 2000 and was allocated to the Miami Fusion. The 18-year-old scored his first professional goal in only his second match, tallying in a 6-2 win against D.C. United on Sept. 9, but would only play five total games for the club in two seasons.

Due to his limited playing time, we don’t have a photo of Kyle’s time in Miami. After the decision was made to contract the franchise in early 2002, Beckerman was chosen by the Colorado Rapids in that year’s M.L.S. Dispersal Draft. 

Beckerman found his professional footing in Denver, growing into a consistent contributor by 2003 and a feared force in central midfield during the next few years. Mostly out of the National Team picture during that time, he came back into the spotlight in January 2007, earning his first U.S. Men’s National Team cap as he replaced Rapids teammate Pablo Mastroeni in the MNT’s 3-1 friendly win against Denmark.

Kyle Beckerman's first U.S. Men's National Team cap on January 20, 2007 vs. Denmark

Bob Bradley then summoned Beckerman for that summer’s Copa America in Venezuela, where he made appearances in a 4-1 defeat to Argentina and 1-0 loss against Colombia.

A week after the tournament, Beckerman returned stateside to find he’d been traded to Real Salt Lake. The 2005 expansion club had struggled mightily through its first two-and-a-half seasons, but new head coach Jason Kreis sought out the 25-year-old midfielder as a significant piece in his project to rebuild from the first few years.

The following season, RSL sneaked into the M.L.S. Cup Playoffs where they fell 1-0 to New York Red Bulls in the Western Conference Final. 

Beckerman’s play that season led to his first extended run with the MNT, as called on the midfielder for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Appearing in all six matches, Beckerman scored his first and only international goal, a beautiful half-volley to equalize in the 49th minute of the USA’s 2-1 extra time win vs. Panama in the Quarterfinals. 

Fresh off his run in the Gold Cup, Beckerman received his first World Cup Qualifying appearance that September before leading RSL to an incredible turnaround that fall as they stunned Columbus Crew SC, Chicago Fire and eventually the LA Galaxy to hoist the 2009 M.L.S. Cup. 

Beckerman received scant call-ups the next 18 months, at one point admitting, “For a while, the National Team was really done for me, and I didn’t think it was going to come back.”

Nearly two years after lifting M.L.S. Cup, Beckerman returned in 2011 and began to grasp a regular role with the U.S. MNT. 

In 2012, he was part of the U.S. side that earned an historic 1-0 friendly win against Mexico at Estadio Azteca…

And the following year even captained the U.S. for the first time in a January Camp friendly against Canada.

That summer, he took part in his second CONCACAF Gold Cup…

…where he played in five of six matches as the U.S. won its fifth confederation championship.

Beckerman also stepped in for the injured Michael Bradley as the U.S. clinched qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 2-0 win against Mexico on Sept. 10, 2013 in Columbus.

Fifteen years after first representing the U.S. at the U-17 World Cup in New Zealand, Beckerman earned a place on the MNT roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

And just as he signed each note he left for his parents, he wore the No. 15 shirt for the U.S. in Brazil.

Appearing in all three of the USA’s Group Stage matches, Beckerman put in workman-like performances doing what he’d always done – gumming up the works for passes through midfield while continually frustrating opponent’s star attackers.

Though the U.S. fell 1-0 to World Cup champions Germany in their final group game, Beckerman earned Man of the Match honors as the MNT advanced to the Knockout Round. 

Since the World Cup, Beckerman continued to help the U.S. Men’s National Team both in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying…

… at the 2016 Copa America Centenario…

…and has continued to do his thing for Real Salt Lake.

In 2016, he moved past Brad Davis for most appearances by a field player in M.L.S. history. As of writing, his 412 M.L.S. appearances place him third all-time behind only goalkeepers Kevin Hartman (416) and RSL and MNT teammate Nick Rimando (430). 

Anyway, here’s to you Kyle Beckerman. Have a great 35th birthday.

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MNT Apr 23, 2017

Five Things to Know About Jamaica U-17 MNT

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team opens the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship against Jamaica on Sunday, April 23 at Estadio Maracaná de Panama in Panama City, Panama. The game can be seen live at 1:30 p.m. ET on the official CONCACAF Facebook page.

Here’s what you should know about Sunday’s opponents:

What’s in a (nick)name?

Jamaica has one of the most interesting nicknames in world soccer, with the country’s national teams referred to as the Reggae Boyz in recognition of the popular genre of music that originated on the island in the 1960s.

How they got here

Jamaica makes their 13th appearance in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship after finishing third in the 2016 Caribbean Football Union Men’s U-17 Tournament. The Reggae Boyz produced Group Stage wins against Guyana (4-1), Antigua and Barbuda (3-1) and U.S. Virgin Island to advance to the Final Round. There they defeated Bermuda 6-2, drew 0-0 with Haiti and bested Trinidad & Tobago 3-2 to advance to qualify for the tournament and advance to the Semifinals. There, they fell 1-0 to Cuba, before rebounding with a 3-0 victory against Curaçao in the Third-Place Match.

CONCACAF U-17 Championship History

In the 17 CONCACAF tournaments from 1983 to 2015, the Reggae Boyz have taken part in 12 and qualified twice in 1999 and 2011.

In 1999, Jamaica hosted and finished atop Group A, collecting wins against Honduras and Costa Rica before tying the USA to secure their top spot and qualify for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand.

In 2011, Jamaica drew with Trinidad & Tobago and defeated Guatemala to advance to the Knockout Round where they defeated Honduras 2-1 to book their place at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. 

Jamaica Roster

The two organizations with the largest representation of players on the Jamaican roster are Clarendon College and Kingston College (2 each). These four players, along with 11 other players, are all based out of Jamaica. Four players are based in the USA and one player joins the side unattached to any school or club.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Tajay Griffi (Wolmers Boys/JAM); Daniel Russel (Manchester High/JAM)
DEFENDERS (9): Calwayne Alle (St James High/JAM); Kendall Edward (Atlanta United FC/USA); Kimani Gibbon (St Jago High/JAM); Akeem Mullin (Vauxhall High Sch./JAM); Damani Ose (Cosby High/USA); Casseam Priest (Kingston College/JAM); Shane Ricket (Little London High/JAM); Richard Thomps (Herbert Technical/JAM); Jamoi Tope (Camperdown High/JAM)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Coby Atkins (American Heritage/USA); Renato Campbe (Kingston College/JAM); Jermaine Lyon (Denham Town High/JAM); Kaheem Parris (Dinthill Technical/JAM); Jeremy Verley (Milton Academy/USA); Blake White (Unattached)
FORWARDS (3): Nicque Dale (Clarendon College/JAM); Ricardo McInto (Clarendon College/JAM); Raewin Senior (Excelsior High/JAM)

Playing in the USA

Defenders Damani Ose and Kendall Edward, and midfielders Coby Atkins and Jeremy Verley all currently play soccer in the United States. Verley gained notoriety in July of 2016 when the midfielder left Jamaican club Harbour View F.C. after receiving a scholarship to attend Milton Academy in Boston, Mass., for his three remaining years of high school.

Edward is also a notable Reggae Boy playing in the USA as the defender currently plays in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Atlanta United’s U-15/16 side.

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U-17 MNT Apr 22, 2017

U.S. Soccer Organizations Join Forces to Advance Head-Injury Discussion

The topic of head injuries is a complex one, even for the top professionals and leaders in the medical field. Progress has been made in recent years with regards to identifying concussions and other head injuries, but everyone agrees there is still work to be done. 
This weekend, US Soccer, Major League Soccer, and the National Women’s Soccer League officially joined forces in an attempt to accelerate that work. The three entities opened the Head Injury in Soccer: From Science to the Field summit on Friday in New York, bringing together coaches, players, medical experts, and other officials from all levels of soccer in North America.
Concussions are the focal point of the conference, including how to identify when a player has one, how to treat the injury, and how to limit the risk of suffering one.
“MLS, U.S. Soccer and the NWSL have brought together some of the leading professionals on head injury management and prevention to share their research and take a proactive approach at this issue,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “But this is not just about sport. This is about society, this is about the health of athletes and those who deal with head injuries in everyday life.”
The recent increase in research into head injuries in sports has clearly raised awareness and instigated new, proactive initiatives, including the establishment of MLS’s concussion protocol in 2011 and the U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative in 2016. Now the sport’s leadership in the US hopes to drive the discussion forward.

However, fully understanding such a complex injury will require patience, medical experts caution.

“There’s still so much to learn about the injury,” U.S. Soccer Chief medical officer Dr. George Chiampas told MLSsoccer.com. “Applying one way or one mechanism of managing it, for example, in the professional [ranks], may not necessarily be applicable across the board for the youth.

“Regardless, we still have to find ways to make sure that at the end, any player who plays the game who has a concussion or a suspected concussion is managed appropriately. If that management is handled appropriately and the individual is taken care of, obviously, their ability to return to sport and the game they love is going to be a positive outcome.”

For Garber, finding answers to the litany of questions about head injuries in soccer will be an ongoing quest.

“As the leader of the men’s first division league, the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of concussions in soccer, along with the education of players, stakeholders and the community, has always been a mandate for us,” he said.   “But also as a citizen of the world and as somebody that thinks about how we try to use sport to improve the lives of people that live in our society, I believe we can use all of our connections, with sponsors and broadcasters, and the influence that we have on society to raise awareness of these issues that go way beyond sport.

 “This summit is just the beginning.”

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Apr 22, 2017