U.S. MNT Ready for First Match of 2011 against Chile
The USA's annual January camp will reach its climax this weekend when the U.S. takes on fellow 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists Chile on Jan. 22 in Carson, Calif., in the first match of the new year.
Jan. 20, 2011
© John Todd/isiphotos.com
CLOSING IN ON CHILE: The USA’s annual January camp will reach its climax this weekend when the U.S. takes on fellow 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists Chile on Jan. 22 in Carson, Calif., in the first match of the new year. With the CONCACAF Gold Cup five months away and no other major competitions on the immediate horizon, U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has chosen to look at fresh talent as the staff mines the player pool for men who can contribute for the next three years and beyond (read Bradley’s comments about the roster selection here). Kickoff at The Home Depot Center is set for 7 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on Telefutura and ESPN3.com. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on twitter @ussoccer.
STUDIO 90 ON SITE: The Studio 90 crew has been spread out across the country and around the world these past few weeks to bring you all the news on U.S. Soccer, delivering updates from the MNT Los Angeles to the U-20’s in Florida and on the WNT all the way from China. Between the full Studio 90 shows and ussoccer.com’s all_access video, there’s been everything from interviews with Bob Bradley and Pia Sundhage, behind the scenes looks from training camps, episodes of the popular series “Inside the Lines”, and more! To get caught up on all the latest Studio 90 shows and video content, visit the multimedia section of ussoccer.com
- Of the 23 players remaining in camp, the U.S. will dress 18 players with a maximum of six substitutions. The U.S. will wear the white-white-white combination of their Nike uniforms.
- The U.S. and Chile have met eight times in their history, beginning with a 5-2 victory for Chile in the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. has won the last three contests, including a 2-1 win in their opening match of the 1995 Copa America in which the United States finished fourth. With a victory in January, the U.S. would level the all-time series which now sits at 3-4-1 overall.
- The U.S. brings a young squad into the match, with an average age of just above 23 years old.
- The 23 players eligible for selection to the roster have won a combined total of 26 caps. A total of 12 players are looking for their first cap with the full national team.
- A total of six players will be age eligible for the 2012 Olympic Games in London: Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Mikkel Diskerud, Sean Johnson, Brek Shea and Anthony Wallace.
- Alejandro Bedoya is the leading capwinner with six international appearances, all of which came in 2010, during which he was named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Agudelo is the only player on the roster to have scored a goal for the full team. In his first appearance, he became the youngest U.S. player in the modern era to score when he tallied the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17, 2010, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
- By playing in that match, Agudelo became the first alumnus of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy to play for the full team.
- Four other players made their debut for the U.S. that day in Cape Town. Diskerud set up the game-winner after slipping a nifty pass into Agudelo. After starting every game in MLS and becoming a Rookie of the Year finalist, Tim Ream earned his first international start, and Bunbury entered as a second-half substitute.
- All but five of the 23 players in camp are plying their trade in MLS. Bedoya and his side Örebro finished in third place in Sweden’s top division, earning a spot in Europa League. Ryan Miller also plays in Sweden for Halmstads BK, while Diskerud plies his trade at Stabaek in Norway. Eugene Starikov is at 2009 Europa League champion Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia, following a year-long loan spell at fellow Russian Premier League side Tom Tomsk. Dominic Cervi is a deputy goalkeeper at famed Celtic in Scotland.
- The reigning MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids has four players on the roster, the most of any club. The 2010 MLS runners up FC Dallas have three players in Carson. Interestingly, former U.S. U-20 defender Anthony Wallace played for both of those clubs in 2010, having moved from Dallas to Denver during the summer.
- A trio of Los Angeles Galaxy defenders will suit up in a different locker room at The HDC for the match, including 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez, who got his first international appearance on Aug. 10 against Brazil and was named to the 2010 MLS Best XI.
- San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski joined him on the Best XI after scoring 18 goals - including nine game-winners - and capturing the MLS Golden Boot.
- Two-time MLS Cup winner Nick Rimando is the oldest player on the roster at 31 years old. The MVP of the 2009 MLS Cup has four caps to his credit.
- Eight players on the roster are making their first-ever appearance in a camp with the full team: Eric Alexander, A.J. DeLaGarza, Johnson, Zach Loyd, Miller, Starikov, Wallace, and Wondolowski. The coaching staff has spent considerable time during camp introducing the important concepts and ideas that are invaluable to new players entering the national team pool.
- The camp roster had two players from the state of Oklahoma: Cervi, who hails from Norman, and Loyd, a native of Verdigris.
- Chile is currently ranked No. 15 in the world. With their current schedule, the U.S. will begin their 2011 campaign by taking on three opponents ranked in the top 15. More on that later.
Average Age: 23.4 Play professionally in: USA (18), Sweden (2),Norway (1), Russia (1), Scotland (1)
Average Caps: 1.1
Most Caps: 6 (Alejandro Bedoya) By state: California (4), Florida (3), Missouri (2), Oklahoma (2), Texas (2), Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania (1 each)
Least Caps: 0 (12 players)
Oldest: 31 (Nick Rimando)
Youngest: 18 (Juan Agudelo)
COMINGS AND GOINGS: The January camp began with 24 players on the roster and 22 players in camp. Agudelo, who was training with the U-20s in Ft. Lauderdale, arrived on Jan. 6, while Bedoya began preseason with his club training in Turkey and joined the team on Jan. 14 after 20 hours in the air and three flight connections. Initially invited to camp but unable accept due to club commitments, Starikov benefitted from good timing. The Russian consulate closed for their extended holiday break prior to completing the re-issuing of his work visa, meaning he could not return to Russia and thus became available to attend camp. On the flip side, Justin Braun suffered a laceration in the Achilles region of his left leg that required four stitches, and Ugo Ihemelu continued to be bothered by hip and groin issues. Both were unable to continue in camp.
HOME AT THE HDC: The U.S. Men's National Team has a nearly unblemished record at The Home Depot Center, compiling an 8-1-1 record since playing its first game in Carson in 2004. In fact, since opening with a 1-1 draw against Denmark on Jan. 18, 2004, the USA had won eight matches in a row, with 27 goals scored and only four surrendered until the 3-1 loss to Honduras last January. Seven of the games at The HDC have been international friendlies, while two games (both in 2007) have been part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the lone World Cup qualifier at The Home Depot Center, the USA posted a record-tying 8-0 victory on June 15, 2008, against Barbados.
YNT EXPERIENCE: The roster boasts several players with youth World Cup experience. Marvell Wynne played in the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup on the U.S. team that finished first in Group D ahead of Argentina and Germany. Two years later, Dax McCarty and Wallace helped the U.S. once again top a Group D, eventually falling in the quarterfinals to Austria. Diskerud, Shea and Johnson went with the U-20s to Egypt in 2009, and Agudelo was part of the U-17 squad that finished in second place in their group at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
JANUARY CAMPS PAST: The annual January camps have produced some memorable moments in addition to being the starting point of promising international careers. In 2007, a young Jonathan Bornstein scored his first goal in his first game, a path which led to two starts at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A year later, Landon Donovan made history when he became the all-time leader in goals scored for the United States. In 2009, Sacha Kljestan opened his international scoring account in style, becoming only the second player in U.S. history to score his first three goals all in the same game.
TERP TERRITORY : Two players on the roster sport 2008 NCAA Championship rings, and they also happen to be teammates in the pro ranks as well. DeLaGarza and Gonzalez played for the University of Maryland when they captured the title, winning 1-0 against North Carolina in the final. Playing for the runners up that day was FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd.
THE BOB BRADLEY FACTFILE: As Bob Bradley continues the beginning of his second four-year cycle, a look at the stats from the first go around reveal an impressive list of achievements. In the four year cycle culminating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the United States:
- Won its group at the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1930 (that's 80 years ago), and for the first time ever in a four-team group.
- Earned the first point and win for the U.S. in the third group game at the World Cup in eight tries by defeating Algeria.
- Went unbeaten in group play during a World Cup for the first time ever, earning a 1-0-2 record.
- Produced the best finish ever at a FIFA tournament, finishing second at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Posted 1-1-1 record against No. 1-ranked teams, including a semifinal upset of Spain at the FIFA Confederations Cup, ending a 35 match unbeaten run for the Spaniards.
- Only one of two teams to beat Spain since November of 2006.
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup title in 2007 to qualify for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Finished in first place in CONCACAF qualifying, collecting the most road wins of any team in the region during the campaign while going unbeaten at home in nine matches.
- Scored the most goals (42) of any team in the world in 2010 World Cup qualifying.
- Posted the team’s best scoring and defending marks in a year with more than 10 games, scoring a record 2.14 goals per 90 minutes while allowing just .57 goals per 90 minutes in 2008.
- Won three straight matches on the road for the first time in team history (Oct. 17, 2007 @ Switzerland, Nov. 17, 2007 @ South Africa and March 26, 2008 @ Poland).
- Played seven matches against four teams ranked in the top five in the world at the time they stepped on the field against them (Argentina, Brazil-3, Italy, Spain-2).
THE BRADLEY BREAKDOWN
All-Time Record: 39-21-10
Qualifying Record: 13-3-2
Goals For: 123
Goals Against: 84
Record vs. …
CONCACAF: 25-5-5, 74 GF, 33 GA
CONMEBOL: 1-7-2, 9 GF, 21 GA
UEFA: 7-8-3, 26 GF, 26 GA
AFC: 2-0-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
CAF: 4-1-0, 7 GF, 2 GA
Record when …
Leading at half: 22-3-2
Losing at half: 3-9-3
Tied at half: 14-9-5
By year …
DUAL NATIONALS: Two players on the roster are in the unusual circumstance of not only having passports from two countries but also having represented both. Born to an American mother and Norwegian father, Diskerud made two appearances for the U.S. at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. Having debuted with the U.S. U-20 MNT at the Campos Verde International tournament in April 2008 where he recorded three assists against Northern Ireland, he then played against the U.S. for Norway at a U-18 event the following month. Meantime, Teal Bunbury also has a mother from the United States, and his father is a former Canadian international. Alex Bunbury played for Canada from 1986-1997.
EGYPT, ARGENTINA AND PARAGUAY ON THE CALENDAR: The U.S. has a further trio of friendlies slated for the first quarter of the year, beginning with a trip to face No. 10-ranked Egypt on Feb. 9 in Cairo. In March, the U.S. hosts two-time FIFA World Cup champion Argentina, currently No. 5 in the world, at the New Meadowlands Stadium (tickets). Three days later, the U.S. returns to Nashville to face Paraguay, who reached the Round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup before falling to eventual champion Spain (tickets). All three of the matches fall on FIFA international fixture dates, which means all of the players in the U.S. arsenal will be available for selection. Including the Chile match, the U.S. will face three teams ranked in the top 15 in the world before April rolls around.
THE GOLD CUP COMETH: This year’s first major competition for the United States hits in the summertime with the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup scheduled to be played from June 5-25 in venues across the United States. The U.S. has captured the crown four times, and has appeared in the last three Gold Cup finals, collecting back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2007 while facing Mexico in the last two championship matches. Winning the 2011 version of the confederation championship has a massive bonus attached to it – the right to play in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil just one year prior to the World Cup. That experience can be critical, as the USA learned during their run to the final of the 2009 Confed Cup in South Africa where they defeated No.1-ranked Spain the semifinal. The U.S. team continues to hold the impressive distinction of never having lost a match in the group phase of the Gold Cup, holding a lifetime record of 24-0-2 in round-robin play. Already 11 of the 12 participants for this year’s event have been determined. Along with Canada and Mexico from North America, the U.S. will be joined by Cuba, Grenada, Guadeloupe and Jamaica from the Caribbean and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama from Central America. The final contestant will be determined by the winner of the fifth place match at the Copa Centroamericana between Nicaragua and Guatemala.
U.S. SOCCER SUPPORTERS CLUB MET THE MNT: With some driving from as far as San Diego, more than 50 members of the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club attended training last week after receiving a special invitation from U.S. head coach Bob Bradley to watch the closed session as the U.S. MNT continues preparations for the game against Chile. Bradley addressed the USSSC members before training, speaking in detail about what the guests would see in the session and the thought process behind the exercises, insight usually reserved for visiting coaches. After an intense 75 minutes of training, the USSSC members were given a special surprise when the entire team made their way over to spend time with them, taking photos and signing autographs.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Men’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following on Twitter @ussoccer. We have training tidbits, pre-game insight, photos, and much more, all in nearly real time!
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CHILE FACT FILE
Federación de Fútbol de Chile
Founded: 1895 (Joined FIFA in 1913)
Head Coach: Marcelo Bielsa
Current FIFA Ranking: 15
Best World Cup Finish: Third Place (1962)
Best Copa America Finish: Runner-up (1955, 1956, 1979, 1987)
Caps Leader: Leonel Sánchez (84)
Top Scorer: Marcelo Salas (37)
LOOK BACK/LOOK FORWARD:
Chile earned plaudits for its play during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, combining youth with attacking flair to navigate a tricky Group H that included Spain, Honduras and Switzerland. La Roja secured qualification for the second round after winning its first matches and ran the eventual world champion close, falling 2-1 in the final group game. In the Round of 16 Chile was eliminated by continental rivals Brazil, but the World Cup (Chile's first since 1998) was still considered a success by all accounts. Now head coach Marcelo Bielsa is looking to the 2011 Copa America tournament in Argentina, where Chile has been drawn in Group C with Uruguay, Mexico and Peru. It's with an eye on the South American championship that Bielsa begins 2011, evaluating players who could potentially help Chile make the late rounds of that tournament.
SIMILAR STORYLINES: Bielsa has opted for a roster similar in makeup to his counterpart Bob Bradley. The Argentine head coach has elected to give players in the domestic league a chance to make an impact on the international stage, calling on 15 players from the Chilean Primera División. Four players join the squad from current champions Universidad Católica, while traditional power Colo Colo sends a team-high five players to Carson. Chile's squad features three players looking for their first cap with the national team (including both goalkeepers), while 2010 FIFA World Cup squad member Esteban Paredes is the roster's most experienced player (19 caps) and top scorer (six goals).
Chile Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Paulo Garcés (Universidad Católica), Raúl Olivares (Colo Colo)
DEFENDERS (5): Eugenio Mena (Universidad de Chile), Sebastián Toro (Colo Colo), Paulo Magalhaes (Colo Colo), Carlos Labrín (Huachipato), Fernando Meneses (Universidad Católica)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Felipe Seymour (Universidad de Chile), Francisco Silva (Universidad Católica), Luis Pedro Figueroa (Unión Española), Felipe Gutiérrez (Universidad Católica), Lucas Domínguez (Audax Italiano)
FORWARDS (3): Edson Puch (Universidad de Chile), Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo), Daud Gazale (Colo Colo)
VS. THE U.S.: The U.S. is 3-4-1 against Chile, but is on a three match winning streak against the South American nation. In 1995 the USA defeated Chile at Copa America (with current assistant coach Mike Sorber in the lineup) on the way to finishing fourth in that competition in Uruguay. Wins in 1999 and 2000, the latter with goals from Eddie Lewis and Cobi Jones, mean Chile have not beaten the USA since 1994 in Albuquerque. The first meeting between the two teams came at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with Chile emerging 5-2 victors.
On the field for USA
Nov. 17, 2010 – Green Point Stadium – Cape Town, South Africa. – Nelson Mandela Challenge
USA 1 Juan Agudelo 85
South Africa 0
USA: 18-Brad Guzan (capt.);13-Eric Lichaj, 21-Clarence Goodson (22-Gale Agbossoumonde, 87), 5-Tim Ream (6-Nat Borchers, 67), 12-Jonathan Bornstein (2-Jonathan Spector, 46); 15-Logan Pause, 16-Brian Carroll; 8-Robbie Rogers (17-Juan Agudelo, 61), 11-Eddie Gaven, 7-Alejandro Bedoya (14-Mikkel Diskerud, 79); 20-Robbie Findley (9-Teal Bunbury, 46)
Subs not used: 23-Dominic Cervi
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
RSA: 16-Itumeleng Khune; 5-Anele Ngongca (2-Siboniso Gaxa, 79), 3-Tsepo Mansilela, 23-Morgan Gould, 21-Siyabonga Sangweni, 13-Kagisho Dikgacoi (15-Andile Jali, 60), 18-Thanduyise Khuboni (9-Matthew Pattison, 88), 10-Stephen Pienaar (capt.) (7-Daylon Claasen, 79), 8-Siphiwe Tshabalala, 19-Davide Somma (20-Sthembiso Ngcobo, 60), 17-Bernard Parker
Subs not used: 1-Moeneeb Josephs, 4-Keegan Ritchie, 12-Reneilwe Letsholonyane, 24-Kermit Erasmus, 14-Bevan Fransman, 11-Teko Modise
Head Coach: Pitso Mosimane
On the field for Chile
Nov. 17, 2010 – Estadio Nacional de Chile – Santiago, Chile – International Friendly
Chile 2 Alexis Sánchez 38, Arturo Vidal 74
CHI: Claudio Bravo, Gonzalo Jara, Gary Medel (Claudio Maldonado, 90), Waldo Ponce, Mauricio Isla (Rodrigo Millar, 77), Arturo Vidal, Marco Estrada (Carlos Carmona, 65), Fabián Orellana (Pedro Morales, 71), Alexis Sánchez, Humberto Suazo (Esteban Paredes, 60), Mark González (Jean Beausejour, 75)
Head Coach: Marcelo Bielsa
URU: Fernando Musiera, Maxi Pereira (Martín Cáceres, 79), Diego Lugano, Mauricio Victorino, Jorge Fucile, Egidio Arévalo (Sebastián Eguren, 63), Walter Gargajo, Alvaro Pereira (Gastón Ramírez, 63), Diego Forlán (Sebastián Abreu, 79), Luis Suárez (Cristián Rodríguez, 46), Edison Cavani
Head Coach: Oscar W. Tabárez
Jan. 29, 2000 – Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoros – Coquimbo, Chile – International Friendly
USA 2 Eddie Lewis 55, Cobi Jones 88
Chile 1 Jaime Rieveros 57
USA: Tony Meola; Greg Vanney, Eddie Pope, C.J. Brown; Eddie Lewis, Chris Armas (John Harkes, 46), Richie Williams, Ben Olsen (Cobi Jones, 70), Jovan Kirovski (Chad Deering, 78); Eric Wynalda (Roy Lassiter, 56), Ante Razov
Head Coach: Bruce Arena
CHI: Marcelo Ramirez; Raul Palacios, Miguel Ramirez (Alex von Schwelder, 46), Mauricio Aros; Christian Flores, Marcos Villaseca, Clarence Acuna, Estaben Valencia (Joel Reyes, 37), Jaime Riveros; Mario Nunez (Pedro Gonzalez, 66), Sebastian Rozental (Ricardo Queralto, 85)
Head Coach: Nelson Acosta