CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2015) – Former U.S. Soccer Federation chairman and National Soccer Hall of Fame builder Milton Aimi passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 27. He was 88.
Memorial and funeral proceedings are being arranged and will be held in Houston on Feb. 2 and 3.
The Brazilian-born Aimi became a longtime contributor toward the sport of soccer in the U.S. and was recognized for his commitment and efforts with his 1991 induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Aimi spent more than five decades involved in soccer in the U.S., primarily in southern Texas. He was the president of the Texas State Soccer Association from 1972-2000 as the association grew from two leagues to more than 20 during his tenure. Aimi also was the first chairman of the United States Senior Soccer Division Inc.
He was appointed to U.S. Soccer’s National Referee Committee and was the Region III director in 1979. In 1982, Aimi was elected vice president of the national body and chairman of the U.S. Soccer senior division, handling the administrative work for the Federation’s adult and Olympic programs for all 50 states.
In 1987, Aimi was appointed to organize the National Under-23 Player Development Program, and a year later he became a member of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors and vice president/chairman of the U.S. Soccer Amateur Division (now known as the United States Adult Soccer Association).
Prior to his involvement at U.S. Soccer, Aimi founded the West Texas College soccer program in 1947 and he launched the Fort Worth International Soccer Club in 1952. Aimi moved to Houston in 1967 and was appointed Youth Commissioner of the South Texas region. One year later, he was one of the primary founders of the Houston District Junior Soccer Association and would serve as its president from 1972-78.
In 1979, the Houston District Junior Soccer Association recognized Aimi as its Person of the Year.
Photos from the U.S. MNT's 3-2 loss to Chile at Estadio El Teniente in Rancagua in the team's opening match of 2015.
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
“I think after minute 65 a lot of the players had very, very heavy legs, which in a certain way is logical when you are two and a half weeks into preseason and you play a team that is in a full swing and goes high tempo. This is the tempo you go internationally. I thought it was an open game, it was entertaining, and it was full of chances for both sides. I think we could have easily scored a third or fourth goal; they could have scored also another one. Overall, I thought it was a very good test for us to see where everyone is at. But definitely the physical side of it made kind of a turn towards negative for us and it’s a bummer, but it’s understandable.”
On whether switching to a 4-4-2 in the second half led to the loss:
“The formation had nothing to do with the fact that we then conceded two goals in the second half. We wanted them to play a simple back four and had Jermaine [Jones] in midfield to get more kind of pushing it higher up the field. Maybe there was a little bit more space on the outsides then, especially on DeAndre’s (Yedlin) side, he got caught a couple of times then, but you could clearly see it after minute 65 that it was getting hard for the guys. Some are in a good shape already and some need to catch up. It’ll take them a couple of weeks to get into match fitness, and when you have three or four guys not having match fitness at all, you just struggle.”
On choosing to play in a 3-5-2 formation in the first half:
“It’s a little bit based on what we have in this camp and what players you have that you are going to hopefully see down the road being part of the senior group. That kind of also guides you into a certain system that you think OK, with these players we might be better off in a 3-5-2 than in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3. Often it’s looking at your roster and saying, ‘What is the best solution now?’ With a 3-5-2, we have to change to bring Clint [Dempsey] a little bit further behind and have him feed into two strikers and have a role for Jermaine in the center of the back three line and Michael Bradley being the connector in midfield. So these are all kind of ideas floating around, and we keep on working on different ways on doing it. But the key issue is they need to build their [physical] systems, build their stamina and build the foundation for a hopefully good, long season but also to the international level. This is the biggest challenge for us. After the World Cup a lot of players dropped their levels 30-40 percent when they came back from vacation. It doesn’t matter if they are in Europe or the U.S., you can’t do that at the international level. You get exposed after minute 65 if you can’t go the speed anymore both ways. There is a lot of work ahead of us and ahead of the players, first of all.”
On the positives he took away from the game:
“I saw a lot of things that are encouraging and positive. DeAndre was going forward and connecting well. I thought Michael Bradley had overall a very strong performance. Brek Shea coming through the flanks, he’s intimidating, he can go at people, he has pace, and he has the physical presence and is going to score, so I think it’s great. We tried to break in younger players step-by-step, but it’s not going to happen overnight. They need to have more time on the field. I think Gyasi [Zardes] inspired things a little bit. He had a couple of shots and made good runs. Jozy gave everything he had until that point but he was just dead. So there was good stuff out there for over 60 minutes – very promising. Obviously if you can’t get the tempo anymore, go with them at the same tempo, you’ll give them opportunities and they’ll put them in. It was a close game, it was exciting and a good test at the beginning of the season.”
On the deciding factor in the game:
“The key moment was on the fitness side. We’ve only trained for two weeks. Our worry was that after minute 60-65 that players make mistakes because they get tired legs. You lose the focus, you lose the vision because you’re not fresh anymore, and this kind of changed the game. Chile did very well keeping the tempo, the speed, the combinations that they played through with a lot of energy … it’s nice to see this team. They did very well. They kind of caught us on two, three occasions and scored these two goals, even if I thought we could have scored one more to even it out and 3-3 would have been a nicer result for us. But the key moment was after minute 60-65 when it has to do with the fitness.”
On the team’s time in Chile:
“The people here were fantastic. We were welcomed at the hotel and at the stadium. Everyone was super friendly. We really appreciated these couple of days in Chile. We had a fantastic time in Rancagua and also in Santiago where we stayed for a couple of days. The Chileans are just wonderful people. Thanks a lot for having us.”
On whether he is seeing the consistency he feels is necessary for the team to reach the next level:
“Consistency comes from the foundation of the physical capabilities of a team when you play international football. If you don’t have that physical foundation, you can’t have consistency. After an hour we looked like the winning team. We had more chances. We could have scored maybe a third goal, and then the game changed because we couldn’t keep the speed up anymore. We saw a very good and energetic Chilean side. Before you talk about consistency you have to have the foundation fitness-wise for an international level, which we don’t have at the moment.”
On what he has seen from the work of Chile national team coaches Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli:
“I think coaches like Bielsa obviously with his amazing experience, and now Sampaoli … we coaches look at the best teams in the world, at the speed of the game, the speed of thought going both ways. We always want to compete with the best in the world. In order for us, the American team now, to learn to kind of deal with that speed of thought, speed of game and the tempo, and start to compete with the bigger nations, is a learning process. That’s why we need these games like coming here and seeing where we are. Today we were at 65 minutes. That process needs to continue. We need to explain to the players that it takes a lot, lot more work and dedication off the field as well in order to get that foundation to play consistently with the top teams. That’s what we coaches like to do. We like to push it that way, so hopefully down the road when the big moments come like the World Cup, Copa America and for us this summer the Gold Cup, then we want to deliver results. We look at the best teams in the world right now – Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Spain – and we want to catch up with them. Chile wants to play and beat them, and we want that too.”
U.S. MNT forward JOZY ALTIDORE
On what the U.S. took away from the game:
“I think when you look at today the biggest thing was a lot of the guys are in preseason so we don’t have those legs yet. I thought for most part of the game we did OK; still getting the legs back, still getting the sharpness back in. At the end, I think it’s just a hard one to swallow as we did pretty well in a lot of parts of the game, but I don’t think we should hold our heads down too long, and try to pick up a win against Panama.”
On his goal:
“It was a good buildup from DeAndre [Yedlin] to get the throw-in, I remember that. Mix [Diskerud] getting in, he laid off a fantastic ball for me and I just tried to pick my spot and tried to slide it home.”
On the experience in Chile:
“It’s been good. Chile received us really well and it’s been really nice to be here. It was a great experience for a lot of us to play against a team like Chile, who has a lot of quality players in their system, so it was a good experience for us and a good way to start 2015. Obviously you want to win, but I think the base is there for a good year.”
On looking ahead to Panama:
“I’m excited to play at home, it’s always fun. It’s my first time playing in California in a long time so I look forward to it, but most important we need to win that game. I think it’s a game where everything is kind of in our favor and hopefully we can start our first game at home with a win.”
U.S. MNT midfielder BREK SHEA
On his goal:
“[Matt] Besler had the ball on the left and I kind of just checked to him and made a run behind, and he played a great ball and I just hit it first time.”
On being back with the National Team:
“Yeah I’ve been away for a long time. I’m very excited to be playing for the National Team again, start the game and get a goal. Obviously, it’s not the result we want but I think we learned a lot and it was a great experience.”
On playing the 3-5-2:
“It’s a new system we just started. There are a lot of positives with it that we need to work on, but first half we were ahead twice in that system. Obviously they had a lot of good chances, they scored a goal, but I think we learned a lot and we can use it in the future.”
U.S. MNT defender STEVE BIRNBAUM
On earning his first cap:
“It was a great feeling. Anytime you get to play for your country is awesome. I was really happy to get the start. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the win.”
RANCAGUA, Chile (28 de enero, 2015) – La Selección Masculina de Estados Unidos cayó 2-3 contra Chile en su primer partido del año en el Estadio El Teniente en Rancagua, Chile.
EE.UU. terminó el primer tiempo adelante en el marcador con goles de Brek Shea y Jozy Altidore, pero Chile respondió con doblete de Mark González. Roberto Gutiérrez anotó el primer gol de Chile.
Tres jugadores hicieron su debut con Estados Unidos: Steve Birnbaum, Wil Trapp y Gyasi Zardes.
El marcador casi terminó con un gol más a favor de Chile, quien tuvo un gol anulado en el minuto 45. El autor del gol, Roberto Gutiérrez, mandó un cabezazo al fondo de la red pero estaba levemente fuera de lugar.
Estados Unidos recibe a Panamá a la 1 p.m. PT el domingo, 8 de febrero en el StubHub Center de Carson, California.
Información de transmisión: ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMás, univisiondeportes.com
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer, @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
Boletos: 8 de febrero vs. Panamá
Resumen de Goles:
USA – Brek Shea (Matt Besler), minuto 6: Matt Besler controló el balón por el lado izquierdo en la mitad defensiva de Estados Unidos, enviando un balón cruzado al primer poste. Allí estaba Brek Shea para ejecutar con la zurda al lado izquierdo de la red. USA 1, CHI 0
CHI – Roberto Gutiérrez (Mark González), minuto 10: Solamente cuatro minutos después del primer gol, Chile igualó de manera casi idéntica. La selección chilena se llevó el balón por la banda izquierda, en donde Mark González lo controló. El pase de González fue perfectamente cruzado para Roberto Gutiérrez, quien estaba sólo entre Jermaine Jones y Matt Besler. El cabezazo fue hábilmente dirigido a un lado del portero estadounidense Nick Rimando. USA 1, CHI 1
USA – Jozy Altidore (Mix Diskerud), minuto 31: La jugada empezó con un saque de banda por el lado derecho de DeAndre Yedlin. Se la dio a Mix Diskerud y ambos jugadores se la pasaron entre ellos antes de que Diskerud recortara el balón al espacio adentro del área grande, donde llegó Altidore. El delantero atravesó la portería con su disparo, mandando la pelota a la esquina inferior izquierda de la potería. USA 2, CHI 1
CHI – Mark González (Marco Medel), minuto 66: Después de dar un pase a gol, González anotó su propio tanto después de un pase de pared bien jugada con Marco Medel por la banda izquierda. El pase de Medel habilitó a González, quien entró al área con el balón y soltó un cañonazo que zumbó por un lado de Rimando. USA 2, CHI 2
CHI – Mark González, minuto 75: Después de un muy mal despeje de Estados Unidos, Marco Medel controló el balón y disparó de larga distancia con potencia. El portero de EE.UU. Nick Rimando atajó, pero no pudo controlar y el remate le cayó a González. El chileno no dudó, disparando de primera por un lado de Rimando. USA 2, CHI 3
CHI – Johnny Herrera, minuto 15: Michael Bradley se perfiló para tomar un tiro de esquina del lado derecho, enviando su pase preciso al lado izquierdo del área. Steve Birnbaum leyó bien la jugada y cabeceó su disparo a la portería, pero Herrera estaba atento y atajó sin problema el intento.
USA – Nick Rimando, minuto 37: El defensa de EE.UU. Jermaine Jones perdió el balón en la salida contra Diego Valdés en zona de peligro. Valdés no dudo en llevarse el balón directamente hacia la portería de Rimando, quien salió a achicar el ángulo. Valdés buscaba compañeros, y al verse solo disparó hacia la portería pero Rimando hizo bien la atajada.
USA – Nick Rimando, minuto 39: Chile tomó un tiro de esquina del lado derecho hacia el lado izquierdo del área grande. Un jugador chileno se elevó, cabeceando el balón al primer poste, en donde Erick Pulgar estaba completamente solo. El chileno se elevó para la media tijera, enviando el disparo a la red, pero por afuera del lado derecho.
CHI – Johnny Herrera, minuto 80: El portero de Chile mantuvo la ventaja de su selección en el minuto 80 cuando Birnbaum envió el balón a Michael Bradley. Bradley hábilmente tocó el balón para el suplente Chris Wondolowski, cuyo disparo de cabeza estaba dirigido a la red, pero Herrera reaccionó bien para hacer la atajada.
CHI – Johnny Herrera, minuto 90+2: Herrera de nuevo fue llamado a la acción en el tiempo adicional cuando Estados Unidos envió un balón filtrado por el centro del campo. El debutante Gyasi Zardes lo leyó bien, pero también estaba bien marcado. Zardes alcanzó a disparar, pero Herrera estaba listo para prevenir el gol.
- Resumen de Juego de la Selección Masculina de Estados Unidos -
Encuentro: Selección Masculina de Estados Unidos vs. Chile
Fecha: 28 de enero, 2015
Torneo: Amistoso Internacional
Sede: Estadio El Teniente; Rancagua, Chile
Inicio: 6 p.m. ET
Clima: 88 grados Fahrenheit, despejado
Resumen de anotaciones: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
CHI 1 3 3
USA – Brek Shea (Matt Besler) minuto 9
CHI – Roberto Gutiérrez (Mark González) 11
USA – Jozy Altidore (Mix Diskerud) 31
CHI – Mark González (Marco Medel) 66
CHI – Mark González 75
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 23-Steve Birnbaum, 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt) (20-Gyasi Zardes, 68), 10-Mix Diskerud (6-Wil Trapp, 60), 11-Brek Shea, 9-Bobby Wood (7-Lee Nguyen, 46), 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Chris Wondolowski, 75)
Suplentes no utilizados: 3-Matt Hedges, 12-Sean Johnson, 15-Perry Kitchen, 16-Shane O’Neill, 19-Miguel Ibarra
Director Técnico: Jurgen Klinsmann
CHI: 23-Johnny Herrera; 4-Osvaldo González, 13-José Rojas (capt.), 17-Juan Cornejo; 6-Gonzalo Espinoza (16-Gonzalo Fierro, 72), 15-Erick Pulgar, 10-Marco Medel (5-Paulo Díaz, 79), 19-Diego Valdés (9-Juan Delgado, 59); 7-Bryan Carrasco, 22-Roberto Gutiérrez (18-Andres Vilches, 90+4), 11-Mark González (8-Angelo Sagal, 90+1)
Suplentes no utilizados: 1-Paulo Garcés, 2-Sebastian Vegas, 14-Cesar Valenzuela
Director Técnico: Jorge Sampaoli
Resumen estadístico: USA / CHI
Tiros: 10 / 12
Tiros a Gol: 5 / 5
Atajadas: 2 / 3
Tiros de Esquina: 1 / 9
Faltas: 20 / 19
Fuera de Lugar: 0 / 6
Resumen de penalidades:
USA – Michael Bradley (amonestación) minuto 36
CHI – José Rojas (amonestación) 43
USA – Bobby Wood (amonestación) 45+2
USA – Lee Nguyen (amonestación) 50
USA – Jermaine Jones (amonestación) 52
USA – Matt Besler (amonestación) 71
USA – Brek Shea (amonestación) 88
Árbitro: Patricio Loustau (ARG)
Árbitro Asistente 1: Diego Bonfa (ARG)
Árbitro Asistente 2: Ernesto Uziga (ARG)
Cuarto Oficial: Claudio Puga (CHI)
Jugador del Partido Budweiser: Por determinarse