U.S. Soccer

U.S. MNT Opens Send-Off Series with 2-0 Win Against Azerbaijan, Powered by Yingli Solar

SAN FRANCISCO (May 27, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team opened its three-game Send-Off Series with a 2-0 victory against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park as second-half substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson each scored a goal.

The match, powered by Yingli Solar, saw U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard tie Kasey Keller’s record of 53 career U.S. MNT victories. Howard also posted his 35th career shutout, making two saves for the clean sheet.

Next up for the USA is a match against Turkey on Sunday, June 1, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey (2 p.m. ET). The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision, Univision Deportes Network and ESPN Deportes Radio. Fans can also follow the MNT on Twitter @ussoccer.

Throughout the first half and into the second, the USA always seemed like the team that would score the first goal and the U.S. finally broke the stalemate in the 75th minute. Substitute Brad Davis delivered a free kick from the left side and Azerbaijan’s Ilkin Girtimov headed the ball up, but not out of danger.

Diskerud got a head on the falling ball it and it bounced to Michael Bradley, whose shot from 13 yards out was alertly blocked by Azerbaijan defender Elvin Yunuszade on the goal line with his left foot. The ball ricocheted to Diskerud, who had entered the match just four minutes earlier, and he finished with skill and powered it into the right side of the net. It was Diskerud’s third career tally and first of 2014. (SEE GOAL)

In the 81st minute, Johannsson doubled the USA lead off a Davis corner kick from the right side. Johannsson was completely unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box and he flicked his header into the upper right corner of the goal for the 2-0 lead. It was Johannsson’s first goal of 2014 and second of his young U.S. MNT career. (SEE GOAL)

Though the first half was scoreless, the U.S. created the majority of the scoring chances. Forward Chris Wondolowski, who got the start after Clint Dempsey was a precautionary scratch due to some soreness in his groin, put headers on frame in the fourth and 15th minutes. Both were saved spectacularly by Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Aghayev, the first with his legs and the second with a tremendous tip over the crossbar.

In the second half, the USA had several chances but shot high, including a Michael Bradley took a free kick in the 49th minute that sailed just over the goal. The placement of that free kick carried some controversy as Brad Davis appeared to have been fouled just inside the penalty area, but the free kick was awarded a foot outside the box.

Budweiser Man of the Match Jozy Altidore also had a couple scoring chances, including a 63rd-minute sequence in which he received a pass on the ground from Bradley, held off his defender well on the turn and fired over the crossbar.

Defensively, Howard needed to make only two saves for the clean sheet, the biggest stop coming in the seventh minute against Vagif Javadov after the USA gave up the ball outside the box. In swirling winds, Howard confidently pushed the shot away for a corner kick.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard tied Kasey Keller’s record of 53 victories, and Howard is now 53-28-15 since debuting for the U.S. MNT in 2002. Keller was 53-27-18 during his tenure from 1990-2007.
  • Howard is two appearances away from reaching the 100-cap milestone. He now has 98 career appearances as he looks to become the 15th U.S. MNT player to reach the century mark.
  • With Tuesday’s victory, Jurgen Klinsmann (29-11-8) is now one win away from matching Bora Milutinovic’s career wins total (30) for third on the all-time list. Ahead of them are Bruce Arena (71) and 2014 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Bob Bradley (43).
  • DaMarcus Beasley, who is looking to become just the third USA player to appear in four World Cups, earned his 115th career international cap and his first of 2014. He is fifth on the all-time caps list.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT faces Turkey in the second game of the Send-Off Series at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 1, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision, Univision Deportes Network and ESPN Deportes Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • This was the USA’s first international matchup against Azerbaijan.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 2-1-1 in 2014.
  • The USA is 2-2-0 at Candlestick Park.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann went with a starting lineup that featured goalkeeper Tim Howard, left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and a center back pairing of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron.
  • The midfield in Klinsmann’s 4-4-2 included Alejandro Bedoya on the left, Graham Zusi on the right, Jermaine Jones as the holding midfielder and Michael Bradley at the top of the diamond.
  • Chris Wondolowski and Jozy Altidore were paired up front.
  • Howard wore the captain’s armband for the first time in 2014 and the 10th time in his career. The U.S. MNT is 5-4-1 in games when Howard is the captain.
  • Klinsmann made three halftime subs as he readies this 23-player roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He made two defensive subs, bringing in center back Omar Gonzalez for Cameron and left back Timmy Chandler for Beasley. In the midfield, Brad Davis replaced Zusi to open the second half.
  • For Chandler, it marked his first appearance with the U.S. MNT since the squad’s 2-1 loss to Honduras on Feb. 6, 2013, in World Cup qualifying.
  • With Davis entering the match on the left side of the midfield, Bedoya switched roles to the right side.
  • In the 62nd minute, forward Aron Johannsson entered the game for Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin replaced Johnson. Johannsson made his eighth career appearance and Yedlin his third. Both players also have former ties to U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy – Yedlin with Seattle Sounders FC and Johannsson with IMG Academy.
  • Mix Diskerud was the USA’s final sub, replacing Bedoya in the 71st minute.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Azerbaijan, powered by Yingli Solar
Date: May 27, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Candlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Attendance: 24,688
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy

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

USA – Mix Diskerud                            75th minute
USA – Aron Johannsson (Brad Davis)  81

USA: 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 62), 20-Geoff Cameron (3-Omar Gonzalez, 46), 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 46); 19-Graham Zusi (14-Brad Davis, 46), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Mix Diskerud, 71); 17-Jozy Altidore, 18-Chris Wondolowski (9-Aron Johannsson, 62)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 8-Clint Dempsey, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

AZE: 1-Kamran Aghayev, 3-Rasim Ramaldanov, 4-Mahir Shukurov (capt.) (25-Ilkin Girtimov, 46), 7-Vagif Javadov (13-Dmitrij Nazarov, 60), 8-Gara Garayev, 10-Rufat Dadashov (28-Pardis Fardjad-Azad, 66), 11-Rauf Aliyev, 15-Ruslan Abishov (2-Badavi Guseynov, 46), 20-Ufuk Budak, 24-Abdulla Abasiyev (18-Maksim Medvedev, 71), 29-Elvin Yunuszade
Subs Not Used: 5-Shahriyar Aliyev, 9-Jihan Ozkara, 12-Emil Balayev, 14-Rashad Sadigov, 23-Salahat Aghayev
Head Coach: Berti Vogts

Stats Summary: USA / AZE
Shots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 11 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 16
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Armando Castro (HON)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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MNT May 27, 2014

#USOC2018 Qualifying Round Three: Time to Dream for the Fabulous 14

The third and final round of qualifying for the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup wrapped up over the weekend with 14 Open Division Local Amateur sides booking places among the big boys at next year’s tournament – U.S. Soccer’s annual national championship.

The 14 amateur qualifiers will join a field from across the American soccer landscape (PDL, NPSL, NASL, USL and MLS) when the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicks off next May. Follow all the action and keep your finger on the pulse of the #USOC2018 on Twitter and Instagram @OpenCup and ussoccer.com.

2018 U.S. Open Cup Open Division Qualifiers:
Northeast Region:
Christos FC (Md.), Kendall Wanderers (Mass.), Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.), Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.)
Southeast Region:
FC Kendall (Fla.), NTX Rayados (Texas), Red Force FC (Fla.
Mountain Region:
FC Denver (Colo.), Azteca FC (Colo.), Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.)
Pacific Region: El Farolito (Calif.), La Máquina FC (Calif.), L.A. Wolves (Calif.), Santa Ana Winds (Calif.)

Cosmopolitan League heroes Lansdowne Bhoys had no trouble against the youngsters from Philadelphia, Junior Lone Star U23s, at Tibbets Brooke Park in Yonkers, N.Y. Two goals from Daryl Kavanagh set the reigning U.S. Amateur Cup champions and Northeast Region powers on their way to a 3-1 win that was never in doubt. One of the Irishman’s goals was a close-range finish after an inventive set-piece routine from the left side.

(Lansdowne Bhoys of NYC's Cosmopolitan League are the top amateur side in the country - and into the 2018 Open Cup)

Kendall Wanderers of Massachusetts made history by reaching the Open Cup proper for the first time in their long history with a tight 2-1 win against Mass United of Lynn at a rain-soaked Dilboy Stadium in Somerville. Veteran winger Dave Sheehan scored first for the Cambridge-based club – founded back in the early 1970s – that boasts three teams throughout the Bay State Soccer League (BSSL) divisions as well as Over-30 and 40 editions. Ian Sweeney added a second before the Wanderers weathered heavy pressure near the end to see out the result.

Everyone’s favorite Cinderellas from the 2017 Open Cup, Christos FC, booked passage to their second straight tournament with a simple 5-1 win over Pennsylvania’s Phoenix Soccer Club in Anne Arundel County, Md. Daniel Baxter, a tireless midfield engine who shows no signs of fatigue even after working long nightshifts as a medical tech at Baltimore-area hospitals, scored a pair of goals, and so did Elton Joe. Former University of Maryland standout Cody Albrecht, a veteran of Christos’ run to the Fourth Round of last year’s Open Cup, assisted on no fewer than three of the goals as the men from Baltimore, sponsored by a local liquor store, now get set to make waves for a second year running in American soccer’s oldest and most venerable competition.

(Back in Black: Christos FC of Baltimore County will hope to match their run to the 2017 USOC Fourth Round)

“This justifies everything we did last year,” said Christos’ passionate and hard-working head coach Larry Sancombe. “And now we are here moving forward and I think we have a good enough group to make another run.” Joe, scorer of two on the day, was in high spirits after the final whistle: “Goals can come from anywhere in this team. Our plan is to get the first one and the rest will follow. We have a special team.” 

Rounding out the action in the Northeast Region, Stegman’s SC’s long trip to Upstate New York proved a fruitless one in the end as they lost out 2-1 in a competitive affair to home side Rochester River Dogz.

Tense Times in Florida and Colorado
Miami amateur power Red Force FC
were in dramatic mood en route to grabbing a place in their second straight U.S. Open Cup. Down a goal against South Florida FC with two minutes to go in regular time, their outstanding playmaker Stiven Salinas swooped in late to force extra-time. Gabriel Vega’s side then took over to seal the result 2-1. “The chemistry in this team is so important,” said Vega, the man who devotes his life to the club. “A lot of these guys have been playing together since they were little kids and you can’t overestimate how important that is.”

Another Florida side, FC Kendall, will join Red Force in the 2018 competition after a goal-littered 4-2 win on the road in the rain against Nashville United. Martin Nunez, Gonza De Mujica, Santi Schmid and Jona Andrade grabbed the goals on a famous night for the club. The third and final qualifier in the Southeast Region was a far tighter affair as the lone-remaining Texas side NTX Rayados reached their second Open Cup in a row thanks to a 2-1 win over Motagua New Orleans by scoring the equalizer and winner inside the last ten minutes. “It was a good game, but not one you want to happen to you,” said Rayados coach Tito Salas after the tension-fuelled affair.

(FC Denver booked a place in their first Open Cup with a derby win over Indios Denver this weekend)

Up in the high Rockies, the Mountain Region was a festival of Colorado amateur soccer, which has exploded in recent years. Boulder-based Harpos FC, who were tipped before qualifying to make a deep run, fell short with an unconvincing 4-3 loss to Azteca FC, who sent them out of the running for a second straight year.

Over in the Denver derby, FC Denver came out on top with a 2-0 win against Indios Denver in extra-time. Mark Wallace and Alex Bernhardt were the scorers for the side that now reaches the Open Cup proper for the first time in their history. There was another derby in Arizona, but it lacked the competitive edge on display in Denver. Sporting AZ FC stomped all over Galati FC, winning out 6-1 in Chandler, Arizona, thanks to a hat-trick from Costa Rican Alejandro Aguilar, who head coach Aidan Davison calls “the consummate professional.”

Blowouts Reign out West
With edgy contests in the East and Central Regions, California’s four final round qualifiers were a glut of lopsided results. L.A. Wolves, Amateur Cup semifinalists, brought the hammer down on Buena Park FC 4-0 in La Palma. “We’re a confident team,” said coach Yan Skwara, who took over from former boss Eric Wynalda. “We make sure we always have a pipeline of new players coming in and the best players want to play for us.”

(Great game and a great view too - El Farolito hammered Cal Victory FC 8-0 in San Francisco)

There were a pair of 4-1 wins, the first in Lake Forest where Santa Ana Winds blew by the San Pedro Monsters. Kramer Runiger (2) and Jordan Gorman (2) did the scoring for the Winds, an ambitious club looking to make a mark in their first-ever U.S. Open Cup. “We did the same things we’ve been working on in the last three to four months,” said Coach Jose Lopez after the game. “We were mentally strong, we didn’t have to make any changes, and we were confident coming into this match.” 

The other 4-1 result came in Chula Vista, where home side Chula Vista FC were battered by Open Cup regulars La Máquina, who got a pair of goals from Resendo Castro.

The biggest rout of the round came up in the hills surrounding San Francisco, where El Farolito, who won the Open Cup in 1993 under their then-name CD Mexico, slammed Cal Victory FC 8-0. Carlos Montes scored his second hat-trick of the qualifying campaign in a game where Cal Victory played for a long stretch with ten men.

2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Open Division Local Qualifying Results
Third Qualifying Round – Nov. 18-19

Northeast Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 18

Mass United FC (Mass.) vs. Kendall Wanderers (Mass.)


Dilboy Stadium; Somerville, Mass.

Nov. 18

Lansdowne Bhoys FC (N.Y.) vs. Junior Lone Star U23s (Pa.)


Tibbetts Brooke Park; Yonkers, N.Y.

Nov. 19

Christos FC (Md.) vs. Phoenix Soccer Club (Pa.)


Anne Arundel Community College; Arnold, Md.

Nov. 19

Rochester River Dogz (N.Y.) vs. Stegman's Soccer Club (Minn.)


Thornell Farm Park Turf Field; Pittsford, N.Y.


Southeast Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 18

Nashville United (Tenn.) vs. FC Kendall (Fla.)


E.S. Rose Park; Nashville, Tenn.

Nov. 18

NTX Rayados (Texas) vs. Motagua New Orleans (La.)


Premier Park; Balch Springs, Texas

Nov. 19

Red Force FC (Fla.) vs. South Florida FC (Fla.)

1-1, 2-1 AET

Kendall Soccer Park; Miami, Fla.


Mountain Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 18

FC Denver (Colo.) vs. Indios Denver FC (Colo.)

2-0 AET

Aurora Sports Park; Aurora, Colo.

Nov. 18

Harpos FC (Colo.) vs. Azteca FC (Colo.)


Broomfield County Commons Park - Stadium Field; Broomfield, Colo.

Nov. 18

Sporting AZ FC (Ariz.) vs. Galati FC (Ariz.)


Chandler-Gilbert Community College; Chandler, Ariz.


Pacific Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 18

Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) vs. San Pedro Monsters FC (Calif.)


Lake Forest Sports Park; Lake Forest, Calif.

Nov. 19

El Farolito (Calif.) vs. Cal Victory FC (Calif.)


Boxer Stadium; San Francisco, Calif.

Nov. 19

Chula Vista FC (Calif.) vs. La Máquina FC (Calif.)


Chula Vista Elite Training Center; Chula Vista, Calif.

Nov. 19

Buena Park FC (Calif.) vs. L.A. Wolves FC (Calif.)


Orange County Great Park – Championship Soccer Stadium; Irvine, Calif.


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U.S. Open Cup Nov 20, 2017

U-17 WNT Defeats Mexico 4-0 in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (Nov. 18, 2017) – The U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team rebounded from a 1-1 draw with Mexico on Nov. 16 to defeat its counterparts 4-0 in the second of two friendly matches at Mexico’s National Team Training Center. Midfielder Croix Bethune scored twice, sandwiched between single scores from forwards Isabella D’Aquila and Jordan Canniff.

The two matches served as excellent preparation for both teams ahead of the 2018 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship. That tournament, to be held in Nicaragua next spring, will qualify three teams for the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

"Obviously, we are very happy with the 4-0 result,” said U.S. U-17 WNT head coach Mark Carr. “We made several changes from the first game and our players responded with a very disciplined performance. Coming out of this experience in Mexico, we know that we have a lot of work ahead of us as we continue to improve leading into World Cup qualifying next year."

The age cutoff for the next U-17 Women’s World Cup is players born on or after January 1, 2001. For these games U.S. U-17 WNT head coach Mark Carr named 19 players born in 2001 and three born in 2002.

As in the first match two days ago, the USA scored early. Midfielder Hannah Bebar played a ball over the back line to Sunshine Fontes, who crossed into the middle for D’Aquila to finish first-time. It was D’Aquila’s third international goal in four U-17 appearances.

Unlike the match two days ago, the USA piled on three more goals to put the game away. It took the young Americans until the second half to score a second, but it came as part of a two-goal flurry from Bethune in a six-minute span.

Her first score came when the ball popped out to the top of the penalty box and she side-footed her shot into the top corner in the 51stt minute. She made it 3-0 in the 56th when she evaded a few defenders and hit a blast from outside the penalty area that flew into the upper left corner. The goals were Bethune’s second and third at the U-17 international level in 10 caps.

Bethune also created the fourth and final score, slipping a through ball into the path of Canniff, who dribbled along the end line and showed patience before beating the goalkeeper at a tough angle for her eighth U-17 goal in 18 caps.

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team Match Report

Match: United States U-17 Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: November 18, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Centro de Alto Rendimiento; Mexico City, Mexico
Weather: 70 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F         
USA                             1          3          4
MEX                            0          0          0

USA – Isabella D’Aquila (Sunshine Fontes)               8th minute
USA – Croix Bethune                                                  51
USA – Croix Bethune                                                  56
USA – Jordan Canniff (Croix Bethune)                      80                       

USA: 12-Angelina Anderson; 17-Smith Hunter, 15-Natalia Staude, 16-Michela Agresti (capt), 2-Makenna Morris (3-Kate Wiesner, 54); 14-Hannah Bebar, 24-Croix Bethune, 20-Sophia Jones (21-Samantha Kroeger, 65); 19-Kalyssa Van Zanten (9-Jordan Canniff, 46), 13-Isabella D’Aquila (11-Lia Godfrey, 46), 18-Sunshine Fontes (10-Mia Fishel, 78)

Subs not used: 1-Cayla White, 4-Tori Hansen, 5-Kennedy Wesley, 6-Astrid Wheeler, 7-Samantha Meza, 8-Maya Doms
Head Coach: Mark Carr

MEX: 20-Jaidy Gutierrez; 16-Reyna Reyes, 2-Tanna Sanchez, 15-Julieta Peralta, 5-Ximena Rios (11-Esmeralda Zamarron, 57); 8-Nicole Perez (capt), 6-Mariana Elizondo, 4-Arely Salcedo (14-Nayeli Diaz, 40), 19-Natalia Mauleon (17-Yolanda Jimenez, 77); 10-Alison Gonzalez, 9-Vanessa Buso (21-Fernanda Rosales, 75)
Subs not used: 1-Clarissa Ramirez, 3-Nicole Soto, 7-Fatima Arellano, 12-Dayan Tellez, 13-Noemi Granados, 18-Valentina Oviedo, 22-Valeria Perez, 23-Valeria Reza
Head Coach: Christopher Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX                        
Shots: 11 / 5
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 3 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 6 / 1
Offside: 5 / 3

Misconduct Summary:

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U-17 WNT Nov 18, 2017

U-18 MNT Closes Out 2017 With Early Start to New Player Cycle

CHICAGO (Nov. 18, 2017) – The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team will finish 2017 with a training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. from Nov. 19 to Nov. 26. Although it’s the U-18s’ fifth event of the year, the 24 players called into camp by head coach Omid Namazi are a mixture of 2001 and 2002 birth years, marking the start to the 2018-2019 Youth National Team player cycle across all age groups.

The player pool, transitioning from the U-16 Boys’ National Team, comes into camp after most recently participating in June’s 2017 International Dream Cup in Japan. Across the Pacific, the U-16 BNT fell to Guinea 2-1, Japan 4-2 and Netherlands 5-2. Ten of the 24 players on this roster return from U-16 head coach Sean Tsakiris’ squad at the tournament.

MORE: Tsakiris Calls 20 Players to 2017 International Dream Cup

The trip to Chula Vista marks the fifth gathering of 2017 for the pool of players born in 2001 or later. Namazi got an early, first-hand look at the age group in April, when he led the U-16s for twelve days at the prestigious Tournament of Montaigu while Tsakiris assisted the U-17 MNT during its World Cup qualifying campaign in Panama.

At the Tournament of Montaigu, the USA started with a 1-0 victory over Belgium before falling to France 3-2, two days later. In their final group stage game, the Americans defeated rival Mexico 3-0, behind a brace and one assist from forward Stefan Stojanovic.

Although it’s every player’s first appearance on a U-18 roster, five players are making their debuts with the player pool in 2017: Jerry Ayon, Luis Hernandez, David Mendoza, Owen Otasowie and Alex Rando.

George Bello, the only player on the roster born in 2002, is age-eligible for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Bello signed as a M.L.S. Homegrown player for Atlanta United FC in June and he’s the most recent U.S. Soccer Development Academy national champion on the roster, as Atlanta took home the 2016-2017 season’s U-15/16 hardware this past July.

Of the 24 players brought into camp, 22 have registered at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Herriman, Utah), Alex Rando (New York City FC; New York, N.Y.)
DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (Barca Academy; Lompoc, Calif.), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; Douglasville, Ga.), Nico Benalcazar (New York City FC; Wilton, Conn.), Luke Hansen (Colorado Rapids; Littleton, Colo.), David Mendoza (Chicago Fire; Chicago, Ill.), Leonardo Sepulveda (LA Galaxy; Corona, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Oscar Cervantes (LA Galaxy; Indio, Calif.), Cameron Duke (Sporting Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.), Justin Haak (New York City FC; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Luis Hernandez (FC Dallas; Mesquite, Texas), Nelson Martinez (D.C. United; Woodbridge, Va.), Aidan Morris (Crew SC Academy; New Albany, Ohio), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC; Merryhill, Wolverhampton, England), Marcelo Palomino (Houston Dynamo; Houston, Texas), Thomas Roberts (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)
FORWARDS (7): Luis Arriaga (Real Salt Lake; Herriman, Utah), Jerry Ayon (Monarcas Morelia; Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico), Azriel Gonzalez (Seattle Sounders FC; Renton, Wash.), Jose Rivas (Crew SC Academy; New Albany, Ohio), Gabriel Segal (Bethesda-Olney; Bethesda, Md.), Stefan Stojanovic (Sockers FC; Des Plaines, Ill.)

UPDATE: Following the release of the roster, the LA Galaxy informed U.S. Soccer that forward Ulysses Llanez was unable to join the U-18 MNT in Chula Vista due to injury.                                                                             

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U-18 MNT Nov 18, 2017

Competitive Year Comes to an End as WNT Sets Sights On World Cup Qualification in 2018

A year that featured much experimenting, successes and struggles, but in the end, significant growth, has come to an end. Through 16 games in 2017, the U.S. WNT finished with 12-3-1 record with the three losses coming to the third, fourth and sixth ranked teams in the world.

While U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis and her staff knew that this year would be challenging due the difficult schedule chock-full of highly ranked teams and the necessary infusion of new players, they were determined to squeeze as much out of it as possible, with the focus being the lessons learned rather than the results obtained.

“I recognized that this year would give us the ability to play incredible teams and deepen our pool,” Ellis said. “Those were the two goals we set to start this year. So, would I check those boxes? Yes.”

Deepening the pool meant giving new players opportunities, and trying new things within a team that is competitive, fierce and bursting at the seams with talent. Ellis saw 55 players in a training camp environment this past year and since October of 2016 has giving 13 players first caps. Veterans and rookies mixed during training camps and on the field during games while everyone was given a blank slate to earn a place in the pool moving forward into a crucial 2018. [Read More]

WNT - Sofia Huerta, Carli Lloyd
Sofia Huerta and Carli Lloyd

“We got to see a lot of players and I’m excited about the future,” Ellis said. “The players that have come through this process and the games they’ve experienced, those are things you can’t replicate. That’s why you put the players into these environments. Sometimes there are tough lessons, but that’s how you grow.”

Some of those lessons came in the form of three losses, dealing with a few injuries, and one insanely dramatic last-minute comeback win. Losing three games in a year, albeit to talented teams, is not what the USA is accustomed to or expects of itself. That said, it’s true that you learn more from losing than winning, and learning is a priority with World Cup qualifying next fall and the World Cup still 18 months away. The most important takeaway is that there has been progress along the way.

“This year we’ve played a higher level of competition, played more top-20 teams, and we’ve done it with several players who have very little experience, or partnering them with someone that has very little experience,” Ellis said of the 2017 slate. “That’s part of taking your lumps at times because you have to believe in your process. I know that when we come out on the backside of this, we’ll now we have 18 months to build. Some teams are going into that process now and we’re coming out of it, evaluating our players with a solid 18 months to really grow and develop a starting lineup and a squad of 23 that I think will be hard to deal with.”

WNT - Sam Mewis
Sam Mewis vs. England on March 4, 2017 at the SheBelieves Cup.

Below is a breakdown of the WNT’s 16-game schedule this past year, which included seven of the other nine teams in the top-10 of the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, excluding only the Netherlands (which the USA played in September of 2016) and North Korea, making this the most difficult schedule ever in the year after the World Cup/Olympic cycle. 




FIFA Ranking


Goal Scorers


March 1


1-0: USA Win

Lynn Williams


March 4


0-1: ENG Win



March 7


0-3: FRA Win



April 6
April 9


4-0: USA Win
5-1: USA Win

Crystal Dunn (2), Allie Long (2)
Carli Lloyd, Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn (2), OG


June 8*


1-0: USA Win

Rose Lavelle


June 11*


1-0: USA Win

Christen Press


July 27


0-1: AUS Win



July 30


4-3: USA Win

Samantha Mewis, Press, Megan Rapinoe, Julie Ertz


Aug. 3


3-0: USA Win

Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh, Alex Morgan

New Zealand

Sept. 15
Sept. 19


3-1: USA Win
5-0: USA Win

Morgan, Ertz (2)
Lindsey Horan, Pugh, Morgan (2), Williams

Korea Republic

Oct. 19
Oct. 22


3-1: USA Win
6-0: USA Win

Ertz, Morgan, Rapinoe
Mewis (2), Ertz, Press, Williams, Long


Nov. 9*
Nov. 12


1-1: Draw
3-1: USA Win

Ertz, Morgan, Lloyd

*Represents away games

The 2017 schedule featured numerous positive takeaways. In the first three games of the year at the SheBelieves Cup, fans witnessed the blossoming of Rose Lavelle against some of the best players in the world. She made one of the best debuts in recent memory, dazzling with her skills against England. Against Russia a month later, she scored her first goal and pulled a few more video game-worthy moves out of her bag.

In Europe in June against Sweden and Norway, it was all about grit and finding a way to win on the road after long travel and little rest with many players who had never experienced playing a tough team on the road. Both games developed in similar fashion and the USA produced a game-winning goal in the second half after battling in the first 45 minutes of play.

Back stateside in the Tournament of Nations, the U.S. had a less than ideal tournament opener, dropping a tight 1-0 decision to Australia. What followed was probably the most exciting game of the year, an epic 4-3 comeback win against Brazil in San Diego. It was a classic U.S. WNT battle-until-the-end kind of performance and it helped propel a seven-game unbeaten streak to close out 2017.

U.S. WNT - Rapinoe, Ertz, Pugh
Rapinoe and Ertz scored the game-tying and game-winning goals, respectively, in the dramatic comeback win vs. Brazil at ToN.

The final six friendlies provided a strong closing to this year, with players such as Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan providing much of the goal scoring, Megan Rapinoe, and Lindsey Horan showing their confidence and play-making, while Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Samantha Mewis and Ertz providing a solid spine down the middle.

“We have tried a lot of new things this year,” Mewis said following the final game of 2017. “There’s a lot of players with fewer caps that have been getting a lot of experience. It’s also been cool for me to get a lot of playing time and it’s been good for the team to grow as a unit. The depth of the group has grown and we have some things in our back pocket now. Moving forward I think this will have been an important year to look back on.”

After a much needed and well-deserved break, the WNT will get back together in January as it builds towards the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship where it will try to earn one of three spots for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France that is set to kick off on June 7, 2019.

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WNT Nov 17, 2017