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Brothers in Football: U-23 MNT's Brooks, Kiesewetter Play Together for First Time with National Team

It is 85 degrees with a relative humidity of 80 percent. It’s an average day in Brazil much as it was just over a year ago when U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defender John Brooks was in Brazil with the senior MNT for the 2014 World Cup.

It is now just over a year since he headed home an unforgettable game-winning goal in the waning minutes of the USA’s opening game against Ghana. It was more than a goal. It was a game-winner that defeated Ghana, the nemesis that had knocked the USA out of the two previous World Cups. While Brooks was only 21-years-old when he scored that goal, it was a career highlight.

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Brooks in the aftermath of his game-winning goal vs. Ghana at the 2014 World Cup.

After setting the social-media sphere on fire with the goal, next came countless post-game interviews. When Brooks finally got to his phone after the match he knew exactly who he was going to call first, the person who now on this hot day in Brazil is seated right next to him, his U-23 MNT teammate and lifelong friend, Jerome Kiesewetter.

“The first call I did after the Ghana game was calling Jerome,” Brooks recalled. “It was a great feeling to hear his voice after the goal and I heard in his voice that he was very proud and that made me proud too.”

Kiesewetter was in Germany at the time, the nation that he and Brooke grew up in and with the time difference was up late into the night watching the match. When Brooks scored that goal Kiesewetter let out a yell that ensured the rest of Germany would also be are of what happened.

The moment was a big one for both Kiesewetter and Brooks, who over the years through soccer had become close as brothers.

“I met Jerome a long time ago when we were very young,” Brooks said. “We went to a soccer camp in Germany. I was by myself and he got dropped off by his mom. He was just a little baby boy.”

“We were two German-Americans that happened to be living in the same community,” Kiesewetter remembered. “It was a place that kids would all come together and play soccer.”

“We played every day together and since there we’ve been really close friends,” Brooks said.

A friendship and bond forged in football, today the two are integral parts of the USA’s run toward the 2016 Olympic Games.

“We grew up together and we grew up playing soccer,” Kiesewetter said. “When we were kids we always dreamed of playing in big soccer events and tournaments like the Olympics. We used to tell each other that we’d play in them one day. Now together we have the chance. It’s a dream right now playing for the U.S. National Team.”

“When we were kids we always said we wanted to play for the USA and represent our country and play in Olympics and play in World Cups and now we have that opportunity,” Brooks added.

“It’s funny that we’re sitting here next to each other fulfilling our dreams,” concluded Kiesewetter.

Kiesewetter celebrates scoring against Canada in the USA's Olympic Qualifying campaign.

The two are roommates in this camp just as they have been when playing soccer over the years, moving up the soccer ladder together.

“It’s funny all the time,” Kiesewetter laughed. “You’d just have to be in our room to know what it’s like.”

“Yeah it really is fun, but it’s not new,” Brooks said. “We’ve played in Hertha together. We’ve been roommates before. It’s nothing new, but it’s always a good time.”

Their dream of playing in the Olympics will meet its ultimate test in March when the U-23 MNT meets Colombia in the deciding home-and-away playoff. The two know that together they’ll be a key cog in the team achieving victory in the playoff.

“We played from the beginning and I know how he plays and he knows how I play, and it makes it a lot easier for us to connect on the field,” Brooks said.

“You always fight for your brother,” Kiesewetter said.  “John’s like my brother, but so too is everyone on this team. We’re all one team. I work hard and he works hard and we really just want to help this team make the Olympics.”

U-23 Men's National Team Falls 2-1 in First of Two Friendlies vs. Brazil

RECIFE, Brazil (Nov. 11, 2015) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team fell short in a second-half comeback bid as Brazil was able to hold on for a 2-1 win at Ilha do Retiro Stadium. 

Brazil pressured the U.S. early with a large amount of possession but was unable to carve out many clear cut chances as the U-23 MNT defense staid compact. However, just before the half time whistle a long distribution from Brazil goalkeeper Ederson found Lucas Silva, who put Gabriel in on goal, and the Brazil forward made no mistake, rounding U.S. backstop Charlie Horton at the top of the box and rolling a shot into the back of the net. 

Early in the second half, Lucas Silva then set up Luan, who curled a wicked bending shot from the top right corner of the box into the opposite side netting, leaving substitute U.S. 'keeper Jon Kempin no chance in the 47th minute. 

Down 2-0, Jerome Kiesewetter harassed Brazil defender Doria into a mistake near the Seleção box, ultimately drawing a penalty kick and a second caution on the Brazil captain. Kiesewetter then buried the PK with authority to bring the USA within one with a half hour to play. Despite going close on a number of occasions, the U-23s couldn't make the man advantage count on the night but will get the opportunity to test themselves against Brazil again on Sunday when the teams relocate to Belém. 

The next match kicks off at 3 p.m. ET from the Mangueirão Stadium on Nov. 15 and will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2. Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer

- U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Under-23Men’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Nov. 11, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Retiro Stadium; Recife, Brazil
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local)
Attendance: 10,777
Weather: 79 degrees; Cloudy 

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

BRA – Gabriel (Lucas Silva)                             42nd minute
BRA – Luan (Lucas Silva)                                47
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter (penalty kick)        60

USA: 22-Charlie Horton (12-Jon Kempin, 46), 3-Boyd Okwuono (17-Oscar Sorto, 40), 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-John Brooks, 2-Eric Miller, 15-Fatai Alashe, 13-Matt Polster (7-Dillon Serna, 74), 18-Jerome Kiesewetter, 10-Gedion Zalalem, 11-Julian Green (16-Maki Tall, 85) 9-Khiry Shelton
Subs not used: 8-Alejandro Guido, 6-Shane O’Neill, 14-Dave Romney
Head coach: Andi Herzog

BRA: 1-Ederson, 2-Fabinho, 3-Doria, 4-Rodrigo Ely, 5-Lucas Silva (17-Rodrigo Caio, 83), 6-Wendell (16-Jorge, 87), 7-Gabriel (21-Gustavo Scarpa, 83), 8-Fred, 9-Luan (20-Kenedy, 77), 10-Felipe Anderson (19-Valdivia, 77), 11-Gabriel Jesus (15-Marlon, 59)
Subs Not Used: 12-Uilson, 13-Zeca, 14-Lucao, 18-Walace, 22-Vinicius Araujo
Head coach: Rogerio Micale

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 5 / 15
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 0 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 0 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Matt Polster (caution)               32nd minute
BRA – Fred (caution)                           35
BRA – Doria (caution)                         44
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution)              45                              
BRA – Doria (caution)                         58
BRA – Doria (ejection)                        58
USA – Jon Kempin (caution)               62 

Referee: Jorge Mancilla                                                                                    
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Arellano                                                                                        
Assistant Referee 2: Edwin Paredes      

Romney on the Rise

“I got an email notification on my phone, and I opened it and I was just staring at it. It just all sunk in there. I was in shock.”

That was one week ago when Dave Romney found out that he was getting called in to play for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team – an achievement and honor that, eleven months ago, he never saw coming.

“No shot. Absolutely no shot. Never even a thought process back then that I’d be in Brazil with the Olympic team now,” Romney said. “I was just happy to be playing anywhere at that point.”

A lot has happened for Romney since the start of the year. He’s been given a series of opportunities and has consistently found a way to rise to the occasion, which is how he’s been able to transition from an undrafted defender out of the University of San Francisco through LA Galaxy II to the LA Galaxy first team. Now he finds himself in the middle of the USA’s road to the 2016 Olympic Games.

“It’s been a wild ride,” Romney said. “I definitely took a different road than many of the guys in this camp and in MLS. I went to a smaller school, USF, and I think it’s harder for defenders to get noticed at a smaller school. You can’t score 15 goals and get on the radar, you kind of just do your job. If you don’t get talked about that usually means you’re doing your job because you’re not letting goals in.”

After a four-year career at USF, where he earned All-West Coast Conference honors and was a pillar of consistency for the Dons appearing in 72 matches, Romney was not sure where he would land next.

“I didn’t get invited to any combines or anything like that, but my coach at USF did know some of the guys at Galaxy because he used to be an academy coach there, so he got me a trial at Galaxy II,” He said. “I had no clue it was coming. I found out about a week in advance and he said, ‘I hope you’re in good shape.’”

Despite coming in injured, Romney was able to earn a spot as one of the team’s four practice players.

“They said something might happen, we’ll see, but for now you’ll be practice players. At that moment I thought, at least I’ve got a foot in, I can develop and hopefully get in eventually. I was just trying to keep a positive mindset.”

It wouldn’t take long for him to get his opportunity. With a number of Galaxy II defenders going down to injury, Romney was signed to the club and made a quick impression.

“I got signed and a couple of games in I got my first start and then 17 starts later I got called up for the International Cup game against Club America and then played well in that game. Then I got to play against Barça and then they needed a left back for an MLS game, so I got to start that and I played well in that game and a week later I signed on with LA Galaxy.”

Since then Romney has made 11 appearances with the Galaxy, an experience he has called “a crazy ride” that’s become all the more exciting with his call up to the Olympic team.

“I just want to learn as much as I can from these guys around me in this Brazil camp. We’re all in different scenarios, we’re all in different clubs, we’re all in different countries even. I’m excited to see what their situation is like and see what they’re dealing with and learn as much as I can from them. I’ll just compare myself to the top level talent in the U.S. and hopefully I fit in.”

Romney says that he has a pretty simple playing style and that it’s helped him perform consistently as he’s moved up the ranks over the last several months. He’s hoping to show what he can do at the international level with the USA as the team readies for the next phase of Olympic qualification.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but being in the Olympics would be huge. My dad’s gone to almost every Olympics in the last 20 years. I’ve been to the Sydney Olympics, to Salt Lake and he went to London. He said that his childhood dream was to be an Olympian. He said it’d be awesome if he could live it through me. I’ve still got a lot of improving to do. I want to do a lot with my game and improve technically and athletically. I’m not where I want to be as a player, but hopefully I can keep working and be a part of this team as it continues to push for the Olympics.”

Herzog Calls 19 Players to Brazil as #RoadToRio Continues

(CHICAGO) Nov. 9, 2015 - U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 19 players to Recife for two friendlies against Brazil. The teams will first square off on Nov. 11 in Recife in a match that kicks off at 6 p.m. ET, before traveling north to Belém, Brazil on Nov. 15 for the second head-to-head, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. Both games will be available on FOX Sports 1.

The USA is coming off a third-place finish in the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, a result that extended its quest for a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The team will face off with Colombia in March in a home-and-away playoff in one final qualifying opportunity. Nine players that competed for the U.S. in the qualifying tournament are back for this trip, including the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Jerome Kiesewetter.

"These matches against Brazil are a huge opportunity for us," Herzog said. "On one hand you have a strong challenging South American opponent in Brazil, with a playing style that's similar to that of Colombia, and on the other we'll get to experience playing in Brazil, which is where we hope to be next summer for the Olympics."

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (MK Dons; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Leeds United; Cleveland, Ohio), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), Shane O’Neill (Royal Mouscron; Boulder, Colo.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Dave Romney (LA Galaxy; Irvine, Calif.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire; Milwaukee, Wisc.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers; Bethesda, Md.)
FORWARDS (3): Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; Leander, Tex.), Maki Tall (FC Sion; Washington, D.C.)

Additional Notes:

  • The U-23 MNT last competed against Brazil in Oct. 2014, falling to the Seleção 3-0 in Brasilia. Seven players that were with the team for that trip return to Brazil this time around.
  • John Brooks joins the U-23 MNT for this first time in 2015. The Bundesliga defender started in 10 matches for the senior MNT this season. He scored in the senior team’s comeback victory against then sixth-ranked Netherlands in June. The World Cup goal scorer is making his way back from injury.
  • At 17-years-old, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is the youngest player on the roster. The U-21 Tottenham Hotspur captain made his first appearances with the U-23 MNT in last year's match against Brazil and was also included during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October when he scored his first goal for the U-23s.
  • Cody Cropper was unavailable for the qualifying tournament as he was recovering from injury. The MK Dons backstop returns for this camp. He has started in five games for the U-23’s and earned a shutout in the USA’s 3-0 win against Mexico in April.
  • The call-up is the first for Dave Romeny to any U.S. Youth National Team. He is a product of the LA Galaxy Academy program.
  • The roster is made up of a diverse mix of players from clubs around the world. Nine players represent MLS clubs, three play in England, three in Germany, and a player each from Mexico, Belgium, Scotland and Switzerland. 

Q&A: Klinsmann Talks Copa America Centenario and Preps for Qualifiers Now that it’s officially confirmed, how beneficial will it be for the team to play in the Copa America Centenario and have it hosted in the United States?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “Copa America Centenario 2016 in the United States is huge. It’s almost like a World Cup.  The Copa America is similar to the European Championship, so it’s kind of just one step below the World Cup and having that hosted in the United States with big teams like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and our neighbors Mexico along with other CONCACAF nations joining in a 16-team tournament next summer is an unbelievable opportunity. For us, it’s a wonderful way to kind of test the players out, to see where we are at that point in time. Obviously, the big picture is always the World Cup 2018 in Russia, but a Copa America is something special so there will be packed stadiums, a lot of fans from all over the place and many exciting games to watch. So we are thrilled to host Copa America.” The U-23s are going to play two matches against Brazil in Brazil next month during the international window. In terms of getting ready for the playoff against Colombia, what ways does this help?
JK: “For our Under-23 Olympic team it is vital that they get games in now because they face Colombia in March in a [home and away] playoff to qualify for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We were able to arrange two friendly games with Brazil’s Under-23 team in the November fixture window, which is huge. It gives our players not only a chance to play against one of the best Under-23 teams in the world, but also to be in Brazil and get a little bit of a smell of what it could be then next summer at the Olympics. So this is a wonderful opportunity. We want to thank the Brazilian Federation for that invitation. For Andi Herzog and his team it’s a great opportunity to measure themselves.” As part of the progress of player development, how valuable is the new U-12 Development Academy program?
JK: “Initializing now the Under-12 Development Academy Program is another big step in the right direction because the earlier we can work with the kids and influence their development, the more effective it will be and the more quality we can give them. So going down now to the age level Under-12 is huge. It’s very, very important. Obviously, it needs to grow. It needs to spread out over the entire country over years to come. Having better coaching there, identifying the talent earlier, getting them into a 10-11 month rhythm with enough games and especially good training sessions, is vital. Therefore, this is a big step in the right direction from U.S. Soccer.” In looking toward putting the roster together for next month and the start of the Road to Russia, there are a lot of different considerations with the status of players and where they are at in individual situations.  From MLS, there are several guys who have now completed their seasons. How do you work with them to maintain their levels so they are ready for the first World Cup Qualifier on Nov. 13 in St. Louis?
JK: “Looking at our November World Cup Qualifiers, obviously we monitor all our players in the different leagues in the different environments, and one challenge for us certainly is that for some of them their MLS season is already over. Either they didn’t make the playoffs or they just lost now in the playoffs in the first round, so that makes it tricky for us to keep them going until we meet up on November 8 for the St. Louis game against St. Vincent and the Grenadines. To give them training plans, to make sure that they keep going for players like a Jermaine Jones, a Kyle Beckerman, a Chris Wondolowski, a Mix Diskerud, a Lee Nguyen, and others is now really, really crucial because they are not playing games anymore prior to the World Cup Qualifiers.” There are also several players with injury concerns. Can you update their status?
JK: “Obviously in our roster towards the World Cup Qualifiers there are players who are injured unfortunately right now. We have Geoff Cameron coming out in the last game of Stoke, but he should be okay. We had Brad Evans get a hamstring issue, so that will be tricky for him to catch up. Rubio Rubin, our youngest striker, is injured. Aron Johannsson is not playing because of injury right now. So we have all over the place some issues, and we need to find solutions for that. Hopefully they get back as quickly as possible, and if they can’t make it than other ones will have to step in and get the job done.” Obviously form is a key factor going into a World Cup qualifier. Are there other players in situations that you are keeping an eye on?
JK: “Well, on one side you have obviously the injured issue or players that are out of MLS competition, and then you have some players that are just not making their starting lineup right now. John Brooks is one of them and Ventura Alvarado is another one, so it’s tough for some of our players to get regular playing time and that influences our situation prior to the World Cup Qualifiers. That’s just normal, but it’s sad to see because you want the youngsters to come through and to put a stamp on the team but they cannot do it if they sit basically on the bench in their club teams.”

U-23 MNT to Face Colombia in Home-and-Away Series for Spot in 2016 Olympics

CHICAGO (Oct. 19, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will face off with Colombia in a home-and-away playoff in March of 2016 for the final berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The U.S. earned its spot in the playoff after finishing third in the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, while Colombia earned its place after finishing in second place in the 2015 South American Youth Championship.

The USA won four of its five games in the Qualifying tournament, going 3-0-0 in group play with wins against Canada, Cuba and Panama, before dropping its semifinal match against Honduras and then bouncing back to win the third-place game against Canada. U.S. striker Jerome Kiesewetter earned the Golden Boot in the tournament as the leading goal scorer.

The Olympic Football tournaments are directed by FIFA, which conducted a preliminary draw for the playoff in March. At that draw, it was determined that the Colombia would host the first leg of the playoff. The second leg will be hosted by the United States. Venues will be announced at a later date, as determined by each team. FIFA has stipulated that both matches must be completed before the end of March, 2016.

The U.S. hopes to return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008 in Beijing, when it posted a 1-1-1 record but did not advance from a group that included Gold medalists Nigeria. The USA’s best showing in the Olympics came during the 2000 Games in Sydney, when the team defeated Japan in the quarterfinals and finished fourth in the event.

USA Falls 2-0 in Olympic Qualifying Semifinal to Honduras

SANDY, Utah (Oct. 10, 2015) - The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team lost 2-0 to Honduras in the semifinal of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium. The USA will next face Canada on Oct. 13 in the third place match, the winner of which will take on Colombia in a one-game playoff for a berth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

The U.S. was the attacking side from the get-go, but just could not click to connect for a goal. Honduras, which had fewer chances, made the most of countering opportunities, and Albreth Elis converted on one to put Honduras up 1-0 in the 24th minute. It was the first time in the Olympic Qualifying tournament that the U.S. had to play from behind.

In the 54th minute, it appeared that the U.S. had found an equalizer, when from a corner kick Luis Gil whipped in a beautiful cross that Cameron Carter-Vickers jumped to and headed towards the top right corner of the goal, but Honduras goalkeeper Luis Lopez made a remarkable save, jumping high and wide to deflect the shot away.

In the 77th minute, Honduras doubled its lead, with Elis again finding the net off a counter attack. 

The U.S. battled to the end, but the closest it could come to scoring came in the form of a disallowed goal from Jordan Morris.

The road to Rio has not ended for the U-23s yet, but it has lengthened. Tuesday's game against Canada is a must win.

-U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Honduras
Date: Oct. 10, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Semifinal
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Kickoff: 1 p.m. MT
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 79 degrees; Sunny

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

HON-Albreth Elis (Kevin Alvarez)             24th minute
HON-Albreth Elis (Kevin Lopez)               77

USA:  12-Ethan Horvath; 2-Boyd Okwuonu (20-Gboly Ariyibi, 46), 3-Matt Miazga, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 7-Dillon Serna; 13-Matt Polster, 8-Emerson Hyndman (14-Fatai Alashe, 64), 6-Wil Trapp (capt.); 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 10-Luis Gil (11-Alonso Hernandez, 74), 9-Jordan Morris
Subs Not Used: 1-Zack Steffen, 5-Will Packwood, 15-Marc Pelosi, 18-Charlie Horton, 19-Maki Tall
Head Coach: Andi Herzog

HON: 1-Luis Lopez; 2-Jonathan Paz, 3-Marcelo Pereira, 15-Kevin Alvarez, 6-Bryan Acosta; 8-Rodolfo Espinal, 10-Oscar Salas (19-Kevin Lopez, 68), 16- Elder Torres, 20-Jhow Benvidez (14-Joshua Nieto, 74); 17-Albreth Elis (11-Alian Banegas, 87), 9-Antony Lozano
Subs Not Used: 4-Klifox Bernardez, 7-Jose Barralaga, 12-Roberto Lopez, 13-Darwin Espinal, 18-Harold Fonseca
Head Coach: Carlos Tabora

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 18 / 13
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4        
Offside: 3 / 0
Fouls: 11 / 12

Misconduct Summary:
USA-Matt Polster (caution)            12th minute
USA-Boyd Okwuonu(caution)      27

Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
1st Referee: Ronald Bruna (PAN)
2nd Referee: Ronaldo de la Cruz (GUA)
4th official: Juan Carlos Guerra (GUA)

Man of the Match: TBA

USA Continues Olympic Qualifying Dream at Expense of Canada

SANDY, Utah (Oct. 13, 2015) - The U.S. U-23 Men's National Team got two two second half goals from Marc Pelosi and Jerome Kiesewetter to beat Canada 2-0 in the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Qualifying Championship third place match and keep alive its quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The USA now advances to a March playoff against Colombia for the right to attend the 2016 Olympics. 

The match was dominated by the U.S. from the first whistle. The U-23s immediately broke on the attack and Canada was challenged defensively throughout the first half. Despite producing a number of chances, the USA could not convert on any, but in its repeated attacks did draw a pair of yellow cards from Giuliano Frano, which resulted in his being sent of in the the 44th minute and gave the U.S. a one man advantage in the second half.

Canada shifted its defense adjustment in the second half, playing with 10 men and loaded up the box with defenders as the USA piled on attack after attack. Finally in the 69th minute off a corner kick the ball bounced out to the top of the box, where Marc Pelosi blasted a shot that went into the right corner of goal and gave the U.S. the lead. With the score advantage Canada was forced to pull defenders up and the U.S. capitalized with Jerome Kiesewetter attacking to earn a penalty kick and then stepping up to take and bury it in the 84th minute to ice the game. The goal was Kiesewetter's fourth of the tournament, which earned him the golden boot.

The playoff with Colombia will be a home and away series that will be played in March for the right to attend the 2016 Olympics.

-U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Canada
Date: Oct. 13, 2015
Competition: 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Third Place
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Kickoff: 5 p.m. MT
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 74 degrees; Sunny

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

USA – Marc Pelosi                                                  69th minute
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter (penalty)                   84

USA: 12-Ethan Horvath; 13-Matt Polster, 3-Matt Miazga, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 15-Marc Pelosi; 17-Jerome Kiesewetter (2-Boyd Okwuonu, 90+1), 14-Fatai Alashe, 6-Wil Trapp (capt.), 7-Dillon Serna (10-Luis Gil, 73); 11-Alonso Hernandez (8-Emerson Hyndman, 63), 9-Jordan Morris
Subs not used: 1-Zack Steffen, 5-Will Packwood, 18-Charlie Horton, 19-Maki Tall, 20-Gboly Ariyibi
Head coach: John Hackworth

CAN: 1-Maxime Crepeau; 3-Giuliano Frano, 5-Lucas Gasparotto, 6-Christopher Mennella (8-Jay Chapman, 62), 9-Anthony Jackson-Hamel (16-Mo Babouli, 87), 10-Caleb Clarke, 11-Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, 13- Michael Petrasso, 14-Sam Piette (capt.), 19-Skylar Thomas, 20-Dylan Carreiro (2-Jonathan Grant, 45)
Subs not used: 4-Jackson Farmer, 7-Mauro Eustaquio, 12-Quillan Roberts, 15-Ben Fisk, 17-Hanson Boakai, 18-Ricky Gomes
Head coach: Roberto Floro

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 28 / 3
Shots on Goal: 12 / 3
Saves: 3 / 10
Corner Kicks: 10 / 4
Offside: 1 / 0
Fouls: 8 / 12

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Marc Pelosi (caution)                                 16th minute

CAN – Anthony Jackson-Hamel (caution)          24
CAN – Giuliano Frano (caution)                           32
CAN – Giuliano Frano (caution)                           44
CAN – Giuliano Frano (ejection)                          44

Referee: Luis Santander (MEX)
1st Referee: Israel Valenciano (MEX)
2nd Referee: Ronaldo de la Cruz (GUA)
4th Official: Karl Tyrell (JAM)

#RoadtoRio Part 3: 'Win and We're In'

The journey continues… After going a perfect 3-0-0 in group play and finishing atop Group A, the U-23 #USMNT shifts its focus to the all-important Olympic Qualifying tournament semifinal, where it will matchup with Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The stakes couldn’t be higher. With a win, the USA would qualify directly for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

Highlights: USA Turns on Second Half Style to Beat Panama

The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team moved on to the semifinal round of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament as the top seed out of Group A after a 4-0 win against Panama at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.