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US Soccer

Jozy Altidore Scores Twice as U.S. MNT Defeats Nigeria 2-1 in Final Match of Send-Off Series

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (June 7, 2014) – Forward Jozy Altidore scored his first two goals of 2014 as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Nigeria 2-1 in front of a Florida-record crowd of 52,033 at EverBank Field.

With the start, goalkeeper Tim Howard became the 15th U.S. MNT player to reach 100 caps while also picking up the victory to break Kasey Keller’s all-time goalkeeper wins record for the United States.

The U.S. went 3-0-0 during the Send-Off Series and now sets its sights on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The USA will depart for South America on June 8 to begin final preparations for its Group G opener against Ghana on June 16 at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson), 31st minute: A fantastic series of passes down the right side set up Jozy Altidore to break the deadlock. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya dribbled down the right wing and spied Fabian Johnson making a darting run into the penalty area. He cut a short pass to the overlapping right back who slide a cross on the ground into the six-yard box where Altidore was unmarked for the tap-in. For Altidore, it is his first goal of 2014. USA 1, NGA 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley), 68th minute: Michael Bradley played a beautiful ball from midfield to Jozy Altidore in the left side of the penalty area. Altidore settled, cut inside to evade Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo and then fired the ball past Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama inside the near left post. His second tally of the match was his 23rd  international goal. USA 2, NGA 0 (SEE GOAL)

NGA – Victor Moses (penalty), 86th minute: With the game wide open in waning minute minutes and both teams attacking with fervor, Nigeria’s Victor Moses drew a penalty against U.S. defender Matt Besler and took the subsequent penalty kick. Moses took a slow approach on the kick before placing his right-footed shot into the lower left corner as U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard went the opposite direction. USA 2, NGA 1 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
NGA – Godfrey Oboabona, 20th minute: The U.S. spent the first 20 minutes trying to get a hold of the game, but did have some good moments on the counter attack, and one potential chance came when Clint Dempsey stole the ball at midfield and fed to DaMarcus Beasley on the left. Beasley crossed into the box, but Nigeria defender Godfrey Oboabona broke up the USA’s opportunity to keep the score level at 0-0.

NGA – Vincent Enyeama, 23rd minute: Quick touches from Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey in the midfield paved the way for Michael Bradley on the right side. After a couple touches, Bradley shot with his right from just outside the box and Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made a diving save to his right, parrying the ball away for a U.S. corner kick.

USA – Tim Howard, 44th minute: Nigeria held the ball in its half for nearly the final five minutes of the first half. The closest chance came off of a corner kick from the left side as Eric Efe Ambrose rose for the header in between Geoff Cameron and Clint Dempsey. His low shot was driven toward Tim Howard’s feet and the U.S. goalkeeper was quick to smother just in front of the end line.

USA – Tim Howard, 83rd minute: Nigeria second-half sub Emmanuel Emenike turned and shot with his right foot just about the penalty area with eyes on the left side of the net. Tim Howard dove to his right for the stop.

Milestone Watch:

  • Correction: Tim Howard broke Kasey Keller’s wins record on Saturday against Nigeria. Howard was incorrectly named the winner of the USA’s 2-1 victory against Turkey on June 1. Though he left at halftime with the lead, second-half goalkeeper Brad Guzan was awarded the win as he was in the net while Clint Dempsey scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.
  • With Saturday’s win, Howard is 54-28-15 all-time, moving just ahead of Keller who finished his brilliant career with a record of 53-27-18. Brad Guzan is now 11-7-3 all-time following the victory against Turkey.
  • Howard is the 15th player and third goalkeeper in U.S. MNT history to reach the 100-cap mark. Howard is now tied for 13th all-time with 100 caps with Tony Meola and Joe-Max Moore.
  • With his 22nd and 23rd goals, Jozy Altidore moves into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time goal scoring list, moving ahead of Bruce Murray who had 21 goals from 1985-93.
  • Clint Dempsey played in his 105th game and is now in 10th place, one appearance behind Eric Wynalda (106 caps from 1990-2000) on the all-time list.
  • Michael Bradley now has 10 assists in his career, tying for 12th all-time with Steve Cherundolo, Chris Henderson, Brian McBride and Earnie Stewart.
  • Bradley earned his 86th cap, moving ahead of Frankie Hejduk and Bruce Murray for 20th all-time. Bradley is also one game behind 19th-place Cherundolo (87 games from 1999-2012).

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT now heads to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The USA opens Group G play against Ghana at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, June 16, at Estadio das Dunas at Natal.
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and ESPN Radio
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is 2-0-0 in the all-time series against Nigeria.
  • The U.S. MNT is now 4-1-1 in 2014.
  • The USA is 17-16-9 all-time in games based in Florida and 4-0-1 in Jacksonville.
  • Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann started a defensive that featured Tim Howard in goal and a back line featuring left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and center backs Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler.
  • Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya played side-by-side in the 4-3-2-1 formation, with Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey in front of them.
  • Striker Jozy Altidore played up top in the formation.
  • The U.S. is now 8-3-2 with Dempsey as the captain.
  • For the only time in the Send-Off Series, Klinsmann made no changes to start the second half. The USA’s first sub came in the 60th minute, when Graham Zusi entered for Bedoya.
  • With a 2-0 lead in place, Klinsmann went back to his bench in the 72nd minute with Mix Diskerud replacing Beckerman.
  • In the 75th minute, Timmy Chandler replaced Beasley at left back and in the 80th minute, Omar Gonzalez entered for Altidore.
  • Chris Wondolowski was brought in for Dempsey in the 87th minute.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: June 7, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 52,033
Weather: 83 degrees, overcast

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

USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson)    31st minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley)   68
NGA – Victor Moses (penalty kick)        86

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 75); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 60), 15-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (18-Chris Wondolowski, 87), 17-Jozy Altidore (3-Omar Gonzalez, 80)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 6-John Brooks, 9-Aron Johannsson, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

NGA: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo (capt.), 5-Eric Efe Ambrose, 13-Juwon Oshaniwa, 14-Godfrey Oboabona; 10-John Obi Mikel (4-Ruben Gabriel, 46), 15-Ramon Azeez (25-Michael Uchebo, 74), 17- Ogenyi Onazi; 8-Peter Osaze Odemwingie (18-Michael Babatunde, 46), 11-Victor Moses, 23-Shola Ameobi (9-Emmanuel Emenike, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Elderson Echiejile, 6-Azubuike Emmanuel Egweukwe, 7-Musa Ahmed, 12-Kunle Odunlami, 16-Austine Ejide, 19-Uche Nwofor, 21-Agbim Chigozie, 22-Kenneth Omeruo
Head Coach: Stephen Keshi

Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Mariner (ENG)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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MNT Jun 7, 2014

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Nigeria
Date: June 7, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Florida
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 52,033
Weather: 83 degrees, overcast

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

           

USA – Jozy Altidore (Fabian Johnson)           31st minute
USA – Jozy Altidore (Michael Bradley)           68
NGA – Victor Moses (penalty kick)                 86

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson, 5-Matt Besler, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 75); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (19-Graham Zusi, 60), 15-Kyle Beckerman (10-Mix Diskerud, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley; 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.) (18-Chris Wondolowski, 87), 17-Jozy  Altidore (3-Omar Gonzalez, 80)
Subs Not Used: 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 6-John Brooks, 9-Aron Johannsson, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

NGA: 1-Vincent Enyeama; 2-Joseph Yobo (capt.), 5-Eric Efe Ambrose, 13-Juwon Oshaniwa, 14-Godfrey Oboabona; 10-John Obi Mikel (4-Ruben Gabriel, 46), 15-Ramon Azeez (25-Michael Uchebo, 74), 17- Ogenyi Onazi; 8-Peter Osaze Odemwingie (18-Michael Babatunde, 46), 11-Victor Moses, 23-Shola Ameobi (9-Emmanuel Emenike, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Elderson Echiejile, 6-Azubuike Emmanuel Egweukwe, 7-Musa Ahmed, 12-Kunle Odunlami, 16-Austine Ejide, 19-Uche Nwofor, 21-Agbim Chigozie, 22-Kenneth Omeruo
Head Coach: Stephen Keshi

Stats Summary: USA / NGA
Shots: 11 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 5
Saves: 4 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 12 / 9
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)      
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Beck (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
4th Official: Andre Mariner (ENG)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jozy Altidore

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US Soccer

WNT Defeats Spain 1-0 in First Match Between Nations

ALICANTE, Spain (Jan. 22, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Spain 1-0 in the first international meeting between the two teams thanks to a second half goal created by a strong individual effort from halftime substitute Christen Press.

The first 45 minutes began with both teams wrestling to impose their style on the match, but after a hard-charging opening 10 minutes from Spain, the U.S. began flexing its muscles, nearly taking the lead in the 14th minute. A corner kick from the right wing was misjudged by Spain goalkeeper Sandra Paños and reached Megan Rapinoe on back left post. Her bicycle-kick attempt was pushed away by a recovering Paños as Julie Ertz crashed in looking to get her head on the ball, which slipped just past Rose Lavelle, who couldn’t react in time to stab home the loose ball at the right post.

The U.S. held the upper hand for the remainder of the half, carving out its best chances via crosses into the box, but the breakthrough did not come until the second half, when U.S. head coach introduced a trio of substitutes, including Press who fashioned the opening goal. Receiving the ball at midfield, Press turned one defender and headed directly for goal, sprinting past another before sending a shot from wide left of the goal toward the right post before it was knocked in by Spain defender Irene Paredes in the 54th minute.

From there, the U.S. looked the dominant team, creating numerous opportunities to extend its lead through Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh and Ertz, but needed only the single goal to secure the victory after a stout defensive performance buttressed by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s fine day in net when called upon.

Up Next: The WNT returns to the USA for the beginning of the eight-game, home portion of Countdown to the Cup. The opening match of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup vs. Japan at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. on Feb. 27 (7 p.m. ET; FS1). The U.S. will also face England on March 2 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. (4:30 p.m. ET; FOX) and Brazil on March 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (8 p.m. ET; FS1) during the SheBelieves Cup.

Social: Follow the #USWNT on Facebook; Twitter and Instagram.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Rose Lavelle), 54th:
The USA broke up a Spain attack at midfield and Rose Lavelle played the ball to Press near the center circle. She turned a defender and headed directly toward goal, then sprinted past a second defender and clipping a low shot from wide left of the goal toward the right post. Before the ball could reach the line, Spain defender Irene Paredes attempted to clear it but ended up putting it into her own goal. USA 1, ESP 0 [WATCH] FINAL

Additional Notes:

  • Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN); a 34-game span. Tonight’s goal marked the USA’s 30th consecutive match scoring a goal.
  • Alyssa Naeher earned her 41st career cap tonight. She has 22 career shutouts and is the fifth goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 30 or more caps.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn earned her 151st cap tonight. She is now the 20th player – and only the third who has played exclusively as a defender – to feature 150 times for the U.S. WNT.
  • Julie Ertz, who did not dress for the match vs. France, made her 74th international appearance tonight. She has scored 18 international goals.
  • Rose Lavelle, who also did not dress for the game vs. France, made her first start and appearance of this year. It was cap No. 21 for Lavelle, who has scored six international goals.
  • Tobin Heath is another player who did not dress vs. France but took the field vs. Spain to make her 143rd international appearance for the USA. In 2018, Heath scored seven goals in only 10 appearances.
  • Megan Rapinoe captained the USA tonight. Rapinoe, who did not suit up vs. France, earned her 146th cap for the U.S WNT. She was the team-leader in assist last year with 12.

– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Spain
Date: January 22, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Estadio José Rico Pérez; Alicante, Spain
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET (8:30 p.m. local)
Attendance: 9,182
Weather: 52 degrees, partly cloudy

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

USA – Christen Press (Rose Lavelle)          54th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Emily Sonnett (12-Tierna Davidson, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz (25-McCall Zerboni, 69), 9-Lindsey Horan (11-Mallory Pugh, 46), 16-Rose Lavelle (3-Sam Mewis, 76); 17-Tobin Heath (20-Jessica McDonald, 60), 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 46)
Substitutes not used: 10-Carli Lloyd, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 27-Andi Sullivan
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

ESP: 13-Sandra Paños; 8-Marta Torrejón (capt.) (7-Marta Corredera, 65), 4-Irene Paredes, 20-Andrea Pereira, 16-Mapi León; 6-Vicky Losada (21-Andrea Sánchez Falcón, 60), 15-Silvia Meseguer, 11-Alexia Putellas; 9-Mariona Caldentey (18-Aitana Bonmatí, 73), 10-Jennifer Hermoso (22-Nahikari García, 79), 19-Amanda Sampedro (17-Lucía García, 73)
Substitutes not used: 1-Lola Gallardo, 23-Sun Quiñones, 5-Ivana Andrés, 3-Leila Ouahabi, 2-Celia Jiménez, 12-Marta Carro, 25-Ángela Sosa, 24-Alba Redondo
Head Coach: Jorge Vilda

Stats Summary: USA / ESP
Shots: 9 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 2
Saves: 2 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 17 / 8
Offside: 6 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
ESP – Silvia Meseguer (caution)  74th minute

Officials:
Referee: Stéphanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Solenne Bartnik (FRA)
Fourth official: Victoria Beyer (FRA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Christen Press

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WNT Jan 22, 2019
US Soccer

Berhalter Selects Final 23-Player Travel Roster for U.S. MNT Matches Against Panama and Costa Rica

CHICAGO (Jan. 22, 2019) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has selected the final 23-player travel roster that will prepare to face regional foes Panama and Costa Rica in the team’s opening matches of 2019.

The MNT hosts Panama on Jan. 27 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMás, UDN). The USA then closes its annual January Camp with a match against Costa Rica on Feb. 2 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (3:30 p.m. ET; FOX, UniMás, UDN). Fans can follow both matches on U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_mnt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_mnt) accounts.

A total of 28 players gathered on Jan. 7 at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., for the annual January Camp. The delegation travels to the Phoenix area this afternoon to begin final preparations ahead of the Panama match.

“We’ve had a great two weeks in Chula Vista focusing on building team culture, style of play and competing every day,” Berhalter said. “The entire group has worked hard and brought an excellent mindset, and we thank them for the consistent effort thus far. We look forward to continuing to build on these ideas in Phoenix and measure our progress in the game against Panama.”

DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 4/1)  

MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 17/2), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 142/17), Russell Canouse (D.C. United; 0/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 6/0), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 5/1), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 5/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 11/0)

FORWARDS (3): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers, 0/0), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 40/6)

Four players were released back to their clubs: goalkeepers Alex Bono and Tyler Miller, defender Justen Glad and midfielder Kellyn Acosta.

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MNT Jan 22, 2019
US Soccer

Lineup Notes: A New Challenge, USA Faces Spain in Alicante

USA vs. SPAIN
Date: Jan. 22, 2019
Venue: Estadio José Rico Pérez
Broadcast: ESPN2, UDN
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET

Starting XI vs. Spain: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 9-Lindsey Horan, 16-Rose Lavelle; 17-Tobin Heath, 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.)

Subs: 3-Samantha Mewis, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Mallory Pugh, 12-Tierna Davidson, 20-Jessica McDonald, 23-Christen Press, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 25-McCall Zerboni, 27-Andi Sullivan

Starting Lineup

  • Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 34-game span.
  • Several players who were precautionarily unavailable against France on Jan. 19 due to minor injuries are back in the lineup.
  • Alyssa Naeher will earn her 41st career cap tonight. She has 21 career shutouts and is the fifth goalkeeper in U.S. history to earn 30 or more caps.
  • Emily Sonnett will earn cap No. 28 today.
  • Abby Dahlkemper will earn her 32nd cap tonight. She played all 90 minutes in Saturday’s match vs. France in Le Havre on Jan. 19.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn will earn her 151st cap tonight. She is now the 20th player, and just the third player who has played exclusively defender, to play 150 times for the U.S. WNT.
  • Crystal Dunn will earn her 77th WNT cap tonight. After starting in the midfield vs. France on Jan. 19, she will start in the back line tonight.
  • Julie Ertz, who did not dress for the match vs. France, is making her 74th international appearance tonight. She has scored 18 career goals.
  • Lindsey Horan scored three goals in 2018 and had eight assists, second-most on the team. She is making her 64rd international appearance with the WNT tonight after playing 84 minutes vs. France on Jan. 19.
  • Rose Lavelle, who also did not dress for the game vs. France, makes her first start and appearance of this year. It will cap No. 21 for Lavelle, who has scored six career goals.
  • Tobin Heath is another player who did not dress vs. France but will take the field vs. Spain to make her 143rd international appearance for the USA. In 2018, Heath scored 7 goals in only 10 appearances.
  • Alex Morgan scored 18 goals in 2018 and now has 98 career goals in 154 caps. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal list. Morgan has scored 25 goals over her last 27 WNT matches, a span that runs from the end of 2017. The 25 goals have included six braces and one hat trick. Morgan will earn cap No. 155 today tying Michelle Akers for 17th all-time in caps.
  • Captaining the USA tonight is Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe, who did not suit up vs. France, earns her 146th cap for the U.S WNT. She was the team-leader in assist last year, earning 12 in 2018.
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WNT Jan 22, 2019

Familiar Faces: Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris Stop by January Camp

As the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Team January Camp progresses, the group welcomed two familiar faces to Chula Vista during the weekend. Veteran forwards Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris were invited to visit the Elite Athlete Training Center to get their first taste of this new era of the National Team.

“I was invited by Gregg Berhalter to come observe the group and kind of be a fly on the wall along with Jordan,” Altidore told ussoccer.com “I’m honored to be here. I’m always honored to take part in anything when it comes to the National Team. I’m just excited to be out here and around the guys again.”

“The energy level for the few days I’ve been here has been really high,” Morris added. “The guys are buying into everything the new coaching staff has been bringing and it’s a really exciting time. I’m grateful to be out here and to the coaching staff for letting me come and hang out for a few days.”

Morris was part of the January Camp group last year and played the full 90 minutes against Bosnia and Herzegovina before returning to Seattle Sounders FC ahead of the club’s busy 2018 schedule. Less than a month later, his outlook for the year took an unfortunate turn in Seattle’s first competitive match, tearing his ACL late in a first leg Concacaf Champions League tie on Feb. 22. against Salvadoran side Santa Tecla.

Just like that, his season with Seattle was over the day it started. Surgery was required and a long road to recovery ensued. Months of rehab have put him close to being re-integrated back on the training field for the club, and he hopes soon again for the National Team.

“It’s been a long year. It’s been tough,” Morris said. “You don’t realize how much you can miss the game until you’re off the field [for that long]. It’s been a long year, but I’m excited to be back. It’s been a lot of rehab the last year, getting in the gym, making my quad stronger and trying to rehab the knee. I’m coming up on the end of the recovery process now, which is exciting.”

Away from the National Team in 2018, Altidore had a mix of fortunes with Toronto FC last season. A foot injury required surgery and forced him to miss a bulk of matches at midseason, while and an ankle ailment kept him out of the Reds’ final three games, but he still managed to register 13 goals and two assists in 24 competitive matches.

Like Morris, the 29-year-old forward with 110 caps to his name says he’s also “on the comeback train,” and as a true veteran in the group now ready to help any way he can. He’s been encouraged at the snapshot he’s seen of camp and the new wave of players that have made in-road with the MNT the past year.

“Everybody seems really excited and enjoying themselves,” Altidore added. “They really seem like they’re getting after it. Everything looks really organized and tailor made to the players, which is awesome to see. I’m excited to have the chance to be out here around the group.”

“I don’t remember seeing that many young guys that are playing in good clubs in Europe, good clubs in MLS, coming through the ranks and getting minutes with the National Team. I’m excited to watch these guys grow. I’ll hopefully be a part of it any way that I can. I think the future is very bright.”

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MNT Jan 21, 2019
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