Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team weight lifting session on Wednesday, Jan. 18 in Carson, California. After a day off, the WNT was back at it with an early morning gym session to get the blood flowing and the adrenaline pumping. January Camp is in full effect as Jill Ellis continues to evaluate young players looking forward to the upcoming SheBelieves Cup in March.Read more
CHICAGO (January 19, 2017) – The U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team will participate in the Thorns Spring Invitational from March 26-April 1 in Portland, Oregon, taking on three NWSL teams at Providence Park.
The second annual four-team tournament features the U.S. U-23 WNT, Portland Thorns FC, Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash.
The tournament will consist of three doubleheaders. The USA opens against the Dash on Sunday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m. PT followed by Portland taking on Chicago at 5 p.m. PT. On Wednesday, March 29, Chicago takes on Houston at 5 p.m. PT and the USA will face the Thorns at 7:30 p.m. PT. The USA closes out the tournament against the Red Stars on Saturday, April 1 at 5 p.m. and Portland ends the tournament against Houston at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the tournament are included in Thorns FC Annual Memberships. Individual tickets, which allow entry to both matches each day, start at $8 and go on sale to the general public starting Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. (Pacific) online at www.thornsfc.com. Full tournament ticket packages, starting at $15, also will be available for purchase online.
2017 THORNS SPRING INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE – All Games at Providence Park
Sunday, March 26
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Houston Dash 2:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars 5 p.m. PT
Wednesday, March 29
Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash 5 p.m. PT
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Portland Thorns FC 7:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 1
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Chicago Red Stars 5 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash 7:30 p.m. PT
During his speech welcoming U.S. Men’s National Team players to January Camp last week, Bruce Arena mentioned he’d been through many earlier versions of the camp before. In particular, he recalled when January Camp used to occur in the lead-up to the CONCACAF Gold Cup and luckily at least one player in the room recalled what he was talking about.
“Remember that Beas?” Arena quipped to MNT defender DaMarcus Beasley as the room let out a laugh. Giving deference to the veteran’s long tenure with the National Team, Arena jokingly added, “Beasley was about 30 years old at the time.”
Actually just 18, Beasley was the youngest member of Arena’s 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad and on this date, scored his first international goal (and game-winner) in second-half stoppage time to lift the MNT past tournament guests Korea Republic 2-1.
Though it was 15 years ago, Beasley remembers it like it was yesterday.
“That’s my first one so obviously I’d never forget it,” he said.
On the play, a long throw down the right saw Landon Donovan play a quick ball into the path of Jeff Cunningham.
“I was screaming my head off for Jeff to give me a ball and he played it right in my stride,” he said. “I hit it first time and luckily it went in.”
It didn’t just go in. The half-volley powered inside the top left corner, beautifully ballooning into the net in one of the best first international strikes by any player in the MNT’s modern era.
Clinching an important three points, the goal pushed the U.S on the path to the Gold Cup title two weeks later and began the MNT’s final run towards a quarterfinal finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
With 123 caps and appearances at four different FIFA World Cups, the 34-year-old left back admitted he never thought he’d still be around the U.S. squad 15 years after scoring his first goal, but recognized the desire to continually challenge himself as what still has him in the picture.
“When you’re young you just want to play,” he said. “Every kid’s dream is to play in a World Cup and every kid’s dream is to play for the National Team. For me to start that young and get a couple caps under my belt was a dream come true, but that wasn’t enough for me at the time. I wanted to keep pushing and I think people saw that my drive and my mentality of how bad I wanted it.
“I’m still here however many years later. I’m still enjoying it and having fun.”Read more
U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Jermaine Jones has finally settled in Los Angeles. Having made his home in Southern California the past few years, Jones will get to live here full-time now after officially signing with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday.
Jones, who signed with Major League Soccer following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, spent a season and a half with the New England Revolution and last year with the Colorado Rapids before landing in LA.
“I’m happy. I think it’s been a long road,” he told ussoccer.com. “I went to New England, then to Colorado, but I think everybody who knows me knew that I always wanted to go to LA where my kids and my wife are. It’s our home now, and it’s nice that I have the opportunity to be in LA.”
As Jones joins the Galaxy, he does so after the club’s long-time boss Bruce Arena has begun to make a mark during his second tenure with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Having worked with Arena for a week now in January Camp, the 35-year-old midfielder has been impressed with what the new manager has brought to camp.
“I think from the days I’ve trained now I see that he has a lot of experience,” Jones said. “He showed that already with the Galaxy; he was already head coach for the National Team. I’m always looking forward trying to be a part of this team and doing my part. That’s working hard on the field in the sessions and hopefully getting a shot in the games.”Read more
National Soccer Hall of Famer and former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Gene Olaff passed away Tuesday night, January 17, 2017, at the age of 96.
The son of a Swedish postal worker and Scottish mother, Olaff’s early adulthood was a balancing act between his passion for the beautiful game and a knack for serving his country. He rose through the ranks of New York area semipro soccer teams, until he was signed by Brooklyn Hispano at the start of the 1941-42 American Soccer League season. With Brooklyn Hispano, he made his mark on the soccer world, winning the ASL championship in 1943 and back-to-back U.S. Open Cups in 1943 and 1944, all while serving in the U.S. Navy.
Olaff registered one cap with the U.S. National Team in a 4-0 loss to Scotland on June 19, 1949. He also played in an unofficial game for the U.S. in 1948 against Israel. His cap number does not tell the whole story however, as the United States did not play any matches between 1937 and 1947 due to World War II. He could have been a member of the U.S. team at the 1950 World Cup but was forced to decline the invitation in order to prioritize his career as a policeman.
Olaff retired as a player in 1953 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1971. He later became the commander of the New Jersey State Police in 1975 and served as the dean of the National Soccer Hall of Fame until his passing.Read more