CHICAGO (March 30, 2015) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called in Philadelphia Union forward Zach Pfeffer to join the team for its upcoming match against Denmark on Tuesday, March 31 in Copenhagen.
Pfeffer’s most recent participation with U.S. Soccer was with the U-20 MNT in 2014. He appeared in three international games for the USA, recording one assist and three goals on the year. He has also spent time with the U-17 and U-18 Men’s National Teams.
The U-23 MNT played its first friendly of the year on March 27, defeating Bosnia U-21's 5-2 in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Five different players scored for the U.S. in the match including, Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe, with Luis Gil assisting on three of the tallies.
Morris, who scored the opening goal in the victory, is now with the senior MNT as U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann added the forward to the roster on March 29.
The U.S. U-23 MNT’s two friendlies are part of the team’s first training camp of 2015 currently taking place in Europe. The camp marks the beginning of the team’s qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For more updates, follow the U-23's on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
The U-23 Men's National Team is holding its first training camp of 2015 ahead of Olympic qualifying this fall. The U-23's trip included a 5-2 win against Bosnia's U-21 side in Tuzla where the team has been based for a majority of the camp. Next up for the U-23's is a friendly against Denmark on March 31. Keep up with the U-23 MNT's camp and match against Denmark on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.
Los boletos para el partido entre la Sub-23 de EE.UU. y la de México saldrán a la venta al público el jueves, 2 de abril, a las 10 a.m. PT por medio de ussoccer.com, llamando al 1-888-929-7849, y en la taquilla del StubHub Center (abierta de lunes a viernes, 12 p.m. a 6 p.m.). Grupos de 20 personas o más pueden obtener un formulario de solicitud grupal en ussoccer.com o llamando al 312-528-1290.
La Selección Masculina Sub-23 de EE.UU. actualmente está en su primer campo de entrenamiento del 2015 en Europa. La concentración marca el inicio de las preparaciones del equipo para la eliminatoria para los Juegos Olímpicos de Verano 2016 en Rio de Janeiro.
Después de entrenar del 23-26 de marzo en Tuzla, Bosnia y Herzegovina, EE.UU. jugó su primer partido amistoso del año el 27 de marzo, derrotando a Bosnia 5-2 con goles de Jordan Morris, Mario Rodríguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernández y Fatai Alashe. El equipo de enfrentará a Dinamarca el martes, 31 de marzo, en Copenhagen, Dinamarca.
El director técnico de la Sub-23 de EE.UU. es Andi Herzog, quien ha sido auxiliar técnico de la Selección Mayor desde el 2011. Los asistentes de Herzog incluyen a John Hackworth, quien es director técnico de la Selección Masculina Sub-15 de EE.UU., el buscador de talentos de la Selección Mayor Matthias Hamman y el entrenador de porteros Memo Valencia. Manténgase al tanto con la más reciente información de la Selección Masculina Sub-23 en Twitter @ussoccer_ynt y @ussoccer_esp.
- ussoccer.com -
CHICAGO (March 28, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will face its counterpart Mexico on Wednesday, April 22 at 8 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The game against its CONCACAF rival will serve as preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, to be held Oct. 1-13 in the USA.
Tickets for the U.S. U-23 MNT-Mexico match-up go sale to the public Thursday, April 2, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
The U.S. U-23 MNT is currently in the midst of its first training camp of 2015 in Europe. The camp marks the beginning of the team’s qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
After training from March 23-26 in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the U.S. played its first friendly of the year on March 27, defeating Bosnia 5-2,
behind goals from Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe. The team next faces Denmark on Tuesday, March 31, in
The U-23 MNT is led by head coach Andi Herzog, who has served as a Senior Men’s National Team assistant coach since 2011. Herzog’s assistants include John Hackworth, who serves as head coach of the U-15 Boys’ National Team, MNT scout Matthias Hamann and goalkeeper coach Memo Valencia.
Stay up-to-date with all the latest information on the U-23 MNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.
TUZLA, Bosnia & Herzegovina (March 27, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated Bosnia U-21's 5-2 in its first friendly of the year in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Five different players scored for the U.S. including, Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe, with Luis Gil assisting on three of the tallies.
The U.S. jumped to a 2-0 advantage early in the game after Morris converted from the top of the box following a pass form Gil in the eighth minute. Rodriguez notched the second thanks to an assist from Morris in the 14th.
Bosnia got into the score sheet with a goal in the 64th, but a foul in the box to Jerome Kiesewetter two minutes later, gave the U.S. a penalty kick that Benji Joya had no trouble converting for the 3-1 USA lead. Shortly after, Bosnia got its own call in the box and scored on a penalty kick to make it a 3-2 game.
The USA once again was able to distance itself as Hernandez received a missed shot from Gil that rebounded straight back to him to send it to the back of the net in the 78th. Finally, the U.S. sealed the deal when a perfectly placed corner from Gil went to the middle of the box and Alashe headed it home to secure the 5-2 victory.
Next, the U-23 MNT will travel to Denmark to face Denmark U-23’s on Tuesday, March 31. The U.S. U-23 MNT is currently in its first training camp of 2015 in Europe. The camp marks the beginning of the team’s qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For more updates, follow the U-23's on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.
- U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-23 MNT v. Bosnia Herzegovina U-21 MNT
Date: March 27, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Stadion Tusanj; Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Weather: 49 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
BIH 0 2 2
USA – Jordan Morris (Luis Gil) 8th minute
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Jordan Morris) 14
BIH – Nikola Jelisic 64
USA – Benji Joya (penalty kick) 66
BIH – Armin Hodzic (penalty kick) 72
USA – Alonso Hernandez (Luis Gil) 78
USA – Fatai Alashe (Luis Gil) 86
USA: 12-Charlie Horton; 3-Boyd Okwuonu, 5-Will Packwood, 4-Shane O’Neill, 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (6-Christian Dean, 81); 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 8-Benji Joya (16-Dan Metzger, 83), 10-Luis Gil (capt.), 7-Ariel Lassiter (13-Khiry Shelton, 61); 9-Jordan Morris (11-Alonso Hernandez, 74), 18-Mario Rodriguez (14-Fatai Alashe, 61)
Subs not used: 22-Tyler Miller
Not Dressed: 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 20-Oscar Sorto
Head Coach: Andi Herzog
BIH: 1-Kenan Piric; 11-Adis Omerbasic, 6-Luka Miletic, 5-Renato Goikovic (17-Marko Mihoievic, 45), 4-Alem Merlaic; 14-Damir Sadikovic, 16-Nikola Jelisic, 10-Samir Radovac (23-Smail Prevljak, 74); 2-Kerim Memiia, 15-Fedor Predragovic (19-Amar Rahmanovic, 45), 9-Armin Hodzic (capt.) (8-Milos Satara, 81)
Subs not used: 7-Dzenan Burekovic, 12-Vedran Kiosevski, 13-Milos Acimovic, 18-Omar Markovic, 20-Semir Music, 21-Branimir Odak, 22-Nemanja Trkulja
Head Coach: Darko Nestorovic
Stats Summary: USA / BIH
Shots: 8 / 14
Shots on Goal: 7 / 7
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 0 / 1
USA – Boyd Okwuonu (caution) 55th minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution) 63
BIH – Samir Radovac (caution) 65
USA –Benji Joya (caution) 71
BIH – Kerim Memiia (caution) 73
Referee – Edin Jakupovic
Assistant 1 – Sreten Udovicic
Assistant 2 – Senad Ibrisimbegovic
Fourth Official – Elvedin Topuzovic
CHICAGO (March 24, 2015) – U.S. Men’s Under-23 National Team head coach Andi Herzog has added two players to the 18-man roster currently in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina for the team’s first training camp of the year.
Defender Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmond, Okla.) and midfielder Dan Metzger (Unattached; Holmdel, N.Y.) will join the U-23 MNT for training in Bosnia, upping the group to 20 players, as the team continues to get ready to face Bosnia’s U-23 National Team on Friday, March 27 in Tuzla, before traveling to face Denmark on Tuesday, March 31.
Both Okwuonu and Metzger have experience playing with U.S. Soccer Youth National Teams. Okwuonu was a member of the U-17 MNT Residency Program in the fall of 2008 and competed with the team at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. He also played with the U-20 MNT in 2012 alongside Metzger, who scored the last goal of the year for the U-20’s during a friendly against Venezuela on Dec. 21, 2012.
In addition, Okwuonu was a member of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship team that qualified the U.S. for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The foreign training camp serves as the U-23’s initial step in preparation for qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
CHICAGO (Mar. 22, 2015) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 18 players to Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina, for the U-23’s first training camp of 2015 as the team begins its qualifying preparations for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The team will train from March 23-26 and then face Bosnia’s U-23 National Team on Friday, March 27, in Tuzla, before travelling to face Denmark on Tuesday, March 31.
“We are about six months away from the Olympic qualifying tournament, and I think, for every single player, it’s a great chance and for every one of us on the staff a great opportunity. It starts right now with the first game in Bosnia,” said Herzog. “Every player has to show me that he wants to be part of this group, and that they understand how special it is to represent your country. We have an opportunity to build something special, and I hope everyone is as excited as I am.”
- Q&A: Andi Herzog Laying Foundation for U-23 Olympic Qualifying
- Feature: Building the U.S. MNT Pyramid
The roster is laden with experience, as eight of the 18 players have were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team (Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, Wil Trapp). Gil, Trapp and Jordan Morris have also been capped at the senior team level.
This squad includes eight players that played a part in the U-23’s 5-1 win against the Bahamas last August, including Gil, Koroma Shams and Morris, who each scored in that match. Last time out in October, the U-23 squad fell 3-0 to Brazil in a friendly match that was part of a larger training camp held in Brasilia.
Herzog has served as a Senior Men’s National Team assistant coach since 2011. This camp will be his first as head coach of the U-23 team. Herzog’s assistants include John Hackworth, who serves as head coach of the U-15 Boys’ National Team, MNT scout Matthias Hamann, and goalkeeper coach Memo Valencia.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Charlie Horton (Cardiff City; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Ariel Lassiter (LA Galaxy II; Temecula, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; Leander, Texas)
- In the last four Olympic cycles, nearly half of the players that appeared in qualifying or in the final tournament went on to appear for the Senior Team. The breakdown by cycle: 2000 (14), 2004 (13), 2008 (13), 2012 (9)
- Major League Soccer contributes the most players, sending seven total to Europe. In addition, USL Pro and the NCAA send a pair each. The breakdown by country: United States (11), Germany (3), Mexico (3), England (2)
- Luis Gil, Jordan Morris and Wil Trapp have all earnedone cap with the senior MNT since the 2014 FIFA World Cup
- Eight of the 18 players called for U-23 camp were part of Tab Ramos’ 2013 U-20 World Cup squad: Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, and Trapp. The U-20 MNT played eventual tournament champion France to a 1-1 draw and also faced Spain and Ghana in group play. During the tournament in Turkey, Gil scored against Spain and O’Neill against Ghana. Gil started all three matches of the tournament while O’Neil started the final two
- Eight players were also in attendance at last year’s U-23 October camp: Christian Dean, Alonso Hernandez, Charlie Horton, Morris, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Will Packwood, Mario Rodriguez, and Oscar Sorto
- Seven of 18 players hail from the state of California, an additional three from Texas and two from Ohio
March 2015 is the curtain raiser on a busy cycle for the men’s side of the U.S. National Team program.
And USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will use the March friendlies at Denmark and Switzerland as prep for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, while also wearing his other hat as Technical Director as he helps oversee a busy time for the U.S. U-20 and U-23 MNT sides that will hold simultaneous European camps at the end of the month.
Beginning preparations for CONCACAF Olympic qualification in October, USMNT assistant coach Andi Herzog convenes his first camp in charge of the U-23 side ahead of games at Bosnia-Herzegovina (March 27) and Denmark (March 31). Meanwhile, having recently qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, U-20 head coach Tab Ramos will bring his team to England for a pair of matches against the England U-21s and Tottenham Hotspur U-21s.
“For the youngsters to look towards the U-20 World Cup is huge,” Klinsmann told ussoccer.com. “For the U-23s, we have to get them going in order to prepare for the qualifiers later this year towards the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Andi Herzog has his hands full with that group. For me and the Senior Team perspective, I’m looking at all these youngsters and thinking who can come through these periods and develop the fastest possible in order to make himself a strong competitor for the senior group. So this is a great time now, and we can’t wait to get these games going at the end of the month.”
BREAKING DOWN THE ROSTERS
The balance has a telling diversity among the 62 players that have been summoned.
With all three camps taking place at the same time, the understanding between the three coaches, all of whom worked together at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, has been key as Klinsmann has continued to develop a structure that works not only for the senior team but helps develop players that will one day play for it.
“In terms of style of play, it’s the same approach that Jurgen has and what Tab Ramos has done with the U-20s,” Herzog said in regards to coaching the U-23s. “We all work together with the senior team. For this group, I want to have a team where there are a lot of variations. We want to be attack-minded, keep possession, and have the whole team proactively working to win the ball back as soon as possible.”
- Q&A: Klinsmann Breaks Down Thinking Behind Current MNT Squad
- Q&A: Herzog Laying Foundation for U-23 Olympic Qualifying
- Q&A: Ramos and U-20 MNT Ramp Up Prep for 2015 U-20 World Cup
Though just beginning the U-23 cycle, with the previous team missing out on qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Herzog said the task of getting the team to Rio next year begins with his new side understanding the playing philosophy being handed down this initial camp.
“It’s a big goal, and I think it will be really important to start from the first session to get the players into this philosophy.”
Beyond ensuring a similar playing style, the understanding has perhaps been most important when figuring out how to balance three different rosters with players that could go between two different teams.
“It’s all very clear,” Ramos told ussoccer.com. “Jurgen and I have had a conversation to make sure that we put all things in the right places as we’re moving forward. Obviously having three National Teams go to camp at the same time is not easy. We don’t all get the players we need at times, and it’s not easy on the clubs because MLS doesn’t stop for the FIFA dates and we’re at times asking for a bunch of players from the same team. We try not to deplete any one club at one time so the conversations between Jurgen, Andi and me as he passes down the information have to be very clear. We’ve done that, we’re all on the same page and I think it’s going to go smoothly.”
A past member of U.S. U-17 and U-20 World Championship squads as well as the 2008 Olympic team, U.S. senior international Jozy Altidore spoke to the value of these experiences for players who are beginning to develop international careers.
“It’s great to be involved at these levels because you get exposed to different types of teams,” said Altidore. “You see early how competitive it is, and how good the up and coming players are. Even getting used to things like travel is valuable. Dealing with all the elements of being an international player helps you get used to it and it becomes less of an issue as you progress, because it doesn’t get any easier. All these things prepare you for what’s to come.”
Altidore joins Beijing 2008 teammates Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco for USMNT camp this month, while another six of the senior players called in have represented the U.S. at various youth World Cups or in qualifying.
“These are important experiences,” continued Altidore. “A lot of the things you see at that level can prepare you for when you make the jump to the senior team, so these guys should take it seriously and get the most of out of it.”
Recently appointed U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog sat down with ussoccer.com to speak about the team's upcoming training camp in Europe that will feature matches against Boznia and Denmark.
ussoccer.com: As you get this group together for the first time as head coach, the scheduling comes at an interesting moment with both the Senior Team and the U-20 team also playing. How did you work through putting together the roster?
Andi Herzog: “This was a bit of a puzzle. There are players from our pool that also fit in with the Senior Team, and also with the U-20 team. Overall I’m really happy that most of the players were released from the clubs in MLS, Europe and Mexico, so I think that we have a great group together and we can look forward to having two great games in Europe.
ussoccer.com: You have two very different and challenging opponents with Bosnia and Denmark. What do you like about these games?
AH: “It’s two different mentalities because Denmark is one of the best seven teams in Europe right now. They qualified for the European U-21 Championship that is coming up in May and June in the Czech Republic, so I think it will be a real tough game for us and I think a great, great challenge for our players. Bosnia is more like most of the teams from the Balkans, a more a technical team.”
ussoccer.com: This is your first camp as head coach with this group. What are some of the messages that you want to give to this team?
AH: “We are about six months away from the Olympic qualifying tournament, but I think it’s for every single player, a great chance, and for every one of us on the staff, a great opportunity, and it starts right now with the first game in Bosnia. Every player has to show me that he wants to be part of this group, and that they understand how special it is to represent your country. We have an opportunity to build something special, and I hope everyone is as excited as I am.”
ussoccer.com: You previously coached the Austrian U-21 National Team. How will that experience help you in this role?
AH: “I think it’s great for me. It’s an advantage because I already know the strengths and weaknesses of this age group. It’s really fun for me and makes me really proud to get the opportunity to lead our team to the qualification and then to the Olympics. I think we are all convinced that we will get to Brazil, and like I said, it starts already in Bosnia. Hopefully we can improve from game to game as the team gets used to my philosophy.”
ussoccer.com: Your philosophy is obviously similar to that of Jurgen Klinsmann and Tab Ramos. How would you describe the approach to style of play?
AH: “In terms of style of play, it’s the same approach that Jurgen has and what Tab Ramos has done with the U-20s. We all work together with the Senior Team. I want to have a team where there are a lot of variations. We want to be attack-minded, keep possession, and have the whole team proactively working to win the ball back as soon as possible. It’s a big goal, and I think it will be really important to start from the first session to get the players into this philosophy.”
ussoccer.com: As you examine the pool, can you already identify potential leaders?
AH: “We’ll see. For this camp, there are two or three players who were already playing for the first team like Luis Gil and Wil Trapp. Obviously there are players who played in the World Cup in Brazil that will have an important role. There will be times when they are with Jurgen, and other guys, who will be with Tab in the U-20 World Cup. When you add in the Gold Cup, which is important for the senior team, it’s a lot of activity. The good thing is that those are all great experiences. I think that we have a great group together and the main goal is to play the qualification at home in a really, really good way.”
ussoccer.com: Your assistant coaches include John Hackworth, who knows the U.S. players and system incredibly well, and Matthias Hamann who scouts Europe. It seems like you have a lot of good support in scouting and identifying players.
AH: “We have a great coaching staff together. John knows everyone in MLS and the college ranks and the other leagues around North America. Matthias knows a lot of the young players in Europe from Germany and from England. It’s a big support for me, and I look forward to working with these guys and having success.”
ussoccer.com: What have been your priorities since you took over this role?
AH: “I’ve been traveling a lot through Europe and watching all of the players from my team and also from the first team, so it’s a lot of scouting and a lot of good games. Our staff has been looking at the player pool closely and trying to map the different opportunities we will have to get guys together. As I said before, with all the games for Jurgen and the U-20 World Cup this summer, it’s going to be a puzzle. On the positive side, we will get the chance to look at a variety of players. We’ve been working on getting quality games, and we have some fantastic opportunities coming up this spring and summer. We’re definitely on the right track.”