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Gallery: U-23 MNT Win Completes Two-Game Double for USA Over Mexico

Photos from the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team 3-0 victory over its counterpart from Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 22, 2015. Los Angeles-area native Mario Rodriguez started the scoring for the U.S. in the second half. Fellow California Christian Dean followed up with his first international goal for the USA before Stanford University sophomore Jordan Morris capped off the night with his second goal against Mexico in as many games. Morris also scored the winning goal for the senior MNT in its 2-0 win against Mexico the week before. Additionally, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper turned in a fine performance, stopping all seven shots on goal he faced to earn his first shutout of the year for the U-23s. 

The U-23 MNT will next be in action come the end of May when the team travels to France for the international Toulon Tournament. The USA will face France (May 27), the Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2) during group play of the competition as it continues preparation for Olympic Qualifying, which kicks off this fall and will take place throughout the United States.

Highlights: Morris Strikes Again, Rodriguez and Dean Add Gloss to U-23 MNT Win Over Mexico

The U.S. U-23 MNT defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson, California.

GOAL: Jordan Morris Caps Off U-23 MNT's 3-0 Win vs. Mexico

For the second time in a week, Jordan Morris scored against Mexico - this time with the U-23 MNT to close out a 3-0 win.

U-23 MNT Earns 3-0 Win against Mexico

CARSON, Calif. (April 22, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico 3-0, behind goals from Mario Rodriguez, Christian Dean and Jordan Morris at StubHub Center. The win was the second-straight for the U-23 MNT over its Mexico counterpart, after the USA won 2-0 in the last matchup between the two nations on Feb. 29, 2012.

In eight matches between the U.S. U-23 MNT and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23 tournament), the USA has gone 6-2-0, (4-0-0 on U.S. soil) including tonight’s win.

U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who saved all seven shots on goal he faced, earned his first shutout of 2015 and the first for any U.S. U-23 MNT goalkeeper this year.

The U-23 MNT next comes together for the Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in Toulon, France. The USA will face France (May 27), Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil), 48th Minute:
Starting from the center, U.S. midfielder Fatai Alashe played a ball out to the left where Luis Gil ran onto it and continued with pace down the left side. Gil angled a pinpoint cross past a closing defender into the box where a sliding Rodriguez volleyed it into the lower right-hand side of the net for the first goal of the game. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna), 58th minute: Mexico’s Bernardo Hernandez was called for a foul on Mario Rodriguez on the left side of the field, earning the U.S. a free kick. Dillon Serna sent the left-footed free kick into the box where an unmarked Christian Dean headed his shot past helpless Mexico goalkeeper Luis Cardenas into the left side of the frame for his first goal with the U.S. USA 2, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill), 68th minute: From a corner kick, Luis Gil sent a high looping ball to the far side of the six yard box. Shane O’Neill ripped in a hard, one-time cross as the ball bounced to him and Morris met the pass with a leaping, left-footed volley that Cardenas got a hand to but was unable to keep from powering into the goal for the final margin. USA 3, MEX 0 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 1st minute:
Before the game was a minute old, Mexico played a ball through the middle and ripped a shot that forced Cody Cropper into a diving save, which he barely reached and pushed out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 33rd minute: Mexico’s Angel Saldivar pushed at top speed from the right side and flicked a last chance effort at goal before reaching the endline, which Cropper brought in with two hands to keep the game level.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 41st minute: Luis Gil brought down a deflected ball in the box from 15 yards out, took a touch and a turn, and fired on goal. The shot went straight at Cardenas, who dropped to a knee and collected.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 45th minute: Mexico whipped in a dangerous cross from a corner kick, and Cropper dove out to snag a flick-on right in front of goal, preserving the scoreless the first half.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 54th minute: Daniel Metzger was first to a deflected ball just outside of the Mexico box, collecting it and sending a hard shot at goal from distance. Cardenas dove and just reached the ball to knock it out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 64th minute: Angel Saldivar shrugged off his defender at the top of the box and sent a curling shot to the far post, which Cropper leaped for and tipped out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 73rd minute: A long bouncing ball was played into the box which a streaking Mexico player met with a tricky header. Cropper was equal to the task, diving and deflecting the ball to safety to keep the shutout.

Additional Notes:

  • The U-23s began the game in a diamond 4-4-2 formation, the same formation used by the senior U.S. team in its match against Mexico on April 15.
  • Mario Rodriguez scored the game’s first goal; it was his second of the year.
  • Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-area native from North Hollywood, made the start at forward. The Borussia Mönchengladbach forward spent time playing in the LA Galaxy’s youth system.
  • Jordan Morris has now scored twice against Mexico in as many games, recording a goal with the senior MNT last week against Mexico in San Antonio, and again tonight. Morris also scored for the U.S. U-23 MNT in the team’s win over Bosnia earlier this year.
  • Luis Gil now leads the team with four assists in 2015.
  • Gil wore the captain’s armband for the third straight game.
  • Oscar Sorto, a Los Angeles native who plays for the LA Galaxy, made the start for the U-23s, playing in his club’s home stadium, StubHub Center.
  • It was also a homecoming for Jose Villarreal, who plays for the LA Galaxy and entered in for Alejandro Guido in the game’s 24th Minute.
  • Christian Dean’s goal was his first at any level of his Youth National Team career with the USA.

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

Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico U-23
Date: April 22, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Attendance: 3,782
Weather: 61 degrees; Cloudy  

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          3          3
MEX                            0          0          0 

USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil)               48th minute
USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna)           58
USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill)          68 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 20-Oscar Sorto (3-Boyd Okwuonu, 68), 5-Walker Zimmerman (6-Christian Dean, 46), 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna (2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda, 81); 14-Fatai Alashe, 13-Alejandro Guido (17-Jose Villareal, 24; 16-Daniel Metzger, 40), 8-Benji Joya, 10-Luis Gil (capt.); 9-Jordan Morris, 18-Mario Rodriguez (11-Alonso Hernandez, 72)
Subs Not Used: 12-Jon Kempin, 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 19-Sam Strong
Head coach: Andreas Herzog

MEX: 1-Luis Cardenas;  2-Gil Buron, 4-Luis Guzman, 3-Luis Solorio, 5-Jorge Caballero (15-Bernardo Hernandez, 46); 7-Jorge Espericueta (14-Michael Perez, 59), 11-Daniel Hernandez, 16-Rafael Escamilla (6-Pedro Hernandez, 46); 8-Uvaldo Luna (17-Carlos Cisneros, 74), 9-Angel Zaldivar, 10-Marco Bueno (capt.) (18-Rosario Cota, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Manuel Lajud, 13-Pedro Teran, 19-Jose Alberto Garcia, 20-Ulises Jaimes
Head coach: Raul Gutierrez

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 12 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 0 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution)                  21st minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution)                         38
USA – Shane O’Neill (caution)                       43
USA –Boyd Okwuonu (caution)                     90+1 

Officials
Referee: David Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
4th Official: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Mario Rodriguez

GOAL: Christian Dean Extends U-23 MNT Lead Over Mexico to 2-0

Christian Dean's headed goal from a second half set piece doubled the U.S. U-23 MNT's lead. #dosacero

GOAL: Mario Rodriguez Lands Opening Blow for U.S. U-23s vs. Mexico

Mario Rodriguez smartly finished from a Luis Gil cross to give the U-23 #USMNT a 1-0 lead over Mexico.

From Germany to California: A Rodriguez Homecoming

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National team forward Mario Rodriguez made the longest journey of the 20 players on the roster to get to this week’s camp after traveling 5,600 miles from his Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany to Los Angeles, a place he knows well.

“I’m from North Hollywood,” Rodriguez said. “Coming back here is good, but it’s different because this time it’s strictly business, and it’s a good feeling playing against Mexico in my home. It’s really something else and it really feels good.”

Rodriguez has his eyes focused closely on the prize of another U.S. victory over Mexico, hoping to follow up on the senior team’s 2-0 win last week. He got off the plane at LAX after a 13-hour flight with one thing in mind.

“It’s a big rivalry,” he said. “Mexico and the U.S. have been at this battle for a very long time and it’s our turn now.”

Rodriguez was one of the last players to arrive at camp, getting in just shortly after the week’s first training session had begun. Eager to get to work, he texted the team coordinator who he had thought would be waiting for him at the airport.

“I said, ‘What’s up, are you going to come pick me up?’” Rodriguez said. “He was like, ‘No, not right now,’ and I said ‘What?’, and then out of nowhere my parents were there.”

Rodriguez’s mother and father still live in his hometown of North Hollywood, just north of LAX, and were there to surprise him at the airport. Living so far away from home, Rodriguez said it was an amazing surprise and it was wonderful to get the chance to see them.

“They really surprised me,” Rodriguez said. “It was just so nice to see them because I wasn’t expecting it and I haven’t seen them in so long.”

Rodriguez rode alongside mom and dad to the team hotel where they were able to meet the rest of his teammates as they pulled in from training. They wished them all well and told them they would be watching on Wednesday.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Rodriguez spent the early part of his career playing through the LA Galaxy youth system. From there he moved on to play for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2012 and in 2013 he moved around Germany to play for Borussia Mönchengladbach, the same club as fellow American and U.S. MNT defender Fabian Johnson.

After being on the other side of the world for the last few years, Rodriguez said it will be a great experience to play back home in LA in the stadium of the club where it all began for him.

“It’s always a privilege to put on the red, white and blue and to play for the National Team.”

As an added bonus this time around, he will have his family cheering him on when he does so on Wednesday.


U-23s Continue Rivalry with Mexico in Carson

The U-23 MNT is preparing for Olympic Qualifying later this year and their first home match of 2015 is against Mexico in Carson. Watch as the USA prepares for a match against its archrival with an eye towards qualifying and Rio de Janeiro next year.

Full Circle: Youngest and Oldest U.S. Soccer YNT Programs Share Lunch During Training

This week, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team and the Under-14 Boys' National Team are both training at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. Having camps just one field apart gave the squads an opportunity to gather together after training and meet for a group lunch. For the U-14's, it was an opportunity to see where continued hard work might lead. For the U-23's, it was a reminder of how far they have come, and an opportunity to share with the youngsters what they have learned along the way.

“Getting together is really important,” U-14 BNT head coach Brian Johnson said. “I think it’s important for both age groups actually. For the U-14's, it’s an opportunity to see older players, who have come through, as most of [the U-23's] have come through the system. It’s important for them to be able to talk to the [U-23’s] and eat lunch with them and ask questions and just engage in community.”

With the U-14's being the youngest of U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams and the U-23's being the last stop before the Senior National Team, the boys were able to tap into the older players' full range of U.S. Soccer experiences.

U-23 MNT U-14 BNT
U-23 MNT midfielder Luis Gil laughs with members of the U-14 Boys' National Team. Players from both teams shared lunch while simultaneously training at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.

“It feels very good and I feel very blessed that I got chosen to be with this talented group of players,” U-14 forward Jose Rivas said. “I asked how it feels to score in an international game. I asked where they played as youngsters and where they grew up and where they plan to play in the next few years.”

The U-14's and the U-23's were spread out amongst the tables and had the chance to sit with players that play the same positions. Rivas had the opportunity to sit down with a fellow forward.

“I talked to Jordan Morris, the man who scored against Mexico,” Rivas said grinning. “So happy. He said he doesn’t really know how it felt, it was a blur for him.”

In the coming years, Rivas hopes to have an experience like that of his own, but in the meantime, he will continue to work towards that goal. This week he gets to watch from only steps away, an experience he said is very special.

“It’s important that the U-14's see that connection and that they have these guys to look up to.” Johnson said. “They kind of find out some of the things that they’ve done well, and also maybe some of the things that have been tough for them and the different obstacles to overcome.

“When you play for the National Team it gets harder and harder as you get older, so it’s important for them to know, even specifically with their own positions, some of the stuff they do well, and maybe some of the things that they work on their own outside of training, so that they can do better and ultimately help the team.”

U-23 MNT to Make 2015 Home Bow vs. Archrival Mexico

U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico U-23 Men’s National Team
International Friendly
StubHub Center; Carson, California

April 22, 2015  U-23’s to Take 2015 Home Bow against Archrival Mexico
For the first time in 2015, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team is set to play on American soil, this time facing off with archrival Mexico on Wednesday, April 22 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The game will be broadcast live on UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the match on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.   Tickets for the match can be purchased at ussoccer.com [TICKETS], 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. U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog has assembled 20 players in California. The roster is charged with experience, as nine players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team, and 11 participated in the U.S. U-23 camp in Europe this past March, which was highlighted by a 5-2 victory over Bosnia in Herzog’s first victory as head coach of the U-23 program. In six matches between the U.S. U-23’s and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23-tournament), the USA has gone 5-2-0, including a victory during the squads last matchup on Feb. 29, 2012 by a score line that has become familiar for these two rivals: 2-0. Mexico, the defending Olympic champion, went an undefeated 10-0-1 in its 11 matches in 2012 on the way to the gold medal and will look to continue that success with the 20-man roster it has brought to Carson for this match. The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13. 

Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)  USA U-23’s vs. Mexico:

  • The United States is 5-2-0 against Mexico since 1992.
  • The last time the U-23’s faced Mexico, the U.S. came away with a 2-0 victory in Frisco, Texas. The two goal-scorers in that game for the U.S. were forward Juan Agudelo and midfielder Mix Diskerud. Both Agudelo and Diskerud played in the U.S. senior side’s match last week against Mexico, where Agudelo scored the second goal of the team’s 2-0 victory.
  • Since 1992, the U-23’s are 3-0 against Mexico when playing on U.S. soil.
  • Alejandro Guido and Mexico’s Jose Alberto Garcia, Pedro Hernandez, and Gibran Lajud are Liga MX club teammates at Club Tijuana, while Alonzo Hernandez is teammates with Luis Cardenas, Jorge Caballero and Bernardo Hernandez at Monterrey.
U.S. Roster Notes
  • Nine players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cody Cropper, Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal.
  • Jordan Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Eleven players from this roster were on the squad that defeated Bosnia’s U-23 team 5-2 on March 27, including all five U.S. goal scorers from that game: Fatai Alashe, Morris, Rodriguez, Joya and Hernandez. Other players returning from that roster are Christian Dean, Ocegueda, O’Neill, Sorto, Gil, and Alfred Koroma Shams.
  • In addition to Gil captaining the USA during the win against Bosnia, he also assisted on three of the five tallies.
  • Cropper, Dean, Gil, Kempin, Morris, O’Neill, Serna and Sorto have all been part of a USMNT senior camp this year.
  • Gil and Morris are the only two players from the roster to have earned a cap with the senior team in 2015.
  • MLS has sent nine players for this roster with two players each from the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
  • Four players on the roster play for Mexican-based clubs (three from Liga MX and one from Ascenso MX).
Mexico Roster Notes
  • Fourteen of the 20 players play in Liga MX.
  • Forward Marco Bueno was part of the Mexico senior team roster that played against the U.S. MNT on April 15. Bueno earned a cap after entering in the game’s 83rd minute.
  • Uvaldo Luna Martinez was born in Houston, Texas, and spent time with the U.S. U-20 MNT.
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Luis Cárdenas (Monterrey), Gibran Lajud (Club Tijuana)       
DEFENDERS (6): Gil Burón (Querétaro), Jorge Caballero (Monterrey), Luis Guzmán (Atlas), Bernardo Hernández (Monterrey), Louis Alfonso Solorio (Coras), Pedro Terán (Atlas)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Carlos Ernesto Cisneros (Coras), Rosario Enrique Cota Carrazco (Cruz Azul), Kevin Escamilla (UNAM) Jonathan Espericueta (Tigres), Pedro Hernández (Club Tijuana), Michael Pérez Ortiz (Coras), Daniel Hernández Trejo (Atlante)
FORWARDS (5): Marco Bueno (Toluca), Jose Alberto Garcia (Club Tijuana), Ulises Jamies Huerta (Monarcas), Uvaldo Luna Martinez (Tigres), Ángel Zaldivar (Coras) 

2012 U-23 MNT
The U.S. U-23 MNT last met Mexico's U-23 in an international friendly on Feb. 29, 2012 in Frisco, Texas and prevailed 2-0.

U-23’s Last Time On the field against Mexico:

Feb. 29, 2012 – FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas – International Friendly 

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

USA - Juan Agudelo (Mix Diskerud)    35th minute 
USA - Mix Diskerud (Freddy Adu)        36 

Lineups:
 
USA: 1-Bill Hamid (18-Sean Johnson, 46); 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara (capt.), 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Alfredo Morales (19-Amobi Okugo, 90), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (17-Tony Taylor, 67), 9-Juan Agudelo (12-Teal Bunbury, 61), 11-Joe Gyau (14-Dilly Duka, 78) 
Subs not used: 13-Jorge Villafana, 15-Jack McInerney, 16-Sebastian Lletget, 20-Michael Stephens 
Head Coach: Caleb Porter 

MEX: 1-Liborio Sanchez, 2-Israel Jimenez, 4-Nestor Araujo, 5-Darvin Chávez, 6-Ricardo Bocanegra (17-Javier Aquino, 46), 7-Javier Cortés, 9-Jeronimo Amione (19-Alan Pulido, 64), 10-Marco Fabian, 14-Jorge Enriquez (8-David Cabrera, 78), 16-Miguel Ponce (18-Hector Herrera, 46), 21-Ricardo Mier (capt.) 
Subs not used: 11-Nestor Calderon, 12-Antonio Rodriguez, 13-Diego Reyes, 15-Jair Barraza, 20-Hugo Rodriguez
Head coach: Luis Fernando Tena 

Gallery: U-23 MNT Win Completes Two-Game Double for USA Over Mexico

Photos from the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team 3-0 victory over its counterpart from Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 22, 2015. Los Angeles-area native Mario Rodriguez started the scoring for the U.S. in the second half. Fellow California Christian Dean followed up with his first international goal for the USA before Stanford University sophomore Jordan Morris capped off the night with his second goal against Mexico in as many games. Morris also scored the winning goal for the senior MNT in its 2-0 win against Mexico the week before. Additionally, U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper turned in a fine performance, stopping all seven shots on goal he faced to earn his first shutout of the year for the U-23s. 

The U-23 MNT will next be in action come the end of May when the team travels to France for the international Toulon Tournament. The USA will face France (May 27), the Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2) during group play of the competition as it continues preparation for Olympic Qualifying, which kicks off this fall and will take place throughout the United States.

From Germany to California: A Rodriguez Homecoming

U.S. Under-23 Men’s National team forward Mario Rodriguez made the longest journey of the 20 players on the roster to get to this week’s camp after traveling 5,600 miles from his Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany to Los Angeles, a place he knows well.

“I’m from North Hollywood,” Rodriguez said. “Coming back here is good, but it’s different because this time it’s strictly business, and it’s a good feeling playing against Mexico in my home. It’s really something else and it really feels good.”

Rodriguez has his eyes focused closely on the prize of another U.S. victory over Mexico, hoping to follow up on the senior team’s 2-0 win last week. He got off the plane at LAX after a 13-hour flight with one thing in mind.

“It’s a big rivalry,” he said. “Mexico and the U.S. have been at this battle for a very long time and it’s our turn now.”

Rodriguez was one of the last players to arrive at camp, getting in just shortly after the week’s first training session had begun. Eager to get to work, he texted the team coordinator who he had thought would be waiting for him at the airport.

“I said, ‘What’s up, are you going to come pick me up?’” Rodriguez said. “He was like, ‘No, not right now,’ and I said ‘What?’, and then out of nowhere my parents were there.”

Rodriguez’s mother and father still live in his hometown of North Hollywood, just north of LAX, and were there to surprise him at the airport. Living so far away from home, Rodriguez said it was an amazing surprise and it was wonderful to get the chance to see them.

“They really surprised me,” Rodriguez said. “It was just so nice to see them because I wasn’t expecting it and I haven’t seen them in so long.”

Rodriguez rode alongside mom and dad to the team hotel where they were able to meet the rest of his teammates as they pulled in from training. They wished them all well and told them they would be watching on Wednesday.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Rodriguez spent the early part of his career playing through the LA Galaxy youth system. From there he moved on to play for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2012 and in 2013 he moved around Germany to play for Borussia Mönchengladbach, the same club as fellow American and U.S. MNT defender Fabian Johnson.

After being on the other side of the world for the last few years, Rodriguez said it will be a great experience to play back home in LA in the stadium of the club where it all began for him.

“It’s always a privilege to put on the red, white and blue and to play for the National Team.”

As an added bonus this time around, he will have his family cheering him on when he does so on Wednesday.


Full Circle: Youngest and Oldest U.S. Soccer YNT Programs Share Lunch During Training

This week, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team and the Under-14 Boys' National Team are both training at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. Having camps just one field apart gave the squads an opportunity to gather together after training and meet for a group lunch. For the U-14's, it was an opportunity to see where continued hard work might lead. For the U-23's, it was a reminder of how far they have come, and an opportunity to share with the youngsters what they have learned along the way.

“Getting together is really important,” U-14 BNT head coach Brian Johnson said. “I think it’s important for both age groups actually. For the U-14's, it’s an opportunity to see older players, who have come through, as most of [the U-23's] have come through the system. It’s important for them to be able to talk to the [U-23’s] and eat lunch with them and ask questions and just engage in community.”

With the U-14's being the youngest of U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams and the U-23's being the last stop before the Senior National Team, the boys were able to tap into the older players' full range of U.S. Soccer experiences.

U-23 MNT U-14 BNT
U-23 MNT midfielder Luis Gil laughs with members of the U-14 Boys' National Team. Players from both teams shared lunch while simultaneously training at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.

“It feels very good and I feel very blessed that I got chosen to be with this talented group of players,” U-14 forward Jose Rivas said. “I asked how it feels to score in an international game. I asked where they played as youngsters and where they grew up and where they plan to play in the next few years.”

The U-14's and the U-23's were spread out amongst the tables and had the chance to sit with players that play the same positions. Rivas had the opportunity to sit down with a fellow forward.

“I talked to Jordan Morris, the man who scored against Mexico,” Rivas said grinning. “So happy. He said he doesn’t really know how it felt, it was a blur for him.”

In the coming years, Rivas hopes to have an experience like that of his own, but in the meantime, he will continue to work towards that goal. This week he gets to watch from only steps away, an experience he said is very special.

“It’s important that the U-14's see that connection and that they have these guys to look up to.” Johnson said. “They kind of find out some of the things that they’ve done well, and also maybe some of the things that have been tough for them and the different obstacles to overcome.

“When you play for the National Team it gets harder and harder as you get older, so it’s important for them to know, even specifically with their own positions, some of the stuff they do well, and maybe some of the things that they work on their own outside of training, so that they can do better and ultimately help the team.”

On the Lookout

On April 1, the 18 players that were a part of the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team March camp in Europe headed home after a week of intense training and friendlies with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Denmark. For head coach Andi Herzog and assistant coach Matthias Hamann that camp may have been over, but the process of continuing preparation for the Olympic qualifications with the U-23 squad, and the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup with the U.S. MNT, was just beginning. The ensuing scouting phase would see them travel more than 7,000 miles in the course of the three weeks that followed.

In addition to being coaches for the U-23s, Herzog and Hamann are also the European-based eyes of the senior National Team, constantly tracking players and evaluating talent for MNT head coach and U.S. Soccer Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann. However, the pair crossed the pond for this round of scouting, traveling across North America to see games and players in the United States and Mexico.

“We came straight to Texas on April 10 from our March camp in Europe to watch FC Dallas play Colorado Rapids and to see our players,” Herzog said. “Dillon Serna came in 15 minutes from the end and scored a great goal. The next day we went to see the Houston Dynamo against the Montreal Impact. Then after that we came back to Dallas and drove our cars from Dallas to Houston and then from Houston to San Antonio to join the Senior Team for the match against Mexico.”

And that wasn’t all. Next the duo flew to Los Angeles and drove 150 miles to the border before parking and walking through the world’s busiest border crossing.  “We went to Los Angeles and then from LA to Tijuana to watch the U-20’s from Club Tijuana, and Greg Garza and Joe Corona for their first team. We also saw a few of the Mexican players that we will face in the Gold Cup or in World Cup qualifications, so it was an interesting game,” Herzog said.

From Tijuana it was back to Los Angeles to view the LA Galaxy and U.S. MNT players Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes, as well as U-23 MNT members Jose Villareal and Oscar Sorto.

And that wasn’t all.

“It was nice. It was a lot of games, and in the meantime because of the time difference we were watching the European games on TV,” Herzog said.

Dillon Serna, Shane O'Neill, Wil Trapp, Luis Gil
U-23 MNT members Dillon Serna (No. 21), Shane O'Neill (No. 16) and Luis Gil (No. 14) have all spent time with the spent time with the Senior MNT as well.

Herzog and Matthias take in game after game from Europe to the U.S. to Mexico. Really anywhere there is a game going on that has ties to U.S. Soccer – be that U.S. players or players that the USA will face down the line – there’s a good chance Herzog or Hamann are watching.

“Most of the time because we live in Europe we are scouting all the European-based players for the U.S. MNT and the youth teams, and for our Olympic team as well.” Herzog said. “It’s also critical that we see as many of the players based here as possible. When there’s a game in the U.S., we always try to come a little bit early to watch as many games as we can.”

That is precisely what they did again this time around, going from city-to-city and match-to-match. Seeing the games up close lets the coaches keep tabs on current players, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to scout for new talent.

“The most important thing is to scout our players,” Herzog said. “Even when the U-23 guys aren’t playing, because of my job as an assistant coach for Jurgen Klinsmann, I have to look at all of the players. It’s always good to get a lot of new impressions. You may have already had an opinion and you think, okay this guy is good, and then you get to confirm the level of play.”

It’s safe to say that when this camp is over Herzog and Hamann will be back on the grind. 

“It’s always fun to watch. It’s our profession and our passion. We’re both crazy and every weekend we’re in a different soccer stadium.”

First Step Completed on the Road to Rio for U-23 MNT

The U.S. Men’s Under-23 National Team completed its first camp of the year this week, and looking beyond the two results achieved in the friendly matches played, things went as expected for U-23 MNT head coach Andreas Herzog.

"It was my first camp; the players had to get an idea of the new coaching staff, the philosophy and style of play," Herzog said following the second match of the camp against Denmark. "Every single one showed great effort, but that's normal. First of all, it’s the national team and it's a new coach. Everyone wants to make a good impression, so that's nothing that I wasn't expecting."

On March 22, Herzog called-in 18 players to participate in training camp, as the group began preparing for October's tournament that will qualify two CONCACAF teams to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. He later added two more players on March 24, and later added one more player when Jordan Morris was called into the senior MNT camp, thus rounding out the U-23 roster to 20. The camp, which ran from March 23-26, started in Bosnia. There, the U-23’s played the host nation on March 27, earning a 5-2 victory. They later traveled to Denmark, facing the Danes on March 31 in Copenhagen, falling 1-0 in the wrap-up match of the team’s European camp.

"We had a great result in Bosnia," Herzog said. "We made some mistakes too, but Bosnia didn’t punish us for our mistakes. I think we played against a real good Danish team with a lot of power. You could see right from the beginning they had a different power; the passing, the speed."

Midfielder Luis Gil, who captained the side in both matches, offered his viewpoint on the group from a players' perspective.

"It's our first camp together, so we're still getting used to all the players," said Gil. "It's great to have a group like this out here. Obviously we have some work to do. It's going to take some time, but the future is looking positive. We just have to take it step-by-step and I feel like we'll get there. We have a great coaching staff and great players. We just have to work."

Gil had three assists out of the five goals scored against Bosnia. While also active throughout the match in Copenhagen, the opponent proved too strong to break down.

"We played two completely different teams," he said in regards to the team’s friendlies. "It's difficult playing against a great team from Europe in Europe. I feel like we learned a lot from this, especially in the game against Denmark."

Herzog was not pleased with the team's overall performance in the loss to Denmark, singling out a few things.

"I think we had 60 minutes that we didn't play really well," Herzog said of the match in Copenhagen. "We didn't keep the ball and we were not confident enough. It was just a matter of time when they scored. And when we regained possession of the ball, we did not keep it for a while, so we didn't create anything. It was not a 50-50 game; it was more like 75 to 25 with a much better Danish team. 

"And then, the game changed in the opposite direction because we were the better team the final 30 minutes. We created four great chances. If you have a bad game but you still have four clear chances, you have to score. Overall, I have to give the players credit and compliment them. After a bad 60 minutes, we showed good character and fought our way back into the game and we should have tied the game."

One of the players Herzog is clearly counting on to play an important role moving forward on the year is Gil.

"He has to be a difference maker. With his quality I expect more, of course," Herzog said. "He had some good situations, like against Bosnia when he made some great passes which led to goals. He's an experienced guy. He's played a couple of years in MLS, so I expect from him to lead the team. He has to change the rhythm of the game with a lot of dynamic runs and sometimes with his great technique. He has to be confident in the number 10 position. Overall, all of us have to do an even better job in order to get to Rio."

Gil, who was a member of the U-20 MNT World Cup squad in 2013, is eager to show that he can help steer the team to the Olympics.

"This is the first time where I really get to be the leader of a team," he said. "I have to show more on the field and pick them up off the field. I have to be a leader for these guys. I have to push them harder and I feel that we'll be successful."

With the first camp in the books, Herzog won't have to wait long to see the group again. The team will face Mexico U-23’s at StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 22.

For the Herzog, it's another opportunity to continue working with the core players he expects to play come October.

"We already have our next game on April 22 against Mexico in LA, where hopefully we'll get most of the players together again so that we can develop our style," he said. "Hopefully, we get a good group together and we can beat Mexico."

Gallery: U-23 MNT Holds First Olympic Qualifying Prep Camp in Bosnia

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.  

THREE'S CAMPANY

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.

  • Twenty players representing 12 different MLS clubs have been called across the three rosters, while another 30 players from clubs in Germany (11), England (10) and Mexico (9) add to the bulk of the call-ups.
  • Nine of the 18 players called for U-23 camp were part of Tab Ramos’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad: Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Eric Miller, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto, and Wil Trapp.
  • U-23 call-ups Luis Gil, Jordan Morris and Wil Trapp have also already played for the Senior National Team.
  • Five of the U-20 call-ups were part of the U.S. U-17 World Cup qualifying campaign in 2013: Jeff Caldwell, Conor Donovan, Junior Flores, Shaquell Moore and John Requejo.
 

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.”

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.”

Q&A: U-23 MNT Head Coach Andi Herzog Gears Up for First Training Camp of 2015

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.”

Photo Gallery: U-23 MNT Brasilia Training

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).

The Younger Yanks Are Coming

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.”

U-23 MNT Earns 3-0 Win against Mexico

CARSON, Calif. (April 22, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico 3-0, behind goals from Mario Rodriguez, Christian Dean and Jordan Morris at StubHub Center. The win was the second-straight for the U-23 MNT over its Mexico counterpart, after the USA won 2-0 in the last matchup between the two nations on Feb. 29, 2012.

In eight matches between the U.S. U-23 MNT and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23 tournament), the USA has gone 6-2-0, (4-0-0 on U.S. soil) including tonight’s win.

U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who saved all seven shots on goal he faced, earned his first shutout of 2015 and the first for any U.S. U-23 MNT goalkeeper this year.

The U-23 MNT next comes together for the Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in Toulon, France. The USA will face France (May 27), Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil), 48th Minute:
Starting from the center, U.S. midfielder Fatai Alashe played a ball out to the left where Luis Gil ran onto it and continued with pace down the left side. Gil angled a pinpoint cross past a closing defender into the box where a sliding Rodriguez volleyed it into the lower right-hand side of the net for the first goal of the game. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna), 58th minute: Mexico’s Bernardo Hernandez was called for a foul on Mario Rodriguez on the left side of the field, earning the U.S. a free kick. Dillon Serna sent the left-footed free kick into the box where an unmarked Christian Dean headed his shot past helpless Mexico goalkeeper Luis Cardenas into the left side of the frame for his first goal with the U.S. USA 2, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill), 68th minute: From a corner kick, Luis Gil sent a high looping ball to the far side of the six yard box. Shane O’Neill ripped in a hard, one-time cross as the ball bounced to him and Morris met the pass with a leaping, left-footed volley that Cardenas got a hand to but was unable to keep from powering into the goal for the final margin. USA 3, MEX 0 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 1st minute:
Before the game was a minute old, Mexico played a ball through the middle and ripped a shot that forced Cody Cropper into a diving save, which he barely reached and pushed out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 33rd minute: Mexico’s Angel Saldivar pushed at top speed from the right side and flicked a last chance effort at goal before reaching the endline, which Cropper brought in with two hands to keep the game level.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 41st minute: Luis Gil brought down a deflected ball in the box from 15 yards out, took a touch and a turn, and fired on goal. The shot went straight at Cardenas, who dropped to a knee and collected.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 45th minute: Mexico whipped in a dangerous cross from a corner kick, and Cropper dove out to snag a flick-on right in front of goal, preserving the scoreless the first half.

MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 54th minute: Daniel Metzger was first to a deflected ball just outside of the Mexico box, collecting it and sending a hard shot at goal from distance. Cardenas dove and just reached the ball to knock it out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 64th minute: Angel Saldivar shrugged off his defender at the top of the box and sent a curling shot to the far post, which Cropper leaped for and tipped out of play.

USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 73rd minute: A long bouncing ball was played into the box which a streaking Mexico player met with a tricky header. Cropper was equal to the task, diving and deflecting the ball to safety to keep the shutout.

Additional Notes:

  • The U-23s began the game in a diamond 4-4-2 formation, the same formation used by the senior U.S. team in its match against Mexico on April 15.
  • Mario Rodriguez scored the game’s first goal; it was his second of the year.
  • Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-area native from North Hollywood, made the start at forward. The Borussia Mönchengladbach forward spent time playing in the LA Galaxy’s youth system.
  • Jordan Morris has now scored twice against Mexico in as many games, recording a goal with the senior MNT last week against Mexico in San Antonio, and again tonight. Morris also scored for the U.S. U-23 MNT in the team’s win over Bosnia earlier this year.
  • Luis Gil now leads the team with four assists in 2015.
  • Gil wore the captain’s armband for the third straight game.
  • Oscar Sorto, a Los Angeles native who plays for the LA Galaxy, made the start for the U-23s, playing in his club’s home stadium, StubHub Center.
  • It was also a homecoming for Jose Villarreal, who plays for the LA Galaxy and entered in for Alejandro Guido in the game’s 24th Minute.
  • Christian Dean’s goal was his first at any level of his Youth National Team career with the USA.

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

Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico U-23
Date: April 22, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Attendance: 3,782
Weather: 61 degrees; Cloudy  

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          3          3
MEX                            0          0          0 

USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil)               48th minute
USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna)           58
USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill)          68 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 20-Oscar Sorto (3-Boyd Okwuonu, 68), 5-Walker Zimmerman (6-Christian Dean, 46), 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna (2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda, 81); 14-Fatai Alashe, 13-Alejandro Guido (17-Jose Villareal, 24; 16-Daniel Metzger, 40), 8-Benji Joya, 10-Luis Gil (capt.); 9-Jordan Morris, 18-Mario Rodriguez (11-Alonso Hernandez, 72)
Subs Not Used: 12-Jon Kempin, 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 19-Sam Strong
Head coach: Andreas Herzog

MEX: 1-Luis Cardenas;  2-Gil Buron, 4-Luis Guzman, 3-Luis Solorio, 5-Jorge Caballero (15-Bernardo Hernandez, 46); 7-Jorge Espericueta (14-Michael Perez, 59), 11-Daniel Hernandez, 16-Rafael Escamilla (6-Pedro Hernandez, 46); 8-Uvaldo Luna (17-Carlos Cisneros, 74), 9-Angel Zaldivar, 10-Marco Bueno (capt.) (18-Rosario Cota, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Manuel Lajud, 13-Pedro Teran, 19-Jose Alberto Garcia, 20-Ulises Jaimes
Head coach: Raul Gutierrez

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 12 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 0 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution)                  21st minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution)                         38
USA – Shane O’Neill (caution)                       43
USA –Boyd Okwuonu (caution)                     90+1 

Officials
Referee: David Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Philippe Briere (CAN)
4th Official: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN) 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Mario Rodriguez

U-23 MNT to Make 2015 Home Bow vs. Archrival Mexico

U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Mexico U-23 Men’s National Team
International Friendly
StubHub Center; Carson, California

April 22, 2015  U-23’s to Take 2015 Home Bow against Archrival Mexico
For the first time in 2015, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team is set to play on American soil, this time facing off with archrival Mexico on Wednesday, April 22 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The game will be broadcast live on UniMas and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow the match on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.   Tickets for the match can be purchased at ussoccer.com [TICKETS], 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. U-23 MNT head coach Andi Herzog has assembled 20 players in California. The roster is charged with experience, as nine players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team, and 11 participated in the U.S. U-23 camp in Europe this past March, which was highlighted by a 5-2 victory over Bosnia in Herzog’s first victory as head coach of the U-23 program. In six matches between the U.S. U-23’s and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23-tournament), the USA has gone 5-2-0, including a victory during the squads last matchup on Feb. 29, 2012 by a score line that has become familiar for these two rivals: 2-0. Mexico, the defending Olympic champion, went an undefeated 10-0-1 in its 11 matches in 2012 on the way to the gold medal and will look to continue that success with the 20-man roster it has brought to Carson for this match. The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13. 

Roster by Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)  USA U-23’s vs. Mexico:

  • The United States is 5-2-0 against Mexico since 1992.
  • The last time the U-23’s faced Mexico, the U.S. came away with a 2-0 victory in Frisco, Texas. The two goal-scorers in that game for the U.S. were forward Juan Agudelo and midfielder Mix Diskerud. Both Agudelo and Diskerud played in the U.S. senior side’s match last week against Mexico, where Agudelo scored the second goal of the team’s 2-0 victory.
  • Since 1992, the U-23’s are 3-0 against Mexico when playing on U.S. soil.
  • Alejandro Guido and Mexico’s Jose Alberto Garcia, Pedro Hernandez, and Gibran Lajud are Liga MX club teammates at Club Tijuana, while Alonzo Hernandez is teammates with Luis Cardenas, Jorge Caballero and Bernardo Hernandez at Monterrey.
U.S. Roster Notes
  • Nine players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cody Cropper, Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal.
  • Jordan Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Eleven players from this roster were on the squad that defeated Bosnia’s U-23 team 5-2 on March 27, including all five U.S. goal scorers from that game: Fatai Alashe, Morris, Rodriguez, Joya and Hernandez. Other players returning from that roster are Christian Dean, Ocegueda, O’Neill, Sorto, Gil, and Alfred Koroma Shams.
  • In addition to Gil captaining the USA during the win against Bosnia, he also assisted on three of the five tallies.
  • Cropper, Dean, Gil, Kempin, Morris, O’Neill, Serna and Sorto have all been part of a USMNT senior camp this year.
  • Gil and Morris are the only two players from the roster to have earned a cap with the senior team in 2015.
  • MLS has sent nine players for this roster with two players each from the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
  • Four players on the roster play for Mexican-based clubs (three from Liga MX and one from Ascenso MX).
Mexico Roster Notes
  • Fourteen of the 20 players play in Liga MX.
  • Forward Marco Bueno was part of the Mexico senior team roster that played against the U.S. MNT on April 15. Bueno earned a cap after entering in the game’s 83rd minute.
  • Uvaldo Luna Martinez was born in Houston, Texas, and spent time with the U.S. U-20 MNT.
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Luis Cárdenas (Monterrey), Gibran Lajud (Club Tijuana)       
DEFENDERS (6): Gil Burón (Querétaro), Jorge Caballero (Monterrey), Luis Guzmán (Atlas), Bernardo Hernández (Monterrey), Louis Alfonso Solorio (Coras), Pedro Terán (Atlas)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Carlos Ernesto Cisneros (Coras), Rosario Enrique Cota Carrazco (Cruz Azul), Kevin Escamilla (UNAM) Jonathan Espericueta (Tigres), Pedro Hernández (Club Tijuana), Michael Pérez Ortiz (Coras), Daniel Hernández Trejo (Atlante)
FORWARDS (5): Marco Bueno (Toluca), Jose Alberto Garcia (Club Tijuana), Ulises Jamies Huerta (Monarcas), Uvaldo Luna Martinez (Tigres), Ángel Zaldivar (Coras) 

2012 U-23 MNT
The U.S. U-23 MNT last met Mexico's U-23 in an international friendly on Feb. 29, 2012 in Frisco, Texas and prevailed 2-0.

U-23’s Last Time On the field against Mexico:

Feb. 29, 2012 – FC Dallas Stadium; Frisco, Texas – International Friendly 

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

USA - Juan Agudelo (Mix Diskerud)    35th minute 
USA - Mix Diskerud (Freddy Adu)        36 

Lineups:
 
USA: 1-Bill Hamid (18-Sean Johnson, 46); 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara (capt.), 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Alfredo Morales (19-Amobi Okugo, 90), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (17-Tony Taylor, 67), 9-Juan Agudelo (12-Teal Bunbury, 61), 11-Joe Gyau (14-Dilly Duka, 78) 
Subs not used: 13-Jorge Villafana, 15-Jack McInerney, 16-Sebastian Lletget, 20-Michael Stephens 
Head Coach: Caleb Porter 

MEX: 1-Liborio Sanchez, 2-Israel Jimenez, 4-Nestor Araujo, 5-Darvin Chávez, 6-Ricardo Bocanegra (17-Javier Aquino, 46), 7-Javier Cortés, 9-Jeronimo Amione (19-Alan Pulido, 64), 10-Marco Fabian, 14-Jorge Enriquez (8-David Cabrera, 78), 16-Miguel Ponce (18-Hector Herrera, 46), 21-Ricardo Mier (capt.) 
Subs not used: 11-Nestor Calderon, 12-Antonio Rodriguez, 13-Diego Reyes, 15-Jair Barraza, 20-Hugo Rodriguez
Head coach: Luis Fernando Tena 

Herzog Calls 20 Players for Next Edition of USA-Mexico Rivalry

CHICAGO (April 20, 2015) – U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has called 20 players to Carson, California, for the U-23’s first domestic training camp of 2015 as the team continues its preparations for qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The team will train from April 19-21 and then face Mexico’s U-23 National Team on Wed., April 22 at StubHub Center in Carson. The match will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. PT on UniMás and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can also follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp.

Tickets are available and can be purchased at 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. (TICKETS)

“It’s a beautiful stadium and this is a huge rivalry,” head coach Andi Herzog said. “We had this experience with the senior team last week and it was a great atmosphere. For these players, it’s a huge opportunity and we want to see them make the most of it.”

This roster is charged with experience as nine of its players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup Team and 11 participated in the U.S. U-23 camp in Europe this past March.

Roster By Position: Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (8): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.)
FORWARDS (5): Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood, Calif.), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

Roster Notes:

  • Nine players were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cody Cropper, Luis Gil, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Mario Rodriguez, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal.
  • Jordan Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
  • Eleven players from this roster were on the squad that defeated Bosnia’s U-23 team 5-2 on March 27, including all five U.S. goal scorers from that game: Fatai Alashe, Morris, Rodriguez, Joya and Hernandez. Other players returning from that roster are Christian Dean, Ocegueda, O’Neill, Sorto, Gil, and Alfred Koroma Shams.
  • In addition to Gil captaining the USA during the win against Bosnia, he also assisted on three of the five tallies.
  • Cropper, Dean, Gil, Kempin, Morris, O’Neill, Serna and Sorto have all been part of a USMNT senior camp this year.
  • Gil and Morris are the only two players from the roster to have earned a cap with the senior team in 2015.
  • MLS has sent nine players for this roster with two players each from the Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
  • Four players on the roster play for Mexican-based clubs (Three from Liga MX and one from Ascenso MX).
  • The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13
  • Fourteen players on the roster have ties to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy: Kempin (Sporting KC Academy), Dean (De Anza Force), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas Academy), O’Neill (Colorado Rapids Academy), Serna (Colorado Rapids Academy), Sorto (LA Galaxy Academy), Sam Strong (Real So Cal), Alashe (Vardar), Luis Gil (Pateadores), Joya (De Anza Force), Koroma Shams (Solar Chelsea SC), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls Academy), Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy) and Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy Academy).

U.S. U-23 MNT Falls to Denmark 1-0 to Wrap Up European Camp

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (March 31, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team fell to Denmark's U-21 side 1-0 on Tuesday night at Lingby Stadion in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Andreas Cornelius gave the home side the lead in the 52nd minute after entering the pitch as a second-half substitute. Despite a strong final 40 minutes from the U.S., the team was unable to find the equalizer.

Denmark was the most dangerous side early on, but USA goalkeeper Charlie Horton and left back Juan Pablo Ocegueda were up to the task and kept the Danish at bay.

The USA's best chance came in the 51st minute when Luis Gil, wearing the captain's armband for the second straight match, displayed some nice moves to get past two defenders in the box before lifting a cross to the back post. Will Packwood jumped high and headed the ball down but Denmark’s goalkeeper, Frederik Ronnow, reacted quickly and was able to stop the shot right at the line.

On the next possession, Denmark’s Yussuf Yurary Poulsen made a nice pass from the right to just inside the top of the box, where Cornelius trapped it with his back to the goal, turned left, and shot past a diving Tyler Miller, who replaced Horton in the second half.

Miller, making his USA debut, came up with numerous saves to keep the USA within reach. In the 54th minute he stretched out fully to his right to bat a shot out of bounds. Later, he was able to stay on a free kick that changed direction after hitting the wall to make another save.

The U.S. began threatening with Zach Pfeffer, who twice combined with Khiry Shelton for good opportunities, but Denmark’s goalkeeper did his job; first with a fantastic diving save on a shot from 16 yards out, and then with a header from 12 yards out that went just wide.

A final chance to equalize came late in the game but Pfeffer’s attempt inside the six was cleared, and a rebound shot taken by Ariel Lassiter was saved by the goalkeeper.  

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

Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. Denmark U-21 Men’s National Team
Date: March 31, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Lyngby Stadion, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET (7 p.m. Local)
Attendance: 1,322
Weather: 38 degrees, rain

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F

USA                               0      0      0
DEN                               0      1      1

DEN – Andreas Cornelius (Yussuf Yurary Poulsen)             52nd minute

Lineups:
USA: 12-Charlie Horton (22-Tyler Miller, 46); 3-Boyd Okwuonu (Oscar Sorto, 73), 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (6-Christian Dean, 59), 4-Shane O’Neill, 5- William Packwood; 8-Benji Joya (16-Daniel Metzger, 74), 14-Fatai Alashe, 13-Khiry Shelton; 17-Jerome Kiesewetter (7-Ariel Lassiter, 74), 10-Luis Gil, 11-Alonso Hernandez (21-Zach Pfeffer, 59)
Substitutions Not Used:  15-Alfred Koroma Shams
Head coach: Andreas Herzog

DEN: 16-David Jenson (1-Frederik Ronnow, 46), 2-Alexander Scholz (13-Ryan Laursen, 66), 3-Frederik Sorensen (12-Patrick Banggaard, 46), 4-Jannik Vestergaard, 5-Patrick Da Silva, 6-Christian Norgaard (19-Jens Jonsson, 46), 7-Yussuf Yurary Poulsen, 8-Nicolaj Thomsen, 10-Rasmus Falk (15-Nicolai  Poulsen, 79), 14-Lucas Andersen (18-Emil Berggren, 70), 20-Nicolai Brock-Madsen (9-Andreas Cornelius, 46)
Head coach: Jess Thorup

Stats Summary: USA / DEN
Shots: 8 / 12
Shots on Goal: 4 / 7
Saves: 6 / 4
Corner Kicks:  10 / 11
Fouls: 7 / 10
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alonso Hernandez (caution)          38th minute
DEN –Nicolai Brock-Madsen (caution)    43
DEN – Andreas Cornelius (caution)          52
USA – Oscar Sorto (caution)                        88
USA – Luis Gil (caution)                              90+3

Officials:
Referee: Petur Reinert (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Regin Egholm (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan a Lioarenda (FRO)
Fourth Official: Kjaersgaard-Andersen (DEN)

Zach Pfeffer Joins U.S. U-23 MNT in Copenhagen

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.

Sub-23 Masculina de Enfrenta a México el 22 de abril

CHICAGO (28 de marzo, 2015) -- La Selección Masculina Sub-23 de Estados Unidos se enfrentará a su similar de México el miércoles, 22 de abril, a las 8 p.m. PT en el StubHub Center en Carson, California. El partido contra su rival de CONCACAF será en preparación para el Campeonato Preolímpico Masculino CONCACAF 2015, que se llevará a cabo del 1-13 de octubre en Estados Unidos.

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 -

U.S. U-23 MNT To Play Mexico U-23’s on April 22 in California


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 Copenhagen, Denmark.

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.

U.S. U-23 MNT Opens Up 2015 with 5-2 Win Over Bosnia U-21s

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)
Attendance: 800
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

Lineups:
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 

Misconduct Summary:
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

Officials:
Referee – Edin Jakupovic
Assistant 1 – Sreten Udovicic
Assistant 2 – Senad Ibrisimbegovic
Fourth Official – Elvedin Topuzovic

Herzog Adds Two Players to U-23 MNT Roster in Bosnia

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.

Herzog Calls 18 Players for U-23’s First Training Camp of 2015

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.” 

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.

Fans can follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and @ussoccer_esp. 

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)

ROSTER NOTES:  

  • 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

Highlights: Morris Strikes Again, Rodriguez and Dean Add Gloss to U-23 MNT Win Over Mexico

The U.S. U-23 MNT defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson, California.

GOAL: Jordan Morris Caps Off U-23 MNT's 3-0 Win vs. Mexico

For the second time in a week, Jordan Morris scored against Mexico - this time with the U-23 MNT to close out a 3-0 win.

GOAL: Christian Dean Extends U-23 MNT Lead Over Mexico to 2-0

Christian Dean's headed goal from a second half set piece doubled the U.S. U-23 MNT's lead. #dosacero

GOAL: Mario Rodriguez Lands Opening Blow for U.S. U-23s vs. Mexico

Mario Rodriguez smartly finished from a Luis Gil cross to give the U-23 #USMNT a 1-0 lead over Mexico.

U-23s Continue Rivalry with Mexico in Carson

The U-23 MNT is preparing for Olympic Qualifying later this year and their first home match of 2015 is against Mexico in Carson. Watch as the USA prepares for a match against its archrival with an eye towards qualifying and Rio de Janeiro next year.

U-23 MNT vs. Denmark: Highlights - March 31, 2015

The U.S. U-23 MNT dropped a 1-0 decision to Denmark in Copenhagen.

U-23 MNT vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Highlights - March 27, 2015

The U-23 Men's National Team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 5-2 in Sarajevo as the team continues to tune up for Olympic Qualifying later this year.

U-23 MNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - Oct. 13, 2014

The U.S. U-23 Men's National Team capped off its trip to Brazil with a match against the host side's U-23s on Oct. 13 at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mane Garrincha. Brazil scored in the opening minutes and went on to top the USA 3-0.

U-23 MNT Ready to Face Brazil

The U-23 Men's National Team is in Brasilia to take on Brazil in a friendly. Emerson Hyndman and Cody Cropper give an update from the team's preparations ahead of the match on Oct. 13, 2014.

U-23 MNT vs. Bahamas: Highlights and Reaction - Aug. 6, 2014

Five different players found the back of the net for the U.S. U-23 MNT in a 5-1 win over Bahamas.
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