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Altidore Double Highlights MNT Contributions to Club Success

Now just over two months out, the U.S. MNT players have their eyes set on making an impact for the USA in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. For now, their work is with their club teams, where last weekend a number of U.S. players made a difference.

Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC

Altidore collected his third and fourth goals of the season after notching a double in Toronto FC’s 2-0 win over Orlando City SC. In the 50th minute, Altidore quickly played a free kick from inside of the center circle to teammate Sebastain Giovinco, who in-turn touched it right back to Altidore. From there Altidore did the rest, zipping past the defense and ripping a shot that just tipped off Orlando City GK Donovan Ricketts’ hands and bounced in off the far post. In the 83rd minute, he got around the defense again. His second score came when he took down a long pass and fooled both a defender and the goalkeeper with a cut in the box that he followed with a left-footed finish.

Watch: Altidore goals

Fabian Johnson, D, Borussia Mönchengladbach

Fabian Johnson played a key part in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s 1-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg. Johnson completed 29 of 34 passes one of which set up the game-winning goal. The win was huge for ‘Gladbach as it clinched at least a qualifying spot in the next edition of the UEFA Champions League.

Watch: Match Highlights

Clint Dempsey, F, Seattle Sounders FC

Clint Dempsey led the Seattle Sounders to a victory over rival Portland Timbers by scoring the game-winning goal in the 77th minute of the match. In front of a crowd of 41,541 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Dempsey tapped in a rebound from close range after Andy Rose’s initial shot was saved by the Portland GK Adam Kwarasey. The goal was Dempsey’s second through Kwarasey in the last year. He put one past him in just 30 seconds into the USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup opener against Ghana last June.

Watch: Dempsey Goal

Alejandro Bedoya, M, Nantes

Alejandro Bedoya headed home the game-tying goal for Nantes in its Ligue 1 road match versus Toulouse. With two minutes left in regulation, Nantes trailed by a goal and was given a corner kick. Bedoya made his move to the back post and buried a header to save a point for Nantes.

Watch: Bedoya goal

Aron Johannsson, F, AZ Alkmaar

Aron Johannsson tallied his sixth goal of the season for AZ, flicking in a cross with the outside of his left foot for a goal in the game’s 35th minute. AZ would go on to win 2-0 over FC Twente. The win was important for AZ as the team continues to work for a Europa League spot. Johannsson’s team now trails the third-place position by three points with two more matches to play this season.

Watch: Johannsson goal

Academy Alumni: Caldwell and Jamieson Score First MLS Goals

This past weekend was a big one for the Development Academy as it was the first time since the Academy was founded in 2007, that 30 alumni appeared in MLS matches in one weekend. This feat is particularly impressive because a few regulars of the MLS circuit were away on National Team duty with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.

In addition, two alumni tallied their first MLS goal, as Scott Caldwell (New England Revolution Academy) and Bradford Jamieson IV (Chivas USA and LA Galaxy Academy) got on the board to help their teams in yet another exciting weekend in Major League Soccer.

For Caldwell, his goal and assist came in a 4-0 New England Revolution victory over Real Salt Lake. Two other alumni made a significant impact in the game; with Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bull Academy) also adding a score and an assist, and Kelyn Rowe (Crossfire Premier) recording an assist. The Revs are now in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-2-2 record and 14 points. (WATCH: Match Highlights

Jamieson notched his first MLS goal early in the game with a ninth-minute strike that saw the forward give the Galaxy the 1-0 lead before New York Red Bulls found the tying score in the second half.

In a high-scoring game between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City that saw both teams combine to score eight goals, Will Bruin (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri) did his part in the attacking third for Houston, adding a goal in first half stoppage time to send the Dynamo into the locker room with a 2-1 lead. 

Dillon Powers (Andromeda FC) provided an assist on teammate Nick LaBrocca’s goal over the weekend to help Colorado Rapids find the equalizer against FC Dallas late in the second half.

Finally, in the weekend action that took place oversees, Aron Johannsson (IMG Academy) got the start for AZ Alkmaar and scored the team’s second goal in its 2-0 win over Twente on Sunday.

Familiar and Fresh Faces Gather in Bosnia for U-18 MNT Camp

The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team is currently in Bosnia for its first training camp of 2015. Head coach Javier Perez and his 20-player roster already squared off with Bosnian premier league club Siroki Brijeg in a scrimmage on April 25, where they won with a convincing 6-0 final score line. Next, the team is poised for a pair of friendly matches with Bosnia’s U-19 National Team on April 28, followed by a second on April 30.

“This is a really important trip for us because it’s the before-last camp and we are doing it in a foreign camp,” Perez said. “We are going to play against Bosnia’s U-19 team which is one year older than us and for them, it’s a really important moment because they are close to the UEFA European U-19 Championship, so we expect very tough competition.”

Earlier this year, the U-18’s competed in the 2015 Copa Chivas Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they played against Monarcas Morelia, Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, Club Tijuana and Club Deportivo Universidad Catolica. Ten players who competed at Copa Chivas are back for this camp in Bosnia, with a few fresh faces joining them this time around.

“We have a good combination of players with a lot of experience with the National Team and we have some new players doing very well with club teams like with the case of Marcello Borges with New York Red Bulls. It’s his first time with any National Team. Mason Stajduhar, he’s with Orlando City SC - it’s his first international trip with us. Also, Jeremiah Gutjahr (Indiana Fire) is in his first cycle with the international team.

“Then on the other side we have players like Mukwelle Akale (Villarreal CF) or Ben Swanson (Columbus Crew SC) or Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire) or Tommy Redding (Orlando City SC) who have been around the team for a long time and they are core-group players.”

For Marcello Borges this call to camp has been nearly 18 years in the making. He said that now that he is here he is going to give it everything he has.

“I’ve been wanting to get a call since I was a young boy so getting a call for the first time, I was very excited to prove what I had and to show that I deserve to be here,” Borges said. “It’s going well. The players here are all top quality too. It moves quicker than back at home, but I’ll adjust to it and I’ll play well. You always have to play to their level and try to improve. Every day playing against the best players, you improve yourself, so I’m just trying to do my best.”

Borges said that he hopes to learn as much as he can at this camp both on and off the field, taking advice from guys that have been around the system for a while and hoping to use what he learns when he’s back home. Players like Akale are helping lead the way for newer players like Borges.

“I think in Villareal we’re always going 100 percent all the time and that’s the goal for us here. If we bring that here we’ll be a lot better,” Akale said. “I hope to show that here and be a leader.”

As the team continues to progress, it will also be put to the test when it takes on a Bosnian team that Perez expects to be very physical. Nonetheless, it is a challenge that the team is eager to take on.

“I’m looking forward to playing a physical side,” Akale said. “[It will be] a physical and tough match and set pieces are going to be important for us.”

Perez says the match will be a good opportunity for the players to work on their feet and to operate technically to move the ball around quickly, thus creating another occasion and possible moment of experience for the young team that is always looking to improve.

U-15 BNT Downs Croatia 6-2 at Tournament Delle Nazioni

VIPOLZE, Slovenia (April 26, 2015) – The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team continued its strong run at the 12th Tournament Delle Nazioni with a 6-2 win over Croatia on Sunday, April 26 in Vipolze, Slovenia.

Ayo Akinola scored four goals and Andrew Carleton added a brace - he also had one a day before against Costa Rica - to help the U.S. to six points in Group C. All six goals for the USA came with an assist, as Adrian Villegas recorded three, George Acosta two and Akinola added a final one. The U.S. U-15 BNT has now scored 10 goals in the tournament while only allowing three.

The USA will play its last group stage match against Slovenia on April 27 and will advance in the tournament based on seeding following play from all three groups competing.

Scoring Summary:

USA – Ayo Akinola (George Acosta), 31 minute:
Acosta won a challenge at the half way line and played a ball immediately in behind to Akinola. Akinola was able to get a step on the final defender and finished for the USA’s first goal of the game. USA 1, CRO 0 

CRO – Leon Pretovic (David Colina), 34 minute: The USA turned the ball over the middle third of the field and Croatia played it wide to Colina who served the ball into the back post and found Pretovic, who was left unmarked and equalized the match. USA 1, CRO 1

USA – Ayo Akinola (George Acosta), 42 minute: The USA played a deep ball from its defending half down the right side to Acosta who was able to get in behind the Croatian defense. Acosta proceeded towards the goal and served a ball back across to Akinola, who tapped it in for the USA’s second goal. USA 2, CRO 1

USA – Ayo Akinola (Adrian Villegas), 45 minute: The U.S. built its attack through a combination into the final third and Villegas slipped the ball into Akinola, who was able to beat the Croatian defender to the ball scored for the hat trick in the match. USA 3, CRO 1

CRO – Bartol Franjic, 57 minute: Croatia was able to notch its second goal in the game from a free kick from 20 yards out. USA 3, CRO 2

USA – Ayo Akinola (Adrian Villegas), 60 minute: Chris Durkin won a challenge at the halfway line and found Villegas right away in the attacking third; he then immediately turned to find Akinola slipping through a seam, allowing him to knock-in his fourth tally of the match. USA 4, CRO 2

USA – Andrew Carleton (Ayo Akinola), 63 minute: The U.S. built again through the middle third and after a couple different combinations, Villegas finds Akinola once again. Akinola received the ball and ran at the defense where Carleton is making a run from the left side. Akinola then slipped him the ball, allowing Carleton to send it to the back post. USA 5, CRO 2

USA – Andrew Carleton (Adrian Villegas), 65 minute: Carleton picked off a ball in Croatia’s defensive third and then played a combination with Villegas, who gives the ball back to Carleton and finished within 6-8 yards. USA 6, CRO 2. FINAL

- U.S. U-15 Boys' National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-15 BNT v. Croatia
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015
Competition: Tournament Delle Nazioni, Group Play
Venue: Renje, Slovenia
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local
Attendance: 65
Weather: 69 degrees 

Scoring Summary:       1 2 F
USA                             1 5 6
Costa Rica                    1 0 1

USA – Ayo Akinola (George Acosta)                  31 minute
CRO – Leon Pretovic (David Colina)                   34
USA – Ayo Akinola (George Acosta)                  42
USA – Ayo Akinola (Adrian Villegas)                  45
CRO – Bartol Franjic                                          57
USA – Ayo Akinola (Adrian Villegas)                  60
USA – Andrew Carleton (Ayo Akinola)                63
USA – Andrew Carleton (Adrian Villegas)            65

Lineups:
USA: 22-Alex Budnik, 19-Jaylin Lindsey (2-Bryan Perez, 53), 5-Rayshaun McGann, 3-Kelee Cornfield-Saunders, 21-Chandler Vaughn (8-Chris Durkin, 53), 18-Chris Goslin, 6-Blaine Ferri (15-Carlos Anguiano Diaz, 60), 20-Adrian Villegas, 13-George Acosta (11-Andrew Carleton, 60), 16-Ayo Akinola, 17-Zico Bailey
Subs not used: 1-Eric Lopez, 7-Tim Weah, 9-Lucas Del Rosario, 10-Nicholas Taitague, 4-Jake Arteaga
Not dressed: none 
Head Coach: John Hackworth

CRO: 12-Ivor Pandur, 11-Dino Kapitanovic, 5-Luka Jelenic (6-Ante Palaversa, 36), 4, Stipe Radic, 3-David Colina (2-Martin Krizmanic, 36), 14-Tomislav Dumlijan, 13-Di Mateo Lovric (10-Bartol Franjic, 36), 8-Luka Pavlak, 16-Leon Petrovic (7-Leon-Habib Ernst, 36), 19-Roko Baturina, 15-Matej Vuk (20-Antonio Marin, 18)
Subs not used: 9-Michele Sego, 17-Jozef Kuqi, Josip Sutalo
Not dressed: 1-Dominik Kotarski 
Head Coach: Mladen Ivancic

Stats Summary: USA / CRO
Shots: 11 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 3
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 2
Offside: 3 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Kelee Cornfield-Saunders (caution)          46 minute
USA – Bryan Perez (caution)                              56 minute

Officials:
Referee – Dzvzdanovic Jasmin
Referee Assistant No. 1 – Primoz Stoken
Referee Assistant No. 2 – Iztok Lozar

U-15 BNT Opens Tournament Delle Nazioni with 4-1 Win over Costa Rica

VIPOLZE, Slovenia (April 25, 2015) – The U.S. Under-15 Boys’ National Team opened up group play at the 12th Tournament Delle Nazioni with a 4-1 victory over Costa Rica on Saturday, April 25 in Vipolze, Slovenia.

Lucas del Rosario and Andrew Carleton each scored a brace for the U-15 BNT to lift the team past its Group C opponent. In addition, Tim Weath recorded two assists for the U.S., and del Rosario added one more.

Costa Rica struck early in the match with a tally in the second minute, but the USA stormed back to score four unanswered goals and take a comfortable lead into the half that they would maintain the remainder of the game.

Next, the USA takes on Croatia on April 26 and concludes the group stage against Slovenia on April 27.

Scoring Summary:

CRC – Josue Valverde, 2 minute: Throw-infor Costa Rica in USA’s defensive third. Ball is thrown-in and Jake Arteaga from the USA steps out, but is beat on the run and Valverde finds a way to finish on the far post. USA 0, CRC 1

USA – Andrew Carleton, 10 minute:
The U.S. began pressing inside Costa Rica’s defensive half. That’s where Carleton picked off a ball that Costa Rica tried to play wide to the outside back and finished from 20 yards out. USA 1, CRC 1 

USA – Lucas del Rosario (Tim Weath), 17 minute: The USA was once again pressing Costa Rica, this time in its defensive third, when Weath picked off the pass wide and played it back across to del Rosario who finished finding the back of the net. USA 2, CRC 1

USA – Lucas del Rosario (Tim Weath), 23 minute: The USA won the ball at midfield, where Weath played a deep ball in behind to del Rosario, who was running off the ball and created a 1v1 with the goalkeeper. Del Rosario was able to beat the goalkeeper and score his second goal of the match. USA 3, CRC 1

USA – Andrew Carleton (Lucas del Rosario), 28 minute: The U.S. was combining through the middle third into the final third, when del Rosario found a gap between the Costa Rican defense to pass it to Carleton, who ran with the ball, beat the goalkeeper and sent one to the near post to finish for the USA’s final goal. USA 4, CRC 1. FINAL

- U.S. U-15 Boys' National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-15 BNT v. Costa Rica
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Competition: Tournament Delle Nazioni, Group Play
Venue: Vipolze, Slovenia
Kickoff: 5 p.m. local
Attendance: 55
Weather: 60 degrees

Scoring Summary:       1 2 F
USA                             4 0 4
CRC                            1 0 1 

CRC – Josue Valverde                                       2 minute
USA – Andrew Carleton                                     10
USA– Lucas de Rosario (Tim Weah)                   17
USA – Lucas del Rosario (Tim Weath)                23
USA – Andrew Carleton (Lucas del Rosario)       28

Lineups:
USA: 1-Eric Lopez, 2-Bryan Perez, 4-Jake Arteaga, 19-Jaylin Lindsey, 21-Chandler Vaughn (3-Kelee Cornfield-Saunders, 56), 8-Chris Durkin, 15-Carlos Anguiano Diaz (6-Blaine Ferri, 56), 10-Nicholas Taitague (13-George Acosta, 28), 7-Tim Weah (20-Adrian Villegas, 50), 9-Lucas Del Rosario (16-Ayo Akinola, 50), 11-Andrew Carleton (17-Zico Bailey, 50)
Subs not used: 22-Alex Budnik
Not dressed: 5-Rayshaun McGann, 18-Chris Goslin
Head Coach: John Hackworth

CRC: 1-Patrick Mejas, 2-Dennis Loasiga, 5-Kaylor Morales, 6-JurgenGuzman, 19-Danny Bolivar Garcia, 12-Christian Salazar (8-Emmanuel Quesada, 43rd), 7-Johan Bustamante (13-Daniel Fonseca, 36), 15-Ronnier Guiles (16-Jose Vargas, 36), 11-Daniel Roldan (17-Jose Guzman, 54), 9-Andy Vado (4-Fernan Tristan, 66), 10-Josue Valverde
Subs not used: 18-Kevin Rodriguez, 14-Estaban Sanchez, 3-Pablo Badilla
Not dressed: None
Head Coach: Cristian Salomon

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 10 / 4
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 5
Offside: 2 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Ayo Akinola (caution)      58 minute

Officials:
Referee – Hajdic Osman
Referee Assistant No. 1 – Bozie Alen
Referee Assistant No. 2 – Rustja Matej

Play-In Round Winners Advance to U.S. Open Cup First Round

Cal FC Defeats San Francisco City FC 2-1 
Cal FC took its first step in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, using two second half penalty kicks from Chris Cummings and Jonathan Bravo to down San Francisco City FC Saturday afternoon at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California.

Playing in front of a “Play-In” Round record-crowd of 1,519 at Kezar Stadium, the visitors - famous for their 2012 U.S. Open Cup run where they upset Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers - dominated most of the possession in the first half, but saw the home side with the better of the early chances.

Taking the ball in stride in the 12th minute, forward Reed Williams spun past Cal FC left back Edgar Espinoza, before slotting the ball for Chris Cummings whose low cross was well cut out by Cal FC goalkeeper Brian Hill.

Eleven minutes later, Williams got by Espinoza again, and squared his pass at the top of the area for Austin Diaz De Leon, but the former University of San Francisco midfielder saw his first-time effort go wide of goal.

Cal FC would find its first dangerous opportunity in the 30th minute when Jose Altamirano strolled up the right before cutting a pass back for Johnny Bravo, but the former LA Galaxy reservist fired his first-time shot well over goal.

The final chance of the half would be the best one as Cal FC’s Alberto Anguiano lobbed a ball for Cummings into the left corner. Cummings took his space and whipped a driven cross back to the near post where Anguiano’s header was saved with a diving effort from City FC goalkeeper Austin Harms.

The first goal of the match would come just after the break when Anguiano was played through alone on goal. The Cal FC forward jumped to push the ball past the goalkeeper and Harms took him down inside the area forcing the referee to point to the penalty spot. On the ensuing kick, Cummings stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past Harms to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the 47th minute.

“That threw the whole game into a whole other speed,” said Cal FC head coach Ross Greaney. “They began attacking with a lot of numbers. That sent a wave of energy into San Francisco and they came at us.”

City FC began to take back possession and came close to the equalizer in the 70th minute when left winger George Plakorus’s cross in from the left picked out Eric Anderson whose diving header was saved by Hill.

In the 75th minute, City FC’s Jack Momeyer played a quick one-two combo with Diaz De Leon, getting into the box and firing his effort off the top of the cross bar.

The hosts would finally equalize a minute later when Plakorus put in another low, whipping cross that saw Cal FC defender Randy Mendoza misdirect his clearance into the net.

San Francisco nearly found the go-ahead goal in the 86th minute when a cross from left back Gabriel Padilla saw Hill misplay the ball, before popping for Anderson. The City FC midfielder took an ambitious bicycle kick which Hill recovered to collect.

A bit against the run of play, Cal FC would find the eventual game-winner from the penalty spot the 87th minute as Anguiano sent a cross-in that was judged to have been handled by a City FC defender. This time, Cal FC midfielder Jonathan Bravo stepped up and squeezed his penalty low, inside the right post to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

Late pressure from San Francisco City FC was well sustained by Cal FC, and the referee blew the full-time whistle, sending the 2012 giant killers back into the 2015 tournament proper.

“I’m glad I have a roster full of guys with such character,” said Greaney. “We’re not the fittest, we’re not training every day – there’s a lot of obstacles to performing your best. Even in the second half when we started to wither, we pulled through. Hopefully our character will continue to help us through this tournament.”

Cal FC advances to face USL Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion on May 13 at Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura, California The match will hold special significance for Greaney, who served as a long-time assistant coach for the club, as well as former player Danny Barrera.

“There’s going to be a lot of familiarity – we know them a little bit and they know us a bit,” said Greaney. “It’s pretty exciting to go up against a team that you have some ties to and I think both sides are looking forward to it.”

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Match Report #1

Match: Cal FC 2, San Francisco City FC 1
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Venue: Kezar Stadium; San Francisco, CA

Scoring Summary:
CAL – Chris Cummings (penalty kick)             47 minute
SFC – own goal (Randy Mendoza)     76
CAL – Johnny Bravo (penalty kick)    87

Disciplinary Summary:
SFC – Austin Harms (caution)                        46 minute
SFC – Reed Williams (caution)                        58
CAL – Danny Barrera (caution)                      88
SFC – Gabriel Padilla (caution)                        89

Cal FC: Bryan Hill; Conor Hearn, Jason Gallardo, Randy Mendoza, Edgar Espinoza;  Jonathan Bravo, Osiris Saligan, Chris Cummings (John Lopez 74’), Danny Barrera; Alberto Anguiano, Jose Altamirano

San Francisco City FC:  Austin Harms; Gabriel Padilla, Adam Ringler, Tom Montgomery, Marc Tonkel; Jack Momeyer (Tyson Crim 74), Johannes DeMarzi, Mauricio Diaz De Leon, Eric Anderson, George Plakorus; Reed Williams (Taylor Amman 77’)

*** 

Harpo’s FC Slides Past KC Athletics 2-0
In Play-In Match No. 2, Boulder, Colorado-based Harpo’s FC used second half goals from captain Dan Campbell and forward Shane Wheeler to take down the visiting KC Athletics at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Field #20 in Commerce City, Colorado.

After a spirited first half where Harpo’s controlled most of the way, Campbell put the home side ahead on the hour mark, finishing off a feed from Kyle Leutkehans.

Luetkehans would set up the second goal 10 minutes later as he played Wheeler through the KC backline before the powerful forward rounded the goalkeeper and finished into an empty net to push Harpo’s into a First Round date with Brigham Young University on May 13 in Provo, Utah.

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Match Report #2

Match: KC Athletics 0, Harpo’s FC 2
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods  Park Field 20; Commerce City, CO

Scoring Summary:
HAR – Daniel Campbell (Kyle Leutkehans)     60 minute
HAR – Shane Wheeler (Kyle Leutkehans)      70 minute

Disciplinary Summary:
KC – Bobby Reiss (caution)                            63 minute

KC Athletics: Steven Grow, Oran Andrews, Steven Emory, Ryan Kawoluk, Bobby Reiss, Martin Johnson (Samuel Braverman 70’), Peter Kariotis (Josh Westberg 53’), Skelly Kellar, Matt Kuhn, Josh White, Bryan Williams (Kyle Perkins 56’)

Harpo’s FC:  Zac Gibbens, Frank Sawyer, Daniel Campbell (Daniel Schewe 73’), Justin Geibel, Kevin Haber, Benjamin Liames, Kyle Luetkehans, Ian Marchesci (Daniel Whittle 82’), Jose Matibag, Edgar Olivas (Corey Cullen 75’), Shane Wheeler

U-20 MNT Closes Out Camp with 1-0 Win over Croatia

SALZBURG, Austria (April 25, 2015) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Croatia’s Under-20’s 1-0 on Saturday behind a Romain Gall second-half goal at the Red Bull Salzburg Academy, in Salzburg, Austria. The matched capped off a weeklong camp as the U-20 MNT continues preparation for this summer’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.    

The game was physical from the start, with three cautions being issued in the first 20 minutes. When the whistle blew at halftime the score was even at 0-0.

In the second half things started to shift and the U.S. came out with intensity, pushing the ball forward. In the 64th minute U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos brought on a trio of subs and within two minutes, one of the subs, Gall, came through with a goal. Zach Pfeffer, who had brought the ball down the left side and played it in to Gall, was awarded the assist. Gall brought it in at the top of the box, took a turn and sidestepped a defender before sending home what proved to be the game-winning score.

The 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place in New Zealand from May 30-June 20.

-U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team Match Report-

 

Match: U.S. U-20 MNT vs. Croatia U-20 MNT
Date: April 25, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Red Bull Salzburg Academy; Salzburg, Austria
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET
Attendance: Closed door
Weather: Cloudy, 64 degrees

Scoring Summary:             1      2      F

USA                                             0      1      1
CRO                                             0      0      0

USA – Romain Gall (Zach Pfeffer)                                   66 minute           

Lineups:

USA: Zack Steffen; Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown, Cameron Carter-Vickers, John Requejo; Cristian Roldan (Joel Sonora, 64), Marco Delgado, Tommy Thompson (Junior Flores, 64); Zach Pfeffer (Conor Donovan, 87), Jordan Allen (Amando Moreno, 81), Maki Tall (Romain Gall, 64).
Subs Not Used: Ethan Sonis, Jeff Caldwell

Head Coach: Tab Ramos 

CRO:  Ivusic Ivica (Miskic Dario, 85); Stolnik Marko (Grabovac Ivan, 77), Ikic Frane (Lovric Dragan, 85), Bagadur Ricardo, Muzek Matej; Faletar Filip (Mance Antonio, 85), Cvek Lovro (Slunjski Maks, 77), Klapan Jeronim (Ceraj Denis, 46); Dangubic Filip (Algahoul Muhamed, 42), Dzoni Jakov, Rebrenik Michael.
Subs Not Used: Rebrenik Michael

Head Coach: Danijel Saric

Stats Summary: USA / CRO
Shots: 19 / 6
Shots on Goal: 6 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 16 / 24
Offside: 3 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

USA - Cameron Carter-Vickers (Caution) 15 minute
USA - Erik Palmer-Brown (Caution) 17
CRO - Cvek Lovro (Caution) 22
CRO - Klapan Jeronim (Caution) 74
USA - John Requejo (Caution) 90

                 

 

Academy Preview: Playoffs Race Continues to Heat Up

D.C. United will host rival Bethesda-Olney U-15/16s in a battle for the D.C. area on Saturday. Bethesda-Olney has won two of its last three games and D.C United is coming off of a 5-0 victory over Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-15/16. Donovan Pines scored a goal in the 78th minute to lead D.C. to a 1-0 win over Bethesda-Olney the last time these teams met on October 5, 2014.

Bethesda-Olney will go head-to-head with D.C. United U-17/18s on Saturday April 25 at 9 a.m. Bethesda-Olney is coming off a win over Everton FC Westchester last week, while D.C. United is unbeaten in April and in second place in the Atlantic Division.

On Saturday April 25, Chicago Magic PSG will travel to New Lenox, Illinois, for a matchup with the Mid-American division’s top-ranked team, Shattuck St. Mary’s U-17/18s. Chicago Magic PSG is fourth in the Mid-American division and Shattuck St. Mary’s is riding a six-game winning streak.

On Sunday April 26, Shattuck-St. Mary’s will take on Chicago Fire U-17/18s in a battle for the top spot in the Mid-American Division. Shattuck-St. Mary’s is currently first in the division with 2.05 pts/gp, but the Fire is not far behind with 1.94 pts/gp.

A highly competitive New Jersey Rivalry is set to take place this weekend as New York Red Bulls U-15/16s and U-17/18s face in-state and Atlantic Division rival Players Development Academy. The U-17/18s Red Bulls continue their control atop the Academy, currently claiming the top spot in the East Division and in the playoffs pool. PDA for its part is in the 18th spot of the playoff pool sitting with 1.81 pts/gp, trailing 17th-place Concorde Fire by only a 0.01 point per game differential.

In the U-15/16s age group, an even tighter race is brewing between the two sides, as NYRB are second in the Division standings and PDA is in third place. Both teams are also in a good direction to continue with post season play, with NYRB in the second spot and PDA in the 17th positon of the playoffs pool.

Finally, things are heating up in LA, as Pateadores and Chivas USA go head -to-head in both the U-15/16s and U-17/18s age group. For Chivas USA U-15/16s, the game will represent a chance to bounce back from a loss to Arsenal FC last weekend that saw the team drop its first decision since January. Currently, 19th in the playoffs pool, Chivas will need to perform well to hold on to its spot.

Pateadores U-17/18s hopes to continue riding its high following a 5-1 victory over Real So Cal last weekend, by facing Chivas on Sunday. Pateadores, who is currently in the playoffs pool sitting at number 18.

U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round Set To Kick Off Saturday

2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” Round – Notes

FINAL: Cal FC 2, San Franciso City FC 1
FINAL: Harpo's 2, KC Athletics 0

Cal FC
Founded:
2011
Coach:
Ross Greaney
Affiliation:
USASA Region IV
Previous Appearances:
2012 (Fourth Round), 2014 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 3-2-0

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Cal FC’s 2012 U.S. Open Cup run was one of the better Cinderella stories in recent memory. Led by former U.S. international Eric Wynalda, the team made up of former pros and players on the cusp of contracts defeated Kitsap Pumas (3-1), USL-PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads (4-0) and upset Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers (1-0 AET) before bowing out to Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round.
  • A majority of the players on the 2012 Cal FC side went on to sign professional contracts later that year or next. Two players, Richard Menvijar and Derby Carillo have become regulars for the Salvadorian Men’s National Team.
  • Danny Barrera, a former U.S. youth international who scored four of eight goals in the team’s 2012 run to the Fourth Round of the Open Cup returns after stints with the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks and San Antonio Scorpions.  
  • Jesus Gonzalez, the only other returning player from the 2012 Cal FC side, is suspended for Saturday’s match after picking up a red card while playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in a 3-1 quarterfinal defeat to the Chicago Fire on July 9, 2014.
  • The 2015 Cal FC squad features a number of other former professional players including: defenders Jake Hustedt (San Jose Earthquakes), Edgar Espinoza (Atlanta Silverbacks), Conor Hearn (Orange County Blues), midfielder Abraham Villon (Oklahoma City Energy) and forward Luis Hernandez (Orange County Blues).
  • Cal FC head coach Ross Greaney returns to the Bay Area where he finished his collegiate career with the University of San Francisco in 1997.

San Francisco City FC
Founded:
2001
Coach:
Andrew Gardner
Affiliation: U.S. Club Soccer (NorCal Premier League)
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • The Cal FC vs. San Francisco City FC match will be streamed live at baosn.tv, on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. PT.
  • Qualified by defeating Stanislaus United Academica 3-0 on February 2 at San Francisco State University’s Cox Field.
  • San Francisco City FC has a supporter-ownership structure, with nearly 300 members paying $50 annual dues or a $350 lifetime stake in the club.
  • The club plays home matches at San Francisco’s historic Kezar Stadium, former home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
  • Key players include former UCLA forward and 2010 California High School Player of the year Reed Williams, former University of San Francisco midfielder Mauricio Diaz De Leon, former Georgetown left back Gabriel Padilla and ex-Harvard goalkeeper Austin Harms.
  • Head coach Andrew Gardner is a former kicker for the Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

Harpo’s FC
Founded:
1997
Coach:
Johnny Freeston
Affiliation: U.S. Specialty Sports Association
Previous Appearances: First appearance
All-Time Record: N/A

  • Evolved out of Colorado University’s successful club soccer team, which won the Club National Championship in 2010.
  • Team is named after Harpo’s Bar and Grille in Boulder, Colorado, where club trophies are housed and post-game celebrations take place.
  • Though they didn’t win the USSSA Championship, they advanced as the organization’s representative as opponents KC Athletics had already qualified for the Open Cup via USASA Region II.
  • In that competition, Harpo’s FC beat KC Athletics 4-1 on March 13 in group play before falling to them 3-1 in the final on March 15. Both matches were played in Overland Park, Kansas.
  • Because of the above, Harpo’s FC actually clinched qualification by virtue of a 3-2 win vs. Colorado Rovers on March 14. Twenty three year old forward Shane Wheeler scored the game-winning goal in the 88th minute.
  • Wheeler has trialed in the past with Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads and Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

KC Athletics
Founded: 2001
Player/Manager:
Kyle Perkins
Affiliation: USASA Region II
Previous Appearances: 2010 (First Round), 2012 (Second Round)
All-Time Record: 1-2-0

  • Founded via the merger of Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club in 2001.
  • KC Athletics make its third tournament appearance after qualifying as a USASA Region II representative. The team is also the defending USSSA national champion.
  • KC Athletics initially won its USASA Region II match to qualify for the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, but a protest by Dearborn Stars was upheld because the field the match was played on was deemed too narrow. Unable to make it to the replay in Chicago, KC Athletics withdrew from the match, missing out on the 2013 Open Cup.
  • Features former professional players Steven Emory (Colorado Rapids), Ryan Kowaluk (Portland Timbers), Bobby Reese (Atlanta Silverbacks) and Peter Kariotis (Niki Voulo; Greece).

KC Athletics Looks to Leave Controversy Behind, Earn its Third Open Cup Berth

When asked what sets his club apart from others in the United States, Kyle Perkins, the manager of Saturday’s U.S. Open Cup “Play-In” participants KC Athletics can’t help but chuckle.

“We’re really not a club, necessarily,” he says. “We’re just one team that’s done alright for ourselves over the years.”

Before describing his side as “the most amateur team in the tournament”, Perkins explains that the team came into existence back in 2001 through a merger between the Kansas City Football Club and Kansas Legends Soccer Club.

“It was a mix of guys that were decent, some of who went to college and played and others that didn’t,” he said. “After school, guys came back and still had some desire to keep playing competitively – it’s sort of grown from there.”

On Saturday, KC Athletics will visit Harpo’s FC in Commerce City, Colorado, kicking off its third U.S. Open Cup tournament appearance since first qualifying in 2010. As they do, they’ll hope to put to bed the controversy that saw them miss out on the 2013 edition.

The side appeared to have earned its third Open Cup berth that year after downing Michigan-based Dearborn Stars 1-0 in a USASA Region II qualifying match, but the visitors from metro-Detroit protested the match, citing the size of the field KC arranged for the teams to play on. Indeed, the width was three yards short of the minimum required 65 yards and a replay was ordered shortly after to be played at a neutral site in Chicago.

With only a few days to coordinate travel for his players to go 500 miles to Chicago, KC instead withdrew from the replay and missed out on the tournament.

“Our team is all nine-to-five types with kids and families,” said Perkins. “Getting away isn’t easy for us in general, getting away weekend after weekend right after we’d already played it wasn’t something we could pull together. It was disappointing, but I think we knew we’d be back here and we’ve put it behind us.”

As they go up against Harpo’s on Saturday, they’ll do it with the experience of former Colorado Rapids midfielder Steven Emory, former Portland Timbers defender Ryan Kowaluk, ex-Atlanta Silverbacks defender Bobby Reese and the return of Peter Kariotis, who played professionally in Greece with Niki Voulo FC and Aetos Skydra.

They’ll also have a familiarity with their hosts. With KC already earning one of USASA’s Region II’s qualifying berths, the side also entered in the USSSA qualifying tournament, held in nearby Overland Park, Kansas last month.

The two teams met twice in the tournament. Harpo’s won the group stage match 4-1, went on to the tournament final and since KC was the other finalist and had already qualified, Harpo’s earned their berth without having to play the USSSA championship match. The Colorado-based side took that match lightly and fell 3-1 as KC Athletics ended up USSSA champs, even though it’s not how they qualified for the Open Cup.

“It’s sort of weird playing the same team three times so close together,” Perkins said. “We know a little bit about them. We know they have a huge roster to choose from, they might have a few guys we don’t know about, but we go there now with some experience in this tournament and ultimately knowing what’s on the line.”

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
October 1, 2013 0-1 L Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah 0 Neal
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