New Tune in Nashville
Friday’s friendly against Guatemala marks the fourth time the U.S. Men’s National Team will play in the “Music City”. Though the team is just 1-2-0 all-time in Nashville, the city does hold a few memorable moments for a couple of the current crop of players.
Gold Cup captain Michael Bradley actually saw his name on a game-day roster for the first time here as a guest player with the side in their send-off friendlies prior to leaving for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Bradley was an unused sub in the team’s 1-0 defeat to Morocco on May 23, 2006, before earning his first U.S. cap three days later in a 2-0 win vs. Venezuela in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s now just two away from joining the Century Club.
Of course, the biggest U.S. moment in Nashville came when then 19-year-old Jozy Altidore became the youngest player in MNT history to score a hat trick, bagging all three goals in the side’s 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against Trinidad & Tobago.
Beyond the individual memories, every time the U.S. MNT has come to Nashville, the support has been strong and the crowds have grown larger. That’ll be no different on Friday night as more than 37,500 tickets have already been sold, smashing Nashville’s previous best attendance record of 29,059 on March 29, 2011 against Paraguay.
Bradley/Altidore/Dempsey Together Again
Jurgen Klinsmann has made no secret of the fact that his approach to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is to win now so the team can directly qualify for a place at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. A big part of that is calling in an experienced roster that has an average of 30.5 caps, including the three most seasoned players on the roster: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey.
Friday night will likely be the first time since February’s 2-0 win against Panama that the trio will appear together on the field after injuries and the birth of Clint Dempsey’s child kept it from happening more recently. Should all three appear against Guatemala, it would mark the 50th time the trio has played together with the National Team.
Captains…Leaders on the Gold Cup Roster
While Klinsmann has international experience in his squad heading into the Gold Cup, he’s also got leadership, with four players on the roster captaining their club teams: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC) and Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Current U.S. number one goalkeeper Brad Guzan received the first of his 30 international caps during the team’s 4-0 rout of Guatemala in a friendly on February 19, 2006.
It’s not quite déjà vu, but Friday’s falls almost two years to the day of midfielder Alejandro Bedoya’s first U.S. MNT goal, which also came in a Gold Cup warmup against Guatemala. With the U.S. already laying a 5-0 thumping on Los Chapines, Bedoya popped up with his first strike in the 88th minute to close the scoring at 5-0.
Bedoya joined Jeff Agoos (June 13, 1988), Brian McBride (November 3, 1996) and Frankie Hejduk (December 21, 1996) as notable U.S. players that scored their first international goal against Guatemala.
Jurgen on the Friendly
The 2013 friendly win ran the U.S. MNT’s unbeaten streak against Guatemala to 20 matches, the team’s longest-ever unbeaten run against any nation. Despite having handily defeated Guatemala last time out, Klinsmann said the Central American side will provide a tough final test for his team Friday ahead of the Gold Cup.
“It’s definitely a different Guatemala [team] than we played two years ago. Two years ago we played them in San Diego and it was 6-0 -- they basically came off vacation -- they were not qualified for the Gold Cup. This is a different Guatemala team. This is a Guatemala team that wants to do well in this Gold Cup. We expect some difficulties, a tight game and a lot of work.
We have respect for their individual qualities. All Central American teams are technically different and can put you into some problems in a split second with a set piece or a counter break. They will also have respect for us. They see what we did over the last couple of years. That’s why I said a few weeks ago, we will face teams that will play extremely defensive-minded against us. [The team] has to find ways to solve it. They have to find ways to create chances and put them in the back of the net.”
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke with ussoccer.com about the USA’s July 3 friendly against Guatemala and the Gold Cup, which begins July 7
ussoccer.com: How have the first few days of camp gone?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “We are really excited to be in Nashville and to get the whole Gold Cup preparation going. It’s a very short preparation because it’s only a one week window before we move over to Dallas for the first game in the Gold Cup, so things are going smoothly. The big challenge is to get the European-based players and also the Mexican-based players on the same page with the MLS players because they had a different schedule. They had a quick break, a quick vacation and we have to get them up to speed as quickly as possible, so that’s kind of the key goal here in Nashville, to get everybody on the same page and play a good game. We are very, very excited to be in Nashville. We’re expecting a huge crowd, which excites us all, and hopefully we get the right start into a very busy Gold Cup.”
ussoccer.com: How did you go about assembling this roster?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition. Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial. That’s why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the Senior National Team program. It’s an exciting roster, and obviously we have a chance to make some changes after the group stage if necessary. We put all of these things into consideration, and we believe we have a very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament.”
- Klinsmann Calls 23 Player to Defend Gold Cup Title
- To the Gold Cup and Beyond
- Experienced Gold Cup Roster Ready to Defend Gold Cup Crown
ussoccer.com: You’ve chosen a lot of players with a lot of experience. How important is experience in a tournament?
JK: “Going into a Gold Cup, especially in our region here, experience means a lot. You need players that stay calm in very emotional and very difficult and very tough battles. It can get nasty, things might not go your way in some moments, so you have to stay cool and you have to always be on top of things. I think the experience that players like Brad Guzan, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski, Nick Rimando have, just to name a few of them, those guys bring the experience with them to stay calm and get the job done. The Gold Cup really is about getting the job done and winning it and qualifying us for the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017. That’s why it’s really crucial for us to have players on the roster that have tremendous experience.”
ussoccer.com: Do the type of opponents that the U.S. will face in the Gold Cup impact the roster decisions?
JK: “In the Gold Cup obviously you’ll deal with different types of opponents than if you maybe went to Europe to play European sides, or to South America to play South American sides like last year in the World Cup in Brazil. It’s very different now in the Gold Cup where our main rivals are from Central America and they play a specific way. They’re all different in their own terms, but you need to put that in consideration when you put the pieces together in terms of your roster. You need to have guys that are experienced in dealing with teams like that. If you look at our group, it’s a very difficult with Panama and Honduras and also Haiti is a team that’s a little unpredictable, so you need to have guys in your team right now that can deal with surprises, that can deal with issues, and can deal with maybe being a goal down and turn things around. That’s why we chose a really good mixture of experience and also younger guys that bring really good energy to the table.”
ussoccer.com: How will you approach the possibility of changing up the six players after the group stage?
JK: “I think having the opportunity to change players already after the group stage is something that we took advantage of two years ago when we won the Gold Cup with six consecutive wins. So it’s important to have that option, but it’s also important to tell the initial group, ‘Hey, you’re in the driver’s seat here, you set the tone.’ And then depending on what happens - if it’s suspensions, if it’s god forbid injuries or whatever, we have the chance to make high quality subs. We will definitely have that in the back of our minds. But first and foremost comes the group stage, and that is a very difficult group that we have as I mentioned with Panama, Honduras, and Haiti, so first we have to go through there and then we can think about maybe making some changes after the group phase.”
ussoccer.com: What was your reaction to the situation with Clint Dempsey?
JK: “The situation with Clint Dempsey, obviously, is something that I saw basically on the internet. I was in Europe still after our games against Holland and Germany. It’s something that nobody wants to see. It’s a mistake, and mistakes happen. So, obviously when he comes in next week to Nashville in preparation for our friendly game with Guatemala, we’ll sit down and talk through that and we’ll go from there. It’s something that nobody wants to go through. Nobody wants to get red carded. Nobody wants to get suspended and be in discussion by the fans and the media for a mistake you make. But it’s on the other hand, it’s part of the game too. So we’ll take a little bit of a step back and we’ll discuss it in person in a relaxed way and go from there. “
ussoccer.com: How are you handling the European-based players that have been on break?
JK: “Well the tricky part of this Gold Cup is that because it’s in July, which ideally like Copa America or the Women’s World Cup would have been in June, the players coming from Europe are all done with their seasons, so they went on quick vacations and had a tightened vacation phase and now we have to shoot them up for the Gold Cup. It’s not easy for them, but it is doable and its part of their job. They have a training plan and work out plans in order to stay in shape. We’ll take it from there in Nashville in preparation for the friendly with Guatemala, and get them one step at a time into the Gold Cup because we want to have the strongest team possible with us. Our biggest rival Mexico will come with their strongest group also with European-based players, so we want to meet them face to face and make sure that they stay behind us. I’m sure our players were conscientious in their vacation periods. They are conscious that there is a lot at stake and they’re going to be well prepared.”
ussoccer.com: How important will fan support be during this tournament?
JK: “I think the biggest part that were hoping to get from this summer’s Gold Cup, because it’s a crucial competition because it qualifies us for the Confederations Cup in Russia, is our fans. We need our fans to be behind us. We need the American Outlaws to be organizing in every venue that we go to and we want to show to everybody throughout the country that we have the most amazing fans in the world. We had hundreds or even thousands of fans in Holland when we played Holland in Amsterdam. We had a whole block of fans in Cologne against Germany when we beat the number one team in the world. We want to take that energy into the Gold Cup. We need their support a lot, and the players feel really privileged to see them there and see them behind the goal, especially when things are not working the way you want them to wok and in a tournament like the Gold Cup that is always full of surprises. You might be a goal down, two goals down, but it’s all about belief, about keeping on going, keeping on pushing and turning things around. We did it in Holland. We did it in Germany. We came from behind and we beat them. It might happen to us in the Gold Cup, too, so hopefully we’ll have thousands and thousands of our fans in the stadium giving us that support.”
CHICAGO (June 23, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named the 23-player roster that will defend the USA’s title at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The roster includes 17 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. Ten players from this group have been a part of USA teams that have won a Gold Cup in the past, including six from the squad that won in 2013.
- To the Gold Cup and Beyond
- Experienced MNT Roster Ready to Defend Gold Cup Crown
- Q&A: Coach Klinsmann's Gold Cup Roster Approach
The MNT will take the pitch for a final Gold Cup tune-up against Guatemala on July 3 at LP Field in Nashville. The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network. Ticket sales for that game have already exceeded 25,000 and it is on track to break the record for attendance at a soccer game in Tennessee. (TICKETS)
Four days later, the five-time Gold Cup champions will begin their quest at title defense in the 13th edition of the tournament with the opening round match against Honduras on July 7 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. That game will also be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 and UniMás. (GOLD CUP SCHEDULE)
Twelve CONCACAF teams will compete for the Gold Cup trophy: three from North America, five from Central America and four from the Caribbean. The winning team qualifies for a playoff to determine which CONCACAF team participates at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup (a World Cup dress rehearsal that features the champion from each region in the world, the defending World Cup Champion, and the host, which in 2017 will be Russia).
With the Gold Cup win in 2013, the U.S. has already qualified for that playoff. Should the MNT win the Gold Cup this summer, it would earn an automatic bid for the Confederations Cup, which is the ultimate goal for Klinsmann and the team.
“Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition," said Klinsmann. "Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial. That’s why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the senior National Team program. It’s an exciting roster, and obviously we have a chance to make some changes after the group stage if necessary. We put all of these things into consideration, and we believe we have a very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament.”
The MNT is coming off two huge road wins against No. 6-ranked Netherlands and reigning World Cup champion Germany, and is riding a four-match unbeaten streak against opponents ranked in the top 20 in the world (3-0-1). The USA is 4-2-1 on the year.
After the Group Stage, teams that qualify for the quarterfinal round may replace up to six players on the roster.
U.S. Roster By Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/2007), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake/2011, 2013), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC/2009), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy/2013), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers/2011)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake/2009, 2013), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/2011, 2013), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/2007, 2011), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo/2005), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC/2013), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/2011), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC/2005, 2007, 2011), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes/2011, 2013)
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- Seventeen players on this roster were a part of the MNT’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, marking the highest return rate of players between the two rosters in years where the Gold Cup has followed the FIFA World Cup (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013).
- Six players were a part of the USA team that won the Gold Cup in 2013: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez, Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski
- The USA has reached the Gold Cup Final in five straight tournaments and six out of the last seven. The team finished in third place in 2003 after losing to a Kaka-led Brazil.
- Clint Dempsey (15), Michael Bradley (11) and Beckerman (11) have all played in more than 10 Gold Cup games. Bedoya and Wondolowski are also experienced players on the roster with eight Gold Cup caps each.
- Thirteen players on the roster have previously played in the Gold Cup, of which 10 have lifted the trophy
- The 23 players on the roster average 30.5 international appearances with 14 having played in a minimum of 20 matches for the U.S. MNT
- The USA has won the Gold Cup five times (1991, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2013) and finished as the runner-up four times (1992, 1998, 2009, 2011). The MNT has finished outside of the top four only once (2000).
- Dempsey (5), Wondolowski (5), Beckerman, Bradley, and Diskerud, have all scored goals in previous Gold Cups. All five of Wondolowski’s goals came in the 2013 Gold Cup, where he tied for the tournament’s Golden Boot.
- Dempsey is the only two-time winner (2005, 2007) and the only three-time participant.
- Brad Davis scored the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout versus Panama in the 2005 Gold Cup Final.
- Seven different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, Bradley, John Brooks, Dempsey, Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, and Gyasi Zardes.
- Bradley is on track to earn his 100th cap in the MNT’s opening match with Honduras on July 7. He now has 98 appearances since debuting for the USA in 2006. He is in sole possession of 16th place on the MNT all-time list.
- The win against Germany its last time out was the fourth victory for the U.S. MNT over a top-10 ranked opponent since Jurgen Klinsmann took over the helm in 2011.
- Brad Evans assisted on the game-winning goal in the team’s win over the reigning World Cup champion
- Tim Ream has earned honors as the Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons
- Against Netherlands on June 5, Brad Guzan made his first appearance since he played against Colombia on Nov. 14, 2014. It was his first start of 2015. Also picking up the win against Germany, Guzan is a perfect 2-0-0 in 2015.
- Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga that earned the club a spot in the 2016 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup this season.
- Johannsson recorded four goals in his final three matches as AZ Alkmaar snatched the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League.
- Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany and subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga.
- Bradley has played every minute of the USA's seven matches so far in 2015. In addition to Bradley, two other MNT players have appeared in all seven games this year: Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin.
- In the absence of Dempsey, Bradley has started as the team’s captain in five straight matches.
- Graham Zusi and Davis were both part of the team that represented the U.S. in the World Cup last summer and are the only players on the roster without an appearance for the MNT in 2015
- William Yarbrough, 26, was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. He has marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles.
- Ventura Alvarado has appeared in five straight matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the CONCACAF Champions League title and a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup. Alvarado has started in the last three games for the U.S. MNT, in which the team is 3-0-0.
- Seven leagues from six countries are represented on the roster: Canada, England, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands and the United States.
- Altidore leads the team in points with five in 2015 on two goals and an assist.
Nearly a year on from the U.S. Men’s National finishing its run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the team tackles its first true hurdle of the 2018 World Cup cycle as they look for a second consecutive regional title at this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Klinsmann Calls 23 Players to Defend Gold Cup Title
- To the Gold Cup and Beyond
- Q&A: Coach Klinsmann's Gold Cup Roster Approach
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has taken a “win now” approach with this summer’s competition, hoping to directly qualify to the 2017 FIFA Confederation’s Cup and nullify the need for a future playoff with another nation.
With that in mind, the final roster Klinsmann named for the Gold Cup on Tuesday is heavy on veteran players that bring big-game experience to the table.
Together, the 23 players on Klinsmann’s roster average 30.5 international appearances with 14 having played in a minimum of 20 matches for the U.S. MNT. Seventeen players were also part of the U.S. team at last summer’s FIFA World Cup, marking the highest return rate of players between the two rosters in years where the Gold Cup has followed the FIFA World Cup (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013).
The U.S. returns six players from the 2013 championship-winning side: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Omar Gonzalez, Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski.
Having made three previous CONCACAF Gold Cup rosters in 2005, 2007 and 2011, Clint Dempsey leads the list of 13 players that have previously played in the confederation championship, of which 10 have lifted the Gold Cup and eight played in a previous final. Dempsey has played in all three finals in which he’s been part of the roster and is the only two-time winner on the 2015 Gold Cup squad.
From an attacking perspective, Dempsey and Wondolowski each have five career goals in the Gold Cup, tied for fifth on the USA’s all-time list. Wondo, shared the Golden Boot in 2013. Though technically speaking someone named Chris Wondowlowski scored three of those!
Klinsmann will also have Jozy Altidore at his disposal, who at 25 years old is already fifth on the all-time U.S. scoring chart with 27 goals, and if penalties are needed at any point, Klinsmann can turn to Brad Davis, who, in just his second cap, scored the game-winning spot kick in the USA’s shootout win vs. Panama to win the 2005 Gold Cup Final.
In goal, while Brad Guzan has never played in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match, the Aston Villa ‘keeper brings big tournament experience, posting a career record of 5-1-1 and five shutouts in World Cup Qualifying. He backstopped the U.S. in the 3-0 win against Egypt at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as the team’s recent friendly wins against sixth-ranked Netherlands and current world champions Germany. Guzan will be backed by one of the heroes of the 2013 U.S. Gold Cup squad in Rimando, who shined during the U.S. team’s run to its fifth regional title.
Coming off strong back-to-back performances against the Netherlands and Germany, midfielder Michael Bradley looks set to become the 16th player in U.S. history to achieve the 100 cap milestone. Sitting on 98 appearances, Bradley would become the fourth youngest player in U.S. history to reach the century mark, behind only Landon Donovan, Cobi Jones and Marcelo Balboa.
- Started all four U.S. games in group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
- A finalist for 2012 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year
- Started every game in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and added a goal and two assists
- Game-tying goal against Slovenia in the World Cup kept the USA’s chances of advancing alive, helping him earn both ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors and a nomination for Best Goal of 2010
- A finalist for the 2010 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, he is the fourth youngest U.S. player in history to reach 50 caps
- Started in 15 of 18 qualifiers in the 2010 cycle, finishing tied for second in goals scored with five, including two game-winners
- Featured as a starter in the first two group games of the 2008 Olympics, going 90 minutes against Japan and the Netherlands
- Named U.S. Soccer’s 2007 Young Male Athlete of the Year for his efforts for both club and country, including a part in the USA’s Gold Cup winning run as well as a run through the FIFA U-20 World Cup
- His final year at Heerenveen was a career year by any count as he scored 21 goals in all competitions
Date of Birth
Jul 31, 1987