US SoccerUS Soccer
  • DateSaturday, July 26, 2003
  • VenueOrange Bowl; Miami, Fla.
  • Attendance5,093
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Ellis Names WNT Roster for Matches in Europe against France and England

CHICAGO (Jan. 30, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players for a 13-day trip to Europe that will feature matches against France on Feb. 8 in Lorient (12 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and against England on Feb. 13 in Milton Keynes (3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

The USA has not played in France since 1995 when it was also preparing for a World Cup and played three matches against Italy, Canada and France over a span of five days. The USA last played a friendly match in England on April 2, 2011, falling to England, 2-1. The USA played four of its six 2012 Olympic matches in England with the first two being played in Glasgow, Scotland.

Both France and England went unbeaten in their UEFA Women's World Cup qualifying groups. France compiled a 10-0-0 record while scoring 54 goals and allowing just three. England also went 10-0-0, while netting 52 goals against just one allowed. France is currently ranked third in the world and England is sixth.

"These games are exactly what we need," said Jill Ellis when the matches were announced. "Our goal leading up to the World Cup is to play some of the best teams. These are two opponents that will test us and certainly two teams we could meet in Canada. Both teams are exceptionally well-organized, have a high level of athleticism and will pose some excellent challenges."

Twenty-three of the 24 players named participated in the USA’s three-week January camp, with the only addition being first-time call-up Tori Huster, a midfielder with the Washington Spirit.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA will be without three regulars for this tour as Megan Rapinoe (knee) and Christie Rampone (back) picked up minor injuries during the USA’s January training camp and will not be ready for action, and goalkeeper Hope Solo is serving a suspension.
  • The U.S. Women played France twice in June of 2014 in two highly competitive matches: a 1-0 U.S. victory in Tampa, Florida, on a score from Sydney Leroux and a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Connecticut, in which Alex Morgan scored both goals.
  • The USA’s group for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup features Australia, Sweden and Nigeria. England and France are in Group F with Colombia and Mexico.
  • The USA is 14-0-2 all-time against France. The teams met in the semifinal of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and during group play at the 2012 Olympics.
  • The USA is 7-3-1 all-time against England. The teams haven't met since the match in London in 2011.
  • The U.S. WNT includes players who have played professional club soccer in both France and England. Tobin Heath played with Paris Saint-Germain from 2013-14 while Whitney Engen helped the Liverpool Ladies to a league title in 2013.
  • Carli Lloyd and Christen Press led the USA in games played in 2014, both seeing action in 23 out of the 24 total games. Lloyd started all 23 of her matches to lead the team.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

Hall of Fame Builder Milton Aimi Passes Away at Age 88

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.

Photo Gallery: MNT vs. Chile

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. 

MNT vs. Chile: Highlights - Jan. 28, 2015

The U.S. MNT fell to Chile 3-2 in the first match of 2015.

Quote Sheet: MNT vs. Chile - Klinsmann, Altidore, Shea, Birnbaum

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

Opening comments:
“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.”

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