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U.S. U-23 MNT Opens Up 2015 with 5-2 Win Over Bosnia U-21s

TUZLA, Bosnia & Herzegovina (March 27, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated Bosnia U-21's 5-2 in its first friendly of the year in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Five different players scored for the U.S. including, Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe, with Luis Gil assisting on three of the tallies.

The U.S. jumped to a 2-0 advantage early in the game after Morris converted from the top of the box following a pass form Gil in the eighth minute. Rodriguez notched the second thanks to an assist from Morris in the 14th.

Bosnia got into the score sheet with a goal in the 64th, but a foul in the box to Jerome Kiesewetter two minutes later, gave the U.S. a penalty kick that Benji Joya had no trouble converting for the 3-1 USA lead. Shortly after, Bosnia got its own call in the box and scored on a penalty kick to make it a 3-2 game.

The USA once again was able to distance itself as Hernandez received a missed shot from Gil that rebounded straight back to him to send it to the back of the net in the 78th. Finally, the U.S. sealed the deal when a perfectly placed corner from Gil went to the middle of the box and Alashe headed it home to secure the 5-2 victory. 

Next, the U-23 MNT will travel to Denmark to face Denmark U-23’s on Tuesday, March 31. The U.S. U-23 MNT is currently in its first training camp of 2015 in Europe. The camp marks the beginning of the team’s qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

For more updates, follow the U-23's on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

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

Match: U.S. U-23 MNT v. Bosnia Herzegovina U-21 MNT
Date: March 27, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stadion Tusanj; Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 800
Weather: 49 degrees

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F

USA                            2          3          5
BIH                              0          2          2             

USA – Jordan Morris (Luis Gil)                                  8th minute
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Jordan Morris)                    14
BIH – Nikola Jelisic                                                     64
USA – Benji Joya (penalty kick)                                66
BIH – Armin Hodzic (penalty kick)                             72
USA – Alonso Hernandez (Luis Gil)                           78
USA – Fatai Alashe (Luis Gil)                                     86

USA: 12-Charlie Horton; 3-Boyd Okwuonu, 5-Will Packwood, 4-Shane O’Neill, 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (6-Christian Dean, 81); 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 8-Benji Joya (16-Dan Metzger, 83), 10-Luis Gil (capt.), 7-Ariel Lassiter (13-Khiry Shelton, 61); 9-Jordan Morris (11-Alonso Hernandez, 74), 18-Mario Rodriguez (14-Fatai Alashe, 61)

Subs not used: 22-Tyler Miller
Not Dressed: 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 20-Oscar Sorto

Head Coach: Andi Herzog

BIH: 1-Kenan Piric; 11-Adis Omerbasic, 6-Luka Miletic, 5-Renato Goikovic (17-Marko Mihoievic, 45), 4-Alem Merlaic; 14-Damir Sadikovic, 16-Nikola Jelisic, 10-Samir Radovac (23-Smail Prevljak, 74); 2-Kerim Memiia, 15-Fedor Predragovic (19-Amar Rahmanovic, 45), 9-Armin Hodzic (capt.) (8-Milos Satara, 81)

Subs not used: 7-Dzenan Burekovic, 12-Vedran Kiosevski, 13-Milos Acimovic, 18-Omar Markovic, 20-Semir Music, 21-Branimir Odak, 22-Nemanja Trkulja

Head Coach: Darko Nestorovic

Stats Summary: USA / BIH
Shots: 8 / 14
Shots on Goal: 7 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 0 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Boyd Okwuonu (caution)                    55th minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution)                         63
BIH – Samir Radovac (caution)                     65
USA –Benji Joya (caution)                             71
BIH – Kerim Memiia (caution) 73

Referee – Edin Jakupovic
Assistant 1 – Sreten Udovicic
Assistant 2 – Senad Ibrisimbegovic
Fourth Official – Elvedin Topuzovic

Herzog Calls 18 Players for U-23’s First Training Camp of 2015

CHICAGO (Mar. 22, 2015) – U.S. Under-23  Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 18 players to Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina, for the U-23’s first training camp of 2015 as the team begins its qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

The team will train from March 23-26 and then face Bosnia’s U-23 National Team on Friday, March 27, in Tuzla, before travelling to face Denmark on Tuesday, March 31.                 

“We are about six months away from the Olympic qualifying tournament, and I think, for every single player, it’s a great chance and for every one of us on the staff a great opportunity. It starts right now with the first game in Bosnia,” said Herzog. “Every player has to show me that he wants to be part of this group, and that they understand how special it is to represent your country. We have an opportunity to build something special, and I hope everyone is as excited as I am.” 

The roster is laden with experience, as eight of the 18 players have were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team (Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, Wil Trapp). Gil, Trapp and Jordan Morris have also been capped at the senior team level.

This squad includes eight players that played a part in the U-23’s 5-1 win against the Bahamas last August, including Gil, Koroma Shams and Morris, who each scored in that match. Last time out in October, the U-23 squad fell 3-0 to Brazil in a friendly match that was part of a larger training camp held in Brasilia. 

Herzog has served as a Senior Men’s National Team assistant coach since 2011. This camp will be his first as head coach of the U-23 team. Herzog’s assistants include John Hackworth, who serves as head coach of the U-15 Boys’ National Team, MNT scout Matthias Hamann, and goalkeeper coach Memo Valencia.

Fans can follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. 

GOALKEEPERS (2): Charlie Horton (Cardiff City; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Ariel Lassiter (LA Galaxy II; Temecula, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; Leander, Texas)


  • In the last four Olympic cycles, nearly half of the players that appeared in qualifying or in the final tournament went on to appear for the Senior Team. The breakdown by cycle: 2000 (14), 2004 (13), 2008 (13), 2012 (9)
  • Major League Soccer contributes the most players, sending seven total to Europe. In addition, USL Pro and the NCAA send a pair each. The breakdown by country: United States (11), Germany (3), Mexico (3), England (2)
  • Luis Gil, Jordan Morris and Wil Trapp have all earnedone cap with the senior MNT since the 2014 FIFA World Cup
  • Eight of the 18 players called for U-23 camp were part of Tab Ramos’ 2013 U-20 World Cup squad: Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, and Trapp. The U-20 MNT played eventual tournament champion France to a 1-1 draw and also faced Spain and Ghana in group play. During the tournament in Turkey, Gil scored against Spain and O’Neill against Ghana. Gil started all three matches of the tournament while O’Neil started the final two
  • Eight players were also in attendance at last year’s U-23 October camp: Christian Dean, Alonso Hernandez, Charlie Horton, Morris, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Will Packwood, Mario Rodriguez, and Oscar Sorto
  • Seven of 18 players hail from the state of California, an additional three from Texas and two from Ohio


March 2015 is the curtain raiser on a busy cycle for the men’s side of the U.S. National Team program.

And USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will use the March friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland as prep for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, while also wearing his other hat as Technical Director as he helps oversee a busy time for the U.S. U-20 and U-23 MNT sides that will hold simultaneous European camps at the end of the month.

Beginning preparations for CONCACAF Olympic qualification in October, USMNT assistant coach Andi Herzog convenes his first camp in charge of the U-23 side ahead of games at Bosnia-Herzegovina (March 27) and Denmark (March 31). Meanwhile, having recently qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, U-20 head coach Tab Ramos will bring his team to England for a pair of matches against the England U-21s and Tottenham Hotspur U-21s.

“For the youngsters to look towards the U-20 World Cup is huge,” Klinsmann told “For the U-23s, we have to get them going in order to prepare for the qualifiers later this year towards the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Andi Herzog has his hands full with that group. For me and the Senior Team perspective, I’m looking at all these youngsters and thinking who can come through these periods and develop the fastest possible in order to make himself a strong competitor for the senior group. So this is a great time now, and we can’t wait to get these games going at the end of the month.”


 The balance has a telling diversity among the 62 players that have been summoned.

  • Twenty players representing 12 different MLS clubs have been called across the three rosters, while another 30 players from clubs in Germany (11), England (10) and Mexico (9) add to the bulk of the call-ups.
  • Nine of the 18 players called for U-23 camp were part of Tab Ramos’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad: Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, and Wil Trapp.
  • U-23 call-ups Luis Gil, Jordan Morris and Wil Trapp have also already played for the Senior National Team.
  • Five of the U-20 call-ups were part of the U.S. U-17 World Cup qualifying campaign in 2013: Jeff Caldwell, Conor Donovan, Junior Flores, Shaquell Moore and John Requejo.

With all three camps taking place at the same time, the understanding between the three coaches, all of whom worked together at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has been key as Klinsmann has continued to develop a structure that works not only for the senior team but helps develop players that will one day play for it.

“In terms of style of play, it’s the same approach that Jurgen has and what Tab Ramos has done with the U-20s,” Herzog said in regards to coaching the U-23s. “We all work together with the senior team. For this group, I want to have a team where there are a lot of variations. We want to be attack-minded, keep possession, and have the whole team proactively working to win the ball back as soon as possible.”

Though just beginning the U-23 cycle, with the previous team missing out on qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Herzog said the task of getting the team to Rio next year begins with his new side understanding the playing philosophy being handed down this initial camp.

“It’s a big goal, and I think it will be really important to start from the first session to get the players into this philosophy.”

Beyond ensuring a similar playing style, the understanding has perhaps been most important when figuring out how to balance three different rosters with players that could go between two different teams.

 “It’s all very clear,” Ramos told “Jurgen and I have had a conversation to make sure that we put all things in the right places as we’re moving forward. Obviously having three National Teams go to camp at the same time is not easy.  We don’t all get the players we need at times, and it’s not easy on the clubs because MLS doesn’t stop for the FIFA dates and we’re at times asking for a bunch of players from the same team. We try not to deplete any one club at one time so the conversations between Jurgen, Andi and me as he passes down the information have to be very clear. We’ve done that, we’re all on the same page and I think it’s going to go smoothly.”

A past member of U.S. U-17 and U-20 World Championship squads as well as the 2008 Olympic team, U.S. senior international Jozy Altidore spoke to the value of these experiences for players who are beginning to develop international careers.

“It’s great to be involved at these levels because you get exposed to different types of teams,” said Altidore. “You see early how competitive it is, and how good the up and coming players are. Even getting used to things like travel is valuable. Dealing with all the elements of being an international player helps you get used to it and it becomes less of an issue as you progress, because it doesn’t get any easier. All these things prepare you for what’s to come.”

Altidore joins Beijing 2008 teammates Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco for USMNT camp this month, while another six of the senior players called in have represented the U.S. at various youth World Cups or in qualifying.

“These are important experiences,” continued Altidore. “A lot of the things you see at that level can prepare you for when you make the jump to the senior team, so these guys should take it seriously and get the most of out of it.”

Photo Gallery: MNT's 2015 January Camp Retrospective

A retrospective look back through the photos of the MNT's month-long January Camp that began when head coach Jurgen Klinsmann summoned 23 players to U.S. Soccer's National Training Center in Carson, California, on Jan. 12. After a few departures and replacements the squad headed to Chile for its opening international friendly of 2015 before returning home to play Panama at StubHub Center. Along the way, the squad veterans were tasked with integrating a group of younger players who are learning what it means to compete at the full international level, while also preparing for the task of reassembling as the U-23 MNT throughout the year until qualifying begins for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

MNT Earns First Win of 2015, Shuts Out Panama 2-0 at StubHub Center

CARSON, California (Feb. 8, 2015) – Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey scored first-half goals and the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Panama 2-0 in the USA’s 2015 home opener in front of 20,271 spectators at StubHub Center. 

Dempsey joins Landon Donovan as the only MNT players to score 40 international goals. Nick Rimando and Sean Johnson split time in net for the clean sheet. 

It was the MNT’s first victory of the year, as well as the first win since a 1-0 decision against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3, 2014, in Prague. 

Perry Kitchen and Matt Hedges made their MNT debuts as second-half subs, and 10 players have now earned their first caps under Jurgen Klinsmann in the seven matches following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

Miguel Ibarra and Gyasi Zardes each earned their first starts. Zardes assisted the Dempsey goal. 

The USA had other goal scoring chances throughout the match to add to its lead. The best second-half opportunity came in the 60th minute when Bradley’s free kick found an unmarked Jermaine Jones in the middle of the box. Jones whipped a header toward the goal, but directly to Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. 

Five of the USA’s six shots were placed on goal, while two of Panama’s five shots were put on frame. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Michael Bradley, 27th minute: Just four minutes after a corner kick threatened the Panama net, Bradley delivered another one that found its way into the net. Bradley drove the corner from the left side toward the far right of the goal frame. Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo leapt to try and get a glove on it, but instead the ball went directly into the far right side of the frame, where Jozy Altidore also was close by. USA 1, PAN 0 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes), 37th minute: Zardes did the setup work, intercepting Panama’s Luis Ovalle in midfield and dribbling centrally before sending a well-placed through ball that split two Panama defenders. Dempsey timed his run perfectly, took a touch and a leap to elude Jaime Penedo and shot right-footed before Harold Cummings could converge. USA 2, PAN 0 (SEE GOAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Nick Rimando, 14th minute: Panama threatened with a cross from the right side to the left of the box, and without a USA defender in the vicinity of Panama midfielder Eric Davis, Rimando was forced to rush off of his line and block the shot. 

PAN – Anibal Godoy, 23rd minute: Michael Bradley took the corner kick from the left side, a bending ball into the six-yard box that likely was headed for goal. Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo had a difficult time getting to the ball, but Godoy headed it out of harm’s way at the near post. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Michael Bradley scored his 13th-career goal. He is now tied for 13th on the all-time MNT goal scoring list with Marcelo Balboa and Hugo Perez. Next up on the list is 12th-place Carlos Bocanegra, who scored 14 goals from 2001-12.
  • Clint Dempsey joins Landon Donovan as the only U.S. MNT players to score 40 international goals. Donovan scored 57 times in 157 games and Dempsey has 40 goals in 112 matches.
  • Dempsey is now tied for sixth all-time in career appearances with Claudio Reyna, who earned 112 caps from 1994-2006. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT faces Denmark at 3 p.m. ET on March 25 in Arhus.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas, Univision Deportes Network
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • Before the match, a moment of remembrance was held for former 1950 FIFA World Cup goalkeeper Frank Borghi, who passed away last week. The National Soccer Hall of Famer manned the net in the USA’s famous 1-0 victory against England in Brazil.
  • The USA is now 12-1-2 all-time against Panama and has won the past six meetings.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s lineup included Nick Rimando returning to goal and a defensive back four with Brek Shea on the left, DeAndre Yedlin on the right and Jermaine Jones and Matt Besler at center back. Jones earned his 50th-career cap.
  • In the midfield of the USA’s 4-2-3-1, Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley played in the holding role, with Miguel Ibarra, captain Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes above them, left to right. Ibarra and Zardes each earned their first MNT starts in just their second appearances. It was a familiar setting for Zardes who plies his professional trade with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy at StubHub Center.
  • Striker Jozy Altidore played up front.
  • Goalkeeper Sean Johnson replaced Rimando to open the second half. It was Johnson’s first appearance since a 1-0 shutout victory against Costa Rica on July 16, 2013, at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • Also to open the second half, Chris Wondolowski entered for Altidore who was held out for the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons (right hamstring soreness).
  • Two players made their MNT debuts in the 72nd minute. Perry Kitchen replaced Diskerud and Matt Hedges replaced Yedlin, who had to leave the match with a right knee sprain in the 68th minute
  • Lee Nguyen took the place of Ibarra in the 79th minute.
  • Luis Gil joined the action in the 81st minute for Dempsey. 

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: Feb. 8, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 1 p.m. PT
Attendance: 20,271
Weather: 72 degrees, partly cloudy 

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

USA – Michael Bradley                                  27th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey (Gyasi Zardes)           37 

USA: 1-Nick Rimando (12-Sean Johnson, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin (3-Matt Hedges, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler, 11-Brek Shea; 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Mix Diskerud (15-Perry Kitchen, 72); 20-Gyasi Zardes, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (14-Luis Gil, 81), 19-Miguel Ibarra (7-Lee Nguyen, 79); 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Chris Wondolowski, 46)
Subs Not Used: 6-Wil Trapp, 16-Shane O'Neill, 21-Dillon Serna
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann 

PAN: 1-Jaime Penedo (capt.); 2-Leonel Parris, 5-Fidel Escobar (23-Chin Hormechea, 46), 3-Harold Cummings, 17-Luis Ovalle (11-Hécgar Murillo, 46); 8-Marcos Sánchez (16-Yairo Glaize Yau, 46), 13-Alfredo Stephens (22-Ismael Díaz, 55), 20-Aníbal Godoy, 15-Éric Davis; 7-Blas Pérez (21-Ricardo Buitrago, 56), 9-Rolando Blackburn (4-Luis Pereira, 63)
Subs Not Used: 6-Michael Amir Murillo, 10-Gabriel Torres, 12-José Calderón, 19-Jhamal Rodríguez
Head Coach: Hernan Dario Gomez 

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 6 / 5
Shots on Goal: 5 / 2
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 23 / 15
Offside: 0 / 3 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Michael Bradley (caution)       38th minute
PAN – Luis Ovalle (caution)               40
PAN – Anibal Godoy (caution)           59
USA – Chris Wondolowski (caution)  65

Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)                                          
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)                                      
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)                                            
Fourth Official: Oscar Moncada (HON) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Michael Bradley

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.