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State of the Squad: Position Battles Abound in Important Friendlies against Peru, Brazil

As the U.S. Men’s National Team convenes in Washington, D.C.  on Sunday to prepare for their final friendlies before taking on Mexico in the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff, the message from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is clear: “Prove a point that you want to be at The Rose Bowl.”

The two friendlies against Peru and Brazil have taken on a new meaning from the time when they were originally planned. Scheduled with an eye on preparation towards November’s World Cup qualifying matches and next year’s Copa America Centenario, the two games now serve as the ultimate proving ground for veteran and young players alike to make their case for the October playoff.

“This is now a huge opportunity for the players to show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation because of what happened in the Gold Cup. Experience or no experience, this is not about developing things. This is about proving a point.”

While 15 players return from July’s Gold Cup roster, Klinsmann’s eye towards more competition in the team has seen the return of four World Cup veterans in goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Jermaine Jones and center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron all returning after varying levels of absences over the last year.

Besler and Cameron rejoin a U.S. center back pool that also features Gold Cup starters Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks as well as Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco and Tim Ream.


MNT defender Tim Ream battles Panama's Adolfo Machado during the 2015 Gold Cup.

With seven options providing a good mix of youth and experience, Klinsmann made clear, “The heat is on in that position.”

“Some positions are definitely there to grab, but you've got to grab them with a lot of determination and a lot of ambition,” he added. “That's why bringing back Tim Howard now and Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron kind of signals the fight and the competition now happening between the older established ones and the new wave of players. This is what we want to see from Sunday on in training. We want to see competition, and then we're going to make some calls. Obviously the most crucial calls come for the roster that goes to the Rose Bowl.”

After taking the summer off following strong performances in the June friendly wins against The Netherlands and Germany, forward Bobby Wood and midfielder Danny Williams also returned to the fold, while the lone newcomer in camp is forward Andrew Wooten. The 25-year-old striker has been tracked by Klinsmann and his staff for two years and has started the 2.Bundesliga season off strong, scoring five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

“We like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals. He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water right away and swim really fast.”

Wooten’s good form and entrance into the National Team picture has come at an opportune time for the striker as he comes into the fold with no clear cut pecking order after Clint Dempsey. Though the U.S. veteran won the Golden Boot with six goals at the Gold Cup, injury issues will force him out for at least the Peru match, leaving Wooten, Wood, Aron Johannsson, and Jozy Altidore a chance to prove they belong in the squad come October.

“I think the situation with our forwards is wide open,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team.

“Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


MNT forward Aron Johannsson controls the ball in the USA's match against Jamaica during the 2015 Gold Cup.

While Dempsey and captain Michael Bradley will miss out on the Peru match, other regulars that would have otherwise been part of the camp were ruled out due to injury.

“Of course this is normal whenever we have international games,” Klinsmann said. “Unfortunately for Fabian Johnson he got injured a couple weeks after a very good start to the season with Monchengladbach. We have some cases where guys are nursing some injuries, like Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman in Salt Lake.”

Originally slated to continue with the National Team after coming out of international retirement last month, veteran DaMarcus Beasley was also forced to pull out of the squad after suffering an injury over the weekend with the Houston Dynamo.

 With the experimental period following the World Cup now coming to an end, Klinsmann put an impetus on the younger players that have received opportunities over the last year to sink or swim with established veterans back involved with the team.

“We gave the younger generation a lot of confidence and a lot of support and a lot of help, which is our job from a coaching standpoint,” he said. “Now the moment comes and they have to prove it. They have to go face-to-face with the established guys and try to steal their spot. This is what it’s about now. We will find out if they are ready for it. We have the playoff game for one, and then we have World Cup qualifying which is not experimenting any more. In a certain way you can tell that the transition phase comes to an end and now they need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

Q&A: Klinsmann, "Now the players need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

ussoccer.com: What was the approach to putting this roster together?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for Mexico game a month from now. Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

“With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation we’re in because of what happened in the Gold Cup. These games are not about developing things for the future. This is about proving a point towards the Mexico game.”

ussoccer.com: What is the objective for these matches?
JK: “Coming into two games like this against Brazil, whose accomplishments speak for themselves, and Peru coming off a third place finish in Copa America, this is now a huge opportunity for the players to  show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash. Initially with the games – and also going back to the games against Holland and Germany – our goal was to get these experiences for World Cup qualifying and Copa America next summer. Now obviously the focus has shifted and we are zoomed in on the CONCACAF Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.”

ussoccer.com: How will having some of the veterans back help this team in camp?
JK: “We will just want to make it very, very intense and competitive from the first day on in training, so the veterans need to set the tone and they need to understand that there's a high energy there. The ones that were not a part of the Gold Cup, and the other ones that were with us before like a Danny Williams or a Bobby Wood, they need to prove a point now. This is really now about truly competing. It’s about competing for spots, competing for the Rose Bowl and obviously also towards the World Cup qualifiers.”

ussoccer.com: You said that you have been tracking Andrew Wooten for a while. What do you like about him and what kind of opportunity does he have with this camp?
JK: “We've been watching him for more than two years now and we like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals.  He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water and right away swim really fast.” 

ussoccer.com: Is there an opportunity for a player to step up in the striker position?
JK: “I think the situation with our forwards is wide open. Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team. Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”

Last Week in Review: MNT Players Stay Hot as Summer Winds Down

This time next week, the Men’s National Team will be in camp training for friendlies against Peru and Brazil ahead of the critical CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of these friendlies that “we want to see the players make statements towards the Mexico game,” so making the roster is a critical step. With those choices looming, several U.S. players made an impact with their club teams last week.

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore led the way for Toronto FC, which cruised to a 5-0 win against Orlando City SC. The match was an important one because at its onset Toronto and Orlando City were separated by just three points in a close playoff race in the East. The captain was up to the challenge and responded by assisting on two of Toronto’s first three goals. Late in the second half, his long-time MNT teammate Altidore came off the bench and made an impact. While only playing 18 minutes, he made the most of them by scoring from the penalty spot and finishing off a set piece in rapid succession. WATCH: Match Highlights

Two MNT teammates combined for a goal in Saturday night’s matchup between Sporting KC and Columbus Crew. Matt Besler sprung Graham Zusi into the attack, the midfielder then offering a fantastic solo effort capped by a curling shot to the right corner that gave his squad a 2-1 lead. The Crew would rally and end up winning 3-2, but Zusi’s goal earned honors as an MLS Goal of the Week nominee.

In Sunday’s marquee game, the first between LA Galaxy and New York City FC, Gyasi Zardes showed out on the big stage, rising above the NYC FC defense to head home the first goal of the game. The Galaxy would play on to a 5-1 win.

Real Salt Lake held strong at home against the visiting Seattle Sounders FC, with Nick Rimando backstopping his team to a 2-0 win. The shutout was Rimando’s seventh of the season, and the win snapped a three-game losing streak.

While the Earthquakes were far away from home taking on D.C. United, that didn’t stop Chris Wondolowski from adding to his tally. Wondolowski got the action started early, finishing into the lower left corner from six yards out in the game’s fourth minute for his 12th goal of the year. It was a big week for Wondo, who scored a double, including his 100th goal as an Earthquake, in the team’s game on Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, across the pond the MNT was also active. Danny Williams scored Reading FC’s goal in its 1-1 draw on Aug. 19 against Sheffield Wednesday. Tim Ream completed a transfer to Fulham from Bolton Wanderers, joining a long list of U.S. internationals to ply their trade at Craven Cottage. Ream earned honors as Bolton’s Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons and will look to carry that that success over to Fulham.

In Germany, Aron Johannsson made his first start with his new Bundesliga club Werder Bremen and played 80 minutes in the team’s 1-1 draw with Hertha Berlin.

In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado made his second consecutive start for Club America. The defender has been a part of a strong America backline that has only surrendered one goal in its last four games (4-0-0).

MNT on TV: A Baker’s Dozen of Matches Featuring 25 MNT Players this Weekend

Behold the rising action. Another weekend of soccer brings about 13 matches featuring 25 current MNT players. It’s a sure bet that Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. MNT coaching staff will be tuned in with the team just two weeks away from huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil, which prelude the decisive USA-Mexico playoff on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl. Here’s a look at the action featuring U.S. Men’s National Team players around the world this weekend.

Bundesliga
Aron Johannsson is settling in nicely with his new club Werder Bremen. A week ago he made his debut, coming on in the 57th minute against Schalke. This week Bremen will look to snare all three points against Hertha Berlin on Friday, where Johannsson will hunt for his first Bundesliga goal. Trying to stop him will be his MNT teammate and Hertha center back John Brooks. Brooks, who is still getting into a club rhythm after missing preseason while on international duty, entered in the 84thminute of Hertha’s 1-0 win against Augsburg a week ago.

Like Brooks, Timmy Chandler is also working hard to get back into form with his club after returning from the Gold Cup. He’ll look to seize the opportunity as Frankfurt tries to rebound from its 2-1 loss to Wolfsburg with a positive result against Augsburg on Saturday.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

2:30 p.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Hertha Berlin vs. Werder Bremen

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)
John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/22

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Soccer Plus, FOXSoccer2go.com

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League
On Saturday morning, a trio of matches features MNT players in Premier League action across the pond. Watch them simultaneously as Tottenham and DeAndre Yedlin seek their first win of the season when they face Leicester City, Brad Guzan marshals Aston Villa’s backline in its road matchup with Crystal Palace and Geoff Cameron and Stoke City meet Norwich City. Guzan has looked sharp early on in the season, posting a clean sheet in Villa’s 1-0 win against Bournemouth in the club’s season opener and limiting Manchester United’s potent offense to a single goal.

On Sunday, Tim Howard will lead the Everton defense when it goes up against the goal-happy Manchester City attack, which has produced a Premier League leading six goals in its first two games. Klinsmann officially revealed that Howard will be back in the mix when the MNT takes the field in September, and after posting a shutout a week ago against Southampton, the ‘keeper will look to maintain his form.


Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Leicester City vs. Tottenham

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Live Extra

Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/22

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Extra Time

Norwich  City vs. Stoke City

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Everton vs. Manchester City

Tim Howard (Everton)

Liga MX
A pair of MNT players will clash in Saturday night Liga MX action as Ventura Alvarado and Club America challenge Joe Corona and Veracruz. Alvarado and the America defense have held opponents scoreless their last three games.

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have already recorded a win this week. The team defeated Correcaminos on Monday and will look to increase their lead as the top team in Liga MX when they tackle Chivas on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/22

5 p.m. MT

UniMas, UDN

Club America vs. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

Telemundo

Leon vs. Chivas

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

MLS
On Friday night, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo enter the cauldron which houses the Portland Timbers. Earlier this week, Klinsmann reviewed the conversation he had with Beasley following the Gold Cup, and it’s now clear that Beas is fully back on board with the MNT.

Saturday kicks off with Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore hosting Orlando City SC, where Brek Shea is nearer to returning from sports hernia surgery. Toronto has stumbled to back-to-back losses, but its last win came against the Lions. While that game is going on, down in the nation’s capital MLS Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United will see Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen host Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes. The ‘Quakes are coming off a 5-0 rout of Sporting KC on Wednesday in which Wondo scored twice, increasing his career total to 100 league goals.

Thirty minutes after that game begins, Matt Besler and Graham Zusi will lead Sporting KC against Columbus Crew SC. Sporting had been riding a four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1), before the loss to San Jose at Sporting Park. In Utah, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake square off with MNT teammates Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans of Seattle Sounders FC. The meeting is the first between the two teams this year. The clubs share similar territory in the Western Conference standings, as both have won seven games this season.

On Sunday, LA Galaxy and New York City FC meet for the first and only time this season. The MLS marquee matchup pits Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes against fellow U.S. international Mix Diskerud. The Galaxy sits atop the Western Conference table, while NYC FC is battling for a playoff spot in the East.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/21

8 p.m. PT

UDN, UniMas

Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo

DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

Toronto FC vs. Orlando City SC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Brek Shea (Orlando City)

8/22

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

D.C. United v. San Jose Earthquakes

Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

 8/22

 7:30 p.m. ET

 MLS Direct Kick

Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/22

8 p.m. MT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

8/23

Noon PT

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, MLS Direct Kick

LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Mix Diskerud (NYC FC)

Ready, Set, Watch: 22 Televised Games Feature MNT Players this Week

With the huge friendlies against Peru and Brazil on the horizon next month set against the backdrop of the massive USA-Mexico match on Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl, you can be sure Jurgen Klinsmann and the coaching staff is keeping a close eye on the player pool. Their job is made a lot easier thanks to the impressive number of games being televised this week involving MNT players. A total of 22 matches featuring more than 30 current MNT players will be broadcast. Here’s a look at what to watch for in the action around the world.

Bundesliga Begins

Let the games begin in Germany. With the highest average attendance of the top leagues in Europe, Bundesliga play for the 2015-16 season begins this weekend, as does the first season of these matches being broadcast on FOX. A number of MNT players will look to get off on the right foot.

Fabian Johnson helped lift Borussia Mönchengladbach to a third-place finish in the league last year, which ultimately earned the club a spot in the 2015-16 UEFA Champions League group stage. The German side went 10-0-2 with Johnson in the starting lineup in the first half of 2015, and begins this year’s run on Saturday against rival and traditional powerhouse Borussia Dortmund.

John Brooks is back for his third year at Hertha Berlin. Brooks has earned 71 appearances there since debuting in 2012, becoming a regular starter in the latter stages of the season. Berlin begins its season against Augsburg on Saturday.

Timmy Chandler, who scored his first international goal this summer in the MNT’s match against Guatemala, is back for another year at his hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt. The team begins the year against Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Aron Johannsson makes his debut in the German top flight. He finished the year at AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie, recording four goals in his final three matches as his former club snatched the third spot and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Now Johannsson takes his talents to Werder Bremen, which opens its campaign on Saturday against Schalke.

Alfredo Morales March 31 Match DenmarkAlfredo Morales

Alfredo Morales led FC Ingolstadt to a first place finish in second Bundesliga a year ago which promoted the team to the premier division. Ingolstadt debuts against Mainz on Saturday.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com, FOX Deportes

Augsburg v. Hertha Berlin

John Brooks (Hertha Berlin)

8/15

9:15 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Werder Bremen v. Schalke

Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen)

8/15

9:30 a.m. ET

FOXSoccer2go.com

Mainz v. FC Ingolstadt

Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

8/15

12:30 p.m. ET

FOX Sports 2, FOXSoccer2go.com

Dortmund v. Borussia Monchengladbach

Fabian Johnson (‘Gladbach)

8/16

9:30 a.m. ET

FOX Sports 1, FOXSoccer2go.com

Wolfsburg v. Frankfurt

Timmy Chandler (Frankfurt)

Premier League Continues

The English Premier League got started last weekend and play continues across the pond this week.

Brad Guzan, who earned the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper in the 2015 Gold Cup, posted a clean sheet in the season opener. Now he’ll stand between the posts against perennial Premier League powerhouse Manchester United on Friday. Fellow netminder Tim Howard will also be in action for Everton, as the Toffees take on Southampton.

Brad Guzan

DeAndre Yedlin continues to challenge for a spot at Tottenham Hotspur. The club hosts its home opener against Stoke City, where Geoff Cameron started at centerback in his side’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/14

2:45 p.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

8/15 7 a.m. ET NBC Sports Network Southampton vs. Everton Tim Howard (Everton)

8/15

10 a.m. ET

NBC Sports Network

Tottenham vs. Stoke City

DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham), Geoff Cameron (Stoke)

Vamos Vamos

Liga MX is in full swing now and a number of MNT players will be in action south of the border.

Ventura Alvarado scored his first goal of the season last week in Club America win against Motagua in the Champions League. This week the team will look to keep up the momentum when it faces Santos on Friday night.

Joe Corona, coming off a sweet assist that led to the game-winner last week, plays with Veracruz on Tuesday night against his former team Club Tijuana and the current home of defender Michael Orozco.

Greg Garza and Atlas can be seen twice on TV this week. The first game is against Pumas on Wednesday, the second is Saturday night against Puebla.


Greg Garza

Goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Liga MX debutant Miguel Ibarra have a pair of games this week. Leon takes on Tigres on Tuesday night, then can be seen Saturday night when they travel to Morelia.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/11

7:50 p.m. PT

Azteca

Club Tijuana v. Veracruz

Joe Corona (Veracruz), Michael Orozco (Tijuana)

8/12

8 p.m. MT

Galavision

Pumas v. Atlas

Greg Garza (Atlas)

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

NBC Universo

Leon v. Tigres

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon)

8/14

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Club America v. Santos

Ventura Alvarado (Club America)

8/15

7:20 p.m. CT

Azteca

Atlas v. Puebla

Greg Garza (Atlas),

8/15

11:30 p.m. ET

Azteca

Morelia v. Leon

William Yarbrough, Miguel Ibarra (Leon) 

MLS Heating Up

With the playoff race heating up, the MLS season is getting very interesting.

A quartet of MNT players will be in action Wednesday in the semifinal of the 2015 U.S. Open Cup when Sporting Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando will do their best to push RSL through, but their MNT teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi from Sporting KC stand in the way.

League MLS matches continue on Thursday, when New York City FC hosts first place D.C. United at Yankee Stadium. Mix Diskerud is in a New York state of mind, while D.C. United’s Bill Hamid and Perry Kitchen will try to pick up another road win.

On Friday, Chris Wondolowski will try to score his 10th goal of the season when San Jose Earthquakes host Colorado Rapids.

MLS Saturday is MNT Saturday. Captain Michael Bradley, who scored a brilliant MLS Goal of the Week nominee last weekend, and Jozy Altidore travel with Toronto FC to Harrison, N.J., for a match against the Red Bulls. Shortly after that game kicks off, New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo play in a game featuring five MNT players (Juan Agudelo, DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis, Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones). Moving westward, the LA Galaxy with Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez visit FC Dallas, while up in Kansas City, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Sporting KC host Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The night concludes with Real Salt Lake taking on Portland Timbers in Sandy, Utah, where Kyle Beckerman will captain RSL with Nick Rimando between the posts.


Brad Evans

On Sunday afternoon, Seattle Sounders FC featuring Clint Dempsey and their team captain Brad Evans will do their best to hold off the visiting Orlando City SC.

Date

Time

Networks

Matchup

MNT Players in Action

8/12

7:30 p.m. CT

youtube.com/ussoccer

Sporting KC v. Real Salt Lake

(Open Cup Semifinal)

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/13

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York City FC v. D.C. United

Mix Diskerud (NYC FC), Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen (D.C. United)

 

8/14

 

8 p.m. PT

 

UniMas

 

San Jose Earthquakes v. Colorado Rapids

 

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

8/15

7 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New York Red Bulls v. Toronto FC

Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

8/15

7:30 p.m. ET

MLS Direct Kick

New England Revolution v. Houston Dynamo

Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Jermaine Jones (New England), DaMarcus Beasley, Brad Davis (Houston)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

FC Dallas v. LA Galaxy

Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

8/15

8 p.m. CT

MLS Direct Kick

Sporting Kansas City v. Vancouver Whitecaps

Matt Besler, Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

8/15

7 p.m. PT

MLS Direct Kick

Real Salt Lake v. Portland

Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

8/16

2 p.m. PT

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

Seattle Sounders FC v. Orlando City SC

Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders)

 

A longtime veteran of the National Teams, Rimando has displayed remarkable consistency in his skills in goal and his leadership off the field. A member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad, he was a stronghold for the USA’s goalkeeping contingent in 2013, boasting a perfect 6-0-0 record and allowing only four goals in 540 minutes. Five of those victories came during the USA’s run to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown. Along with his career-year internationally, Rimando moved up the record books in Major League Soccer, becoming just the second player in league history to reach 100 regular-season shutouts during Real Salt Lake’s 2013 season opener.

Career highlights:

  • Named to the 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup
  • Posted a career-best six wins for the U.S. MNT in 2013, winning all six starts and allowing only four goals in 540 minutes.
  • Five victories came during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he also manned the net during the USA’s 1-0 victory against Panama in the tournament championship on July 28
  • Became just the second player in MLS history to reach 100 regular-season shutouts during Real Salt Lake's 2-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on March 3, 2014.
  • Debuted for the USA in 2002, combining with Tim Howard for a 2-0 shutout win against El Salvador. 
  • Has featured for the USA at many youth levels, including the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Cup and 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship
  • Earned the 2009 MLS Cup MVP award as he led Real Salt Lake to their first league championship title.
  • A two-time MLS Cup winner, he is also a four-time MLS All-Star
  • Ranks first all-time amongst MLS goalkeepers in shutouts and is second in wins and games played

2015: Named to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster... Has played and started in five games for the MNT this year... Started the first five games of 2015... 2014: Appeared in four and started three games for the U.S. in 2014 ... Remained undefeated and improved to a 10-0-2 record with the National Team on Oct. 14 in a 1-1 draw against Honduras ... Included on the 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup ...  2013: The goalkeeping veteran had his most significant year with the MNT, going a perfect 6-0-0 with two shutouts … His six wins were second only to Tim Howard’s seven … Earned five caps at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and posted a clean sheet during the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 victory against Panama in the tournament championship on July 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago … Rimando’s other shutout came against Guatemala as the USA rolled to a 6-0 win on July 5 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego … 

2014: Finished the season with seven shutouts and a 1.04 goals against average in 24 matches. His 13-4-7 record was his second-best campaign in terms of points per match since coming to Real Salt Lake in 2007 … On August 9, he earned his 113th career clean sheet to pass Kevin Hartman as the all-time shutout leader in MLS history ... Earned his fourth All-Star nod in the last five seasons, starting for the MLS All-Stars against Bayern Munich ... Five times during the season, he was voted MLS Save of the Week, more than any other player in the league in 2014 ... 2013: Earned nine shutouts and went 14-7-6 during the regular-season, finishing second in the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting … Became only the second player in MLS history to reach 100 regular-season shutouts when he made two saves during Real Salt Lake’s 2-0 season-opening victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on March 3 … Won MLS Save of the Year for his double-save against the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 3 … 2012 ... Collected a career-high 16 regular season victories ... Registered 2,790 minutes of action in 31 games, second-most in his 13 season ... Made his 17th save in 56 career penalty kicks face on Sept. 6 in Houston, extending his MLS all-time high ...  Eleven clean sheets in 2012 extended his regular-season career total to 99 all-time, trailing only Kevin Hartman ... 2011: Recorded new career highs for games played and started, with 33 each, plus three starts in MLS Cup playoffs … Reached a career high for minutes played (2,970) and posted a 1.09 GAA with 13 shutouts … Signed a contract extension in February to keep him at Real Salt Lake until 2013 … 2010: Started and played in 27 games for Real Salt Lake … Recorded 2,430 minutes of action and garnered a .78 save percentage … Earned 18 shutouts and made 78 saves with a .67 GAA … Finished the season with a 15-4-8 record …  2009: His 1.14 GAA was the third lowest of his 10-year MLS career and his nine shutouts ranking second-most … Finished among MLS’ Top 10 with a 1.14 GAA, 9 shutouts and 10 wins …  2008: One of four goalkeepers to play every minute for his squad in 2008 … Finished season in top six across MLS with 10 wins, 8 shutouts and a 1.30 GAA … Made 200th MLS regular season start & appearance on October 9 vs. New York Red Bulls … 2007: Acquired, traded, then re-acquired by Real Salt Lake during the off-season, the final deal bringing Rimando back to Utah … 2006:Made just two appearances for D.C. United in a back-up role behind Troy Perkins after overcoming injuries during the first half of the season … 2005: Returned to full strength and had one of his best seasons, notching a career-high 11 shutouts while maintaining an impressive 1.17 GAA and tying his career-best of 15 wins ... 2004: A right knee injury limited Rimando to just 13 appearances … Still managed to record a 7-3-3 record and a career-best and club-record 1.00 GAA … Went 4-0-0 in postseason play, his 1.15 GAA helping United to its fifth MLS Cup crown … 2003:Equaled a D.C. team single-season record with seven shutouts. 2002: Recorded club-record seven shutouts and D.C. United’s single-season record for saves with 131 … Only player on D.C. to log every minute during the 2002 season … 2001: Set several team records for Miami Fusion FC in his first full season, including 15 wins and five shutouts … Posted a 15-5-5 record and 1.29 GAA, numbers that helped Miami garner the 2001 Supporters Shield … 2000: Made five saves and recorded a shutout in his MLS debut for Miami Fusion FC … Finalist for the Nickelodeon GAS Play of the Year for a one-handed save on D.C.’s Bobby Convey’s shot on August 5 … Posted a 2-1-0 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and made a PK save in the Final on October 21 at Chicago.

College:

Finished his three years at UCLA with a 0.67 GAA, the second-best mark in Bruin history … In 1999, he received NSCAA All-Far West First-Team and College Soccer Online All-American Honorable Mention honors … Tallied 19 wins in 22 games while maintaining a 0.78 GAA in helping UCLA reach the NCAA College Cup Semifinals. 

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