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Gallery: U-23 MNT Win Completes Two-Game Double for USA Over Mexico

Photos from the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team 3-0 victory over its counterpart from Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 22, 2015. Los Angeles-area native Mario Rodriguez started the scoring for the U.S. in the second half. Fellow California Christian Dean followed up with his first international goal for the USA before Stanford University sophomore Jordan Morris capped off the night with his second goal against Mexico in as many games. Morris also scored the winning goal for the senior MNT in its 2-0 win against Mexico the week before. Additionally, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper turned in a fine performance, stopping all seven shots on goal he faced to earn his first shutout of the year for the U-23s. 

The U-23 MNT will next be in action come the end of May when the team travels to France for the international Toulon Tournament. The USA will face France (May 27), the Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2) during group play of the competition as it continues preparation for Olympic Qualifying, which kicks off this fall and will take place throughout the United States.

Highlights: Morris Strikes Again, Rodriguez and Dean Add Gloss to U-23 MNT Win Over Mexico

The U.S. U-23 MNT defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson, California.

U-23 MNT Earns 3-0 Win against Mexico

CARSON, Calif. (April 22, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico 3-0, behind goals from Mario Rodriguez, Christian Dean and Jordan Morris at StubHub Center. The win was the second-straight for the U-23 MNT over its Mexico counterpart, after the USA won 2-0 in the last matchup between the two nations on Feb. 29, 2012.

In eight matches between the U.S. U-23 MNT and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23 tournament), the USA has gone 6-2-0, (4-0-0 on U.S. soil) including tonight’s win.

U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who saved all seven shots on goal he faced, earned his first shutout of 2015 and the first for any U.S. U-23 MNT goalkeeper this year.

The U-23 MNT next comes together for the Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in Toulon, France. The USA will face France (May 27), Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil), 48th Minute:
Starting from the center, U.S. midfielder Fatai Alashe played a ball out to the left where Luis Gil ran onto it and continued with pace down the left side. Gil angled a pinpoint cross past a closing defender into the box where a sliding Rodriguez volleyed it into the lower right-hand side of the net for the first goal of the game. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna), 58th minute: Mexico’s Bernardo Hernandez was called for a foul on Mario Rodriguez on the left side of the field, earning the U.S. a free kick. Dillon Serna sent the left-footed free kick into the box where an unmarked Christian Dean headed his shot past helpless Mexico goalkeeper Luis Cardenas into the left side of the frame for his first goal with the U.S. USA 2, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill), 68th minute: From a corner kick, Luis Gil sent a high looping ball to the far side of the six yard box. Shane O’Neill ripped in a hard, one-time cross as the ball bounced to him and Morris met the pass with a leaping, left-footed volley that Cardenas got a hand to but was unable to keep from powering into the goal for the final margin. USA 3, MEX 0 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 1st minute:
Before the game was a minute old, Mexico played a ball through the middle and ripped a shot that forced Cody Cropper into a diving save, which he barely reached and pushed out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 33rd minute: Mexico’s Angel Saldivar pushed at top speed from the right side and flicked a last chance effort at goal before reaching the endline, which Cropper brought in with two hands to keep the game level.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 41st minute: Luis Gil brought down a deflected ball in the box from 15 yards out, took a touch and a turn, and fired on goal. The shot went straight at Cardenas, who dropped to a knee and collected.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 45th minute: Mexico whipped in a dangerous cross from a corner kick, and Cropper dove out to snag a flick-on right in front of goal, preserving the scoreless the first half.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 54th minute: Daniel Metzger was first to a deflected ball just outside of the Mexico box, collecting it and sending a hard shot at goal from distance. Cardenas dove and just reached the ball to knock it out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 64th minute: Angel Saldivar shrugged off his defender at the top of the box and sent a curling shot to the far post, which Cropper leaped for and tipped out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 73rd minute: A long bouncing ball was played into the box which a streaking Mexico player met with a tricky header. Cropper was equal to the task, diving and deflecting the ball to safety to keep the shutout.

Additional Notes:

  • The U-23s began the game in a diamond 4-4-2 formation, the same formation used by the senior U.S. team in its match against Mexico on April 15.
  • Mario Rodriguez scored the game’s first goal; it was his second of the year.
  • Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-area native from North Hollywood, made the start at forward. The Borussia Mönchengladbach forward spent time playing in the LA Galaxy’s youth system.
  • Jordan Morris has now scored twice against Mexico in as many games, recording a goal with the senior MNT last week against Mexico in San Antonio, and again tonight. Morris also scored for the U.S. U-23 MNT in the team’s win over Bosnia earlier this year.
  • Luis Gil now leads the team with four assists in 2015.
  • Gil wore the captain’s armband for the third straight game.
  • Oscar Sorto, a Los Angeles native who plays for the LA Galaxy, made the start for the U-23s, playing in his club’s home stadium, StubHub Center.
  • It was also a homecoming for Jose Villarreal, who plays for the LA Galaxy and entered in for Alejandro Guido in the game’s 24th Minute.
  • Christian Dean’s goal was his first at any level of his Youth National Team career with the USA.

- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report - 

Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico U-23
Date: April 22, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Attendance: 3,782
Weather: 61 degrees; Cloudy  

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

USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil)               48th minute
USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna)           58
USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill)          68 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 20-Oscar Sorto (3-Boyd Okwuonu, 68), 5-Walker Zimmerman (6-Christian Dean, 46), 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna (2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda, 81); 14-Fatai Alashe, 13-Alejandro Guido (17-Jose Villareal, 24; 16-Daniel Metzger, 40), 8-Benji Joya, 10-Luis Gil (capt.); 9-Jordan Morris, 18-Mario Rodriguez (11-Alonso Hernandez, 72)
Subs Not Used: 12-Jon Kempin, 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 19-Sam Strong
Head coach: Andreas Herzog

MEX: 1-Luis Cardenas;  2-Gil Buron, 4-Luis Guzman, 3-Luis Solorio, 5-Jorge Caballero (15-Bernardo Hernandez, 46); 7-Jorge Espericueta (14-Michael Perez, 59), 11-Daniel Hernandez, 16-Rafael Escamilla (6-Pedro Hernandez, 46); 8-Uvaldo Luna (17-Carlos Cisneros, 74), 9-Angel Zaldivar, 10-Marco Bueno (capt.) (18-Rosario Cota, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Manuel Lajud, 13-Pedro Teran, 19-Jose Alberto Garcia, 20-Ulises Jaimes
Head coach: Raul Gutierrez

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 12 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 0 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution)                  21st minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution)                         38
USA – Shane O’Neill (caution)                       43
USA –Boyd Okwuonu (caution)                     90+1 

Officials
Referee: David Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
4th Official: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Mario Rodriguez

GOAL: Mario Rodriguez Lands Opening Blow for U.S. U-23s vs. Mexico

Mario Rodriguez smartly finished from a Luis Gil cross to give the U-23 #USMNT a 1-0 lead over Mexico.

Herzog Calls 20 Players for Next Edition of USA-Mexico Rivalry

CHICAGO (April 20, 2015) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 20 players to Carson, California, for the U-23’s first domestic training camp of 2015 as the team continues its preparations for qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The team will train from April 19-21 and then face Mexico’s U-23 National Team on Wed., April 22 at StubHub Center in Carson. The match will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. PT on UniMás and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Tickets are available and can be purchased at ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. (TICKETS)

“It’s a beautiful stadium and this is a huge rivalry,” head coach Andi Herzog said. “We had this experience with the senior team last week and it was a great atmosphere. For these players, it’s a huge opportunity and we want to see them make the most of it.”

This roster is charged with experience as nine of its players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup Team and 11 participated in the U.S. U-23 camp in Europe this past March.

Roster By Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

Roster Notes:

  • Nine players were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cody Cropper, Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal.
  • Jordan Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Eleven players from this roster were on the squad that defeated Bosnia’s U-23 team 5-2 on March 27, including all five U.S. goal scorers from that game: Fatai Alashe, Morris, Rodriguez, Joya and Hernandez. Other players returning from that roster are Christian Dean, Ocegueda, O’Neill, Sorto, Gil, and Alfred Koroma Shams.
  • In addition to Gil captaining the USA during the win against Bosnia, he also assisted on three of the five tallies.
  • Cropper, Dean, Gil, Kempin, Morris, O’Neill, Serna and Sorto have all been part of a USMNT senior camp this year.
  • Gil and Morris are the only two players from the roster to have earned a cap with the senior team in 2015.
  • MLS has sent nine players for this roster with two players each from the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
  • Four players on the roster play for Mexican-based clubs (Three from Liga MX and one from Ascenso MX).
  • The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13
  • Fourteen players on the roster have ties to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy: Kempin (Sporting KC Academy), Dean (De Anza Force), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas Academy), O’Neill (Colorado Rapids Academy), Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy), Sorto (LA Galaxy Academy), Sam Strong (Real So Cal), Alashe (Vardar), Luis Gil (Pateadores), Joya (De Anza Force), Koroma Shams (Solar Chelsea SC), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls Academy), Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy) and Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy Academy).

Under-20s: Heading into the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Gil has two goals and an assist in five games. Both goals came during the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. He tallied a penalty kick during the USA's opening 2-1 win against Haiti on feb. 18, 2013, adn scored the first goal of the tea's 4-2 victory against Canada on Feb. 26 in the all-important quarterfinals to clinch a spot in the U-20 World Cup. Gil was named to the 2013 CONCACAF Championship All-Tournament Team. In 2012, Gil tallied a goal and an assist in three games with two starts. He became part of the U-20 picture in 2011, scoring a goal in two matches. Earlier in 2013, Gil played the full 90 minutes in a match against Panama. He debuted with the U-20s on Jan. 22, 2010, with a 90-minute effort in the first game of the Copa Chivas tournament against Pachuca in Guadalajara, scoring the USA’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss … Under-18s: In 2010, Gil played for the U-18s at the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal from May 21-31 and captained the team during a May 27 loss to Norway. Also at the tournament, Gil set up the game’s lone goal during a 1-0 win against Romania on May 28 … Under-17s: Gil scored five goals in 32 appearances for the U.S. U-17 MNT after joining the Residency Program for the spring of 2008. In 2009, Gil tallied four goals and an assist in 18 games and was named U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year. Gil had an assist and played in the USA’s four games at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria and was the youngest member of the U.S. squad at the tournament. His four goals ranked second-best on the U-17 MNT in 2009. During the group stage, Gil played the full 90 minutes in wins against Malawi and United Arab Emirates and a 2-1 loss to Spain, and his performance in Nigeria garnered attention from European clubs such as Arsenal and Real Madrid.

Gil is in the midst of his fourth season with Major League Soccer's real Salt Lake in 2013. Before joining the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team, Gil had logged 13 starts and 14 games, 1,016 minutes, two goals and an assist. In 2012, his third season with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, Gil set career highs in games started (19), games played (19) and assists (3) while also contributed a goal. In 2011, Gil started in 14 of his 25 regular-season games and scored two goals. He made his RSL debut on March 26, 2011, against the LA Galaxy as a second half sub during a 4-1 win. Though Gil did not play in a regular-season match for RSL in 2010, he did play in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match and in CONCACAF Champions League action. Salt Lake acquired Gil from the Kansas City Wizards in February of 2010.

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