CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2018) – U.S. Soccer has announced the five nominees for the 2018 U.S. Soccer Male and Female Player of the Year awards. This year’s field features midfielders Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan, and forwards Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe for the WNT. Midfielders Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Wil Trapp, defender Matt Miazga and goalkeeper Zack Steffen are the MNT nominees.
Voting for the awards starts today and closes on Dec. 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced during the first week of December.
All five WNT nominees played significant roles for the Women’s National Team during a 2018 that saw the USA finish its 20-game schedule with an unbeaten 18-0-2 record. The five nominees were also impact players on the squad that qualified the USA for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Morgan finished 2018 with 18 goals in 19 games while playing 1,500 minutes, the most of anyone on the team. Ertz once again was a vital cog in the midfield, playing more than 1,000 minutes for the third time in her career while scoring four goals. In her comeback year after sitting out most of 2017 due to injuries, Heath provided consistent danger in the attacking third, scoring seven goals in eight starts while adding six assists. Rapinoe led the USA in assists this year with 12, tying her previous high for most in a calendar year and her play on the flank was a big part of the USA’s consistent success. She scored seven goals and started all 16 games in which she played. The 24-year-old Horan had a stellar year for both club and country and won the NWSL Most Valuable Player award. She played in every game but one for the USA in 2018, tying Alex Morgan for most on the team.
Three of the nominees have won the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award before: Ertz won in 2017, Heath in 2016 and Morgan earned the honor in 2012. Ertz (neé Johnston), Heath, and Horan have previously won the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award, with Heath winning in 2009, Ertz in 2012 and Horan in 2013.
As the MNT went through a transitional phase in 2018, all five MNT players are first-time nominees and used this year to take their first steps toward establishing themselves with the senior team.
Adams tied for the team lead with eight appearances and scored his first international goal in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 11. The 19-year-old also stayed consistent with the New York Red Bulls, registering seven assists in 27 appearances to help the club to the MLS Supporters Shield and their current run to the Eastern Conference Final. McKennie established his place in the USA midfield by making six appearances while also taking huge strides with German Bundesliga club Schalke, helping Die Knappen qualify for the UEFA Champions League last season before going on to score his first two goals during the current campaign. Miazga led all MNT center backs with seven appearances, while serving as a key figure in helping Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse qualify for the UEFA Europa League. With six caps, Steffen tied the MNT record for most appearances by a goalkeeper in their debut year and made eight saves in a friendly against France before their successful run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup title. Steffen also earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors after helping Columbus Crew SC back to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Captain of Columbus Crew SC, 25-year-old Wil Trapp’s veteran presence in midfield served a young MNT group well as he wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. as well in each of his team-leading eight appearances while earning Man of the Match against Paraguay and Peru.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches for the WNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the MNT, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for the WNT award.
The U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year has been awarded since 1984 when Rick Davis won it. Current U.S. MNT General Manager Earnie Stewart won it in 2001. Landon Donovan holds the record for most awards, winning it four times, while Clint Dempsey won it on three occasions. Then eighteen-year-old Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to win the award in 2017.
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor. Abby Wambach holds the record by winning the award six times. Mia Hamm won it five times.Read more
GENK, Belgium (Nov. 20, 2018) — Fielding the youngest lineup in the team’s modern era, the U.S. Men’s National Team battled hard, but a strike from Matteo Politano deep in second-half stoppage time saw the U.S. fall 1-0 to Italy at Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium.
Having previously started the two youngest MNT lineups earlier this year, head coach Dave Sarachan deployed a starting XI with an average age of 22 years, 71 days. He also made history by selecting the youngest captain in modern era (1990-present), handing 20-year-old Christian Pulisic the armband for the very first time.
But while the USA showed some positive moments, the young side ceded much of the possession to Italy during the first half. In control through much of the match, the Azzurri took multiple looks at the U.S. goal, but was thwarted time and again thanks to a heroic effort from goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.
Taking the field in Belgium where he suits up for Club Brugge, the 23-year-old Horvath was called into action in the third minute, turning away a point-blank attempt from Federico Chiesa. He followed it up with another brave stop on Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci in the 18th minute, pushed a belted effort from Domenico Berardi over the bar in the 39thand parried a free kick from Marco Verratti in the 44th to keep thing scoreless at the break.
Horvath was again called into action just before the hour-mark but did brilliantly to thwart a one-on-one attempt from Kevin Lasagna in the 59th minute.
Gaining confidence to push forward, the USA nearly pulled ahead in the 64th minute as Kellyn Acosta’s free kick from the right picked out Walker Zimmerman at the back post, but his headed effort was pushed out for a corner kick by Salvatore Sirigu. Just as that chance came, Horvath was called on again to make perhaps his best save of the night, stretching full out to push Vincenzo Grifo’s effort out for a corner kick in the 70th minute.
Becoming the 20th player to debut for the MNT in 2018, substitute Romain Gall tested Sirigu in the 90th minute, unleashing a low blast that forced the Italy ‘keeper to push the ball out for a corner kick.
Just as it looked like the USA would earn a hard-nosed draw, Italy broke through when Roberto Giagliardini combined with Politano in the box. With the defense collapsing around him, the substitute poked his effort past Horvath to give Italy the 1-0 victory in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time.
Up Next: Earlier Tuesday, the MNT announced it would play regional foe Costa Rica on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. The match will serve as one of two domestic matches to begin 2019. Kickoff time and the MNT’s further schedule for next year will be announced at a later date.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
ITA – Matteo Politano (Roberto Gagliardini), 90+4th minute: The USA looked like it would take a 0-0 draw home, but Italy continued to press and broke through as Gagliardini fed Politano into the box where he finished past Horvath from close range. ITA 1, USA 0 FINAL.
Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Ethan Horvath, 3rd minute: Federico Chiesa ran onto a long ball over the top and strolled into the box on the right. Taking an additional touch, the Italy striker was thwarted as Horvath came off his line to make a save with his right.
USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 16th minute: Streaking into the box on the left, Domenico Berardi did well to get into the box and looked to get a shot off before Carter-Vickers came through to deny the attempt and put it out for a corner kick.
USA – Ethan Horvath, 18th minute: Italy gained another dangerous opportunity as Emerson was fouled about 30 yards from goal on the left. Stefano Sensi swung in a free kick, finding Leonardo Bonucci alone in the area, but his shot from the penalty spot was thwarted as Horvath came off his line to make a point-blank save.
USA - Ethan Horvath, 39th minute: After Italy moved the ball around outside the area, Berardi took it on his left foot and unleashed a swerving effort that Horvath pushed over the bar for a corner kick.
USA – Ethan Horvath, 44th minute: Reggie Cannon upended Emerson and Italy earned another dangerous opportunity to the left of the USA goal. Marco Verratti swung in a low ball that threaded through the USA penalty box, but Horvath’s foot work was superb and kept the ball off the goal line before it was cleared.
USA – Ethan Horvath, 59th minute: While the USA showed more in the attacking third early in the second half, it still allowed Italy openings on the counter attack. The Azzurri caught the MNT out just before the hour mark when Kevin Lasagna got on the end of a ball and leapt past Walker Zimmerman only to see Horvath powerfully charge off his line to deny the attempt.
ITA – Salvatore Sirigu, 64th minute: The USA nearly pulled ahead just after the hour mark. Kellyn Acosta’s free kick from the right swung through to the back post where Walker Zimmerman’s snap header was kept out when Sirigu dramatically pushed the ball over the bar for a corner kick.
USA – Ethan Horvath, 70th minute: Stefano Sensi played a square pass to Vincenco Grifo who let rip an effort destined for the top right corner, but Horvath used all of his 6-4 frame to stretch at full extension and push the ball out for a corner kick.
ITA – Salvatore Sirigu, 90th minute: The USA found one final chance, as substitute Romain Gall pushed forward through the midfield. Taking the space given to him, Gall let loose on a low blast that Sirigu dove to his left to push out for a corner kick.
- Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made five saves to earn Budweiser Man of the Match honors.
- With nine of 11 starters 23 years old or younger, the average age of the USA XI came in at 22 years, 71 days, besting the MNT’s previous modern era-record of 22 years, 160 days which came on May 28, 2018 vs. Bolivia.
- Five of 11 starters were also age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent
- At 20 years, 71 days, Christian Pulisic became the youngest MNT captain of the modern era (1990-present), beating Landon Donovan who first captained the MNT at 22 years, 220 days in a World Cup Qualifier on Oct. 9, 2004 at El Salvador.
- Entering the match in the 83rd minute, Romain Gall became the 20th player to debut for the MNT in 2018 and 23rd overall under head coach Dave Sarachan. The 20 debuts in 2018 ties 2007 for the second most in the MNT’s modern era history, sitting just one back of the record of 21 in 1992.
- The MNT moves to 1-8-3 all-time against Italy.
- With the MNT dressing 20 players, John Brooks, Jonathan Klinsmann and DeAndre Yedlin were healthy scratches from tonight’s match.
Nov. 20, 2018
Luminus Arena; Genk, Belgium
Live Broadcast: 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1 and UniMas
Tonight’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Italy (3-5-2): 12-Ethan Horvath; 5-Cameron Carter Vickers, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 26-Aaron Long; 25-Reggie Cannon, 9-Marky Delgado, 4-Tyler Adams, 23-Kellyn Acosta, 18-Shaq Moore; 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.), 13-Josh Sargent
Substitutes: 1-Brad Guzan; 3-Matt Miazga, 7-Bobby Wood, 11-Tim Weah, 14-Sebastian Lletget, 16-Julian Green, 19-Jorge Villafaña; 20-Wil Trapp, 27-Romain Gall
- U.S. MNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Kellyn Acosta (23), Christian Pulisic (23), Tyler Adams (9), Cameron Carter-Vickers (7), Marky Delgado (6), Josh Sargent (6), Shaq Moore (5), Walker Zimmerman (4), Ethan Horvath (3), Reggie Cannon (2), Aaron Long (2)
- Five of the 11 starters are also age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent
- With nine of 11 starters 23 years old or younger, the average age of the USA XI comes in at 22 years, 71 days, besting the MNT’s previous modern era-record of 22 years, 160 days which came on May 28, 2018 vs. Bolivia.
- The Starting XI averages eight caps.
- The lone holdover from Thursday’s game against England, Christian Pulisic captains the MNT for the first time tonight. At 20 years, 63 days, Pulisic is the youngest MNT captain of the modern era (1990-present), beating Landon Donovan who first captained the MNT at 22 years, 220 days in a World Cup Qualifier on Oct. 9, 2004 at El Salvador.
- Both making their 23rd appearances, Pulisic joins Kellyn Acosta as the senior-most players in the lineup.
- Having earned their MNT debuts in the 1-1 draw with Portugal a little more than a year ago, 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams (nine caps) and 20-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers (seven caps) come in behind Acosta and Pulisic as the third and fourth most capped players in the starting XI.
- Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath earns his third appearance, suiting up for the MNT in the country where he plays professionally with Club Brugge. Horvath played at Luminus Arena earlier this month, backstopping the Blauw-Zwart to a 1-1 draw with Belgian league-leaders KRC Genk on Nov. 3.
- Defenders Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long and midfielder Marky Delgado will make their first appearances against a European opponent tonight.
- Seven starters make up the 22 players that have debuted in the last year under Sarachan: Adams, Cannon, Carter-Vickers, Delgado, Moore, Long and Sargent.
- After missing out on Thursday’s match against England, Josh Sargent returns to the lineup to make his sixth MNT appearance. Sargent scored the USA goal in last month’s 1-1 draw against Peru.
- The MNT starting XI represents clubs in six different countries: USA (5), Germany (2), Belgium, Canada, Spain and Wales (1 each),
- Should he score in tonight’s game, Pulisic would become the fastest MNT player to 10 goals by age (20 years, 63 days) and tie Clint Mathis for the fastest in caps (23).
- The three-man backline will see Cameron Carter-Vickers, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long line up from right to left.
- Sarachan’s five-man midfield features wing backs Reggie Cannon (right) and Shaq Moore (left). Tyler Adams sits at the center of the park with Kellyn Acosta to his left and Delgado to his right.
- Christian Pulisic partners with fellow-German based attacker Josh Sargent up top.
- Should he enter the match, substitute Romain Gall would become the 23rd player to debut under Sarachan and 20th in 2018.
- The MNT holds a 1-7-3 all-time record against Italy. The MNT’s lone win in the series came as Clint Dempsey scored the goal in a 1-0 victory on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa.
- Dempsey’s goal that night made him one of four MNT goal scorers to find the back of the net against the Azzurri. The Others: Aldo “Buff” Donelli (1-7 L; May 27, 1934), John Harkes (1-1 D; June 6, 1992) and Landon Donovan (1-3 L; June 15, 2009)
- The MNT is 0-3-0 all-time and has never scored on Belgian soil. All three previous matches came against Belgium.
- With the MNT dressing 20 players, John Brooks, Jonathan Klinsmann and DeAndre Yedlin are healthy scratches from tonight’s match. Teams are allowed to make six substitutions.
Following four straight matches against top-ranked teams from Europe and South America, the U.S. Men's National Team will take on a different challenge against a top tier regional rival when it hosts Costa Rica on Feb. 2 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.
The event time will be announced at a later date, but the game is set to be televised on FS1 and Univision Networks. Fans will be able to follow the match via Facebook, Twitter @ussoccer_MNT and Instagram @ussoccer_MNT.
Slated as the second of two games that are part of the MNT’s annual January Camp, the friendly vs. Costa Rica is part of a series of tests the USA faces in advance of the 2019 Gold Cup, the first official competition in the 2022 World Cup cycle. The first 2019 January Camp friendly will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the match in the Northern California go on sale to the public Friday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. [Note: Tickets are not sold at Avaya Stadium except on the day of the event.] Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com.
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.
Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Click here or contact email@example.com for more information.
The MNT returns to Avaya Stadium for the second time, having routed Honduras 6-0 in a World Cup Qualifier on March 24, 2017. Overall, the USA holds an unbeaten 3-0-2 record in San Jose.This will be the 38th meeting between the United States and Costa Rica, with the MNT slipping behind in the all-time series with an overall record of 14-17-6. The match will come on the 16-year anniversary of the USA’s 2-0 victory against Costa Rica in the 2002 Concacaf Gold Cup Final.
BRADENTON, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team booked a second consecutive trip to the Concacaf U-20 Championship title match with a 1-0 win vs. Honduras, who the USA beat in the 2017 final to claim its first regional title at the U-20 level. Despite its defeat, Honduras will join the U.S., Mexico and Panama at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup by virtue of a better goal difference than fellow Group G participant Cosat Rica.
The U.S. will face Mexico, who edged out Panama to reach the final on fair the play tie-breaker after a 2-2 draw in the day’s earlier game. The 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship title game kicks off on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. ET (concacafgo.com, UDN) from IMG Academy Stadium.
Having secured its place at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Friday night with a convincing 4-0 win against Costa Rica, the USA slowly imposed its will against Honduras, ultimately claiming over 80 percent possession in the first half, a foundation that allowed the U.S. to tee up seven shots (four on goal) compared to just two shots (one on target) for Honduras.
In a sign of things to come, Ayo Akinola got loose to produce the first clear cut chance for the U.S. but sent his header inches wide midway through the first half. Soon after, a well-rehearsed corner kick routine by the USA teed up Alex Mendez to shoot from close range, but he couldn’t get enough power on his shot to tuck it beneath the on-rushing goalkeeper, who again did well at the stroke of half time to deny Sebastian Soto after the U.S. forward had got behind the Honduras defense.
Knotted at 0-0 to begin the second half, the game continued much the way the first 45 ended with the USA taking the attacking initiative and Honduras attempting to counter. But a long, diagonal ball over the Honduras defense from Brandon Servania finally unlocked their backline in the 51st minute and allowed Akinola to race in from the right wing to collect the ball that had rolled into the top right corner of the box. The USA forward chopped a well-placed one-timer past the out-stretched hand of Reyes and just inside the left post for the 1-0 lead and his seventh goal of the tournament.
As the clock ticked along both teams began to be more cautious about going forward; Honduras in an effort not to concede too many goals and lose its place in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the U.S. in a wise effort to kill the game and secure its place in the 2018 Concacaf Championship title game. U.S. head coach Tab Ramos made all three available subs in the final 15 minutes to help steer the 1-0 lead into a 1-0 victory the will put the USA in the Concacaf U-20 title match for the third time in the last four editions under his guidance.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ayo Akinola (Brandon Servania), 51st minute: From inside his own half, U.S. midfielder Brandon Servania spotted the run of Akinola down the right flank and sent a long diagonal ball in his direction. Honduras’ left back nearly intercepted the pass but succeeded only in knocking it down for Akinola to smack a one-time shot from the top corner of the box beyond the grasp of Honduras goalkeeper Oscar Reyes and into the bottom left corner for what proved to be the match winner. USA 1, HON 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- With the result, U.S. head coach Tab Ramos moves to 19-3-2 all-time in Concacaf U-20 Championship play and has led the team to four straight World Cups.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 12 Concacaf U-20 Championship matches dating back to the opener of 2017, establishing a new team record for longest stretch without a loss in this tournament. Previously, the USA went unbeaten in 10 games from the opener of 2005 (5-0-1), 2007 (2-0-1), before falling to Costa Rica in the 2009 final after going 2-0-2.
- The USA now has a 2-4-4 all-time record versus Honduras in this competition, including scoreless draws in the last three meetings, two wins on PKs, and a few matches of significance:
- In the 1980 semifinal, the USA edged Honduras on PKs to advance to its first FIFA Youth Championship (now U-20 World Cup). In 1983, the USA fell in the final, but Honduras was later disqualified for age irregularities and the USA advanced to that World Cup. In 2017 the USA defeated Honduras on penalty kicks to win its first Concacaf U-20 Championship.
- Ayo Akinola scored his seventh goal of the tournament, drawing him into a tie with Ulysses Llanez for the team lead.
- Akinola and Llanez’s seven goals leave them one shy of the USA’s tournament high of eight, set by Ricky Davis in 1978.
- David Ochoa earned his second shutout in as many games played this tournament. It was also the team’s fifth of the competition.
- Ramos made four changes from the team that started vs Costa Rica: Ochoa for Brady Scott; Frankie Amaya for Juan Pablo Torres; Ayo Akinola for Uly Llanez; and Chris Richards made his tournament debut in place of Matt Real.
- Mark McKenzie served as captain, his second time this tournament (also vs. Suriname)
- Paxton Pomykal and Justin Rennicks appeared in their team-high seventh game.
- Chris Gloster made his team-high sixth start.