U.S. Soccer

LINEUP NOTES: U.S. MNT vs. Costa Rica - 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal

USA vs. Costa Rica
2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
July 22, 2017
AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
Live Broadcast: Coverage at 10 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and UDN

Today’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Costa Rica: 2-Jorge Villafaña 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 8-Jordan Morris, 19-Graham Zusi, 20-Paul Arriola, 23-Kellyn Acosta, 24-Tim Howard, 25-Darlington Nagbe, 26-Michael Bradley (capt.), 27-Jozy Altidore

Substitutes: 12-Bill Hamid, 29-Jesse Gonzalez, 4-Matt Miazga, 7-Chris Pontius, 9-Gyasi Zardes, 10-Joe Corona, 13-Dax McCarty, 15-Eric Lichaj, 16-Justin Morrow, 18-Juan Agudelo, 21-Matt Hedges, 28-Clint Dempsey

Referee:                                 Joel Agular (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee #1:           Juan Zumba (El Salvador)
Assistant Referee #2:           William Torres (El Salvador)
Fourth Official:                     César Ramos (Mexico)

  • Bruce Arena makes five changes from the lineup that started against El Salvador, inserting Kellyn Acosta, Matt Besler, Jordan Morris, Jorge Villafaña and Graham Zusi vs. Costa Rica.
  • U.S. MNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Michael Bradley (135), Tim Howard (117), Jozy Altidore (106), Graham Zusi (52), Omar Gonzalez (44), Matt Besler (43), Jordan Morris (21), Darlington Nagbe (18) Kellyn Acosta (12), Paul Arriola (10), Jorge Villafaña (10).
  • U.S MNT Starting XI Gold Cup Cap Numbers (including this match): Michael Bradley (19), Tim Howard (12), Jozy Altidore (9), Omar Gonzalez (8), Graham Zusi (6), Matt Besler (6), Jordan Morris (5), Kellyn Acosta (4), Paul Arriola (4), Jorge Villafaña (3), Darlington Nagbe (2).
  • The Starting XI’s average cap number (including this game): 51.6 (overall) and 7 (Gold Cup)
  • Earning his 135th cap, Michael Bradley moves past Jeff Agoos and into a tie for third with Clint Dempsey on the U.S. MNT’s all-time appearance list.
  • Following his assist in Wednesday’s win vs. El Salvador, Bradley sits tied with Cobi Jones for second on the U.S. MNT’s all-time assist list with 22. He’s also tied with Alejandro Bedoya and Eric Wynalda for second on the team’s Gold Cup assist list with six.
  • Bradley is the lone player in the U.S. MNT starting XI to score against Costa Rica, tallying the first goal in a 2-2 World Cup Qualifying draw against Los Ticos on Oct. 14, 2009 in Washington, D.C.
  • Jorge Villafaña makes his team-leading 10th appearance of 2017 as well as his first appearance in the Gold Cup Knockout Round.  
  • Earning his second start of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jordan Morris becomes the sole U.S. player to appear in all five tournament matches.
  • Kellyn Acosta and Michael Bradley pair in central midfield for the second time this year, with the first coming in the USA’s 1-1 World Cup Qualifying draw at Mexico on June 11.
  • Center back Matt Besler is the lone player on the roster that took part in the USA’s last visit to AT&T Stadium, a 3-1 win vs. Honduras in the Gold Cup Semifinals on July 24, 2013.
  • Dallas Metroplex products Omar Gonzalez (Dallas) and Kellyn Acosta (Plano) each earn starts near their hometown tonight.
  • Besler and Gonzalez pair in central defense for the second time at this year’s Gold Cup and first since the 1-1 draw vs. Panama in the tournament opener on July 8.
  • Jordan Morris and Jozy Altidore pair up front for the second time and first since a 1-0 friendly win against Canada on Feb. 5, 2016 vs. Canada.  
  • The USA is 14-15-6 all-time vs. Costa Rica and 13-6-4 on U.S. soil.
  • The U.S. holds a 6-0-1 edge vs. Los Ticos in Gold Cup play.
  • Saturday’s match marks the second Semifinal meeting between the two teams, coming 24 years and one day after the first when the USA used Cle Kooiman’s Golden Goal to earn a 1-0 extra time win vs. Costa Rica on July 21, 1993 at The Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
  • A Bruce Arena-led U.S. MNT also defeated Los Ticos 2-0 in the Gold Cup Final on Feb. 2, 2002 at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
  • Arena led the team to a 4-3-2 record in nine meetings with Costa Rica during his first tenure in charge.
  • Having gone 7-0-5 since Arena returned as head coach, the team’s current 12-match unbeaten streak is now the longest to start a U.S. MNT head coaching tenure, besting Bob Bradley’s 11-game, 10-0-1 mark set when he began in 2007.
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MNT Jul 22, 2017

QUICK HITS: Tournament of Nations Opponents

The 2017 Tournament of Nations kicks off Thursday, July 27 as Australia, Brazil and Japan come to the United States for a competition that features four of the top teams in the world that are very familiar with each other. The tournament will begin at CenturyLink Field in Seattle with Japan taking on Brazil (4:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), followed by the USA playing Australia (7 p.m. PT on ESPN). The ToN continues in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium on July 30 as Australia takes on Japan (2:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), and the USA faces Brazil (5 p.m. PT on ESPN2). The teams will then drive north for the final match day on Aug. 3 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., with Brazil facing Australia (4:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3), followed by the USA vs. Japan (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2).

Here is a breakdown of each opponent and its roster:

Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Confederation: AFC (Champion: 2010)
FIFA Ranking:
World Cup Appearances: 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015
Olympics Appearances:
2000, 2004, 2016
Record vs. the USA:
Most Capped Player on ToN Roster:
Lisa DaVanna (121)
Leading Goal Scorer on ToN Roster: Lisa DaVanna (40)
Oldest Player on ToN Roster: Lisa DaVanna (32 years old)
Youngest Player on ToN Roster: Ellie Carpenter (17 years old)
Team Nickname: Matildas

In the last five years, the Matildas have big made strides on the world stage. In 2015, Australia made it to the quarterfinal of the Women’s World Cup before falling 1-0 to eventual finalist Japan, and most recently made it to the quarterfinal of the 2016 Olympic tournament, but fell to Brazil in a penalty kick shootout that went eight players deep. The game between Australia and Brazil on Aug. 3 will be the first meeting between the two since that Olympic quarterfinal.

The last time the USA and Australia met was in the opening group game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The intense match provided an incredibly entertaining first half as Megan Rapinoe gave the U.S. an early lead in the 12th minute, but Australia quickly tied the game courtesy of Lisa DeVanna in the 27th. No team found the back of the net again until the second half when Christen Press (61st minute) and Rapinoe (78th minute) sealed the game for the USA, despite a tremendous effort from the Australian side.

Australia has five players in its ToN roster that play club soccer in the United States in: Steph Catley (Orlando Pride), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Sam Kerr (Sky Blue FC), Haley Raso (Portland Thorns) and Lydia Williams (Houston Dash).

2017 NWSL-leading scorer, Sam Kerr

Head Coach: Emily Lima
Confederation: CONMEBOL (Champion: 1991, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2014)
FIFA Ranking:
World Cup Appearances: 1991, 1995, 1999 (Third Place), 2003, 2007 (Runners-up), 2011, 2015
Olympics Appearances:
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 (Runners-up), 2012 (Runners-up), 2016
Record vs. the USA:
Most Capped Player on ToN Roster:
Marta (118)
Leading Goal Scorer on ToN Roster: Marta (108)
Oldest Player on ToN Roster: Bruna Benites (31 years old)
Youngest Player on ToN Roster: Gabi Nunes (20 years old)
Team Nickname: Canarinhas

Brazil has always been a major contender in the women’s game, producing legendary players like Sissi, Formiga, Cristiane and Marta. But even though it has come very close, it has yet to win a Women’s World Cup or an Olympics – a dream that on more than one occasion has been ended by none other than the USA.

The USA and Brazil have faced each other 34 times in a series that has featured some epic matches, including the gold medal games of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, both U.S. wins in overtime, a semifinal loss for the USA at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and a penalty kick win during the quarterfinal at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that featured Abby Wambach’s last gasp header in overtime, one of the famous goals in U.S. history.

Brazil dominates its CONMEBOL confederation, winning the Copa America Femenil six of the seven times it has been contested. Besides the USA, which has 22 players of its 23-player roster competing for NWSL teams, Brazil is the team with the most NWSL representatives – six – in its 23-player roster: Marta, Camila and Monica (Orlando Pride), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), and Andressinha and Bruna Benites (Houston Dash).

Five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, Marta

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WNT Jul 21, 2017

WNT on TV: Action-Packed NWSL Saturday Before Tournament of Nations Begins

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named her 23-player roster for the upcoming 2017 Tournament of Nations, which included 22 players currently in the middle of their NWSL seasons. Before the U.S. team gathers in Seattle for three days of training prior to its first game against Australia on July 27, there is one more weekend of NWSL games to play, not only the U.S. players, but also for those from Australia, Brazil and Japan that also play in the league. As the season heads into the stretch run, every point matters even more as teams’ battle for a top-four finish to earn a playoff spot. Here are the matches taking place this weekend:


Saturday, July 22

Chicago Red Stars vs. Orlando Pride – 3:30 p.m. ET (TV: Lifetime Game of the Week)
The Chicago Red Stars return home this weekend to host Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and the Orlando Pride at Toyota Park on Saturday’s Lifetime Game of the Week. Chicago comes home after playing on the road the last four weeks and going 1-1-2, with the only loss coming on June 28 in Seattle. With a win, Christen Press, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Casey Short and the Red Stars could potentially take the top over the spot in the standings from North Carolina as they currently sit two points behind. Additionally, there will be 11 players in this match that are on the rosters for next week’s Tournament of Nations: Morgan, Krieger, Press, Ertz, Short and Naeher (USA); Marta, Monica and Camila (Brazil); and Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy (Orlando). Sofia Huerta (Chicago) will also come into the USA camp to train, though she was not named to the official roster.

Chicago has beaten Orlando in each of the three all-time meetings. All three games have ended with 1-0 score lines. The Red Stars are one of two teams yet to lose at home this season, having gone 5W-2D this year. Chicago has lost just one home game since the start of last season, the fewest in the league. Marta has scored seven goals on the road this season – no other player in the NWSL has scored more than four away from home.

FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage – 8 p.m. ET (go90.com)
The NWSL-leading North Carolina Courage travels to Kansas City to take on Becky Sauerbrunn and Sydney Leroux on Saturday night. The game is a particularly important one for FCKC as the Blues have been struggling in the recent weeks and currently sits in the ninth position in the standings. On the other end of the standings, Samantha Mewis, Lynn Williams, Abby Dahlkemper and Taylor Smith – all of whom have been named by Ellis to the ToN Roster – will look to continue the mostly steady and successful performance of North Carolina this year to maintain its top spot for yet another week. North Carolina’s Debinha (Brazil), who will also play in this match, was selected for Brazil’s ToN roster.

North Carolina won their meeting with Kansas City earlier this season, 2-0. Kansas City has conceded 15 goals in the second half this season, the most in the league. North Carolina was shut out in their loss in Portland last weekend, the first time the Courage had been shut out on the road in 2017. Since of the start of the 2016 season, North Carolina’s Lynn Williams has scored against every team in the league except for FC Kansas City.

Houston Dash vs. Boston Breakers – 8:30 p.m. ET (go90.com)
Houston’s Morgan Brian, Carli Lloyd and Jane Campbell – all of who will represent the U.S. at the upcoming ToN – are set to host first-time WNT call-up Margaret Purce and third-time call-up Abby Smith – who were both named to the ToN roster, as the Boston Breakers visit on Saturday night. Since June 24, no other team has been as successful as Houston, going undefeated in their last five contests while scoring seven goals and conceding three. Now sitting only five points behind a playoff spot, the Dash are hoping to cash in on this opportunity at home to make up some ground and continue its climb in the league standings. Houston’s Lydia Williams (Australia) and Andressinha (Brazil) were also named to their respective countries ToN rosters.

Houston is unbeaten against Boston in their last four meetings (3W-1D). Over those four games, Houston has outscored the Breakers 8-2. The Dash have won just two home games this season, tied for the fewest in the league. Additionally, they have scored just eight goals at home. Only Boston (seven) has fewer home goals.

Seattle Reign vs. Sky Blue FC – 10 p.m. ET (go90.com)
Kelley O’Hara and Sky Blue FC haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, but things are looking up as they currently sit in third place following a pair of impressive wins and performances, particularly from Australia’s Sam Kerr, in the last two weeks. Megan Rapinoe and the Seattle Reign are in fifth place, but only two points behind SBFC, meaning a win could move them into playoff position. Rapinoe, O’Hara, Kerr (Australia) and Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign; Japan) will all be representing their countries at the ToN that starts next week.

Seattle and Sky Blue will meet for their 12th all-time matchup, having spit the first 11 games 3W-3L-5D each. Seattle has the slight scoring edge at 12-11. Since the start of 2015, the Reign has lost just two home games (26W-2L-12D). Both losses came in 2016 – one to Chicago and one to Sky Blue. Sky Blue has won three games on the road this season, tied for the most in the league.

Portland Thorns vs. Washington Spirit – 10 p.m. ET (go90.com)
Portland is coming off a big win against North Carolina last weekend and now takes on Mallory Pugh and the Washington Spirit as the Spirit looks to climb out from the bottom of the standings. Allie Long and Lindsey Horan, who were also named to the ToN roster, will try to defend home field advantage and remain in playoff contention. Australia’s Haley Raso (Portland) was named to her country’s ToN roster as well.

Portland has never lost to Washington when playing at home (3W-2D). However, the Spirit did beat the Thorns earlier this season in Washington, 1-0 on June 24. Portland has gone 5W-1L-1D at home this season.

Watch NWSL on go90.com

To watch live in the USA on a mobile device or tablet, download the go90 app (free) via the App Store or Google Play. Users with go90 version 3.0 and later can cast live games from the go90 app to Airplay and Chromecast. No registration or authentication is required. Fans can also watch matches on their laptops via go90.com, nwslsoccer.com or on the NWSL app.

Internationally all games are available on the NWSL app and the NWSL website.

The complete 2017 NWSL schedule is here. For more in-depth information and the latest news and updates about the NWSL schedule, matchups, records, etc., visit: www.nwslsoccer.com and follow them on Twitter @NWSL.

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WNT Jul 21, 2017