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MNT vs. Denmark & Switzerland - March 25 & 31, 2015

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN CLUB/COLLEGE
Jozy Altidore F 6-1 175 11/6/89 Boca Raton, Fla. Toronto FC
Ventura Alvarado D 6-0 165 8/16/92 Phoenix, Az. Club America (Mexico)
Alejandro Bedoya M 5-10 160 4/29/87 Weston, Fla. Nantes (France)
Michael Bradley M 6-2 175 7/31/87 Manhattan Beach, Calif. Toronto FC
John Brooks D 6-4 170 1/28/93 Berlin, Germany Hertha Berlin (Germany)
Timmy Chandler D 6-1 180 3/29/90 Frankfurt, Germany Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany)
Cody Cropper GK 6-4 200 2/16/93 Maple Grove, Minn. Southampton (England)
Greg Garza D 5-8 155 8/16/91 Grapevine, Texas Club Tijuana (Mexico)
Julian Green M 5-7 140 6/6/95 Tampa, Fla. Hamburg (Germany)
Miguel Ibarra F 5-7 135 3/15/90 Lancaster, Calif. Minnesota United FC
Fabian Johnson D 6-0 155 12/11/87 Munich, Germany Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)
Alfredo Morales M 6-0 163 5/12/90 Berlin, Germany Ingolstadt (Germany)
Jordan Morris F 5-11 185 10/26/94 Mercer Island, Wash.
Michael Orozco D 5-11 160 2/7/86 Orange, Calif. Puebla (Mexico)
Tim Ream D 6-1 165 10/5/87 St. Louis, Mo. Bolton Wanderers (England)
Nick Rimando GK 5-11 180 6/17/79 Montclair, Calif. Real Salt Lake
Rubio Rubin F 5-9 160 3/1/96 Beaverton, Ore. Utrecht (Netherlands)
Brek Shea M 6-3 180 2/28/90 Bryan, Texas Orlando City SC
Danny Williams M 5-10 175 3/8/89 Karlsruhe, Germany Reading (England)
DeAndre Yedlin D 5-8 150 7/9/93 Seattle, Wash. Tottenham Hotspur (England)
William Yarbrough GK 6-2 160 3/20/89 Hawthorne, Calif. Club Leon (Mexico)
Gyasi Zardes F 6-2 175 9/2/91 Hawthorne, Calif. LA Galaxy

MNT Continues Tough Gold Cup Prep against Switzerland

After a tough loss in Denmark, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face off against Switzerland in Zurich, for the second leg of its European training. Kickoff at Stadion Letzigrund is set for Tuesday, March 31 at 12 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and univisiondeportes.com. Fans can also follow along on Twitter via @ussoccer and @usssoccer_esp

The Americans are coming off a 3-2 loss to Denmark on March 25 after Niklas Bendter completed a hat trick with a game-winning goal in stoppage time. Switzerland, ranked No. 12 in the world, was one of the eight seeded teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will provide another test for the U.S. MNT in a year of challenging matches, which include facing CONCACAF rival Mexico on April 15, meeting No. 5-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam on June 5, and a matchup against 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany in Cologne on June 10.

Klinsmann has 22 players in Zurich, including 11 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Roster. U.S. team captain Clint Dempsey suffered a right hamstring strain in training on Monday, March 23 and was ruled out for both matches. Fellow striker Aron Johannsson is undergoing treatment for a toe infection and will also be out against Switzerland. Klinsmann added U-23 MNT forward Jordan Morris to the roster on March 29.

Tuesday’s game marks just the second time in the last 20 years the USA has met Switzerland. In their previous meeting on Oct. 17, 2007, Michael Bradley scored the only goal of the match – his first international tally – to give the USA the 1-0 shutout victory in Basel. Overall, the U.S. is 1-3-3 all-time against Switzerland, and unbeaten in its last three. 

In the meantime, the Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 5-2 on March 27 in Tuzla, earning Andi Herzog a win in his first game as head coach, as the team continues preparations for Olympic qualifying this October. The U-23s kick off the second match of their European training camp against Denmark tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. Fans can follow @ussoccer_ynt for updates on the U-23s and all U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams.

USA VS. SWITZERLAND:

  • The United States is 1-3-3 all-time against Switzerland and undefeated in the last three matches between the two teams. In seven games, the pair has combined to score 13 goals, with five coming from the U.S. and the other eight from the Swiss.
  • The most recent encounter between the two was the USA’s 1-0 victory on Oct. 17, 2007, at St. Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland. On a rainy night, Michael Bradley broke a scoreless tie in the 86th minute to give the U.S. its first win against the Swiss.
  • The U.S. and Switzerland met twice in 1994. In January, they played to a 1-1 draw in Fullerton, California in a World Cup warm-up. They faced off again in June at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they again drew 1-1 in front of 77,000 fans in the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.
  • U.S. defender John Brooks and Switzerland’s Fabian Lustenberger and Valentin Stocker all play for Bundesliga club team Hertha Berlin. Midfielder Julian Green is teammates with Johan Djourou and Valon Behrami at Hamburg. Defender Timmy Chandler plays with Haris Seferovic at Frankfurt, while midfielder Fabian Johnson is teammates with Switzerland’s Yann Zommer and Granit Xhaka at Borussia Monchengladbach. 

U.S. Men’s National Team by Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club León)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Hamburg), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Two firsts occurred for the USA in its last game against Denmark: defender Timmy Chandler earned his first point with the MNT with an assist on Jozy Altidore’s goal, and Ventura Alvarado earned his first international cap for the U.S. when he entered in the 80th minute, replacing fellow Liga MX defender Michael Orozco.
  • A total of nine players in the squad were members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster that traveled to Brazil and helped the USA advance out of the “Group of Death,” including two goalscorers (John Brooks and Julian Green).
  • Michael Bradley was the only player who started in all four matches for the USA during the World Cup.
  • Bradley is the leading cap-winner on the roster with 94, and is in line to reach the century mark soon.
  • Seven countries and nine leagues are represented on the roster: Canada, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, and the United States.
  • Altidore has two goals in three matches to start 2015 for the MNT, while Bradley and Brek Shea are the other goal scorers on the roster. At the club level, Altidore netted a pair of goals in his debut match for Toronto FC to start the 2015 MLS season.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando boasts an impressive 11-2-2 career record with four shutouts. He got his first start and appearance on European soil in the match against Denmark.
  • Greg Garza played in the last five games of 2014 and started three following the World Cup. The Club Tijuana left back has been a part of every level of U.S. National Team programming, beginning with the U-14’s.
  • Danny Williams has the opportunity to get his first action since March 5, 2014, when he appeared against Ukraine in Cyprus.
  • Rubio Rubin, who earned his first MNT cap and start on Nov. 14, 2014, against No. 3-ranked Colombia, spent the weekend with the U-20 MNT and captained the team in its friendly against England on March 29. At 19 years old, Rubin is age-eligible for this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • William Yarbrough was born and raised in Mexico to two American parents. He marshaled the backline for Club Leon to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles. This is Yarbrough’s first call up to the U.S. Men’s National Team.
  • Miguel Ibarra, who earned his first cap for the U.S. in 2014, is the reigning MVP of the NASL. 

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • Jozy Altidore is fifth on the MNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 27 goals, adding two in three games so far this year. Altidore is now three goals behind fourth-place Brian McBride (30 goals from 1993-2006).
  • Midfielder Michael Bradley is inching closer to the century cap mark with 94 appearances since debuting for the MNT in 2006. He is 18th on the MNT all-time list, one appearance behind McBride.
  • Bradley ranks 13th on the all-time goals scored list with 13 goals, and is tied with Marcelo Balboa and Hugo Perez.
  • Nick Rimando ranks fifth on the all-time wins list with 11. The Real Salt Lake man is 11-2-2 all-time with the USA.
  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (34-17-11) ranks third among the USA’s all-time winningest coaches. Ahead of Klinsmann are National Soccer Hall of Famers, Bruce Arena (71) and Bob Bradley (43).

BY THE NUMBERS:
2                Players on the U.S. MNT seeking their first international cap
4                Players on the U.S. MNT roster playing in Mexico’s Liga MX
12              Switzerland’s current FIFA ranking
27              Career goals by Altidore, which is fifth on the USA’s all-time scoring list
32              USA’s current FIFA ranking
34              Victories under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann 

2015 U.S. MNT SCHEDULE:

Date

Opponent

Result/Time (ET)

U.S. Goal Scorers/TV

Venue

Jan. 28

Chile

2-3 L

Shea, Altidore

Estadio El Teniente; Rancagua, Chile

Feb. 8

Panama

2-0 W

Bradley, Dempsey

StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.

March 25

Denmark

2-3 L

Altidore, Johannsson

NRGi Park; Aarhus, Denmark

March 31

Switzerland

12 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás, univisiondeportes.com

Stadion Letzigrund; Zurich, Switzerland

April 15

Mexico

8:30 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás, univisiondeportes.com

Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas

June 5

Netherlands

2:30 p.m.

ESPN2, WatchESPN, UniMás, univisiondeportes.com

Amsterdam Arena; Amsterdam, Netherlands

June 10

Germany

2:45 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás, univisiondeportes.com

Rhein Energie Stadion; Cologne, Germany

July 7

Honduras

9:30 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás

Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas

July 10

Haiti

8:30 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás

Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Mass.

July 13

Panama

9:30 p.m.

FOX Sports 1, UniMás

Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.

JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th head coach in the history of the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 29, 2011. Here is a look at the program’s achievements since that time:

  • Overall, Klinsmann has a 34-17-11 record, third on the U.S. MNT’s all-time coaching wins list. The top five include: Bruce Arena (71), Bob Bradley (43), Klinsmann (34), Bora Milutinovic (30) and Steve Sampson (26).
  • He won a record-setting 13 straight games at home from June 2, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014, and has guided the team to an unbeaten record of 17-0-3 in its past 20 matches on home soil.
  • He led the MNT to a 12-game winning streak in 2013, the longest in program history.
  • The U.S. finished 2013 with a 16-4-3 record. The 16 victories and .761 winning percentage are all-time U.S. MNT records for a calendar year.
  • The U.S. finished the final round of 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying atop the Hexagonal with a 7-1-2 overall record, including an unblemished 5-0-0 home record that was achieved by pitching clean sheets in all five matches.
  • The team won six straight games en route to capturing the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the squad scored a tournament-record 20 goals.
  • Committed to challenging the group against the best, under Klinsmann, the United States has a 2-3-2 record against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. has also collected four historic victories:
    • Beating four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time
    • Earning the first win against Mexico on Mexican soil
    • Defeating Jamaica on the road for the first time in World Cup Qualifying
    • Topping second-ranked Germany in U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration Match
  • Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, the USA’s two victories included a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
  • Klinsmann was named Germany’s National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later, he took over the head coaching position at Germany’s most high-profile club, Bayern Munich.
  • As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981-98 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.
  • Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
  • Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

IN FOCUS: SWITZERLAND
Swiss Football Association (Schweizer Nati)
Founded: 1895
FIFA affiliation: 1904
Head Coach: Vladimir Petković
FIFA World Ranking: 12
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinal, 1934, 1938, 1954 

SWITZERLAND ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Roman Burki (SC Freiburg), Yann Sommer (VfL Broussia Monchengladbach), Marvin Hitz (FC Augsburg)
DEFENDERS (6): Johan Djourou (Hamburg), Stephen Lichsteiner (Juventus), Fabian Lustenberger (Hertha BSC Berlin), Jacques Fracois Moubandje (Toulouse FC), Ricardo Rodriguez (VfL Wolfsburg), Fabian Schar (FC Basel), Steve Von Bergen (FC Zurich), Silvan Widmer (Udinese Calcio),
MIDFIELDERS (9): Valon Behrami (Hamburger SV), Blerim Dzemaili (Galatasary SK), Gelson Fernandes (Stade Rennais FC), Fabian Frei (FC Basel 1893), Gokahn Inler (SSC Napoli), Kasami Pajtim (Olympiacos FC), Xheridan Shaqiri (Inter Milan), Valentin Stocker (Herta VSC Berlin), Granit Xhaka (VfL Borussia Monchengladbach
FORWARDS (3): Josip Drmic (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Haris Seferovic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Admir Mehmedi (SC Freiburg), 

SWITZERLAND ROSTER NOTES:

  • Switzerland head coach Vladimir Petkovic has coached six games for the Swiss and has gone 3-1-2 in that span.
  • Switzerland qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup from UEFA by winning its group. In the group stage in Brazil, the Swiss went 2-0-1 and advanced to the Round of 16, where they lost to eventual World Cup runner up Argentina, conceding a goal in the match’s 118th minute.
  • Sixteen players from its 2014 FIFA World Cup roster appear on this roster.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri recorded three assists in Switzerland’s game against Estonia last week. He has recorded 10 points on three goals and four assists in Switzerland’s last four matches, in which the team has gone an unbeaten 3-0-1.
  • Of this Swiss roster, Shaqiri is the leading goalscorer with 15 tallies in 42 games played. Gokhan Inler is the team’s international cap-leader with 81.
  • All but one player, goalkeeper Marwin Hitz, have earned at least one cap.
  • Silvan Widmer is the youngest player on the roster at 21 years old.

LAST TIME:

On the field for the USA against Switzerland:
Oct. 17, 2007 – St. Jakob Park; Basel, Switzerland – International Friendly 

USA                1          Michael Bradley 86
SUI                 0          

Lineups: 
USA: 24-Marcus Hahnemann (18-Brad Guzan, 46); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 22-Oguchi Onyewu (2-Dan Califf, 46), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (Capt.), 7-Eddie Lewis (9-Danny Szetela, 84); 5-Benny Feilhaber, 13-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley,17-DaMarcus Beasley (11-Heath Pearce, 31); 20-Taylor Twellman (25-Freddy Adu, 77), 8-Clint Dempsey (29-Robbie Findley, 90) 
Subs not used: 23-Jay DeMerit 
Head Coach: Bob Bradley
 

SUI: 1-Pascal Zuberbühler; 2-Johan Djourou (25-Steve Von Bergen, 17), 3-Ludovic Magnin (Capt.), 5-Xavier Margairaz (22-Hakan Yakin, 46); 11-Marco Streller (31-Blaise Nkufo, 46), 13-Stephane Grichting, 14-David Degen, 16-Tranquillo Barnetta (17-Christoph Spycher, 75), 27-Gokhan Inler, 29-Stephan Lichtsteiner, 35-Fabio Celestini (33-Gelson Fernandes, 46) 
Subs not used: 12-Diego Benaglio, 37-Germano Vailati 
Head Coach: Jakob Kuhn
 

Short, Short, Long: MNT Friendlies in Europe Serve Dual Purpose

The U.S. MNT's friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland in Europe have provided head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the squad an opportunity to try out some new faces alongside the team's core group in the short term. In the long-term, this international window has helped broaden the pool of players who can help the USA win this summer's important edition of the Gold Cup.

Gallery: From Aarhus to Zurich, USMNT's European Training Camp

Ahead of its next match, the U.S. MNT has traveled and trained across Europe from Aarhus, Denmark to its base camp in Zurich, Switzerland. The USA faces Switzerland on March 31 at Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and UniMás. Fans can also get all the latest on the U.S. MNT on social media. 

              

A New Adventure

For young defender Ventura Alvarado, getting the call as a regular starter at Liga MX powerhouse Club América was significant. Yet, it was the call he wasn’t expecting that was even bigger.

“I was surprised,” Alvarado said about the call he recently received from U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “I was about to go to Phoenix for a vacation and an assistant let me know that a call from the U.S. National Team might be coming Ten minutes later coach Klinsmann called me and I was just surprised!”

Phoenix was where it all started for Alvarado 22 years ago. Born to Mexican parents in the United States, the maturing center back is eligible to represent both the U.S. and Mexico on the international soccer stage. For the moment, he is a U.S. player, and his parents, who had initially thought Mexico might be the better place for him, have enjoyed seeing him in the U.S. jersey.

“My family was really excited when I got called up for the U.S. National Team,” he said. “They were happy when I started playing for Club América, and now they’re really happy. They sent me a picture of my nieces and they were holding a newspaper that said ‘Ventura Alvarado goes to the U.S. National Team,’ and they are all smiling. They’re just partying over there right now. They’re so happy, and just hearing them makes me really happy too.”

Ventura Alvarado
USMNT Defender Ventura Alvarado makes his international debut against Denmark in the rain of Aarhus.

While still one of the team’s newer players, Alvarado was glad to come in and see some familiar faces like Michael Orozco and Greg Garza, his opponents in Liga MX, who are now his U.S. teammates.

“Guys like Michael Orozco, he has more experience than me. He’s been here a lot of years, and Greg Garza, he has a lot of experience too and has been playing very well in Tijuana. Everything they say to me, it just gives me confidence,” Alvarado said. “It’s nice to have them because we have so much in common, players they know, clubs and coaches. They are my friends. It helps me out a lot.”

Flash forward to last week in Aarhus, Denamrk. Michael Orozco had to come out of the USA’s international friendly against the Danes with a knee injury, handing Alvarado his chance to get on the pitch.

“Earning my first cap, it was an incredible experience,” Alvarado said. “They said, ‘you’re going in,’ and I was just excited!”

Making his first appearance for the USA may be just the first step in Alvarado’s international career. The athletic defender hopes to work his way up to one day to play on soccer’s biggest stage, and so far he’s relishing the opportunity he’s been given with the U.S MNT.

“I hope to work and little by little start getting more minutes, getting more games,” he said. “Little by little, work my way towards being a starter and being known and getting the confidence up of the fans and the coaches and everybody. My ultimate goal is to go to the World Cup. It’s a dream for every player.”

American Opportunity

Thirty years ago, Lee Yarbrough and Stacy Story moved from the United States to Mexico and they never left. William Yarbrough was born in Mexico four years later and brought up there. Two weeks ago, his family history collided with his personal past when he received his first ever call-up to represent the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“My parents moved to Mexico as missionaries and they’ve been there ever since,” Yarbrough told ussoccer.com. “At an early age I knew what I wanted to do, which was play soccer.”

Yarbrough has played professionally in Liga MX since 2010, when he began his professional career with Pachuca before moving to his current club León in 2012. At León, Yarbrough has backstopped the team to the 2013 Apertura and 2014 Clausura titles. Beyond the club level, he knew he wanted to play international soccer, and as a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, he always thought there might be a choice to make one day.

His performances with León caught the eye of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who sent scouts to Mexico City before sending the invitation. Ultimately, Klinsmann elected to call up the goalkeeper, and so far, he likes what he sees.

“William has a wonderful positive character,” Klinsmann said. “He’s highly motivated and wants to learn. Chris Woods, our goalkeeper coach, is full of compliments already so we are really glad to have him in camp.”

William Yarbrough
Goalkeeper William Yarbrough makes a save on the training pitch in his first camp with the USMNT.

At the moment, Yarbrough is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity to be in camp with the Men’s National Team.

“I like living day-by-day and doing my best every day,” Yarbrough said. “Right now, I’m just looking to give coach Klinsmann and the rest of the teammates a good impression of myself. I want them to know that I’m a person who’s going to give everything on and off the field, who truly shows passion and a commitment to the meaning of representing the United States.”

It certainly helps to have familiar faces on board, and with fellow Liga MX members Ventura Alvarado, Greg Garza, and Michael Orozco also in Zurich, Yarbrough has been able to draw on their experience as he gets adjusted to the new environment.

“It’s been great to talk to those guys that I’ve played with and against in Mexico, and they’ve all been hugely helpful to me, as have the rest of the guys.” Yarbrough said. “My experience with this first call-up has been great. I’ve learned a lot of things. Everyone helps you adapt in a very quick way. Coach Klinsmann has been very helpful with that, too.”

Yabrough has always been a follower of soccer in the United States, but his first real moment of pride in the colors of the National Team came as a 10-year-old watching the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“When the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup in a penalty shootout, I was pretty young,” Yarbrough recalled. “I was up in Montana when that happened, and just seeing the reaction of so many people to a sport that was just growing in the United States was something that caught my attention in a big way.”

His first time with the group has already been a thrill while the prospect of earning his first cap looms as a huge reward for the work he’s put in for so long.

“It’s just an honor,” Yarbrough said. “It’s a privilege to be representing the United States, and I’m trying to take advantage of this opportunity because I don’t want it to be just one time. I want there to be many to come. I think what’s helped is the way the rest of the team helps you feel like you’ve been a part of this group for a really long time.”

Aron Johannsson Unavailable for USA-Switzerland; Jordan Morris Added to MNT Roster

CHICAGO (March 29, 2015) — U.S. Men’s National Team forward Aron Johannsson has been sidelined while undergoing treatment for an infection and will not be ready in time for the match against Switzerland. 

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has added U-23 MNT forward Jordan Morris to the roster. Morris joins the Senior Team after scoring the opening goal in the U-23 MNT’s 5-2 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 27 in Tuzla. 

The United States will face Switzerland – one of the eight seeded teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup – on March 31 in Zurich at 12 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1, UniMas, UDN). 

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Southampton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Hamburg), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht)

Q&A: Klinsmann Plans for Switzerland and Discusses MNT Player Pool

ussoccer.com: You had a chance to review the game against Denmark. What were your impressions on the second look?

Jurgen Klinsmann: “It’s frustrating because you put so much work into it. We don’t want to lose. We want to win, but these are also important experiences. We want to make progress in managing the game and taking the game to the opponent and winning away from home and not being in our comfort zone. We were out of our comfort zone [in Denmark], and were pretty much in the game until the last couple of minutes before the end. After Michael’s beautiful pass and Aron’s goal, we looked in control. We controlled the next 10-15 minutes completely, but then with the equalizer, it became a little bit shaky. Still, we had a good opportunity with John Brooks to level the game. At the World Cup he put it in the net, this time he put it just a little bit wide.”

ussoccer.com: What does it mean in a game like that, where we don’t necessarily have more possession, but are still playing well?

JK: “I think it’s an interesting learning curve for us playing a team like Denmark, which is known for having a high amount of possession. They’re really good without necessarily putting too much pressure in the final third. They want to move the ball around. They make it hard for you to get the ball back, and then they are pretty smart to quickly regain the ball because that’s what they’ve done for years under Morten Olsen, who’s one of the longest serving national team managers in the world. So for us, the challenge was how do you manage the game once we get the ball? Here and there we did really well, and here and there we gave the ball away too early.

ussoccer.com: So you planned for the fact that Denmark would have a lot of the possession?

JK: “We knew that Denmark with its style would kind of move us into a style where we would try to get them in transition, because that’s where they’re vulnerable; that’s where they leave space behind its fullbacks. We needed to get a way to find those spaces and feed into our strikers. We prepared that tactical approach, and for most of the time it was good.”

ussoccer.com: With the issue of the late goals, how do you correct that?

JK: “Part of the transition is developing chemistry and gaining experience, and over time this will happen. You build that strength to grind it out, and for younger players they learn the little things you need to do in order to finish off a game. To be up 2-1 on the road to Denmark said a lot, and even if we came away with a tie it would have been an accomplishment. But when you lose the game at the end like this, it’s a disappointment for everyone. So that’s the process that we’ve got to go through. We’ve got to grind through it and also build chemistry. Still, we are not satisfied not getting a result.

ussoccer.com: Three of the four starters on the back line were 24 years old and under. Are you trying to give those guys an opportunity to grow?

JK: “Right now, these games are to see if players can break into the inner circle and into the starting lineup. Are they consistent? That’s why we want to have players showing us where they are at, a couple of months away from the Gold Cup, when we have to make the decisions. At times, it looked good. At times, they looked composed; they looked confident, they stayed calm on the ball and they combined well into midfield. However, at the end of the day when you have a couple of individual mistakes against an experienced team like Denmark, you pay the price for it, and we did, even if we could have equalized the game still in the last minute.”

Former World Cup Champion Berti Vogts Appointed U.S. MNT Technical Advisor

CHICAGO (March 26, 2014) – U.S. Soccer has appointed former World Cup winner Berti Vogts to be a Technical Advisor to the U.S. Men’s National Team.

A member of the German team that won the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Vogts brings a tremendous track record of success to the Men’s National Team. Additionally, he coached the German squad to the 1996 European Championship – on which U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was team captain – and is one of only three coaches to lead Germany to a trophy in the last 25 years.

“We had a fantastic experience with Berti during the 2014 FIFA World Cup,” said Klinsmann. “His knowledge and experience is a tremendous asset for us. With Andi Herzog having a big focus on qualifying the U-23 team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Berti will make an even more important contribution.”

In his role as Technical Advisor, Vogts will oversee the development of players in Europe, working with Herzog and Matthias Hamann on scouting, building and improving club relationships and identifying talent. Vogts will serve as a resource for technical development initiatives and coaching education. 

Vogts earned 96 caps for Germany, playing a total of 19 matches in three World Cups. Nicknamed “Der Terrier,” he famously marked Dutch legend Johan Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup final that Germany won 2-1 in Munich. He served as team captain from 1977-79, taking over for Franz Beckenbauer.

During a 14-year professional career in which he was twice named Germany Footballer of the Year, Vogts was an integral part of the Borussia Moenchengladbach squad that won five Bundesliga titles (1969–70, 1970–71, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77) and two UEFA Cups (1974–75, 1978–79).

Vogts coached Germany from 1990-98, compiling a record of 66-12-24. In addition to the title in 1996, he had a second-place finish in the 1992 European Championship and led the Germans to the quarterfinals in consecutive World Cups in 1994 and 1998.

Having coached the national teams of Scotland (2002-04) and Nigeria (2007-08), he served as the manager for Azerbaijan from April of 2008 to the end of 2014.

Quote Sheet: Klinsmann, Johannsson, Altidore, Bradley and Alvarado on Denmark

MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN:

On tonight’s game:
“I think overall this was a very even and entertaining game. I think we gave them an eye-to-eye game and we could have won it, but we didn’t. We saw a lot of good things that we wanted to see on our end. Obviously, we’ve got to correct a couple things because we conceded three goals, and overall it’s just a little bit frustrating when you lose in the last minute.”

On what he liked and disliked from tonight’s game:
“Obviously, what you don’t like is late goals. Maybe it’s just losing focus for a second, losing your mark or because of heavy legs getting tired a little bit. You never want to give a game away that you’re up 2-1. I think a tie probably would have been a fair result, but as I said a lot of positives. I think the backline overall did a very good job. From the left to the right, they were all on top of things as much as they could be. I think Michael Bradley was present in the midfield trying to organize a lot. You’re always happy for your strikers when they score. You hope then for a third one if there’s an opportunity and we had it with John Brooks’ header in the last second. There’s a lot of good stuff taken away from this game, definitely. We have to step it up in terms of managing the game all 90 minutes. You lead in Denmark 2-1? Get the job done and go home with three points. At least tie it. That’s all the stuff to improve, but overall we did a lot of good stuff.”

On the struggle to maintain possession in the first half and how they planned to fix it at half:
“We knew that Denmark is a very good possession-oriented team. That’s part of their style that Morten Olsen developed over many, many years here, and they do it really well with their technical capabilities. They move off of the ball really well. So what we had problems with the first half was to get pressure on the ball, to get closer to them in midfield and shut them down in terms of their passing lanes and the space that they find. I think it was a little bit better in the second half. We got closer to them. We denied them those little passes between the lines and that’s stuff we’re going to have to deal with and do better.”

On bringing in Ventura Alvarado for his first cap in place of Michael Orozco:
Michael Orozco was giving us a signal that he was just simply exhausted and that led to Ventura’s first cap, which was something special for him.”

On Denmark’s captain and playmaker Christian Eriksen:
“I said yesterday to the media here that he obviously is a huge talent. He’s fun to watch and at a young age already taking over so much responsibility on the field, leading his team and keeping the rhythm going. It’s really fun to watch him, so it will be interesting to see how he continues his career.”

On Nicklas Bendtner’s performance:
If you make three goals then you get all the compliments in the world, and he deserves them for that performance absolutely.”

MNT forward ARON JOHANNSSON

On his goal:
“Michael Bradley played Jozy [Altidore] a fantastic ball in the box, and Jozy showed he’s a very good team player; he played it to me, and I was the one against an open goal.”

On his return to Aarhus, where he played professionally for AGF Aarhus:
“It was amazing. It was a great experience to come back to the stadium where my career kicked off. It was good to be back, but on the other hand we lost the game, so I’m pretty disappointed right now. I felt like we could’ve gotten something from the game so this is pretty disappointing.”

On what to take moving forward to the Switzerland game next Tuesday:
“Obviously today we had a lot of positives, and now we have to look at those positives and learn from them and make sure that we’re winning games in the final period of the game and make sure that we don’t lose games in the last couple of minutes.”

On the warm reception he received from the Denmark crowd:
“Obviously it’s great for me that they still know my name back here and they still cheer for me. It’s a great city and I’m very happy to be back, but on the other hand, the result kind of killed it.”

MNT forward JOZY ALTIDORE

On scoring his goal:
“It was a great ball from Timmy [Chandler]. It looked like the defenders were confused a little bit, and I just tried to kind of stay with the play. Then, I tried to hit it first time and get it on target and it went in.”

On losing a game where the team twice had the lead:
“Yeah it’s annoying because it seems to be a trend over the last five or six games and it’s just not good enough at this level. Too many lapses at critical points in the game, and maybe it’s a little bit of lack of experience as well, but it’s something we’ll have to cut out getting closer now to a competition in the Gold Cup. We need to get better.”

On the cold, damp playing conditions:
“Yeah it was weird, it was a cold one. It was a typical spring day; it was cold and wet. But look, everybody at this level has experienced extreme temperature, so it’s no excuse.”

On preparing for Switzerland:
“Switzerland’s another tough game.  It’s another good opponent. It’s another opportunity for us to work on things, but we have to take these chances seriously now, because there’s not many left until we start a competition and that’s where it counts.”

MNT midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY

On playing his first game as captain:
“It was a tremendous honor. Obviously Clint’s [Dempsey] the captain and he’s done an incredible job, but for me to have the opportunity to be captain on the night that he’s not here was very special and not something that I’ll soon forget. Growing up you dream for these kind of nights, so it was very special.”

On the frustration of losing another game late:
“It’s very frustrating. We knew it was going to be a difficult night with the conditions; the field’s not great, it’s wet, windy, and we knew it was going to be a game where more balls were going to get played forward and  it was going to be about moving our lines and getting to second balls. I thought we handled things for the most part pretty well, but if you don’t see the game out, if you don’t take care of things in the last few minutes then you’re not going to ever get what you deserve. I think the frustrating thing is that it’s not the first time that that’s happened to us, where we’ve not been able to see a game out and we’ve got to start to learn our lesson.”

On preparing for Switzerland:
“There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ll get back to Zurich tomorrow and physically start to recover and get ourselves mentally right. Obviously it’s another big chance to step on the field against a good team.”

MNT defender VENTURA ALVARADO

On earning his first cap:
“I’m real happy and proud to be here and motivated to keep working and getting more minutes. I’m going to remember this, and it’s going to be a good memory. We lost, but it’s alright, we just need to keep working.”

Highlights: 91st-Minute Strike Beats MNT in Denmark

The U.S. Men's National Team fell 3-2 to Denmark in Aarhus, Denmark.
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