“Before the game in the locker room, you looked around and you looked in everybody’s eyes and you knew that everybody was really excited to play; it was a
big game. We stepped on the field and for 90 minutes were committed to do whatever it took for each other.”
So spoke a 21-year-old Michael Bradley in the aftermath of his two-goal, Man of the Match performance against Mexico in the USA’s first match of the 2009 Hexagonal.
Bradley, then an enterprising young midfielder for German Bundesliga climbers Borussia Monchengladbach, had just spurred the U.S. Men’s National Team to its sixth “Dos-A-Cero” victory against arch rival Mexico since the turn of the millennium and its third straight in World Cup Qualifying matches at Columbus Crew Stadium.
In the face of rainy, blustery conditions, a sell-out crowd arrived that night to lend boisterous support to the Men’s National Team, which needed a big save from goalkeeper Tim Howard on Giovanni Dos Santos from point-blank range to survive a nervous opening to the match.
Once the USA found its rhythm however, the team began to take control, finding space down the flanks for the overlapping runs of outside backs Heath Pearce and Frankie Hejduk. On the half-hour mark, Clint Dempsey pounced on a loose ball in the Mexico box to draw a brave stop from goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, before Howard was called into action at the other end as the game opened up with the break approaching.
It was at that critical stage, Bradley drew first blood. A barnstorming run from local, Columbus Crew favorite Hejduk earned the USA a corner that DeMarcus Beasley sent curling toward the back post for Landon Donovan to head back into the mixer. As the ball pinged around in front of Mexico’s net, Bradley was first to stick out a boot and knock the ball into the goal and the USA into the lead.
On the other side of half time, the match, which was a civil affair on the whole, took a nasty turn just after the hour mark. In the wake of his team’s best scoring chance of the game, Mexico center back Rafael Marquez made a reckless, studs-up challenge on Howard when the American goalkeeper ventured to claim a cross into the middle of his penalty area. As the ensuing flash point roiled around him, referee Carlos Batres brandished Marquez with a straight red card, bringing to an end the Mexico captain’s evening and his team’s chances of drawing back into the match.
From that point, the USA methodically closed out the game before Bradley hammered home the final nail in the coffin. Two minutes into added time, Jozy Altidore, playing in the first Hexagonal match of his career, sent Donovan free down Mexico’s right flank. With a pair of defenders closing in, Donovan smartly held the ball up and found the late run of Bradley, who took one touch before blasting a dipping drive beneath Sanchez from 25 yards out.
“I think he was fantastic aside from the goals. He was up and down the field, side to side, steaming into tackles, winning balls, collecting second balls , winning balls without fouling, which is important; he did everything right,” said Howard of his center midfielder outside the stadium after the victory. “We all trust in the relationship we have with Michael as a teammate.”
In the ensuing matches of the Hexagonal, the U.S. MNT went on to earn a 6-2-2 record and finish atop the CONCACAF standings in the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Fan HQ Open from Sept. 6-8 with a Range of Activities Including Viewing Party for USA-Costa Rica and Frankie Hejduk Challenge Cup Futsal Event
CHICAGO (Aug. 27, 2013) – As part of the effort to energize the fans from Columbus and 49 states that will converge on the city in advance of the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico, presented by AT&T, U.S. Soccer will set up Fan Headquarters (#FanHQ) from Sept. 6-8 at the Easton Town Center (160 Easton Town Center).
Opening its doors Friday, Sept. 6, U.S. Soccer HQ will host daily activities including the taping of “Inside the Crew” (Friday) and the Frankie Hejduk podcast (Saturday). There will be trivia contests and giveaways every day, and U.S. Soccer merchandise will be available on site.
That evening, Official U.S. Soccer Bar Fado Irish Pub will host a viewing party for the USA-Costa Rica match that kicks off at 10 p.m. ET from San Jose, Costa Rica. Join fellow fans and local celebrities to watch as the United States seeks its first away victory against Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying.
In recognition of the Snowclasico from March 22 when the USA defeated Costa Rica in blizzard-like conditions in Denver, fans are encouraged to wear their best “snow gear” to Fado. Prizes will be awarded to the best dressed, and Fado will be serving snow cones and popsicles throughout the buildup to the Sept. 6 game. Additionally, U.S. Soccer will bring back its popular “bar squares” game that debuted in Seattle.
The centerpiece of the Headquarters will be the futsal court, a five-a-side field located in the Town Square. The court will be open to the public for pick-up games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, U.S. Soccer will hold the Frankie Hejduk Challenge Cup, a futsal tournament in which eight teams have been invited to compete for the right to play against a team led by Hejduk.
The HQ will also be the site of several educational opportunities throughout the weekend, including a futsal coaching symposium.
A full schedule of all the activities is posted on ussoccer.com.
The U.S. resumes 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against Costa Rica on Sept. 6 in San Jose (beIN SPORT and ESPN Deportes Radio, 10 p.m. ET). Four days later, a sold-out crowd will watch USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio.
The United States currently sits in first place in the Final Round of qualifying, collecting 13 points from six matches. Along with Jamaica, the U.S. is joined by Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama competing in the 10-game round-robin Final Round. The top three teams in the Hexagonal automatically advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place finisher will contest a two-game playoff against Oceania region winner New Zealand.
The U.S. is riding a record-setting 12-match winning streak that began June 2 with a 4-3 victory against then second-ranked Germany in the Centennial Celebration Match and includes three wins in World Cup Qualifying and six straight victories en route to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship.
Cunningham Gets First International Goal
Castillo Earns First U.S. Men’s National Team Cap as Second-Half Substitution
U.S. Awaits 2010 FIFA World Cup Draw on Dec. 4
AARHUS, Denmark (Nov. 18, 2009) – Three quick second half goals by Denmark canceled out a first half goal by Jeff Cunningham and provided the Danes with a 3-1 victory against the U.S in their final match of 2009.
Cunningham capitalized on a Danish mistake for the match’s first goal in the 26th minute, but three substitutes made immediate impacts by scoring for Denmark in the first 10 minutes after the break.
“I thought the first half tonight was solid. We stayed organized and got an opportunistic goal," U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley said.
The match was the second in five days in Europe as the U.S. begins their preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and second straight against a fellow World Cup qualifier. The U.S. was one of only five teams to play two fellow World Cup qualified opponents on the final two international matchdays of 2009.
The United States concludes 2009 as the top team in CONCACAF World Cup qualification, besting rival Mexico by one point at the top of the standings. The U.S. also reached the final of a FIFA international tournament for the first time in their history, defeating No. 1 ranked Spain in the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup before eventually falling 3-2 to Brazil in the championship match in South Africa. The following month, a younger and less experienced U.S. team marched through the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament, reaching the final for the sixth time.
The U.S. now awaits the draw on Dec. 4 in South Africa to find out their group opponents for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which you can follow on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. ET or via Drawtracker on ussoccer.com.
“Two-thousand and nine was still an excellent year,” said Bradley. “The main job was to secure qualification for South Africa next June. Today Denmark picked up the pressure early in the second half and the six minute stretch really teaches us some lessons in terms of our reactions and our ability when a team really comes after us. That's something we can really look at closely and try to use down the road.”
Similar to the match against Slovakia, Bradley tapped into the depth of the U.S. player pool without the likes of Landon Donovan, Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Howard. After making his first-ever appearance at center back for the U.S. on Saturday against Slovakia, Jonathan Spector again partnered with Carlos Bocanegra in the middle of defense. With Howard staying in England to nurse a foot injury, Brad Guzan again started in goal, while veteran Frankie Hejduk started at right back, and up top Cunningham earned his first start for the U.S. in four years.
A trio of players were also added to the roster since the game against Slovakia with the Houston Dynamo duo of Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden getting the starting nod, while Tigres defender Edgar Castillo, who earned his first call-up to national team camp, came on as a substitution in the 61st minute.
Despite playing Denmark five previous times, this was the team’s first game in the Scandinavian nation and Denmark capitalized on an energized crowd to get the first good chance of the match. After a foul by Benny Feilhaber on the right side of the pitch, Jakob Poulsen quickly took the free kick and dropped it in behind the U.S. defense for an onrushing Jesper Grønkjær. The forward was in a full sprint with Hejduk on his back and could not put his shot on frame, firing the volley over the crossbar from eight yards out.
The U.S. responded with their own attack, earning a free kick in the sixth minute. Holden’s cross didn’t find a teammate and the clearance was passed out to Daniel Jensen, but Feilhaber stepped in to strip the ball away. Taking one touch towards the box, the midfielder shot hard towards the near post, but Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen dived to his left and pushed the shot aside.
The next 20 minutes saw probing attacks up and down the field by both teams, but the slick pitch made final shots hard to come by.
The U.S. struck first in the 26th minute from the foot of Cunningham, punishing the Danish defense for a mistake in their end. Sørensen had possession and looked to pass it out to his left back, but neglected to see the MLS Golden Boot winner lurking nearby. Pouncing on the casual pass with his first touch, Cunningham took one more towards the top of the box before letting fly with a left-footed shot that beat the goalkeeper to the near post.
Cunningham’s goal was his first international strike, making him the ninth player this year to get his first goal with the national team and equaling a team record set in 1993. He’s also the 21st different player to score in 2009, setting a new record for the Men’s National Team.
Denmark head coach Morten Olsen made three substitutions to start the second half, bringing on Johan Absalonsen, William Kvist Jørgensen and Søren Rieks. The change paid dividends immediately, as Absalonsen pulled Denmark even in the 47th minute. Receiving a high cross into the top of the box behind the U.S. defense, the forward collected and turned towards the endline on the right side. Holding off Spector, the Dane got a clean shot past Guzan and inside the near post.
Five minutes later the home side took the lead, this time through Rieks. Denmark’s attack down the left side found Absalonsen with space. Turning towards goal and entering the box, the striker drew the defenders towards him—leaving Rieks open on the back post. With Absalonsen sliding the pass across the six yard box, Rieks calmly shot past Guzan to take the lead.
Three minutes later the final damage was done, this time on a strike from Bernburg. A pass into the arc at the top of the box was aiming for Lars Jacobsen, but the defender dove after light contact. With Bocanegra and Spector trying to close down Rieks, the striker slipped a pass between them to Bernburg, who had space to turn and fire past Guzan for a third goal in nine minutes.
Bradley responded with three substitutions of his own in the 61st minute, calling on Eddie Johnson, Robbie Rogers and newcomer Castillo to replace Cunningham, Holden and Michael Bradley, respectively.
Castillo and Rogers did well to combine with Jozy Altidore eight minutes later. Castillo’s pass up towards Altidore was touched back to Rogers 22 yards from goal. Firing a hard shot towards the right, Sørensen dove for the save and held onto the ball.
Content with a two goal lead, Denmark played for possession for the remainder of the game, passing around the pitch in a bid to kill off the clock. Two late free kicks and a Rogers corner caused some trouble for Denmark, but a tight backline ushered the game to a victorious end.
Since taking the helm in 2007, Bradley is 6-6-0 against European opponents, and 2-5-0 on European soil. The U.S. record in 2009 record moved to 13-8-3. The teams had split their previous games with identical 1-1-3 records before today’s match.
In other matches, five teams earned final spots in South Africa next summer. Algeria defeated Egypt in a one-game playoff in Sudan 1-0 to book a spot, while Portugal, Slovenia, Greece and France all won their European playoffs. The final spot is up for grabs between Costa Rica and Uruguay as the South Americans will host tonight’s second leg and hold a 1-0 aggregate lead.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: United States vs. Denmark
Date: Nov. 18, 2009
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: NRGi Park – Aarhus, Denmark
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. local time (2:30 p.m. ET)
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 46 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
DEN 0 3 3
USA – Jeff Cunningham 26th minute
DEN – Johan Absalonsen (Simon Kjær) 47
DEN – Søren Rieks (Johan Absalonsen) 52
DEN – Martin Bernburg (Søren Rieks) 55
USA: 18-Brad Guzan; 22-Frankie Hejduk, 2-Jonathan Spector (15-Jimmy Conrad, 70), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (25-Clarence Goodson, 70), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 7-Stuart Holden (19-Robbie Rogers, 61), 13-Ricardo Clark, 4-Michael Bradley (33-Edgar Castillo, 61), 5-Benny Feilhaber; 17-Jozy Altidore (28-Dax McCarty, 80), 32-Jeff Cunningham (36-Eddie Johnson, 61)
Subs not used: 35-Marcus Hahnemann
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
DEN: 1-Thomas Sørensen; 6-Lars Jacobsen, 3-Simon Kjær, 4-Per Krøldrup, 5-Michael Lumb; 7-Daniel Jensen (18-Johan Absalonsen, 46), 2-Christian Poulsen (13-William Kvist Jørgensen, 46), 8-Jacob Poulsen; 10- Martin Jørgensen (capt.) (19-Jesper Bech, 80), 9-Morten Rasmussen (17-Martin Bernburg, 35, 20-Thomas Enevoldsen, 90), 11- Jesper Grønkjær (15-Søren Rieks, 46)
Subs not used: 12-Anders Møller Christensen, 14- Leon Jessen,16-Kim Christensen
Head Coach: Morten Olsen
Stats Summary: USA / DEN
Shots: 7 / 8
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 3 / 1
Referee: Craig Thomson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Cunningham (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Gordon Middleton (SCO)
Fourth Official: Michael Svendsen (DEN)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
The 16-month FIFA World Cup qualifying process began for the U.S. on June 15, 2008, and concluded 484 days later with the U.S. capturing the top spot in the final round standings in CONCACAF. Along the way there were records set, new talent uncovered, and veterans displaying their leadership both on the scoresheet and through their determined efforts. The U.S. demonstrated both command and resilience during the campaign, combining attacking prowess with defensive mettle to produce some of the most impressive results in their qualifying history. Roughly seven months from now the U.S. will open their pre-World Cup training camp; until then, the statistics and notes included here help tell the journey the U.S. traveled to qualify for its sixth consecutive FIFA World Cup.
CAMPEONES AGAIN: The U.S. Men's National Team finished atop the World Cup qualifying Final Round standings in CONCACAF for the second consecutive cycle, besting Mexico by one point at the summit of the Hexagonal. Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage time goal with only seconds remaining leveled the score with Costa Rica on Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., the 2-2 draw giving the USA the vital point it needed. The result at RFK Stadium, coupled with Mexico's draw by the same score with Trinidad & Tobago in Port-of-Spain, kept the U.S. first with El Tri second. The late drama in the nation's capital served to shake up third and fourth spot in the standings as well, with Honduras the beneficiary. Los Catrachos won on the road in El Salvador (the first time in the final round the visitors won in San Salvador) and leapfrogged Costa Rica to claim the third and final automatic berth to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
|2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying â€“ CONCACAF Final Round Standings|
United States *
Costa Rica ^
Trinidad & Tobago
* Qualified for SA2010Â berthÂ Â Â ^Â Will play-off against Uruguay for SA2010 berth
With his goal against El Salvador, Jozy Altidore became the fourth U.S. player to record multiple game-winning goals in this World Cup cycle. Michael Bradley has a pair of game-winners to his credit, including the brilliant flick against T & T on Sept. 10, 2008, in the 3-0 win in Bridgeview, Ill., and both goals in the 2-0 win against Mexico on Feb. 11 in Columbus. Carlos Bocanegra headed home the lone goal in the 1-0 win on Aug. 20, 2008, at Guatemala to open the semifinal round, then repeated the feat to help the U.S. past Honduras on June 6 in Chicago. Clint Dempsey recorded two game-winning goals in World Cup qualifying last year â€“ against Barbados on June 15, 2008, in Carson, Calif., and in the 1-0 win on Sept. 6, 2008, in Cuba. Overall, nine U.S. scorers have GWG next to their name on the scoresheet in this cycle.
DONOVAN SNATCHES ANOTHER RECORD: Landon Donovan holds numerous records for the U.S. Men's National Team, and during the 2010 qualifying campaign he added two more to his biography. Already the all-time leader for the U.S. in both caps and goals, he took over the top position in the record books in all-time qualifying caps and goals as well. Donovan surpassed former teammates and national team standouts Kasey Keller, Eddie Pope, and Claudio Reyna in appearances when he started against El Salvador on Sept. 5, 2009 and passed 2002 FIFA World Cup strike partner Brian McBride in scoring with his penalty kick goal on June 6, 2009, against Honduras.
|All-Time Qualifying Cap Leaders|
|All-Time Qualifying Goal Leaders|
|1.||Donovan, Landon||2002, 2006, 2010||35/33||12|
|2.||McBride, Brian||1998, 2002, 2006||25/19||10|
|Stewart, Earnie||1998, 2002, 2006||30/27||9|
|4.||Johnson, Eddie||2006, 2010||9/4||8|
|Beasley, DaMarcus||2002, 2006, 2010||21/20||6|
|Ching, Brian||2006, 2010||11/9||6|
|Â||Roy, WillyÂ||1966, 1970, 1974||11/11||6Â|
|Dempsey, Clint||2006, 2010||20/13||5|
|Moore, Joe-Max||1998, 2002||20/16||5|
|Murphy, Eddie||1958, 1962, 1966, 1970||13/13||5|
DONâ€™T GIVE UP: The USAâ€™s ability to rebound from goal deficits proved vital to the successful qualifying campaign. When considering the U.S. finished first in the group by a single point, the unprecedented result away to El Salvador looks that much more meaningful. Here are the numbers on the â€˜comeback kidsâ€™:
- The U.S. earned 11 of their 20 total points in the final round of qualifying after surrendering the first goal. In fact, in five of the seven matches in which the opponent scored the first goal, the U.S. earned points -- two come from behind ties and three come from behind wins.
- The come-from-behind 2-2 tie in El Salvador marked the first time that the team had faced and erased a two-goal deficit on the road.
- The come-from-behind victory against Honduras on June 6, 2009, was the first in qualifying for the United States in more than 24 years, the last occurring on May 15, 1985 against Trinidad & Tobago in St. Louis.
ROAD WARRIORS: The U.S. finished qualifying with a 5-3-1 road record, the best in CONCACAF, earning 16 points. That mark also bests the teamâ€™s performance from the 2002 cycle, where they finished with a 4-2-3 record away from home. More on that later. Hereâ€™s how the Hexagonal teams fared away from home:
- United States: 5-3-1
- Costa Rica: 4-3-2
- Mexico: 2-5-2 *
- Honduras: 2-5-2
- Trinidad & Tobago: 2-5-2
- El Salvador: 2-7-1 ^
* Mexicoâ€™s away game against Belize was played in Houston, Texas
^ El Savadorâ€™s away game against Anguilla was played in Washington, D.C.; El Salvador only team listed to play in the first round.
- In the final round, there were only five road victories â€“ and the U.S. was the only team with more than one, posting wins at Honduras and at Trinidad & Tobago.
- In the final round, the U.S. earned seven of their 20 points on the road, three points more than any other team.
|Points earned on the roadÂ Â |
in the Final Round:
|Points surrendered at homeÂ Â |
in the Final Round:
|USA: 7||Mexico: 0|
|Honduras: 4||USA: 1|
|Costa Rica: 4||Costa Rica: 3|
|Mexico: 4||Honduras: 3|
|Trinidad & Tobago: 1||El Salvador: 5|
|El Salvador: 0||Trinidad & Tobago: 8|
MEN OF THE MATCH: Eleven different players earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors throughout the qualifying campaign, with four multiple winners. Michael Bradley led all award recipients with four MOTM nods, while Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu picking up a pair each.
MAGICAL MATCHDAY 9: The USA has qualified for the World Cup on Matchday 9 in three of the last four World Cup cycles. The heroics in Honduras on Oct. 10 sealed the USA's passage to the World Cup on the second-to-last day of games. Eight years ago a USA victory against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, coupled with Trinidad's defeat of Honduras and Mexico's draw with Costa Rica sent Bruce Arena's team to Korea/Japan where they would go on to make the quarterfinals. During the road to France '98, the USA beat Canada on Nov. 2, 1997 (Matchday 9, of course) behind a goal from Claudio Reyna and two from Roy Wegerle. The victory in Vancouver confirmed the USA's spot in the World Cup with one game to play.
STREAKING: The U.S. team did plenty of that during this cycle, starting straight out of the gate:
- The U.S. did not allow a goal in the first 573 minutes during 2010 World Cup qualifying.
- From Oct. 12, 2005, to Oct. 11, 2008, the U.S. won seven straight FIFA World Cup qualifiers in a row, a new team record.
- The U.S. started the 2010 qualifying campaign with six straight victories, a team record for most consecutive wins in one cycle.
- Three of those six victories were on the road, marking the first time the U.S. has won three consecutive away qualifiers.
- Including the last match of the 2006 qualifying cycle, the U.S. set a record by not allowing a goal in six consecutive qualifiers from Oct. 12, 2005 to Oct. 11, 2008.
- The U.S. scored multiple goals in four consecutive qualifiers for the first time in the 2010 cycle from Nov. 19, 2008, to April 1, 2009.
MORE QUALIFYING FACTS & FIGURES
- Twenty-eight of the 43 players to appear in a qualifier made their qualifying debut this cycle. By contrast, the U.S. used 26 neophytes and 46 different players overall in the 2006 cycle.
- The first of the 28 were Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan and Heath Pearce, who debuted on June 15, 2008, vs. Barbados.
- The last was Robbie Rogers, who debuted with 22 minutes remaining in the final qualifier on Oct. 14, 2009.
- In all, the U.S. used 17 different starting lineups. The only time that the same 11 players played back-to-back games were Sept. 10, 2008 (3-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago) and Oct. 11, 2008 (6-1 win against Cuba): Beasley, Bocanegra, Bradley, Cherundolo, Ching, Dempsey, Donovan, Howard, Kljestan, Onyewu, Pearce.
Goals, Goals, Goals for the Red White and Blue
- Seventeen different players scored a goal during the qualifying campaign.
- Ten of those players scored their first career qualifying goal.
- Starters scored 38 of the 42 U.S. goals. Off the bench, Jozy Altidore scored two of his team-leading six qualifying goals. The other scorers off the bench were Eddie Johnson and Charlie Davies.
- Landon Donovan scored or assisted on 12 of the 19 goals that the U.S. scored in the final round of qualifying.
- Never before the 2010 cycle has the top qualifying goal scorer for the U.S. accounted for a lower percentage of the teamâ€™s goals. Jozy Altidoreâ€™s six goals accounted for 14 percent of the total goal output by the USA (42). Hereâ€™s a look at the top scorers dating back to the 1990 World Cup cycle:
Year Top Scorer
Â Team GoalsÂ
Â Pct.Â Â Â
2010Â Â Jozy Altidore
1990Â Â H. Perez/F. Klopas
1998Â Â Eric Wynalda
2006Â Â L. Donovan/E. Johnson
2002 Â Earnie Stewart
Itâ€™s All About Timing (entire 2010 cycle):
- There were only three games in qualifying in which the U.S. never had the lead, and the U.S. played its first 510 minutes of qualifying without trailing in a match.
- The U.S. outscored opponents 15-9 in the first half, and 27-7 in the second half.
- The U.S. scored a total of 15 goals in the last 10 minutes of each half (5 first half, 10 second half), while allowing only one goal in the final 10 minutes of a half â€“ Miguel Sabahâ€™s game-winner at Estadio Azteca.
- Eight of the 13 game-winning goals for the U.S. came in the first half. The fastest was at home in the first minute against Barbados. The latest came in the 71st minute against Honduras in the game that clinched the World Cup berth.
- How are these for bookend goals? The first U.S. goal of the cycle came 53 seconds into their first game as Clint Dempsey scored against Barbados. The final U.S. goal of the cycle game with 20 seconds left in the allotted stoppage time against Costa Rica, when Jonathan Bornsteinâ€™s header clinched first place in the Hexagonal group.
- The U.S. had seven magic minutes in which they scored more than one qualifying goal: the 9th, 43rd, 63rd, 69th, 71st, 89th and 90th+2. In all, the 90th minute and stoppage time saw the U.S. score four goals, two coming in the second minute of stoppage time.
Itâ€™s All About Timing (Final Round Edition):
- There were only two games in the final round that the U.S. never had the lead, and there were only three games in which the U.S. never found itself down a goal. In all, the U.S. played 260 minutes in the lead, 344 minutes tied and 296 minutes behind.Â
- The U.S. was outscored by opponents 8-6 in the first half, but in the second half the U.S. outscored opponents 13-5.
Also for the Record
- The 8-0 win against Barbados at home on June 15, 2008, was the largest margin of victory for the U.S. in any match.
- During the 2010 campaign, the U.S. shutout out four opponents on the road for the first time since the 1998 campaign. All four shutouts this cycle were victories, while in 1998 the U.S. was 2-0-2 when shutting out opponents on the road.
- By scoring on March 28, 2009, in El Salvador, Frankie Hejduk scored his second career FIFA World Cup qualifying goal. His other qualifying goal came on Dec. 21, 1996, in a 2-2 draw against Guatemala that was played in San Salvador. The gap of 12 years and 97 days was the longest between qualifying goals ever for a U.S. player, with Tab Ramos holding the distinction previously with eight years and 130 days between qualifying goals.
More Fabulous Firsts
- Charlie Davies goal in the ninth minute at Estadio Azteca marked the first time the U.S. ever held a lead in that stadium. Davies also joined Willy Roy, Rick Davis and Eddie Lewis as the only U.S. players to score there
- The USA opened the semifinal round with a 1-0 victory against Guatemala in Guatemala City on Aug. 20, 2008 â€“ the first U.S. win on Guatemalan soil in more than 20 years.
- With a 1-0 victory at Cuba in 2008, the U.S. posted its 50th all-time win in qualifying. At the end of the 2010 cycle, the U.S. record in qualifying stands at 59-33-30. The record since 1990 in qualifying is 46-11-21.
- Michael Bradleyâ€™s two goals against Mexico on Feb. 11, 2009, marked the first multi-goal effort for the U.S. against Mexico since Steve Moyers scored twice in a 2-1 FIFA World Cup qualifying win on Nov. 23, 1980.
- Tim Howardâ€™s six shutouts this qualifying cycle tie Kasey Keller for the second most shutouts in one cycle. Keller, who had eight shutouts in the 2006 qualifying campaign, also holds the record.
- Jozy Altidoreâ€™s hat trick on April 1, 2009, against Trinidad & Tobago was the fourth-ever in FIFA World Cup qualifying for the U.S. Aldo â€˜Buffâ€™ Donelli (1934 vs. Mexico), Peter Millar (1968 vs. Bermuda) and Eddie Johnson (2004 vs. Panama) are the others.
CLUTCH PERFORMERS: The FIFA World Cup qualifying process adheres strictly to the old adage â€œIt's a marathon, not a sprint.â€ The path to the World Cup is a slog that encompasses multiple years, a plethora of games and dozens of players; it is very much a group effort. At the same time, an individual moment of brilliance can often be the catalyst for a team's progression to the World Cup finals. On Oct. 10 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Landon Donovan became the seventh player to score the goal that clinched a FIFA World Cup berth for the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team. Read More.
|World CupÂ||Date||Opponent (score)||Game-Winning GoalÂ Â|
|1934||May 24, 1934||Mexico (4-2)||Aldo â€˜Buffâ€™ Donelli|
|1950||Sept. 21, 1949Â Â||Cuba (5-2)||Pete Matevich|
|1990||Nov. 19, 1989Â Â||Trinidad & Tobago (1-0)Â Â||Paul Caligiuri|
|1998||Nov. 9, 1997||Canada (3-0)||Claudio Reyna|
|2002||Oct. 7, 2001||Jamaica (2-1)||Joe-Max Moore|
|2006||Sept. 3, 2005||Mexico (2-0)||Steve Ralston|
|2010||Oct. 10, 2009||Honduras (3-2)||Landon Donovan|
SOCA WARRIORS LEND A HAND: For the third consecutive World Cup qualifying cycle, Trinidad & Tobago earned a result that had a significant impact on the USA's final standing in the Hexagonal. Having already been eliminated from the World Cup, one could have forgiven T & T for wilting in the face of a Mexico team fighting for the top spot in the group. That was absolutely not the case, as a hard-fought 2-2 draw saw Mexico drop points, allowing the U.S. to maintain its position at the summit of the group. Four years ago it was a similar story, with the Soca Warriors beating Mexico on the final day of qualifying. That result allowed the USA to finish first in the group during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. On Oct. 7, 2001 Trinidad & Tobago defeated Honduras, one of the three pieces of the puzzle required for the USA to qualify for the 2002 World Cup on that day.
AVOIDING THE SUSPENSION: Facing a potentially dire situation where as many as 11 U.S. players could have been suspended for one of the final four matches of qualifying, the team showed incredible discipline as not one player picked up their second yellow card of the cycle during the critical three victories that guaranteed the United States a spot in South Africa. Included amongst those in the danger zone were Jozy Altidore, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu. Avoiding cards meant that Bob Bradley had every player available to him (barring injury) for selection as the team came down the home stretch.
|FOR COMPARISON: QUALIFYING THIS DECADE|
|Goals Per Game||1.56||1.94||2.47|
|Goals Against Average||0.69||0.61||0.89|
|Most Goals||Stewart (8)||Donovan/Johnson (7)||Altidore (6)|
|Most Assists||Mathis/Jones (4)||Donovan (8)||Donovan (11)|
|Home Goals For||17||22||30|
|Home Goals Against||4||1||5|
|Road Goals For||8||13||11|
|Road Goals Against||7||10||11|
|Home Venues Used||4||6||8|
|Commerce City, Colo.||-||-||1|
|East Hartford, Conn.||-||1||-|
|Kansas City, Mo.||1||-||-|
|Salt Lake City, Utah||-||1||-|
U.S. Veteran to Join Squad Tonight in Miami
CHICAGO (Oct. 6, 2009) – U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley has added veteran defender Frankie Hejduk to the U.S. training camp roster for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches against Honduras on Sat., Oct. 10 at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula and on Wed., Oct. 14 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
This is the fourth FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign for Hejduk who has 84 career caps (second most on the roster for the Honduras match) and seven international goals. He has appeared for the USA 17 times in World Cup qualifying, most recently in the 3-0 victory on April 1 against Trinidad & Tobago. Just days prior to that game in Nashville, Hejduk set up one goal and scored the equalizer in the 2-2 draw against El Salvador on March 28 in San Salvador.
The addition of the 35-year-old Hejduk brings the U.S. roster training in Miami to 22 players. The Columbus Crew captain will arrive in Miami this evening and begin training with the U.S. team tomorrow. Bradley will name an 18-man game day roster for each match.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (June 3, 2009) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 3-1 to a spirited Costa Rican side in front of 19,200 raucous fans on Wednesday evening at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose. Costa Rica used two early goals to take control of the game before adding a third goal in the 69th minute to put the game away.
A late penalty kick from Landon Donovan in second-half stoppage time provided the U.S. with their lone goal on the night. The goal was the 10th of Donovan's career in World Cup qualifying, tying him with Brian McBride for the all-time lead.
The U.S. will return to home soil on Thursday and have just two days to recover before facing Honduras on June 6 at Soldier Field in Chicago. More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the USA’s third home match of the final round, where the U.S. will face the team who delivered them their last home loss in World Cup qualifying, a 3-2 defeat on Sept. 1, 2001, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The match will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN and Galavision. Fans can also follow that match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter.
The U.S. dropped its final round World Cup qualifying record to 2-1-1, while Costa Rica took over the top place in the six-team group.Costa Rica now has nine points through its first four games while the U.S. has seven. The remaining four regional teams, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago, will continue final round action on June 6.
"As a group tonight, we came up short in every way," said U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley. "I don't think there was any area at all where we were good enough to win a game against a good team. We were under pressure from the start. We fell short. We recognize that, and we have a quick turnaround for the next game."
With injuries to defender Frankie Hejduk and forward Brian Ching, the U.S. was without two of its most veteran players - both of whom have experience playing in the unfriendly confines of Estadio Ricardo Saprissa. Bradley opted to start in a 4-3-3 formation, and a handful of players were provided opportunities in the starting line-up, including Marvell Wynne at right back and DaMarcus Beasley, who got his second-consecutive start at left back. Jose Francisco Torres picked up just his fifth appearance and second start for the U.S. in the hostile environment, joining Pablo Mastroeni and Michael Bradley in midfield, while Jozy Altidore got his second straight start up top, this time working with Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan.
Bradley will be forced to make another change to his lineup against Honduras as he will be without the services of Michael Bradley, who picked up his second yellow card of the final round. The U.S. could once again be without the services of Hejduk and Ching for Saturday's contest as their status is still undetermined.
The U.S. got off to a disappointing start as Costa Rica got on the board in just the second minute. A clearance attempt by Beasley hit Torres and deflected the ball high in the air before eventually falling to the feet of Andy Herron. The former Chicago Fire forward played the ball square to Alvaro Saborio, who turned and split two U.S. defenders with one touch and then hit a curling shot with his second touch that sailed over the outstretched arms of Tim Howard and into the upper left corner of the goal. The goal was the second-earliest goal allowed by the U.S. in a World Cup qualifier, only behind a first minute goal by Carlos Hermosillo in a 2–2 draw with Mexico in 1997.
Costa Rica doubled its lead in the 13th minute when defender Junior Diaz made a hard run down the left wing. He slotted the ball into the box for Celso Borges who cut inside the penalty area, drawing U.S. defenders towards him before slotting the ball to Esteban Serias, who was making a run up the middle of the area. Serias did well to hit the bouncing serve with a one-time volley past Howard.
The U.S. struggled on the other end of the field, not dealing well with the poor surface which hindered their attempt to build any sort of attack. With limited chances, the U.S. took only two shots in the first half, neither of which were on target.
The U.S. came out determined to get something on frame in the second half, unleashing nine shots, but Costa Rica was able to put the game away with a third goal in the 69th minute. Pablo Herrera received the ball from Walter Centeno on the right side of the penalty area and turned towards goal. With the U.S. defenders giving him too much space and time, Herrera fired a low shot that sneaked inside the right post from about 10 yards out. The three goals on the night were the first allowed by Howard since a 6-1 win against Cuba on Oct. 11, 2008. It was the first time the U.S. has allowed three goals in a game since Sept. 9, 2007 in a 2-4 loss to then No. 1-ranked Brazil.
The U.S. finally got on the board in second-half stoppage time. Wynne took a long throw in into the area and defender Oguchi Onyewu was pulled down by Diaz as he made an attempt for the ball. Donovan stepped up and hit his shot low and to the left, past Keylor Navas and into the net. The goal, the 38th of Donovan’s career, was the first scored by the U.S. in Costa Rica since July 23, 2000 and the first scored by Donovan in final round qualifying.
The U.S. used all three of its substitutions on the night, including bringing on Sacha Kljestan at halftime for Torres as the team switched to a 4-4-2. Freddy Adu earned his first appearance in the final round of qualifying, coming into the midfield for Pablo Mastroeni in the 63rd minute. Charlie Davies came on for Clint Dempsey, who earned his 50th career appearance on the night, with 10 minutes remaining.
Match: United States vs. Costa Rica
Date: June 3, 2009
Competition: FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Final Round
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; San Jose, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 8:06 p.m. MT
Weather: Partly cloudy, 70 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
CRC 2 1 3
CRC – Alvaro Saborio (Andy Herron) 2nd minute
CRC – Celso Borges (Esteban Sirias) 13
CRC – Pablo Herrera (Walter Centeno) 69
USA – Landon Donovan (penalty kick) 92+
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Marvell Wynne, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 4-Pablo Mastroeni (11-Freddy Adu, 63), 12-Michael Bradley, 9-José Francisco Torres (16-Sacha Kljestan, 46); 8-Clint Dempsey (15-Charlie Davies, 80), 10-Landon Donovan, 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 18-Brad Guzan, 2-Ricardo Clark, 13-Jonathan Bornstein, 14-Jay DeMerit
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
CRC: 1-Keylor Navas; 15-Harold Wallace (2-Pablo Herrera, 56), 4-Michael Umana, 3-Freddy Fernandez, 17-Junior Diaz; 7-Andy Herron (6-Cristian Bolanos, 72), 5-Celso Borges, 10-Walter Centeno, 8-Esteban Sirias; 11-Bryan Ruiz, 9-Alvaro Saborio (16-Carlos Hernandez, 77)
Subs not used: 18-Ricardo Gonzalez, 12-Andy Furtado, 13-Gonzalo Segares, 14-Armando Alonso
Head Coach: Rodrigo Kenton
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 5
Fouls: 14 / 15
Offside: 0 / 3
CRC – Freddy Fernandez (caution) 30th minute
USA - Michael Bradley (caution) 54
USA – Sacha Kljestan (caution) 66
CRC – Pablo Herrera (caution) 67
CRC – Junior Diaz (caution) 91+
Referee: Neal Brizan (TRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Joseph Taylor (TRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Michael Ragoonath (TRI)
Fourth Official: Geoffrey Hospedales (TRI)
ussoccer.com Man of the Match:
• A member of the national team pool since 1996, he played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was one of three overage players in the 2000 Sydney Olympics
• He increased his career World Cup qualifying caps to 17 after starting three games in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying
• Helped salvage a result in El Salvador on March 28, 2009, when he assisted on Jozy Altidore’s goal and scored a dramatic equalizer in the 87th minute. The point earned in the 2-2 game proved crucial down the stretch in World Cup qualifying
• Rejoined MLS, where he is a four-time All-Star and 2008 MLS Cup winner, in 2003 after a four-year stint in Europe that included three seasons at Bayer Leverkusen and a one-year spell at FC St. Gallen
Enjoys surfing, playing golf and drinking coffee … Bob Marley is one of his idols … His favorite soccer team is Boca Juniors and his favorite player is Claudio Caniggia … Favorite non-soccer team is the San Diego Chargers … Has two sons: Frankie Nesta – was born Feb. 25, 1998, the same day his U.S. teammates played Belgium in Brussels – and Coasten Daniel … Married to wife Elissa on New Year’s Eve 2006.Was named NSCAA second team All-American and first-team All-Far West in 1994 at UCLA … Was the only defender named to the MPSF All-Federation First Team … Tied for second on the team in 1994 with six goals, four of them coming on penalty kicks.
High School / Club: Was a two-year letterman at San Dieguito High School, where he earned 1989 NSCAA and U.S. AYSO Boys U-16 All-America honors for soccer … Was a member of San Dieguito’s state and national championship surfing team and was a 1988 National Junior High School Surfing Champion … Qualified for the 1989 U.S. Amateur Surfing Team by finishing 10th overall … His youth team, the La Jolla Nomads, beat the Peruvian National Team in the 1989 Dallas Cup … Also part of the Nomads 1989, 1990 and 1991 state champions.
Date of Birth
Aug 5, 1974