With the USMNT’s March friendlies against Denmark (March 25, ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMás, UDN) and Switzerland (March 31, FOX Sports 1, UniMás, UDN) quickly approaching, time is running out for the players to convince the coaching staff they should be included for the matches that start the honing process for the all-important 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. The staff will have plenty of opportunity to watch the player pool in action this weekend – and so will fans!
Check out all the MNT players in action with their clubs across the globe (All TV times ET):
The spotlight is on the kickoff of the 20th season of Major League Soccer when the 2014 defending champion LA Galaxy hosts the Chicago Fire. World Cup vet Omar Gonzalez stands at one end with MNT neophyte Gyassi Zardes as the pair stare down Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson at the other. (10 p.m., UniMas)
The FA Cup quarterfinals kick off with a trip to famed Wembley Stadium on offer in one of the oldest and most prestigious cup competitions in the world. Brad Guzan and Aston Villa host West Bromwich Albion in the first leg (12:30 p.m., FOX Soccer Plus). In another final eight matchup, Reading midfielder Danny Williams continues his resurgence as the Royals head to League One side Bradford City (7:45 a.m., FS1). In the only Premier League match of the weekend, DeAndre Yedlin’s Spurs travel to QPR with a huge opportunity to pick up points in the race to reach European competition next season (10 a.m., NBCSN).
In Germany, Fabian Johnson is fresh off scoring his first goal of the campaign and Borussia Moenchengladbach travel to Mainz looking to keep their hold on third place in the Bundesliga table (12:30 p.m., GolTV).
South of the border, Club Tijuana look to maintain their lead at the top of the Liga MX Torneo Clausura after going 6-1-1 in the first eight matches. Joe Corona hopes to continue to earn minutes after recovering from injury, while Greg Garza will be kept out as a precaution after a minor hip injury on the weekend. Meantime, defender Michael Orozco has started all eight games for Puebla and has helped his side to fourth place as they travel to Chiapas (10 p.m., UDN).
MLS has a host of matches available on DIRECT KICK/MLS LIVE, led by the debut of Jozy Altidore alongside MNT compatriot Michael Bradley at Toronto FC when they square off against cross-coast Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps (6 p.m.). Check local listings for the full MLS schedule.
Last things first – the U.S. Under-17 MNT has a chance to book their ticket to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Currently sporting a 3-0-0 record at the top of Group A in CONCACAF Qualifying, a win against host Honduras would guarantee advancement to this fall’s tournament in Chile (FOX Soccer Plus, 10 p.m.).
The big draw will be the debut of the newest additions to MLS, with 60,000 plus packing the Citrus Bowl to watch Orlando City FC hosts NYCFC. Brek Shea is hoping for a jumpstart to his career wearing the purple of the Lions, while Mix Diskerud kicks off his domestic professional career with the Big Apple’s newest MLS entrant NYCFC (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m.). Matt Besler will marshal the backline and Graham Zusi appears to be ready to go when Sporting Kansas City hosts the new look New York Red Bulls (FS1, 7 p.m.), while MLS Cup finalists New England Revolution will be without their MNT contingent in Seattle as Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen are still sidelined for the opener against U.S. captain Clint Dempsey, MNT defender Brad Evans and Sounders FC (FS1, FOX Deportes, 9:30 p.m.).
WHAT ELSE TO CHECK OUT …
Alejandro Bedoya returns from the infirmary to join his Nantes teammates when they meet Stade de Reims, who hover three points above the relegation zone … Jonathan Spector’s Birmingham City side have surpassed their point total from last season, and hope to climb into the top half of the table against Midlands rival Derby … It could be young versus younger in Holland when Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar travel to face Rubio Rubin and FC Utrecht on Sunday … Finally, Eintracht Frankfurt’s starting right back Timmy Chandler gets an early look at the RheinEnergieSTADION in Cologne, which will host USA-Germany on June 5.
The 2015 January camp had a much different feel than previous editions of the annual winter get together of MLS-based players, and for good reason. The main priorities for the Men’s National Teams this year – winning the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games – took center stage, and U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his staff built a roster tailored to kick-start the process of gearing up for these two critical events. In addition, the prospect of discovering future candidates for regular action with the MNT remained one of the carrots of the first gathering of the season.
“Overall we saw a lot of good things on this camp,” Klinsmann said. “We combined it as an Olympic team and Senior Team camp. We wanted to see a lot of individual players, as many as we could, and then we always have to hope that one, two, three will emerge from that group and give you more cards to put on the table going forward. It was a very positive camp. It gave us a lot of insight on a couple guys and hopefully they take this jumpstart into preseason for their MLS clubs.”
All told, five players earned their first cap (upping the total number of new players brought into the MNT since the World Cup to 10); four got their first starts; three different formations were tested; there were four different goal scorers; two ‘keepers shared in a shutout; and a total of 20 players saw action.
With the last chapter written from Carson following the USA’s 2-0 win against Panama on Feb. 8, here’s a look back at what was accomplished:
GOING TOWARDS GOLD CUP
Michael Bradley came off a six-week recovery from a procedure on his toe looking as fit as ever, turning in two solid performances against Chile and Panama, highlighted by a nifty game-winner straight from a corner kick. Jozy Altidore and Brek Shea got back on the scoresheet with fantastic finishes against Panama, a boost of confidence for both players who are looking at new chapters in their club careers following a return from England. Clint Dempsey showed the trademark flair that makes him unique among U.S. talents, while Jermaine Jones got two more runs at centerback under his belt, and Mix Diskerud made it seven straight starts since the World Cup.
“We have another goal on the horizon now: winning the Gold Cup; qualifying for the Confederations Cup in Russia in 2017, this is huge,” Klinsmann said of what is next in 2015 and beyond. “With every new kind of cycle you start a couple of new players to get introduced so that means there’s more competition because they want to show what they have. Then the fact we’re going to host Copa America in 2016, you can give them more things to look at and bigger goals to have, which obviously drives the players; they want to have their goals in mind constantly. We have a full agenda looking into the near future and it will help getting everyone up to speed.”
“Now, the exciting side of things is that going into the March fixture dates in Europe with a game in Denmark and a game in Switzerland, it’s that you can pull your best team. We can pull the European-based players, the Mexican-based players and combined them with the MLS-based players and have your best team together. That’s what all the other nations in the world always do. When the national team meets, it’s only the best of the best that come in. That’s really the positive side now, looking forward and having the best guys come in into Denmark and Switzerland.”
With nine World Cup veterans available from the MLS mix, there were fewer spots for young domestic-based players to have a crack at an audition. Those that did get a sniff, however, made the most of their opportunity. D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum looked solid and composed in his run-out during the debut of the 3-5-2 formation, looking fit and prepared from the get-go.
Miguel Ibarra grew in stature as he displayed increasing confidence and comfort in training sessions and on the day of the match. Along with Gyasi Zardes, he earned his first start in the 2-0 win against Panama. For his part, Zardes turned in an outstanding performance in front of his hometown of Los Angeles and in front of Galaxy fans at StubHub Center, displaying speed, skill and touch. “He's shown that without a doubt, he's a guy that has to be in this group going forward,” Bradley said.
“Definitely Steven Birnbaum was one of the winners,” Klinsmann said of the result of January camp. “I think Gyasi Zardes with both games, his introduction into the senior group; we see a lot of talent.”
GROOMING THE U-23s
During the camp, U.S. Soccer announced that MNT assistant coach Andi Herzog would lead the U-23 group as they look forward to the qualifying tournament this fall and the ultimate prize of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. With more than a dozen Olympic-age players in Carson, Herzog got an up-close look at a pool of the candidates, who in turn got an important introduction into the culture of the program. Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp made his debut for the Senior Team, showing poise and the soccer IQ which got him 28 starts in his second season. DeAndre Yedlin – who is still only 21 years old – returned from his new gig at Tottenham Hotspur FC to make two starts and continue his development on the right side of the U.S. flank.
“All players benefitted a lot from the camp, especially the players coming through the ranks,” Klinsmann said. “Players that are trying to make their name for the Olympic Team, which is under the supervision of Andi Herzog; so he saw a lot of the youngsters already. They all deserve a compliment at the end of the camp. They all understood how intense the Senior Team environment is, and that there is a lot of work behind it. I think they will all benefit for hopefully our entire 2015 year with a lot of success. Personally, they showed a great attitude in the way we were working throughout camp, which is always expected.”
A retrospective look back through the photos of the MNT's month-long January Camp that began when head coach Jurgen Klinsmann summoned 23 players to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, California, on Jan. 12. After a few departures and replacements the squad headed to Chile for its opening international friendly of 2015 before returning home to play Panama at StubHub Center. Along the way, the squad veterans were tasked with integrating a group of younger players who are learning what it means to compete at the full international level, while also preparing for the task of reassembling as the U-23 MNT throughout the year until qualifying begins for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photos from the MNT's 2-0 win against Panama at StubHub Center in Carson, California, to close out its first training camp of 2015. Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey notched the goals for the USA, while Gyasi Zardes and Miguel Ibarra both made their first career starts.
The MNT next heads to Europe in March for a pair of games against Denmark on March 25 and Switzerland on March 31.
CARSON, California (Feb. 8, 2015) – Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey scored first-half goals and the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Panama 2-0 in the USA’s 2015 home opener in front of 20,271 spectators at StubHub Center.
Dempsey joins Landon Donovan as the only MNT players to score 40 international goals. Nick Rimando and Sean Johnson split time in net for the clean sheet.
It was the MNT’s first victory of the year, as well as the first win since a 1-0 decision against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, 2014, in Prague.
Perry Kitchen and Matt Hedges made their MNT debuts as second-half subs, and 10 players have now earned their first caps under Jurgen Klinsmann in the seven matches following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Miguel Ibarra and Gyasi Zardes each earned their first starts. Zardes assisted the Dempsey goal.
The USA had other goal scoring chances throughout the match to add to its lead. The best second-half opportunity came in the 60th minute when Bradley’s free kick found an unmarked Jermaine Jones in the middle of the box. Jones whipped a header toward the goal, but directly to Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Five of the USA’s six shots were placed on goal, while two of Panama’s five shots were put on frame.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Michael Bradley, 27th minute: Just four minutes after a corner kick threatened the Panama net, Bradley delivered another one that found its way into the net. Bradley drove the corner from the left side toward the far right of the goal frame. Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo leapt to try and get a glove on it, but instead the ball went directly into the far right side of the frame, where Jozy Altidore also was close by. USA 1, PAN 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes), 37th minute: Zardes did the setup work, intercepting Panama’s Luis Ovalle in midfield and dribbling centrally before sending a well-placed through ball that split two Panama defenders. Dempsey timed his run perfectly, took a touch and a leap to elude Jaime Penedo and shot right-footed before Harold Cummings could converge. USA 2, PAN 0 (SEE GOAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Nick Rimando, 14th minute: Panama threatened with a cross from the right side to the left of the box, and without a USA defender in the vicinity of Panama midfielder Eric Davis, Rimando was forced to rush off of his line and block the shot.
PAN – Anibal Godoy, 23rd minute: Michael Bradley took the corner kick from the left side, a bending ball into the six-yard box that likely was headed for goal. Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo had a difficult time getting to the ball, but Godoy headed it out of harm’s way at the near post.
- Michael Bradley scored his 13th-career goal. He is now tied for 13th on the all-time MNT goal scoring list with Marcelo Balboa and Hugo Perez. Next up on the list is 12th-place Carlos Bocanegra, who scored 14 goals from 2001-12.
- Clint Dempsey joins Landon Donovan as the only U.S. MNT players to score 40 international goals. Donovan scored 57 times in 157 games and Dempsey has 40 goals in 112 matches.
- Dempsey is now tied for sixth all-time in career appearances with Claudio Reyna, who earned 112 caps from 1994-2006.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT faces Denmark at 3 p.m. ET on March 25 in Arhus.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
- Before the match, a moment of remembrance was held for former 1950 FIFA World Cup goalkeeper Frank Borghi, who passed away last week. The National Soccer Hall of Famer manned the net in the USA’s famous 1-0 victory against England in Brazil.
- The USA is now 12-1-2 all-time against Panama and has won the past six meetings.
- Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup included Nick Rimando returning to goal and a defensive back four with Brek Shea on the left, DeAndre Yedlin on the right and Jermaine Jones and Matt Besler at center back. Jones earned his 50th-career cap.
- In the midfield of the USA’s 4-2-3-1, Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley played in the holding role, with Miguel Ibarra, captain Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes above them, left to right. Ibarra and Zardes each earned their first MNT starts in just their second appearances. It was a familiar setting for Zardes who plies his professional trade with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.
- Striker Jozy Altidore played up front.
- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson replaced Rimando to open the second half. It was Johnson’s first appearance since a 1-0 shutout victory against Costa Rica on July 16, 2013, at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Also to open the second half, Chris Wondolowski entered for Altidore who was held out for the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons (right hamstring soreness).
- Two players made their MNT debuts in the 72nd minute. Perry Kitchen replaced Diskerud and Matt Hedges replaced Yedlin, who had to leave the match with a right knee sprain in the 68th minute
- Lee Nguyen took the place of Ibarra in the 79th minute.
- Luis Gil joined the action in the 81st minute for Dempsey.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: Feb. 8, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 1 p.m. PT
Weather: 72 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
PAN 0 0 0
USA – Michael Bradley 27th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes) 37
USA: 1-Nick Rimando (12-Sean Johnson, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin (3-Matt Hedges, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler, 11-Brek Shea; 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Mix Diskerud (15-Perry Kitchen, 72); 20-Gyasi Zardes, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (14-Luis Gil, 81), 19-Miguel Ibarra (7-Lee Nguyen, 79); 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Chris Wondolowski, 46)
Subs Not Used: 6-Wil Trapp, 16-Shane O'Neill, 21-Dillon Serna
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo (capt.); 2-Leonel Parris, 5-Fidel Escobar (23-Chin Hormechea, 46), 3-Harold Cummings, 17-Luis Ovalle (11-Hécgar Murillo, 46); 8-Marcos Sánchez (16-Yairo Glaize Yau, 46), 13-Alfredo Stephens (22-Ismael Díaz, 55), 20-Aníbal Godoy, 15-Éric Davis; 7-Blas Pérez (21-Ricardo Buitrago, 56), 9-Rolando Blackburn (4-Luis Pereira, 63)
Subs Not Used: 6-Michael Amir Murillo, 10-Gabriel Torres, 12-José Calderón, 19-Jhamal Rodríguez
Head Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez
Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 6 / 5
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 23 / 15
Offside: 0 / 3
USA – Michael Bradley (caution) 38th minute
PAN – Luis Ovalle (caution) 40
PAN – Anibal Godoy (caution) 59
USA – Chris Wondolowski (caution) 65
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Oscar Moncada (HON)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Michael Bradley
A powerful box-to-box midfielder who is strong on the tackle, Jones made his name in the German Bundesliga where he has played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04. Born to a German mother and American father in Frankfurt, Jones was capped by Germany three times before applying for a change of association granted by FIFA allowing him to become eligible to represent the United States. Dealing with a shin injury for more than a year ruled Jones out of contention for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but his top-level experience and great athleticism have now finally been on display in a U.S. uniform as Jones helped the U.S. qualify to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final.
- In 2014, Jones has appeared and started in 10 matches for the U.S., including all four games in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- Scored his first World Cup goal and fourth with the U.S. MNT against Portugal, an equalizer in the 64th minute from well outside the box after he picked up a loose ball from a U.S. corner kick
- Assisted Clint Dempsey's opening goal against Ghana just 30 seconds into the match, helping the U.S. to a 2-1 victory in its first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
- Tied for fifth on the U.S. MNT with 12 appearances during the recent qualifying cycle to advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
- Scored Schalke 04’s only goal in a 1-1 draw against Galatasaray in UEFA Champions League play on Feb. 20, 2013, becoming the second USA player to score in the Champions League knockout stage
- Started each of the USA’s six games in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and scored the opening goal against Jamaica
- Made his long-awaited U.S. National Team debut on Oct. 9, 2010, against Poland in Chicago, sending a cleverly delivered pass into the path of Jozy Altidore who converted the assist into the USA’s first goal of the match
- Became eligible to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team in October of 2009, though injury prevented him from being called into a camp for another year
- After playing for Germany in qualifying for the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup and being capped three times by the full team for Germany in 2008 in friendlies, he submitted the paperwork to FIFA to change associations and play for the USA
- After stints with Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, he spent four seasons at Schalke, and a season with Besiktas
- Joined the New England Revolution in MLS for the 2014 season. Scored his first career and game-winning MLS goal against Sporting KC on Sept. 26, 2014
2014: Has appeared and started in 10 games for the U.S. MNT in 2014, including all three Send-Off Series games and all four games in the 2014 FIFA World Cup for the U.S. ... Scored his first World Cup goal and fourth with the U.S. MNT against Portugal on June 22, an equalizer in the 64th minute from well outside the box after he picked up a loose ball from a U.S. corner kick ... Assisted Clint Dempsey's opening goal against Ghana just 30 seconds into the match, helping the U.S. to a 2-1 victory in its first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup ... 2013: Despite knee and ankle injuries during the year, Jones still managed to represent the USA in 12 games for a third straight year … His 12 starts were a career-high, and he logged 925 minutes … Assisted a Clint Dempsey goal on Feb. 6 against Honduras in World Cup qualifying at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano … Jones made 12 appearances during the qualification cycle from 2012-13, tying him for fifth on the USA squad with Graham Zusi … 2012: Played in 12 games for the second consecutive year, including his first four matches in FIFA World Cup qualifying … Captained the U.S. to back-to-back 1-0 wins against Venezuela on Jan. 21 and Panama four days later … Collected Budweiser Man of the Match honors from the Venezuela game, teeing up Ricardo Clark for the game-winning goal … Recorded a goal and three assists, a personal best for points … Headed home a Landon Donovan cross to finish off Scotland in a 5-1 win on May 26, and also set up Michael Bradley and Donovan for their finishes … 2011: Made a career-high 12 appearances for the U.S., including eight starts … Started all six of the U.S.’s games in the CONCACAF Gold Cup … Scored his first U.S. goal and the game-winner against Jamaica on June 19 to lift the U.S. into the Gold Cup semifinal …His ‘military salute’ goal celebration in honor of his father was a finalist for U.S. Soccer’s Best Goal Celebration … 2010: Debuted on Oct. 9 against Poland in Chicago in fine fashion, sending a cleverly delivered pass into the path of Jozy Altidore who converted for the USA’s first goal of the match … Went 90 minutes that day and in the 0-0 draw against Colombia in Philadelphia three days later … 2009: He became eligible to represent the USA after his documentation was approved by FIFA on Oct. 20 … Injury prevented him from being called into Bob Bradley’s team and at the end of 2009 he had yet to return to first team action … First Appearance: Oct. 9, 2010, vs. Poland … First Goal: June 19, 2011, vs. Jamaica.Germany National Team: Made three total appearances for Germany in friendlies in 2008 and 2009.
Joined the New England Revolution in MLS for the 2014 season... Scored his first career and game-winning MLS goal against Sporting KC on Sept. 26... Appeared in 12 games for the Revs, starting nine and scoring two goals to help New England to an Eastern Conference second place regular season finish with a 17-13-4 record... Has helped team advance to the Eastern Conference finals of the MLS playoffs to face the New York Red Bulls...2013: Became the second U.S. MNT player to score in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage – the other being DaMarcus Beasley – when he tallied Schalke’s lone goal in a 1-1 road draw against Galatasaray of Turkey on Feb. 20 … Made 14 German Bundesliga appearances for Schalke during the 2013 portion of the club’s 2013-14 season … 2012: A mainstay in the first XI, he started 13 games in the first half of the season … Appeared in half of the group matches in the Champions League as Schalke advanced to the knockout stage to face Galatasaray … Scored in the 3-1 win on Sept. 1 against Augsburg … 2011: Returned to Schalke and made 13 appearances for the club in all competitions in the first half of the season, including starts in the Europa League … Remained relegated to the bench until Huub Stevens became the new coach Sept. 27 and gave him another opportunity … 2010-11: Made 10 starts for Schalke before being assigned to the reserve team in early December … Made his long-awaited return to action since May of 2009 when he started on Aug. 14 against VfR Aalen in the first round of the German Cup … Scored the lone goal in the 2-1 loss on Aug. 28 to Hannover … Spent the second half of the season with English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, where he made 15 appearances, including 90 minutes in the 1-0 win against Bolton Wanderers on April 30, 2011 … 2009-10: Missed the entire Bundesliga campaign attempting to recover from a shin injury … 2008-09: Made 37 appearances in all competitions for Schalke … Started all 30 league games he appeared in, scoring three goals and adding five assists as Schalke finished eighth in the Bundesliga … 2007-08: Made 29 league appearances in his first season at Schalke … Started eight games during Schalke’s run to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League … 2006-07: Made five appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt before leaving for Schalke at the end of the season … 2005-06: Appeared in 20 games for Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring twice … 2004-05: In an unsuccessful loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen, he made five appearances, including one in the UEFA Champions League … 2003-04: Made five appearances with Eintracht Frankfurt before going on loan to Bayer Leverkusen.
Date of Birth
Nov 3, 1981
New England Revolution