In a weekend where Champions League and Europe League spots awaited clinching, where promotions lay for the taking, and where streaks sought to be continued, there to respond were members of the U.S. Men’s National Team who made an impact with their clubs.
Fabian Johnson and his club Borussia Monchengladbach made history this weekend. Entering just one win away from clinching a group-phase spot in next season’s Champions League, Johnson started and gave ‘Gladbach 78 strong minutes, which helped propel the Foals to capture the needed victory by a 2-0 score line against Werder Bremen. This marks the first time ‘Gladbach has punched a ticket to the Champions League group stage. The Foals have not lost a league match in which Johnson has started since the winter break, going 10-0-2 in that stretch.
Staying in Germany, Alfredo Morales and his squad FC Ingolstadt had an opportunity to secure first place in the 2. Bundesliga and promotion, needing a win against RB Leipzig. Leipzig got on the board early, scoring in the game’s fourth minute. In the 39th Morales came on, and just before the halftime whistle Ingolstadt leveled at 1-1 with a penalty kick. In the 76th minute Morales assisted on the goal that proved to be the game winner. In the end, he helped hoist the 2. Bundesliga silverware that declared Ingolstadt was headed to the top division.
Moving north, Aron Johannsson and his Dutch club AZ Alkmaar entered the weekend tied with Feyenoord for the Eredivisie’s third-place position and the Europa League spot that goes along with it. Johannsson was clearly set on AZ taking that position as he scored a pair of goals, including a full bicycle. Johannsson also added an assist in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-1 win over Excelsior. With Feyenoord losing, AZ are officially in the Europa League for next season.
In MLS, Clint Dempsey continued his point-scoring tear for Seattle Sounders FC. Dempsey again contributed to the Seattle attack, setting up Chad Barrett for what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 2-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In doing so, Dempsey extended his streak of recording at least a point to 10 games, which is the fourth-longest streak of its kind in MLS history and the longest since 1998. Dempsey has at least one point in 18 of Seattle’s last 19 games and is tied for the league-lead in goals (7) and assists (5).
In Mexico, Ventura Alvarado and Club America entered the second leg of the Liga MX quarterfinals trailing Pachuca, 3-2. Alvarado came on in the 59th minute of a match packed with excitement and drama that included seven goals, two red cards – both for Club America and the first leaving them a man short after 33 minutes – and last-minute strikes. Ultimately, Club America lost 4-3 at home and 7-5 on aggregate.
Michael Bradley, Chris Wondolowski and Juan Agudelo were a trio of other MNT players that made a mark last weekend, each scoring a goal. Agudelo was a difference maker for the New England Revolution scoring on a diving header to give his team the lead against Toronto FC. Michael Bradley, his MNT teammate, but opponent in this matchup, responded with a game-tying goal for Toronto. Bradley’s was an exhibition of individual dominance. The midfielder dribbled through a host of New England Revolution defenders and finished in the lower left corner of the goal. In San Jose, Chris Wondolowski directed in a header in his team’s 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC. The goal was the 99th of his career, which ranks him ninth overall in MLS history.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 15, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico by a score line of 2-0 behind goals from Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo in front of a sell-out crowd of 64,369. The match was presented by AT&T. The win extended the USA’s unbeaten streak against Mexico to a record six games (3-0-3), pushed the U.S. MNT’s current unbeaten streak on home soil to 21 games (18-0-3) and marked the ninth USA victory against Mexico by that familiar score line and eighth since 2000.
Twenty-year-old Morris, a sophomore at Stanford University, put the U.S. ahead after running onto a deflected ball and finishing under a sliding goalkeeper in the 49th minute.
In the 65th minute, Juan Agudelo replaced Morris, and on a Michael Bradley assist doubled the American lead. It was Agudelo’s first appearance since he last came on as a sub in the U.S.’s game against Ukraine on March 5, 2014 and his first goal since he scored against Argentina on March 26, 2011.
The result pushed the USA’s all time record against Mexico to 18-32-14. The U.S. MNT will be in Europe next time it convenes, facing off with the world’s No. 6-ranked team, Netherlands, in Amsterdam on June 5. The match kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and Univision Deportes Network.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jordan Morris, 49th Minute: Michael Bradley played the ball into the middle of the Mexico defense to Gyasi Zardes whose return pass deflected off a Mexico defender into the stride of Morris. On his first MNT start, Morris took a touch and slotted a shot under sliding Mexico goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo for his first international goal. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Juan Agudelo (Michael Bradley), 72nd minute: Minutes after entering for previous goal scorer Jordan Morris, Agudelo expertly brought down a long ball from Michael Bradley at the top of the box. He cut to his right, got past his defender and blasted a shot that squeezed between Saucedo and the left post to double the USA lead. USA 2, MEX 0 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MEX – Cirilo Saucedo, 26th minute: Michael Bradley played a dangerous free kick into the box where Gyasi Zardes and Jordan Morris were converging. Saucedo jumped into traffic and was able to deflect the ball out of danger.
USA - Rimando (Save), 42nd minute: Mexico captain Luis Montes quickly brought the ball down from the right side. Near the top of the box Montes made a quick cut toward the center and hooked a left-footed shot towards the goal. The ball took one spinning hop before Rimando secured it.
USA - Yarbrough (Save), 58th minute: Erick Torres took a pass off of a Mexican counter and found himself in a spot with an opportunity to score, but he was unable to put a clean hit on the ball and Yarbrough simply scooped up the shot.
- Michael Bradley inched closer to the century cap mark with his 96th appearance tonight. The appearance pushed his him past Brian McBride and into a tie with Alexi Lalas for the 16th on the U.S. MNT’s all-time list.
- Bradley’s assist was the 13th of his USA career and ties him for eighth all-time alongside DaMarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey.
- Ventura Alvarado and 20-year-old Jordan Morris made their first starts for the USA.
- In his first start, Morris scored his first international goal.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT faces Netherlands, on June 5 at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Amsterdam Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- The U.S. MNT began the game in a diamond 4-4-2 formation
- In his first action with the U.S. MNT of 2015, Kyle Beckerman made the start at midfield. It was his first appearance since he started for the U.S. against Ireland on November 18, 2014.
- It was the first time since the World Cup game against Germany on June 26, 2014 that Michael Bradley and Beckerman have started together.
- Bradley has played every minute of the USA's five matches so far in 2015. In addition to Bradley, goalkeeper Nick Rimando is the only other player to start all five games. Two other MNT players have appeared in all five games in 2015: Gyassi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin
- In his first appearance since he was subbed on in the second half of the game against Ukraine on March 5, 2014, Juan Agudelo came on for the game’s first goal scorer Jordan Morris and netted his third career goal for the U.S. MNT. It was his first goal with the National Team since scoring against Argentina on March 26, 2011.
- Texas native Greg Garza started the game at left back. He played in the last five games of 2014 starting three following the World Cup and also started in the match against Denmark on March 31, 2015
- Joe Corona made his first start for the U.S. since the Sept. 3, 2014 match in Prague vs. the Czech Republic. It was his first appearance since the game against Honduras on Oct.14, 2014.
- Corona and Garza both started on the left side for the U.S. The pair are teammates in Liga MX, with Club Tijuana.
- Omar Gonzalez made his first start since the 2014 FIFA World Cup match against Belgium and his first appearance since coming on in the 62nd minute of the USA’s October 10, 2014 match against Ecuador.
- Michael Bradley recorded his third-straight start as captain. He also wore the armband for the MNT on March 25 against Denmark and March 31 versus Switzerland.
- Kyle Beckerman left the game in the 63rd minute with a left thigh contusion.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico, Presented by AT&T
Date: April 15, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Attendance: 64,369 (sellout)
Weather: 73 degrees; Indoor
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Jordan Morris 49th minute
USA – Juan Agudelo (Michael Bradley) 72
USA: 1-Nick Rimando (22-William Yarbrough, 46); 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 19-Ventura Alvarado, 14-Greg Garza (11-Brek Shea, 46); 15-Kyle Beckerman (21-Perry Kitchen, 63), 10-Mix Diskerud (6-Brad Evans, 80), 7-Joe Corona (9-Miguel Ibarra, 46), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.); 20-Gyasi Zardes, 8-Jordan Morris (17-Juan Agudelo, 65)
Subs Not Used: 5-Matt Besler, 13-Lee Nguyen, 16-Julian Green, 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
MEX: 12-Cirilo Saucedo; 21-Hiram Mier (3-Oswaldo Alanis, 46), 2-Francisco Rodriguez (8-Luis Rodriguez, 60), 13-Carlos Salcedo (4-Julio Cesar Dominguez, 46); 7-Efrain Velarde, 17-Mario Osuna, 18-Carlos Esquivel, 15-Gerardo Flores (6-George Corral, 67); 10-Luis Montes (capt.) (5-Antonio Rios, 79), 9-Erick Torres, 20-Eduardo Herrera (19-Marco Bueno, 83)
Subs Not Used: 1-Jonathan Orozco, 16-Adrian Aldrete
Head coach: Miguel Herrera
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 6 / 13
Shots on Goal: 4 / 3
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 13 / 13
Offside: 1 / 0
Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Leonel Leal (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Octavio Jara (CRC)
4th Official: Walter Quesada (CRC)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Ventura Alvarado
- Started all four U.S. games in group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
- A finalist for 2012 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year
- Started every game in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and added a goal and two assists
- Game-tying goal against Slovenia in the World Cup kept the USA’s chances of advancing alive, helping him earn both ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors and a nomination for Best Goal of 2010
- A finalist for the 2010 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year, he is the fourth youngest U.S. player in history to reach 50 caps
- Started in 15 of 18 qualifiers in the 2010 cycle, finishing tied for second in goals scored with five, including two game-winners
- Featured as a starter in the first two group games of the 2008 Olympics, going 90 minutes against Japan and the Netherlands
- Named U.S. Soccer’s 2007 Young Male Athlete of the Year for his efforts for both club and country, including a part in the USA’s Gold Cup winning run as well as a run through the FIFA U-20 World Cup
- His final year at Heerenveen was a career year by any count as he scored 21 goals in all competitions
Date of Birth
Jul 31, 1987
Manhattan Beach, Calif.