Ahead of its next match, the U.S. MNT has traveled and trained across Europe from Aarhus, Denmark to its base camp in Zurich, Switzerland. The USA faces Switzerland on March 31 at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and UniMás. Fans can also get all the latest on the U.S. MNT on social media.
For young defender Ventura Alvarado, getting the call as a regular starter at Liga MX powerhouse Club América was significant. Yet, it was the call he wasn’t expecting that was even bigger.
“I was surprised,” Alvarado said about the call he recently received from U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I was about to go to Phoenix for a vacation and an assistant let me know that a call from the U.S. National Team might be coming Ten minutes later coach Klinsmann called me and I was just surprised!”
Phoenix was where it all started for Alvarado 22 years ago. Born to Mexican parents in the United States, the maturing center back is eligible to represent both the U.S. and Mexico on the international soccer stage. For the moment, he is a U.S. player, and his parents, who had initially thought Mexico might be the better place for him, have enjoyed seeing him in the U.S. jersey.
“My family was really excited when I got called up for the U.S. National Team,” he said. “They were happy when I started playing for Club América, and now they’re really happy. They sent me a picture of my nieces and they were holding a newspaper that said ‘Ventura Alvarado goes to the U.S. National Team,’ and they are all smiling. They’re just partying over there right now. They’re so happy, and just hearing them makes me really happy too.”
USMNT Defender Ventura Alvarado makes his international debut against Denmark in the rain of Aarhus.
While still one of the team’s newer players, Alvarado was glad to come in and see some familiar faces like Michael Orozco and Greg Garza, his opponents in Liga MX, who are now his U.S. teammates.
“Guys like Michael Orozco, he has more experience than me. He’s been here a lot of years, and Greg Garza, he has a lot of experience too and has been playing very well in Tijuana. Everything they say to me, it just gives me confidence,” Alvarado said. “It’s nice to have them because we have so much in common, players they know, clubs and coaches. They are my friends. It helps me out a lot.”
Flash forward to last week in Aarhus, Denamrk. Michael Orozco had to come out of the USA’s international friendly against the Danes with a knee injury, handing Alvarado his chance to get on the pitch.
“Earning my first cap, it was an incredible experience,” Alvarado said. “They said, ‘you’re going in,’ and I was just excited!”
Making his first appearance for the USA may be just the first step in Alvarado’s international career. The athletic defender hopes to work his way up to one day to play on soccer’s biggest stage, and so far he’s relishing the opportunity he’s been given with the U.S MNT.
“I hope to work and little by little start getting more minutes, getting more games,” he said. “Little by little, work my way towards being a starter and being known and getting the confidence up of the fans and the coaches and everybody. My ultimate goal is to go to the World Cup. It’s a dream for every player.”
CHICAGO (March 30, 2015) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called in Philadelphia Union forward Zach Pfeffer to join the team for its upcoming match against Denmark on Tuesday, March 31 in Copenhagen.
Pfeffer’s most recent participation with U.S. Soccer was with the U-20 MNT in 2014. He appeared in three international games for the USA, recording one assist and three goals on the year. He has also spent time with the U-17 and U-18 Men’s National Teams.
The U-23 MNT played its first friendly of the year on March 27, defeating Bosnia U-21's 5-2 in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Five different players scored for the U.S. in the match including, Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe, with Luis Gil assisting on three of the tallies.
Morris, who scored the opening goal in the victory, is now with the senior MNT as U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann added the forward to the roster on March 29.
The U.S. U-23 MNT’s two friendlies are part of the team’s first training camp of 2015 currently taking place in Europe. The camp marks the beginning of the team’s qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For more updates, follow the U-23's on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
Thirty years ago, Lee Yarbrough and Stacy Story moved from the United States to Mexico and they never left. William Yarbrough was born in Mexico four years later and brought up there. Two weeks ago, his family history collided with his personal past when he received his first ever call-up to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team.
“My parents moved to Mexico as missionaries and they’ve been there ever since,” Yarbrough told ussoccer.com. “At an early age I knew what I wanted to do, which was play soccer.”
Yarbrough has played professionally in Liga MX since 2010, when he began his professional career with Pachuca before moving to his current club León in 2012. At León, Yarbrough has backstopped the team to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles. Beyond the club level, he knew he wanted to play international soccer, and as a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, he always thought there might be a choice to make one day.
His performances with León caught the eye of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who sent scouts to Mexico City before sending the invitation. Ultimately, Klinsmann elected to call up the goalkeeper, and so far, he likes what he sees.
“William has a wonderful positive character,” Klinsmann said. “He’s highly motivated and wants to learn. Chris Woods, our goalkeeper coach, is full of compliments already so we are really glad to have him in camp.”
Goalkeeper William Yarbrough makes a save on the training pitch in his first camp with the USMNT.
At the moment, Yarbrough is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity to be in camp with the Men’s National Team.
“I like living day-by-day and doing my best every day,” Yarbrough said. “Right now, I’m just looking to give coach Klinsmann and the rest of the teammates a good impression of myself. I want them to know that I’m a person who’s going to give everything on and off the field, who truly shows passion and a commitment to the meaning of representing the United States.”
It certainly helps to have familiar faces on board, and with fellow Liga MX members Ventura Alvarado, Greg Garza, and Michael Orozco also in Zurich, Yarbrough has been able to draw on their experience as he gets adjusted to the new environment.
“It’s been great to talk to those guys that I’ve played with and against in Mexico, and they’ve all been hugely helpful to me, as have the rest of the guys.” Yarbrough said. “My experience with this first call-up has been great. I’ve learned a lot of things. Everyone helps you adapt in a very quick way. Coach Klinsmann has been very helpful with that, too.”
Yabrough has always been a follower of soccer in the United States, but his first real moment of pride in the colors of the National Team came as a 10-year-old watching the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“When the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup in a penalty shootout, I was pretty young,” Yarbrough recalled. “I was up in Montana when that happened, and just seeing the reaction of so many people to a sport that was just growing in the United States was something that caught my attention in a big way.”
His first time with the group has already been a thrill while the prospect of earning his first cap looms as a huge reward for the work he’s put in for so long.
“It’s just an honor,” Yarbrough said. “It’s a privilege to be representing the United States, and I’m trying to take advantage of this opportunity because I don’t want it to be just one time. I want there to be many to come. I think what’s helped is the way the rest of the team helps you feel like you’ve been a part of this group for a really long time.”
PLYMOUTH, England – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team fell to England’s Under-20s 2-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 11,406 fans at Home Park in Plymouth, England. The matched capped off a week-long camp as the U-20 MNT continues preparation for this summer’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
England built a two-goal lead behind goals from John Swift and Kwame Thomas before U.S. forward Maki Tall scored his first international goal for the USA late in the match that featured the U.S. debuts for defender Desevio Payne, midfielder Ethan Sonis, and Tall.
The game began under a driving rain with neither side threatening for the opening 20 minutes. The U.S. had the first chance when Paul Arriola was able to spring Maki Tall down the right side from near midfield. Tall advanced the ball into the box and let go of a shot toward the near post but was denied by a great save from England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 20th minute.
England responded immediately. Captain Matty Grimes ripped a low shot from just inside the box that U.S. goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell stretched out to his left to tip away. Minutes later, Grimes tested Caldwell from about 22 yards, but the U.S. ‘keeper did well to handle the curling, left-footed shot.
Forty-three minutes in, U.S. forwards Rubio Rubin and Bradford Jamieson combined near midfield to get out of pressure, sending Jamieson down the center only to be fouled outside the arc. Rubin took the freekick but could not get it to dip quick enough as it went just over the crossbar.
England took the lead right before the half. Winger Moses Odubajo took a ball down the right side and sent a cross in to the area where an unmarked John Swift collected and shot past Caldwell.
England doubled the lead in the 68th minute on a nice play from the left side as Harry Tofollo linked up with Swift who passed to Kwame Thomas at the top of the six. Thomas re-directed the ball past Caldwell as defenders attempted to block the shot.
The U.S. got one back five minutes later when Rubin beat his man on the left endline near the goal. His cross came back to the top of the six to Joel Sonora who mishit a shot. The ball went to the far post where Maki Tall slid down to shoot past the last defender for his first goal.
The U.S. U-20 MNT will next gather for an Austria-based camp in April that will feature friendlies against Qatar and Croatia.
-U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. England U-20 Men’s National Team
Date: March 29, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Home Park; Plymouth, Devon, UK
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET (3 p.m. Local)
Weather: 48 degrees; Rainy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
ENG 1 1 2
ENG – John Swift (Moses Odubajo) 44th minute
ENG – Kwame Thomas (John Swift) 68
USA – Maki Tall (Joel Sonora) 74
USA: 12-Jeff Caldwell, 2-Shaq Moore, 4- Desevio Payne (14-Conor Donovan, 75), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 3-John Requejo; 6-Russell Canouse (15-Ethan Sonis, 78), 7-Paul Arriola (17-Joel Sonora, 61), 11-Marky Delgado; 10-Maki Tall (16-Boxi Yomba, 78), 9-Rubio Rubin (capt.; 23-Lynden Gooch, 75), 8-Bradford Jamieson IV (21-Tommy Thompson, 46)
Substitutions Not Used: 22-Thomas Olsen, 18-Andrija Novakovic.
Head coach: Tab Ramos
ENG: 13-Jordan Pickford, 4-Dominic Ball, 12-Harry Tofollo, 16-Jack Stephens, 17-Jordan Turnbull; 2-Moses Odubjo (10-Callum Robinson, 70), 7-Matty Grimes (capt.), 15-Harrison Reed, 19-John Swift (14-Jamie Hanson, 89), 20-Alex Mowatt (9-Chuba Akpom, 80), 18-Kwami Thomas
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Christian Walton, 3-Kortney Hause, 5-Dominic Iorfa, 6-Bailey Cargill, 8-Lewis Baker, 9-Chuba Akpom, 11-Jack Barmby.
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd
Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 6 / 8
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 6 / 6
Offside: 1 / 1
ENG – Jack Stephens (caution) 81st minute
USA – Dembakwi Yomba (caution) 82
Referee: Steve Martin (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Russell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Antony Coggins (ENG)
Fourth Official: Adam Hopkins (ENG)