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Klinsmann Calls in 24 Players for Training Camp in Preparation for March 5 Match Against Ukraine in Cyprus

CHICAGO (Feb. 27, 2014) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 24 players to training camp in Frankfurt, Germany, to begin preparations for its match against Ukraine on March 5 in Larnaca, Cyprus.

The match was previously set to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, but the location was changed due to current conditions in the country. Kickoff at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca is set for 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer.

“In conjunction with the Football Federation of Ukraine, we have moved the match on March 5 to Larnaca, Cyprus,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We appreciate the efforts of Ukraine and the Cyprus Football Association as we worked through this situation.”

The last time the U.S. Men’s National Team played an international friendly on neutral ground was against Poland on March 1, 2006, in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where a goal from current U.S. captain Clint Dempsey sealed a 1-0 USA victory.

“Finding a solution and moving the game outside the country and playing in Cyprus is helpful for both of us,” said Klinsmann. “It’s definitely a very good ‘Plan B,’ and we very much appreciate it and say thank you to the Ukraine Federation and the Cyprus Federation.

The match falls on the only FIFA international fixture date before May, making this the one opportunity for European-based players to play for the National Team prior to the start of the World Cup preparation camp. The team will begin gathering in Frankfurt on Sunday, March 2, for two days of training before traveling to play for the first time in Cyprus.

“This game is a huge opportunity, mainly for our European-based players, for those guys to prove to us that they are eager and hungry to jump on the train to the FIFA World Cup,” said Klinsmann. “With this game being the only chance for these players before our World Cup preparation camp begins, it’s even more important they have a good showing.”

A total of 21 players on the roster ply their trade in Europe. Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley, Seattle Sounders FC forward Dempsey and Club Tijuana defender Edgar Castillo are the only representatives on the squad from North American teams. In addition, 18-year-old Bayern Munich forward Julian Green will participate in training camp, but is not yet eligible to play in a match for the United States.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6): Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)

ROSTER NOTES

  • Clint Dempsey finished with six goals in 2013, which equals a career high that he set last year. He is concluding a two-month loan spell with Fulham and will return to Seattle following the match against Ukraine.
  • Tim Howard has earned 96 caps and is four shy of becoming the third goalkeeper in U.S. history to reach 100 appearances. He also has 34 career shutouts for the United States, holding second place all-time ahead of National Soccer Hall of Famer Tony Meola.
  • Jozy Altidore had eight goals in 2013 and has 21 all-time, including four in World Cup Qualifiers. He set a team record by scoring in five consecutive games, and with his three-goal performance against Bosnia became the third player to score two career hat tricks for the U.S. National Team, joining Landon Donovan and Peter Millar. Altidore’s Sunderland side faces Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
  • AZ Alkmaar striker Aron Johannsson has posted 22 goals in all competitions this season, including nine in league play. Johannsson scored the game-winning goal against Panama in the USA’s last World Cup Qualifier in the 2014 cycle, a 3-2 win on Oct. 15, 2013, in Panama City. Born in Mobile, Ala., he completed his change of association from Iceland in time to enter as a substitute in the 63rd minute of the USA’s 4-3 win against Bosnia.
  • Terrence Boyd has 13 goals in all competitions for Rapid Vienna in this campaign, including eight in the Austrian Bundesliga and five in the Europa League.
  • Mix Diskerud is the only player on the roster to participate in the USA’s opening match of 2014, a 2-0 win against Korea Republic. He has appeared in 14 of the USA’s last 15 matches dating back to July 5, 2013, against Guatemala. Remarkably, the United States holds a record of 13-1-3 all-time in games in which Diskerud has appeared.
  • Geoff Cameron has snatched the regular role as right back at Stoke City, starting in 26 of 27 games in the Premier League this season. Having played as a central and wide defender as well in central midfield for the USA, he started in a total of six matches in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
  • Brad Guzan backstopped three huge results in qualifying in 2013, collecting back-to-back clean sheets against Costa Rica in the Snow Clasico and the historic 0-0 draw against Mexico four days later, and then helping the U.S. to a 3-2 win against Panama in the final game of the Hexagonal. He has posted five shutouts in eight career World Cup qualifiers.
  • Jermaine Jones joins the squad for the first time since moving to Besiktas on loan in January, although a groin issue has prevented him from seeing action so far in Istanbul.
  • Midfielder Fabian Johnson has secured a move next season from Hoffenheim to Borussia Moenchengladbach – the former club of Michael Bradley.
  • Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks gets his third look with the Senior Team. The 20-year-old dual citizen of the United States and Germany has made two previous appearances, having started in the win against Bosnia and the game in Austria.
  • Alejandro Bedoya, who transferred to Nantes in Ligue 1 in France last summer, got on the scoresheet for the first time in his international career when he tallied in the USA’s 6-0 win against Guatemala on July 5 in San Diego.
  • Brek Shea is back in the squad for the first time since helping the U.S. to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title. Shea scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Panama in the championship final.
  • Oguchi Onyewu returns to the U.S. fold for the first time since being a part of the squad that won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup last July.
  • Tim Ream, a regular starter at Bolton, gets his first call up since the 4-3 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina in August.
  • It has been more than a year since Reading midfielder Danny Williams saw action for the U.S., having last earned minutes in the 2-1 loss to Honduras on Feb. 6, 2013, in San Pedro Sula. He has started the last 15 league games for Reading and has scored twice this month.
  • Will Packwood has the chance to earn his first cap for the Senior National Team. The 20-year-old defender plays alongside Jonathan Spector at Birmingham City. A leg injury prevented Packwood from participating in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

MNT Weekend Round Up: Diskerud's Drive or Johannsson's Jive?

Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson are roommates on the road for the MNT - and pretty darn good bowlers as well, but that's another story. Each had a magnificent goal for their club on the weekend, sparking the debate: who had the better finish?

Start with Mix Diskerud, who scored for Rosenborg in the Norwegian Cup final against Molde. A nice bit of patience, a nice set-up touch, then, hello Upper 90!

Johannsson had what has become a typical finish for the young striker, taking on a defender and cutting back across the goal before finishing far post. The strike was his 15th in all competitions this season for AZ Alkmaar.

You can be sure these two guys are debating it, so now you decide...

In other highlights from the weekend:

  • Geoff Cameron and Brek Shea were on the winning end of their duel with Jozy Altidore as Stoke City won 2-0 against Sunderland.
  • The Merseyside derby produced a cracker as Tim Howard and Everton drew 3-3 with Liverpool.
  • Fabian Johnson returned to the starting lineup for Hoffenheim in his side’s losing effort against FC Augsburg.
  • The MNT will be well represented at the 2013 MLS Cup, as U.S. regulars Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City) and Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) have advanced to the Final that takes place Dec. 7 at Sporting Park. Sporting KC collected a 2-1 win in the second leg of the Eastern Conference semis against Houston, while Real Salt Lake picked up an impressive 1-0 win in the West semis on the road at Portland.

Two games remain on the slate for MNT players this Monday as Michael Bradley and Roma host Cagliari (2:30 p.m. ET, beIN SPORT) while Brad Guzan and Aston Villa are at West Brom (3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

U.S. MNT Qualifies for 2014 World Cup in Brazil with 2-0 Victory Against Mexico at Sold-Out Columbus Crew Stadium

  • Landon Donovan Scores 57th Goal of U.S. Career in the 78th Minute and Assists Eddie Johnson’s Game-Winning Tally in the 49th Minute
  • USA Advances to 2014 FIFA World Cup After Honduras Ties Panama 2-2 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • U.S. Sets Record for Victories in a Calendar Year with 14th Win in 2013
  • With Berth to Brazil in Hand, USA Resumes World Cup Qualifying against Jamaica on Oct. 11 at Sporting Park in Kansas City; Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. CT, with live Broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio

COLUMBUS (Sept. 10, 2013) – In front of a raucous capacity crowd of 24,584 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Mexico 2-0 in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying to earn its berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The victory, combined with Honduras tying Panama 2-2 in Tegucigalpa an hour later, provided the USA its seventh-consecutive FIFA World Cup berth and 10th overall.

USA vs. Mexico, presented by AT&T, was billed as the most anticipated match of the Hexagonal, and the U.S. did not disappoint. For the fourth-consecutive time during a World Cup Qualifying cycle, the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 at Crew Stadium.

“They’re experienced players, they’ve played these games before and they know what these games are about,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said of his team, which was playing without several key players to injury or yellow card accumulation. “I told them over the last couple days that I expect their leadership. I expect them to carry us through difficult moments, whatever happens.”

Eddie Johnson scored the 19th goal of his career and 12th tally in World Cup Qualifying, knifing through the center of the penalty area to smash home a header off a Landon Donovan corner kick in the 49th minute. Donovan clinched the game – and sealed the now-famous score line – in the 78th minute.

The USA came with inches of winning 3-0, but captain Clint Dempsey struck a penalty kick just outside the right post in second half stoppage time after he was taken down in the right side of the penalty box following a nifty dribble.

The U.S. Men’s National team has set a new record for victories in a calendar year with 14, improving to 14-3-2 in 2013 and topping the previous record of 13 wins set in 2005 and 2009.

The U.S. resumes 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying when it hosts Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City, Kan. Kickoff at Sporting Park is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.

Four days later, the USA completes the Hexagonal when it faces Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Coverage on beIN SPORT begins at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.

A desperate Mexico team fighting for its World Cup life came out with energy at the beginning of the match, but the USA soon settled into the game, and several solid stops from goalkeeper Tim Howard sent the teams scoreless into halftime.

The U.S. changed the match early in the second half off Donovan’s corner kick from the right side. Mexican goalkeeper Jesús Corona rushed off of his line to try an intercept the service, but he was too late. As Clarence Goodson created a path for Johnson, the U.S. striker fended off Mexico’s Diego Reyes and crisply headed the ball past Mexico defender Fernando Arce, who could not react quickly enough to clear the ball away with his right foot.

In the 78th minute, Donovan crushed Mexico’s hopes and stamped the USA’s tickets to Brazil off a brilliant assist from Mix Diskerud. The 76th-minute sub chipped the ball to himself in the right side of the penalty area, beat a defender with a touch toward the end line and sent a service on the ground across the face of the goal. Dempsey got a piece of the ball, re-directing it just enough that it evaded the goalkeeper and a defender, and Donovan roofed his shot from four yards out into the empty net. The goal gave Donovan six in his career against Mexico.

With the goal and an assist, Donovan broke his U.S. MNT points record for a calendar year with 24 in 2013 (eight goals, eight assists), besting his previous points mark of 22 in 2007 (nine goals, four assists).

Mexico was playing its first match under Luis Fernando Tena, who replaced fired head coach Jose Manuel de la Torre. The visitors created the majority of the scoring chances in the first half but faded in the second half as the Americans turned up the pressure in front of a partisan, screaming crowd. Howard logged yet another game in which he led from the back, making three saves on the way to the clean sheet, the 32nd of his career, tied for second-most with 1990 and 1994 World Cup starter Tony Meola.

Howard’s key stops included a dive to his right turn away a Christian Gimenez left-footed strike in the 19th minute and a lunging save against Giovani Dos Santos in the 44th minute. He also turned away a Diego Reyes header in first-half stoppage time.

Additional Notes:

  • Landon Donovan increased his U.S. record of caps in World Cup Qualifying to 36. He appeared in his 16th match against Mexico.
  • Donovan made the 153rd appearance of his career, moving to within nine caps of the all-time record of 164 set by Cobi Jones.
  • Eddie Johnson’s goal was his fifth in 2013 and his 12 World Cup Qualifying goals have come in only 21 matches.
  • DaMarcus Beasley made his team-leading 14th appearance in 2013 and the 111th appearance of his career, moving up the all-time list to sixth place and passing Carlos Bocanegra and Paul Caligiuri (110 caps each). Beasley is now one cap behind fifth-place Claudio Reyna (112).
  • USA captain Clint Dempsey earned his 101st cap and is tied for 11th all-time with Earnie Stewart. Dempsey was honored before Tuesday’s game for aring 100 caps when he became the 14th player to accomplish that feat with a start on Sept. 6 against Costa Rica.
  • The win marked Tim Howard’s 51st victory and he sits just two behind Kasey Keller’s record of 53.
  • Eddie Johnson leads the 2013 squad with 15 appearances this year. He now has 59 career caps.
  • Fabian Johnson started at right back for the first time since Aug. 15, 2012, in the historic 1-0 win against Mexico, the USA’s first on Mexican soil.
  • Late in the first half, Johnson strained his left hamstring, prompting head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to bring in Michael Parkhurst to start the second half.
  • Alejandro Bedoya made his second start against Mexico in official competitions, having played the same role in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final.
  • USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann moves to 25-9-6 since taking the coaching reins in 2011. He becomes the fifth USA coach to earn 25 victories, joining Bruce Arena (71-30-29), Bob Bradley (43-25-12), Bora Milutinovic (30-35-31) and Steve Sampson (26-22-14).
  • Klinsmann has used 37 players in World Cup qualifying. Dempsey is the most-capped with 14 games and leads in goals with eight. Six different players have scored a goal and 20 players have earned their first WCQ caps.
  • Since 2000, the USA has posted a 12-5-4 record against Mexico, including a 10-2-3 record at home during that span. The U.S. is now 17-32-13 all-time against Mexico.
  • The USA is now 7-0-3 all-time at Columbus Crew Stadium.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Sept. 10, 2013
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying – Final Round
Venue: Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 24,584 (sellout)
Weather: 90 degrees, humid

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

USA – Eddie Johnson (Landon Donovan)               49th minute
USA – Landon Donovan (Clint Dempsey)               78

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson (15-Michael Parkhurst, 46), 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Kyle Beckerman; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 84), 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 10-Landon Donovan; 18-Eddie Johnson (14-Mix Diskerud, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Brad Guzan, 22-Nick Rimando, 2-Edgar Castillo, 4-Michael Orozco, 6-Joe Corona, 9-Aron Johannsson, 16-Jose Torres, 17-Brad Davis
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

MEX: 1-Jesús Corona (capt.); 21-Hiram Mier, 4-Diego Reyes, 15-Héctor Moreno, 3-Carlos Salcido (8-Ángel Reyna, 77); 7-Christian Giménez (16-Héctor Herrera, 55), 5-Fernando Arce (19-Oribe Peralta, 69), 17-Jesús Zavala, 18-Andrés Guardado; 14-Javier Hernández, 10-Giovani Dos Santos
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Francisco Rodríguez, 9-Raúl Jiménez, 11-Javier Aquino, 12-Jonathan Orozco, 13-Severo Meza, 20-Jorge Torres Nilo, 22-Damián Álvarez, 23-Alfredo Talavera
Head coach: Luis Fernando Tena

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots:  9 / 8
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 13 / 9
Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alejandro Bedoya (caution)           45+1 minute
USA – Landon Donovan (caution)             85

Officials:
Referee: Courtney Campbell (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Ricardo Antonio Morgan (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Garnet Page (JAM)
Fourth Official: Valdin Legister (JAM)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Landon Donovan

MNT in Action Today

Fans that can’t wait to see the U.S. Men’s National Team in action again starting on May 29 can get a taste today as MNT players are involved in some crucial fixtures today. Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Club Tijuana look to continue their magical run in Copa Libertadores in the first leg of the quarterfinals at home against Atlético Mineiro (that game can be seen at 8:30 ET on Fox Deportes); and Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Hoffenheim face a tough test against Kaiserslautern in the first leg of the German relegation playoffs (That game can be seen at 2:30 ET on Gol TV).

Hoffenheim is going into one of the most important fixtures in club history with an abundance of much needed momentum. In its latest fixture, Hoffenheim earned an impressive 2-1 victory in one of the most thrilling games of the season against German giants and UEFA Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund by converting two late penalty kicks in the final 15 minutes of the match. Hoffenheim also holds the head-to-head advantage with Kaiserslautern, posting four wins and two draws the last six times these sides have met.

Club Tijuana will meet Ronaldinho and top-seeded Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro as considerable underdogs, which has been a central theme for Los Xolos during their unexpected run in Copa Libertadores. Tijuana earned an impressive 2-1 win against Palmeiras, with all goals coming in the second leg on the road in Brazil. To recreate that result in the quarterfinals Tijuana will need to get off to a good start tonight at home, where they have been one of the tournament’s best teams.

MNT Weekend Recap

With most of the European seasons heading for their climactic conclusion, members of the MNT still have plenty to play for. Here’s a snapshot of the weekend activity that saw some clubs move closer to places in Europe next season, others battling to avoid relegation and league titles left on the line.

Clint Dempsey kept Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League hopes alive with a goal and an assist in its 2-1 victory against Stoke City. With one game remaining, Spurs sit in fourth place in the Premier League and would currently qualify for Champions League Qualifying. There’s still room to move up as they are three points behind Chelsea, and also room to drop with Arsenal just two points behind and a game in hand.

In a week that he was voted Aston Villa Player of the Year, Brad Guzan made a trio of saves in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Friday. Currently in 16th place and five points clear of relegation, the season finale against Wigan Athletic this Sunday could turn into a winner-take-all.

Michael Bradley and AS Roma played to a 0-0 draw against third place AC Milan at the San Siro. While spoiling Milan’s opportunity to clinch Champions League Qualifying, the result left Roma outside of qualifying for the Europa League through league play. They still have a shot with a win in the Coppa Italia Final on May 26 against Lazio.

Steve Cherundolo set a new appearance record for Hannover 96, playing in his 299th Bundesliga game for the German club in a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. “The Mayor of Hannover” is in his 14th season, having joined Hannover in 1999.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke are still in the running for the Champions League Qualifying despite a 2-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart. Jones played 90 minutes as he continues to reach full fitness after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica on March 22 in Denver.

Fabian Johnson came off the bench and picked up an assist in Hoffenheim’s 2-1 loss to Hamburg SV, leaving the side in 17th place and needing a win on the final matchday to have a shot at avoiding relegation. Danny Williams didn’t dress for the match, still on the mend from an ankle injury.

Jozy Altidore completed his record-breaking season for AZ Alkmaar against Willem II. His 31 goals in all competitions is a new record for most goals scored by an American in Europe, surpassing the mark set by Dempsey last season.

Clarence Goodson scored the opening goal of the match for Brondby in their 1-1 draw against Aalborg BK. Brondby sits in 10th place in the Danish Superligaen with 33 points, just two points away from relegation. Goodson’s goals have proved fortuitous in Denmark, the team having never lost when Goodson’s name is on the scoresheet (3-0-2)

Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna beat Atlas 3-1 and advanced to the semifinals of the Liga MX playoffs. Santos will face Cruz Azul in the first leg Thursday, with Monterrey and Club America paired in the other semifinal. Gomez could have a second shot at a trophy this season, having previously reached the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Crunch Time

With less than three weeks to go before the National Team convenes in California for the start of the “super summer,” domestic leagues are heading toward their conclusions and there is still much to be decided. For many of the MNT players there is still plenty to play for, with spots in European competition up for grabs and relegation fights still ongoing. In either case, it’s the type of pressure and competition that U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann wants to see his players face and overcome. Here are some of the things to watch for this weekend.

(For a complete list of the MNT on TV click here)

ENGLAND
Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard remain locked in tight races to see who will qualify for Champions League and Europa League next season. Only six points separate third through sixth place, but the difference in final position is huge. Third means an automatic spot in the Champions League, while fourth gets you in qualifying and fifth into the Europa League. As it stands, Spurs hold the fifth spot on 62 points and Everton sit three behind. Spurs will host Southampton (Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes), while Everton face a visit to Anfield for the Merseyside derby, hoping to win there for the first time in 14 years (Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on FOX Soccer).

At the other end of the table, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa can take another huge step toward avoiding relegation when they travel to Norwich (Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on FOX Soccer). The Villains are 4-2-1 in their last six and are coming off a confidence-boosting 6-1 thumping of Sunderland. On 37 points and tied with Newcastle and Sunderland with three games remaining, they are currently five points clear of the drop zone.

In the League Championship, the race is on for spots in the Promotion Playoffs and it’s a virtual win-and-you’re-in scenario for Stuart Holden and Blackburn. Currently in sixth place and holding the last spot, they are tied with Nottingham Forest on 67 points but ahead on goal differential (plus-8 to plus-5). A victory at home to Blackpool should get the job done for Rovers. Nottingham Forest host Leicester City, who are two points off the pace and must win to have any hope of advancing.

GERMANY
Jermaine Jones and Schalke are facing stiff competition from Eintracht Frankfurt and Freiburg for the Champions League qualification spot. Schalke are in the pole position on 49 points, three ahead of Frankfurt and four beyond Freiburg with three games to go. Back from an injury, Jones looks to start against Moenchengladbach this afternoon (2:30 p.m. ET on GolTV). Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams are still trying to help Hoffenheim avoid relegation. Currently in 17th place, they are three points adrift and have a huge opportunity away to Werder Bremen, who is one of two teams just above them. Williams continues to be sidelined with an ankle injury. U.S. MNT scouts Andi Herzog and Matthias Hamann will be on hand.

ITALY
Michael Bradley and Roma are locked in a tight contest for a Europa League spot, with the Romans currently holding fifth place and the last spot with four games to play. Udinese, Inter Milan and derby rivals Lazio are still knocking on the door, and Roma faces a tough tie at fourth place Fiorentina (Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET – delay at 4 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT).

BELGIUM
Two-time defending champion Anderlecht are in second place in the Belgian league playoffs with four games remaining, one behind group leaders Zulte-Waregem. With only four points separating the top five teams, the truth is it’s anybody’s ball game at this point, and Sacha Kljestan and Co. take their next step Sunday at home against Standard Liege.

MEXICO
First place in the 2013 Liga MX Torneo Clausura comes down to the final matchday and a top of the table clash with Club America and Tigres. Jose Torres has been a regular starter for Tigres, who are even on points with their hosts but behind on goal differential, which means only a victory would put them over the top. (Saturday at 6 p.m. on Univision)

Displaying skill, vision and versatility, Johnson has shown signs of bringing a different element to the U.S. midfield. He became a part of the U.S. National Team after having a change of association request granted by FIFA. Born in Munich, Germany to an American serviceman and a German mother, Johnson represented Germany at the youth national team level, and earned a medal as part of the side the captured the 2009 U-21 European Championship. The versatile player received his first call up to the U.S. team in 2011 ahead of the matches against Costa Rica and Belgium and earned his first cap in the match against France. Currently playing for Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga, he began his career at TSV 1860 Munich before spending the previous two seasons at Wolfsburg.

  • Earned his first cap for the U.S. when he entered as a substitute on Nov. 11, 2011, against France
  • Granted approval for a change of association by FIFA in the fall of 2011 
  • Holds both a German and USA passport and has represented Germany at the youth level
2011: Made two appearances, including one start, for the U.S. … Earned his first cap in the 1-0 loss against France on Nov. 11 as a second-half substitute … Joined training camp for the matches against Costa Rica on Sept. 2 and Belgium on Sept. 6, but had not yet received approval for a change of association … First Appearance: Nov. 11, 2011, vs. France … First Goal: None.
2011: Has played 14 games and scored one goal in all competitions in the first half of the season … Set up Johnson delivered a pair of assists to Vedad Ibisevic in Hoffenheim’s 2-0 win at Nürnberg on Dec. 10 … Added an assist in the 1-0 win against Borussia Monchengladbach on Oct. 22 and in the 2-0 win against Ausburg on Aug. 20 … Made his debut for Hoffenheim on July 30 in the DFB Deutsch Cup match against Germania Windeck, when he came on as a second-half substitute and scored a goal in the 3-1 win … Joined Hoffenheim on a three-year deal … 2010-11: Started one game out of the six matches he played in for Wolfsburg … 2009-10: Played in 10 league games for Wolfsburg, starting four of those … Tallied his first goal for Wolfsburg in the 2-2 tie against Freiburg on Dec. 5, 2009, when he scored the second equalizer  … Joined VfB Wolfsburg on July 14, 2009 … 2008-09: Increased his career high for games played to 33, all starts, and scored two goals for Munich … Notched Munich’s third goal in the 5-1 rout of St. Pauli on March 1, 2009 … Scored the opening goal in his side’s 3-0 win against FSV Frankfurt … 2007-08: Played a career-high 28 games and scored his first professional goals for Munich … Added a goal in stoppage time to seal the equalizer in the 1-1 draw against Erzgebirge on May 18, 2008 … Scored his first goal on Aug. 26, 2007, in the 3-0 win against Hoffenheim … 2006-07: Made 25 appearances for 1860 Munich in his first full season at the senior level … Promoted to the first team of 1860 Munich in July of 2006 after spending 10 years with the club at the youth level.
Father is from Michigan … Vacationed in New York as a kid … Speaks fluent English and German.
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