U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Equalizes Twice as Morgan's Brace Earns 2-2 Draw with France

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut (June 19, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan scored her first international goals in seven months as she helped FIFA’s No. 1-ranked USA overcome two deficits to earn a 2-2 draw against No. 4 France in front of 14,695 fans at Rentschler Field.

The U.S. WNT also extended its record home unbeaten streak to 84 games having posted a 74-0-10 record since Nov. 6, 2004.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Louisa Necib (penalty), 27th minute: In the sequence leading up to a penalty kick call, France’s Elodie Thomis chipped the ball over the USA defense toward the left side of the box. France playmaker Louisa Necib and USA goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a dash toward the corner of the six-yard box. Harris slid to deflect the ball away, but she was ruled to have made contact with Necib’s leg, resulting in a penalty. Necib shot down the middle as Harris guessed to her right to give France the lead. USA 0, FRA 1

USA – Alex Morgan (Allie Long), 56th minute: Alex Morgan, playing in just her second match this year, found her scoring touch and looked to be fully recovered from an ankle injury that kept her out for seventh months. Midfielder Allie Long, making just her second start, played threaded a pass to Morgan in the middle of the field. Morgan made space at the top of the penalty area and drilled a left-footed strike from 25 yards out that deflected off the inside of the left post and past France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. Morgan then jumped over the signboards behind the goal to celebrate the equalizer with the fans. It was Morgan’s first goal of the year and first goal since she recorded a brace against Canada on June 2, 2013. USA 1, FRA 1

FRA – Amandine Henry (unassisted), 68th minute: France dispossessed the USA in midfield and launched a lightning-quick attack up the middle. Ali Krieger broke things up, but her clearance wound up at the foot of Amandine Henry, who ran onto the ball a yard inside the box on the right side and fired just inside the right post past a diving Ashlyn Harris to retake the lead. The ball took a nasty deflection off a U.S. defender to wrong-foot Harris. USA 1, FRA 2

USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath), 85th minute: Second-half sub Tobin Heath took the quick throw-in from the left side to Alex Morgan and the energetic forward weaved her way through two France defenders for a right-footed shot. France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi got a foot on it, but did not do enough to prevent the ball from bouncing into the net. USA 2, FRA 2

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
FRA – Laura Georges, 7th minute: France defender Laura Georges was called upon several times in the early moments to break up the USA attack. She had an important clearance when U.S. right back Ali Krieger sprinted up the right side and crossed toward Carli Lloyd. Her redirect was trickling toward the net, but Georges got to the ball in the six-yard box to keep the USA off the score sheet.

FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 12th minute: Though it was a fairly routine save, France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi was sure-handed on Sydney Leroux’s strike from the left side. The USA’s first shot on frame had some pace on it, and Bouhaddi secured it en route to a pair of saves in the first 45 minutes.

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 75th minute: With the lead, France was in no hurry to take its set pieces, and shortly after a Necib corner kick, she got the ball back and crossed from the left side. Eugenie Le Sommer was in the area, but U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris alertly left her line and dove in front of Le Sommer for an important catch.

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 88th minute: Louisa Necib played a perfect lead pass toward Gaetane Thiney in the middle of the box giving her a one-on-one chance. Ashlyn Harris made an aggressive rush to stop Thiney’s shot but initiated a hard, yet brave collision. It took some time for Harris to recover, but the sacrifice preserved the U.S. draw.

Milestone Watch:

  • Alex Morgan scored her 45th and 46th goals, passing Julie Foudy (45 goals) for 10th on the all-time goal scoring list.
  • Heather O’Reilly moved into sole possession of seventh on the all-time caps list with her 205th appearance, passing Tiffeny Milbrett (204 caps from 1991-2005).
  • Carli Lloyd moved into a 13th-place tie in all-time caps with former U.S. WNT goalkeeper Briana Scurry with her 173rd cap.
  • With her second-half appearance, defender Christie Rampone reaches 294 caps. She is second all-time behind Kristine Lilly (352 caps from 1987-2010).

Next on the Schedule:
No future international friendly matches have been announced at this time. The USA will be looking forward to CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying, which will take place in the United States in October.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is 14-0-2 in the all-time series against France.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 8-2-2 in 2014.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis went with a starting lineup that featured Ashlyn Harris in goal as she made her first appearance of 2014 and third appearance of her career. Regular starting goalkeeper Hope Solo was unavailable due to a family commitment.
  • The back line featured two changes from the previous game against France, with Meghan Klingenberg at left back and Whitney Engen at center back. Right back Ali Krieger and center back Becky Sauerbrunn retained their starting roles.
  • The midfield trio in the 4-3-3 formation remained unchanged with Allie Long, Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holiday.
  • Carli Lloyd wore the captain’s armband.
  • The starting front three included one lineup change from the last game with Heather O’Reilly getting the nod. Sydney Leroux and Christen Press returned to the starting lineup.
  • All-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach (167 goals) was once again unavailable for selection Thursday as she returns from a knee injury that occurred during a June 1 match in National Women’s Soccer League play.
  • At the start of the second half, Ellis made her first two substitutions as Christie Rampone entered for Engen and Alex Morgan replaced O’Reilly.
  • Tobin Heath replaced Long in the 60th minute.
  • In the 79th minute, Kelley O’Hara replaced Klingenberg and Amy Rodriguez joined the attack in place of Leroux.
  • O’Reilly, Press and Sauerbrunn are the only WNT players to have appeared in all 12 matches in 2014.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 19, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 14,695
Weather: 78 degrees, humid

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

FRA- Louisa Necib (penalty)              27th minute
USA- Alex Morgan (Allie Long)          56
FRA- Amandine Henry                       68
USA- Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)      85

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 79); 15-Allie Long (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 2-Sydney Leroux (8-Amy Rodriguez, 79), 23-Christen Press
Subs Not Used: 7-Morgan Brian, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 2-Wendy Renard, 4-Laura Goerges, 24-Julie Soyer; 6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia, 14-Louisa Necib, 12- Elodie Thomis; 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (10-Camille Abily, 84), 17-Gaetane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 89)
Subs Not Used: 1-Celine Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy,  7-Viviane Asseyi, 11-Laetitia Tonazzi, 13-Pauline Crammer, 19-Marina Makanza, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Laetitia Phiippe, 22-Amel Hamraoui, 23-Kheria Hamraoui, 25-Ines Jurena
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 14
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kristen Salazar (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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WNT Jun 19, 2014

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 19, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 14,695
Weather: 78 degrees, humid

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

FRA- Louisa Necib (penalty)              27th minute
USA- Alex Morgan (Allie Long)          56
FRA- Amandine Henry                       68
USA- Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)      85

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 79); 15-Allie Long (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 2-Sydney Leroux (8-Amy Rodriguez, 79), 23-Christen Press
Subs Not Used: 7-Morgan Brian, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 2-Wendy Renard, 4-Laura Goerges, 24-Julie Soyer; 6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia, 14-Louisa Necib, 12- Elodie Thomis; 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (10-Camille Abily, 84), 17-Gaetane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 89)
Subs Not Used: 1-Celine Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy,  7-Viviane Asseyi, 11-Laetitia Tonazzi, 13-Pauline Crammer, 19-Marina Makanza, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Laetitia Phiippe, 22-Amel Hamraoui, 23-Kheria Hamraoui, 25-Ines Jurena
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 14
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kristen Salazar (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

USA to Face Paraguay, Ghana and Japan in Group D at 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Jordan

CHICAGO (May 30, 2016) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team will face Paraguay, Ghana and Japan in Group D at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, taking place at four stadiums in Jordan from Sept. 30-Oct. 21. The Final Draw took place today at the Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Jordan’s capital city of Amman.

Host Jordan, European champion Germany, defending champion Japan and Korea DPR, the 2008 U-17 Women’s World Cup winners and 2012 runners-up, earned the seeds across the four groups. In Group A, Jordan drew Spain, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B features Venezuela, Germany, Cameroon and Canada. Group C features Nigeria, Brazil, England and Korea DPR.

The U.S. plays its first Group D match against Paraguay on Oct. 1 at Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET) before facing Ghana on Oct. 4 at King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman (4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play on Oct. 8 against Japan at Amman International Stadium (7 p.m. local / Noon ET).  
  • Quote Sheet: Final Draw of U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup in Jordan

Jordan, which encompasses roughly the same square miles as the state of Indiana, will host the tournament in four venues, two in Amman, one in Irbid, which is about 60 miles north of Amman, and one in Al Zarqa, which is just 15 miles northeast of Amman. 

The 12,000-seat Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa, where the USA opens the tournament, features an artificial surface while the other three stadiums have natural grass. Amman International Stadium, which seats 13,000, will host the Third-Place Match on Oct. 20 and World Cup Final on Oct. 21. King Abdullah II International Stadium seats 12,000, as does the Al Hassan International Stadium in Irbid, the only venue the USA will not play in during group play. 

The 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will feature 16 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals. Should the U.S. advance to the second round by winning the group, it would meet a second-place team from Group C. If the USA finishes second in the group, it would face the first-place team from Group C.   

Additional Notes: 

  • The USA opens the tournament against South America third-place finisher Paraguay in what will be the second meeting between the nations in U-17 Women’s World Cup play. The two countries met in the second group match at the 2008 tournament in New Zealand with the USA prevailing 3-1 after going down a goal. It was a crucial three points as the USA lost (to Japan) and drew (with France) in its other group matches, but advanced second out of the group and made to the championship game. 
  • The meeting with Ghana will be the first between these two countries in this tournament, but second against an African team for the USA in FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup play. The USA defeated Gambia, 6-0, in group play at the 2012 tournament. Ghana qualified by defeating Morocco 10-0 on aggregate over a two-leg series to earn one of Africa’s three berths to Jordan. 
  • The Americans will finish group play against Japan, which finished second behind Korea DPR in the 2015 AFC U-16 Women's Championship. Japan won this tournament two years ago in Costa Rica, defeating Spain 2-0 in the title match. The USA and Japan met in the opening game of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with the USA falling, 3-2. The Americans rallied to make the championship game before losing 2-1 in overtime to North Korea. 
  • This will be the fifth FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, and the tournaments has been dominated by teams from Asia. North Korea won the inaugural tournament in 2008 in New Zealand, defeating the USA, and South Korea won the second installment in 2010 in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Japan in penalty kicks after an entertaining 3-3 tie through regulation and overtime. 
  • In the third U-17 WWC in 2012, France broke through, defeating North Korea in penalty kicks in the championship game, but Japan returned the trophy to Asia in 2014, defeating Spain, 2-0.
  • These will be the first matches ever by any U.S. Women’s National Team in Jordan. 
  • The USA won the 2016 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, defeating Mexico 2-1 in the championship game, but the Americans had already booked their place in the Women’s World Cup with a 5-0 victory against Canada in the semifinal. The USA out-scored its opposition 18-2 over the five matches of the tournament.  
  • The USA missed the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in penalty kicks in the semifinal of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament to Canada despite out-scoring the opposition 38-0 over five games. The USA missed the 2014 U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in penalty kicks to Mexico in semifinal of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament despite outscoring its opponents, 24-1.  

2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Groups  

Group A (Amman AIS & KAS, Irbid, Al Zarqa): 
Jordan
Spain
Mexico
New Zealand 

Group B (Irbid, Amman AIS & KAS, Al Zarqa):
Venezuela
Germany
Cameroon
Canada 

Group C (Amman KAS & AIS, Al Zarqa, Irbid):
Nigeria
Brazil
England
Korea DPR

Group D (Al Zarqa, Amman AIS & KAS, Irbid):
USA
Paraguay
Ghana
Japan  

U.S. 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Group D Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time
Oct. 1 Paraguay Prince Mohammed International Stadium; Ak Zarqa, Jordan
4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Oct. 4 Ghana King Abdullah II International Stadium; Amman, Jordan
4 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Oct. 8 Japan Amman International Stadium; Amman, Jordan
7 p.m. local / Noon ET 
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May 30, 2016

Youth Movement Continues to Impress Under Klinsmann

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann declared before the tournament that his team is built to focus on the present and to compete for the crown at the Copa America Centenario. That mission doesn't necessarily restrict the roster to a pool of old-guard veterans.

Alongside World Cup veterans like Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, Ale Bedoya and a host of others, a group of young players have earned a shot to demonstrate their talents and fight for opportunities during this summer’s big tournament.

“This is a process, and the process is never ending,” Klinsmann said following the MNT’s 4-0 win against Bolivia. “But in the first couple of years when you're a pro, it's a big learning curve. We'll take it one step at a time. We put the pieces together for this tournament the best way that we get the right results.”

If the USA’s three warm-up matches are any indication, the learning curve may be further ahead than usual. Case in point - the average age for scorers of the last eight goals this past week is a ripe 23-years-old. Remove Tim Ream’s opening goal in Puerto Rico from the equation, and the figure drops even closer to the legal drinking age.

“What is wonderful to see is just the growth of these players over the last one or two years, how they really improved their game, how they're becoming more adult, obviously stronger physically but also becoming more confident.” Klinsmann said.

Leading the charge of the youth movement are speedy attackers Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes, ages 23 and 24, respectively.


Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood celebrate Zardes' second goal, which Wood assisted, in the USA's Copa America warm-up match vs. Bolivia.

Wood scored 17 goals in Germany last season for 2. Bundesliga side Union Berlin, a record by an American-born player. As a result, he was offered and signed a four-year contract with top flight club Hamburg earlier this month.

The Irvine, Calif., native has navigated his way onto the scoresheet in all three of the MNT’s warm-up games, with a smooth goal against Puerto Rico and quality assists in the wins against Ecuador and Bolivia.

“If you just see the learning curve of Bobby, I think it's very impressive,” Klinsmann stated. “I remember a couple of comments from the media side two years ago when I brought him in for the first game in Czech Republic, and people were wondering why because he was sitting on the bench at 1860 Munich, fighting against relegation in the second Bundesliga. With a young player, they can only grow if they play. You've got to give young players the chance, the minutes, and also give them the OK that they can make mistakes. They learn out of the mistakes very quickly, and this is what Bobby did.”

In 2015, Zardes tied Claudio Reyna for the most caps in a debut year for the U.S. with 19 total. Exactly 16 months after debuting for the MNT, Zardes tallied his fourth and fifth U.S. goals last night against Bolivia, marking his first international brace.

“Gyasi is an amazing character,” Klinsmann said. “He's very, very hungry to learn. He's a great listener and he knows that if certain things are not perfect yet, he’s going to work on it every day and want to improve it.”

Thanks in part to his first international multi-goal performance, Zardes is full of pride and confidence heading into the Copa America Centenario.

“I feel ready for this tournament, and this week I have before we step on the field against Colombia, I’m going to use it to the best of my ability,” said Zardes. “I’m trying to grow in confidence. Tonight helps a ton, but at the same time you can never be satisfied, you always have to keep working.”

And keep working he must. The U.S. roster features 12 midfielders/forwards for Copa America Centenario, including additional up-and-comers in 25-year-old Darlington Nagbe and 17-year-old Christian Pulisic, who scored their first international goals in the last two games, respectively.


Christian Pulisic (center) celebrates his first international goal with Darlington Nagbe (right), who assisted the strike, and DeAndre Yedlin. 

Youth isn't limited to one end other park. The roster contains three 24-and-under defenders in DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks and Steve Birnbaum.

“I think over the next couple weeks they will definitely get their opportunities to play minutes and to leave an impression and to push more and more the established players towards the edge, which is their job,” Klinsmann said.

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MNT May 30, 2016

MNT Routs Bolivia 4-0 in Final Copa America Warm-up

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (May 28, 2016) –The U.S. Men’s National Team added a line to record books as it swept past Bolivia 4-0 at Children’s Mercy Park in its final tune-up match before this summer’s historic 2016 Copa America Centenario.

The 4-0 score line, which is the largest margin of victory in U.S. MNT history against a South American country, was highlighted by Christian Pulisic’s strike that made him the youngest goal scorer in the USA’s modern era (since 1990) at 17 years, 253 days old. Forward Gyasi Zardes notched a pair of tallies – one on either side of the break – to earn the first multi-goal game of his international career. Defender John Brooks also added to his burgeoning tally with his third goal in a U.S. shirt while also helping U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan pitch the team’s second consecutive shutout.

The MNT begins the 2016 Copa America Centenario on June 3 vs. Colombia at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (6:30 p.m. PT; FS1, Univision, UniMAS, UDN). The U.S. will then continue group play on June 7 vs. Costa Rica at Soldier Field in Chicago (7 p.m. CT; FS1, UniMAS, UDN), before facing Paraguay at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMAS, UDN).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Gyasi Zardes (Alejandro Bedoya), 26th minute:
A flowing team passing sequence allowed Alejandro Bedoya to chip a perfect pass over the Bolivia defense to the streaking Zardes. Bolivia goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra rushed out of the goalmouth and to the top of the penalty area in an attempt to cut down the angle and clear the ball away, but Zardes beat him to the ball and calmly rolled a one-touch shot into the vacated net. USA 1, BOL 0 [ WATCH]

USA – John Brooks (Alejandro Bedoya), 37th minute: U.S. captain Michael Bradley alertly picked out Bedoya from a quickly-taken U.S. set piece and the Nantes midfielder slipped past the Bolivia defense to cut a low cross through the penalty box from the right side. With the Bolivia defense caught scrambling, Brooks lost his marker and easily side-footed the ball into the left side of the goal from the top of the six-yard box. USA 2, BOL 0 [ WATCH]

USA – Gyasi Zardes (Bobby Wood), 52nd minute: Zardes began the goal sequence by recycling a U.S. possession through Bradley who switched the point of attack with a long, pinpoint pass to Bobby Wood out wide on the left. Wood beat his defender to the end line with a speedy move and just before the ball went out of bounds, sent a low cross through the six-yard box. Zardes did well to get inside position on his defender and slid to one-time a left-footed shot into the Bolivia goal. USA 3, BOL 0 [WATCH]

USA – Christian Pulisic (Darlington Nagbe), 69th minute: Nagbe seized on a loose ball on the left side and darted through the Bolivia defense with the aid of a slick one-two with Jermaine Jones before drawing the last defender to him. Pulisic was making a run on Nagbe’s right and Nagbe slid a short pass into his path. Pulisic made no mistake and pushed a hard shot past Viscarra into the lower right corner to cap the scoring. USA 4, BOL 0 [ WATCH] FINAL

Next on the Schedule: The USA commences group play at the 2016 Copa America Centenario against Colombia in the tournament’s opening match on Friday, June 3 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT and the game will be broadcast on FS1, Univision, UniMAS and UDN.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer)

Milestone Watch:

  • Clint Dempsey made his 124th international appearance, moving him ahead of DaMarcus Beasley into fifth on the MNT’s all-time caps list. He sits three back of Marcelo Balboa (127) for fourth place.
  • Christian Pulisic scored his first international goal at 17 years, 253 days, becoming the youngest goal scorer in modern era of the U.S. MNT history. Juan Agudelo previously held MNT record for youngest scorer (17 years, 359 days) when he tallied against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010.
  • Gyasi Zardes’ two goals mark the LA Galaxy forward’s first multi-goal game for his country. He now has five career goals for the USA.

Additional Notes:

  • The win marks the USA’s first victory vs. Bolivia, improving the MNT’s all-time record against La Verde to 1-4-2.
  • The four-goal margin marks the largest margin of victory for the MNT against a South American nation.
  • The MNT won all three of its Copa America warm-up matches defeating Puerto Rico 3-1, Ecuador 1-0 and Bolivia 4-0.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Bolivia
Date: May 28, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 8,894
Weather: 73 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             2          2          4
BOL                              0          0          0

USA – Gyasi Zardes (Alejandro Bedoya)                        26th minute
USA – John Brooks (Alejandro Bedoya)             37
USA – Gyasi Zardes (Bobby Wood)                   52
USA – Christian Pulisic (Darlington Nagbe)         69

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan, 14-Michael Orozco (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 46), 20-Geoff Cameron, 6-John Brooks, 5-Matt Besler (23-Fabian Johnson, 46), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Darlington Nagbe, 63), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.) (19-Graham Zusi, 73), 13-Jermaine Jones, 9-Gyasi Zardes (17-Christian Pulisic, 63), 8-Clint Dempsey (18-Chris Wondolowski, 72), 7-Bobby Wood
Subs not used:
12-Tim Howard, 22-William Yarbrough, 3-Steve Birnbaum, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 16-Perry Kitchen
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

BOL: 23-Guillermo Viscarra, 4-Diego Bejarano, 21-Ronald Eguino, 5-Nelson Cabrera, 3-Luis Gutiérrez (17-Marvin Bejarano, 68), 13-Alejandro Meleán (18-Rodrigo Ramallo, 54), 8-Martín Smedberg-Dalence (22-Edward Zenteno, 74), 20-Fernando Saucedo (15-Pedro Azogue, 46), 10-Jhasmani Campos (11-Bruno Miranda, 46), 9-Yasmani Duk (capt.); 19-Carmelo Algarañaz (14-Raúl Castro, 46)
Subs not used:
1-Carlos Lampe, 12-Rómel Quiñónez, 2-Mario Saavedra, 6-Wálter Veizaga, 7-Juan Carlos Arce, 16-Cristhian Machado
Head
Coach: Julio César Baldivieso

Stats Summary: USA / BOL
Shots: 9 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 12 / 18
Offside: 2 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
BOLJhasmani Campos (caution)              30th minute
BOL – Yasmani Duk (caution)                      76

Officials:
Referee: Elmer Bonilla (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Jose Mangandi (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Leonardo Sanchez (CUB)
4th Official: Marlon Mejia (SLV)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Gyasi Zardes

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MNT May 28, 2016

Countdown to Brazil Well Underway for WNT

While 2016 has been a busy year for the U.S. Women’s National Team – par for the course for any year hosting an Olympic Games – the USA has made the most of its eventful schedule during the run-up to the tournament and the first five months of the year can be described as highly successful. The USA is 11-0-0 in 2016, earning 10 shutouts while allowing just one goal. 

The U.S. Women kicked off its Olympic cycle with a 5-0 win against Ireland in late January and then went on to qualify for the Olympic Games while also winning two tournaments – the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, its fourth consecutive title at such event, in February; and the SheBelieves Cup in March. In April, the U.S. women played two friendly matches against Olympic Group G opponent Colombia, winning 7-0 and 3-0 with seven different players scoring the 10 goals. 

Following the games against Colombia, the U.S. WNT returned to their respective National Women’s Soccer League clubs to kick off the historic fourth season, thus maintaining their fitness and sharpening their leadership skills during the break from National Team duties. Six weeks later, they are back together in Denver, Colorado to resume preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games with a pair of matches against 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup finalist Japan, on June 2 in Denver and June 5 in Cleveland.

“It’s good to be back in camp,” said U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo. “I think what’s great is that everyone is fit because we’ve been playing games in the NWSL. Of course, there’s a couple of people who are battling injuries like Carli Lloyd but she’s coming back healthy and strong. It’s nice to see everyone feel confident because we’ve been playing, we’ve been getting minutes. I think it makes for a short, strong camp where we can get in specific work.”

After the matches against Japan, the USA will finish its Road to Rio with two Olympic Send-Off games, a meeting with South Africa for the first time in history on July 9 in Chicago, and a soon to be announced match in late July right before the team departs for Brazil.

The countdown to Brazil is ticking and there is little time left before the quest for Olympic gold begins anew. The players – who are trying to make the Olympic roster -- and staff – who are picking it -- knows this is the time when every training, every gym session and of course, every match, represents a chance to impress, improve and tweak anything that needs fine-tuning. It is important to peak at the right time and the U.S. has always proved to be adept at finding that final chemistry on the field before taking it to the big stage. This is one of the reasons why this two-game set against Japan will be an excellent test of mental and physical strength.

“We have two games against a great team,” said Solo. “I know Japan doesn’t have a lot of their well-known players but we’re all really excited to see the younger, technical side of Japan. We don’t know what they’re going to bring but it will be great, and it will be a little bit different than what we’ve seen in the past.”

The USA and Japan have a rich history dating back to 1986, but it’s the more recent meetings between the two sides that have bound these two countries together in women’s soccer history and provided a world class display of talent, emotion and gritty competition. Japan will miss out on this year’s Olympic Games after failing to qualify out of the difficult Asian Football Confederation, but that will not diminish the intensity and quality of the games we can expect to see. 

The USA and Japan have met in the last three world finals, with the USA losing the 2011 Women’s World Cup in penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie over regulation and overtime, then winning the 2012 Olympic goal medal game 2-1, and the historic 2015 Women’s World Cup Final 5-2. These will be the first meetings with Japan since the Women’s World Cup and the USA has an all-time record of 25-1-6 against the Asian nation, outscoring them 92-22.

With only four international friendly games left on the schedule before the team hops on a plane to Brazil, the U.S. WNT is aware of the importance of time and the challenges that await in Group G, where the USA will face New Zealand, France and Colombia. The USA has played all three of those opponents in the last year and is more than ready to get things started. Solo, who with 98 shutouts is only two away from becoming the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to reach the century mark, put it best:

“On our workout sheets today said 67 days to Rio. The countdown has started. Before you know it, it’s going to be here.” 

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WNT May 28, 2016

Experienced Besler Eager to Seize Historic Copa America Opportunity

The scene played out in a fashion he knew all too well, but Matt Besler took a few moments to process how it caught up to him. All of the carefully devised plans crumbled. He expected to spend last summer in the heat of a CONCACAF Gold Cup defense. Instead, he coped with the fallout of missing out on the squad entirely.

Besler felt all of the natural emotions when United States Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann left him out of his 23-man squad for the continental championship. He cycled through them as quickly as he could. His mind drifted from the frustration of the opportunity lost to the possibility of using the setback to push his way back into the frame for World Cup Qualifying and the upcoming Copa América Centenario. He pinpointed his approach as a key component in the recovery.

“I’ve seen guys miss out on teams,” Besler explained to ussoccer.com. “It happens every single year. The ones who get through it the best are the ones who handle it the right way. It was a difficult time. It was tough to do interviews like these and try to explain why you weren’t on the roster and how the team was doing and all of that stuff. But it’s part of the process. And it’s made me a stronger person.”

Most of the resolve emerged from his tried and tested qualities. His consistency with Sporting Kansas City is the reason why he assumed the club captaincy with Sporting Kansas City, claimed a MLS Cup title and pried his way into the U.S. National Team picture in the first place. It is why he emerged as a key figure during the buildup to the 2014 World Cup and started all four games in Brazil.

Those tenets formed the bedrock of his response. Besler leaned on his teammates for support and streamlined his thoughts. He quickly located the steady ground required to navigate a busy summer with Sporting KC and state his claims for a recall.

“I think I really learned a lot about how to focus,” Besler said. “A lot of times, I feel like we can get caught up in all of these different things going on around us in the big picture, but I think the best way to get through things and get through situations like that is to narrow your focus and control the things you can control. That’s the attitude I had.”

Whatever Besler did, it worked. His performances reflected his desire to prove a point and underpin his international case. Sporting KC racked up three straight wins and tromped through two rounds of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as the Gold Cup unfolded.

Those displays prompted Besler’s recall to the international fold in September and spurred his return to the starting XI for the CONCACAF Cup and the opening two matches in FIFA World Cup Qualifying. His performances justified his continued inclusion and ensured his tumultuous year ended with the proper footing.


Once Matt Besler reurned to the U.S. fold, he helped the MNT secure a clean sheet and important road point
to begin World Cup Qualifying for Russia 2018.

All of the trials and tribulations provided Besler with context as he plowed onward toward Copa América. There are few silver linings after missing out on a major tournament, but Besler frames those unfamiliar setbacks in a different light now.

“I think I’m just more experienced,” Besler said. “I think experience goes a very long way in this game. I had a lot of positive experiences, but I also had some negative ones last year as well. When you put everything together, I really felt like I grew as a player. I felt like I grew as a person as well. I think that’s just going to help me out going forward.”

It is now the foundation as Besler plans for another major tournament. The sting of last summer fades with each passing day, though it is still there in some form or another. But the opportunity ahead now – a chance to play in this one-off tournament against the top teams from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL – provides a chance to compensate for the disappointment of last summer.

As Besler ponders the challenges ahead, he recalls one of those searing memories from the trip to Brazil. It is the sort of recollection capable of informing why he cherishes the opportunity ahead.

Besler left the field in Salvador and spent time in the recesses of Arena Fonte Nova wrestling with the fallout from the round of 16 defeat to Belgium.  He said he remembered being devastated as he worked through it all in the locker room. He turned to Michael Bradley and proceeded through the twists and turns of that dramatic affair in real time. Bradley soaked it all in as Besler worked through the previous 120 minutes and wondered what might have been.

When Besler reached a stopping point, Bradley offered some insight Besler carries with him to this day. Bradley said those emotions made the tournament and tournaments like this one so special. He said they only come around every so often, they draw so much from you and then they just end.

Those words stuck with Besler even as he emerged from that haze and moved onwards in his career. They ring true now as he stands on the precipice of another major tournament after missing out on the last one. And they reveal how he plans to grasp the occasion with both hands.    

“I think the Copa America is an example of one of those once-in-a-lifetime tournaments,” Besler said. “We want to take advantage of it.”

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MNT May 28, 2016
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