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U.S. Soccer to Offer VIP Experiences for International Friendly in Ireland

CHICAGO (Aug. 19, 2014) – U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s international friendly on Nov. 18 in Dublin, Ireland.

VIP Experience guests enjoy the matches and the culture of the host countries as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, providing them with exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a unique travel opportunity.

There are two different packages available for the VIP Experience. U.S. Soccer will offer a four-day trip from Nov. 16-19 to watch the U.S. take on Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin (the match is on Tuesday, Nov. 18). In addition, guests can also ask about an eight-day “Extended Tour” with U.S. Soccer, which includes an additional match in England. Space is limited in both packages

The Premium Package Includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Team Hotel and breakfast each morning
  • Premium match tickets
  • Tours to enjoy the best of local culture and history
  • Ground transportation to and from all scheduled activities, including airport arrival and departure
  • Behind-the-scenes access to a U.S. National Team training session
  • VIP Welcome Dinner
  • Premium U.S. Soccer gifts, and more

Round-trip international airfare is not included in the package, though guests will receive complimentary assistance with flight bookings using U.S. Soccer’s Travel Agency.

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting between the two since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where Ireland collected a 2-1 win. The match falls on an international fixture date, which means U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has the option to select any player he chooses for the match.

U.S. Soccer is a registered 501c3 non-profit. The minimum donation to enjoy the four-day VIP Experience is $5,395. A portion of your donation is tax deductible, and proceeds from these VIP Experiences will support important soccer development programs, including need-based scholarships for talented young players, high-performance national team programming and coaching instructors.

To reserve your VIP Experience tickets, contact U.S. Soccer today at vip@ussoccer.org.

Tim Howard’s MNT Roots Trace Back to Ecuador Shutout Win in 2002

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to host Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, marking the first home appearance post-2014 FIFA World Cup.

It is without question that goalkeeper Tim Howard was the rock star from the USA’s World Cup team, especially after recording a tournament-record 15 saves against Belgium in the knockout stage.

The upcoming USA-Ecuador matchup serves as a time capsule moment of sorts for Howard, seeing as how Ecuador was his first international opponent on March 10, 2002.

Howard earned a clean sheet during his 90-minute debut as the USA defeated Ecuador 1-0 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Howard made three saves, including a noteworthy first-half stop against Edison Mendez in the 33rd minute. The USA also had to play shorthanded for much of the second half following a Clint Mathis red card in the 58th minute.

“It was a real challenge for our players,” former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “We dealt with a lot of adversity with the red card early in the second half, but I think our team showed a lot of maturity and composure.”

Tim Howard

Howard was playing professionally for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars at the time, and the 23-year-old told the New York Times that he was honored for the opportunity.

“I was a little bit anxious at the beginning, but once I got into it, I felt very comfortable,” Howard said. “I’m very pleased that we were able to get the win, and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities. I just have to keep working hard and keep learning.”

More than 12 years later, Howard is now the USA record holder for goalkeeper wins (55), starts (103), caps (104), and is the most-capped U.S. goalkeeper in the modern era of the FIFA World Cup with eight appearances.

Prior to his MNT debut, Howard was a member of the Youth National Team system, appearing for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams, including the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Tim Howard

U.S. MNT Homecoming set for Oct. 10 Against Ecuador in East Hartford

CHICAGO (Aug. 14, 2014) – Fresh off capturing the imagination of the U.S. public with its performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, fans will have their first opportunity to welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team home when the USA hosts Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff at Rentschler Field is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET only) and at the XL Center ticket office starting Monday, Aug. 25 (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.]

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, Aug. 22, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy. We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning. The U.S. team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”

The United States holds a 2-5-4 record against Ecuador in a series dating back to 1984. Both of the USA’s victories came on U.S. soil, including a 1-0 win on March 10, 2002, in Birmingham, Alabama, that saw U.S. goalkeeper and New Jersey native Tim Howard earn his first cap and first shutout.

Led by Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups, (2002, 2006 and 2014) and just missed the South American playoff spot during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Drawn into Group E along with France, Switzerland and Honduras, La Tricolor compiled a 1-1-1 record in Brazil.

Rentschler Field has hosted big-time matches for the MNT, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group match. Brian McBride scored the game-winner in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005 , against Trinidad & Tobago in final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, then Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won its group on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States holds a 3-1-0 record at the venue.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 5-3-2 record this year.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

MNT vs. Republic of Ireland: Highlights - April 17, 2002

In this classic highlight, the U.S. MNT took on Ireland at Lansdowne Road in Dublin in the final match prior to the announcement of the 2002 World Cup roster. Despite a first-half goal from U.S. defender Eddie Pope and stellar play from U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, the USA fell 2-1.

U.S. Men's National Team to Close Out 2014 Campaign on Nov. 18 Against Ireland in Dublin

CHICAGO (Aug. 12, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will close out a memorable 2014 campaign when it travels to the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18 in Dublin.  Kickoff at Aviva Stadium is set for 8:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. ET). Broadcast information will be announced at a later date. Fans can follow the match on twitter @ussoccer.

“We are absolutely thrilled to finish our work in 2014 with a game against Ireland,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They are consistently a difficult team to play against, and we welcome these types of challenges as we continue to move our team forward towards the Gold Cup next year.”

U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for guests travelling to support the team in Ireland. VIP Experience guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, including deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Soccer hotel, behind-the-scenes access to a Men’s National Team Training, VIP dinner, premium tickets, gifts, ground transportation and more. Email vip@ussoccer.org for pricing and details.

Ireland has been drawn into Group D of qualifying for the 2014 European Championship, along with 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany. The Irish will face Scotland in qualifying action four days prior to hosting the United States. LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is the team’s captain and its all-time leader in appearances (134) and goals (62).

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where the Irish collected a 2-1 win.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 5-3-2 record this year.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Landon Donovan Tribute

U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan announced today he will retire from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Donovan, 32, is the Men’s National Team all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (57) among a host of other records. Here are a few of his top highlights with the U.S. MNT!

Landon Donovan Retirement Announcement Quote Sheet – Aug. 7, 2014

U.S. Soccer Federation President SUNIL GULATI
“When the story of the growth of U.S. Soccer is told, Landon Donovan will be one of the central figures. As a player, and as an ambassador, he is incredibly committed to the growth of the sport in this country. Landon achieved unprecedented success as he emerged as the face of U.S. Soccer, and helped bring the game to another level. His extraordinary accomplishments on the field are admired and respected both here and abroad.  We look forward to celebrating his legacy.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
“Congratulations to Landon Donovan on an absolutely amazing career. He consistently raised the bar for himself these last 15 years, and he set a fantastic example for so many other American players to follow. As one of the best players in U.S. Soccer history, Landon should be proud of everything he has accomplished.”

U.S. Soccer Federation CEO and Secretary General DAN FLYNN
“Landon Donovan has been an integral part in the success of soccer in this country for the last 15 years. He has an impressive passion and commitment to the game on and off the field, and his career accomplishments for U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer have been extraordinary. We are all incredibly thankful for everything he's done to help advance the sport to new levels.”

LA Galaxy head coach BRUCE ARENA
“It’s an unbelievable legacy. I have a hard time thinking that there’s another American player that’s accomplished as much as Landon has. He’s been a champion at the club level, he’s been a force in the National Team programs, and he’s been really the focal point of this game in our country for so many years. He’s accomplished everything an American player can accomplish at this point in time. That’s quite a legacy. We all know the statistics and those kinds of accomplishments, but on top of that he’s a first-class person. That’s an unbelievable legacy to have.” 

U.S. Men’s National Team Forward LANDON DONOVAN
“After careful deliberation and many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last year as a professional soccer player. It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the LA Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career.”

On who he would like to thank:
“There are so many people I want to thank who have inspired me, guided me and helped me on this incredible journey. I simply could not have accomplished what I did during my playing career without an overwhelming amount of support from my family, my friends and many others. I plan to express my gratitude to everyone in a more detailed manner at a later date; however, for now, I want to single out the fans. You are the lifeblood of this sport and, without you, none of us would be fortunate to call ourselves professional soccer players in MLS.”

On his future with soccer and working with the LA Galaxy Development Academy:
“I absolutely want to work with kids. I spoke to (Chris) Klein extensively about working with the Academy. That for me would be a really good way to come full circle. I fully expect that that will happen at some point.”

On what he hopes his legacy entails:
“I hope that my teammates will say I was a good teammate. I hope that my coaches will say they enjoyed working with me and having me on their team. I hope that the fans enjoyed watching and could see how much I gave to this sport over the last 16 years. That’s really it, because at the end of the day, the goals and the assists and accolades and that stuff, in the end they don’t mean a whole lot to me. But the relationships matter. I've always prided myself in being someone that guys wanted to be around.”

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:
“The growth is slow but it’s significant. Now, when you wake up and it’s 2014, you see what’s going on and you see what’s happened this summer with the World Cup and the people paying attention; it’s fascinating. And I know we live in a society that tells us we need to be the best now, but I think we should all be very proud of what we have accomplished over the 18 years of this league.”

U.S. MNT Wins Best Moment at 2014 ESPY Awards

CHICAGO (July 16, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team won Best Moment at the ESPYs this evening for its 2-1 victory against Ghana in the team’s opening group match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Natal, Brazil.

U.S. MNT defender John Brooks scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to give the U.S. the dramatic victory after a hard-fought match that the U.S. had led for most of the way. Captain Clint Dempsey scored the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history when he tallied just 30 seconds into the match, but Ghana tied the game in the 82nd minute. The victory marked the first for the USA against Ghana, which had defeated the U.S. in the previous two World Cups.

Dempsey accepted the ESPY for Best Moment along with seven of his teammates live on stage at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Joining Dempsey on stage were Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin.

Other nominees in the category were Mariano Rivera’s final game and Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech.

The U.S. Men’s National Team also won Best Moment at the 2010 ESPY Awards for the dramatic 1-0 victory against Algeria in its final group match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The ESPY Awards have been given out annually since 1993 and are determined by fan vote.

Jurgen Klinsmann Recaps World Cup and Previews Final

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann recaps the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and previews the final between Germany and Argentina.

Tim Howard’s MNT Roots Trace Back to Ecuador Shutout Win in 2002

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to host Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, marking the first home appearance post-2014 FIFA World Cup.

It is without question that goalkeeper Tim Howard was the rock star from the USA’s World Cup team, especially after recording a tournament-record 15 saves against Belgium in the knockout stage.

The upcoming USA-Ecuador matchup serves as a time capsule moment of sorts for Howard, seeing as how Ecuador was his first international opponent on March 10, 2002.

Howard earned a clean sheet during his 90-minute debut as the USA defeated Ecuador 1-0 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Howard made three saves, including a noteworthy first-half stop against Edison Mendez in the 33rd minute. The USA also had to play shorthanded for much of the second half following a Clint Mathis red card in the 58th minute.

“It was a real challenge for our players,” former U.S. head coach Bruce Arena said after the game. “We dealt with a lot of adversity with the red card early in the second half, but I think our team showed a lot of maturity and composure.”

Tim Howard

Howard was playing professionally for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars at the time, and the 23-year-old told the New York Times that he was honored for the opportunity.

“I was a little bit anxious at the beginning, but once I got into it, I felt very comfortable,” Howard said. “I’m very pleased that we were able to get the win, and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities. I just have to keep working hard and keep learning.”

More than 12 years later, Howard is now the USA record holder for goalkeeper wins (55), starts (103), caps (104), and is the most-capped U.S. goalkeeper in the modern era of the FIFA World Cup with eight appearances.

Prior to his MNT debut, Howard was a member of the Youth National Team system, appearing for the U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams, including the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Tim Howard

Conference Call Quote Sheet: U.S. MNT Goalkeeper Tim Howard

On the attention he has received and how he is dealing with it:
“I think when you get in the public eye, you just try and figure out a way to deal with it. I’m old, so I’ve been dealing with it for a while. I keep my feet on the ground and just figure out a way to deal with it. Like I said, it’s nothing new when you’re in the public eye. It’s nice that America knows about soccer. I think that’s what’s most important.”

On being the subject of social media praise and photos:
“In today’s day and age with social media and all the rest of it, nothing surprises me. There are some very creative and funny individuals out there. If it makes them happy, I think it’s quite funny.”

On if he prepared differently or knew the game against Belgium would be different:
“That’s a good question. I’ve been asked that a couple times today. I always try and do the same things every day. I eat the same way, I train the same way, and I’ve found success doing that. I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for those types of performances. You just hope that if you work hard enough for long enough, you’ll get a little bit of luck.”

On his future with the U.S. Men’s National Team:
“I signed an extension which is a four-year contract with Everton. That excites me, all the good things that are going on at that club, which obviously is a club that I love. What happens going forward with the National Team? I don’t know. The emotions are too raw at the moment so I’ll let everything die down. I’ll speak to people who are close to me and the manager and decide what my future looks like. I don’t think it’s very black and white to be honest, so I need to figure all that out.”

On the attention the U.S. MNT gets and competing with the other sports in the U.S.:
“I tell you what, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Every four years, America gets behind this team, obviously we have a good following anyway, but gets behind this team and really drives us forward. I live in Europe and there are a lot of European countries that don’t. They’re very cynical. Their team goes to the World Cup and they don’t do very well and everyone says ‘I told you so.’ I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that all the attention is on us every four years and that people take notice. It’s hard to sustain that every day. Around the world in Europe and Africa and Asia and South America, soccer is either the No. 1 sport or the only sport. In America, we’re competing with football, basketball, baseball, hockey. It’s not as easy a question as that, but the support has been immense.”

On whether or not he might retire:
“There’s a lot that goes into the decision and right now emotions are high so I want to let things settle. There’s no doubt, barring injury, that I’ll be fit and willing to keep going, but there are a lot more things that go into that decision than just my physical health. It’s something that, in time, I’ll decide.”

On whether he was more tired after making a record-setting 16 saves than after a normal game:
“No, physically I was fine. Physically, I was great. I think when you’re active and you’re in the match a lot, you just go into a zone, your body goes into autopilot. I mean, those guys in front of me are incredible. How they run that long and that hard is beyond me. I’m driving them on, I’m cracking the whip and I can see they don’t want to do it but they keep pushing themselves and their performance was absolutely miraculous. It’s very tough to do what they did for 120 minutes.”

On the influence of Roberto Martinez on his goalkeeping and playing the ball out of the ball back with his feet more:
“That’s a great observation. I think it’s laughable that I find myself in the games sometimes thinking, ‘I’m only doing this because Roberto wants it done, you know?’ He’s just been incredible. He has given me the confidence to not only play out of the back but to control the rhythm and to see how the build-up works from a goalkeeping standpoint. He’s been fabulous. He and I were introduced to each other at 34 and I thought that was it, I thought I had learned everything I needed to learn. He’s been a breath of fresh air in his style and the way he has encouraged me to play.”

On his thoughts regarding the young talent coming into the Men’s National Team:
“The talent pool is rich. This was a very young team and even if guys didn’t play serious minutes, they were a part of this experience and they’ll be so much better for it in the coming years whether that be Copa America, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup, World Cup qualifying and on to the next World Cup. As we saw with Julian Green last night who came on with a goal that we desperately needed, but I think more so DeAndre Yedlin has just put a big smile on my face. He comes into the game and faces Eden Hazard and he never looked back, and Eden Hazard is the best player in the Premier League, or was one of them last year, and he’s a threat to anyone and DeAndre got his head down and dared him to come at him. I think it’s very exciting for U.S. Soccer.”

Altidore on Alert

SALVADOR, Brazil – In the mid-day heat, the U.S. Men’s National Team began its training session as it normally does: with a huddle around head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

On Monday, though, the crowd gathered around another old friend. Greeted with hoops and hollers from his teammates, Jozy Altidore stepped into the middle of the circle as his teammates jumped around him. A round of applause followed. Officially speaking, Altidore is available for selection after a hamstring injury suffered in the team's opening game of the World Cup.

Vai dar Tudo Certo

The term “Vai dar tudo certo” is used by Brazilian locals to mean “It’ll all work out.” This is what USA fan Oscar Choi used to describe the upcoming challenges that face the U.S. MNT as the players head into their Round of 16 game against Belgium.

Choi is not alone.

More than 1,500 fans supporting the USA gathered together at Fan HQ in Salvador with one familiar thought in mind: “I believe that we will win.” With the event RSVP list maxing out in less than two hours, excited fans arrived early to the event sporting red, blue and white.

Many fans bought tickets to the Round of 16 match in hopes that the USA would advance out of the “Group of Death” and play at the Arena Fonte Nova on July 1.

Familiar cheers, hollers and chants could be easily heard over the booming sound of the speakers. A giant banner that read “Uma Nacão. Uma Equipe.” encompassed the idea of national unity with a Brazilian culture splash. Fans took turns posing next to the sign, with their family, friends or strangers who they had just met but shared a connection with through the USMNT.

With the success of fan parties in Natal, Manaus and Recife, this event was hastily put into works when the news of USA’s advancement was finalized. With uncertainty being a key factor when purchasing tickets for matches after the group stage of the tournament, many USA fans optimism was repaid by the success of this young American team.

Most individuals bought tickets before the start of the tournament, gambling that their team of choice would make it through the group stage. Chelsea Glavin was one of the lucky fans.

The 29 year old from Vancouver, Washington, mapped out her entire trip of teams and cities they would play in and booked her plane tickets after. She attended the England- Uruguay, England-Costa Rica, USA-Germany and Costa Rica- Greece matches.

“My parents are from England, and obviously, I’m American so I looked up where England would be playing and where the U.S. would be playing and mapped it out from there,” Glavin said. “Everything else I just guessed and did off of tourist information of what the best cities would be and then I just got really lucky with tickets.”

Glavin plans on going to a quarterfinal match as well as the final in Rio de Janeiro. She was excited to see the U.S. advance and would love to see the team make it to the quarterfinals.

“It’s a huge deal that we made it to the Round of 16. Even though we lost the last game, it was like we still won because it’s creating history in the U.S. for this sport and progressing it through to an even high level; now we will gain more popularity; more fans.”

A few of these fans will be in attendance for the USA game. However, this could easily be coined as a mere coincidence because most purchased their tickets during the FIFA lottery. Tom Pellet from San Francisco was given advice by South Africa World Cup fans who told him to go into the lottery for the Round of 16 and quarterfinal games.

“We actually had these tickets before we found out it was a U.S. game. We lucked out. We have, what may be, their second game in Brasilia,” Pellet said. “We got in the lottery months ago, and we got a quarterfinal game and a Round of 16 game and these happened to be the two.”

Some fans made spontaneous trips to Salvador for the sole purpose of seeing their team play. Trey Porter from San Antonio, Texas, decided last minute after the U.S. MNT advanced that he would buy a ticket to see the team play at Arena Fonte Nova.

“I just did everything I could. I got here four hours ago, got tickets three hours ago, so yeah I’m thrilled,” Porter said. “I just got lucky at the last minute because I wasn’t going to come to the World Cup and not get to see them play.”

Like many fans, Porter believes this World Cup is a huge step forward for the growth of soccer in America. He already purchased a plane ticket to Brasilia in hopes that he will be able to follow the team there.

Hope was in the air, as many fans had their Arena Fonte Nova tickets previously purchased with the confidence that the U.S. MNT would advance to that location. Anyan Owens planned his trip to attend the USA vs. Germany game and the Round of 16 match. He plans on making an effort to follow the team as long as they advance in the tournament.

“It’s absolutely huge. This is two World Cup’s in a row,” he said. “I think this idea with the deep run, with the time-zones, great media coverage, high definition everywhere, everything is just set up that this is going to catapult soccer everywhere to a place that it hasn’t been in the States, which is where people will care about it.”

By taking one look at the hundreds of fans at the event, this is an easy conclusion. USA supporters present at FanHQ freely share a firm belief that the team has proven itself and will appear once again on the 2014 World Cup stage.

 Oscar Cantu, 29, of San Francisco, is another fortunate American soccer fan who is impressed and optimistic about the future of the 2014 U.S. squad and is prepared to follow them around the country if they continue in the tournament.

“I knew that there was a good chance they would be here. If they make it to the next match — even though I’m scheduled to be in Rio — I’ll go to Brasilia to watch them,” Cantu said. “I think it’s amazing. I think that despite what any American will tell you, I don’t think anyone really thought they’d get out of the “Group of Death”. To see them get out with such class shows that there is something to be said about U.S. Soccer and what we are today.”

Culture Club

RECIFE, Brazil - For USMNT fans and soccer supporters across the States, there have been more than enough reasons to celebrate since the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 12. After grabbing four points in the first two games, all eyes were on the USA’s third, and perhaps most important, match of the group stage against Germany.

Although the U.S. ultimately lost 1-0 to Germany, the low scoring result saw the team out of the group stage and onto the Round of 16, which was reason to rejoice. This is the first occasion that the U.S. has advanced to the Round of 16 in consecutive FIFA World Cups.

Fans across the 50 states are backing the dream of advancing in the tournament and challenging for the FIFA World Cup Trophy. The U.S. fan presence on the ground in Brazil is equally stunning. Despite torrential rainfall, Arena Pernambuco in Recife was packed with people wearing red, white and blue stars and stripes.

With the amount of World Cup tickets being purchased by USMNT supporters, U.S. Soccer took notice of the increased fan interest in the team and has hosted a Fan HQ party filled with beer, food, music and a lively, fun crowd on the night before the games in each city the USA has played in during the tournament. For the team’s final group stage match, the Fan HQ party in Recife brought in some extra support to amp up the crowd.

To the delight of the masses, U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati introduced newly popular fan icon Teddy Goalsevelt and comedic superstar Will Ferrell once the evening was underway. Ferrell, wearing a two sizes too small away jersey, joked with the crowd and told them that he was so honored to be playing tomorrow.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m not in the best shape,” Ferrell said. “I’m not in soccer shape right now, but I’m gonna try my best and live up to the spirit of this American team.”

One fan said he knew there was a special guest coming. “I called that Sunil Gulati was gonna be on stage, and he was,” Robert Sagerian said. “But I had no idea that he was going to bring out Will Ferrell.”

Sagerian, a San Diego resident, said he is happy to see the support and love from the fans, believing that U.S. Soccer is on the rise.

“I think it really speaks to how far soccer is going, and it’s really reaching to everybody in the U.S.,” he said. “I think Will Ferrell is a class act, and for him to come all this way here and show his support really shows how far soccer has come in the country.”

Photo Gallery: U.S. MNT Training in Salvador - June 30, 2014

Photos from the U.S. Men's National Team official training session in Salvador before its Round of 16 game against Belgium at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

U.S. Soccer to Offer VIP Experiences for International Friendly in Ireland

CHICAGO (Aug. 19, 2014) – U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s international friendly on Nov. 18 in Dublin, Ireland.

VIP Experience guests enjoy the matches and the culture of the host countries as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, providing them with exclusive behind-the-scenes access and a unique travel opportunity.

There are two different packages available for the VIP Experience. U.S. Soccer will offer a four-day trip from Nov. 16-19 to watch the U.S. take on Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin (the match is on Tuesday, Nov. 18). In addition, guests can also ask about an eight-day “Extended Tour” with U.S. Soccer, which includes an additional match in England. Space is limited in both packages

The Premium Package Includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Team Hotel and breakfast each morning
  • Premium match tickets
  • Tours to enjoy the best of local culture and history
  • Ground transportation to and from all scheduled activities, including airport arrival and departure
  • Behind-the-scenes access to a U.S. National Team training session
  • VIP Welcome Dinner
  • Premium U.S. Soccer gifts, and more

Round-trip international airfare is not included in the package, though guests will receive complimentary assistance with flight bookings using U.S. Soccer’s Travel Agency.

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting between the two since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where Ireland collected a 2-1 win. The match falls on an international fixture date, which means U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has the option to select any player he chooses for the match.

U.S. Soccer is a registered 501c3 non-profit. The minimum donation to enjoy the four-day VIP Experience is $5,395. A portion of your donation is tax deductible, and proceeds from these VIP Experiences will support important soccer development programs, including need-based scholarships for talented young players, high-performance national team programming and coaching instructors.

To reserve your VIP Experience tickets, contact U.S. Soccer today at vip@ussoccer.org.

U.S. MNT Homecoming set for Oct. 10 Against Ecuador in East Hartford

CHICAGO (Aug. 14, 2014) – Fresh off capturing the imagination of the U.S. public with its performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, fans will have their first opportunity to welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team home when the USA hosts Ecuador on Oct. 10 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Kickoff at Rentschler Field is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET only) and at the XL Center ticket office starting Monday, Aug. 25 (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). [Note: Tickets are not sold at Rentschler Field except on the day of the event.]

Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, Aug. 22, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy. We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning. The U.S. team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”

The United States holds a 2-5-4 record against Ecuador in a series dating back to 1984. Both of the USA’s victories came on U.S. soil, including a 1-0 win on March 10, 2002, in Birmingham, Alabama, that saw U.S. goalkeeper and New Jersey native Tim Howard earn his first cap and first shutout.

Led by Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, Ecuador has qualified for three FIFA World Cups, (2002, 2006 and 2014) and just missed the South American playoff spot during the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. Drawn into Group E along with France, Switzerland and Honduras, La Tricolor compiled a 1-1-1 record in Brazil.

Rentschler Field has hosted big-time matches for the MNT, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group match. Brian McBride scored the game-winner in the 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005 , against Trinidad & Tobago in final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, then Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won its group on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States holds a 3-1-0 record at the venue.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 5-3-2 record this year.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

U.S. Men's National Team to Close Out 2014 Campaign on Nov. 18 Against Ireland in Dublin

CHICAGO (Aug. 12, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will close out a memorable 2014 campaign when it travels to the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 18 in Dublin.  Kickoff at Aviva Stadium is set for 8:45 p.m. local time (2:45 p.m. ET). Broadcast information will be announced at a later date. Fans can follow the match on twitter @ussoccer.

“We are absolutely thrilled to finish our work in 2014 with a game against Ireland,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They are consistently a difficult team to play against, and we welcome these types of challenges as we continue to move our team forward towards the Gold Cup next year.”

U.S. Soccer is offering a special VIP Experience for guests travelling to support the team in Ireland. VIP Experience guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity as part of the U.S. Soccer Delegation, including deluxe accommodations at the official U.S. Soccer hotel, behind-the-scenes access to a Men’s National Team Training, VIP dinner, premium tickets, gifts, ground transportation and more. Email vip@ussoccer.org for pricing and details.

Ireland has been drawn into Group D of qualifying for the 2014 European Championship, along with 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany. The Irish will face Scotland in qualifying action four days prior to hosting the United States. LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is the team’s captain and its all-time leader in appearances (134) and goals (62).

The USA holds a 2-4-2 record against Ireland in a series dating back to 1924. This is the first meeting since April 17, 2002, in Dublin, where the Irish collected a 2-1 win.

The United States reached the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, advancing out of the “Group of Death” with a second-place finish behind tournament champion Germany. Overall, the USA has posted a 5-3-2 record this year.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Landon Donovan Retirement Announcement Quote Sheet – Aug. 7, 2014

U.S. Soccer Federation President SUNIL GULATI
“When the story of the growth of U.S. Soccer is told, Landon Donovan will be one of the central figures. As a player, and as an ambassador, he is incredibly committed to the growth of the sport in this country. Landon achieved unprecedented success as he emerged as the face of U.S. Soccer, and helped bring the game to another level. His extraordinary accomplishments on the field are admired and respected both here and abroad.  We look forward to celebrating his legacy.”

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
“Congratulations to Landon Donovan on an absolutely amazing career. He consistently raised the bar for himself these last 15 years, and he set a fantastic example for so many other American players to follow. As one of the best players in U.S. Soccer history, Landon should be proud of everything he has accomplished.”

U.S. Soccer Federation CEO and Secretary General DAN FLYNN
“Landon Donovan has been an integral part in the success of soccer in this country for the last 15 years. He has an impressive passion and commitment to the game on and off the field, and his career accomplishments for U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer have been extraordinary. We are all incredibly thankful for everything he's done to help advance the sport to new levels.”

LA Galaxy head coach BRUCE ARENA
“It’s an unbelievable legacy. I have a hard time thinking that there’s another American player that’s accomplished as much as Landon has. He’s been a champion at the club level, he’s been a force in the National Team programs, and he’s been really the focal point of this game in our country for so many years. He’s accomplished everything an American player can accomplish at this point in time. That’s quite a legacy. We all know the statistics and those kinds of accomplishments, but on top of that he’s a first-class person. That’s an unbelievable legacy to have.” 

U.S. Men’s National Team Forward LANDON DONOVAN
“After careful deliberation and many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last year as a professional soccer player. It has been more than anything I could have dreamed of to represent the LA Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes, Everton, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer throughout my career.”

On who he would like to thank:
“There are so many people I want to thank who have inspired me, guided me and helped me on this incredible journey. I simply could not have accomplished what I did during my playing career without an overwhelming amount of support from my family, my friends and many others. I plan to express my gratitude to everyone in a more detailed manner at a later date; however, for now, I want to single out the fans. You are the lifeblood of this sport and, without you, none of us would be fortunate to call ourselves professional soccer players in MLS.”

On his future with soccer and working with the LA Galaxy Development Academy:
“I absolutely want to work with kids. I spoke to (Chris) Klein extensively about working with the Academy. That for me would be a really good way to come full circle. I fully expect that that will happen at some point.”

On what he hopes his legacy entails:
“I hope that my teammates will say I was a good teammate. I hope that my coaches will say they enjoyed working with me and having me on their team. I hope that the fans enjoyed watching and could see how much I gave to this sport over the last 16 years. That’s really it, because at the end of the day, the goals and the assists and accolades and that stuff, in the end they don’t mean a whole lot to me. But the relationships matter. I've always prided myself in being someone that guys wanted to be around.”

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:
“The growth is slow but it’s significant. Now, when you wake up and it’s 2014, you see what’s going on and you see what’s happened this summer with the World Cup and the people paying attention; it’s fascinating. And I know we live in a society that tells us we need to be the best now, but I think we should all be very proud of what we have accomplished over the 18 years of this league.”

U.S. MNT Wins Best Moment at 2014 ESPY Awards

CHICAGO (July 16, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team won Best Moment at the ESPYs this evening for its 2-1 victory against Ghana in the team’s opening group match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Natal, Brazil.

U.S. MNT defender John Brooks scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to give the U.S. the dramatic victory after a hard-fought match that the U.S. had led for most of the way. Captain Clint Dempsey scored the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history when he tallied just 30 seconds into the match, but Ghana tied the game in the 82nd minute. The victory marked the first for the USA against Ghana, which had defeated the U.S. in the previous two World Cups.

Dempsey accepted the ESPY for Best Moment along with seven of his teammates live on stage at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Joining Dempsey on stage were Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin.

Other nominees in the category were Mariano Rivera’s final game and Kevin Durant’s MVP acceptance speech.

The U.S. Men’s National Team also won Best Moment at the 2010 ESPY Awards for the dramatic 1-0 victory against Algeria in its final group match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The ESPY Awards have been given out annually since 1993 and are determined by fan vote.

World Cup Quote Sheet: Jurgen Klinsmann Final Press Conference

U.S. MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
Thanking the media and those in Brazil who helped the MNT on the trip:
“First of all, before we get into the questions, we really would love to thank São Paulo FC for hosting us during those couple weeks. It’s been tremendous. It’s been an amazing experience for all of us. Also, [thanks to] the setup of the hotel in the city and the people there. Everywhere we went we were just welcomed with open arms. It’s been a special time here. We want to thank you guys for hanging in there with us. It’s been almost seven weeks now. A lot of you were already up in Stanford and the whole journey through New York to Jacksonville down here, then obviously city by city here in Brazil. A big thank you to all of you, the way you approach everything very, very respectfully. A great relationship. We are all in this together, as we always say. We all try to make this game grow in our country and get it to the next level and working hard on it. It doesn’t mean you can’t have critical questions or critical comments or critics. It’s all totally fine. I think it’s been a great time. Unfortunately it came to an end last night with that game against Belgium. We have to accept that. But overall I think everybody’s proud of their team that went to their limits. Everybody can take a lot from those six, seven weeks that we spent together.”

On how to continue developing the team and soccer in the U.S.:
“I think it’s hugely important for us to make the game grow, the players grow, and really find ways to improve on every front. Having next summer’s Gold Cup with that, hopefully being qualified for the Confederation’s Cup in 2017; in 2016 having an Olympics that is very, very important to us. We’ve got to do much better than the last cycle there. Having a Copa America in the United States, it’s pretty much the second biggest competition you can have. I understand the European Championship is huge, but Copa America is huge as well. Hosting that means a lot to us. That’s another huge platform to make the team grow, make players grow and obviously hopefully qualify for the Confederations Cup. Every year you have big benchmarks that you can approach. In all that, the relationship with MLS is extremely important. It’s very good. We bounce so many things back and forth. We’re constantly communicating with each other. We’re trying to get on the same page more and more schedule-wise, which is important so we hopefully can get all the players that we need in order to be internationally successful.”

On how each of the players can grow from the World Cup experience:
“After analyzing every game of this World Cup, and we will do that, we will watch them over and over again and then look at details and communicating those details then to the players, in a couple weeks from now after they have their break, we’ll tell you in which areas we need to improve, in which areas we have to learn. When you play a tournament like that, I mentioned it last night, you play every four or five days, so you have to be on top of your game in every one of them. In the tournament, the maximum is seven games, but if you go through an entire season and you play in a rhythm of every four days, that is really demanding. This is about consistency, it’s about living the right way, all these on and off topics. It’s about keeping the highest tempo, the highest level of concentration, not giving away anything. It’s about the spirit of the group, being connected, helping each other out everywhere.”

On helping players regardless of where they play their club soccer:
“We always said that if they play in Mexico, if they play in MLS, or if they play in Europe, our job is to help them to play to their highest capabilities, to reach their highest personal level. When we get the players, we will try to push them. I think quite a lot of the players reached their highest level in the last couple weeks. I think we saw outstanding performances. This is our job as coaches. We are not there not to control their personal paths in terms of what clubs they play in and how they structure their careers. We don’t really have that much of a say in them. I mentioned it many times, I maybe sound like a broken record – do we want them in the biggest clubs possible? Do we want them in the highest competitions possible? Yes. I think that’s just normal. It’s in every sport the same way. But no matter where they are coming from, if we are convinced that they have the potential and they have the quality to be part of the senior National Team, we’re going bring them in no matter where they play and help them to raise the bar again.”

On injuries, the medical staff and the rigors of the World Cup:
“We knew that bringing Jozy on the bench was not meant to have Jozy on the field. He still needs a couple more days. But he’s healthy now. He’s ready to go back and build. We kept them on the edge with training and demanding because we knew that we’re going to play the best in the world every four days, so you’ve got to maximize every little area you have. Our fitness coaches did a tremendous job. Out medical staff was on top of the players every day. They worked day and night on all the players. This is what a World Cup is about. It’s a non-stop thing. It’s 24/7 for these couple of weeks.”

On Tim Howard’s performance against Belgium:
“I think it’s been a fantastic performance by Tim. He kept us in the game and he made it possible that we could have won this game or at least equalized in the last couple of minutes and go into a penalty shoot-out. It would be better for him to answer that question, maybe it was the best game that he played in his career, but only he can tell us. I didn’t watch all of his games. It’s fantastic because it also shows you how all the games of the World Cup were received back at home. Many people watched this competition, maybe more than four years ago in South Africa. It’s fun to see that and he deserves every compliment for his game last night.”

On the intensity of the knockout round:
“It’s little things that decide if you go on in the knockout stage or not. All of the knockout stage games were great, with two or three exceptions, but other ones were very, very close games and went into overtime, went into even penalty shootouts. Brazil had to go through that right away. It shows you that things are doable. In order to make them happen, it’s little things that make the difference. A little bit of luck, also maybe a little bit of individual plays that put the ball in the net or not.”

On the mentality and accountability of players changing with the growth of soccer in the U.S.:
Overall, we’re going in the right direction. I think the players understand – we often talk about this grinding attitude or mentality. You’ve got to wear a team down. You can’t loosen up. You can’t relax, never in a game. In CONCACAF, you can go and think it’s going to be an easy game; it’s no easy game anymore. All the teams globally caught up. They know how to train. They know how to play an all year-round season. They have strong domestic leagues. Their best players play in Europe, most of them. Therefore, you know how challenging it is. I think with the competition that we have now happening every year, it will help us to understand that we need to become more consistent. It’s also more demanding, more demanding on the players. Not just letting them get away with things, getting critical in certain moments, and make it clear that if you would have put that ball in the net yesterday, we would be in the next round. So think about that for a second without making it too harsh, but they need that sense of accountability, a sense of criticism, and people around them care about it. It’s good. We discussed that many times. We all have different opinions. We all would play 11 different players from the beginning on, but that is good because it gives a sense of people caring about the game. This is what happens right now in the United States. Fans and the media, you care about it and you bring in your own opinions and different opinions that the coach or the players have, it makes them feel accountable and not just walk away from a bad performance and nothing happens. No. If you have a bad performance, people should tell you that so you can make sure the next game is not bad anymore and you step it up and be alert about that. This is the growth of the game in our country. People now are starting to care about it. Fans care about it. They comment on social media, they comment everywhere about it. And that’s good. We need to make this grow and make that continue, that they get a sense of that.”

On if he feels vindicated looking back on the tournament now about his comments that the U.S. wasn’t ready to win the World Cup:
“I think saying that we come into the World Cup [that we are going to] win the World Cup is not right because you would raise the expectations to a level that is just over the moon. Is it possible to come through the group that we were in? Yes, because we did it. It is doable, it is possible. Is it possible now to go game by game and maybe even win four games? Yes it is possible. But, you can go in there and say we are going to win the World Cup because you have teams like Brazil, Germany and all the big, big countries in there. You have to take it one step at a time. If we equalize the [Belgium] game, if Wondo’s ball goes in and you win it 1-0 in the last minute, you play now Argentina and is Argentina beatable? Absolutely. If you go through Ghana, Portugal, Germany and Belgium then you take on Argentina. Absolutely we would have taken on Argentina. Crazy enough, Greece won the Eruos in 2004, and everybody though this is unbelievable. But it depends on how you create the focus in our own environment going into a tournament like the World Cup, and I thought it’s not the right thing for me to say that we’re coming to Brazil to win the World Cup. Is this a dream for everybody? Absolutely.

On what the expectations would be when the U.S. is a regular top eight or top four team in the world:
“This is definitely something we want to break into rather sooner than later. Was it our goal to come here and make it to the quarterfinals? Absolutely. Or, Maybe even surprise some people more and make ti to the semifinals? Absolutely, yes. After the ending last night we have to wait another four years for trying to do that, but I think we can only grow. Our upside is far bigger than a lot of other countries because the game is breaking through on all levels. We have to help the game grow in many different ways: with coaches educations, with referee education , with player development, with connecting the dots between the professional leagues and with U.S. Soccer as well. It’s still a work in progress, but why not try to get into those top eight? We tried before the tournament to get friendlies against different countries, they said, ‘No.’ They said, ‘We don’t want to play this U.S. team because we don’t know how to take them; they might beat us.’ They don’t want to go with a negative experience to the World Cup. Now after this World Cup, a lot of countries look at us differently and say OK, and they give us a game. If it’s South American countries, or it’s European countries; they’re not taking us lightly anymore no matter where we go. So, we’re building that respect more and more. Hopefully, we are ready now to say we are in those top eight, top 10 teams rather sooner than later.”

On which players over 30 he sees being part of the team moving forward:
“There’s no, ‘Thank you and bye.’ It’s always defined by performance, by what you bring to the table. I think there’s a good thing about going into the next year is that we have the opportunity to see a lot of young players come into our platform, into the senior team and we can give them time to show where they’re at right now. So the more experienced players, we can tell them now for the next couple of months, listen, ‘Play in your club environment. We know you inside and out. We know what you bring to the table.’ But, maybe right now for the next couple friendlies that come up and for the next year, we want to see the young players grow and see how far they can make it. Then obviously comes the Gold Cup. We want to go to the Gold Cup with the strongest team possible. Then it’s going to be similar to a World Cup or the last Gold Cup; we want to play our best team possible. We want to see how many of the more experienced players are still in it and how many of them are out. This transition year now coming up is definitely an opportunity to bring a lot of young players through the ranks and see what they are capable to do already.”

On if U.S. players are good enough to win more World Cup games on a talent level and how he can help make them better over the next four years:
“We get benchmarked at the World Cup and our benchmark ended last night. There’s definitely stuff we have to improve and get better in. It’s many things off the field and many things on the field. Playing at that kind of a tempo, at that kind of a rhythm every four days – this has to become the norm, which [it is not yet.] Maybe an example is Fabian Johnson with Hoffenheim, he never played every four days because they don’t play Europa League or Champions League. So he played every week just one game. Now suddenly you hit this kind of level at the highest tempo and your body gives you signals [that it’s too much.] Even though we trained the Send-Off games, players are not used to it yet. So our job as coaches is how can we make it clear that in order to get further and further we need to add the work load, we need to add the competition level, we need to make them understand what recovery time means, what their life off the field plays a role in many things you can achieve in your career. We have to continue to communicate that, to show them and especially start to implement that with our Under-17, Under-18, Under-20, Under-21, which will be the future Olympic team because that’s the next Generation that’s going to break in. The more we get that message to those kids, the more we will benefit a couple of years from now. When you go out in the Round of 16, clearly it gives you the message you have a lot of work still ahead of you.”

On how he can get the players to play higher up the field, toe-to-toe with top teams:
“I think it’s a mentality topic that we have to break through in a certain way because the interesting thing is every time we go down a goal, we shift it up. Then suddenly we build the pressure higher up and give [our opponent] a real good game. There’s still this sense of too much respect often. That’s why I try to play friendly games against European teams. Yes you respect your opponent, but to leave that respect off the field and go and give them the real games. A good example was in Bosnia. We were down 2-0 at halftime and I told the guys, ‘You have a game here. You just have to take it. You Have to shift it up there, put them under pressure and they will be surprised.’ We turned that game around, won 4-3, and Bosnia after the game said, ‘Yeah, actually [the U.S. can do that.’ So, it is still a mentality topic that we are working on. Not dropping to deep, not giving the opponent the first move all the time. Once you concede a goal, what’s your reaction? Now you have to chase the game and suddenly we are capable to do it. We could have turned [the Belgium] game around in the last 15 minutes of extra time. Absolutely, we had enough chances to win it 3-2 in extra time. But why not do it earlier? This is a constant discussion we have. This is why it’s so important that I have [U.S. U-20 MNT head coach] Tab Ramos with us, [U.S. U-18 MNT head coach] Javier Perez with us, [U.S. U-17 MNT head coach] Richie Williams with us, to make them clear that we have to start this process earlier with younger players, so we are not reacting to the opponent, and we try to take the game to them. Play it. Play it and here and there if you lose a game you get a lesson and that will be it. I believe it’s more a mental topic that we have to work on then it is a talent topic.”

On how losing Jozy Altidore changed the team’s tactics for the subsequent games:
“It had an impact definitely because he’s a big part of our spine. He’s a player that keeps two center backs on their toes, he can hold the ball and he gives Clint then more space and more freedom to roam around him and to get the whole game higher up the field. Not having Jozy was not ideal for us; it had an impact, but it’s not a complaint. It is what it is. Injuries happen to other teams as well, so it’s not at all an excuse, but definitely it had an impact.”

On the positives to take away from the World Cup and the first thing to start working on:
“We look into the younger generation first of all. We look into what comes through now in the U-21s, U-20s and U-18s. We have had discussions already with Tab and Javier, and we want to see how much of the talent there is going to be close to break into the senior National Team. This year coming up is an opportunity to work on many different fronts and the next benchmark will be the Gold Cup next summer. We are eager to keep working. We have a tremendous staff built now; a staff that not only works within the United States but works internationally. I think the help of Berti Vogts this last couple of weeks was a real pleasure. It was outstanding with his wisdom that he brings to the table and his eyes on things from the outside was very helpful to us. We have an established network now in Europe that can observe our young players coming through the ranks in Europe, which we have a couple of very good talents coming there as well. We built all that now over the last two, three years. It’s there, it’s working and we continue to build on it, but still in every area we discuss about player development we can do better.”

On how he views the record viewing numbers in the U.S.:
“We are all very excited about that. We are excited seeing soccer breaking through or just getting a lot of recognition in the United States now. A lot of people being on TV and being at fan festivals and getting that connection to millions of people. The game has always been very popular in the United States. Millions of children play soccer. It’s popular in high school, college and the league now is a national league that does tremendously well being built 20 years ago, getting better and better. At the end of the day, like in every country, the locomotive of getting to the next level is the National Team. The National Team, whenever a World Cup comes along, it has to do well, it has to inspire the home country to jump on board. This team now inspired the fans back at home to jump on board and have fun, to enjoy those dramatic games that they saw and keep their fingers crossed and go through emotions positively and negatively. It has been huge what happened the last couple of weeks and the connection to the fans in the United States through you media people. They should be proud of that, the players should be proud of that and the fans should be proud of that too. We saw this building the last two, three years with the American outlaws coming with more and more chapters throughout the country. Our World Cup Qualifying games were all sold out, we had a huge response there. Our Send-Off games before the World Cup, we’re finishing them in Jacksonville in front of more than 50,000 people. That all shows you that soccer’s breaking through. That is deserved recognition without taking anything away from the other big American sports. I think it’s important that people identify themselves with how the American team is playing. The energy and the commitment and tempo that we played with made people proud at home and surprised a lot of people outside of the United States, maybe in Brazil or in Europe. I got many emails and comments from European people in Italy, France and Germany who said, ‘Wow, we never saw this before that you were so close to beat the big ones.’ That’s a compliment and we take that compliment but it makes us even more hungry for the next time.”

World Cup Quote Sheet: MNT vs. Belgium - Sunil Gulati, Jurgen Klinsmann

U.S. Soccer Federation President SUNIL GULATI
On the team’s effort against Belgium:
“A heroic effort. Belgium is a very good team. Two guys from Everton were the difference: Timmy Howard kept us in the game with an extraordinary performance and [Romelu] Lukaku obviously made the difference coming on. Even when we were down 2-0, I thought we would come back, and we had four, five chances. There was so much pure emotion.”

On the Jurgen Klinsmannn’s impact on the team:
“I don't think there’s any doubt about that and I think the players would agree. We’re still building and it’s obviously disappointing not to get a little further here. It’s no longer the case that we’re happy just to be in the second round. We want to advance, the players want to advance and they know they’re capable of it.”

On Tim Howard¹s performance:
“Tim Howard is an important player on our team and he’s expected to make big saves. Tonight he made a lot of big saves, the most since 1966 in a World Cup. That’s what he’s supposed do, that’s his job and he’d tell you that as well. It was an extraordinary performance.”

On the growth of soccer in the U.S.:
“The country was paying attention, and I think we’re building on something. We’re building on something: Bob [Bradley] did a great job, Bruce [Arena] before him – Jurgen is building on that. We’ve got some new exciting players, so there’s progress on the field and it’s especially progress when you think about the number of people at home who were paying attention.”

U.S. MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
Opening comments:
"It's a bummer for us ending on the losing side after a game of 120 minutes that gave everything to the fans, to the crowd – a real drama, a thriller. We had enough possibilities to equalize that game and we meant to put it away earlier, but big compliment to Belgium and congratulations to them to move on into the quarterfinals. It was a game that just went to the extreme. We all are very, very proud of our team, of every player stepping on the field today gave everything they had. I think they made their country proud with this performance and also with their entire performance in this World Cup. You have to swallow this for a second, but after a little bit of a break, you have to move on."  

On his initial thoughts about the game:
“You can stop them in a certain way. There will be chances on their end but I think we had our chances as well. It’s opening up after a certain time, after an hour and 17 minutes into a game like this, things will open up because the legs get heavy and they’re going to push it to the limits. That’s what we did. We had our chances to win. We didn’t put it in; they put it in at the end. But it’s been a thriller. It was dramatic; it was everything that a football game really wants to have. I think the whole country and all the fans that came down to Brazil can be proud of their team.”

On starting Geoff Cameron and the tactical approach to the match:
“With Cam coming in at this point, we hoped that he would take on (Marouane) Fellaini and that’s exactly what he did. I think he had a very, very good game. It’s a little bit of a different style. I think we had to push it higher up and then find Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey up higher. It worked out well. It was the right thing to do, but at the end when you have the opportunities at that level you’ve got to put them in.”

On the midfield looking tired and saving a substitute until extra time:
"They were all on their limits, every player on the field because the way we played our games with high energy through every game we knew that sooner or later the team will hit the wall. It's just normal. You don't want to give a substitution away too early because maybe another player goes out with injury or cramp. We needed to wait with the third sub a little bit longer and then made it then. All of the players today it just went beyond their capabilities and I told them in the locker room that they should be very proud of themselves, and take a lot of positive steps back home after this World Cup."  

On the injuries and DeAndre Yedlin stepping in: 
"What leads to injuries is fatigue. What leads to injuries is playing on the highest level with the highest intensity that you've never played before. We did a really excellent, amazing job, until this point today having 23 players. We had Jozy coming back but it was a little too early for that. I think our staff did a tremendous job preparing our team for the extreme conditions in this World Cup. You always have to expect at some point that a player, or two or three going down. And that's why you build someone behind him, and we built DeAndre Yedlin behind Fabian and we knew, OK, now it was his turn. The way the kid played tonight and previous occasions there was just no fear at all and doing very, very well. It is a completely different level that we experienced here. A lot of players are not used to going every four days on the highest level and then extra time. That's what we prepared them for and I think they did themselves proud. "

On Tim Howard:
"This was definitely an amazing goalkeeper performance. There is no doubt about it. He should be very proud of himself and we are proud to have him with us. Tim played tonight just phenomenal, he was outstanding. He kept us a long time in this game. We knew that going forward sooner or later we would have our chances, but he had an absolute amazing match tonight and you can just give him the biggest compliments in the world. "

On Tim Howard keeping the team in the match:
"The longer he keeps you in the game the more you hope let's get some breaks and go forward and find our own chances. The more the game went on, the more chances we created. That's what you want to build on the back of Tim, getting back in the game and then finding opportunities to score.Those games are decided by little, little things. Thanks to Tim we had that possibility throughout 120 minutes because he kept us in there."

On Julian Green:
"Julian was growing at a very fast speed in the last seven weeks, and we guided him through that process. If the occasion [to put him into a match] had been there already we would have done that. I knew that the moment would come today, but then the injury to Fabian early, issues at other positions delayed it and delayed it because when you go into extra time you want to make sure you're not making the third sub too early. We knew that he was ready. I told him before the game watch the No. 2, read him, have a specific eye on him and he knew that he might get this chance today. It was just phenomenal how he came in and scored that goal and gets us back now and then we just need a little bit more luck to get the second one and that was not the case. It's fun to watch that kid grow."

On the impact of the team’s dual nationals:
"We're looking for all Americans around the world. No matter what dual background they have. We have more coming through and that's just part of globalization as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago."

On the difference between the U S., Germany and Belgium:
"Here and there, I think it's a little bit still the mental approach. We have to learn more and more. I think that we are in that process to take our game to the opponent no matter what their name is. Here and there, we wait just a little bit too long to start our game. We told them from the beginning that we're trying to create. We're going to win the one-against-one battles especially in the midfield and create in our own end. There is still a little too much respect on our end when it comes to the big stage; why not really play? It is something that we have to go through, I don't know how many years it takes. I think it is a process that the players need to realize that you have to take it to the opponent. Don't back up so much. I'm screaming my lungs off on the sideline to push them higher up the field. I think that this is something that we just need to get out of our minds that we start to shift the whole game further up, even if it's against talented teams.

On the team's progress in his first three years:
"I'll leave that up to you. It's kind of your job. I think that we worked tremendously over the last couple of years. I said at the beginning of the last couple of years that I continue on the foundation that Bob passed on to me which was a very strong foundation with the great job that he's done. I found ways to introduce new, young players into our program and develop the game on every front of it. If it's on the younger level, it's on the senior level, on the organizational side, wherever it is, I think we've done a lot, a lot of work those couple years. Now it comes to a point where you have to swallow a game like this today and have to find a way to move on. Obviously we're excited about some young players through the ranks, some young players that maybe were not there yet but we know now what we have with them. We are excited with building a next Olympic team cycle which is huge for us going to Rio de Janeiro in two years. We have a very exciting competition two years from now with Copa America in the United States. The way that the people, the fans, embraced the team and the sport in the last couple years will only continue to grow, especially with a league that is getting stronger and stronger and with the competitions we have ahead of us next year with the Gold Cup, then Olympics and Copa America, and then hopefully the Confederations Cup and then the four year cycle goes into the World Cup in Russia. I think we've done a lot of work. We would have liked to continue longer in this tournament. There's no double about it there's a disappointment there. It's just normal. We had the chances to put them away and on the other end Belgium had their chances too. I think there's a lot to build on going forward."  

On takeaways from the 2014 World Cup:
“We take a lot, a tremendous amount away from this experience. We grew a lot. We now know that we can play eye-to-eye with the big nations. The teams that we faced here are favorites to win the World Cup and we’ve done tremendously well against them. We see a couple of young players coming through the ranks. To see Julian Green jumping on the field and scoring right away and DeAndre Yedlin, we have many other youngsters waiting. After you finish a World Cup, you discuss the future of it and that goes towards the young players that we have in our country and we build the next cycle.”

On looking forward after this World Cup:
"What you hope is that your team really takes this experience and understands now what this level means, what this intensity means, what the pace of the game means and the demands. It's not only just going to training or to go play a game on the weekend. It's about lifestyle. So much comes into this. The experience of the last seven weeks, every little piece plays a role in building a successful team for a World Cup. I think they learned a tremendous amount. I think they all went to their limits. They gave everything they had."

World Cup Quote Sheet: MNT vs. Belgium - Howard, Jones, Dempsey, Gonzalez, Bradley, Besler

U.S. MNT goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On his immediate reaction to the loss:
“It’s heartbreaking. I don’t think we could have given any more. What a great game of football. We left it all out there. We got beat by a really good team. They took their chances well. It’s heartache. It hurts.”

On the sense of urgency in the last minutes displayed by the U.S.:
“That’s human nature. Once you go behind, there’s a trigger in all of us that we feel like we have to claw ourselves back. That just happens. That’s the way sports are.”

On being under pressure for the majority of the match:
“That’s my job. That’s what I signed up to do. It’s part of it. In these big games against top-quality competition, the levy is going to break at some point. Hats off to Belgium, they were fantastic, but we gave a valiant effort.”

On having hope throughout the match:
“Oddly enough when you’re in the game you don’t really think about that. You just try and fix the problem and always believe you can do it. What an incredible group. Sometimes when you give your best, it doesn’t come off, but I’m proud of this group.”

On the feeling between the extra time periods when the MNT was down 2-0:
“When we changed over, we just said, ‘Try and get a goal.’ If we get a goal we can put them under real pressure and at 2-1, I think we did that. Dream fell short, but this is an incredible group, and we’ll never forget this night.”

On DeAndre Yedlin:
“Brilliant. Pleasantly surprised with DeAndre. He’s got a bright future. He’s fearless. He’s gets forward, he’s strong, he’s fast. It’s not a cakewalk and I thought he handled it really, really well.  As the team got tired, we opened up, but you talk about one-on-one, he won those battles.”

On the potential of this team:
“I think the sky is the limit for this team and this was a good taste for these guys. Really young team, the guys got some good minutes and saw what it was about. You learn some lessons, sometimes they’re harsh. I think we’ll grow and it’s exciting to see where this team could go.”

U.S. MNT Squares off Against Belgium in Round of 16 Match at FIFA World Cup

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Belgium
2014 FIFA World Cup – Round of 16
Arena Fonte Nova– Salvador, Brazil
July 1, 2014

U.S. MNT FACES BELGIUM IN ROUND OF 16: The U.S. advanced to the Round of 16 in consecutive FIFA World Cups for the first time in its history and will play Belgium on Tuesday, July 1, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, for a spot in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN Radio. Fans can also follow live on Twitter @ussoccer. The U.S. finished in second place in Group G with four points and ahead of Portugal in goal differential by three goals. Germany won Group G with seven points. Belgium took first place in Group H with nine points, beating Algeria (which advanced to the Round of 16 but fell 2-1 to Germany on Monday), Russia and Korea to sweep the group.

After a dramatic 2-1 victory against Ghana and a roller coaster 2-2 draw with Portugal to open the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the USA finished Group G play with a 1-0 loss to Germany, tying Portugal with four points in the group. The U.S. advanced, holding a goal differential of zero to Portugal’s minus-3 goal differential. In the final game of group stage, Germany broke through with a goal in the 55th minute by Thomas Muller after a scoreless first half. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard stopped a header by Per Mertesacker and the rebound trickled to the top of the box to Muller, whose shot inside the right post was just beyond the reach reach of a diving Howard. The U.S. would threaten but failed to score, as the 1-0 Germany lead would stand for the final count.

Jozy Altidore, who left the USA’s opening game against Ghana with a hamstring injury, has been in training with the U.S. and has been deemed available for the Belgium match. Jermaine Jones collided with Alejandro Bedoya during the game against Germany and both are cleared to play. Clint Dempsey (nose) and defender Matt Besler (hamstring) have recovered from their respective injuries and will be available for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.


U.S. Men’s National Team By Position –
Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


2014 U.S. MNT SCHEDULE:

Date

Opponent

Result/Time (ET)

U.S. Goal Scorers/TV

Venue

Feb. 1

Korea Rep.

2-0 W

Wondolowski (2)

StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.

March 5

Ukraine

0-2 L

--

Papadopoulos Stadium; Larnaca, Cyprus

April 2

Mexico

2-2 T

Bradley, Wondolowski

Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.

May 27

Azerbaijan

2-0 W

Diskerud, Johannsson

Candlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.

June 1

Turkey

2-1 W

F. Johnson, Dempsey

Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.

June 7

Nigeria

2-1 W

Altidore (2)

EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.

June 16

Ghana **

2-1 W

Dempsey, Brooks

Estadio das Dunas; Natal, Brazil

June 22

Portugal **

2-2 T

Jones, Dempsey

Arena Amazonia; Manaus, Brazil

June 26

Germany **

0-1 L

--

Arena Pernambuco; Recife, Brazil

July 1

Belgium **

TBD

ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

Arena Fonte Nova– Salvador, Brazil

Sept. 3

Czech Rep.

TBD

TBD

Prague, Czech Republic

** 2014 FIFA World Cup


2014 FIFA WORLD CUP – GROUP G (FINAL)

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Germany

1

2

0

1

7

2

+5

7

USA

1

1

1

1

4

4

 0

4

Portugal

1

1

1

1

4

7

-3

4

Ghana

1

0

2

1

4

6

-2

1

Monday, June 16
Germany 4, Portugal 1; Arena Fonte Nova; Salvador
USA 2, Ghana 1; Arena das Dunas; Natal

Saturday, June 21
Germany 2, Ghana 2; Estadio Castelao; Fortaleza

Sunday, June 22
USA 2, Portugal 2; Arena Amazonia; Manaus

Thursday, June 26
USA 0, Germany 1; Arena Pernambuco; Recife
Portugal 2, Ghana 1; Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha; Brasilia

For full standings and results, visit ussoccer.com’s 2014 FIFA World Cup homepage.


USA VS. BELGIUM:

  • The U.S. had scored two goals in each of its past six matches before being shut out against Germany, and has now scored two goals in seven of its nine games in 2014. The MNT is 5-2-2 during this year. The other loss came against Ukraine on March 5 (a 2-0 defeat in Cyprus) and the draws came against Mexico (2-2 tie on April 2 in Glendale, Arizona) and Portugal (2-2 on June 22 in Manaus, Brazil).
  • The U.S. enters Tuesday’s game having gone unbeaten in six of its past seven games, with the draw against Mexico, followed by four straight wins against Azerbaijan, Turkey, Nigeria and then Ghana in the USA’s World Cup opener before the draw against Portugal and loss to Germany.
  • This is the USA’s seventh consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup and 10th appearance overall.
  • The U.S. lost 4-2 to Belgium in the last meeting between the two teams, a friendly on May 29, 2013, in Cleveland. That game marked DaMarcus Beasley’s 100th cap with the U.S. MNT. Geoff Cameron also scored his first international goal and Clint Dempsey added a late penalty kick as the U.S. gave up three second-half goals to Belgium.
  • Eleven of Belgium’s players on the current World Cup roster appeared in the 2013 victory against the U.S., including 10 of the 11 starters.
  • Of the 11 Belgium holdovers from the 2013 victory against the U.S., 10 have started at least one game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • The U.S. also has 11 players on its roster who appeared in the 2013 loss to Belgium, eight of which started that game. Ten of those 11 have started in this year’s World Cup for the U.S.
  • The U.S. is 1-4-0 all-time against Begium,
  • The only U.S. victory over Belgium came in 1930 in Montevideo, Uruguay, during the opening game for each team of the first FIFA World Cup, which was also the first meeting between the two sides. The U.S. won 3-0, on its way to a top-four finish with a 3-0 win against Paraguay and a 6-1 loss to Argentina in the semifinals.
  • The U.S. was shut out in three straight meetings with Belgium, all friendlies taking place in Brussels, Belgium. The USA lost 1-0 on April 22, 1995; fell 2-0 on Feb. 25, 1998; and lost 1-0 on Sept. 6, 2011.


DISCIPLINARY NOTES:

  • Belgium: Jan Vertonghen picked up a caution on June 17 against Algeria, and both Toby Alderweireld and Axel Witsel were issued yellow cards in the June 22 match against Russia. Mousa Dembele received a caution on June 26, while Steven Defour was shown a red card and will be unavailable for the match against the U.S.
  • USA: No infractions in June 16 match; Jermaine Jones (caution on June 22; another caution during group stage through quarterfinals would result in one-game suspension). Midfielder Kyle Beckerman and defender Omar Gonzalez were cautioned against Germany on June 26.
  • For players who have only one caution through the conclusion of the quarterfinal stage, that yellow card clears from his record heading into the semifinals.


U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Both Brad Davis and Omar Gonzalez started for the U.S. against Germany. It marked their first World Cup starts and it was Davis’ World Cup debut.
  • After scoring against Ghana and Portugal, Clint Dempsey’s four goals overall in FIFA World Cup play lead the current squad, as he has scored in each of the three World Cup Finals in which he has played. He scored in the MNT’s first group stage match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against England to earn a 1-1 draw, and he tallied the USA’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss to Ghana on June 22, 2006, in the last match of the group stage.
  • John Brooks’ game-winning goal against Ghana was the first international goal of his career and came in just his fifth cap with the U.S. MNT. It was his first cap in a FIFA World Cup.
  • Brooks, who has citizenship in both the U.S. and Germany, is now cap-tied to the United States with his appearance in an official FIFA competition.
  • Jermaine Jones’ assist on Dempsey’s goal against Ghana was the sixth of his career with the U.S. MNT and first of 2014.
  • Jones then scored his first World Cup goal with a fine solo effort against Portugal; it was third goal overall for the U.S. MNT.
  • Graham Zusi’s assist on Brooks’ 86th-minute goal was his second of the year and fifth of his career with the U.S. It came in Zusi’s first World Cup cap.
  • Zusi added his second World Cup assist the very next game against Portugal on June 22, setting up Dempsey.
  • Along with Dempsey and Brooks, midfielder Michael Bradley is the only other player on the USA’s 2014 FIFA World Cup roster to score in a World Cup match. He scored an 82nd-minute equalizer against Slovenia that helped bring the U.S. back from a 2-0 halftime deficit and force a 2-2 draw on June 18, 2010, in the USA’s second group stage match.
  • With the victory against Ghana, Tim Howard earned his second victory in a FIFA World Cup. His other victory was the USA’s 1-0 win against Algeria on June 23 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • The USA roster features five players who played in a previous FIFA World Cup: DaMarcus Beasley (2002, 2006, 2010), Dempsey (2006, 2010), Howard (2010), Jozy Altidore (2010) and Bradley (2010).
  • Altidore’s two goals in the U.S. MNT’s 2-1 victory against Nigeria on June 7 were his first two of 2014 for club or country. He now has 23 career international goals. 
  • Fabian Johnson’s assist on Altidore’s first goal against Nigeria was his first of the year after leading the U.S. with three assists during World Cup qualifying.
  • Johnson recorded his first international goal in his 21st appearance during the first half of the USA’s 2-1 win against Turkey on June 1 during the Send-Off Series.
  • During this qualifying cycle for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Dempsey led the team with 14 appearances in the USA’s 16 games while posting a team-high eight goals.
  • Howard was 9-3-1 during the qualification process for this year’s World Cup, posting five clean sheets.
  • Chris Wondolowski is tied with Dempsey on three goals to lead the U.S. MNT in 2014.
  • Bradley and Zusi lead the U.S. with three assists each in 2014.
  • The U.S. roster features 10 players who represent Major League Soccer sides, including three sets of club teammates: Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman at Real Salt Lake; Matt Besler and Zusi at Sporting Kansas City; and Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin at Seattle Sounders FC.
  • Besler took home 2012 MLS Defender of the Year honors, a year after LA Galaxy defender Gonzalez earned the same award.
  • Altidore scored eight goals for the USA in 2013 and set a U.S. MNT record by scoring in five straight games as he earned 2013 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year honors.
  • Julian Green earned his first U.S. cap on April 2 against Mexico as a second-half sub. Born in Tampa, Florida, Green is a dual citizen of the United States and Germany. The 18-year-old played for Germany in qualifying for the UEFA U-19 championship, which required that he complete a one-time change of association that allows him to play for the U.S. National Team.

 

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard increased his MNT record with win No. 55 of his career during the team’s 2-1 victory against Ghana on June 16. The record was previously held by Kasey Keller (53). Howard is now 55-28-16 all-time.
  • Howard set another goalkeeping record with his 100th start during the Ghana match, breaking the record set by Keller (99).
  • Howard now has 103 caps, passing Keller (102) for most all-time by a U.S. MNT goalkeeper.
  • Howard is currently second in career shutouts with 35, trailing Keller’s record of 47. Howard passed Tony Meola for second when he notched his 33rd clean sheet on Oct. 11, 2013, a 2-0 victory against Jamaica to lead the USA to the top of its third straight Hexagonal.
  • Clint Dempsey’s goal during the June 16 match against Ghana was officially marked at 30 seconds, standing as the fastest U.S. goal and fifth-fastest overall in FIFA World Cup history.
  • Dempsey has now scored in all three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014) in which he has appeared, becoming the only American to accomplish this feat.
  • With his fourth World Cup goal, Dempsey has tied for fourth on the USA list with Bert Patenaude, trailing only Landon Donovan (5). Two of his four World Cup goals have come against Ghana.
  • Dempsey became just the third MNT player to score at least one goal in 10 consecutive years after tallying the game-winner against Turkey on June 1. The only other two players to record a goal in that many consecutive years are Brian McBride and Eric Wynalda with 11 years each.
  • Dempsey has 39 goals for his career, second all-time behind Donovan’s record 57 goals.
  • Dempsey passed Wynalda (1990-2000) for ninth place on the U.S. MNT’s all-time caps list by earning his 107th against Portugal.
  • Defender DaMarcus Beasley, who joined Claudio Reyna and Keller as the USA’s only four-time FIFA World Cup members, became the first U.S. player to make an appearance in four World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). Keller (1990, 1998, 2002, 2006) did not play in two tournaments as the back-up to Meola in 1990 and Brad Friedel in 2002, and Reyna (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006) did not play in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
  • Beasley is now tied for fourth among U.S. MNT players with 10 World Cup caps, matching Brian McBride and Reyna. Beasley’s next World Cup appearance would tie for second with Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart, who played in 11 World Cup games each.
  • Beasley and Dempsey are tied for eighth place in assists with 13 and are one behind Joe-Max Moore and Tab Ramos who are tied for sixth with 14 assists in their National Soccer Hall of Fame careers.
  • Beasley’s 17 goals put him in a tie for ninth place all-time with Stewart.
  • With his 89th cap against Germany, midfielder Michael Bradley sits in 19th place all-time in appearances, one behind former midfielder John Harkes.
  • Bradley earned the 10th assist of his career on June 7 against Nigeria to tie for 12th-all-time in U.S. MNT history with Steve Cherundolo, Chris Henderson, McBride and Stewart.
  • Chris Wondolowski, who is the USA’s joint-leading goal scorer with three goals in 2014, has nine for his career and is tied for 21st all-time with Dominic Kinnear, Jovan Kirovski, Alexi Lalas, Peter Millar, Willy Roy and Josh Wolff. With his next goal, Wondolowski would tie Eddie Lewis’ mark of 10 goals from 1996-2008.
  • Jozy Altidore’s 23 goals during his international career rank sixth all-time for the U.S. MNT. He had previously been tied with Bruce Murray (21 goals from 1985-93). Altidore is one goal behind fifth-place Moore (24 goals from 1992-2002).
  • The USA is coming off a record-setting 2013 campaign, posting the most victories (16) and best winning percentage (.761) in team history.
  • The U.S. MNT saw its record 13-game home winning streak come to a close with the 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 13-0-0 mark started with a 4-3 win against Germany on June 2, 2013, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., and stretched through the USA’s 2-0 victory against the Korea Republic on Feb. 1 in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann (32-12-9) passed Bora Milutinovic (30 wins) for third on the all-time wins list during the USA’s 2-1 victory against Nigeria. Ahead of Klinsmann is Bruce Arena (71) and 2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Bob Bradley (43).


USA IN BRAZIL:

  • The U.S. MNT is now 2-5-1 all-time in Brazil following the June 26 loss to Germany. The USA’s two victories came in a 1-0 win against England in Belo Horizante on June 29, 1950, during the 1950 FIFA World Cup and the 2-1 win against Ghana on June 16 to open the 2014 World Cup.
  • Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the last time the U.S. played in Brazil was for an international friendly on Feb. 6, 1992, a 3-0 loss to Brazil in Fortaleza.
  • The MNT’s first trip to Brazil was on Aug. 17, 1930, when the U.S. played Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and lost 4-3.
  • The U.S. now has a 6-16-3 all-time record in games played in South America. Before the 2014 FIFA Cup, the U.S. last visited the continent in 2007 for the CONMEBOL Copa America in Venezuela, losing to Argentina, Paraguay and Columbia.


SHOOTOUT SITUATIONS:
With the knockout round stage upon the U.S. MNT at the FIFA World Cup, the possibility exists that any upcoming USA game could reach a penalty kick shootout. The USA is 4-3 all-time in games decided by penalty kicks:

  • Feb. 4, 1990: vs. Colombia, 1-1 (8-9 pk)
  • July 7, 1991: vs. Honduras, 0-0 (4-3 pk)
  • Feb. 10, 1994: vs. Denmark, 0-0 (2-4 pk)
  • July 17, 1995: vs. Mexico, 0-0 (4-1 pk)
  • Feb. 19, 2000: vs. Colombia, 2-2 (1-2 pk)
  • Jan. 30, 2002: vs. Canada, 0-0 (4-2 pk)
  • July 24, 2005: vs. Panama, 0-0 (3-1 pk)


BY THE NUMBERS:
3: Goals by Chris Wondolowski and Clint Dempsey to lead the USA in 2014
5: U.S. MNT Players with previous FIFA World Cup appearances (Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Dempsey and Tim Howard)
11: Belgium’s FIFA Ranking
13: USA’s FIFA ranking
16: Victories during USA’s record-setting 2013 campaign
30: Seconds needed for Dempsey to score USA’s first goal against Ghana
32: Victories under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
55: Career wins for Tim Howard, a U.S. MNT goalkeeping record


2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BREAKDOWN:
The U.S. Men’s National Team is based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The USA opened Group G play with a 2-1 win against Ghana on June 16 in Natal, followed by a 2-2 draw against Portugal on June 22 in Manaus and then a 1-0 loss to Germany on June 26 in Recife to conclude the group stage. For the full group standings and schedule from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, visit ussoccer.com.

Round of 16 Matchups and Results:
June 28

  • Brazil 1, Chile 1 (Brazil wins 3-2 in PKs)
  • Colombia 2, Uruguay 0

June 29

  • Netherlands 2, Mexico 1
  • Costa Rica 1, Greece 1 (Costa Rica wins 5-3 in PKs)

June 30

  • France 2, Nigeria 0
  • Germany 2, Algeria 1 (OT)

July 1

  • Argentina vs. Switzerland
  • Belgium vs. USA 

Quarterfinal Matchups
July 4

  • Brazil vs. Colombia
  • France vs. Germany

July 5

  • Netherlands vs. Costa Rica
  • Argentina/Switzerland winner vs. Belgium/USA winner

Links:

ALSO ON USSOCCER.COM:

Videos

Features and Q&As:

Releases


JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE:
Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th 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 32-12-9 record. He is third on the U.S. MNT’s all-time coaching wins list. The top five include Bruce Arena (71), Bob Bradley (43), Klinsmann (32), Bora Milutinovic (30) and Steve Sampson (26).
  • He won a record-setting 13 straight games at home from June 2, 2013, to Feb. 1, 2013, and has guided the team to an unbeaten record of 16-0-1 in its last 17 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 record 20 goals.
  • Committed to challenging the group against the best, under Klinsmann, the United States has a 2-1-2 record against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. has collected four historic victories:
    • Beating four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time ever
    • 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 the Germany 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 to 1998 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: BELGIUM
Royal Belgian Football Association
Founded: 1895
Head Coach: Marc Wilmots
FIFA World Ranking: 11
Previous FIFA World Cup Appearances: 11 (1930, 1934, 1938, 1954, 1970, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)
Best World Cup Finish: 1986 (4th)


BELGIUM ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sammy Bossut (SV Zulte Waregem), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)
DEFENDERS (8): Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid), Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City),  Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Steven Defour (Porto), Moussa Dembele (Tottenham), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Alex Witsel (Zenit Saint Petersburg)
FORWARDS (4): Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Lille)


BELGIUM ROSTER NOTES:

  • The 2014 FIFA World Cup marks the first World Cup for Belgium since 2002 in Japan and South Korea.
  • Belgium has been ousted in the Round of 16 in three of its past four World Cup appearances in 1990, 1994 and 2002. Belgium failed to advance past the Group Stage in 1998.
  • The best showing in the World Cup for Belgium came in 1986 when it finished in fourth place, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Argentina 2-0 and dropping the third-place game to France 4-2. Belgium beat the Soviet Union 4-3 in extra time in the Round of 16 and took down Spain in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.
  • Belgium is currently No. 11 in the FIFA World Rankings.
  • Belgium was one of four teams to get nine points in the group stage, joining Argentina, Colombia and the Netherlands.
  • Belgium is unbeaten in its past seven matches, a stretch that goes back to November of 2013. Belgium’s last loss came at the hands of Japan, losing 3-2 on Nov. 19 in an international friendly. Belgium is 6-0-1 over that span with wins against Sweden, Tunisia and Luxembourg in addition to the three World Cup Group H victories.
  • Daniel Van Buyten is the only Belgian on the current roster to have appeared in a World Cup, playing in the 2002 tournament, the last time Belgium qualified for the World Cup. He helped lead Belgium to the Round of 16 before losing 2-0 to eventual champion Brazil.
  • Van Buyten leads the current roster with 82 caps and 10 goals with the National Team. Vincent Kompany is second in appearances with 61 and Marouane Fellaini is second in goals with nine.
  • Kompany serves as team captain and Thomas Vermaelen carries the title of vice-captian. Kompany has four goals to go with his 61 caps and Vermaelen has 48 caps and one goal.
  • Belgium’s roster features players from 17 different clubs in eight countries, with 12 players in the English Premier League. EPL clubs Chelsea and Tottenham each have three Belgium players. The remaining players compete in Belgium (3), Germany (2), Russia (2), and one each in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.  
  • Belgium went undefeated and only gave up on goal in Group H, beating Algeria 2-1, Russia 1-0 and South Korea 1-0.
  • Four different players scored for Belgium in the group stage, with Fellaini, Jan Vertonghen, Divock Origi and Dries Mertens each tallying one goal.


LAST TIME:
On the field for the USA:
June 26, 2014 – Arena Pernambuco – Recife, Brazil – 2014 FIFA World Cup – Group G 

USA                0         
GER               1          Thomas Muller          55th minute 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 15-Kyle Beckerman, 13-Jermaine Jones; 14-Brad Davis (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 59), 4- Michael Bradley, 19- Graham Zusi (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 84) 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Brad Guzan, 16-Julian Green, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 20-Geoff Cameron, 21-Timmy Chandler, 22-Nick Rimando, 23-Aron Johannsson
Not Available: 17-Jozy Altidore
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

GER: 1-Manuel Neuer; 4-Benedikt Howedes, 5-Mats Hummels, 17-Per Mertesacker, 20-Jerome Boateng; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger (19-Mario Gotze,76), 16-Phillip Lahm, 18-Toni Kroos; 8-Mesut Ozil (9-Andre Schurrle, 89), 10-Lukas Podolski (11-Miroslav Klose, 46), 13-Thomas Muller
Subs Not Used: 2-Kevin Grosskreutz, 3-Matthias Ginter, 6-Sami Khedira, 12-Ron-Robert Zieler, 14-Julian Draxler, 15-Erik Durm, 21-Shkodran Mustafi, 22-Roman Weidenfeller, 23-Christoph Kramer
Head Coach: Joachim Low

On the field against Belgium:
May 29, 2013 – FirstEnergy Stadium – Cleveland, Ohio – International Friendly

USA                2          Geoff Cameron 22, Clint Dempsey 80
BEL                4          Kevin Mirallas 6; Christian Benteke 56, 71; Marouane Fellaini 64 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 46); 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 21-Clarence Goodson (5-Matt Besler, 69), 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 13-Jermaine Jones, 16-Sacha Kljestan (11-Stuart Holden, 81), 19-Graham Zusi (6-Brad Evans, 69), 24-Brad Davis (25-Terrence Boyd, 63); 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 17-Jozy Altidore (18-Eddie Johnson, 46)
Subs Not Used: 9-Herculez Gomez, 15-Michael Parkhurst
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

BEL: 1-Simon Mignolet; 2-Toby Alderweireld, 3-Thomas Vermaelen (15-Sebastien Pocognoli, 36), 4-Vincent Kompany (capt.) (16-Guillame Gillet, 72), 5-Jan Vertonghen; 6-Marouane Fellaini, 7-Kevin Mirallas, 8-Steven Defour (22-Timmy Simons, 76), 9-Romelu Lukaku (23-Thorgan Hazard, 83); 11-Kevin De Bruyne (14-Dries Mertens, 68), 18-Moussa Dembele (20-Christian Benteke, 41)
Subs Not Used: 12-Jean-Francois Gillet, 13-Laurent Ciman, 17-Maxime Lestienne, 19-Jelle Vossen, 21-Thomas Kaminski
Head Coach: Marc Wilmots

World Cup Quote Sheet: Klinsmann, Dempsey

U.S. MNT forward CLINT DEMPSEY
On preparing for tomorrow’s match:

“Yeah, we’re excited to be in the Round of 16, especially to get out of the group we were in. We are not just satisfied with just getting to the Round of 16; we want to do more. It’s a difficult challenge playing against Belgium, they have a lot of quality players, but at the same time, I think that if we play to the best of our ability, we can get the right result.”

On the toughest part about the playing in the current formation and what the team needs to create more chances:
“I think if you look at the Portugal game, we created more chances in that formation just because we were able to do a better job of keeping possession and then having more confidence in the attacking third. Who’s to say what formation we do next game - that’s up to the boss. Whatever is best for the team and allows us to get the right results - I feel confident that we’ll do well.”

On his thoughts about seeing and playing against Mousa Dembele and other Belgium players:
“Yes, I’m happy to see them, great players and I enjoy being their teammates. Good friends, great players like I said and I’m sure it will be a good game tomorrow.”

On the amount of goals scored so far and what he expects for tomorrow’s match:
“It’s one of those questions you don’t really know is going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to be a difficult game. In terms of the amount of goals, I couldn’t tell you, but all I can tell you is we’ve prepared the best that we can and we’re excited about the game and like Jurgen said, we’re really hungry. We’re not satisfied with just getting out of the group stage. We want to go far in this World Cup and for some of the guys, it’s the last opportunity, so you want to make the most of it and I’m sure if we play to the best of our ability we’ll get a positive result.”

On what lessons the team took away from the group stage games:
“I think we’ve got confidence from the group stage in terms of advancing from a difficult group. But at the same time we’ve got to be switched on for 90 plus minutes, we’ve got to go the extra mile.  We are in a position where, when we’re winning, we’ve got to not concede late like we did against Portugal. But like Jurgen said, it’s a different game now in the knockout stage, anything can happen, anything is possible, and we just have to be at our best and be prepared as best we can. We need to show up on the day, and hopefully we do that.”

On the U.S. traveling the most and Belgium traveling the least:
“I don’t think it’s a concern, because it’s what we deal with all the time. Whether it’s the World Cup preparation, the qualifying games we had—where we had one game in Jamaica, then going up to Seattle and going to Salt Lake City. Or whether we’re having games where players are playing overseas and having to travel back through the States, or in the States and having to travel back overseas, we’re used to the long travel. During the sending off process, we did a lot of traveling as well. It’s part of the game, I think we’re prepared in terms of how to deal with that the best so that we can stay fresh and stay sharp for the games, and it won’t be a factor tomorrow.”

On the advantage Tim Howard gives the team:
“I think it’s very important to have a great goalkeeper like Tim Howard. He gives confidence to the team. Just his experience, how well he’s performed on a consistent basis, his leadership in terms of keeping the backline organized in front of him, also the little things like what to look for in help with goals. So having a player like him is useful, you can count on a player with that type of experience in your team. All players with that type of experience give your team confidence in moving forward and how to win games and do something special. He’s definitely one of those players that we’re lucky to have.”

On the weather and nerves affecting the game:
“In terms of dealing with humidity and the heat, those things, we’ve dealt with every condition during the World Cup, and we’re used to dealing with those conditions during the World Cup qualifying process, especially in Honduras when we played the game at 1 o’clock. In terms of nerves, I think you just have to be confident, believe in yourself and the reason you are in a knockout stage is because you performed well. Go out there and control things you can, and that’s how hard you work and go that extra mile for that teammate who’s next to you. So in terms of is it going to be a perfect game? No. Because there’ll be mistakes, but you adjust to those, and it’s about who makes the least amount of mistakes and who’s able to capitalize in the right situations, and who wants it more. So I think if we play to the best of our ability we’ll get a positive result.”

U.S. MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On preparing for tomorrow’s match:
“Well, obviously, we all are very excited to go into this match against Belgium, especially because now it’s knockout stage and knockout stage has a completely different dynamic than the group situation. So, we worked hard for this moment. We made it through a very difficult group and now we want more. We are very, very hungry and focused and have a lot of respect for the Belgium side, as Clint said, but no fear at all. I think it’s going to be an exciting and hopefully also entertaining match tomorrow night.”

On the Belgium’s ability to perform throughout the game:
“Well, now they’re probably going into the knockout stage, you know you need to have a team that is willing to go the extra mile every single player needs to go at it 120 minutes and possibly into a penalty shootout. So, it’s very, very demanding. It’s the most extreme version you can have as a player, going into those games and possibly playing it for 120 plus minutes. But that’s what we are looking forward to, that’s why we worked very hard starting more than six weeks ago at Stanford University in California, trying to build a foundation for this moment and to be ready to go 120 minutes. A lot of the games are decided the last couple of minutes, you know, some now already are decided in penalty shootouts. So, hopefully, we have everything in our legs to go 120 minutes, if necessary, but I’m very, very positive we have a really good foundation for getting everything out of Belgium. The better team should win and go forward, but we’re doing well. We feel fresh, we feel recovered quickly after every game we played so far, and we have great spirit in our group. It feels like we just started this whole adventure. We don’t feel like we are already around for more than six weeks. Brazilian people welcomed us wherever we went. If it’s our home base in Sao Paulo, if it’s at Sao Paulo FC training ground, if it’s going to Recife, Natal, Manaus, now being here, I mean, people are super friendly, all positive and that’s how our environment is right now. We are hungry for more and we want to prove that to the best of our capabilities tomorrow.”  

On the team he’s built and how much of an influence other coaches have on him:
“Every coach I worked under had an influence on what I’m doing today and I had phenomenal coaches throughout my career and one of the biggest kind of mentors is with us is Berti Vogts He guides us in a certain way, very calmly in the background through certain elements and with his tremendous experience of seven or eight World Cups. His advice is always well taken. Having kind of a network of experienced people around you is something that the team and the coaching staff has always benefitted from.”

On if the team makes the quarterfinals and what the forecast is for U.S. Soccer:
“No, I think every cycle, every team has to prove its point. We’re not thinking at all about the future right now. We’re thinking purely about the present and we want to go far. We know it’s difficult. This is the hurdle you want to take. This is what these guys want to prove and especially as we said the other day, the more experienced players, like Clint, Time Howard, DaMarcus Beasley, Jermaine Jones, this is the moment. You have to embrace that moment and just squeeze everything out of yourself. What comes after the World Cup, we’ll have time to discuss that and looking forward, obviously, you’re always looking at the next generation coming through, but right now it’s all about Brazil. It’s all about this World Cup. We made it out of a difficult group and now it’s going to be 50/50 games, every game is 50/50 as you’ve seen already. The Round of 16 games were very, very tight. We need to prove ourselves right now and give everything we have and I’m confident that if every player gets to his limits tomorrow, we will have a positive outcome on our end.”

On Jozy Altidore’s health and how much could he play if needed:
“We’ll we don’t know how much because we need to see how things go, but he’s available and this is what we want. This is what we hoped for, this is what the medical staff is working since the injury on him and they’ve done a tremendous job day and night with Jozy, so just having him with us tomorrow is huge and how many minutes, we’ll see that through the game.”

On how much Jozy has actually trained at full speed with the team:
“No, it’s difficult to say Jozy, since two or three days he’s been with the team, how much work is in his legs. There’s a lot of individual stuff going on with the physios also in the gym, we have our own gym in the team hotel in Sao Paulo, so we’re worked day and night with Jozy, but it’s difficult to say how many minutes.”

On how much preparation Tim Howard and the team has done to research the tendencies of the Belgium penalty takers:
“We are prepared for penalty shootouts. It doesn’t mean when it happens we’re going to score all five, by the way, but you have to prepare in the best way possible. So you train the top players through that and you talk, obviously, to your goalkeeper through potential penalty takers from the Belgium side. You’re doing your homework as much as you can as much information you can have, so does Belgium. They do the same thing on us and hopefully we are well prepared and I think we are.”

On his relationship with Marc Wilmots and the similarities they have as coaches:
“I admire Marc. His personality, his spirit, he’s always ready for a joke, he’s always in a good mood, he’s very energetic. That’s the way he was as a player, for many years and so I only wish him the best in his work with the Belgium side. I think since just following them a little bit since last year’s friendly we have with them in Cleveland, it’s admirable what he’s done with that side. He’s full of talented players and it seems from the outside he’s been a really good spirit and so we were in touch obviously before the world Cup, we wanted to scrimmage at one point, but because of the traffic in Sao Paulo, it wasn’t possible to do that, but it shows his open mindedness and it shows also his capability to improvise things and not seeing things too serious. It’s definitely one of the coaches you wish good luck.”  

On his assessment of Belgium’s performance in the group stage:
“It’s a team that goes to the very end of the game, capable to always keep the rhythm, the focus, and to also score goals in the late stage. So we’ve got to be ready for a real grind, to be eye to eye with them, and to use our chances when they come, and avoid their chances. It’s just the right benchmark—these are now a very even games, anyone can see that. Anything from now on going forward is possible. All the teams are involved in this World Cup now. So we are very well prepared for them, we have to be very alert, alive from the first second on, and courageous, courageous to go forward and attack them, and create chances, and have guys get some balls in the box, hopefully a lot of them.”

On the growing interest of the game back home and what that means to the team:
“It means a lot to us. It means a lot to us because obviously the players get it communicated to their families that are here from the families back home. Obviously with the internet nowadays it’s no problem anymore to know what’s going on. It means a lot to us. The energy that comes from the United States, with their thousands and thousands of fans actually in Brazil, you see where the game is going in the United States. You can’t stop it anymore; it’s breaking through. The league is doing a great job. Millions of kids playing soccer throughout the country, you know, it’s growing on every level. And a large motive of this development is always the national team. In every country it’s that way. So we want to do well, we want to inspire them, we want to give them enthusiasm and belief. But then, when you start that game tomorrow you’ve got to prove it, you’ve got to be aggressive and hungry, and you’ve got to get the job done.  That’s what we want to do. But it means a lot to us, to see those pictures from home, and the enthusiasm from our fans in the stadium. Just to give an example: in Recife we lost the game, but the loud fans were the American ones. They were all over the stadium. They will be all over the stadium tomorrow in Salvador. And it means a lot to us, because it was kind of already started in the preparation phase when we played our send-off games in San Francisco, New York and Jacksonville. You know, packed stadiums, enthusiastic crowds and energies there. So we want to do extra well for all those fans, because it’s a cool moment right now, so we want to connect.”

On his assessment of Hazard’s performance so far:
“Well, it’s a team full of quality. Still a bit similar what we experienced in previous games, maybe against wingers like Nani and Ronaldo. We had the first game against Ghana; we had wingers coming in as well, one from one side, one from the other side. Now with Hazard, and the strength that he brings, you have extremely gifted players that you have to have a special eye on them, you have to check them right away, you have to double the cover on them or cover the defender that comes out, you’ve got to shift tremendously, but not give them too much space.  That’s what we work on for about six or seven weeks, you know we know that we will face these types of teams.  I think so far we’ve done a good job. We have to do that again.  But yeah that’s why they’re first in they’re group, that’s why they win through their group with three wins and that’s why we respect them. I think we have a good plan going into the game.”

On how taking the U.S. to a quarterfinal would rank in his career:
“Well advancing in the knock-out stage now after all our improving means the world to me personally. Because you start a process, and I started that three years ago, where we see things developing in many different forms, not only on the national team level. But you know that you can benchmark, you can judge how good a team is by how well they do at a World Cup.  So for all of us, this is huge. We all know, players and coaches that this is only coming along every four years.  So we don’t want to wait another four years to get into the quarter final, we want to do it now.  We had to prepare the team in the best way possible for a very difficult group, we got that job done, and now it’s about understanding the moment to start the knockout stage, which as I said before has a very different dynamic than the group stage.  So to all of us it means a lot. All of us are very eager to get on the field tomorrow and play this game, get started, go eye-to-eye with a very good team and move on. As we said before, the sky is the limit.  It’s just one hurdle after another, and this is a big hurdle there’s no doubt about it.”

On officiating in the tournament on CONCACAF teams and if having an Algerian (French speaking) referee will be an advantage to Belgium:
“Well we hope it’s not a concern. We know he did two games already, and he did them very well.  So we hope he continues his refereeing the perfect way he’s done so far.  Is it a good feeling? No, because he’s coming from the same group as Belgium and Algeria. He’s able to speak French with their players on the field, not with us. It’s a country that we beat in the last second in the last World Cup. So sometimes I don’t understand FIFA—it’s difficult obviously to choose the right referee for the right games and it’s always been kind of tricky for FIFA. But it is what it is. We give it the benefit of the doubt, we respect the decision and we’re going to be spot on in the game, and hope that everything goes well.”

MNT vs. Republic of Ireland: Highlights - April 17, 2002

In this classic highlight, the U.S. MNT took on Ireland at Lansdowne Road in Dublin in the final match prior to the announcement of the 2002 World Cup roster. Despite a first-half goal from U.S. defender Eddie Pope and stellar play from U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, the USA fell 2-1.

Landon Donovan Tribute

U.S. Men’s National Team forward Landon Donovan announced today he will retire from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Donovan, 32, is the Men’s National Team all-time leader in goals (57) and assists (57) among a host of other records. Here are a few of his top highlights with the U.S. MNT!

Jurgen Klinsmann Recaps World Cup and Previews Final

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann recaps the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and previews the final between Germany and Argentina.

USA vs. Belgium: #AreYouReady

The USA meets Belgium in a second round match in Salvador on July 1, 2014. Watch live on ESPN, Univision and WatchESPN from 4 p.m. ET. Jurgen Klinsmann and the USA go for a victory against the Group H winners, Belgium as the MNT looks to book a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup for the first time since 2002.

#USMNT Travels to Salvador for Round of 16 Clash Against Belgium

The U.S. Men's National Team travels from São Paulo to Salvador for Round 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The USA takes on Belgium on Tuesday, July 1 with live coverage on ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision at 4 p.m. ET.

Tim Howard Does Morning Shows in São Paulo

After qualifying for the second round and helping the USA advance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Tim Howard got up early to do the rounds with U.S. morning shows at the team hotel in São Paulo. In addition to GMA, CNN and CNBC, Tim also talked to Natalie Morales of the Today Show.

Around São Paulo!

São Paulo's famous motorcycle riders are starting to get behind the #USMNT at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. We gave two "Motoboys" (well actually a motoboy and a motogirl) some #USMNT jerseys and filmed them darting and weaving through Brazil's biggest city! São Paulo traffic is the real deal!!

Lupe Fiasco - Stellar Light / #USMNT Journey

Lupe Fiasco's new song "Stellar Light" has been released as the USMNT's official rallying anthem for the 2014 World Cup. Emotive, energetic, and boastful, "Stellar Light" parallels the dynamic rhythms of the world's most-beautiful game. Building off of the USMNT's courageous World Cup journey, "Stellar Light" celebrates the beating heart of the USMNT, and pays respect to the dedication of the team's diehard fans. A portion of the song is used against the a video backdrop of USMNT highlights; the full-length version of "Stellar Light" will be available in the coming weeks.

Art Crediting:
Art Direction:
 Chuck Anderson (NoPattern.com)

'Lupe Fiasco' type and US Soccer Designs: Futura (futura2000.com)

'Stellar Light' Type: David Rudnick (DavidRudnick.org)

Will Ferrell Crashes #FanHQ in Recife

U.S. MNT Secret Weapon Will Ferrell and national hero Teddy Goalsevelt teamed up to inspire the crowd at #FanHQ in Recife.
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