CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named a 23-player roster for the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Panama, including nine players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster.
The group will travel to Santiago on Saturday morning in advance of the USA’s opening match of 2015 when it takes on Chile on Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Rancagua. Kickoff at Estadio El Teniente is set for 6 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network.
“These guys have put in a lot of work these past two weeks of training for what is essentially their preseason, and now it’s time to focus on getting a result against a difficult opponent in Chile,” said Klinsmann. “We know it’s going to be a challenging situation, but these are the types of opportunities we need to keep growing.”
The camp that began on Jan. 12 at the National Training Center in Carson, California, included 28 players. Jozy Altidore and Matt Hedges were brought into the group, while Brad Evans was forced to depart with tendinitis in his left knee. Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin will meet the team in Chile.
Meanwhile, six players have been released back to their clubs: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dennis Flores (Club Leon) Julio Morales (Tepic) and Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy), and Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi will remain in the area and rejoin the group when it returns to Los Angeles.
“This was a really important experience for these U-23 players,” Klinsmann said. “They got a great introduction into the senior National Team program, and had the opportunity to work with Andi Herzog and our staff as we build toward Olympic qualifying in the fall. They put in a tremendous amount of work and we learned a lot about them. We appreciate the effort and will continue to monitor them in their club situations.”
The camp culminates with a friendly against the Panama on Sunday, Feb. 8, in Carson. Kickoff at StubHub Center is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow U.S. MNT matches live on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
Fans can purchase tickets through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT).
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.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
- Nine players on the camp were members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster that traveled to Brazil and helped the USA advance out of the “Group of Death”: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin
- Dempsey, Besler, Bradley and Jones were the only four who started in all four matches for the USA during the World Cup.
- Dempsey became the first U.S. player to score in three World Cups after scoring seconds into the USA’s opening game against Ghana on June 16. Dempsey’s goal is the fifth-fastest in World Cup history.
- Jones scored his first World Cup goal and fourth with the U.S. MNT against Portugal on June 22, an equalizer in the 64th minute from well outside the box after he picked up a loose ball from a U.S. corner kick.
- Fourteen different Major League Soccer teams are represented on the roster, with no team having more than two members each.
- After Dempsey (110 caps/39 goals), Bradley is the most experienced member of the camp with 91 career caps and 12 goals. Conversely, eight players will be looking to earn their first cap for the senior team.
- Rimando, who is participating in his seventh January camp, has 16 caps in his career and boasts a 10-0-2 record with four shutouts.
- Gyasi Zardes is making his first camp appearance for the USA.
- After a terrific 2014 MLS season, midfielder Lee Nguyen was named to the MLS Best XI and was a finalist for the MLS MVP award. He returned to the U.S. MNT on Nov. 14, 2014, during a friendly against Colombia at Craven Cottage in London when he replaced Diskerud in the 78th minute. It marked his first appearance since 2007 and his fourth cap overall.
- The camp marks the third-straight January camp call-up for Besler and second-straight for Luis Gil and Shane O’Neill.
- Miguel Ibarra, who earned his first caps for the U.S. team in 2014, is the reigning MVP of the North American Soccer League.
- Gil, O’Neill, Wil Trapp and Yedlin were all part of the roster that traveled to Turkey to represent the USA in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U-20 MNT was unable to advance out of the group stage, but it did play eventual tournament champion France to a 1-1 draw. During the tournament in Turkey, Gil scored against Spain and O’Neill against Ghana. Gil, Trapp and Yedlin started all three matches of the tournament while O’Neill started the final two.
- Gil, Jon Kempin, O’Neill, Dillon Serna, Sorto, Trapp, Bobby Wood and Yedlin would all be age-eligible to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
- Nine players have ties to the Development Academy: Steve Birnbaum (Pateadores), Gil (Pateadores), Kempin (Sporting KC), O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Serna (Colorado Rapids), Trapp (Crew Soccer Academy), Wood (Strikers FC), Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC) and Zardes (LA Galaxy).
CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play longtime rival Mexico, presented by AT&T, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
Tickets for the match go on sale to the public next Friday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout San Antonio, as well as the Alamodome ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) (TICKETS)
Supporters Club members and fans following U.S. Soccer on Facebook and Twitter will have access to purchase tickets in advance of the public sale. More information on how to join the Supporters Club and its various levels of membership, as well as links to U.S. Soccer’s Facebook and Twitter pages, can be found on ussoccer.com. For further questions, you may also contact email@example.com.
Groups of 30 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.
The game in San Antonio marks the first time that that USA and Mexico have met on the soccer field in the River City. The previous friendly between the U.S. and Mexico was a 2-2 draw in front of 59,066 fans on April 2, 2014, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The U.S. begins its 2015 campaign Wednesday, Jan. 28, with a match against Chile at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua, Chile (6 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 2, UniMas, UDN). Following the game in South America, the U.S. returns to host Panama on Sunday, Feb. 8, in a 1 p.m. PT kickoff at StubHub Center in Carson, California (TICKETS).
CHICAGO (Jan. 22, 2015) – National Soccer Hall of Fame member, former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach and current LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award.
The highest honor that an individual can receive from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Werner Fricker Award is bestowed on an individual who has worked tirelessly on furthering the interest of the sport of soccer without regard to personal recognition or advancement. The award honors those who created or fostered programs that will outlast their own active involvement in the sport and who have established a lasting legacy in the history and structure of soccer in the United States.
“Every year we are presented with examples of extraordinary individuals who have developed the game of soccer in this country and this year we are extremely pleased to honor Bruce Arena with the Werner Fricker Builder Award,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Bruce’s contribution to soccer in the United States began as a coach at Virginia 37 years ago and during that time he has guided college, professional and National Teams to national and international titles. The path he paved certainly set the bar higher and the legacy he created will last for future generations.”
A recently crowned five-time MLS Cup champion, Arena has led the LA Galaxy for seven seasons after taking over as the team’s general manager and head coach in 2008. One of the most successful head coaches in MLS and U.S. National Team history, Arena led the Galaxy to its fifth MLS Cup in 2014, adding to his already hefty resume that includes being the only coach in MLS history to have won five championships and to have been named MLS Coach of the Year on three occasions (1997, 2009 and 2011).
A member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Arena is the winningest all-time head coach in U.S. National Team history, leading the U.S. to two FIFA World Cups, including the best finish in team history at the 2002 event, when the MNT advanced to the quarterfinals.
Arena took over as head coach in Oct. 27, 1998, and was in charge for nearly eight years, collecting a 71-30-29 all-time record, while winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2002 and 2005, the 2000 Nike U.S. Cup Championship, and leading the U.S. MNT to a third-place finish in the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup in Mexico.
“I am honored to receive the Werner Fricker Builder Award from U.S. Soccer,” said Arena. “I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to build the sport of soccer in the United States over the last 40 years. I am humbled by this honor and proud to be amongst the prestigious company of the other Werner Fricker Soccer Builder Award Winners.”
Arena began his professional coaching career when he was appointed as the first coach in D.C. United history, joining the club for its inaugural season in 1996. He would spend three seasons with United, reaching the MLS Cup all three times and winning it twice, in addition to reaching the U.S. Open Cup Final twice and winning the tournament once. He also helped United become the first and only MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the Interamerican Cup in 1998. Additionally, Arena spent about a year-and-a-half as head coach of the New York Red Bulls in 2006.
At the collegiate level, Arena was named the head coach at the University of Virginia in 1978. He held that position for 18 years, helping the Cavaliers to five ACC Tournament Championships and five National Championships, including four in a row from 1991-94.
The award is named for Werner Fricker, who is widely credited for his role in bringing the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States. Born in Yugoslavia and raised in Austria, Fricker lived his adult life in Pennsylvania, where he was a star midfielder for the United German Hungarians of Philadelphia soccer club from 1954 to 1969 and was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic Team. He served as U.S. Soccer President from 1984 to 1990 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992.
The President of U.S. Soccer appoints a task force to review the nominations and select a winner.
WERNER FRICKER AWARD
2002 Werner Fricker Sr.
2003 Sunil Gulati
2005 Gerhard Mengel
2006 Sal Rapaglia
2007 Francisco Marcos
2008 Bob Gansler
2009 Alan Rothenberg
2010 Bob Contiguglia
2011 Kevin Payne
2012 Hank Steinbrecher
2013 Richard Groff
2014 Bruce Arena
A quarter of the way into January camp, two goals are distinct: continue to develop experienced leaders who can conduct the team moving forward and identify new talent that can grow into bigger roles within the U.S. MNT system.
Since the start of Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure, there has been increased focus on synergy and balance across U.S. Soccer programming, seeking full-integration of messaging and system from youth sides up through the senior team. As the U-20s are in qualification for this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup and the U-23s have recently finished a training camp in Brazil, U.S. MNT head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann sees the senior team as the engine driving it all.
“It’s the locomotive of development of the sport,” Klinsmann said in the midst of the team's annual January training camp. “Hopefully, we’re going to go full steam.”
The current January Camp roster is a manifestation of this design. The group strikes a balance among World Cup veterans and players on the cusp of bigger roles, gaining valuable experience. Then there are also young players eager to impress in anticipation of upcoming matches with Chile and Panama, as well as the U-23 MNT’s Olympic qualifying run.
While it would be too much to expect a group essentially just beginning its preseason to come together and fire on all cylinders, Klinsmann believes this early building phase will provide a quality foundation. There is a measured excitement to this new beginning.
“It’s not the ultimate judgment that happens now in the January camp, but it’s great to get to know these guys, and also off the field have good conversations,” said Klinsmann. “We’ll go from there, see how the talent develops and how they drive themselves.”
The burden of preparing these new faces does not fall solely on Klinsmann’s shoulders, however. With eight players in camp from last summer’s World Cup team in Brazil, he’s able to draw upon the wisdom and experience from his established veterans. Players such as Nick Rimando have been eager to step into roles as mentors.
“At times you’re there to mentor them, educate them and answer with any advice,” Rimando said of his leadership role. “You lead them in the right direction to show them what it’s like to play at this level. I've had mentors in the past and I’m there for them if they have any questions. It’s in my genes.”
The role of mentor is a delicate balance, and at the core of a healthy camp environment is intense competition.
“We already showed that we played a good World Cup, but now it’s over,” said Jermaine Jones, who enjoyed a strong run in Brazil and then helped the New England Revolution on a run to an MLS Cup runner-up performance. “A lot of young boys will come now and push the experienced players,so we have to show up too. It’s nice to battle with the young boys.”
Rimando concurs with Jones' assessment of competitive culture created by the mix of less and more experienced players.
“There’s always somebody knocking at your door to take your position or to be on this team," the veteran goalkeeper said. "For me, it’s always about competition. Anybody that is in camp now is going to push the next guy in line, and that’s what’s going to make us better.”
Klinsmann feels this collective effort to integrate new players within the context of spirited competition is a great strength of this group and indicative of the culture at large.
“It’s always been a big plus for the American team that they make it easy for new players to come in, to feel welcome, and to feel a part of the group right after a couple of days,” Klinsmann said. “The younger players feel accepted, they feel respected, and they spend a lot of time together.”
The proof will be in the pudding, but beginning with a quality mix of experience, competition and team spirit bodes well for a winning recipe.
Photos from the U.S. MNT's training session at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, on Monday, Jan. 19.
“I have a Dream.” These four words, simple yet profound, echo especially loud today. In an era of great need, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s timeless message of equality and love animated a world previously stuck in black and white. On this MLK Day, U.S. Men’s National Team players took a moment to share how Dr. King’s words left an imprint on their lives, and to honor a man who made it possible for a team of all colors, languages, cultures and creeds to come together to represent one nation as one team.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Courtside at the Staples Center for a Los Angeles Lakers game is always a heavyweight affair. With LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in town, Thursday night’s nationally televised Cavs-Lakers matchup was no exception. Hollywood’s “A-listers” showed up in spades – including sideline spottings of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jack Nicholson and Rihanna (appearing on the Jumbotron with a mega-sized tub of popcorn) – all eager to enjoy the show.
With coach Jurgen Klinsmann scheduling an afternoon off for the players, the U.S. MNT got the red-carpet treatment with everything from valet parking outside of the Staples Center’s back entrance to a luxury suite to host the players.
The MNT might have been split as far as allegiance to one of the pair of high-profile U.S. MNT supporters – LeBron James or Kobe Bryant – with birthday boy Wil Trapp clearly loyal to Ohio, while lifelong purple-and-gold fan Nick Rimando proudly displayed a gifted Lakers bandana around his neck.
In the final minutes, Bryant did his best to bring the Lakers within striking distance before King James drove to the hoop with 20 seconds left to deliver the knockout blow.
Regardless, a fleeting departure from the hard work of January Camp provided the U.S. MNT players the perfect chance to sit back, relax, see two all-time greats do battle, and at least in this case, watch LeBron James hold on to his throne.
There are certain perks to waking up in Los Angeles. While January Camp is known to push players’ physical levels to higher ground, Wednesday’s U.S. MNT morning workout began by with a team run in the cool temps, sun, and the sand of Santa Monica.
As younger players begin each day in camp, every activity provides the opportunity to connect with guys previously only known only as rivals, come together, and start to form some valuable chemistry to take on the field.
We caught up with some of these guys to give a step-by-step recap of Wednesday’s schedule, from fitness evaluations to dinner on their own, sharing what a day in the life is like in search of their first cap with the full U.S. MNT.
8:45-9:15 a.m.: Beach jog in Santa Monica
“We went for a nice half-an-hour jog on the beach. I love Santa Monica, so it was pretty cool to just run up the beach and see all the different people doing crazy exercises. It was really nice weather in the morning, puts you in a nice good mood and chilled-out.” - Shane O’Neill, defender
Photos from the U.S. MNT's midweek training session at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. The team's month-long camp that includes a Jan. 28 match against fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup side Chile in Rancagua, followed by the USA’s first home international friendly of the year against Panama on Feb. 8 in Carson (TICKETS).
CHICAGO (Jan. 16, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in forward Jozy Altidore for the MNT training camp in Carson, California.
With Altidore’s inclusion, the U.S. MNT’s 29-player roster now features eight members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team that advanced out of the “Group of Death” against eventual tournament winner Germany, Ghana and Portugal.
The USA is in the midst of a nearly month-long camp that includes a Jan. 28 match against fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup side Chile in Rancagua, followed by the USA’s first home international friendly of the year against Panama on Feb. 8 in Carson (TICKETS).
Earlier Friday, Altidore transferred from Premier League side Sunderland to Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC as a designated player. The USA camp roster now features three Toronto FC players, including midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Alex Bono, who was selected by Toronto with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.
Also Friday, defender Brad Evans was diagnosed with tendonitis in his left knee, forcing him to withdraw from the MNT training camp. On Thursday, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann added FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges to the roster.
The camp, which kicked off Jan. 12 and runs through Feb. 8, is being conducted across two continents. After 12 days in California, the team will head to Santiago, Chile, for training from Jan. 25-29 as it prepares for its first friendly of the year against fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup side Chile on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET, and will be live on FOX Sports 2, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. The USA will then return to the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.
The U.S. MNT’s training camp culminates with a friendly against Panama on Feb. 8 in Carson. Kickoff at StubHub Center is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can follow both matches live on Twitter @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (11): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (7): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)