As the U.S. Men’s National Team returns to Red Bull Arena for a third time on Tuesday, three players on the roster also come home to a place that helped launch their careers.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard, forward Jozy Altidore and defender Tim Ream, at different times, all began their professional careers in New Jersey with either the MetroStars or New York Red Bulls before progressing to European clubs.
Howard began his career with the North Jersey Imperials in 1997 before joining the MetroStars as a 19-year-old late in the 1998 season, doing so while living in his childhood home in North Brunswick, N.J. He’d go on to make 85 appearances for the club, winning back-to-back MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI selections in 2001 and 2002, before making a high-profile move to Manchester United in July 2003.
“I had a great start in professional soccer and my career has been nothing short of a dream for me,” Howard told ussoccer.com.
Howard has remained in England the last 12 years, moving to his current club Everton in 2006. Though he’s made over 300 appearances in one of the top leagues in the world for the Toffees, returning to play in front of friends and family near ‘the Big Apple’ still makes him anxious.
“It’s always hard for me to come home because I get so nervous playing in front of my hometown crowd,” he said. “I’m just happy to be back here playing in a beautiful stadium. Red Bull Arena was only a dream back when I was playing for the MetroStars. To see the fan base they’ve created is special. I’m a Jersey boy – I always will be and it’s nice to see the hometown team doing well.”
Howard training with the U.S. MNT ahead of its friendly with Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 13.
A heralded prospect with the U.S. U-17s following at the World Cup in 2005, Altidore, who was born in nearby Livingston, N.J. began his professional career as a 16-year-old with the Red Bulls the following season, finding early success with the club in 2007 when he scored nine goals in 22 matches.
That summer he also led the U.S. attack at the FIFA World Youth Championships in Canada, where he finished tied for third on the tournament’s Golden Boot list with four goals.
After making his full MNT debut in November 2007, Altidore scored his first international goal the following February in a 2-2 draw with Mexico. After two-and-a-half seasons with the Red Bulls and rising international interest, Altidore made his move to Europe, signing with Spanish club Villareal. After loan moves in Spain, England and Turkey, Altidore found success with AZ Alkmaar in Holland, where he scored 38 goals in 67 matches from 2011-2013. After a move back to England with Sunderland, Altidore returned to MLS this season, signing with Toronto FC.
Being back with both the National Team and Toronto FC affords Altidore numerous trips to Red Bull Arena, which he always looks forward to.
“It’s always great coming back here where it began for me professionally, there are a lot of memories in this city and a lot of good times with the fans,” he said. “It’ll be great to come back here and play a game here in front of a lot of family and friends.”
Following a collegiate career with Saint Louis University, center back Tim Ream was selected 18th overall by the Red Bulls in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Ream would play 58 matches in two seasons with the club, earning his first National Team call-up in his second season before transferring to Bolton Wanderers in early 2012.
After winning back-to-back Player of the Year awards with Bolton, Ream moved to Fulham in August. Now into his fifth season in Europe, Ream credited the Red Bulls with setting him on a path to success in his club career.
“For me being a rookie in 2010 and coming into a quality team really set the tone,” he told ussoccer.com. “Having a manager in Hans Backe who really wanted to play a different style than what was played here before – a more European style – it fit me personally.
“You bring in a guy like Thierry Henry and he automatically brings the level up,” he continued. “That was the foundation for becoming better as a player and a person on and off the field, trying to do the things he’s done throughout his career – obviously from a defender standpoint – it put me in a position to really succeed, not only here but across the pond in Europe as well.”
CHICAGO (Oct. 12, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to square off with Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. in the final preparation friendly before qualifying begins next month for the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The match will kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network.
The MNT is coming off of a 3-2 extra-time loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup at The Rose Bowl on Oct. 10. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in five new players to join the MNT for Tuesday’s game against Costa Rica, while eight players have returned to their clubs.
The roster currently stands at 21 players with goalkeeper Bill Hamid, midfielders Mix Diskerud, Lee Nguyen and Brek Shea and forward Andrew Wooten joining the team on Sunday. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Matt Besler, midfielders Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley and Graham Zusi and forwards Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski being released.
The United States has won two of the last three meetings with Costa Rica, a pair of 1-0 wins in official competition. The U.S. shoveled their way to a shutout in the “Snow Clasico”, its first home game of final round World Cup qualifying held in Denver in March of 2013. Four months later, the MNT again earned a shutout in Gold Cup group play in East Hartford, Conn.
Meanwhile in Utah, the Under-23 Men’s National Team faces a third-place game against Canada in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament. A win against Canada would qualify the USA for a one-game playoff against Colombia in March of 2016, with a final opportunity to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on the line. The critical match against Canada kicks off Tuesday at 4 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on NBC Universo.
U.S. Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG)
DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club America/MEX), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchenglandbach/GER), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham FC/ENG), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City FC/ENG)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Danny Williams (Reading FC/ENG), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland AFC/ENG)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER), Andrew Wooten (FC Sandhausen/GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
U.S. Roster Notes
- Bobby Wood’s 108th minute goal against Mexico was the third of his international career and third of the year. Wood has been a clutch scorer for the MNT in 2015, with all three strikes coming after the 80th minute following late winners in June’s friendlies against Netherlands and Germany.
- Geoff Cameron scored his second career international goal in the CONCACAF Cup. Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. After last appearing for the MNT in last November’s friendlies, Cameron returned to action for the U.S. in last month’s matches against Peru and Brazil.
- Jozy Altidore has appeared in 10 games for the MNT this year. The forward scored a pair in the team’s 2-1 win against Peru in September, which was the fourth multi-goal game of his international career. With four goals in 2015, he is now just one behind Brain McBride (30) for fourth on the MNT’s all-time goal-scoring list.
- DeAndre Yedlin has appeared in 16 of the 17 MNT matches in 2015 and tallied four assists, which puts him in a tie for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes behind Michael Bradley (six).
- Alejandro Bedoya has seven matches under his belt for the United States this year. The French Ligue 1 midfielder tallied an assist in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Panama in the Group Stage of the Gold Cup. Bedoya missed the CONCACAF Cup Match due to illness.
- Jermaine Jones played all 120 minutes in the CONCACAF Cup. He has been on the road to recovery, making his return from injury for the USA in September in starts against Peru and Brazil.
- Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp last January and has appeared in 16 games, starting in 13. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on four goals.
- Danny Williams closed the Brazil game off on a high note, scoring a stunning long-range goal to put the USA on the scoreboard. Williams also scored a clutch goal that helped the U.S. knock off then sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam earlier in the year.
- Michael Orozco started against Peru and Brazil in September, taking up both the right back spot and then center back. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer - owns a piece of history as the scorer of the game-winning goal in 2012 that led to the USA’s first victory at the Azteca.
- Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup and has posted a 8-4-3 record since September of last year.
- Ventura Alvarado has appeared in 12 matches this year. The Club America defender made his debut in a U.S. uniform on March 25 against Denmark, and he became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7.
- Brad Evans has played in seven games this year, coming on as a late sub in the CONCACF Cup and in the MNT’s 2-0 win against Mexico in April.
- Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons. Ream has started in the last three MNT matches.
- Jonathan Spector returns to the squad after being a late add to the roster for the Peru and Brazil friendlies.
USA VS. COSTA RICA:
- The United States is 13-13-6 all-time against Costa Rica and has won two of the last three meetings. All 13 wins have come on U.S. soil.
- The most recent encounter came Sept. 6, 2013, a 3-1 loss in San Jose.
- The U.S. has gone 2-2-0 against Costa Rica during Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach.
- Brek Shea scored his first career international goal against Costa Rica in the USA’s 1-0 win in the 2013 Gold Cup.
- Brad Guzan earned a clean sheet in the Snowclasico. Altidore, Cameron and Jones also contributed to the win.
IN FOCUS: Costa Rica
Federación Costarricense de Fútbol (FEDEFUTBOL)
FIFA affiliation: 1927
Head Coach: Oscar Ramirez
FIFA World Ranking: 42
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinal, 2014
Leading Cap-Winner: Walter Ceneno (137)
Leading Goalscorer: Rolando Fonseca (47)
COSTA RICA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Esteban Alvarado (Trabzonspor/Turkey), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense/Costa Rica)
DEFENDERS (8): Jhonny Acosta (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Oscar Duarte (Club Brugge/Belgium), Cristian Gamboa (West Bromwich/England), Ronald Matarrita (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Dave Myrie (Herediano/Costa Rica), Bryan Oviedo (Everton/England), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Elías Aguilar (Herediano/Costa Rica), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña/Spain), Mauricio Castillo (Cartagines/Costa Rica), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano/Costa Rica), David Guzman (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Deyver Vega (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Johan Venegas (Impact de Montreal/Canada)
FORWARDS (6): Joel Campbell (Arsenal/England), Daniel Colindres (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Marco Ureña (Midtjylland/Denmark)
COSTA RICA ROSTER NOTES:
- The Costa Ricans are coming off a 1-0 win defeat at home to South Africa on Thursday
- In 2014, Costa Rica earned its best-ever result in the World Cup by advancing to the quarterfinals where they fell to the Netherlands in a penalty shootout. A total of 11 players from that squad appear are on the roster that will face the U.S.
- Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas leads the Costa Rican backline.
- Celso Borges is the leading goal scorer on the Ticos roster with 19 goals in 84 international matches.
- At 23 years old, Francisco Calvo is the youngest player on the Costa Rica roster.
- Two players ply their trade in MLS, both interestingly for Canadian clubs. Kendall Watson is a defender for Vancouver, while Johan Venegas patrols the midfield for Montreal. A total of 11 players on the roster play for Costa Rican club teams, including six from co-league leaders Alajuelense and Herediano.
CHICAGO (Oct. 12, 2015) – Atlanta United will join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in the fall of 2016.
At a luncheon held for youth development leaders around the greater Atlanta area, Atlanta United Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra and club President Darren Eales announced the team’s plans and outlined the timeline for the club’s youth soccer development program. They shared their plans to partner closely with local and regional youth soccer clubs as they build their Academy structure, explaining that the club’s objective is to contribute to the advancement of youth soccer not only in Georgia but regionally and nationally.
Launching in the fall of 2016, Atlanta United will join the U.S. Soccer Development Academy at all age groups. At that time, Georgia United Soccer Alliance (GUSA) will remain in the Academy at the U-13/14 age groups, and their two older teams will conclude. During the transition period and beyond, Atlanta United will work with GUSA to build upon GUSA’s successful organizational structure for developing elite level talent. Concorde Fire Soccer Club will continue as an Academy member club in all age categories.
“It’s fantastic that Atlanta United is making player development a priority even before the first team gets started,” said U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jürgen Klinsmann. “Atlanta is an important soccer market and having a first class training environment will be fantastic for elite players as well as help raise the bar in the area overall.”
Following a comprehensive review of elite player development in the United States and around the world, U.S. Soccer created the Development Academy, a program that provides education, resources, and support to impact everyday club environments in order to develop world-class players. The Academy was established in 2007 for male players in the U-15/16 and U-17/18 age groups.
In 2013, the Academy expanded to include the U-13/14 age group, which has continued to improve development for younger players by setting standards and improving the everyday environment for players and clubs.
According to Eales, GUSA’s approach in developing youth talent is superb and innovative. Atlanta United will build upon the success of the GUSA model consisting of a structured alliance of six metro Atlanta clubs. The clubs joined together to share resources and player talent providing a high level training and competition environment for elite level players in the state of Georgia. Atlanta United’s plan is to take this model to the next level by working with all clubs in the Atlanta area to bring the region’s top young talent to Atlanta United’s Academy, with the aim that they will one day represent the Club in MLS.
“The U.S. Soccer Development Academy looks forward to continuing to build upon the strong foundation built by Georgia United and Concord Fire with the addition of the Atlanta United Academy,” said U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos. “The club leaders are committed to providing the Atlanta community with a professional club dedicated to player development and creating an environment for young talent to grow.”
Through their extensive experience in youth development both in the U.S. and abroad, as well as through visits to multiple academies around the globe, Eales and Bocanegra are looking to implement best practices at Atlanta United to ensure that its Academy will be recognized as a leading developer of youth talent.
Developed as a player in the U.S., Bocanegra played in Major League Soccer as well as top leagues in France, England, Spain and Scotland enabling him to experience youth development operations first-hand. As former executive director for the Barclay’s Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC), Eales sat on the Technical Board of THFC’s Academy, known as a leading developer of youth talent. Considered to be one of the best academies in the Premier League, THFC produced five full England international players between 2012 and 2015 including Harry Kane and Ryan Mason.
Both Eales and Bocanegra are confident that the U.S. youth development model is only getting stronger, and believe it is most efficient when clubs work together toward the common goal of producing top level talent. Atlanta United will follow this approach and ensure that the development process is inclusive and collaborative.
Atlanta United Academy players will train at a new, state-of-the-art training facility due to be completed prior to the club’s first match in 2017. The club considers it to be fundamental in the development of youth players to have the academy train at the same facility as the first team. Sharing the training complex will allow an aspirational environment for Academy players as they observe and interact with Atlanta United’s first team and strive to follow in their footsteps. A shared training facility also supports the club’s broader philosophy that the Academy should not only produce elite players, but serve as an environment that creates well-rounded, professional individuals.
CHICAGO (Oct. 12, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team veterans Shannon Boxx, Lauren Holiday and Lori Chalupny, all of whom announced their international retirements earlier this year, will play their final matches for the USA during the team’s October’s matches against Brazil.
Boxx will play her final match on Oct. 21 when the USA faces Brazil at CenturyLink Field in Seattle (6:30 pm PT on ESPN2/WatchESPN). Holiday and Chalupny will play their final matches on Oct. 25 against Brazil at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando (2:30 pm ET on FOX Sports 1/FOX Sports GO). Both games are part of the Women’s National Team Victory Tour.
All three players will be honored before their respective final matches and Boxx will travel with the team to Orlando.
“It’s important that we honor these players and celebrate their amazing careers,” said U.S. head coach Jill Ellis. ”All three have played a major role in the writing of this team’s history and have been a part of some of our greatest successes. They will be missed as people and players.”
Holiday, 28, recently won her second consecutive NWSL title with FC Kansas City, helping her club defeat the Seattle Reign, 1-0, in her final professional club match. She has played 132 games for the USA while scoring 24 goals, none bigger than what turned out to be the game-winner during the 5-2 victory against Japan in 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
“It’s been an amazing year and I feel blessed to have had these wonderful experiences at the end of my career,” said Holiday. “The Victory Tour has been fun, but now feels like a good time to say goodbye and it’s great to have the last game be against a quality team like Brazil. I’m going to miss this team, but I’m also super excited about what lies ahead and really looking forward to celebrating this last game with my teammates and the fans.”
Boxx, 38, has 194 caps and 27 goals and has represented the USA in four Women’s World Cup tournaments and three Olympic Games. She finished third in the voting for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2005 and was named to two Women’s World Cup All-Star Teams. She made a remarkable comeback back from the birth of her daughter, as well as from injuries and illness, to make her final Women’s World Cup Team in 2015.
“I feel like it’s the right time and I’m feeling really comfortable about the end of my career,” said Boxx. “After winning the World Cup, I don’t feel like there is anything left to accomplish and I’m proud I was able to make a final comeback and help the team. I’m just really excited to be on the field one more time with my teammates and play in front of my family. Out of all the big games I’ve played and major tournaments I’ve been a part of, the thing I will miss the most is being around my teammates in such a competitive environment that was also still a family atmosphere. That will be hard to replicate and I’m just thankful to have been a part of that for all these years.”
Lori Chalupny (center right) and Shannon Boxx (right) with long-time teammates Abby Wambach (left) and Carli Lloyd after winning the 2015 Algarve Cup.
Chalupny, 31, who has 105 caps and 10 goals, made a return to the U.S. team at the end of 2014 after being away for almost five years due to concussion issues. She has yet to make a final decision on continuing to play in the NWSL next season.
“There is of course some sadness to see this chapter of my life come to an end, but it’s also a happy time to look back at all the fantastic experiences I’ve had through soccer,” said Chalupny. “It’s great to get the opportunity to play one last game with your friends and to be able to go out on your own terms is a cool thing and certainly something to be appreciated.”
CHICAGO (Oct. 12, 2015) – The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team will come together from Oct. 18-25 for its fourth event of the year when 26 players travel to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.
The U-18s, which are coached by U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs, are coming off a trip to Mexico City in August where they drew and lost to the Mexico U-20 Women’s National Team. During this event, the U-18s will play the San Diego Sea Lions of the W-League on Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Cathedral High School.
All the players in this camp were born in 1998 and all are eligible for the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, but the goal for this age group is ultimately the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
U.S. U-18 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Amanda Dennis (Slammers FC; Murrieta, Calif.), Shelby Hogan (FC Stars of Massachusetts; Franklin, Mass.), Gabrielle Kouzelos (Internationals; Wadsworth, Ohio), Amanda McGlynn (Jacksonville United; Jacksonville, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (8): Jlon Flippens (FC Delco; Philadelphia, Pa.), Kelsey Kiley (BRYC; Centreville, Va.), Adriana Kuryla (PDA; Morganville, N.J.), Julie Mackin (Real Colorado; Castle Rock, Colo.), Kaiya McCullough (San Diego Surf; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Tatumn Milazzo (Eclipse Select SC; Orland Park, Ill.), Mia Palmer (Crossfire United; Portland, Ore.), Kirsten Siragusa (Dallas Sting; Rowlett, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Olivia Athens (PSV Union; Atherton, Calif.), Alea Hyatt (Eagles Soccer Club; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Arlie Jones (San Diego Surf; Las Vegas, Nev.), Taylor Kornieck (Las Vegas Premier; Henderson, Nev.), Daria Petredes (Beach FC; Yorba Linda, Calif.), Haley Schueppert (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Rylee Seekins (FC Portland; Vancouver, Wash.)
FORWARDS (7): Kirsten Davis (SLSG - Missouri; Chesterfield, Mo.), Sunny Dunphy (Slammers FC; Carlsbad, Calif.), Erin Gilroy (East Meadow Soccer Club; North Bellmore, N.Y.), Abigail Kim (Pacific NW Soccer Club; Vashon, Wash.), Madison Schultz (Crossfire United; Edmonds, Wash.), Rheagen Smith (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Texas), Taylor Ziemer (Santa Rosa United; Santa Rosa, Calif.)