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MNT vs. Peru & Brazil - Sept. 4 & 8, 2015

PLAYER POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN CLUB/COLLEGE CAPS/G
Jozy Altidore F 6-1 175 11/6/89 Boca Raton, Fla. Toronto FC 83/27
Ventura Alvarado D 6-0 165 8/16/92 Phoenix, Az. Club America (Mexico) 10/0
Alejandro Bedoya M 6-0 160 4/29/87 Weston, Fla. Nantes (France) 42/2
Matt Besler D 6-0 170 2/11/87 Overland Park, Kan. Sporting Kansas City 25/0
John Brooks D 6-4 170 1/28/93 Berlin, Germany Hertha Berlin (German Bundesliga) 18/2
Geoff Cameron D 6-3 185 7/11/85 Attleboro, Mass. Stoke City (England) 31/1
Joe Corona M 5-10 165 7/9/90 Chula Vista, Calif. Veracruz (Mexico) 18/2
Mix Diskerud M 6-0 150 10/2/90 Oslo, Norway New York City FC 33/6
Greg Garza D 5-8 155 8/16/91 Grapevine, Texas Atlas (Mexico) 9/0
Omar Gonzalez D 6-5 210 10/11/88 Dallas, Texas LA Galaxy 30/1
Brad Guzan GK 6-4 210 9/9/84 Homer Glen, Ill. Aston Villa (England) 38/0
Tim Howard GK 6-3 210 3/6/79 North Brunswick, N.J. Everton (England) 104/0
Aron Johannsson F 6-0 165 11/10/90 Mobile, Ala. Werder Bremen (Germany) 18/4
Jermaine Jones M 6-0 170 11/3/81 Chicago, Ill. New England Revolution 50/3
Alfredo Morales M 6-0 163 5/12/90 Berlin, Germany Ingolstadt (Germany) 12/0
Michael Orozco D 5-11 160 2/7/86 Orange, Calif. Club Tijuana (Mexico) 16/3
Tim Ream D 6-1 165 10/5/87 St. Louis, Mo. Fulham (England) 15/0
Jonathan Spector D 6-0 180 3/1/86 Arlington Heights, Ill. Birmingham City (England) 34/0
Danny Williams M 5-10 175 3/8/89 Karlsruhe, Germany Reading (England) 15/1
Bobby Wood F 5-10 165 11/15/92 Irvine, Calif. Union Berlin (Germany) 8/2
Andrew Wooten F 6-0 180 9/30/89 Worms, Germany SV Sandhausen (Germany) 0/0
William Yarbrough GK 6-2 160 3/20/89 Aguascalientes, Mexico Club Leon (Mexico) 2/0
DeAndre Yedlin D 5-8 150 7/9/93 Seattle, Wash. Sunderland (England) 24/0
Gyasi Zardes F 6-2 175 9/2/91 Hawthorne, Calif. LA Galaxy 13/2

MNT vs. Peru & Brazil - Sept. 4 & 8, 2015

Jozy Altidore

Position:
Forward

Height:
6-1

Weight:
175

Birthdate:
11/6/1989

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Boca Raton, Fla.

Club:
Toronto FC

Ventura Alvarado

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-0

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
8/16/1992

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Phoenix, Az.

Club:
Club America (Mexico)

Alejandro Bedoya

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
6-0

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
4/29/1987

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Weston, Fla.

Club:
Nantes (France)

Matt Besler

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-0

Weight:
170

Birthdate:
2/11/1987

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Overland Park, Kan.

Club:
Sporting Kansas City

John Brooks

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-4

Weight:
170

Birthdate:
1/28/1993

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Berlin, Germany

Club:
Hertha Berlin (German Bundesliga)

Geoff Cameron

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-3

Weight:
185

Birthdate:
7/11/1985

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Attleboro, Mass.

Club:
Stoke City (England)

Joe Corona

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
5-10

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
7/9/1990

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Chula Vista, Calif.

Club:
Veracruz (Mexico)

Mix Diskerud

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
6-0

Weight:
150

Birthdate:
10/2/1990

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Oslo, Norway

Club:
New York City FC

Greg Garza

Position:
Defender

Height:
5-8

Weight:
155

Birthdate:
8/16/1991

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Grapevine, Texas

Club:
Atlas (Mexico)

Omar Gonzalez

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-5

Weight:
210

Birthdate:
10/11/1988

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Dallas, Texas

Club:
LA Galaxy

Brad Guzan

Position:
Goalkeeper

Height:
6-4

Weight:
210

Birthdate:
9/9/1984

Position:
Goalkeeper

Hometown:
Homer Glen, Ill.

Club:
Aston Villa (England)

Tim Howard

Position:
Goalkeeper

Height:
6-3

Weight:
210

Birthdate:
3/6/1979

Position:
Goalkeeper

Hometown:
North Brunswick, N.J.

Club:
Everton (England)

Aron Johannsson

Position:
Forward

Height:
6-0

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
11/10/1990

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Mobile, Ala.

Club:
Werder Bremen (Germany)

Jermaine Jones

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
6-0

Weight:
170

Birthdate:
11/3/1981

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Chicago, Ill.

Club:
New England Revolution

Alfredo Morales

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
6-0

Weight:
163

Birthdate:
5/12/1990

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Berlin, Germany

Club:
Ingolstadt (Germany)

Michael Orozco

Position:
Defender

Height:
5-11

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
2/7/1986

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Orange, Calif.

Club:
Club Tijuana (Mexico)

Tim Ream

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-1

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
10/5/1987

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
St. Louis, Mo.

Club:
Fulham (England)

Jonathan Spector

Position:
Defender

Height:
6-0

Weight:
180

Birthdate:
3/1/1986

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Arlington Heights, Ill.

Club:
Birmingham City (England)

Danny Williams

Position:
Midfielder

Height:
5-10

Weight:
175

Birthdate:
3/8/1989

Position:
Midfielder

Hometown:
Karlsruhe, Germany

Club:
Reading (England)

Bobby Wood

Position:
Forward

Height:
5-10

Weight:
165

Birthdate:
11/15/1992

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Irvine, Calif.

Club:
Union Berlin (Germany)

Andrew Wooten

Position:
Forward

Height:
6-0

Weight:
180

Birthdate:
9/30/1989

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Worms, Germany

Club:
SV Sandhausen (Germany)

William Yarbrough

Position:
Goalkeeper

Height:
6-2

Weight:
160

Birthdate:
3/20/1989

Position:
Goalkeeper

Hometown:
Aguascalientes, Mexico

Club:
Club Leon (Mexico)

DeAndre Yedlin

Position:
Defender

Height:
5-8

Weight:
150

Birthdate:
7/9/1993

Position:
Defender

Hometown:
Seattle, Wash.

Club:
Sunderland (England)

Gyasi Zardes

Position:
Forward

Height:
6-2

Weight:
175

Birthdate:
9/2/1991

Position:
Forward

Hometown:
Hawthorne, Calif.

Club:
LA Galaxy

Strong Second Half Guides MNT Past Peru 2-1 in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 4, 2015) – Led by a pair of goals from the night’s captain Jozy Altidore, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Peru 2-1 in front of a crowd of 28,896 at RFK Stadium. 

Trailing 1-0 after the first half, the U.S. came out strong on the attack in the second. After a series of chances Altidore earned a terrific equalizing opportunity when he was tripped up in the box. The captain stepped up to take the PK, and while his shot was blocked, Altidore collected and buried the rebound. Nine minutes later, and after a brilliant series of saves by goalkeeper Brad Guzan that kept the game level, Altidore broke the tie with another goal that proved to be the game-winner.

As the clock ticked away, the MNT defense stood stout against the Peru attack to preserve the 2-1 score line through to the final whistle. With the victory the USA improved to 3-2-1 all-time against Peru.

The match was the first of two tune-up games for the MNT ahead of the CONCACAF Cup against Mexico on Oct. 10. The USA will be back on the field in four days when it takes on five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
PER– Daniel Chavez (Andre Carrillo) 20th minute: Andre Carrillo pushed towards the USA box, before he suddenly turned on the jets and cut inside, centering the ball in to Daniel Chavez. Chavez was able to turn and from just outside the box took a shot that glanced off MNT defender Omar Gonzalez. The deflection spun wickedly and dipped just over U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s outstretched arm and into the goal. USA 0, PER 1

USA– Jozy Altidore (penalty kick) 59th minute: Geoff Cameron made a long throw-in to the box where Jozy Altidore backed down his defender and flicked the ball over the top. As he muscled past his defender, Altidore’s trailing leg was clipped, setting up the penalty. Altidore took the PK and blasted it to the right, where the Peru ‘keeper made a diving block. Altidore followed his shot and jumped to kick in the rebound to level the game.  USA 1, PER 1

USA– Jozy Altidore (Gyasi Zardes) 68th minute: DeAndre Yedlin rocketed down the right hand side to catch up with a long through ball. The fleetfooted attacker evaded his marker and squared the ball in the Peru box for an arriving Altidore, who was beaten to it by a defender. However, the ball ended up at the feet of Gyasi Zardes on the opposite side of the pitch. Zardes cut in and powered a low cross through the six yard box. A deflection through the legs of a Peru defenseman saw the ball find an unmarked Altidore, who volleyed home the game winner. USA 2, PER 1 FINAL (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
PER– Diego Penny (save) 39th minute: Jermaine Jones broke for the USA’s first big chance of the game. He dribbled from midfield aggressively to the left, shielding off his defender with his right arm. From 25 yards out, he blasted a left-footed shot that brought back memories of his goal against Portugal in the 2014 World Cup. Unfortunately, for Jones and the U.S., Peru’s ‘keeper Diego Penny reached it, coming out to cut down the angle and narrowly tip the strike over the bar. 

USA- Brad Guzan (save) 67th minute: A well bent free kick found a jumping Carlos Zambrono, who sent a sharp header at goal that was saved by a diving Guzan. The ball bounced off the ‘keepers hands and to the crashing Renato Tapia, who’s shot was saved again by Guzan as he trapped it tightly between his outstretched legs. (SEE SAVE) 

Coming up Next: #USAvBRA
Location: Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.
Date: September 8, 2015
Opponent: Brazil 

Milestone Watch:

  • Jozy Altidore scored the 28th and 29th goals of his career. It was Altidore’s first multi-goal game since he tallied a double in the MNT’s match against Nigeria in the USA’s 2014 Send-Off Series. Altidore is now one goal behind Brain McBride (30), who ranks fourth on the MNT’s all-time goal-scoring list.

Additional Notes:

  • Jermaine Jones returned to the USA starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 8 when he played as a center back in a 2-0 win against Panama at StubHub Center.
  • Jozy Altidore made the start as the team’s captain. It was his first time wearing the armband since he captained the squad on Nov. 18, 2014, when the team dropped a 4-1 result to Ireland in Dublin. The MNT is now 3-1-0 when Altidore wears the captain’s arm band.
  • Geoff Cameron came on at the start of the second half, earning his first cap of 2015 with his first appearance since the USA’s match against Ireland on Nov. 14, 2014.
  • Matt Besler, who came on as a sub in the second half , made his first USMNT appearance since Feb. 8 when he helped the team to a 2-0 win against Panama at StubHub Center.
  • Omar Gonzalez and John Brooks paired in central defense for the third time in 2015. In the three matches the duo has started in the center of the defense together, the MNT has allowed only two goals while scoring seven.
  • Bobby Wood made just his second international start of his career in tonight’s game. His first came against Chile in the MNT’s opening match of 2015.
  • Gyasi Zardes and DeAndre Yedlin each made their 14th appearances of the year in tonight’s match. That total ties the young attacking pair with Michael Bradley for the most MNT caps so far in 2015.
  • The U.S. now holds a 3-2-1 record all-time against Peru.
  • This matchup was the first between the teams in more than 15 years. The U.S. defeated Peru 1-0 in Miami in the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, with Cobi Jones scoring the game-winner in the previous matchup.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Peru
Date: Sept. 4, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 28,896
Weather: 83 degrees; Mostly cloudy, humid 

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

PER – Daniel Chávez (Andre Carrillo)           20th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore                                       59
USA – Jozy Altidore (Gyasi Zardes)              68 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 15-Michael Orozco (20-Geoff Cameron, 46), 3-Omar Gonzalez (19-Ventura Alvarado, 46), 6-John Brooks (5-Matt Besler, 63), 23-Tim Ream; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Danny Williams, 72), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Mix Diskerud, 46), 21-Gyasi Zardes; 17-Jozy Altidore (capt.), 18-Bobby Wood (9-Aron Johannsson, 71)
Subs Not Used: 7-Alfredo Morales, 12-Tim Howard, 24-Joe Corona, 26-Andrew Wooten
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann 

PER: 1-Pedro Gallese; 5-Carlos Zambrano, 6-Juan Manuel Vargas, 8-Christian Cueva (13-Edison Flores, 82), 10-Jefferson Farfan, 16-Carlos Lobaton (capt.) (19-Victor Yotun, 72), 17-Luis Advincula, 18-Andre Carrillo (7-Paolo Hurtado, 64), 21-Josepmir Ballon (24-Renato Tapia, 64), 22-Carlos Ascues, 23-Daniel Chavez (14-Ivan Bulos Guerrero, 82)
Subs Not Used: 2-Jair Cespedes, 3-Hansell Riojas, 4-Pedro Requena, 9-Jose Paolo Guerrero, 12-Diego Penny, 15-Christian Ramos, 20-Joel Sanchez
Head coach: Ricardo Gareca 

Stats Summary: USA / PER
Shots: 16 / 15
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 1 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – John Brooks (caution)                         48th minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (caution)                        86 

Officials:
Referee: Francisco Chacon (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Miguel Angel Hernandez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Rangel (MEX)
4th Official: Fernando Guerrero (MEX) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD

Five Things to Know About #USAvPER

RFK Stadium History

Though originally built in 1961 to house Washington, D.C.’s National Football League and Major League Baseball teams, RFK Stadium has become a cathedral of sorts for soccer in the United States.

Having served as a host venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics, 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups, RFK has been a center piece of international soccer in the United States for more than two decades.

Outside those competitions, the U.S. MNT has its own storied history at the venue that dates back to a 1-1 draw with China on Oct. 6, 1977. The 22 Men’s National Team matches hosted at the old ground are more than any other stadium, and along the way some very memorable MNT moments have been made.

Here’s a few:

Check out some of the best moments throughout the years at RFK Stadium.

MNT Players Settle in with New Clubs Across Europe

While the prime focus among players in Men’s National Team camp is preparing for next month’s CONCACAF Cup, four players in the group have recently settled their club situations for the newly started European campaign.

Winger DeAndre Yedlin was the latest player to clarify his club situation after finalizing a loan move from Tottenham Hotspur to fellow Barclays Premier League side Sunderland on Monday morning. After a month of uncertainty about where he’d be spending the season, the 22-year-old admitted relief at finding a landing spot.

This last month has been tough,” he said Tuesday. “It’s been pretty stressful. There have been so many different teams that have come up and then gone. A lot of it is out of my control, that was tough, but I’m relieved it’s over.”

After seeing the young American attacking talent fail to get first team minutes during his initial time with Spurs, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsman told reporters he was pleased with the loan move.

“Hopefully it gives him more playing time,” Klinsmann, himself a former Tottenham striker, said. “It looked pretty much that he didn’t get that playing time with Spurs because of their roster situation. With that move to Sunderland, things open up for him and hopefully they give him more opportunities to be on the field, to play Premier League minutes and that’s why we’re happy for him.”


DeAndre Yedlin will look to get a long run of games when he returns to English club Sunderland after the USMNT's friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

While there were rumors of suitors for Yedlin outside of the Premiership, the player agreed with Klinsmann about the opportunity to get Premier League minutes this season.

“I think it’s a league that you really have to get used to,” Yedlin said. “I think getting the experience playing in a Premier League team and hopefully getting consistent games is huge for me.”

Elsewhere in England, defender Tim Ream recently transferred from Bolton Wanderers to fellow English Championship side Fulham FC, despite being closely courted by the Cottagers’ cross-London rivals Queens Park Rangers.

“The move to Fulham came about pretty quick,” Ream told ussoccer.com. “QPR was interested and then Fulham kind of jumped in at the very last minute.”

What made the difference in Ream’s choice of destination? He admitted the past exploits of players like Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra at the club went a long way.

“Comparing the two clubs and knowing the American guys that have played there before and seeing the success they’ve had, it kind of pushed it over the top for me. It just seemed like a good fit not only for me personally and professionally, but it felt like a family club and that was something that was important to me.”

Despite going to a club that seems to have an affinity for American players, Ream admitted that it was difficult to leave Bolton.

“It was hard. There’s no doubt about it. I spent three and a half years there. Had some lows, had some highs, got relegated and struggled in my first year in the Championship, but all of a sudden things change and you have two really good seasons, the fans vote you Player of the Year two years in a row.

“My last day there, I was the very last one to leave the training ground that Thursday before the transfer went through. I choked up. It was home for me for three-and-a-half years and we met some really great people along the way.”

Having only secured his move a few weeks ago, Ream admitted he hasn’t fully settled at his new locale, but it didn’t take him long at all to make his way into the team.

“I’ve only been there 10 days now, but off the field stuff takes a bit. On the field, I feel good. I’ve trained four or five days and was thrown right into a Cup game, played 80 minutes and we won 3-0 against Sheffield United and then 90 minutes a few days later when we won 3-1 at Rotherham on Saturday. I’m right back to where I want to be and once camp is done here, I’m looking forward to getting back to Fulham.”


Tim Ream is the next MNT player to follow the well-trodden path of U.S. internationals at Fulham.

Perhaps the highest profile of the MNT moves this summer saw striker Aron Johannsson, whose late season goals helped AZ Aklmaar qualify for the UEFA Europa League, move from the Dutch side to German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.

Because of Gold Cup duty, Johannsson didn’t get a full preseason with his new club, but has begun to find his way of late after starting the team’s last two matches and scoring his first goal – a 39th minute penalty kick – in Bremen’s 2-1 victory over Monchengladbach on Sunday.

“It was difficult not to get a full preseason with the team and sort of get thrown in with my teammates rather than get to play with them more and show them,” Johannsson told ussoccer.com. “This is football, this is life. It’s more challenging now and it’s been nice. Of course I need some more time to adjust 100 percent with the team, but with every game and every training session things get better and better.”

U.S. forward Bobby Wood returned to camp this week, hoping to replicate the strong showings he put in with game-winning goals in the early summer friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany.

Rather than continue with the team at July’s Gold Cup, Wood and Klinsmann agreed it would be best for him to stabilize his club situation over the offseason, with the 22-year-old forward eventually signing for 2.Bundesliga side Union Berlin.

“I think it’s really important that I got my move,” Wood told ussoccer.com. “It was a chaotic last season and it was good to be able to start fresh. It was important for me mentally to set myself up for a new beginning and I was thankful for the chance to do so.”

The decision to focus on his club situation over the summer seems to have worked out so far, with Wood starting each of the club’s five league matches thus far and scoring his first goal two weeks ago in a 2-2 draw with Kaiserslautern.

“Everything is going good, I’m settled in and I’m trying to make my way and hopefully that translates here with the National Team.”

MNT's Alfredo Morales Excited for Meaningful Match against Peru

Like many of his teammates on the U.S. Men’s National Team, Alfredo Morales had eligibility to represent more than one country.

Born in Berlin to a German mother (Ruth) and Peruvian father (Galo), who gained American citizenship through his service in the U.S. Army, Morales chose to play for the United States in 2013.

Two years later, things have come full circle with his international career.

In June, Morales appeared as a substitute in the MNT’s 2-1 win against Germany in Cologne. Just over a month later, he was officially cap-tied to the United States after playing in the team’s 1-1 draw with Panama during the Gold Cup group stage.

Alfredo Morales March 31 Match Denmark

On Friday, Morales will have the opportunity to face the nation of his father’s birth as the MNT faces Peru for the first time in 15 years.

“Obviously it’s a very special game for me,” Morales told ussoccer.com. “My dad is from Peru and my whole family is Peruvian. Most of them live in the U.S., but it’s very special to me. I’m very excited and I want to beat them on Friday. It’s a big thing.”

Many of Morales’ uncles, aunts and cousins that live Stateside are based in Virginia. While he’s acquainted with them, it’s been 12 or 13 years since he’s seen his extended family, which makes Friday’s match at RFK Stadium even more special for the 25-year-old midfielder. Although he’s not quite sure which side they’ll be cheering for.

“I think I need about 15-20 tickets for the game,” he joked. “I hope they’re supporting me, but I think they just want to see a good game. They live in the U.S. and they’re very happy to be here. Of course they’re Peruvians, but I think they just want to enjoy the game and I hope they want to see me win.”

Along with seeing his extended family, Morales will also have the support of his father, who is flying in from Berlin on Thursday. Galo Morales kept Alfredo and his sister Rosa culturally connected to the nation of his birth, often cooking traditional Peruvian dishes of fish, beans and rice at the family’s home in Berlin.

“For him it’s also a very special game,” said Morales. “It’s a very big game for me and my family, but I think he’s just proud he can be in the stadium and watch a USA vs. Peru game with his son playing. It’s very special, and I hope I can do a good job and make everyone happy.”

While he takes pride in keeping his son connected to Peru, as a former U.S. serviceman, his father understood Alfredo’s ultimate desire to represent the United States. 

“He’s very proud,” Morales said of his father. “He was very happy for me. From the beginning he said it was the right decision, and I think it’s the right decision for me. The USA is a great country and I’m very proud to play here. For me it’s the right thing.”

MNT Strikers Embrace Competition for Spots on CONCACAF Cup Squad

As Men’s National Team camp convened Sunday in Washington, D.C., U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called for all players to “prove a point” that they belonged on the roster that will face Mexico in next month’s CONCACAF Cup.

With Clint Dempsey absent from the first part of the international window – he scored seven goals in the 2015 Gold Cup - the opportunity is even greater at the striker position where Klinsmann has summoned five players all aged 25 years or younger. Heading into this camp, Klinsmann said “so far, nobody has a real big advantage over another guy.”

With 83 caps and two World Cups under his belt, Altidore isn’t just the most experienced of the current forward crop, but also one of the most seasoned international players on the team. While the veteran striker departed the team following the Gold Cup group stage, he’s returned to the side after scoring three goals in his last two matches for Toronto FC.  

It’s nice to come back into camp with some goals,” Altidore said. “You put the work in. You have to train to get back to how you were and get your fitness back. I’m feeling better and excited to have the chance to come back into camp and hopefully I can get on the field and make a difference.”

With the match against Mexico looming on Oct. 10 and CONCACAF World Cup qualifying kicking off the following month, Klinsmann has said it’s crucial for the next generation of forwards to step and claim their place.

“There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team,” he continued. “Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


Senior Men's National Team debutante Andrew Wooten has his eyes set on his first full international appearance with the USA.

Johannsson and Wood are joined in camp by two familiar faces in Altidore and Gyasi Zardes, as well as newcomer Andrew Wooten. The debutant 25-year-old earned his first National Team call by starting off the 2.Bundesliga campaign with five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

I always dreamed of playing one time in the Men’s National Team,” Wooten told ussoccer.com. “I’ve worked really hard in my club and I’m very happy now to be called up for my first time. Hopefully I can put on some good performances to stay here and play maybe in the next camp and next games.”

The striker with the best goal scoring form coming into camp, Wooten has already provided a new spark to the competition up top according to Johannsson.

“It’s always difficult to get on the field for the full team, especially now with a new face coming into the camp who is going to try and get some minutes,” the newly minted Werder Bremen striker said.

“It’s the National Team. Every time you come to camp, it’s going to be difficult to get in the starting 11. We have good players. Jozy is obviously the most experienced, and so it’s going to be interesting to see who he plays. On the other hand it’s nice as well because we have some good competition and everybody is fighting every training to prove to the coach they should be playing.”


Bobby Wood unleashes a shot during MNT training in the lead up to the team's Sept. 4 friendly against Peru.

Few players in world soccer can say their first two international goals came against the Netherlands and Germany, and even less can say they were game winners. Bobby Wood can.

After two magnificent strikes at the beginning of the summer, the 22-year-old was given time off during the Gold Cup to work on establishing himself at his new 2.Bundesliga side, Union Berlin.

With his club situation clarified, Wood will hope games against Peru and Brazil help him build off his early summer performances and earn another roster spot for the team that faces Mexico next month.

“These are two awesome games in the U.S. and I’m just going to take advantage,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how much time I get, whatever it is I’m going to do my all to prove that I want to be here. We’ll see what’s up from there.”

Despite the hefty international experience he holds over his fellow forward counterparts, Altidore has embraced the open competition Klinsmann has put in place.

“The competition is lovely,” he said. “It’s part of being at this level with the National Team, and it’s something we all have to acknowledge. It’s part of the job. It’s been part of the job for my whole career.”

MNT Returns to Nation's Capital for CONCACAF Cup Tune-Up vs. Peru

The U.S. Men’s National Team is back in Washington D.C. for the first time since 2013 for an international friendly at RFK Stadium against Peru on Sept. 4. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network.

The friendly will serve as one of two MNT tune-ups for the CONCACAF Cup, the playoff game against Mexico which will be played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Oct. 10. The winner of that game will qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, a dress rehearsal of confederation champions in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After its match with Peru, the MNT will head north to Massachusetts where it will take on five-time World Cup champion Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough as the final prelude to the playoff.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has labeled these two friendlies an opportunity for players to “prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.” [Klinsmann Q&A] A total of 15 players from the group were a part of the team that represented the United States this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and 12 join from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. The roster is loaded with experience, boasting an average of nearly 27 caps. Three players have 50 or more appearances, while only five have 10 caps or less.

The MNT is coming off of a fourth place finish in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and will look to return to the form it had earlier in 2015 when it went on a six-game winning streak and was unbeaten in a stretch of nine matches from the end of March to July. Four of those games were against opponents ranked in the top 20 in the world in which the U.S. posted a 3-0-1 record and included wins against World Cup champion Germany in Cologne, sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam and rival Mexico in San Antonio.

The match will be the first between the pair since the U.S. collected a 1-0 win the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup. The USA is 2-2-1 all-time against Los Incas.

The MNT has a long history at RFK Stadium and has competed in its confines more times than in any other stadium in the world, going 14-3-5 in 22 games since 1977. In its most recent match in the nation’s capital, the team celebrated the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Soccer Federation with a 4-3 win against Germany, which at the time was ranked second in the world.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Six different players from this roster have scored for the USA in 2015: Jozy Altidore, John Brooks, Mix Diskerud, Aron Johannsson, Danny Williams and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup.  He has posted a 7-2-3 record since September of last year.
  • DaMarcus Beasley aggravated a right calf injury on Aug. 29 in a 2-0 win for Houston Dynamo and is not available for selection.
  • Jonathan Spector became the 24th player on the roster when he was added Tuesday.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp in January and has appeared in 13 games in 2015, starting in 10. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on three goals for the United States.
  • Bobby Wood was given the summer off to settle in with his new German club, Union Berlin. Wood has started all three of the team’s 2 Bundesliga games and scored his first goal on Aug. 16. The Hawaii-native scored late game-winners in back-to-back appearances in June, burying a goal in the 90th minute against Netherlands and following up with another against Germany five days later.
  • The last time Tim Howard was on the field for the USA, he made 15 saves in the MNT’s Round of 16 matchup with Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Matt Besler is back in the mix for the first time since the Feb. 8 win against Panama. Besler is the captain of MLS club Sporting KC and is one of three MNT players on this roster – along with Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones - to have appeared in all four matches in the 2014 World Cup.
  • John Brooks has a pair of clutch international goals to his name. He headed in the game-winner against Ghana in the USA’s 2014 World Cup opener and scored the first of the MNT’s three second-half goals in the 4-3, comeback win against sixth-ranked Netherlands in June.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in seven of the last eight MNT matches since making his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark. He became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7. Alvarado is a regular starter for the Club America team that captured the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League title and earned a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup.
  • Geoff Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. He last appeared for the MNT on Nov. 18, 2014, against Ireland. The game against Brazil will be a homecoming of sorts for the center back, who was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
  • Michael Orozco returns to the MNT for the first time since June. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - came on in the second half of the game against Netherlands, where he played a part in the MNT’s comeback win.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons.
  • Jermaine Jones has recovered from the injury that kept him out of this summer’s Gold Cup and is back with the MNT for the first time since February.
  • Alfredo Morales played a key role in FC Ingolstadt securing first place in the second division in Germany last year and its subsequent promotion to the Bundesliga. Morales, who holds Peruvian citizenship through his father, has started in each of the team’s first three matches.
  • Yedlin has appeared in 13 of the 14 MNT matches in 2015 and has tallied three assists, which ties for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes, behind Michael Bradley’s five.
  • Jozy Altidore has two goals and an assist this year with the MNT. The Toronto FC forward was with the U.S. for the group stage of the Gold Cup. In six appearances with Toronto since the summer tournament he has scored three goals.
  • Aron Johannsson recently completed a transfer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Bundesliga team Werder Bremen. In his final season with AZ, he recorded four goals in the team’s last three matches to help the team snatch the third spot in the Dutch Eredivisie and a place in the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Johansson made his Bundesliga debut in the opening game of the season against Schalke and followed up with his first start a week later in Werder’s match against Hertha BSC. On Sunday, the 24-year-old netted his first Bundesliga goal in Werder’s win against Borussia Monchengladbach.
  • This is the first camp with the senior MNT for Andrew Wooten. The German-American is off to a hot start in 2 Bundesliga at SV Sandhausen, having scored five goals in five games.

HOME SWEET HOME:

  • The MNT is unbeaten in its last eight games in the nation’s capital (7-0-1).
  • In July, the MNT set attendance records in four games:
    • #USAvGUA in Tennessee was the most-attended soccer match in the state’s history.
    • #USAvHON was the most-attended international match at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
    • #USAvHAI was the most-attended U.S. MNT Gold Cup match at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
    • #USAvJAM at the Georgia Dome was the most-attended MNT match in the Peach State.
    • Since 1990, the MNT has averaged 33,876 in attendance at RFK Stadium, drawing 47,359 in the most recent visit against Germany.

USA vs. PERU:

  • The U.S. holds a 2-2-1 record all-time against Peru, with the two sides first meeting in 1989 in New Jersey that resulted in a 3-0 shutout win for the United States.
  • This matchup is the first between the teams in more than 15 years. Most recently, the U.S. defeated Peru 1-0 in Miami in the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, with Cobi Jones scoring the game-winner.
  • No player from the current U.S. side has ever faced Peru, nor have any Peru players matched up against the USA.
  • This will be the MNT’s second match against a South American nation in 2015, with the other being the USA’s 2-3 loss to Chile in January.

IN FOCUS: Peru
Federación Peruana de Futbol
Founded: 1922
FIFA Affiliation: 1924
Head Coach: Ricardo Gareca
FIFA World Ranking: 46
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals: 1970, 1978
Leading Cap-Winner: Roberto Palacios (128)
Leading Goalscorer: Teofil Cubillas (26) 

Peru Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Pedro Gallese (Juan Aurich), Diego Penny (Sporting Cristal)
DEFENDERS (7): Luis Advincula (Bursaspor), Jair Cespedes (Juan Aurich), Christian Ramos (Juan Aurich), Pedro Requena (Cesar Vallejo), Hansell Riojas (Cesar Vallejo), Yoshimar Yotun (Malmo), Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Carlos Ascues (Wolfsburg), Josepmir Ballon (Sporting Cristal), Christian Cueva (Toluca), Paolo Hurtado (Reading), Carlos Lobaton (Sporting Cristal), Joel Sanchez (San Martin), Renato Tapia (FC Twente), Juan Manuel Vargas (Real Betis)
FORWARDS (6): Andre Carrillo (Sporting CP), Daniel Chavez (Cesar Vallejo), Jefferson Farfan (Al-Jazira), Edison Flores (Universitario), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Yordy Reyna (RB Salzburg)


PERU NOTES:

  • Peru advanced to the semifinals of South America’s confederation championship this summer, finishing second in its group behind Brazil and ahead of Colombia and Venezuela. Los Incas defeated Bolivia 3-1 in the quarterfinal round before falling in the semifinals 2-1 to eventual tournament champion Chile. Peru defeated Paraguay 2-0 to take third place.
  • Nineteen players from Peru’s Copa America roster are traveling to the United States.
  • Paolo Guerrero has scored four goals for Peru in 2015, including his hat trick in the team’s win against Bolivia in the Copa America quarterfinals.
  • Peru head coach Ricardo Gareca is in his first year with Los Incas.
  • Four players from the roster have scored goals in 2015: Cueva, Carrilo, Guerrero and Farfan

LAST TIME OUT:

U.S. Men's National Team vs. Peru
Feb. 16, 2000 – The Orange Bowl – Miami, Fla. – Gold Cup, Group Stage

USA    1          Jones 59’       
PER    0

USA: 1-Brad Friedel, 3-Greg Vanney, 7-Eddie Lewis, 9-Jovan Kirovski; 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.), 11-Eric Wynalda, 13-Cobi Jones, 14-Chris Armas, 16-Carlos Llamosa, 20-Brian McBride, 23-Eddie Pope
Reserves: 4-Robin Fraser, 5-C.J. Brown, 12-Jeff Agoos, 18-Tony Meola, 19-Ben Olsen, 21-Richie Williams, 22-Ante Razov
Head coach: Bruce Arena

PER: 1-Oscar Ibanez, 3-Juan Reynoso, 4-Marcial Zalazar Orbe, 6-Cesar Miguel Rebosio, 8-Juan Jayo, 10-Roberto Palacios, 11-Roberto Holsen, 14-Jorge Soto, 19-Abel Lobaton, 20-Jose Del Solar, 23-Henry Quinteros Sanchez
Reserves: 2-Jorge Huaman, 5-Jose Soto, 12-Marco Flores, 15-Ysrael Zuniga, 16-Freddy Suarez, 17-German Pinillos Rioja, 18-Waldir Saenz 

Klinsmann Adds Defender Jonathan Spector ahead of Peru, Brazil Friendlies

CHICAGO (Sept. 1, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector into training camp ahead of U.S. friendlies against Peru on Sept. 4 and Brazil on Sept. 8, Mass. The roster now includes 24 players, who will continue to train in Washington, D.C. in preparation for Friday’s match at RFK Stadium [TICKETS]. 

Last called into camp for a friendly against Ukraine on March 5, 2014, Spector has experience playing across the back line for the MNT and has a chance to make his first appearance since taking part in the side’s historic 1-0 win against Italy on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa. 

Spector has appeared in each of Birmingham City’s first four league matches this season, helping the club to a 2-0-2 record to begin the 2015/16 English League Championship campaign. 

Friday’s match marks the first meeting between the U.S. and Peru in 15 years, when the MNT defeated Los Incas 1-0 during the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage in Miami, Florida. Kickoff at RFK Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes. Fans can also follow the game live @ussoccer on Twitter.

U.S. Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Veterans Return to MNT with Eyes on Claiming a Place in CONCACAF Cup Squad

As the U.S. Men’s National Team ramps up its final preparations for next month’s CONCACAF Cup playoff with Mexico, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has brought several veteran faces back into the fold to compete for spots in October’s playoff.

Three of the players that return to the mix are midfielder Jermaine Jones, defender Matt Besler and goalkeeper Tim Howard – a trio that played nearly every minute of every match at last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. All recently absent from the team for different reasons, the three returned to MNT camp this week with joy at seeing teammates again and anticipation for the task ahead.

“It’s always nice to be back with the boys,” Jones told ussoccer.com Monday. “I think every player is happy to represent his country and I always want to play.”

Set to join the National Team for June’s friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, Jones suffered a groin injury in his last match with the New England Revolution prior to leaving for the games. The injury required surgery, which subsequently kept him from last month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

While he got to see his teammates when they came to Boston for their second group match against Haiti, all he could do was watch. In the end, he felt the same disappointment as his teammates on the field when the U.S. fell 2-1 to Jamaica in the tournament semifinals, setting up October’s showdown with Mexico.

“It’s always bad if you have to fix an injury and be out because of it,” he said. “I was sad to sit upstairs and not play and watch on TV. I think the whole team isn’t happy with the result at the Gold Cup, but we have a chance on October 10 where we can fix it. This is the goal, and now we have two games with Brazil and Peru.  I think we see them differently than other friendlies.”

Having first returned with New England a month ago, Jones has gradually built up his fitness, playing the first hour of the Revolution’s 1-0 win against the Philadelphia Union over the weekend.

“I try to get my fitness back,” he added. “I got 60 minutes with my club team now. It’s good to get a little bit harder training and get some good balance. I want to get my body to 100 percent as quick as possible.”

State of the Squad: Position Battles Abound in Important Friendlies against Peru, Brazil

As the U.S. Men’s National Team convenes in Washington, D.C.  on Sunday to prepare for their final friendlies before taking on Mexico in the October 10 Confederations Cup playoff, the message from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is clear: “Prove a point that you want to be at The Rose Bowl.”

The two friendlies against Peru and Brazil have taken on a new meaning from the time when they were originally planned. Scheduled with an eye on preparation towards November’s World Cup qualifying matches and next year’s Copa America Centenario, the two games now serve as the ultimate proving ground for veteran and young players alike to make their case for the October playoff.

“This is now a huge opportunity for the players to show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation because of what happened in the Gold Cup. Experience or no experience, this is not about developing things. This is about proving a point.”

While 15 players return from July’s Gold Cup roster, Klinsmann’s eye towards more competition in the team has seen the return of four World Cup veterans in goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielder Jermaine Jones and center backs Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron all returning after varying levels of absences over the last year.

Besler and Cameron rejoin a U.S. center back pool that also features Gold Cup starters Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks as well as Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco and Tim Ream.


MNT defender Tim Ream battles Panama's Adolfo Machado during the 2015 Gold Cup.

With seven options providing a good mix of youth and experience, Klinsmann made clear, “The heat is on in that position.”

“Some positions are definitely there to grab, but you've got to grab them with a lot of determination and a lot of ambition,” he added. “That's why bringing back Tim Howard now and Jermaine Jones and Geoff Cameron kind of signals the fight and the competition now happening between the older established ones and the new wave of players. This is what we want to see from Sunday on in training. We want to see competition, and then we're going to make some calls. Obviously the most crucial calls come for the roster that goes to the Rose Bowl.”

After taking the summer off following strong performances in the June friendly wins against The Netherlands and Germany, forward Bobby Wood and midfielder Danny Williams also returned to the fold, while the lone newcomer in camp is forward Andrew Wooten. The 25-year-old striker has been tracked by Klinsmann and his staff for two years and has started the 2.Bundesliga season off strong, scoring five goals in five matches for Sandhausen.

“We like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals. He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water right away and swim really fast.”

Wooten’s good form and entrance into the National Team picture has come at an opportune time for the striker as he comes into the fold with no clear cut pecking order after Clint Dempsey. Though the U.S. veteran won the Golden Boot with six goals at the Gold Cup, injury issues will force him out for at least the Peru match, leaving Wooten, Wood, Aron Johannsson, and Jozy Altidore a chance to prove they belong in the squad come October.

“I think the situation with our forwards is wide open,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team.

“Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”


MNT forward Aron Johannsson controls the ball in the USA's match against Jamaica during the 2015 Gold Cup.

While Dempsey and captain Michael Bradley will miss out on the Peru match, other regulars that would have otherwise been part of the camp were ruled out due to injury.

“Of course this is normal whenever we have international games,” Klinsmann said. “Unfortunately for Fabian Johnson he got injured a couple weeks after a very good start to the season with Monchengladbach. We have some cases where guys are nursing some injuries, like Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman in Salt Lake.”

Originally slated to continue with the National Team after coming out of international retirement last month, veteran DaMarcus Beasley was also forced to pull out of the squad after suffering an injury over the weekend with the Houston Dynamo.

 With the experimental period following the World Cup now coming to an end, Klinsmann put an impetus on the younger players that have received opportunities over the last year to sink or swim with established veterans back involved with the team.

“We gave the younger generation a lot of confidence and a lot of support and a lot of help, which is our job from a coaching standpoint,” he said. “Now the moment comes and they have to prove it. They have to go face-to-face with the established guys and try to steal their spot. This is what it’s about now. We will find out if they are ready for it. We have the playoff game for one, and then we have World Cup qualifying which is not experimenting any more. In a certain way you can tell that the transition phase comes to an end and now they need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

Q&A: Klinsmann, "Now the players need to prove if they are still in the top spot or not.”

ussoccer.com: What was the approach to putting this roster together?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for Mexico game a month from now. Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

“With these games, it is not the time to be patient. This is really now time for the guys to make a really strong impression that they understand the situation we’re in because of what happened in the Gold Cup. These games are not about developing things for the future. This is about proving a point towards the Mexico game.”

ussoccer.com: What is the objective for these matches?
JK: “Coming into two games like this against Brazil, whose accomplishments speak for themselves, and Peru coming off a third place finish in Copa America, this is now a huge opportunity for the players to  show us that they deserve to go to the Mexico clash. Initially with the games – and also going back to the games against Holland and Germany – our goal was to get these experiences for World Cup qualifying and Copa America next summer. Now obviously the focus has shifted and we are zoomed in on the CONCACAF Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup 2017 in Russia.”

ussoccer.com: How will having some of the veterans back help this team in camp?
JK: “We will just want to make it very, very intense and competitive from the first day on in training, so the veterans need to set the tone and they need to understand that there's a high energy there. The ones that were not a part of the Gold Cup, and the other ones that were with us before like a Danny Williams or a Bobby Wood, they need to prove a point now. This is really now about truly competing. It’s about competing for spots, competing for the Rose Bowl and obviously also towards the World Cup qualifiers.”

ussoccer.com: You said that you have been tracking Andrew Wooten for a while. What do you like about him and what kind of opportunity does he have with this camp?
JK: “We've been watching him for more than two years now and we like how dynamic he is and we like his nose for goals.  He has a very good instinct of where the ball will drop in the box and knows how to finish things off. We don’t look at him as a youngster coming in because he's 25 years old and in a certain way he's a late bloomer. For him it's important not to lose one second of time to impress his teammates and obviously the coaching staff. It's a chance that he has been waiting for for a long time, and because he’s on a good run right now he deserves that chance, but he needs to jump in the cold water and right away swim really fast.” 

ussoccer.com: Is there an opportunity for a player to step up in the striker position?
JK: “I think the situation with our forwards is wide open. Obviously the most consistent player over the last years with us has always been Clint Dempsey, but Clint right now also has some injury issues and is obviously not the youngest anymore, so we constantly try to develop the next wave of forwards and so far nobody has a real big advantage over another guy. This is really crucial for them to understand. There's a time period to break in and make yourself comfortable and be a part of a group, but there's also a time to understand the moment to step up and build your future in the team. Now after a year that we called a transition year where we developed young forwards like an Aron Johannsson and a Bobby Wood and obviously some others, we are eager to see the next generation of forwards becoming consistent. By that I mean first of all scoring goals.”

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