CHICAGO (Feb. 12, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship will be played in the United States from Oct. 1-13.
The tournament will feature eight nations divided into two groups of four, with the top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advancing to the semifinals. The countries that advance to the final will earn an automatic berth to the Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016, while the third-place finisher will advance to a playoff against Colombia for one additional spot.
Host venues and ticketing information for the competition will be announced at a later date.
“The Olympic Qualifying Championship provides an ideal stage for CONCACAF nations to demonstrate the bright future the Confederation holds on the field,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “We look forward to some great soccer as the competing nations strive to match our historic Olympic performances three years ago in England from Honduras, and of course Mexico, the 2012 Olympic Champion.”
The Olympic Qualifying Championship kicks off Oct. 1, with group play continuing through Oct. 7. The final match day for both groups, as well as the semifinal date, third-place match and the final, all fall within the FIFA match date window scheduled for Oct. 5-13, meaning all nations will be able to call on their top players worldwide for the decisive phase of the championship.
The qualifying tournament will include host USA, as well as North American automatic qualifiers Canada and Mexico. Those three countries will be joined by three nations from the Central American region and two from the Caribbean, with qualifiers in those regions to be disputed in coming months.
“We are looking forward to hosting the Olympic Qualifying Championship and showcasing the quality of soccer in the region,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “The Olympics hold a special place in the hearts of all Americans and this is a great opportunity to see these young athletes from across North, Central America and the Caribbean compete for the opportunity to reach their goal of playing in the Olympic Games.”
The final tournament schedule and kickoff times will be set following the qualifying tournaments in Central America and the Caribbean.
The United States also hosted the previous CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, in 2012, when matches were hosted in Kansas City, Los Angeles and Nashville.
CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Andreas “Andi” Herzog has been named the head coach of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team. Herzog will lead the group that will begin the qualification process this fall for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“Andi brings a wealth of experience at the international level as a player and a coach,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “In his years with the National Team he has developed a thorough understanding of our system, and we are confident that he is the right coach to accomplish our goal of reaching and succeeding in the Olympic Games.”
Herzog has already played an integral role in the USA’s early Olympic preparations by helping head multiple U-23 MNT camps last year in Brazil and the Bahamas, as well as a U-21 camp in April of 2014.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to coach the U.S. Under-23 National Team,” said Herzog. “We recognize the special place that the Olympic Games have in this country and we are committed as a group to qualifying for Rio in 2016. We look forward to putting together a team that will make all Americans proud. We also know it’s a part of our responsibility to develop players who will be able to contribute to the senior National Team, and that process has already begun.”
Herzog played professionally for 18 years and earned more than 100 caps with Austria’s national team. The two-time FIFA World Cup veteran (1990 and 1998) transitioned to the coaching realm in 2005. He served as Austria’s U-21 coach from 2009-11, and was also an assistant coach for Austria’s senior national team.
In December of 2011, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named Herzog his assistant coach with the MNT. The 46-year-old becomes the third senior team assistant coach in four cycles to take charge of the U-23s, following Glenn “Mooch” Myernick in 2004 and Peter Nowak in 2008.
“Andi has plenty of experience and knowledge in order to prepare this group for the international level,” said Klinsmann, who is also U.S. Soccer’s Technical Director. “As a former coach of the U-21 Austria team, he has a lot of experience connecting to the younger generation of players. Having been with the senior National Team these past years, he understands the challenges of putting together a team with players coming from all over. Andi is absolutely ready to step into this role, and he deserves this opportunity.”
As a player, Herzog was a former teammate of Klinsmann at German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, where the two celebrated winning a UEFA Cup championship in 1996. Herzog capped off his professional career with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy in 2004.
On the international front, Herzog is Austria’s leading capwinner, having made 103 appearances and scoring 26 goals for Austria from 1988-2003.
BRASILIA, Brazil (Oct. 13, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team capped off its trip to Brasilia with a 3-0 loss to Brazil’s U-23 national team at Estadio Nacional.
Brazil took advantage of a defensive mishap with Luan’s third-minute goal and never looked back. Douglas added a header off of a Vinicius Araujo assist in the 75th minute and Araujo tallied a goal of his own seven minutes later for the three-goal lead.
The USA, in the midst of early preparations toward qualification for the 2016 Olympics, had several good scoring chances. In the first half, Rubio Rubin created an opportunity with a cross toward Jordan Morris, but he was unable to finish inside the box in the 39th minute. In the 58th minute, Mario Rodriguez had an opportunity created by Oscar Sorto, but again the finish from close range was off. In the closing minutes, Dennis Flores had an 88th-minute shot that went wide left of the frame.
- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Brazil U-23 MNT
Date: Monday, Oct. 14, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Estádio Nacional de Brasilia; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Weather: 76 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 0 0
BRA 1 2 3
BRA – Luan 3rd minute
BRA – Douglas Coutinho (Vinicius Araujo) 75
BRA – Vinicius Araujo 82
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 2-Oscar Sorto, 4-Cameron Carter-Vickers (19-Matt Miazga, 61), 5-Shane O’Neill (capt.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 7-Benji Joya (17-Marlon Hairston, 83), 6-Emerson Hyndman (14-Dennis Flores, 61), 10-Mario Rodriguez (25-Ben Spencer, 71), 11-Dillon Serna; 9-Jordan Morris (16-Alonso Hernandez, 83), 8-Rubio Rubin
Subs Not Used: 12-Charlie Horton, 13-Eric Miller, 15-Sean Okoli, 18-Christian Dean, 20-Esteban Rodriguez
12-Andrey; 3-Wallace, 5-Alison (18-Fred, 46), 4-Doria (capt.), 2-Fabinho; 6-Wendell (16-Douglas Santos, 46), 7-Luan (21-Douglas Coutinho, 68), 10-Ademilson
(20-Felipe Gedoz, 46); 8-Matheus Biteco, 11-Talisca (17-Danilo, 73), 9-Thalles (19-Vinicius Araujo, 62)
Subs Not Used: 1-Jacsson, 13-Claudio Winck, 14-Nathan, 15-Samir, 22-Georgemy, 23-Kelvin
Head Coach: Alexandre Gallo
BRA – Talisca (caution) 19th minute
USA – Oscar Sorto (caution) 28
USA – Benji Joya (caution) 64
Photos from the U.S. Under-23 MNT's training sessions in Brazil ahead of its international friendly against the Brazil Under-23 national team on Monday, Oct. 13, at Estádio Nacional in Brasilia. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET).
CHICAGO (Oct. 3, 2014) – A 21-player roster has been named for the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team’s October camp in Brasilia. The group, which is beginning its early preparations for qualification toward the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, departs for Brasilia on Thursday, Oct. 9.
The team will train from Oct. 10-12 and then face Brazil’s U-23 national team on Monday, Oct. 13, at Estádio Nacional in Brasilia. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. local (6 p.m. ET).
This marks the third time the U-23s have gotten together this year. The group met for a domestic camp in April at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, and then most recently traveled to Nassau, Bahamas, in early August. That trip included an Aug. 6 match against the Bahamas’ full national team, with the USA earning a 5-1 victory.
This current roster includes nine players who competed in that win against the Bahamas, including Jordan Morris and Dennis Flores who each tallied a goal.
Four players were called in to the senior Men’s National Team by USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in preparation for the 1-0 win against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3: goalkeeper Cody Cropper, midfielder Emerson Hyndman and forwards Morris and Rubio Rubin.
The following seven U-23 players were members of the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey: Cropper, defenders Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda and Oscar Sorto, midfielder Benji Joya and forwards Alonso Hernandez and Mario Rodriguez.
The roster also features 16-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers of Tottenham, who represented the USA during the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team’s run to the championship at the 21st International Tournament of Václav Ježek in the Czech Republic. Carter-Vickers is the youngest player among this group.
The coaching staff for this trip, which coincides with the Men’s National Team matches against Ecuador and Honduras, will include U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director and U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez and MNT scout Matthias Hamann. Rob Vartughian is the goalkeeper coach during this trip.
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Charlie Horton (Cardiff City; Cleveland, Ohio), Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.)
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Dennis Flores (León; Pasadena, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham; Dallas, Texas), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Esteban Rodriguez (Dorados de Sinaloa; Bell Gardens, Calif.)
FORWARDS (6): Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht; Beaverton, Ore.), Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven; Albuquerque, N.M.)
CHICAGO (Sept. 29, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will convene in Brasilia for a mid-October camp from Oct. 10-12, highlighted by a match against Brazil’s U-23 national team on Monday, Oct. 13.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the invitation from the Brazilian Federation to play against their U-23 National Team,” said U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann. “We have emphasized the need for this group to be together as much as possible, and to play against one of the best teams in the world will be a great benchmark for our players. They also get a chance to play in Brasilia, which is one of the host venues for the 2016 Olympics, and for many it will be a first taste of what the environment would be like for the tournament. We couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.”
The U-23 MNT roster for this international camp will be named in the coming days. The coaching staff for this trip, which coincides with the Senior National Team matches against Ecuador and Honduras, will include U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director and U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos, U-18 MNT head coach Javier Perez and MNT scout Matthias Hamann. Rob Vartughian will be the goalkeeper coach during the trip.
The camp serves as part of the preparation process for Olympic qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The USA last held a U-23 camp from Aug. 3-7 in Nassau, Bahamas that included a 5-1 victory against the Bahamas first team on Aug. 6.
ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”
ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”
ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”
ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field. I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”
NASSAU, Bahamas (Aug. 6, 2014) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated the Bahamas first team 5-1 at the Thompson A. Robinson National Stadium as the USA continues its early preparation work toward qualification for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
It was a well-rounded offensive effort as five different players scored for the USA: Alfred Koroma Shams, Jordan Morris, Luis Gil, Dennis Flores and Omar Salgado. Morris’ 58th-minute goal proved to be the game-winner.
The USA opened the scoring late in the second half when Benji Joya crashed inside the box along the end line, eluded his defender and slotted the ball across the box to Koroma Shams for a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute.
The Bahamas’ Jonathan Patrick found the equalizer in the 55th minute, but the USA responded just three minutes later. On a Gil free kick to the middle of the box, Daniel Metzger redirected to the right side of the box and Morris headed toward the far left side of the frame for a 2-0 lead.
Gil’s 63rd-minute free kick curled toward the top right corner of the net, where Bahamas goalkeeper Dwayne Whylly partially deflected it but could not parry it away from the frame as the USA pushed its lead to 3-1.
In the final two minutes of regulation, Flores and Salgado scored back-to-back goals to complete the rout.
- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
U.S. U-23 MNT vs. Bahamas National Team
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014
Competition: International Friendly – Tier 2
Venue: Thomas A Robinson Stadium; Nassau, Bahamas
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 82 degrees, hot and humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
BAH 0 1 1
USA – Alfred Koroma Shams (Benji Joya) 43rd minute
BAH – Jonathan Patrick 55
USA – Jordan Morris (Daniel Metzger) 58
USA – Luis Gil 63
USA – Dennis Flores (Omar Salgado) 89
USA – Omar Salgado 90
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda; 5-AJ Cochran (Christian Dean, 63), 4-Will Packwood (Ramon Martin del Campo, 46), 2-Oscar Sorto; 19-Daniel Metzger (Bryan Gallego, 75), 8-Benji Joya, 10-Luis Gil (capt.) (Victor Pineda, 73), 17-Alfred Koroma Shams (7-Dennis Flores, 46); 18-Alonso Hernandez (15-Daniel Cuevas, 60), 11-Jordan Morris (9-Omar Salgado, 75)
Subs not used: 12-Santiago Castano
1-Dwayne Whylly (12-Valen Bodie, 90); 3-Ambry Moss, 5-Duane Beneby, 4-Dwayne Forbes (17-Devaughn Williamson, 76), 2-Gavin Christie; 6-Justin Sealey
(22-Johnathan Patrick, 13) (13-Valdere Murphy, 74), 8-Chris Larson (14-Perry Brooks, 65), 7-Dylan Pritchard, 10-Leslie St. Fleur; 9-Terry Delancy (20-Dylan
Lightbourne, 64), 11-Cameron Hepple (16-Donovan Williamson, 90)
Subs not used: 15-Michael Holowesko, 18-Jackner Louis, 19-Timmy Munnings, 21-Lamar Cancino
USA – Daniel Metzger (caution) 2nd minute
BAH – Gavin Christie (caution) 57
BAH – Dwayne Forbes (caution) 61
USA – Christian Dean (caution) 70