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Total Team Effort

A World Cup qualifying campaign is a team effort in every sense of the term. Through five matches in World Cup qualifying, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has deployed 27 different players. In the last cycle, 43 guys earned a cap and 17 put their name on the scoresheet.

Significant contributions can often be made by the players least likely to get a headline. The latest chapter in the legacy of players rising to the occasion in World Cup qualifying is of a resurgent forward getting a second shot at being a star and a 30-year-old earning his first cap by peaking at the right time and possessing the qualities that precisely matched the moment.

Eddie Johnson might have scored the most important goals of his career on Friday night, powering home two headers to deliver a vital 2-1 win for the United States against Antigua & Barbuda. Having last appeared for the MNT in 2010 and last scored two years before that, Johnson seemed an unlikely candidate to be the hero. He was aided by Alan Gordon, a striker who has quietly put together the two best years of his professional career and personified a “carpe diem” moment by teeing up the game-winner in his first-ever appearance for the National Team.

This pair is just one example from the history books. Steve Ralston scored only four goals in 36 games for the National Team, so he didn’t figure to have a huge part in the annals of U.S. scoring lore. Yet his rebound goal off a free kick from Eddie Lewis in the 53rd minute against Mexico proved to be the one that sealed the USA’s ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup after the United States collected another 2-0 victory against their regional rivals.

Fast forward to 2009, when the U.S. traveled to Honduras for the ninth of 10 matches in the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Anything less than a victory would have meant the USA’s fate would have come down to the last game, and it was facing a Honduran team that had yet to lose at home during the entire cycle. In a move questioned by many media and fans, U.S. head coach Bob Bradley deployed Conor Casey at forward. While featuring in several matches that year, the Colorado Rapids striker hadn’t scored a single goal in 15 matches at the international level. A bold challenge on a header and a nifty touch silenced the heavily-partisan crowd in San Pedro Sula as Casey potted the USA’s first two goals, and the team went on to capture a 3-2 victory and a spot in South Africa.

Just when you thought the drama couldn’t get any higher, the U.S. found itself down 2-1 at home against Costa Rica and needing a draw to finish first in the group. With the seconds ticking away in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, defender Jonathan Bornstein took the unprecedented step of charging into the penalty area for a U.S. corner kick. Unexpected and unmarked, he made a near-post run and nodded home a header that set off wild celebrations on a truly emotional night in Washington, D.C.

World Cup qualifying is indeed a journey, and it’s never just the 23 players on any given roster. For sure there are key players who are a part of every match, but it’s not always the big boys who make the biggest impact. Sometimes it’s the right player, in the right time and in the right moment that seizes the chance and delivers exactly what the team needs. And just as often as not, those are the moments that make history.

Bob Bradley Names 20-Person Roster For Feb. 24 Match Against El Salvador

  • Twenty Players Will Travel from Carson, Calif. to Tampa, Fla. For Feb. 24 Game with El Salvador
  • Kickoff for Match Set for 7 p.m. ET, with live Coverage on ESPN Classic and Galavision

CHICAGO (Feb. 20, 2010) — U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 20 players to travel to Tampa, Fla. for the Feb. 24 match against El Salvador at Raymond James Stadium. The U.S. team is concluding a ten-day camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. and will travel to Florida on Sunday in preparation for the game.

The match against El Salvador, the USA's second game of 2010, can be seen live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow along at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.

The U.S. Men's National Team has been drawn into Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The U.S. will open its sixth consecutive World Cup finals tournament against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, and will follow that game with matches against Slovenia on June 18 in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION Click Here For Detailed Roster 
GOALKEEPERS (2): Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (5): Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (4): Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)

U.S. Falls 3-1 To Honduras In Opening Match of 2010

  • U.S. Goes Down To 10 Men Only 17 Minutes Into Match 
  • Goodson Nets Second Career Goal and Second Against Honduras 
  • U.S. To Continue World Cup Preparations Against El Salvador on February 24 in Tampa

CARSON, Calif. (Jan. 23, 2010) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to fellow 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists Honduras in its opening match of 2010 after playing down a man for more than 70 minutes at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Clarence Goodson’s second half goal was not enough to overturn the deficit in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 18,626 fans. The loss ends an eight-game winning streak for the U.S. against Honduras, including four straight victories in 2009, highlighted in October by a 3-2 U.S. win in Honduras that clinched a World Cup berth for the United States.

"The starting point for the game in January is always assessing players," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who concluded a three-week camp with a largely inexperienced group of national team players, including 23 players with less than 10 caps. "Seeing them in a good game, a tough game, gives you the opportunity to find out what guys are all about. It gives you an indication as to where they might fit in as you move things forward. So we take a lot from it.”

The first half opened with some probing attacks by both teams, but neither squad was able to gain possession in the final third. The U.S. was thrust into difficult circumstances after just 17 minutes, when defender Jimmy Conrad was shown a second yellow card for a foul in the box. The ejection was compounded by Honduras’ goal, which Carlos Pavon rammed home from the penalty spot at the second attempt.

"I didn't think we had a good start to the game,” Bradley said. “Maybe some of that was nerves, but the sharpness you want to see at the beginning of games to establish things was not good enough. Obviously, the whole situation where we lose a player on a second yellow card on a play that also gives a [penalty] forces us to chase the game."

Conrad’s early card came back to haunt the U.S. when he was called for pulling down Palacios as the forward ran through the box in the 17th minute. Palacios started the play about 40 yards from goal, looking for a give-and-go to Pavon on his right. Pavon had other ideas and fired a shot over the crossbar, but while running through the box Conrad’s hand grazed the shoulder of Palacios and the Honduran went down easily. Pointing immediately to the spot, Mexican official Benito Archundia then showed a shocked Jimmy Conrad his second yellow of the night before ending the defender’s night with the ensuing red.

Looking to make up for his late penalty miss in Honduras last October, Pavon stepped up and finished cleanly to put Honduras up 1-0. A call from the assistant referee canceled out the goal, but Pavon calmly took the second attempt and placed it inside the left post outside the reach of Perkins to secure the lead in the 19th minute.

Down to 10 men, the U.S. tried to rally, but both forwards again found themselves starved for service. Honduras doubled their lead when Pavon took a pass deep down the right sideline and curled a cross in for Palacios, the striker’s diving header beating Perkins to give Honduras true breathing room.

Despite improved passing in the midfield, the U.S. entered the locker room at the half still looking to get on the scoreboard. U.S. head coach Bob Bradley exchanged defender Clarence Goodson for Cunningham, and the team began the second stanza looking to push to get back in the game.

In the 49th minute, Rogers received a ball from Feilhaber on the left side, and taking the space afforded inside, let fly with a blast from 40 yards that beat Honduran goalkeeper Donis Escober but rattled off the right post. Rogers again threatened one minute later, taking a ball down the middle of the pitch before being brought down from behind by Honduran captain Amado Guevara. The Honduran captain was shown a yellow, and the resulting free kick by Sacha Kljestan went high.

Honduras appeared to finish off the game in the 53rd minute with a six-pass sequence that led to their third goal. Taking a throw-in down the left sideline, Guevara passed it to Palacios, who dropped it back to Roger Espinoza at the top left corner of the box. Espinoza gave a small touch to Guevara, who gave it to Palacios running across the top of the box. With the defense looking to close down the shot, Palacios slipped a through ball in for Espinoza, who remained unmarked and tucked a left-footed shot into the far post side netting.

Bradley made four substitutions at the hour mark, bringing on Conor Casey, Heath Pearce, Alejandro Bedoya and Brad Davis. The appearance was the first for Bedoya, giving the young midfielder his first cap at age 22.

The new entrants began to push the pace of the game. It paid off in the 70th minute, when defender Marvell Wynne earned a corner with a streaking run down the right side. Davis sent a floating cross towards the back left post where Goodson rose above Escober’s gloves to head it home for his second-career goal.

With U.S. fans awakening, the Americans kept up the pressure in an attempt to pull back another. Bedoya’s probing run down the right side in the 80th minute resulted in a curling cross looking for Casey, but a tentative Escober managed to punch it clear.

As stoppage time approached, the U.S. earned some late chances, the most threatening a Brad Davis free kick just outside the top of the box. The well struck blast was smartly pushed over the bar by the goalkeeper. Honduras cleared the ensuing corner, and Archundia blew his whistle for the final time on the night to give the U.S. its first January loss since 1997.

U.S defender Jonathan Bornstein enjoyed a kind welcome from Honduran fans, as his goal against Costa Rica in stoppage time on the final day of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying last year clinched a World Cup berth for the small Central American nation. Honduran and U.S. fans alike can bid on the boots Bornstein was wearing when he scored that historic goal at ussoccer.com, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross to help fund relief efforts in Haiti.

The U.S. will continue preparations with a game against El Salvador on February 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision. Bradley will conduct a camp at The Home Depot Center two weeks before the match, before traveling to Florida.

U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report

Match: United States vs. Honduras
Date: January 23, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 18,626
Weather: Cool, clear – 55 degrees

Scoring Summary: 1    2     F
USA                        0     1    1
HON                       3      0    3

HON – Carlos Pavon (penalty kick)          19th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (Carlos Pavon)        37
HON – Roger Espinoza (Jerry Palacios)     53
USA – Clarence Goodson (Brad Davis)      70

Lineups:
USA: 1-Troy Perkins; 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 15-Jimmy Conrad (capt.), 8-Chad Marshall (2-Heath Pearce, 61), 4-Marvell Wynne; 14-Robbie Rogers (6-Brad Davis, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber (10-Dax McCarty, 77) 7-Kyle Beckerman (9-Conor Casey, 60), 16-Sacha Kljestan (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 61); 19-Jeff Cunningham (3-Clarence Goodson, 46), 17-Robbie Findley
Subs not used: 18-Nick Rimando
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

HON: 12-Donis Escober; 5-Erick Norales, 6-Johnny Palacios, 23-Mauricio Sabillon, 17-Roger Espinoza (7-Mariano Acevedo, 90); 19-Danilo Turcios, 20-Amado Guevara (capt.) (13-Melvin Valladares, 56), 21-Emilio Izaguirre, 15-Walter Martinez (14-Oscar Garcia, 68); 9-Carlos Pavon (25-Georgie Welcome, 78), 16-Jerry Palacios (10-Ramon Nunez, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 2-Osman Chavez, 4-Carlos Palacios , 18-Noel Valladares
Head Coach: Reinaldo Ruida

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 12
Offside: 0 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution)     6th minute
HON – Jerry Palacios (caution)      9
USA – Jimmy Conrad (caution)     17
USA – Jimmy Conrad (sent off)     17
HON – Amado Guevara (caution)   50

Officials:
Referee: Benito Archundia (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Marvin Torrentera (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Lopez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Baldomero Toledo (USA)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Jonathan Bornstein

 

Slovakian Marek Hamsik's Penalty Downs U.S. Men's National Team 1-0

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (Nov. 14, 2009) – A penalty kick on the only shot of the first half by Slovakia was the deciding factor as the U.S. lost the first ever meeting between the two 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists 1-0 at Tehelne Pole in Bratislava.

The U.S. continues preparations for next summer’s World Cup in South Africa traveling on Sunday to face another fellow 2010 qualifier, Denmark, on Wednesday, Nov. 18 in Aarhus. Prior to the Denmark game, some roster changes are expected pending the results of this weekend’s matches involving some of the team’s North America-based players.

The match against Denmark will kickoff on ESPN Classic live at 2:30 p.m. ET and then will switch over to ESPN2 immediately following the conclusion of the UEFA qualifying playoff match between Ukraine and Greece. Fans can also follow the match live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at www.twitter.com/ussoccer. The U.S. is just one of five teams that was able to schedule two matches on these FIFA international fixture dates against two 2010 FIFA World Cup finalists.

“I thought we had a good start in the match in the first 25 minutes,” said U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley. “The penalty and going down 1-0 changed the game. Slovakia is a very well organized team and has a lot of people behind the ball. We were not sharp enough with our ability in the attacking third to make a play and get through the defense.”

With several regulars unavailable for selection due to club commitments and injury, Bradley tested his depth without the likes of Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Howard. Other than U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra, the three central defenders with the most caps in 2009 – Onyewu (knee), Jay DeMerit (eye) and Chad Marshall (knee) – were unavailable due to injury, which meant Jonathan Spector got his first start in central defense alongside Bocanegra. With Howard staying in England to nurse a foot injury, Brad Guzan started in goal for the first time since the Egypt match at the Confederations Cup.

The U.S. started strong in the first half, getting five total shots and forcing Slovakia’s Ján Mucha to make four saves, but in the end couldn’t break through for the equalizer. In the second minute, Michael Bradley headed the ball into the net after a second-straight corner taken by Robbie Rogers, but Jozy Altidore was ruled offside during the scramble in the box before the U.S. midfieler finished past the Slovakian goalkeeper.

The U.S. continued to press in the first part of the match with Steve Cherundolo getting two crosses into the area as he overlapped from his position at right back. In the 22nd minute, Clint Dempsey had a good look on goal from the top of the area, but his left-footed strike swerved just wide left.

With the match settling down and the U.S. controlling most of the possession, Slovakia earned a penalty kick in the 25th minute. Starting off a throw-in deep in U.S. territory, Róbert Vittek played a ball into the top right corner of the penalty area for Vladimír Weiss. Jockeying for position to win the through ball, Jonathan Bornstein made contact with Weiss, who went down easily, and Austrian referee Stefan Messner immediately pointed to the spot. Marek Hamsík calmly scored the penalty shooting right as Guzan guessed the wrong way on the only shot he faced in the first 45 minutes.

As has been the case for most of 2009, the U.S. continued to battle back against the deficit. After a pair of good buildups by the U.S., Altidore’s shot from 18 yards and Benny Feilhaber’s shot from 23 yards forced Mucha to make saves.

In the 37th minute, Dempsey pushed Mucha to make his best save of the half on a free kick from long distance on the left wing. The U.S. set up a play that drew one of two players out of the Slovakia wall, opening the space for Dempsey to hit a low line-drive at the far post.

The U.S. started the second half with Eddie Johnson replacing Conor Casey. Making his first appearance since June 15, 2008, he had the first U.S. chance of the half. Dempsey dribbled up the center channel and found Johnson on the right side of the area, but the forward’s touch went a bit long and his shot hit side netting.

Slovakia found consecutive opportunities on counter attacks, forcing Guzan to save a pair of Erik Jendrisek shots. In the 52nd minute, a Feilhaber turnover allowed Slovakia to attack and a good combination eventually got the ball to Jendrisek on the left, but his shot to the far post didn’t fool Guzan. Two minutes later, Jendrisek got behind from a tough angle on the left and Guzan came off his line to cut down the angle and make a stellar save.

Dempsey’s second free kick of the game once again called on Slovakia’s defense to make a play. After Rogers was taken down 27 yards from goal, Róbert Vittek stuck out a leg on the right side of the wall to block the shot into the air before it bounced and spun just wide of the right post as Mucha struggled to slug through the muddy six-yard box to try and cover.

In the 72nd minute, Bocanegra gave way for Clarence Goodson, and right away Slovakia nearly capitalized on the new U.S. pairing in central defense. Ján Durica mishit a low shot that found the feet of striker Stanislav Sesták, who led the Slovaks in scoring in World Cup qualifying with six goals. With time to gather and shoot, Guzan did well for a third time in the match to come off his line and make a big save.

Bradley went to his bench late and Dax McCarthy and Jeff Cunningham became the 52nd and 53rd players, respectively, used by Bradley his year (Johnson was the 51st coming on at halftime). For McCarthy, it was his first cap with the full national team as he became the 15th player from the 2008 Olympic roster to make an appearance. Cunningham, the top scorer in MLS in 2009, made his first appearance since Sept. 7, 2005.

Sacha Kljestan came on in the 82nd minute to make his first appearance since the Confederations Cup and his first touch was a free kick that forced Mucha to punch out of his six-yard box.

Down the stretch, the U.S. continued to press and hold possession but could not break down Slovakia’s defense, which gave up just 10 goals in Group 3 UEFA qualifying matches.

Since taking the helm in 2007, Bradley is 6-5-0 against European opponents, and 2-4-0 on European soil. The U.S. record in 2009 record moved to 13-7-3.

In other results around the world, three more teams qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup – New Zealand, Nigeria and Cameroon.

- U.S. Men's National Team Match Report -

Match: United States vs. Slovakia
Date: November 14, 2009
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Tehelné Pole – Bratislava, Slovakia
Kickoff: 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 7,200
Weather: Overcast, 45 degrees

Scoring Summary:             1              2              F
USA                                    0              0              0
SVK                                     1              0              1

SVK – Marek Hamsik (penalty kick)                 26th minute

Lineups:
USA:
  18-Brad Guzan; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 2-Jonathan Spector, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (25-Clarence Goodson, 72), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 19-Robbie Rogers (16-Sacha Kljestan, 82), 5-Benny Feilhaber, 4-Michael Bradley, 8-Clint Dempsey (28-Dax McCarty, 72); 17-Jozy Altidore (32-Jeff Cunningham, 82), 9-Conor Casey (36-Eddie Johnson, 46)
Subs not used:, 15-Jimmy Conrad, 35-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley

SVK: 1-Ján Mucha; 5-Radoslav Zabavník, 3-Martin Skrtel, 16-Ján Durica, 4-Marek Cech (2-Peter Pekarík, 90+2); 7-Vladimír Weiss (14-Juraj Kucka, 82), 6-Miroslav Karhan (8-Ján Kozák, 90+1) 17-Marek Hamsík (capt.) (15- Zdeno Strba, 90+1), 10-Miroslav Stoch (9-Stanislav Sesták, 61); 11-Róbert Vittek (13-Dusan Svento, 68); 18-Erik Jendrisek
Subs not used: 12-Lubos Kamenár
Head Coach: Vladimir Weiss

Stats Summary: USA / SVK                                             
Shots: 8 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 14 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
none

Officials:
Referee: Stefan Messner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Claus Strasser (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Peter Moser (AUT)
Fourth Official: Richard Trutz (SVK)

ussoccer.com  Man of the Match:
Jonathan Spector

Notes and Statistics: 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Recap

The 16-month FIFA World Cup qualifying process began for the U.S. on June 15, 2008, and concluded 484 days later with the U.S. capturing the top spot in the final round standings in CONCACAF. Along the way there were records set, new talent uncovered, and veterans displaying their leadership both on the scoresheet and through their determined efforts. The U.S. demonstrated both command and resilience during the campaign, combining attacking prowess with defensive mettle to produce some of the most impressive results in their qualifying history. Roughly seven months from now the U.S. will open their pre-World Cup training camp; until then, the statistics and notes included here help tell the journey the U.S. traveled to qualify for its sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup.

CAMPEONES AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point at the summit of the Hexagonal. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port-of-Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – CONCACAF Final Round Standings

Team

GPWLTGFGAGDPts.

United States *

10

6

2

2

19

13

6

20

Mexico *

10

6

3

1

17

11

6

19

Honduras *

10

5

4

1

17

11

6

16

Costa Rica ^

10

5

4

1

15

15

0

16

El Salvador

 10

2

6

2

10

16

-6

8

Trinidad & Tobago

 10

1

6

3

10

22

 -12

6

* Qualified for SA2010 berth    ^ Will play-off against Uruguay for SA2010 berth

  • Click for Complete Schedule & Results

    GAME-WINNERS: With his goal against El Salvador, Jozy Altidore became the fourth U.S. player to record multiple game-winning goals in this World Cup cycle. Michael Bradley has a pair of game-winners to his credit, including the brilliant flick against T & T on Sept. 10, 2008, in the 3-0 win in Bridgeview, Ill., and both goals in the 2-0 win against Mexico on Feb. 11 in Columbus. Carlos Bocanegra headed home the lone goal in the 1-0 win on Aug. 20, 2008, at Guatemala to open the semifinal round, then repeated the feat to help the U.S. past Honduras on June 6 in Chicago. Clint Dempsey recorded two game-winning goals in World Cup qualifying last year – against Barbados on June 15, 2008, in Carson, Calif., and in the 1-0 win on Sept. 6, 2008, in Cuba. Overall, nine U.S. scorers have GWG next to their name on the scoresheet in this cycle.

    DONOVAN SNATCHES ANOTHER RECORD: Landon Donovan holds numerous records for the U.S. Men's National Team, and during the 2010 qualifying campaign he added two more to his biography. Already the all-time leader for the U.S. in both caps and goals, he took over the top position in the record books in all-time qualifying caps and goals as well. Donovan surpassed former teammates and national team standouts Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope, and Claudio Reyna in appearances when he started against El Salvador on Sept. 5, 2009 and passed 2002 FIFA World Cup strike partner Brian McBride in scoring with his penalty kick goal on June 6, 2009, against Honduras.

    All-Time Qualifying Cap Leaders
    RankPlayerCapsEra
    1. Donovan, Landon 35 2001-2009
    2. Keller, Kasey 31 1996-2005
      Pope, Eddie 31 1996-2005
      Reyna, Claudio 31 1996-2005
    5. Jones, Cobi 30 1996-2004
    Stewart, Earnie 30 1996-2004
    7. Agoos, Jeff 26 1996-2001
    Beasley, DaMarcus 26 2001-2009
    Bocanegra, Carlos 26 2004-2009
    10. McBride, Brian 25 1996-2005

    All-Time Qualifying Goal Leaders
    RankNameCyclesGP/GS  Goals 
    1. Donovan, Landon 2002, 2006, 2010 35/33 12
    2. McBride, Brian 1998, 2002, 2006 25/19 10

    3.

    Stewart, Earnie 1998, 2002, 2006 30/27 9
    4. Johnson, Eddie 2006, 2010 9/4 8
    5. Altidore, Jozy 2010 13/8 6
    Beasley, DaMarcus 2002, 2006, 2010 21/20 6
    Ching, Brian 2006, 2010 11/9 6
      Roy, Willy  1966, 1970, 1974 11/11 6 
    9. Bradley, Michael 2010 15/15 5
    Dempsey, Clint 2006, 2010 20/13 5
    Moore, Joe-Max 1998, 2002 20/16 5
    Murphy, Eddie 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970 13/13 5
    Wynalda, Eric 1998 11/11 5

    DON’T GIVE UP: The USA’s ability to rebound from goal deficits proved vital to the successful qualifying campaign. When considering the U.S. finished first in the group by a single point, the unprecedented result away to El Salvador looks that much more meaningful. Here are the numbers on the ‘comeback kids’:

    • The U.S. earned 11 of their 20 total points in the final round of qualifying after surrendering the first goal. In fact, in five of the seven matches in which the opponent scored the first goal, the U.S. earned points -- two come from behind ties and three come from behind wins.
    • The come-from-behind 2-2 tie in El Salvador marked the first time that the team had faced and erased a two-goal deficit on the road.
    • The come-from-behind victory against Honduras on June 6, 2009, was the first in qualifying for the United States in more than 24 years, the last occurring on May 15, 1985 against Trinidad & Tobago in St. Louis.

    ROAD WARRIORS: The U.S. finished qualifying with a 5-3-1 road record, the best in CONCACAF, earning 16 points. That mark also bests the team’s performance from the 2002 cycle, where they finished with a 4-2-3 record away from home. More on that later. Here’s how the Hexagonal teams fared away from home:

      • United States: 5-3-1
      • Costa Rica: 4-3-2
      • Mexico: 2-5-2 *
      • Honduras: 2-5-2
      • Trinidad & Tobago: 2-5-2
      • El Salvador: 2-7-1 ^
        * Mexico’s away game against Belize was played in Houston, Texas
        ^ El Savador’s away game against Anguilla was played in Washington, D.C.; El Salvador only team listed to play in the first round.

    • In the final round, there were only five road victories – and the U.S. was the only team with more than one, posting wins at Honduras and at Trinidad & Tobago.
    • In the final round, the U.S. earned seven of their 20 points on the road, three points more than any other team.

    Points earned on the road  
    in the Final Round:
    Points surrendered at home  
    in the Final Round:
    USA: 7 Mexico: 0
    Honduras: 4 USA: 1
    Costa Rica: 4 Costa Rica: 3
    Mexico: 4 Honduras: 3
    Trinidad & Tobago: 1 El Salvador: 5
    El Salvador: 0 Trinidad & Tobago: 8


    MEN OF THE MATCH: Eleven different players earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors throughout the qualifying campaign, with four multiple winners. Michael Bradley led all award recipients with four MOTM nods, while Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu picking up a pair each.

    MAGICAL MATCHDAY 9: The USA has qualified for the World Cup on Matchday 9 in three of the last four World Cup cycles. The heroics in Honduras on Oct. 10 sealed the USA's passage to the World Cup on the second-to-last day of games. Eight years ago a USA victory against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, coupled with Trinidad's defeat of Honduras and Mexico's draw with Costa Rica sent Bruce Arena's team to Korea/Japan where they would go on to make the quarterfinals. During the road to France '98, the USA beat Canada on Nov. 2, 1997 (Matchday 9, of course) behind a goal from Claudio Reyna and two from Roy Wegerle. The victory in Vancouver confirmed the USA's spot in the World Cup with one game to play.

    STREAKING: The U.S. team did plenty of that during this cycle, starting straight out of the gate:

    • The U.S. did not allow a goal in the first 573 minutes during 2010 World Cup qualifying.
    • From Oct. 12, 2005, to Oct. 11, 2008, the U.S. won seven straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row, a new team record.
    • The U.S. started the 2010 qualifying campaign with six straight victories, a team record for most consecutive wins in one cycle.
    • Three of those six victories were on the road, marking the first time the U.S. has won three consecutive away qualifiers.
    • Including the last match of the 2006 qualifying cycle, the U.S. set a record by not allowing a goal in six consecutive qualifiers from Oct. 12, 2005 to Oct. 11, 2008.
    • The U.S. scored multiple goals in four consecutive qualifiers for the first time in the 2010 cycle from Nov. 19, 2008, to April 1, 2009.

    MORE QUALIFYING FACTS & FIGURES

    Debutants

    • Twenty-eight of the 43 players to appear in a qualifier made their qualifying debut this cycle. By contrast, the U.S. used 26 neophytes and 46 different players overall in the 2006 cycle.
    • The first of the 28 were Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan and Heath Pearce, who debuted on June 15, 2008, vs. Barbados.
    • The last was Robbie Rogers, who debuted with 22 minutes remaining in the final qualifier on Oct. 14, 2009.
    • In all, the U.S. used 17 different starting lineups. The only time that the same 11 players played back-to-back games were Sept. 10, 2008 (3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago) and Oct. 11, 2008 (6-1 win against Cuba): Beasley, Bocanegra, Bradley, Cherundolo, Ching, Dempsey, Donovan, Howard, Kljestan, Onyewu, Pearce.

    Goals, Goals, Goals for the Red White and Blue

    • Seventeen different players scored a goal during the qualifying campaign.
    • Ten of those players scored their first career qualifying goal.
    • Starters scored 38 of the 42 U.S. goals. Off the bench, Jozy Altidore scored two of his team-leading six qualifying goals. The other scorers off the bench were Eddie Johnson and Charlie Davies.
    • Landon Donovan scored or assisted on 12 of the 19 goals that the U.S. scored in the final round of qualifying.
    • Never before the 2010 cycle has the top qualifying goal scorer for the U.S. accounted for a lower percentage of the team’s goals. Jozy Altidore’s six goals accounted for 14 percent of the total goal output by the USA (42). Here’s a look at the top scorers dating back to the 1990 World Cup cycle:

      Year Top Scorer

      Goals

        Team Goals 

        Pct.   

      2010   Jozy Altidore

      6

      42

      .14 

      1990   H. Perez/F. Klopas

      2

      11

      .18 

      1998   Eric Wynalda

      5

      27

      .19 

      2006   L. Donovan/E. Johnson

      7

      35

      .20

      2002  Earnie Stewart

      8

      25

      .32

    It’s All About Timing (entire 2010 cycle):

    • There were only three games in qualifying in which the U.S. never had the lead, and the U.S. played its first 510 minutes of qualifying without trailing in a match.
    • The U.S. outscored opponents 15-9 in the first half, and 27-7 in the second half.
    • The U.S. scored a total of 15 goals in the last 10 minutes of each half (5 first half, 10 second half), while allowing only one goal in the final 10 minutes of a half – Miguel Sabah’s game-winner at Estadio Azteca.
    • Eight of the 13 game-winning goals for the U.S. came in the first half. The fastest was at home in the first minute against Barbados. The latest came in the 71st minute against Honduras in the game that clinched the World Cup berth.
    • How are these for bookend goals? The first U.S. goal of the cycle came 53 seconds into their first game as Clint Dempsey scored against Barbados. The final U.S. goal of the cycle game with 20 seconds left in the allotted stoppage time against Costa Rica, when Jonathan Bornstein’s header clinched first place in the Hexagonal group.
    • The U.S. had seven magic minutes in which they scored more than one qualifying goal: the 9th, 43rd, 63rd, 69th, 71st, 89th and 90th+2. In all, the 90th minute and stoppage time saw the U.S. score four goals, two coming in the second minute of stoppage time.

    It’s All About Timing (Final Round Edition):

    • There were only two games in the final round that the U.S. never had the lead, and there were only three games in which the U.S. never found itself down a goal. In all, the U.S. played 260 minutes in the lead, 344 minutes tied and 296 minutes behind. 
    • The U.S. was outscored by opponents 8-6 in the first half, but in the second half the U.S. outscored opponents 13-5.

    Also for the Record

    • The 8-0 win against Barbados at home on June 15, 2008, was the largest margin of victory for the U.S. in any match.
    • During the 2010 campaign, the U.S. shutout out four opponents on the road for the first time since the 1998 campaign. All four shutouts this cycle were victories, while in 1998 the U.S. was 2-0-2 when shutting out opponents on the road.
    • By scoring on March 28, 2009, in El Salvador, Frankie Hejduk scored his second career FIFA World Cup qualifying goal. His other qualifying goal came on Dec. 21, 1996, in a 2-2 draw against Guatemala that was played in San Salvador. The gap of 12 years and 97 days was the longest between qualifying goals ever for a U.S. player, with Tab Ramos holding the distinction previously with eight years and 130 days between qualifying goals.

    More Fabulous Firsts

    • Charlie Davies goal in the ninth minute at Estadio Azteca marked the first time the U.S. ever held a lead in that stadium. Davies also joined Willy Roy, Rick Davis and Eddie Lewis as the only U.S. players to score there
    • The USA opened the semifinal round with a 1-0 victory against Guatemala in Guatemala City on Aug. 20, 2008 – the first U.S. win on Guatemalan soil in more than 20 years.

    Notable

    • With a 1-0 victory at Cuba in 2008, the U.S. posted its 50th all-time win in qualifying. At the end of the 2010 cycle, the U.S. record in qualifying stands at 59-33-30. The record since 1990 in qualifying is 46-11-21.
    • Michael Bradley’s two goals against Mexico on Feb. 11, 2009, marked the first multi-goal effort for the U.S. against Mexico since Steve Moyers scored twice in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying win on Nov. 23, 1980.
    • Tim Howard’s six shutouts this qualifying cycle tie Kasey Keller for the second most shutouts in one cycle. Keller, who had eight shutouts in the 2006 qualifying campaign, also holds the record.
    • Jozy Altidore’s hat trick on April 1, 2009, against Trinidad & Tobago was the fourth-ever in FIFA World Cup qualifying for the U.S. Aldo ‘Buff’ Donelli (1934 vs. Mexico), Peter Millar (1968 vs. Bermuda) and Eddie Johnson (2004 vs. Panama) are the others.

    CLUTCH PERFORMERS: The FIFA World Cup qualifying process adheres strictly to the old adage “It's a marathon, not a sprint.” The path to the World Cup is a slog that encompasses multiple years, a plethora of games and dozens of players; it is very much a group effort. At the same time, an individual moment of brilliance can often be the catalyst for a team's progression to the World Cup finals. On Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Landon Donovan became the seventh player to score the goal that clinched a FIFA World Cup berth for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Read More.

    World Cup  DateOpponent (score)Game-Winning Goal  
    1934 May 24, 1934 Mexico (4-2) Aldo ‘Buff’ Donelli
    1950 Sept. 21, 1949    Cuba (5-2) Pete Matevich
    1990 Nov. 19, 1989    Trinidad & Tobago (1-0)   Paul Caligiuri
    1998 Nov. 9, 1997 Canada (3-0) Claudio Reyna
    2002 Oct. 7, 2001 Jamaica (2-1) Joe-Max Moore
    2006 Sept. 3, 2005 Mexico (2-0) Steve Ralston
    2010 Oct. 10, 2009 Honduras (3-2) Landon Donovan

    SOCA WARRIORS LEND A HAND: For the third consecutive World Cup qualifying cycle, Trinidad & Tobago earned a result that had a significant impact on the USA's final standing in the Hexagonal. Having already been eliminated from the World Cup, one could have forgiven T & T for wilting in the face of a Mexico team fighting for the top spot in the group. That was absolutely not the case, as a hard-fought 2-2 draw saw Mexico drop points, allowing the U.S. to maintain its position at the summit of the group. Four years ago it was a similar story, with the Soca Warriors beating Mexico on the final day of qualifying. That result allowed the USA to finish first in the group during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. On Oct. 7, 2001 Trinidad & Tobago defeated Honduras, one of the three pieces of the puzzle required for the USA to qualify for the 2002 World Cup on that day.

    AVOIDING THE SUSPENSION: Facing a potentially dire situation where as many as 11 U.S. players could have been suspended for one of the final four matches of qualifying, the team showed incredible discipline as not one player picked up their second yellow card of the cycle during the critical three victories that guaranteed the United States a spot in South Africa. Included amongst those in the danger zone were Jozy Altidore, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu. Avoiding cards meant that Bob Bradley had every player available to him (barring injury) for selection as the team came down the home stretch.

    FOR COMPARISON: QUALIFYING THIS DECADE
    200220062010
    Games 16 18 18
    Record 8-4-4 12-2-4 13-3-2
    Goals For 25 35 42
    Goals Per Game 1.56 1.94 2.47
    Goals Against 11 11 16
    Goals Against Average 0.69 0.61 0.89
    Shutouts 9 11 9
    Times shutout 5 2 0
    Players Used 38 46 43
    Goal Scorers 10 13 17
    Most Goals Stewart (8) Donovan/Johnson (7) Altidore (6)
    Most Assists Mathis/Jones (4) Donovan (8) Donovan (11)
    Goalkeepers Used 4 3 2
    Home Record 6-1-1 8-0-1 8-0-1
    Home Goals For 17 22 30
    Home Goals Against 4 1 5
    Road Record 2-3-3 4-2-3 5-3-1
    Road Goals For 8 13 11
    Road Goals Against 7 10 11
    Home Venues Used 4 6 8
    Venues
    Birmingham, Ala. - 1 -
    Bridgeview, Ill. - - 1
    Carson, Calif. - - 1
    Chicago, Ill. - - 1
    Columbus, Ohio 2 3 1
    Commerce City, Colo. - - 1
    Foxborough, Mass. 3 2 -
    East Hartford, Conn. - 1 -
    Kansas City, Mo. 1 - -
    Nashville, Tenn. - - 1
    Salt Lake City, Utah - 1 -
    Sandy, Utah - - 1
    Washington, D.C. 2 1 2

  • U.S. Clinches Berth to 2010 FIFA World Cup With Thrilling 3-2 Win In Honduras

    • Conor Casey Scores First Two International Goals
    • Donovan Nets Game-Winner on Free Kick in the 71st Minute
    • U.S. Faces Costa Rica on Wednesday at RFK Stadium with a Chance to Finish Atop Hexagonal Table

    SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Oct. 10, 2009) — The U.S. Men’s National Team qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win against Honduras with five goals scored and a penalty missed by Honduras in a heart-stopping second half.

    More than 45,000 Honduran supporters rocked Estadio Olímpico in San Pedro Sula, uniting behind their national team despite the domestic political strife dominating international headlines. After a scoreless first half that saw both teams shooting off-target, the second half turned into an instant classic with the U.S. getting the deciding goal in the 71st minute from a free kick by midfielder Landon Donovan.

    Forward Conor Casey provided the heroics for the U.S., scoring the first two goals of his international career in the 55th and 66th minutes, and setting up the Donovan freekick. It was Casey’s third appearance in the 2010 qualifying cycle, and the 15th of his career.

    The Honduras faithful thought their side would draw even in the 87th minute when the referee awarded a penalty kick in their favor. Carlos Pavon, the all-time leading scorer for Honduras with 55 career goals, shockingly blasted his penalty over the crossbar. Despite the misfortune, the Honduran crowd showed their class by offering the U.S. team a warm ovation following the match.

    The U.S. team returns from Honduras to face Costa Rica at RFK Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. with first place in CONCACAF qualifying on the line. More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the match that will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Tickets are available at ussoccer.com. To finish first in the group, the U.S. needs to maintain its one-point lead in the standings ahead of Mexico, who travels to Trinidad & Tobago.

    “This was the most important game in qualifying because it was the one that qualified us for South Africa 2010,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “The celebration was a very good one because when you have a group that has come together, that has worked hard, that has grown, when they’ve accomplished something it’s a special feeling. Tonight we can all share that feeling.” 

    More Quotes

    After Honduras got things started with a handful of shots in the first few minutes of the game, the U.S. had the first dangerous opportunity in the 18th minute on a second consecutive corner kick by Donovan. His in-swinger from the left side bounced once in the middle of the penalty area and skipped to an unmarked Carlos Bocanegra. The bounce was too high for Bocanegra to get on top of and he headed the chance over the crossbar.

    Eleven minutes later, Carlo Costly perfectly timed his run to beat the U.S. to a clearance over the heads of the U.S. back line. As he dribbled toward goal, he scuffed his shot just inches wide of Tim Howard’s right post.

    Back the other way, the U.S. had their best chance to score of the half. Casey held the ball just across midfield on the right side and sent Stuart Holden, who was making his first World Cup qualifying start, free down the line. With plenty of time, Holden sent a pinpoint cross to Davies, whose header from eight yards was saved by Noel Valladares reaching back across his body. The rebound came right back to Davies, but he hit his follow-up effort above the crossbar.

    After a scoreless first half, the complexion of the game changed completely just 20 seconds into the second half. U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu fell and made a clumsy foul that set up a Honduras freekick just a yard outside of the U.S. penalty area. Julio Cesar de Leon took a one-step approach on his right-footed shot that curled over the U.S. wall and under the cross bar, just out of the reach of Howard in the 47th minute.

    The U.S. answered eight minutes later with Onyewu getting involved in the goal. The U.S. center back served a 50-yard ball to the top of the penalty area, where Davies won the header and popped the ball high in the air. As it came down at the top of the six yard box, Casey spun in the air as he challenged Valladares for the ball, and he made first contact with the back of his head before the goalkeeper could get a hand on it. The ball bounced once before going into the empty goal.

    In the 64th minute, forward David Suazo came on for Honduras and moments later he made a great diagonal run right from left to right. He received the ball in stride before unleashing a shot from the right side of the area to the far post that forced Howard to make his best save of the night with a two-handed parry to keep the ball from curling inside the far post.

    In the 66th minute, the U.S. took the lead that it would not relinquish. Onyewu stepped in at the top of the U.S. penalty area to win a through ball, and carried the ball forward before he found Davies available on the left wing at midfield. Davies took the ball across midfield before playing it square to Donovan. Donovan dribbled toward the middle and threaded the defense for Casey who got behind the last defender in the area. Casey faked a shot to get Valladares to go down, and then calmly slotted the ball inside the right post.

    A minute later, Jonathan Bornstein nearly doubled the U.S. advantage with a 25-yard blast that Valladares pushed back into play. Holden followed up but his shot from the right was blocked by a defender.

    The U.S. continued to put the pressure on, and Casey earned a free kick after de Leon was whistled for a foul 22-yards from goal. Just three yards further from goal than de Leon scored from earlier in the half, Donovan perfectly placed the ball over Ricardo Clark standing at the end of the wall. Valladares was screened, and couldn’t react in time as the shot sailed over his back shoulder in the 71st minute.

    Four minutes later, Wilson Palacios played a soft pass to Suazo who was in behind the U.S. defense on the right side. He played a cross in to Pavon who put the ball into the net from point-blank range. The goal was waived off, however, as Pavon was correctly ruled offside, in front of Suazo and the ball when the pass was played into the center.

    In the 78th minute, play seemed to stand still as de Leon played Ramon Nuñez into the U.S. box with two other Honduran players in an offside position. Nuñez dribbled forward to the endline to bring his teammates back into play, and dropped the ball back for Suazo. He found de Leon a few yards away on the right side of the penalty area. De Leon took a touch toward the penalty spot before drilling a shot past a drawn-out Howard to cut the U.S. lead to 3-2.

    In the 87th minute, a Nuñez free kick bounced in the area before coming up and hitting Holden’s left arm. Referee Roberto Moreno immediately pointed to the spot, and Pavon – who converted a penalty against the U.S. on Sept. 1, 2001, in Washington, D.C., in the last U.S. loss on home soil – missed the chance to equalize.

    The U.S. held on for the next five minutes of regulation plus four minutes of added time to become the first CONCACAF team to win in Honduras during the 2010 qualifying cycle.

    Honduras was previously 8-0-0 at home in qualifying for South Africa, and with three goals scored the U.S. matched the total that Honduras had allowed in their prior eight home games. The U.S. is now 5-3-1 on the road in qualifying, the best mark in CONCACAF heading into Matchday 10.

    The match was the fourth time in nine qualifies that the U.S. surrendered the first goal. In those four matches, however, the U.S. has earned 10 of their 19 points with three come-from-behind wins and one come-from-behind tie.

    With his goals, Casey became the 20th different player to score a goal for the U.S. in 2009 – the most ever in one year for the team. Donovan, with his pass to Casey on the second goal, set the U.S. single-year assist record with 10 to pass Cobi Jones.

    The USA joins Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain and Korea Republic as the only teams who have participated in all six World Cup since 1990, including secured berths to South Africa in 2010.

    Fans who wish to follow the U.S. team to South Africa are encouraged to join U.S. Soccer Supporters Club, the official fan membership program for fans of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams. U.S. Soccer SC members will have priority status to purchase 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets through U.S. Soccer, with access ahead of the general public.

    Match: United States vs. Honduras
    Date: October 10, 2009
    Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Final Round
    Venue: Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano – San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Kickoff: 8 p.m. MT
    Attendance: TBA
    Weather: 80 degrees

    Scoring Summary: 1    2    F
    USA                        0    3    3
    HON                       0     2    2

    HON – Julio Cesar de Leon (unassisted) 47th minute
    USA – Conor Casey (Charlie Davies) 55
    USA – Conor Casey (Landon Donovan) 66
    USA – Landon Donovan (unassisted) 71
    HON – Julio Cesar de Leon (David Suazo) 78

    Lineups:
    USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (6-Steve Cherundolo, 90+3), 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 9-Charlie Davies (17-Jozy Altidore, 79), 8-Conor Casey (16-Benny Feilhaber, 84)
    Subs not used: 11-Kenny Cooper, 14-Jose Torres, 15-Jimmy Conrad, 18-Brad Guzan
    Head Coach: Bob Bradley

    HON: 18-Noel Valladares; 16-Mauricio Sabillon, 2-Osman Chavez, 3-Maynor Figueroa, 12-Emilio Izaguirre; 17-Edgard Alvarez (11-David Suazo, 64), 6-Hendry Thomas (7-Ramon Nunez, 75), 8-Wilson Palacios, 10-Julio Cesar de Leon (15-Walter Martinez, 80); 13-Carlo Costly, 9-Carlos Pavon
    Subs not used: 1-Ricardo Canales, 5-Erick Norales, 14-Boniek Garcia, 4-Melvin Valladares,
    Head Coach: Reinaldo Rueda

    Stats Summary: USA / HON
    Shots: 16 / 13
    Shots on Goal: 7 / 5
    Saves: 3 / 4
    Corner Kicks: 5 / 5
    Fouls: 12 / 16
    Offside: 1 / 2

    Misconduct Summary:
    HON – Osman Chavez (caution) 47th minute
    HON – Maynor Figueroa (caution) 73
    USA – Jonathan Bornstein (caution) 85

    Officials:
    Referee: Roberto Moreno (PAN)
    Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
    Assistant Referee 2: Jaime Smith (PAN)
    Fourth Official: Jose Luis Rodriguez (PAN)

    ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
    Conor Casey

    Strong and physical with a deceptively deft touch, Casey has a good nose for the goal. After injuries stunted his national team career, the striker’s move back to MLS from Germany also began his resurgence on the international scene. Appearing in late 2008 after a nearly three-year absence, Casey punctuated his return by scoring his first two international goals in fine fashion, leading the U.S. back from a one-goal deficit in Honduras that culminated in a 3-2 victory and a ticket to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Starting his professional career in Germany, he had a brief spell at Toronto FC before heading to Colorado and developing into a prolific goal scorer.

    • Made three appearances in the 2010 qualifying campaign, with two coming in the final round
    • Played in a career high eight games for the full team in 2009, including four starts
    • Earned nominations for Best Clutch Moment and Best Performance for the 2009 U.S. Soccer Best Of awards for the effort against Honduras
    • Voted the Colorado Rapids Most Valuable Player in 2009 along with being named to MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star team
    2009: Made eight appearances … After sitting out the opening match against Italy, he appeared in the next four matches in the Confederations Cup, including the final … Started in the 2-1 win in qualifying on June 6 against Honduras in Chicago … Earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors on Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula against Honduras, bravely challenging the ’keeper when scoring the first goal and using a deft touch to record the second … Earned the foul that set up Donovan’s game-winning goal that gave the U.S. a 3-2 win … 2008: Returned to the squad after nearly three years, playing the final 14 minutes in the 2-0 semifinal round qualifying win against Guatemala on Nov. 19, 2008, in front of his home fans in Colorado … 2005: Appeared in two matches before an injury ended his year … Started in the 4-1 win against Cuba to open the USA’s championship run in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, suffering a torn ACL in the match … Came on as a sub in the 2-1 loss to England on May 28 in Chicago … 2004: Played in six matches in his debut year with the full team … Made four straight starts, beginning with the 1-0 win in Poland … Started three qualifiers, including the 3-0 win against Grenada on June 13, 2004, to open 2006 World Cup qualifying … Also started in the 2-0 win on Sept. 4 against El Salvador and the 1-1 draw in Panama four days later … Under-23s: Played in three of four Olympic qualifying games in 2000, starting two … Was on the U.S. Olympic team that finished in fourth place in Sydney, starting all six games … Under-20s: Part of the U.S. squad that advanced to the knockout phase of the Under-20 World Youth Championship in Argentina … Helped the U.S. qualify for the summer tournament, scoring in the opening game against Guatemala … First Appearance: March 31, 2004, vs. Poland … First Goal: Oct. 10, 2009, vs. Honduras.
    2009: Had a career year and an MVP campaign, setting a new Rapids single season scoring record with 16 goals to finish second in the league’s Golden Boot race only one goal behind Jeff Cunningham … Named to the MLS Best XI squad for the first time in his career and also garnered MLS All-Star honors … Has two hat tricks, the most in MLS … 2008: Despite entering the season rehabbing an off-season ACL injury and missing the team’s first nine games while on the disabled list, Casey produced his best MLS season to date finishing as the Rapids team leader with 11 goals (sixth best in MLS)-the highest by a Rapids player since 2005 … He registered two game-winners and two game-tying scores on the season … 2007: Took home the Rapids’ 2007 Comeback Player of the Year Award for rebounding from a knee injury suffered with the U.S. National Team to regain his form and regain his starting spot with the Rapids … Made his Rapids debut playing nine minutes on April 22 at Dallas … Toronto FC used their top allocation to bring Casey over from club FSV Mainz 05 of the German Bundesliga … During his brief stint with Toronto FC, Casey came on as a substitute in both of the club’s games and played a total of 58 minutes for the Canadian side before joining the Rapids … 2005-06: A knee injury suffered with the U.S. team limited his appearances to only 10 games … 2004-05: Signed with Bundesliga club Mainz 05, scoring two goals in 14 games … 2003–04: Again loaned to a second division club, this time Karlsruher SC … Scored 14 goals in 30 games … 2002-03: Returned to Dortmund, scoring one goal in four appearances … 2001-02: Loaned to second division club Hannover 96, where he scored seven goals in 19 games, helping the club gain promotion to the Bundesliga … 2000-01: Signed a four year contract with Borussia Dortmund, spending the first season in the reserves.

    Born in New Hampshire, but moved to Colorado as a child, and considers Denver his hometown … Played his high school soccer at Denver’s South High School … Parents are Terry and Susan, and his sister is Jennifer … Enjoys listening to Classic Rock, Hip Hop and Oldies … Favorite foods are sushi and meat … Enjoys reading, card games, chess, and playing the guitar in his spare time … Lists favorite sports besides soccer as basketball and football … Favorite book is “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand.

    Played for Clive Charles at the University of Portland in 1999 and 2000 … Named West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year in 2000 … Led the nation in scoring with 23 goals and seven assists for 53 points … Soccer America magazine named him Freshman of the Year in 1999.

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