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MNT Ready for Final Test in Nashville Ahead of Gold Cup

The U.S. MNT touch down in Nashville for some final preparation ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Klinsmann Calls 23 Players to Defend Gold Cup Title

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.

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. 

 


Experienced MNT Roster Ready to Defend Gold Cup Crown

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. 

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.

New Cycle, New Roster for USMNT

Transition Year

With every training session, with every international friendly and with every tournament, the goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team is to advance and improve as a competitive nation in international soccer.

With the CONCACAF Gold Cup as the next benchmark in the aftermath of a 2014 FIFA World Cup where the team advanced out of the “Group of Death”, U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann set a course for a year of transition. In the 10 games since Brazil, there have been 13 newly-capped players among the total of 46 who have been given minutes, while the core of the team is strengthened and new players tested.


The USA's starting XI against Mexico in April was comprised of a variety of players with varying degrees of international experience from first time starters to World Cup vets.

In fact, six of the U.S.’s most familiar faces, Jozy Altidore, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones have not played in a game together since the first World Cup match in Ghana. There have been nine different strike partnerships, five different central defender pairings, and numerous players tried in different roles, all ultimately in an effort to ready a larger group of players while zoning in on those who will be nurtured and polished for the campaign ahead.

Youth is Served

Nineteen-year-olds Emerson Hyndman and Rubio Rubin both earned their first caps with the senior team recently, with Hyndman coming on in the second half of the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 win against the Czech Republic in September 2014, and Rubin starting against then No. 3-ranked Colombia this past November. The pair is currently applying the experience they gained from playing with the senior team with the U-20 MNT at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Hyndman is the captain of the squad and scored the game-winning goal in the tournament’s opening match off of an assist from Rubin.

Rubio Rubin
Rubio Rubin, currently at the U-20 World Cup, has seen action at multiple levels for the USA in recent months, including as a full international and with the U-23 Olympic squad.

Pairing Up

The most obvious of partnerships on the field occur in the center of the park. Whether choosing to experiment at times, as with Jermaine Jones at centerback, or through the unavailability of players, Klinsmann has capitalized on these 10 matches and explored the options. There have been five different pairings in central defense. The only two that have played together on multiple occasions are Jones and Matt Besler (3), and John Brooks and Michael Orozco (2). The search for strikers has been even more diverse. Altidore has played in nine of the 10 matches since Brazil, and only once has he had the same man next to him.

Getting Their Reps

Among the other growing talents that have had their opportunities with the MNT in this transition period are Greg Garza, DeAndre Yedlin, and Gyasi Zardes. Yedlin garnered attention during the World Cup in 2014, spring boarding him to a move to Tottenham Hotspur. Along with Brek Shea and MNT veterans Michael Bradley and Nick Rimando, he is the only player to have appeared in all five U.S. matches in 2015. Meanwhile, Shea has made the most of his return to the U.S. fold. The converted left back has started in three games and is tied with Altidore as the team’s leading goalscorer this year with two goals. His second came through a stunning free kick which helped the USA draw No. 12-ranked Switzerland in Zurich in March. Garza made his debut last September against the Czech Republic, appearing in all five matches to close out the year. He’s started in two games so far in 2015, including the win against Mexico in San Antonio.


Brek Shea celebrates scoring a stunning free kick against Switzerland with his teammates who together earned a solid 1-1 result against the then No.-12 ranked Swiss.

Bienvenido

A pair of players from Liga MX earned their first caps with the U.S. MNT in 2015, and both showed immediate promise. Ventura Alvarado came on as a late sub in the game against Denmark in March, and followed up with another appearance against Switzerland. He shined when he made his first start, coincidentally against Mexico, by helping the team secure a 2-0 win with his play earning him Budweiser Man of the Match honors. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough made his debut in the second half of the March game against Switzerland. The backstop from Club Leon was a wall when he entered in the second half of the Mexico game, making a pair of second half saves to preserve the shutout.

William Yarbrough y Ventura Alvarado
Young U.S. starlets William Yarbrough (left) and Ventura Alvarado have built on highly successful Liga MX showings over the past couple years by breaking into the senior USMNT player pool in 2015.

Altidore Double Highlights MNT Contributions to Club Success

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

Jozy Altidore, F, Toronto FC

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

Watch: Altidore goals

Fabian Johnson, D, Borussia Mönchengladbach

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

Watch: Match Highlights

Clint Dempsey, F, Seattle Sounders FC

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

Watch: Dempsey Goal

Alejandro Bedoya, M, Nantes

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

Watch: Bedoya goal

Aron Johannsson, F, AZ Alkmaar

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

Watch: Johannsson goal

A pacey winger with technical ability, positional savvy and the ability to set-up or strike a goal, Bedoya has steadily risen to prominence with both club and country since joining Scottish Premier League side Rangers in 2011. He was part of the USA’s preliminary 30-man roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup but did not make the trip to South Africa. In 2011, Bedoya parlayed an impressive showing during the USA’s run to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final into his career-launching move to Rangers and was again a driving force for the USA’s Gold Cup run in 2013, as he scored his first international goal in a warm-up friendly against Guatemala and supplied the winning assist to Brek Shea in the final against Panama to help the U.S. claim its fifth tournament title. After his move to Nantes in 2013, Bedoya's performance has earned him loud praise which was solidifed when he was named to the 23-man USA roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

  • Scored his second career international goal in a 1-0 victory against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, 2014 in Prague 
  • Has played in 11 and started 10 games for the U.S. MNT in 2014
  • Started at midfield in the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 1 against Belgium
  • Started the U.S. MNT's first two games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Ghana and Portugal, and came on a second-half sub in the final game of the group stage against Germany
  • Started nine of 12 matches for the U.S. in 2013, including playing a pivotal role in the team’s capture of the CONCACAF Gold Cup title and finishing atop its World Cup qualifying group for the third consecutive cycle.
  • Put himself on the map in 2011 with an eye-catching performance at the Gold Cup, helping the U.S. reach the tournament final
  • Debuted for national team in 2010 and made six appearances
  • Got his first start on Aug. 10 against Brazil, and again in the 1-0 victory against South Africa
  • Helped Örebro qualify for the Europa League after they finished third in Sweden’s Allsvenskan 
  • Trained with both the U.S. U-20 and U-23 National Teams while still in school at Boston College

2014: Scored his second career international goal in a 1-0 victory against Czech Republic on Sept.3, 2014 in Prague … Has started 10 matches and appeared in 11 for the U.S. in 2014, including four at the 2014 FIFA World Cup ... Started against Belgium in the Round of 16, against Ghana in the World Cup opener on June 16 and in the second game against Portugal on June 22. Also came on as a second-half sub in the final game of the group stage against Germany ... 2013: Had a breakout year, starting nine of the 12 matches he appeared in and scoring his first international goal in a 6-0 friendly win against Guatemala in a warm up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup … Started three of the USA’s final four games at the Gold Cup and served up the winning assist (his first for the U.S. MNT) to Break Shea in the final against Panama to help the team secure its fifth tournament title … Started five of the team’s final six matches of the year, including the first three World Cup Qualifiers of his career … 2012: Did not feature for the MNT … 2011: Made seven appearances for the USA including five straight in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the final three of which were starts … Played in a pair of friendlies against Chile and Spain … 2010: Named to the 30-man preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and participating in the training camp in Princeton, N.J. … Played against the Czech Republic on May 25 as part of the World Cup Send-Off Series … Earned his first international start against Brazil on Aug 10 … Started against South Africa in the 1-0 win on Nov. 17 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town … Received his first cap with the U.S. MNT on Jan. 23, coming on as a second half sub in a 3-1 loss to Honduras Under-23s: Called in for a January 2008 training camp as the team was preparing for Olympic qualifying … First Goal: July 6, 2013, vs. Guatemala 

2014: Has appeared in 10 games for Nantes, starting seven and playing all 630 minutes to help his club currently sit in fifth in Ligue 1 standings... 2013: Joined newly promoted Nantes in France … Made Ligue 1 debut against PSG … 2012: Finished the 2011-2012 Scottish Premier League season with Rangers … As the Glasgow club entered administration, took short term deal with Helsingborg of Sweden … Scored two goals in the UEFA Europa League action with Swedish club … 2011: Joined Glasgow Rangers from Orebro … Made his league debut on Aug. 28 … 2010-2009: Joined Orebro of Sweden, making his club debut on April 6, 2009


 

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