Injuries are a part of soccer, as is the road back from them. It can be a dark path, at times nearly devastating, but those with the focus, strength and fortitude can come out better on the other side.
As the European seasons emerge from the summer slumber, three young MNT players - Terrence Boyd, Josh Gatt and Joe Gyau – finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
All aged 25 and younger and all having shown glimpses of promise for both and country, each has experienced long-term injury setbacks during the past few years.
As U.S. Men’s National Team fitness coach Masa Sakihana and scout Matthias Hamann discovered on their recent visit abroad, there is good news to report. The trio are all on the cusp of contributing to their clubs once again and when they do it can restart their journey to a place on the international stage.
With 13 caps, Boyd is the most experienced of the group. Following a summer in 2014 where he made the preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and earned a transfer from Rapid Vienna to RB Leipzig, the MNT forward was just getting his feet wet in the Second Bundesliga before suffering an ACL injury towards the end of the year. Already a long road to recovery, Boyd experienced a setback when he had to have a cyst removed from his knee last October.
Coming up on two years after last playing a competitive match, Boyd seems ready to get back into the swing of things for the newly promoted Bundesliga side. The 25-year-old forward has been active for RB Leipzig, appearing in every match and scoring twice during the club’s preseason campaign.
After entrenching himself in the lineup at Norwegian side Molde, Michigan-native Josh Gatt was handed his MNT debut by Jurgen Klinsmann in the MNT’s 2-2 friendly draw at Russia in November 2012. Gatt continued his form in Norway and was slated to earn a spot on the MNT’s 2013 Gold Cup roster, but tore his ACL in a league match right before the start of the tournament.
On his way back, Gatt suffered a second ACL tear during training in March 2014, requiring a second surgery and shutting him down for the rest of the year. Gatt made a return the following May, coming on as a substitute in a league match vs. Mjøndalen, but had to withdraw from the match after just five minutes, with a different irritation to his knee.
More than a year later, Gatt took a major step on Sunday when he returned to the Molde game-day 18 for the club’s 4-2 win against Odd Grenland. Though he didn’t appear in the match, the 24-year-old showed his appreciation in returning to the field in a pre-game Instagram post saying, “This day has been coming for a long time now. After years of work and unfortunate injuries I am finally able to put my jersey back on. I am so grateful to every single person who got me to this point.”
Having just transferred from Hoffenheim to Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2014, things were looking up for Joe Gyau. The son of a former MNT player, Gyau had become a standout with Dortmund’s U-23 side early in the season and was even handed his first team debut days after his 20th birthday that September.
Having impressed during his debut MNT cap that August at Czech Republic, Gyau was recalled in October, starting alongside Landon Donovan in his send-off match against Ecuador. Unfortunately, Gyau exited that match in the 15th minute with what would later be diagnosed as a torn lateral meniscus.
Like Boyd and Gatt, his recovery has had its setbacks, but in April he tweeted that he was finally pain free and three weeks ago let fans know that he was back training in full with Borussia Dortmund II.
While Gyau still needs to get back to playing on a weekly basis, like Boyd and Gatt, the 23-year-old winger still has plenty of upside to offer both club and country.
CHICAGO (Aug. 23, 2016) - U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach John Hackworth named a 20-player roster to compete in the 2016 Torneo de Naciones, set to take place Aug. 22-29, in Mexico City, Mexico.
The USA will face Portugal on Aug. 25, Qatar on Aug. 26, and finish the tournament against Mexico on Aug. 28.
The roster is made up of 20 players who recently trained in Utah, playing against Utah Valley University and RSL Monarchs.
This will be the second tournament of the summer after the U-17’s made it to the title match in the 2016 AIFF Youth Cup in India last May.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Alexander Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Justin Garces (Kendall FC; Miami, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Jake Arteaga (LA Galaxy; Glendora, Calif.), Carlos Asensio (Atlanta United; Roswell, Ga.), Kelee Cornfield-Saunders (LA Galaxy; San Marcos, Calif.), Christopher Gloster (New York Red Bulls; Montclair, N.J.), Rayshaun McGann (Philadelphia Union; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Arturo Vasquez (FC Golden State; Mira Loma, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): George Acosta (Weston FC; Hollywood, Fla.), Christopher Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.), Blaine Ferri (Solar Chelsea SC; Southlake, Texas), Christopher Goslin (Atlanta United; Locust Grove, Ga.), James Sands (New York Soccer Club; Rye, N.Y.), Adrian Villegas (Portland Timbers; Hood River, Ore.), Akil Watts (IMG Academy; Fort Wayne, Ind.)
FORWARDS (5): Ayomide Akinola (Toronto FC; Brampton, Ontario), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United; Powder Springs, Ga.), Zyen Jones (Atlanta United; Clarkston, Ga.), Joshua Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallen, Mo.), Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; Rosedale, N.Y.)
With only six days before the start of camp for the critical conclusion of Semifinal Round Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, two veteran performers shone above all amongst a host of MNT players who turned in strong performances this past weekend.
The last match of the weekend wielded the top performance, as Clint Dempsey’s brace helped Seattle Sounders FC to a 3-1 win against Portland Timbers in Cascadia Cup play on Sunday night. The MNT forward has five goals and an assist in his last three matches for Seattle, the perfect momentum heading into qualifiers where “Deuce” is already the USA’s all-time leading scorer.
WATCH: Dempsey brace leads Seattle Sounders FC to 3-1 win vs. Portland Timbers
Teammate Jordan Morris went 89 minutes in Seattle’s third-straight win, while Darlington Nagbe went the distance for Portland in the 3-1 defeat. The two teams play a return leg in Providence Park this Sunday, in a match that could have strong playoff implications (4 p.m. ET – ESPN).
The previous day, Toronto FC extended its unbeaten run to five matches with a 3-1 win at Philadelphia Union. Already tied on the half-hour mark, captain Michael Bradley earned his third assist of the season when his free kick from the right picked out Drew Moor, whose nodded header from the penalty spot crept inside the right post. Jozy Altidore has a hot streak of his own, poking home his fourth goal in five matches.
WATCH: Jozy Altidore caps the scoring with goal vs. Philadelphia Union
Elsewhere, Ethan Finlay scored in his second straight match, getting on the end of a Justin Meram cross in the seventh minute of Columbus Crew SC’s 2-0 win at New England Revolution.
WATCH: Ethan Finlay scores early game-winner vs. New England
Meanwhile, after scoring in two-consecutive matches, defender Steve Birnbaum provided the game-tying assist in D.C. United’s comeback 2-2 draw against New York Red Bulls. The goal came in the 73rd minute when Taylor Kemp’s corner kick from the right was nodded back across goal where Patrick Mullins’ follow-up header beat Red Bulls ‘keeper Luis Robles.
WATCH: Steve Birnbaum continues offensive output in D.C.’s 2-2 draw
In England, goalkeeper Brad Guzan made his debut for Middlesbrough count, backstopping the newly-promoted club’s 2-1 win in the “Tees-Wear Derby” at Sunderland. Guzan made four saves in collecting his side’s second straight win to start the campaign. U.S. youth international Lynden Gooch was active all over the field, with the midfielder earning Sunderland’s Man of the Match award.
Happy to get Man of the Match but times to move on to Wednesday now and make sure we get the win. 🔴⚪️❤️ pic.twitter.com/mNZOt6OO1V— Lynden Gooch (@lyndengooch46) August 21, 2016
In Germany, a number of MNT players left preseason behind and competitive matches got underway with early round DFB Pokal matches. Julian Green (Bayern Munich), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt) all played parts in their clubs advancing to the next round of the tournament.
Finally, MNT fans will be pleased to see defender Matt Besler return from an MCL strain to play in Sporting KC’s 2-0 shutout against Vancouver Whitecaps. Besler went the full 90 minutes in central defense, while teammate Graham Zusi was deputized at right back in the home win.
A rundown of how all MNT players performed for their clubs this weekend:
Kellyn Acosta – 90 minutes in FC Dallas’ 1-0 loss at Sporting KC (August 20)
Jozy Altidore – 74 minutes, GOAL in Toronto FC’s 3-1 win at Philadelphia Union (August 20)
Paul Arriola - 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-1 Copa MX draw vs. Lobos BUAP (August 17); 8 substitute minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-1 draw vs. Necaxa (August 20)
Kyle Beckerman – 90 minutes in Real Salt Lake’s 1-0 win vs. FC Dallas (August 20)
Matt Besler – 90 minutes in Sporting KC’s 2-0 win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (August 20)
Alejandro Bedoya – 90 minutes in Philadelphia Union’s 3-1 loss vs. Toronto FC (August 20)
David Bingham – 90 minutes in San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 loss vs. Houston Dynamo (August 19)
Steve Birnbaum – 90 minutes, ASSIST in D.C. United’s 2-2 draw vs. New York Red Bulls (August 21)
Michael Bradley – 90 minutes, ASSIST in Toronto FC’s 3-1 win at Philadelphia Union (August 20)
John Brooks – 45 minutes in Hertha Berlin’s 1-1 draw (5-3 PK win) in DFB Pokal vs. Jahn Regensberg (August 21)
Timmy Chandler – 19 substitute minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-1 draw (4-3 PK win) in DFB Pokal at Madeburg (August 21)
Clint Dempsey – 9 0 minutes, TWO GOALS in Seattle Sounders FC’s 3-1 win vs. Portland Timbers (August 21)
Ethan Finlay – 90 minutes, GOAL in Columbus Crew SC’s 2-0 win at New England Revolution (August 20)
Omar Gonzalez – 55 minutes in Pachuca’s 4-2 loss at Tigres UANL (August 20)
Lynden Gooch – 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 2-1 loss vs. Middlesbrough (August 21)
Julian Green – 24 substitute minutes in Bayern Munich’s 5-0 DFB Pokal win at Carl Zeiss Jena (August 19)
Brad Guzan – 90 minutes in Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win at Sunderland (August 21)
Ethan Horvath – 90 minutes in Molde’s 4-2 win vs. Odd Grenland (August 21)
Tim Howard – 90 minutes in Colorado Rapids’ 0-0 draw vs. Orlando City SC (August 20)
Fabian Johnson – 9 substitute minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 3-1 first leg UEFA Champions League Qualifying match at BSC Young Boys (August 16); In 18, DNP in Moenchengladbach’s 1-0 DFB Pokal win vs. Drochtersen/Assel (August 20)
Perry Kitchen – 70 minutes in Hearts’ 5-1 win vs. Inverness (August 20)
Alfredo Morales – 101 minutes in Ingolstadt’s 0-0 draw (8-7 PK win) in DFB Pokal vs. Erzgebirge Aue (August 21)
Jordan Morris – 89 minutes in Seattle Sounders FC’s 3-1 win vs. Portland Timbers (August 21)
Darlington Nagbe – 90 minutes in Portland Timbers 3-1 loss at Seattle Sounders FC (August 21)
Lee Nguyen – 90 minutes in New England Revolution’s 2-0 loss vs. Columbus Crew SC (August 20)
Michael Orozco – 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-1 draw vs. Necaxa (August 20)
Christian Pulisic – at Eintracht Trier in DFB Pokal (August 22)
Rubio Rubin – 70 minutes in FC Utrecht’s 2-1 loss vs. AZ Alkmaar (August 21)
Caleb Stanko – 24 substitute minutes in FC Vaduz’s 2-0 win vs. St. Gallen (August 21)
Chris Wondolowski – 90 minutes in San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 loss vs. Houston Dynamo (August 19)
Bobby Wood – 73 minutes in Hamburg’s 3-1 preseason win vs. Lyngby (August 15); at Zwickau in DFB Pokal (August 22)
William Yarbrough – In 18, DNP in Club Leon’s 1-1 Copa MX draw at Celaya (August 17); 90 minutes in Club Leon’s 2-1 win vs. Queretaro (August 20)
Gyasi Zardes – 79 minutes in LA Galaxy’s 1-0 loss at New York City FC (August 20)
Graham Zusi – 90 minutes in Sporting KC’s 2-0 win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (August 20
Geoff Cameron – In 18, DNP in Stoke City’s 4-1 loss vs. Manchester City (August 20)
Cameron Carter-Vickers – In 18, DNP in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win vs. Crystal Palace (August 20)
Edgar Castillo – Fractured Patella, DNP in Monterrey’s 5-3 loss at Pumas UNAM (August 21
Mix Diskerud – Not in 18 for New York City FC’s 1-0 win vs. LA Galaxy (August 20)
Aron Johannsson – Not in 18 for Werder Bremen’s 2-1 DFB Pokal loss at Sportfreunde Lotte (August 21)
Jermaine Jones – Quad Injury; DNP in Colorado Rapids’ 0-0 draw vs. Orlando City SC (August 20)
Greg Garza – Not in 18 for Club Tijuana’s 1-1 draw vs. Necaxa (August 20)
Matt Miazga – Not in 18 for Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Watford (August 20)
Tim Ream – In 18, DNP in Fulham’s 2-2 draw vs. Cardiff City (August 20)
DeAndre Yedlin – Not in 18 for Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win vs. Crystal Palace
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team defeated Canada 2-0 in the final of the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship on goals from forwards Kalyssa Van Zanten and Samantha Meza.
The victory gave the USA its first regional title at this age level in the second tournament CONCACAF has staged for U-15 girls’ national teams. The USA did not participate in the first competition, held two years ago in the Cayman Islands and won by Canada.
The USA swept the individual awards as Payton Linnehan won the Golden Boot with eight goals (tied with teammate Gabrielle Robinson, who played more minutes), Ruth Jones won
Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper and Mia Fishel won the Golden Ball as the best player.
Fishel had seven goals to match her seven assists in the tournament.
The win was the seventh in a row by shutout at the tournament for the USA, which out-scored its opponents 49-0.
“I’m really proud of our team for becoming CONCACAF Under-15 champions,” said U.S. head coach Mark Carr. “Canada threw everything at us that we could handle and made it very hard as we expected, but I thought that our game plan was executed perfectly and that we were in control throughout.”
After a scoreless first half, the USA opened the scoring three minutes into the second half of the 70-minute match when Van Zanten tackled the ball away from a Canadian defender and then beat two more before finishing. The young Americans clinched the game 20 minutes later when Meza finished a corner kick that Eleanor Glenn had served to the back post.
Ten different players scored for the USA in the tournament, led by Linnehan and Robinson (eight goals each) and Fishel and Van Zanten (seven each), but the Americans also got goals from Samantha Meza (six), Sunshine Fontes (five), Croix Bethune and Madison Mercado (two each), Talia DellaPeruta and Hollyn Torres, while benefiting from two own goals.
Ruth Jones and Lindsey Romig split time in goal with Jones playing four of the games and Romig the other three.
“This whole tournament experience has been incredible and taught us a lot of things about where we are as players and a team and what to expect at this level of competition,” added Carr. “This is a special group and we have thoroughly enjoyed the journey together. I am very proud of these players and I know the future is very bright in our U.S. youth national team programs.”
Six U.S. players were named to the CONCACAF All-Star Team for the tournament chosen by the Technical Study Group: Jones as the goalkeeper, defender Leah Scarpelli, midfielders Croix Bethune and Fishel and forwards Meza and Robinson.
This age group will have one more event this year before transitioning to U-17s in 2017, and will form the core of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
U.S. U-15 Girls’ National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team vs. Canada U-15 Girls’ National Team
Date: August 21, 2016
Competition: CONCACAF Under-15 Girls’ Championship – Championship Game
Venue: Field #17 – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Fla.
Weather: 99 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Kalyssa Van Zanten 38th minute
USA – Samantha Meza (Eleanor Glenn) 58
USA: 1-Ruth Jones; 17-Talia DellaPeruta (18-Sunshine Fontes, 32); 5-Leah Scarpelli; 6-Natalia Staude; 2-Makenna Morris; 7-Samantha Meza (3-D’awncey Jones-Black, 70); 16-Croix Bethune; 8-Hollyn Torres (11-Eleanor Glenn, 51); 10-Mia Fishel; 15-Gabrielle Robinson (13-Payton Linnehan, 42); 9-Kalyssa Van Zanten (14-Madison Mercado, 65)
Subs not used: 4-Tori Hansen; 12-Lindsey Romig
Head Coach: Mark Carr
CAN: 1-Sophie Guilmette; 3-Maya Antoine; 5-Isabella Hanisch; 6-Jordyn Huitema; 9-Sydney Kennedy (13-Aaliyah Scott, 36); 11-Maya Ladhani; 12-Jayde Riviere (2-Teni Akindoju, 60); 14-Olivia Scott; 15-Caitlin Shaw (7-Mya Jones, 46); 16-Julianne Vallerand; 17-Sonia Walk
Subs not used: 4-Alexia Cajilig; 8-Lara Kazandjian; 10-Julia Kostecki; 18-Kat Haarmann
Head Coach: Carmelina Moscato
Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 8 / 9
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 1
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 7 / 3
Offside: 0 / 0
Referee: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Lidia Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kimberly Mora (CRC)
ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 19, 2016) – The U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team advanced to the final of the 2016 CONCACAF U-15 Girls’ Championship with a 5-0 semifinal victory against Costa Rica.
The USA will face Canada for the regional title on Sunday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m. ET. Canada defeated Mexico, 3-1, in the other semifinal.
Gabrielle Robinson got the USA started early with a goal in the first minute and the young Americans did not slow down, scoring five times within the first 44 minutes of the 70-minute match.
The goal was the eighth of the tournament for Robinson. Kalyssa Van Zanten added two scores, her fifth and sixth of the tourney, while Mia Fishel and Payton Linnehan added single scores, their seventh and eighth goals of the competition, respectively. Samantha Meza had three assists, setting up the second, third and fourth goals.
The win was the sixth in a row by shutout at the tournament for the USA, which has out-scored opponents 47-0 so far. The USA is participating in this competition for the first time and thus makes its first final in this tournament. The competition was held for the first time two years ago, when it was won by Canada.
“I’m very proud of our team and players in fulfilling one of our goals of reaching the championship game on Sunday,” said U.S. head coach Mark Carr. “Not only is it a positive result but more importantly, I saw an improvement in our individual and collective performances. We have one more game to go and the players are very excited for the challenge. I know it will be the most difficult game we’ve had to this point and we’ll give everything and try to do our very best to be successful in the championship game.”
U-15 Girls’ National Team Match Report
Match: United States U-15 Girls’ National Team vs. Costa Rica U-15 Girls’ National Team
Date: August 19, 2016
Competition: CONCACAF Under-15 Girls’ Championship - Semifinal
Venue: Field #17 – ESPN Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Fla.
Weather: 86 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 2 5
CRC 0 0 0
USA – Gabrielle Robinson (Hollyn Torres) 1st minute
USA – Kalyssa Van Zanten (Samantha Meza) 23
USA – Kalyssa Van Zanten (Samantha Meza) 35+1
USA – Mia Fishel (Samantha Meza) 39
USA – Payton Linnehan (Mia Fishel) 44
USA: 12-Lindsey Romig; 17-Talia DellaPeruta (3-D’awncey Jones-Black, 36, 18-Sunshine Fontes, 45); 5-Leah Scarpelli (4-Tori Hansen, 51); 6-Natalia Staude; 2-Makenna Morris; 7-Samantha Meza; 16-Croix Bethune; 8-Hollyn Torres; 10-Mia Fishel (14-Madison Mercado, 49); 15-Gabrielle Robinson (13-Payton Linnehan, 42); 9-Kalyssa Van Zanten
Subs not used: 1-Ruth Jones; 11-Eleanor Glenn
Head Coach: Mark Carr
CRC: 1-Fabiana Solano; 4-Andrea Capmany; 5-Camila Capmany; 6-Pamela Gutierrez; 7-Nicole Gomez; 8-Jeimy Umana (3-Adina Badilla, 64); 10-Carmen Marin; 12-Maria Paula Salas Z.; 14-Maria Paula Porras; 16-Stefany Mendoza; 17-Medolyn Guerrero (9-Alexa Aguilar, 64)
Subs not used: 2-Nathlie Rojas; 13-Yariella Lopez; 15-Steysi Arias; 18-Veronica Trigueros
Head Coach: Amelia Valverde
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 14 / 1
Shots on Goal: 7 / 0
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 3 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 2
Offside: 4 / 0
USA – D’awncey Jones-Black (caution) 39th minute
CRC – Jeimy Umana (caution) 58
USA – Sunshine Fontes (caution) 60
Referee: Gladwyn Johnson (GUY)
Assistant Referee 1: Julieann McDougall (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Iroots Appleton (ATG)
Fourth Official: Oshane Nation (JAM)