Summer of Soccer!
Summer is nearly here and so are some of the most exciting weeks of soccer this year! With pivotal matches at every level, we have so many opportunities to come together and show our support for our incredible teams and players. For all the latest information and the ultimate fan experience, see our brand-new website and our first mobile app. And be sure to check out how you can join Insiders, our improved loyalty program with the most access and content around our National Teams.
I especially want to thank all of our members at the youth and adult levels and the millions of players, coaches, referees, volunteers and parents you represent in thousands of communities across our country. The game is on because of you—because of your love of the game, your programming and your tireless commitment to bringing soccer to more people in more places than ever before. Thank you for everything you do!
Women’s National Team: On to France!
With three shutout wins over South Africa, New Zealand and Mexico in their Send-Off Series, our Women’s National Team is heading to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France with their eyes on earning a fourth star. The roster is set and Coach Jill Ellis and the team are in final preparations at Tottenham’s state-of-the-art training facility before departing for France on June 7. Be sure to tune in to group matches against Thailand (June 11), Chile (June 16) and Sweden (June 20). The team, as coach Ellis said, “has the talent, confidence, experience and desire to help us win the World Cup,” and the USA is united behind our WNT (they’re everywhere)!
Men’s National Team: Aiming for a 7th Gold Cup Title
Currently in a combined training camp in Annapolis with several U-23 internationals, our Men’s National Team looks ahead to friendlies with Jamaica (June 5 in Washington, D.C.) and Venezuela (June 9 in Cincinnati) as they prepare for the Concacaf Gold Cup. With the provisional roster set and group matches against Guyana (June 18 in Saint Paul), Trinidad & Tobago (June 22 in Cleveland) and Panama (June 26 in Kansas City, Kansas), the men are on their quest for a record-tying seventh Gold Cup title!
Beach National Team: Heading to a 5th World Cup
Congratulations to our Beach Soccer National Team on a great run during the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship. Although they fell in the final to Mexico, the team delivered decisive wins over Bonaire, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas and El Salvador and qualified for the Beach Soccer World Cup—their fifth—later this year. Congratulations also to captain Nick Perera, who took home the tournament’s Golden Boot as the top scorer with 13 goals.
Para-7-a-Side Team: Highest-Ranked Ever Heading into World Cup
Currently in training camp at St. George’s Park in England and competing in a series of international challenge matches, our Para-7-a-Side National Team is ranked its highest ever—fourth out of 80 countries—heading into their World Cup this summer in Spain. In a tough group, our Paralympians will face Iran, Finland and Ireland in early July, with two countries from each group advancing to the quarterfinals. Good luck to Coach Stuart Sharp and the entire team!
Youth National Teams: The Future is Us
Congratulations to our U-20 men who, with shutout wins over Nigeria and Qatar, advanced to the knockout stage of the U-20 World Cup in Poland. Coach Tab Ramos made some history of his own by tying the FIFA record for the most championship tournaments as a player or head coach—his 11th! Our U-17 men—despite falling to Mexico in extra time in their Concacaf Championship Final—qualified for a record 17th World Cup later this year. The tournament’s Best XI included four U.S. players, who dazzled throughout: Gianluca Busio, Kobe Hernandez, Daniel Leyva and Gio Reyna. And congratulations to our U-17 women who swept two UEFA Development Tournaments, one in Portugal and one in the Czech Republic!
Development Academy: Summer Showcases and Playoffs
As part of our ongoing commitment to developing the next generation of world-class players, we’re excited to host the Development Academy summer showcases and playoffs in Oceanside, California in June and the championships in Irvine in July. You can find the schedule here.
Leagues in Full Stride
The best of MLS will face off against Club Atletico de Madrid in the MLS All-Star Game on July 31 in Orlando. The USL season is well underway, its first under the new USL Championship. The NWSL is into its seventh season and could get a boost from the Women’s World Cup, where 60 NWSL players are representing their countries in France, the most of any league in the world.
Open Cup Heads into Fourth Round
For the first time ever, viewers are able to watch every match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on ESPN+. We’ve already seen thrilling cupsets by South Florida’s Soccer Soldiers, Forward Madison FC, and Orange County FC leading up to the fourth round on June 11-12, which will include the 11 third-round winners and 21 MLS teams.
First U.S. eNational Team
Last month, U.S. Soccer launched our new eNational Team, which featured MLS e-Champion Cormac Dooley (gamertag Doolsta) and runner-up Giuseppe Guastella (GGGodfather). Cormac and Giuseppe represented the USA at the first-ever FIFA eNations Cup in London and after a strong start in group competition were eliminated by China in their last group match. Our eNational Team is an emerging area of focus and another exciting way to increase engagement among fans, especially young fans, so that even more people share in the joy of soccer.
Soccer Hall of Fame: Class of 2019
It’s official—the votes are in and we have our National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2019! Congratulations to all-time leading goal scorer in women’s soccer and World Cup and Olympic champion Abby Wambach as well as Sunil Gulati, who led our Federation through more than a decade of growth and achievement. We look forward to celebrating Abby and Sunil and their many contributions to the game at the Induction Ceremony at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas on September 21.
One Nation, One Team
Finally, in partnership with the Armed Forces Sports Council, we were honored to salute members of the Armed Forces Women’s Soccer Team during recent WNT matches. Thank you to our Honorary Military Captains, Navy Lieutenant Emily Wilkin and Air Force Captain Ariel Saltin, both of whom will represent the United States at the Military World Games later this year in China. And as we observed Memorial Day weekend, we were delighted to welcome 96-year-old World War II veteran—“Harmonica Pete” DuPré—who we met when the WNT visited Normandy earlier this year—as he performed a moving rendition of the National Anthem on his harmonica before the final match the WNT Send-Off Series.
Emily, Ariel and Pete remind us that soccer brings us together as a country—on the field and off. We’re One Nation, One Team. In that spirit, good luck to all our teams, and go USA!