Photos from the U.S. Soccer press conference with the St. Louis Cardinals to announce the return of the Men's National Team to St. Louis for its opening World Cup Qualifying match of the 2018 cycle. The match will be played at Busch Stadium on Nov. 13 against the winner of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines-Aruba Third Round qualifying match.
The U.S. Men’s National team will play its first home match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will be played Nov. 13 against the winner of the Third Round Qualifying match between St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Aruba.
Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
The kickoff time and broadcast information will be provided in the near future. The two-legged playoff between St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Aruba is scheduled for Sept. 4 and Sept. 8.
This past weekend, the U.S. was drawn into Group C for the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. During the Semifinal Round, the MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away. The dates of the games are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6, 2016; the opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the Third Round of Qualifying (Schedule below). Group C includes Trinidad & Tobago, and the winners of Third Round Qualifying matches between St. Vincent & the Grenadines/Aruba or Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala. The Group C winner and runner-up advance to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying known in CONCACAF countries as the Hexagonal.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be playing our first World Cup qualifier towards Russia 2018 in St. Louis,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “There is no more appropriate place to start this campaign than a city that has contributed so much to the history and tradition of soccer in the United States. Some of the best players we have ever produced have ties there, and now we look forward to bringing the National Team back home to St. Louis where we know the support will be incredible.”
The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ one-time soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997. It will be the first World Cup qualifier played in the St. Louis area since the USA’s 0-0 tie with El Salvador in 1989, which was also played at Busch Conference & Sports Center.
“This is a historic opportunity for St. Louis as the U.S. Men’s Team kicks off its quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at Busch Stadium,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We’re incredibly excited to be the host for this match and are looking forward to showing that we have some of the best soccer fans in the country.”
The MNT is 5-2-1 all time in the city of St. Louis (4-1-1 in World Cup Qualifiers) and is 7-2-2 in the state of Missouri.
In April, the U.S. Women’s team played a World Cup tune-up in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, drawing a crowd of 35,817, which ranks as the largest crowd in U.S. history for a standalone Women’s National Team friendly match.
World Cup Qualifying Match Dates
Nov. 13, 2015
USA v VIN-ARU winner
ATG-GUA winner v TRI
Nov. 17, 2015
TRI v USA
VIN-ARU winner v ATG-GUA winner
March 25, 2016
ATG-GUA winner v USA
VIN-ARU winner v TRI
March 29, 2016
USA v ATG-GUA winner
TRI v VIN-ARU winner
Sept. 2, 2016
VIN-ARU winner v USA
TRI v ATG-GUA winner
Sept. 6, 2016
USA v TRI
ATG-GUA v VIN-ARU winner
The U.S. MNT returns to one of the country’s soccer hot beds when it opens 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying against either St. Vincent and the Grenadines or Aruba on Nov. 13 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
The match marks the MNT’s first game in the United States’ historic soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last paying to a 0-0 draw against Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997.
What made St. Louis such a bastion for soccer in the United States?
Clubs from the city made an early mark on the U.S. Open Cup (then known as the National Challenge Cup), with Ben Millers first lifting the Dewar Trophy in 1920. Scullin Steel followed up two years later before Stix, Baer and Fuller (later known as St. Louis Central Breweries) went to four straight finals from 1932-1935, winning all but the first.
Much of St. Louis’ continuing soccer strength came from the city’s representation on the U.S. team that went to the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Five of the 11 players that appeared in the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against England hailed from St. Louis: goalkeeper Frank Borghi, defenders Charlie Colombo and Harry Keough and midfielders Gino Pariani and Frank Wallace.
In 1948, Borghi, Colombo and Pariani all won National Challenge Cup titles with Simpkins Ford, while Wallace joined them to win the title in 1950. Keough would taste domestic cup glory of his own, winning with St. Louis Kutis in 1957.
Upon retirement as a player, Keough wrote another chapter in the city’s soccer history when he became the head coach of St. Louis University. With five NCAA tournament championships already in the trophy case, Keough guided the Billikens to another championship in his first season in 1967. He’d go on to lead the school to four more tournament titles in five years from 1969-1973.
One of the top players in U.S. MNT history, Brian McBride attended the school from 1990-1993, before going on to play in three World Cups and build a famous club career, most notably with Fulham FC in the English Premier League. Other World Cup participants that hail from St. Louis include Mike Sorber (1994) and Brad Davis (2014).
Current U.S. MNT defender Tim Ream, as well as former U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Klein and Pat Noonan also earned their soccer stripes coming up in the Gateway to the West.
Though it’s been a while since the MNT’s last appearance in St. Louis, the team has been successful in the Mound City, going 5-1-2 all-time with the only defeat being a World Cup qualifying loss to Canada on July 6, 1957. Six of the eight matches played in St. Louis have been World Cup qualifiers, with the MNT earning two wins (against Jamaica and Costa Rica) and a draw (against El Salvador) in the team’s successful campaign to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will face archrival Mexico in a playoff game for a berth in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be played on Friday, Oct. 9, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Kickoff time and television information are still to be determined. Participating member associations and supporter groups will have access to purchase tickets in advance of the public sale. Tickets will be available to the general public in September.
The USA’s place in the playoff was secured when it won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mexico won the 2015 edition of the tournament and in so doing qualified for the playoff. The Oct. 9 playoff game will be played during a FIFA international match window.
The loss to Jamaica in the semifinal ended a nine-match unbeaten run for the United States in 2015 that included consecutive victories against Mexico in San Antonio, and away wins against then sixth-ranked Netherlands and 2014 FIFA World Cup winners Germany. Overall, the U.S. has a 3-1-1 record this year against teams ranked in the top 20 in the world.
In April of 2013, CONCACAF announced the split of the region’s berth to the Confederations Cup between two editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, assuring that both editions of the Gold Cup in each four-year cycle have the same competitive importance.
The Confederations Cup is the prestigious dress rehearsal that takes place in the host country a year before the World Cup. In 2017, the Confederations Cup will be played in the same stadiums the teams will use during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In the 2009 edition in South Africa, the USA beat then No. 1-ranked Spain in the semifinals and advanced to the final, finishing as runner-up to Brazil.
CHICAGO (July 27, 2015) – U.S. Men’s National Team forward Clint Dempsey won the Golden Boot and goalkeeper Brad Guzan won the Golden Glove at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Golden Boot is awarded to the player who scores the most goals in the tournament. Dempsey tallied seven for the U.S., the most scored by an American player in a single Gold Cup in the 13 editions of the tournament. Dempsey has scored 12 Gold Cup goals in his career, tying him for the second most on the regional tournament’s all-time list with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alvarez. The pair trail only Landon Donovan’s 18 Gold Cup goals.
The Golden Glove award is given to the tournament's top goalkeeper. Guzan marshaled the USA backline to a pair of clean sheets, against Haiti in the group stage and Cuba in the quarterfinal. In six Gold Cup matches with Guzan between the posts, the U.S. surrendered only five goals. The only previous USA goalkeeper to win a Gold Glove award at a senior international tournament is Tim Howard, who claimed the honor at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.
U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Gold Cup – Third Place Game
July 25, 2015
U.S. MNT Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
His thoughts on the match:
“Overall, obviously it was a game that was pretty much overshadowed with what happened a couple days ago. A game that basically Panama and us didn’t really want to play in terms of how do you pump the players up after what happened on Wednesday night. Both teams deserve a huge compliment. They went all the way through, they went 120 minutes and into the penalty shootout. They were both extremely tired and gave what was left in them. I give credit to Panama for how they went through that tournament and stayed on course. For us it’s clear that we look towards September – two friendly games to build things in order to be prepared for the playoff in October.”
On the differences for the team between the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups:
“I think all the teams were really competitive. All the teams were into the competition and wanted to win it. There was just a lot of stuff going on outside the field. There was always a sense of being uncertain of what happens next. When I talk to the players this morning, I told them we didn’t know what would happen because every time you go on the field you don’t know what happens with the refs with either way they go. You feel really sorry for the refs, because if they make a mistake one side or another goes at them. This feeling was there from the beginning of the tournament where you always wonder what will happen. It kind of overshadowed everything that went on really. Going through it from our end, we started fine. We got two wins and qualified for the quarterfinals. We took care of the quarters and then Wednesday night happened. It took the wind out – that’s just normal, that’s fine. It shows you also how competitive this region is. Nations that maybe weren’t regarded as high before the tournament earned a lot of respect, earned a lot of compliments, like Haiti for example, or especially Jamaica being in the final. You have to give them credit as well.”
On improvements since he took over the team in 2011:
“This is year one after we went to Brazil. The goal is always to go further in the next World Cup than we did in Brazil. This is a working process right now that here and there will give us some setbacks, some situations where you make a step back maybe and hopefully make two forward. That process is ongoing. We had the discussion on Wednesday night after Jamaica. This team will grow, this team will get better. The youngsters will learn out of mistakes that they make on the field. They will become more responsible, more accountable, gain more personality. I can’t blame anybody for the last four weeks, because they really showed great character. The spirit was good throughout the entire tournament, they kept going and going. Our goal is to move things forward, to become a little more proactive and not too reactive – that discussion we had over the last couple of years. That process will keep on going.”
On balancing the growth for the future with the need to win:
“You always have an eye on the growth of the team and the program, and at the same time you also zoom in and when a tournament is happening, you want to win the tournament. The goal was to win this Gold Cup with the best team available. That’s what we had – we had the best team in the tournament. The only bummer was that DaMarcus Beasley got injured on his first day of training, otherwise he probably would have been on the field the other two games. We keep building in the background. We build an Olympic team that goes into the qualifiers in October. We build the next cycle of the U-20s that did extremely well in New Zealand, just losing against the World Champions in the quarterfinals, so that goes parallel. When it’s tournament time, it’s tournament time and you want to win it, and we didn’t win it.”
On the status of DaMarcus Beasley’s international career:
“Beas is a guy that whenever he’s needed, he just wants to help. As I said the other day, he’s a giver and I said right after the game in the locker room, ‘Beas I don’t know if you can walk out like that. We might have to get you back in.’ The guys were clapping because they love him. The locker room loves Beas. We’ll see – it depends on him. He made that decision a year ago. He came back for the team – the plan was for the knockout stage. It didn’t work out that way because of this little strain, but from my end I’m always open and maybe that’s a question for him when he walks out of the locker room.”
On handling the goalkeeper situation with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard:
“I will have a phone call with Tim probably next week and also with Brad and see how we want to move forward. Brad kept us in the game with some tremendous saves. Defensively we allowed too many chances, there’s no doubt about it. Again, this game today was under a very weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to make sure nothing bad happened, let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any of the players if there were a couple too many mistakes.”
On the pressure of going into October’s Confederations Cup playoff:
“There’s constant expectations, constant pressure for everybody. That’s just normal – it’s part of our job. We didn’t use that opportunity to finish things off in this tournament so we have to finish it off in October. If there’s a rise in expectations, that’s totally cool.”
On what he learned about the group and what he might have done differently:
“We’ll watch the games again and see more detailed stuff. There’s always something you find that you think afterwards you could have done things differently. I think overall when you look through it, we started well in the tournament and in a three-day rhythm in that group, which was the most difficult group, we got out right away with two wins, already qualified for the quarterfinals and then Wednesday night happened. Overall I think we could have won this tournament, but at the end of the day we didn’t. We’ll take our lessons from there, analyze it and then talk to the players.”
U.S. MNT defender DAMARCUS BEASLEY
On what it was like to be back:
“It was great to be back after the injury to my calf. It’s tough to lose like that, and I’m not just saying that because it could be my last game. We didn’t get the result that we wanted. It wasn’t anything about me playing in what could be my last game, it was about getting the result and getting the win. We wanted to end on a good note. It didn’t happen, but we have to pick ourselves up and move forward and obviously take the criticism after losing two games to our neighbors, Jamaica and Panama, but this is just going to make us a stronger team. It’s only a year after the World Cup. There’s a lot of young guys that will grow in this team and we look forward to seeing how to develop them.”
On the positives of this trip:
“Playing. You can’t get away from experience. This is what qualifying is going to be about - playing at home with these teams. Some guys have never been through a qualifying cycle. This is what it’s going to be, hard games, tough games. There won’t be any easy games whether you’re at home or on the road. This is giving them a taste of what it’s going to be like come qualifying time. I’m 100 percent sure we’ll be ready for it.”
U.S. MNT goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN
On tonight’s game:
“It wasn’t the result we wanted. We’ll be able to look at these games and analyze them and know where we need to improve and where we need to get better in terms of going forward to the friendlies in September and the [Confederations Cup] playoff in October.”
On the how the September friendlies will help the team:
“They’re huge. They’re against Brazil and Peru. They’ll be two difficult games that will definitely get us ready. Every time we come together as a country we want to use that time wisely.”
CHESTER, Pennsylvania (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was defeated by Panama 3-2 in penalty kicks in the Gold Cup Third Place match Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.
Trailing 1-0 at the tail end of the second half, substitutes DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey combined to level the match, 1-1.
As the clock continued ticked away, both sides attacked and generated chances, but none found the back of the net, and after an additional 30 minutes of extra time, the match was off to penalty kicks.
In PKs, the U.S. converted its two opening penalties, but then saw a miss and two consecutive saves by Panama ‘keeper Luis Mejia, which made Harold Cummings’s conversion in the fourth round the winning kick. With the result, the MNT finished fourth at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Later this year, the MNT will face the winner of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup – either Jamaica or Mexico – in a one-game playoff for a spot in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The playoff pits the winner of the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups against one another for a spot at the tournament in Russia the year before the World Cup. The USA last featured at the Confederations Cup in 2009 when the team beat then No. 1-ranked Spain and advanced to the Final against Brazil.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN– Roberto Nurse (Ronaldo Blackburn) 55th minute: Roberto Blackburn slipped a pass up to Nurse, who attacked U.S. defenders Tim Ream and John Brooks and pushed into the box. Nurse sidestepped Brooks, freeing himself to curl a shot around Guzan and into the net for the game’s first goal. USA 0, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Clint Dempsey (DeAndre Yedlin) 70th minute: Michael Bradley looped a long ball to Yedlin, who chested it down in the box, took a turn and sent it across to Dempsey on a late run. The defense and goalkeeper had collapsed on Yedlin, which freed Dempsey to bury his seventh goal of the tournament to level the game. USA 1, PAN 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA-Aron Johansson: Johansson sent the first shot right down Broadway and in for a score. USA 1, PAN 0
PAN-Roman Torres: Torres responded with a well struck goal into the top right corner. USA 1, PAN 1
USA-Clint Dempsey: In what was signature style for the month of July, having already chipped two goalies on PK’s, Dempsey did so again to put the U.S. ahead. USA 2, PAN 1
PAN-Abdiel Arroyo: Arroyo stutter stepped and blasted a shot low and hard by a diving Guzan. USA 2, PAN 2
USA-Fabian Johnson: Johnson came up third for the U.S. and sent his kick over the crossbar. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Armando Cooper: Cooper rolled his attempt and Guzan dove to his left and corralled it to keep the shootout level. USA, 2, PAN 2
USA-Michael Bradley: The U.S. captain sent a shot hard to the left, but Mejia guessed right for Panama and deflected it away. USA 2, PAN 2
PAN-Harold Cummings: Cummings sent a shot to the left, Guzan dove and got a hand to it, but the ball powered into the net. USA 2, PAN 3
USA-DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley blasted a shot toward the right side of the goal, but Mejia was headed that way, and he made a diving save to end the game in Panama’s favor. USA 2, PAN 3 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Time Ream 36th minute: Armando Cooper intercepted an errant MNT pass and countered with pace down the center of the field. He attacked the box, beat a defender and then slid a shot past Brad Guzan towards the back post. Fortunately for the U.S., Tim Ream was there, booting the ball off the goal line and out of bounds for a corner kick.
USA – Fabian Johnson 54 minute: From a corner kick, Panama sent a ball in that forward Ronaldo Blackburn headed sharply at goal. Fabian Johnson was there to clear it off the goal line to safety.
USA – Brad Guzan (save) 81st minute: A Panama cross from the outside on the left found the head of Ronaldo Blackburn, who directed it firmly toward the back post. Brad Guzan fully extended and just reached the ball with his left hand, pawing it down before taking another dive to smother it.
USA– Brad Guzan (save) 108st minute: Roberto Nurse was freed on the left side for an attack at goal. As he wound up and fired off a shot, DeAndre Yedlin slid in and deflected it. The Ball continued to spin at goal, but Guzan was ready for it and knocked it away on a dive.
Coming up Next: #USAvPER
Location: RFK Stadium – Washington D.C.
Date: September 4, 2015
- Clint Dempsey’s game-tying goal was his seventh of the competition, which is the most-ever by an American player in a single Gold Cup tournament.
- Dempsey’s 12 Gold Cup goals tie him with Mexico’s Luis Roberto Alves for second on the tournament’s all-time list behind only Landon Donovan (18).
- U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made six changes to his starting XI from the team that began Wednesday’s Semifinal against Jamaica: Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Tim Ream, Graham Zusi, Joe Corona and Chris Wondolowski all came into the lineup.
- Corona earned his first start of the tournament.
- Brad Guzan and Michael Bradley were the only two U.S. players to start all six matches of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- The match was the U.S. MNT’s third in a Gold Cup third place match and marked the first time the team had not won the game (2-1-0)
- The U.S. MNT record against Panama dropped to 12-1-4 (5-1-3 in Gold Cup games)
- The MNT is now 3-2-3 all-time in matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
CHICAGO (July 25, 2015) – The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group C of CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round of qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 World Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. will begin its quest to qualify for an eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup when CONCACAF Semifinal Round play begins in November.The U.S. was drawn into Group C with Trinidad & Tobago, and will be joined by the winners of St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba and Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala from the Third Round of qualifying. CONCACAF’s Group B is composed of Costa Rica and Panama and the winners of Grenada/Haiti and Jamaica/Nicaragua, while Group A features Mexico, Honduras and the winners of Curaçao/El Salvador and Canada/Belize.
The MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away, in round-robin play. The dates of the ties are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6 - 2016; the opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the Third Round of Qualifying. The group winner and group runner-up advance to Final Round of World Cup Qualifying.The U.S. holds an all-time record of 16-2-3 against Trinidad & Tobago and swept the pair of matchups when it last met in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. The MNT cruised past Guatemala 4-0 in July when the teams faced off in a Gold Cup tune-up, and is unbeaten against the Central American team in 12 World Cup Qualifying matchups. The USA has only matched up with Antigua and Barbuda twice – for World Cup qualifiers in 2012 – and won both of those games. The meeting between St. Vincent & The Grenadines/Aruba will be the first for the U.S. against either team. The Final Round will feature a group of six teams. Each of the Semifinal Round group winners and runners-up making up the well-known ‘Hexagonal’ that determines which CONCACAF nations will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The top three teams from round-robin play will book their place in Russia, with the fourth place team playing a home-and-away intercontinental playoff against a team from the Asian confederation. The USA has finished first in the Hexagonal during the past three FIFA World Cup cycles. The U.S. completes play in the 2015 Gold Cup today against Panama in the third-place game. It will next see action in September for a pair of important friendlies against competitive opponents. The USA will first matchup with Peru at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Sept. 4 followed by a game with Brazil at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass on Sept. 8.