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WNT vs. Switzerland: Reaction - Aug. 20, 2014

Hear from U.S. WNT Head Coach Jill Ellis and players Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Crystal Dunn following the USA's 4-1 win over Switzerland.

Post-Game Quote Sheet: WNT vs. Switzerland – Aug. 20, 2014

U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis

Overall thoughts on the match:
“We knew Switzerland was going to be a good challenge. We played good, uptempo soccer. We got a lot of players in tonight. Some really good spurts and we’ve been focusing on a few things. We haven’t had much time together so overall I was very pleased with the effort and with the result.”

On areas of focus for this game:
“We worked a little bit, talking about our build up and I think we’ve got to get more out of our outside backs going forward. I think we have to get a little bit more connection centrally between our three. But we tried some different things tonight.”

On the new formation, specifically for Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe:
“I wanted Holiday to control the rhythm so I moved her deeper into the midfield. We took Holiday out of the ten. I wanted to see Megan in there because she’s so good running at players. Her final pass is so good. She’s got a shot and she’s dangerous in there.”

On Crystal Dunn’s contribution on the back line and playing on the left side”
“She doesn’t usually play on the left side. I was actually really pleased. Defensively, she’s coming back in. This is her first time back in with me. I actually thought she did a solid job. She’s got to get her timing of her releasing down and how to play out a little bit better. I was pleased. Pleased with her positioning overall.”

On the depth of the WNT:
“Going into our camp for World Cup Qualifiers, we’ll have 26 solid players competing for a spot. I was pleased to see different players come in tonight and start to emerge. I’m really excited about it.”

On Christie Rampone’s role:
"She’s been phenomenal. She’s been hurt, a little banged up and her confidence was a little bit low. She has leadership, the ability to control the line and still her pace, she’s kind of a freak of nature. She’s been fantastic for us. Calms the team, good leader on and off the field. I’m really excited and hope she can make this journey with us. I believe she can.

On Abby Wambach’s return from injury:
“Abby’s coming along and that’s why I think it was so important for her to get a goal tonight. She’s worked very, very hard physically and on the technical side of her game to get up to speed fairly quickly. By our next camp, I think she’ll be 100 percent.”

On Alex Morgan’s return after recovering from injury:
“Alex has found her form. She had a great game the other night. She looks really sharp. That’s why she got the start, because she’s been playing very well and she looked good in camp.”

U.S. WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo

On not breaking the shutout record:
“For me, the record is going to come when it comes. I’m not going to chase it. It’s always disappointing to get scored on if it’s a game with a record-breaking opportunity or not. Of course I’d like to get the record so I can move on and focus on other things, but it’s not the end-all-be-all for me to have it happen here in Cary or against Mexico in the next two games, or whenever it happens.”

U.S. WNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe

On her goal in the third minute:
“I think it popped out wide to Sydney and I was just filling in the top of the box. I took a quick touch and hit it. I think it took a little bit of a deflection going in, but it was on frame at least, so count it.”

On playing in a different formation:
“It is different. It is definitely different than playing the wing. The responsibilities are just different. I have the responsibility to just find the space. It puts a little bit more onus on my to find that space.”

U.S. WNT defender Crystal Dunn

On her contribution to the team:
“I did my best to try and push up when I could. I think Switzerland did a good job of shutting that space down. I think my role on this team is to get the ball and possess it and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”

On head coach Jill Ellis’ decision to move her from right back to left back:
“I’m just happy she wanted me on the field. At the end of the day, she could tell me Hope is taking a break and I’m playing keeper and I’d be happy about that. It was great to be out there regardless of what side I’m on. “

On the back line taking shape:
“It’s going to be big. I think over the past two years we’ve been switching up a lot. I think it’s important to get a set back four. That’s what I’m competing for: to try and win a spot on this team.”

U.S. WNT midfielder Carli Lloyd

On her initial thoughts of the game:
“I thought it was a good result for us. Even though it was a short trip for us, the last couple days we’ve been working on some things. I thought we really started to find the momentum. The second half was fun. We were pinging it around, having some fun, finding some space. Overall, a good result, some good goals, some good things. Obviously there are some things we can tidy up on and work on, but this is a good start for where we want to be.”

On how the team can improve going forward:
“Just having that mindset of getting into our defensive shape a little bit quicker. A little bit more diligent with that. As long as we get back into our shape, then we can take a little bit of time. As long as we’re compact, we won’t give teams a lot of time and space to play. The Swiss were a good, quality side. They had some good attacking abilities. If you give them good time and space, they’re going to ping balls around you. Overall it was a good result.”

On the new formation with Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday and Abby Wambach:
“As long as we can fine tune our shape in the middle, and we started to find that in the second half, Holiday and I started to connect with Rapinoe in there and then Press and when Abby came in. We started to really find the rhythm, find the space and picking off those pockets. We’ve got to keep building off of that.”

U.S. WNT forward Christen Press

On moving forward with a new formation:
“I was higher up the field and there were more counterattacks, so that’s good. I’m just trying to find my way on this team, find my role and see what I can do to help the team win.”

On her goal to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead:
“I think the goal was a corner kick that was headed out. I got on the second ball, and it was a chest and shoulder and volley, I think before it bounced. It was one of those where you strike through the ball, a little bit on one side and it bent into the upper part of the net.”

On having the Stanford women’s soccer team in attendance:
“It’s always great to have your alma mater there. I learned so much from Stanford and I’m glad they could be at the game.”

On the atmosphere and fans:
“I think that the environment tonight was phenomenal. When Abby walked in to the locker room she said, ‘that’s how it should feel going to play a soccer game.’ We all had the chills, with the girls outside screaming and supporting us and all the tailgaters. It’s phenomenal for us to see. It’s such a motivation. We’re so, so blessed to have this support going into our World Cup Qualifiers.”


U.S. WNT Tallies Three Second-Half Goals in 4-1 Rout of Switzerland

CARY, North Carolina (Aug. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored three second-half goals and earned a 4-1 victory against Switzerland in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,992 at WakeMed Soccer Park.

A well-rounded scoring effort featured goals from Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Abby Wambach. Lloyd’s 56th-minute penalty kick served as the game-winner, and Wambach’s second-half PK pushed her USA-record goal scoring total to 168.

This was the first meeting between the two countries at the senior team level. Switzerland has already qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, and the USA will prepare for FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying in October in the United States.

Wednesday marked the first opportunity for goalkeeper Hope Solo to set a new shutout record (currently tied with Briana Scurry with 71 clean sheets), but a Switzerland penalty kick from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic put that milestone on hold.

The U.S. goal total could have been far greater if not for Switzerland goalkeeper Gaëlle Thalmann. She made seven first-half saves as the USA pelted the Swiss goal with eight shots – all of them on frame.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Sydney Leroux), 3rd minute: From midfield, Rapinoe started the U.S. attack and dished to Leroux on the left side. Leroux cut to her right and played the ball back to Rapinoe about 10 yards above the box. Rapinoe fired with her left from about 22 yards out. It took a slight deflection off Switzerland’s Rahel Kiwic and squeaked inside the right side of the frame for the early lead. USA 1, SUI 0

USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty), 56th minute: Megan Rapinoe’s cross from the left side of the box hit the hand of Switzerland’s Fabienne Humm and the USA was awarded the penalty kick. Lloyd was called in for the occasion and stepped up confidently with a low right-footed shot into the left of the frame for the two-goal cushion. Switzerland goalkeeper Gaëlle Thalmann had anticipated the shot going the other direction. USA 2, SUI 0

SUI – Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (penalty), 70th minute: In a similar fashion leading to the USA’s penalty kick, Switzerland’s Ramona Bachmann crossed from the left side and the ball struck U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe’s arm. Referee Katja Koroleva pointed to the spot, and Crnogorcevic took the PK. USA goalkeeper Hope Solo, attempting to break the U.S. WNT shutout record, leaned to her right and Crnogorcevic shot in the other direction to cut the USA’s lead to one. USA 2, SUI 1

USA – Christen Press (unassisted), 77th minute: Following a Christie Rampone free kick into the box, the ball fumbled around and Switzerland’s defense weakly cleared. From 25 yards out, Press chest-trapped the short clearance and fired a right-footed shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and over the end line as goalkeeper Thalmann could only watch. USA 3, SUI 1

USA – Abby Wambach (penalty), 87th minute: On a Carli Lloyd cross from the right, Wambach drew a foul against Switzerland second-half sub Nicole Remund, who shoved the USA striker and earned the PK. Wambach took the penalty herself, a right-footed shot that clipped off of Thalmann’s gloves and into the net for her fifth goal this year and 168th of her storied career. USA 4, SUI 1 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
SUI – Gaëlle Thalmann, 20th minute: USA goalkeeper Hope Solo delivered a deep ball toward a darting Christen Press as she had a step on Switzerland’s back line. Thalmann instinctively rushed off her line and outside the box and headed the ball away before Press could converge.

SUI – Gaëlle Thalmann, 39th and 40th minutes: The busy Switzerland goalkeeper made back-to-back diving stops against the USA’s lethal attack. First, it was an Alex Morgan left-footed shot from the left side of the box that was headed toward the inside of the far right post, but Thalmann dove to her left for the save. Then, Lauren Holiday took a crack from just outside the top of the box, and again Thalmann made a diving save at the near right post.

SUI – Stenia Michel, 46th minute: In the first 12 seconds of the second half, the U.S. nearly took advantage of an errant pass in Switzerland’s half. Carli Lloyd fired from outside the box and Michel, who had just entered the game, made a swatting right-handed save on a shot that was bound for the upper right corner.

Milestone Watch:

  • Defender and team captain Christie Rampone made her 295th appearance as she nears the 300-cap milestone. Rampone is second all-time in WNT history to Kristine Lilly in games played. Lilly had 352 caps from 1987-2010.
  • Carli Lloyd moved past Briana Scurry for 13th in career appearances with 174.
  • Hope Solo tied Michelle Akers for 17th all-time in career caps with 153.
  • Lloyd now has 51 goals for her career as she is ninth on the all-time goal scoring list.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will host two matches against Mexico, first on Sept. 13 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (4:30 p.m. MT), followed by a Sept. 18 match at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET).
Broadcast information: Sept. 13 – TBD; Sept. 18 – ESPN2, WatchESPN
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt | @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. is now 8-2-3 this year.
  • Hope Solo moved to 118-9-18 for her career. She is second only to Briana Scurry for all-time wins (Scurry went 133-12-14 from 1994-2008).
  • Christen Press now has 13 goals in 25 international appearances.
  • The USA improved to 108-2-8 when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
  • Wambach has now scored at least five goals in a calendar year 11 times in her 14 years with the WNT.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup featured a defensive corps led by Solo in goal, Crystal Dunn at left back, Ali Krieger at right back and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and team captain Christie Rampone.
  • The midfield of the 4-3-3 featured Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe.
  • The USA’s starting forward trio included Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan and Press.
  • The U.S. rolled out three substitutions to open the second half. Wambach entered for Leroux, Meghan Klingenberg replaced Krieger and Julie Johnston got the call for Sauerbrunn.
  • Heather O’Reilly replaced Morgan in the 66th minute, Morgan Brian entered for Rapinoe in the 78th minute, and Allie Long replaced Holiday in the 85th minute.
  • O’Reilly, Press and Sauerbrunn have played in all 13 games this year.
  • Krieger and Lloyd lead the USA with 12 starts apiece in 2014.
  • Ellis is now 8-0-3 as the U.S. WNT head coach.
  • Ten players on the U.S roster that trained this week in North Carolina return to National Women’s Soccer League play for the semifinal stage of the league’s second season. FC Kansas City hosts Portland Thorns FC on Saturday, Aug. 23 (1 p.m. ET, ESPN2), and Seattle Reign FC takes on the Washington Spirit on Aug. 24 (11 p.m. ET, ESPN2).

-U.S. Women’s National Team Report-

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Switzerland
Date: Aug. 20, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, North Carolina
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 9,992
Weather: 77 degrees, cool

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 3 4
SUI                          0 1 1

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Sydney Leroux)    3rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty)                         56
SUI – Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (penalty)    71
USA – Christen Press (unassisted)              77
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty)                 87

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (25-Meghan Klingenberg, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (16-Julie Johnston, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Crystal Dunn; 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday (6-Allie Long, 85), 15-Megan Rapinoe (7-Morgan Brian, 78); 2-Sydney Leroux (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 13-Alex Morgan (9-Heather O’Reilly, 66), 23-Christen Press
Substitutions Not Used: 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

SUI: 1-Gaëlle Thalmann (12-Stenia Michel, 46); 5-Noëlle Maritz, 14-Rahel Kiwic (8-Sandy Maendly, 82), 15-Caroline Abbé (capt.); 7-Martina Moser (22-Vanessa Bernauerk, 68), 9-Lia Wälti, 16-Fabienne Humm (2-Nicole Remund, 68), 18-Vanessa Bürki (6-Selina Kuster, 56); 10-Ramona Bachmann, 11-Lara Dickenmann, 13-Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (19-Eseosa Aigbogun, 74)
Substitutions Not Used: 23-Fabienne Bangerter
Head coach: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

Stats Summary: USA / SUI
Shots: 16 / 7
Shots on Goal: 15 / 1
Saves: 0 / 10
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
SUI – Rahel Kiwic (caution)           19th minute
SUI – Lia Wälti (caution)               45+1
SUI – Caroline Abbé (caution)      58
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution)          85

Officials:
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
Fourth Official: Christopher Spivey (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lauren Holiday

U-18s Rally Past Hungary to Open Czech Republic Tournament

SPYTIHNEV, Czech Republic (Aug. 20, 2014) – Led by Sebastian Elney’s second-half brace, the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team overcame a one-goal halftime deficit to beat Hungary 3-1 in the USA’s opener of the 21st International Tournament of Vaclav Jezek.

Trailing 1-0 after a first half full of chances for the U.S., Elney scored the equalizer in the 50th minute off of a Ben Swanson assist.

Just four minutes later, Elney struck again to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead in the 54th minute, with Pablo Pelaez recording the assist.

The U.S. would get an insurance goal in the 82nd minute when Haji Wright scored from a Collin Fernandez assist to extend the lead to 3-1.

With the win, the U.S. sits in second place in Group A and will face the Czech Republic on Thursday, Aug. 21, for the top spot in the group. Both teams are tied with three points, but the Czech Republic holds the goal-differential tiebreaker due to its 4-1 victory over Hungary on Tuesday, Aug. 19. The Czech Republic needs either a draw or a win to earn first in the group.

U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Match Report

Match: United States U-18 Men’s National Team vs. Hungary
Date: August 20, 2014
Competition: 21st International Youth Tournament of Václav Ježek
Venue: Spytihnev; Spytihnev, Czech Republic
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. local
Weather: 68 degrees

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F         
USA                             0          3          1
HUN                             1          0          1

HUN     Benedek Murka                                                             4 minute
USA     Sebastian Elney (Ben Swanson)                                     50
USA     Sebastian Elney (Pablo Pelaez)                                      54
USA     Haji Wright (Collin Fernandez)                                         82

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Kyle Duncan, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 15-Mauricio Pineda, 3-Pablo Pelaez, 20-Jackson Yueill (11-Sebastian Saucedo, 62), 6-Ben Swanson, 10-Mukwelle Akale (14-Collin Fernandez, 77), 13-Victor Mansaray (19-Haji Wright, 61), 18-Sebastian Elney (7-Jorge Ruiz, 86), 8-Cameron Lindley
Subs Not Used: 4-Justen Glad, 9-Coy Craft, 16-Malcolm Jones, 17-Sean Wilson, 22-JT Marcinkowski
Head Coach: Javier Perez

HUN: 12-Renato Boros; 14-Daniel Kertai (13-Daniel Kutai, 77), 3-Imre Feher, 5-Bonifac Csonka, 6-Donat Szivacski, 4-Noel Laszlo, 8-Andras Erdei (15-Krisztofer Orlik, 53), 16-Miklos Kitl, 18-Benedek Murka (9-Alex Pendl, 56), 11-Zsolt Ovari (17-Milan Toth, 61), 10-Roland Sallai
Subs Not Used: 1-Peter Ipacs, 2-Balazs Farkas, 7-Patrik Ternovan
Head Coach: Istvan Mihalecz                                                                                   

Stats Summary: USA / HUN
Shots: 14 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 16 / 15
Offside:  5 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
HUN                 Daniel Kertai                 Caution             43
USA                 Pablo Pelaez                 Caution             77
USA                 Sebastian Saucedo       Caution             85

Officials:
Referee: Vit Ondras
Assistant Referee: Petr Antonicek
Assistant Referee: Petr Vyslouzil
Fourth Official: N/A


U.S. WNT Stadium Training in Cary, North Carolina

Here’s an up close look at the U.S. Women’s National Team training in Cary, N.C., on Aug. 19, 2014, the day before its match against Switzerland at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Abby Wambach Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

U.S. WNT forward Abby Wambach completes the #alsicebucketchallenge from U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. She will be donating to this worthy cause and challenges the #USMNT.

Paralympian Josh McKinney to be Honored at WNT Match

Longtime U.S. Paralympian Josh McKinney will be recognized at halftime of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s game against Switzerland on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

McKinney announced in June that he would retire from his impressive career on the U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team. McKinney represented the USA for 19 years, scoring 81 goals in 124 games.

“It’s been an honor to wear the crest and play for the U.S. for 19 years,” McKinney said during the USA’s trip to Barcelona, Spain, for the 7-a-Side Championship. “I will always be grateful for U.S. Soccer, my coaches and teammates, all who are family to me.”

McKinney wore the captain’s armband starting in 2005, and he played in three Paralympic Games.

On May 6, 2012, McKinney earned his 100th cap during the USA’s match against Russia in Yevpatoriya, Ukraine.

Rodriguez, Sauerbrunn Reflect on 2004 Trip to Thailand

The very first venture into big-time international soccer for U.S. Women's National Team players Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez turned into a bittersweet experience.

Their participation at the 2004 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship was quite sweet because of its exotic location – Thailand – and the competition opened the eyes of both teenagers to the demands of one the highest levels of international soccer.

It was bitter as well, because the Americans failed in their quest to win the championship and due to the damage and loss of life the great tsunami caused a month afterwards.

The team had discovered paradise in Phuket, Thailand.

"I loved my experience in Thailand," Rodriguez said. "It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Actually, one of my favorite countries ever. Very exotic, very beautiful. It was gorgeous. It was amazing."

Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn

The team's first two group-stage games were in Phuket. The USA stayed at a beach hotel.

"We lucked out," Sauerbrunn said. "You look out your window and you're looking straight at the ocean. The first time I walked through the lobby I was like 'Oh my God. I had never seen this.' It was beautiful. I really wasn't expecting the turnout at the games, either. The Thai people really came out. We got 10,000 people for the opening matches and for a lot of us; we had never played in front of that kind of crowd before. The country did the tournament justice."

It might have been paradise, but the tournament was work for the WNT. The U.S. won its first four matches before running into a talented German side, losing them in the semifinals, 3-1. Germany would go on to win the tournament. The USA blanked Brazil and an 18-year-old Marta in the third-place match, 3-0.

Rodriguez said not winning "was quite disappointing," which only left the players hungry for more success.

"Most definitely," she said. "My goal, my ultimate career goal at this point is to win a World Cup. I'm hoping that I have a good year this year and I can make that World Cup team and hopefully get that World Cup gold that I haven't been able to get."

The tournament turned out to be a learning experience on several levels.

"It was a gut check," Sauerbrunn said. "It was kind of an expectation that we were going to win. For a lot of girls it was the first time, like, wow, we're not used to this. This is not a good feeling. What I carried on from the U-19s is that it doesn't matter how hard you prepare, what you're doing; you show up on that day, you take care of business."

Nikki Krzysik, Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy Rodriguez

Rodriguez remembered how fast the players and teams were.

"I was shocked as a 17-year-old playing against these great players," she said. "The speed of play was much quicker. I was still in high school at the time when I was brought in with the U-19s, so I learned to play a lot of faster and how to go against tough competition."

They also learned how fragile life and paradise can be. On Dec. 26, 2004, about month after the tournament final, a tsunami wreaked havoc in 15 countries. The Phuket hotel was destroyed. More than 230,000 people were killed, including almost 5,400 in Thailand.

"I felt very fortunate to be there when I did in such beauty and such an awesome experience, but it was sad to hear that it was destroyed by a giant tsunami," Rodriguez said.

Added Sauerbrunn "It just makes you put things into perspective a little bit about soccer. For us it's a passion, but it’s not an end-all, be-all of life. We were so sad about the people that we met, the hotel staff. We were still bummed about the tournament then it was kind of like well, there way worse things that can happen to us. We should be really fortunate for everything that we had."

Amy Rodriguez, Jen Redmond and Becky Sauerbrunn

U.S. Soccer to Offer VIP Experiences for International Friendly in Ireland

CHICAGO (Aug. 19, 2014) – U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s international friendly on Nov. 18 in Dublin, Ireland.

VIP Experience guests enjoy the matches and the culture of the host countries as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, providing them with exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a unique travel opportunity.

There are two different packages available for the VIP Experience. U.S. Soccer will offer a four-day trip from Nov. 16-19 to watch the U.S. take on Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin (the match is on Tuesday, Nov. 18). In addition, guests can also ask about an eight-day “Extended Tour” with U.S. Soccer, which includes an additional match in England. Space is limited in both packages

The Premium Package Includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Team Hotel and breakfast each morning
  • Premium match tickets
  • Tours to enjoy the best of local culture and history
  • Ground transportation to and from all scheduled activities, including airport arrival and departure
  • Behind-the-scenes access to a U.S. National Team training session
  • VIP Welcome Dinner
  • Premium U.S. Soccer gifts, and more

Round-trip international airfare is not included in the package, though guests will receive complimentary assistance with flight bookings using U.S. Soccer’s Travel Agency.

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting between the two since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where Ireland collected a 2-1 win. The match falls on an international fixture date, which means U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has the option to select any player he chooses for the match.

U.S. Soccer is a registered 501c3 non-profit. The minimum donation to enjoy the four-day VIP Experience is $5,395. A portion of your donation is tax deductible, and proceeds from these VIP Experiences will support important soccer development programs, including need-based scholarships for talented young players, high-performance national team programming and coaching instructors.

To reserve your VIP Experience tickets, contact U.S. Soccer today at vip@ussoccer.org.

Academy Alumni Update: Serna, Saad Power Long-Distance Strikes in MLS Play

Dillon Serna of the Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City’s Soony Saad each tallied exceptional goals to highlight a big weekend for Development Academy alumni in Major League Soccer play and abroad.

Serna, formerly of the Rapids Academy system, scored on a running, left-footed strike from distance during the Rapids’ 4-2 loss to D.C. United on Sunday, Aug. 17.  His celebratory back flip also was equally impressive. Jared Watts, an alum of the Carolina Rapids, recorded the assist.

Serna’s tally is up for MLS Goal of the Week.

Saad, formerly of Vardar SC, corralled a corner kick and fired a right-footed shot through a crowded box and into the left corner of the net in Sporting Kansas City’s 3-1 win against Toronto FC on Saturday, Aug. 16. Saad also recorded an assist in the match. Jon Kempin, a homegrown Sporting Kansas City player, made his first MLS start in goal and came up with a fantastic save.

Zardes Continues Hot Streak: LA Galaxy Academy product Gyasi Zardes scored his ninth goal in his past 10 matches during the Galaxy’s 4-1 loss to the Columbus Crew. His 49th-minute tally was a one-timer from the middle of the box off of a Dan Gargan cross. Zardes’ shot into the right corner of the goal now gives him 10 tallies on the season.

Bruin Scores in Dynamo Victory: Will Bruin scored his ninth goal of the season to give the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 lead against the Philadelphia Union in the 51st minute, a match the Dynamo would go on to win 2-0. Bruin, a St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri alum, ran down the middle of the field as teammate Giles Barnes dribbled down the left side and got behind the defense. Barnes cross found Bruin in front of the goal at point-blank range, and Bruin one-touched the cross home.

Hamid, Kemp Shine in D.C. United Win:  D.C. United homegrown product Bill Hamid made a diving save from a close-range shot to help D.C. United preserve a 4-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids. Real Colorado alum Taylor Kemp contributed to D.C. United’s offensive outburst with two assists.

Speas Helps Crew to Four-Goal Performance: Crew Soccer Academy alum Ben Speas scored the third of four Columbus goals against the LA Galaxy to help hand the Galaxy its worst loss of the season. Speas’ left-footed shot from the left side of the box netted him his first goal of the 2014 season and second of his career. 

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
July 4, 2009 MNT vs Grenada 4-0 W CenturyLink Field; Seattle, Wash. 15,387 Adu, Holden, Rogers, Davies
July 8, 2009 MNT vs Honduras 2-0 W RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C. 26,079 Quaranta, Ching
July 11, 2009 MNT vs Haiti 2-2 D Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass. 24,137 Arnaud, Holden
July 18, 2009 MNT vs Panama 2-1 W Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pa. 31,087 Beckerman, Cooper
July 23, 2009 MNT vs Honduras 2-0 W Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill. 55,173 Goodson, Cooper
July 26, 2009 MNT vs Mexico 0-5 L Giants Stadium; E. Rutherford, N.J. 79,156 --
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