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Gallery: U.S. MNT Announces Return to St. Louis for World Cup Qualifier

Photos from the U.S. Soccer press conference with the St. Louis Cardinals to announce the return of the Men's National Team to St. Louis for its opening World Cup Qualifying match of the 2018 cycle. The match will be played at Busch Stadium on Nov. 13 against the winner of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines-Aruba Third Round qualifying match. 

St. Louis - A History of the USMNT in the Gateway to the West

The U.S. MNT returns to one of the country’s soccer hot beds when it opens 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ historic soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last paying to a 0-0 draw against Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997.

What made St. Louis such a bastion for soccer in the United States?

Clubs from the city made an early mark on the U.S. Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup), with Ben Millers first lifting the Dewar Trophy in 1920. Scullin Steel followed up two years later before Stix, Baer and Fuller (later known as St. Louis Central Breweries) went to four straight finals from 1932-1935, winning all but the first.

Much of St. Louis’ continuing soccer strength came from the city’s representation on the U.S. team that went to the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five of the 11 players that appeared in the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against England hailed from St. Louis: goalkeeper Frank Borghi, defenders Charlie Colombo and Harry Keough and midfielders Gino Pariani and Frank Wallace.

In 1948, Borghi, Colombo and Pariani all won National Challenge Cup titles with Simpkins Ford, while Wallace joined them to win the title in 1950. Keough would taste domestic cup glory of his own, winning with St. Louis Kutis in 1957.

Upon retirement as a player, Keough wrote another chapter in the city’s soccer history when he became the head coach of St. Louis University. With five NCAA tournament championships already in the trophy case, Keough guided the Billikens to another championship in his first season in 1967. He’d go on to lead the school to four more tournament titles in five years from 1969-1973.

One of the top players in U.S. MNT history, Brian McBride attended the school from 1990-1993, before going on to play in three World Cups and build a famous club career, most notably with Fulham FC in the English Premier League. Other World Cup participants that hail from St. Louis include Mike Sorber (1994) and Brad Davis (2014).

Current U.S. MNT defender Tim Ream, as well as former U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Klein and Pat Noonan also earned their soccer stripes coming up in the Gateway to the West.

Though it’s been a while since the MNT’s last appearance in St. Louis, the team has been successful in the Mound City, going 5-1-2 all-time with the only defeat being a World Cup qualifying loss to Canada on July 6, 1957. Six of the eight matches played in St. Louis have been World Cup qualifiers, with the MNT earning two wins (against Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a draw (against El Salvador) in the team’s successful campaign to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. 

MNT Falls To Panama on PKs in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Third Place Match

CHESTER, Pennsylvania (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was defeated by Panama 3-2 in penalty kicks in the Gold Cup Third Place match Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. 

Trailing 1-0 at the tail end of the second half, substitutes DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey combined to level the match, 1-1. 

As the clock continued ticked away, both sides attacked and generated chances, but none found the back of the net, and after an additional 30 minutes of extra time, the match was off to penalty kicks. 

In PKs, the U.S. converted its two opening penalties, but then saw a miss and two consecutive saves by Panama ‘keeper Luis Mejia, which made Harold Cummings’s conversion in the fourth round the winning kick. With the result, the MNT finished fourth at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Later this year, the MNT will face the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – either Jamaica or Mexico – in a one-game playoff for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The playoff pits the winner of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups against one another for a spot at the tournament in Russia the year before the World Cup. The USA last featured at the Confederations Cup in 2009 when the team beat then No. 1-ranked Spain and advanced to the Final against Brazil. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN– Roberto Nurse (Ronaldo Blackburn) 55th minute: Roberto Blackburn slipped a pass up to Nurse, who attacked U.S. defenders Tim Ream and John Brooks and pushed into the box. Nurse sidestepped Brooks, freeing himself to curl a shot around Guzan and into the net for the game’s first goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL) 

USA – Clint Dempsey (DeAndre Yedlin) 70th minute:  Michael Bradley looped a long ball to Yedlin, who chested it down in the box, took a turn and sent it across to Dempsey on a late run. The defense and goalkeeper had collapsed on Yedlin, which freed Dempsey to bury his seventh goal of the tournament to level the game. USA 1, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL)

Penalty Shootout:
USA-Aron Johansson: Johansson sent the first shot right down Broadway and in for a score. USA 1, PAN 0
PAN-Roman Torres: Torres responded with a well struck goal into the top right corner. USA 1, PAN 1
USA-Clint Dempsey: In what was signature style for the month of July, having already chipped two goalies on PK’s, Dempsey did so again to put the U.S. ahead. USA 2, PAN 1
PAN-Abdiel Arroyo: Arroyo stutter stepped and blasted a shot low and hard by a diving Guzan. USA 2, PAN 2
USA-Fabian Johnson: Johnson came up third for the U.S. and sent his kick over the crossbar. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Armando Cooper: Cooper rolled his attempt and Guzan dove to his left and corralled it to keep the shootout level. USA, 2, PAN 2
USA-Michael Bradley: The U.S. captain sent a shot hard to the left, but Mejia guessed right for Panama and deflected it away. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Harold Cummings: Cummings sent a shot to the left, Guzan dove and got a hand to it, but the ball powered into the net. USA 2, PAN 3
USA-DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley blasted a shot toward the right side of the goal, but Mejia was headed that way, and he made a diving save to end the game in Panama’s favor. USA 2, PAN 3 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Time Ream 36th minute: Armando Cooper intercepted an errant MNT pass and countered with pace down the center of the field. He attacked the box, beat a defender and then slid a shot past Brad Guzan towards the back post. Fortunately for the U.S., Tim Ream was there, booting the ball off the goal line and out of bounds for a corner kick.

USA – Fabian Johnson 54 minute: From a corner kick, Panama sent a ball in that forward Ronaldo Blackburn headed sharply at goal. Fabian Johnson was there to clear it off the goal line to safety.

USA – Brad Guzan (save) 81st minute: A Panama cross from the outside on the left found the head of Ronaldo Blackburn, who directed it firmly toward the back post. Brad Guzan fully extended and just reached the ball with his left hand, pawing it down before taking another dive to smother it.

USA– Brad Guzan (save) 108st minute: Roberto Nurse was freed on the left side for an attack at goal. As he wound up and fired off a shot, DeAndre Yedlin slid in and deflected it. The Ball continued to spin at goal, but Guzan was ready for it and knocked it away on a dive.

Coming up Next: #USAvPER
Location: RFK Stadium – Washington D.C.
Date: September 4, 2015
Opponent: Peru 

Milestone Watch:

  • Clint Dempsey’s game-tying goal was his seventh of the competition, which is the most-ever by an American player in a single Gold Cup tournament.
  • Dempsey’s 12 Gold Cup goals tie him with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alves for second on the tournament’s all-time list behind only Landon Donovan (18).

Additional Notes:

  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to his starting XI from the team that began Wednesday’s Semifinal against Jamaica: Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski all came into the lineup.
  • Corona earned his first start of the tournament. 
  • Brad Guzan and Michael Bradley were the only two U.S. players to start all six matches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
  • The match was the U.S. MNT’s third in a Gold Cup third place match and marked the first time the team had not won the game (2-1-0)
  • The U.S. MNT record against Panama dropped to 12-1-4 (5-1-3 in Gold Cup games)
  • The MNT is now 3-2-3 all-time in matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Behind The Crest: Ep. 4 - #USMNT at the Gold Cup

After topping Group A, the U.S. MNT travels to Baltimore before kicking off the knockout stage against Cuba. The team takes advantage of three allowed roster changes at this stage and DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona, and Alan Gordan join the team with five days to prepare for the quarterfinal match.

The Long and Winding Road

It’s been a long way back for Tim Ream.

The former Saint Louis University defender found instant success during his first two years of professional soccer with the New York Red Bulls and started to gain a foothold in the mix for the U.S. Men’s National Team following the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

After his second season in New York and carrying six U.S. caps, Ream parlayed an offseason training stint into a full-time transfer to English side Bolton Wanderers in January 2012. He’s largely been a staple on the back line with the club ever since, even winning the side’s Player of the Year award the past two seasons.

Despite success in the English Championship, at times Ream has found caps hard to come by since the transfer. Prior to last summer’s FIFA World Cup, he appeared just once under U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann, coming on as a 72nd minute substitute in a 1-0 friendly loss to Ecuador on October 11, 2011.

Since the World Cup, his recently strong play at Bolton has seen Ream earn his way back with the National Team, playing in four of the team’s five friendlies to end 2014. In last week’s Gold Cup match against Haiti, Ream earned his first start in more than four years, partnering with Omar Gonzalez to help the U.S. earn its only clean sheet of the group stage.

“It felt very good,” Ream told ussoccer.com about his return. “After four years and the last start being sort of forgettable in the second game of the 2011 Gold Cup it felt satisfying. It’s always nice to get extended minutes and be able to start a game.”


Against Guatemala on July 3, Tim Ream (15) saw his first extended minutes of 2015 with the USMNT, coming on as a second half sub.

Speaking to the difficulty of earning a place during a week-long international date, Ream said he appreciated the extended opportunity that this year’s Gold Cup is providing him to prove himself.

“Being here for the five weeks with this group of guys is fun,” he added. “In the short camps, it’s hard to catch up with guys and get a good feel, but now that we’re all here it’s going well and there’s a bit more consistency.”

With first-choice center back John Brooks suspended for Saturday’s Quarterfinal match against Cuba, Ream has another opportunity to start at center back, with Klinsmann’s replacement choice falling between him, Gonzalez or Ventura Alvarado.

“You’re always looking to get a chance. Whether it’s myself or Omar stepping in against Cuba, we’re going to train the same way we always do and push and compete for that spot. Whether or not I’m starting, I’m going to keep pushing and hopefully my time comes.”

“With the group that’s here, there’s so much competition and everyone is starting for their club team. You can make a case for everyone here playing games and getting starts, but with 23 guys it doesn’t happen that way. You have to come here and push for your spot and embrace the competition with the other guys.”

A cultured centerback who displays good instincts and skill passing out of the back, Ream has steadily built his resume in the last few years in England. After a career-high six caps in 2011, Ream made his comeback onto the senior team in 2014 after a three-year stint away from the National Team. His performances at Bolton have earned him back-to-back Player of the Year honors for the club, adding leadership and versatility to a growing list of qualities. One of the most consistent performers in MLS in 2010 amongst rookies and veterans alike, he started all 30 games for New York Red Bulls and helped the team to a regular season Eastern Conference title. Ream capped off his stellar rookie campaign with a starting appearance for the USA in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town in November 2010.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Collected a career-high six caps for the U.S. in 2011, including two starts in the CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Made his first U.S. appearance when he paired with Clarence Goodson in central defense in the 2010 Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Voted Bolton Player of the Year by the supporters for two consecutive seasons
  • Started 33 games in all competitions for the New York Red Bulls in 2010, the most on the team, and was a finalist for the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Awar
2015: Named to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup roster... Has played in two games for the MNT this year...2014: Played in four games for the U.S. in 2014 ... Made comeback appearance with the MNT after three years away during the second half of the USA's 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague ... That was his first game since the U.S. MNT’s 1-0 loss to Ecuador on Oct. 11, 2011 ... 2011: Reached career highs for both games played (6) and games started (5) … Played the full 90 minutes in each game he started, including the U.S.’s first two matches in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, against Canada and Panama … 2010: Started in his first ever call up to the national team, helping the U.S. to a 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town … First Appearance: Nov. 17, 2010 vs. South Africa … First Goal: None.
2014/15: Voted Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season … Played in 42 league matches, recording four assists … 2013/14:Bolton Wanderers fans voted him fans player of the year ... Signed a new three-year contract with Bolton on July.6 ...  2012/2012: Signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Bolton Wanderers on Jan. 26 ... Made his debut during Bolton's 2-0 FA Cup win at Millwall on Feb. 18 ... Made Premiere League debut a week later in Bolton's 3-0 loss at Chelsea ... 2011:Started all 31 games in which he featured for the Red Bulls in the regular season and playoffs … Added an assist in the 2-2 tie against the New England Revolution on Aug. 20 … 2010: A finalist for the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Award … Ended his first professional season starting all 30 league matches and helped New York capture its second regular season Eastern Conference title … Made his professional debut on March 27, 2010, vs. the Chicago Fire … On Sept. 11, 2010, Ream scored his first professional goal against the Colorado Rapids … Drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft… 2010: A finalist for the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Award… Ended his first professional season starting all 30 league matches for New York and helped New York capture its second regular season Eastern Conference title … Made his professional debut on March 27, 2010 vs. the Chicago Fire … On Sept. 11, 2010 Ream scored his first professional goal against the Colorado Rapids … Drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by New York Red Bulls.

College: 

Played four seasons at Saint Louis University … Earned the 2009 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award after contributing a career-high six goals and five assists while helping the team to post seven shutouts … Was a NSCAA Third Team All-American selection as a senior …. Featured in 82 games during his career, missing just one match … Was a three-time NSCAA First Team All-Mid Atlantic Region selection.

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