U.S. Soccer
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Altidore Scores Late Winner to Lift USA Past Canada in Second Game of 2016

CARSON, Calif. (Feb. 5, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team grabbed a deserved late goal by Jozy Altidore to win its second match of 2016, 1-0, against Canada at StubHub Center.

The U.S. knocked on the door throughout the match but was unable to breach a compact Canada defense that was backed up by a strong effort in goal by Maxime Crepeau. But, in the final minute of regulation, Ethan Finlay, who had just entered the match as a substitute for Jordan Morris barely a minute earlier, served in a cross to Altidore who buried a headed shot for his 33rd international strike that delivered a second straight win for the U.S. to open what is set to be an important year.

The MNT will continue its 2016 slate in March when World Cup Qualifying resumes against Guatemala. The teams meet twice in quick succession, first on March 25 at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala (beIN Sport, NBC Universo), before returning for the home leg on March 29 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Jozy Altidore (Ethan Finaly), 89th minute: After going close to scoring minutes earlier on a free kick from just outside the Canada box, Jozy Altidore scored his 33rd international goal with a well-taken header. Ethan Finlay, getting his first touch of the game after coming on as a sub only a minute earlier, swept in a cross to the back left post of the Canada goal where Altidore split the Canada center backs to head his shot back across the face of goal and into the far side netting for the match winner. USA 1, CAN 0 FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CAN – Maxime Crepeau, 21st minute–
During a spell of high U.S. pressure, Crepeau did well to close down an angled drive from MNT attacker Gyasi Zardes, who got on the end of a Jordan Morris through ball at the top of the Canada penalty area after some good build-up play from the USA.

CAN – Maxime Crepeau, 25th minute – A Michael Bradley corner kick to the far end of Canada’s six-yard box was met by Steve Birnbaum who was looking for his second headed goal from the foot of Bradley in as many games, but his powerful header was sent right into the waiting arms of Crepeau in the center of the goal mouth.

CAN – Maxime Crepeau, 55th minute – Jozy Altidore picked up the ball 30 yards from the Canada goal and charged across the top of the box before turning the corner past two defenders to open up space for a stinging drive on target, but Crepeau was wise to move out from his goal to cut down the angle and parry the shot back out of the penalty area. Moments later, Crepeau was called on to tip a Michael Bradley attempt over the cross bar as it sailed toward the ‘keeper's back left post.

CAN – Maxime Crepeau, 71st minute – A good U.S. build-up worked the ball to Altidore’s feet in the Canada box. The American forward was able to find his strike partner on the night, Jordan Morris, who passed the ball into the path of his former Stanford teammate Brandon Vincent in the left channel. Vincent snapped a shot toward the near left post that Crepeau was able to make a kick-save on to keep the game scoreless.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT resumes World Cup Qualifying with a home-and-away series against Guatemala in March. The first match comes on March 25 at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala (beIN Sport, NBC Universo), before the teams return to the U.S. on March 29 for a game at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN).
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Milestone Watch:

  • Forward Jozy Altidore’s 89th minute goal gave him 33 for his international career and pushed him within one strike of tying Eric Wynalda (34) for third on the MNT’s all-time goals scored list.
  • Ethan Finlay, in his second cap, recorded his first point for the MNT with his assist on Altidore’s goal.
  • Recent college graduate and teammate of Jordan Morris at Stanford University, Brandon Vincent made his international debut for the USA, coming on at half time for Kellyn Acosta.
  • Goalkeeper David Bingham made his MNT debut. He is the fifth player in the January camp to earn his first cap and the seventh different goalkeeper to appear for the MNT since Feb. 8, 2015. (Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, Luis Robles, Sean Johnson, William Yarbrough).
  • With today’s win, Jurgen Klinsmann now has 45 career MNT victories; he is behind only Bruce Arena (71) on the USA’s all-time list.

Additional Notes:

  • The MNT is now 11-2-2 all-time at StubHub Center, outscoring its opponents 35-11.
  • The USA is now 14-8-11 all-time vs. Canada, including a 11-1-9 mark in matches played in the U.S. The U.S. has not lost to Canada on home soil in more than half a century, with the last loss coming by a 3-2 scoreline in a 1957 World Cup Qualifying match in St. Louis.
  • With his start, Gyasi Zardes has appeared in 21 of the last 22 MNT matches dating back to January 2015. Michael Bradley has the second most appearances in that stretch with 20, including tonight’s game.
  • Jozy Altidore, Jermaine Jones and Zardes have the longest active consecutive games played streak. Each has started the last eight games. The last time none of the three appeared for the MNT was on July 25, 2015, against Panama.
  • Jones made his first start at centerback since Feb. 8, 2015. He started both of the first two matches of 2015 in the center of the defense.
  • Mix Diskerud made his first start since July 10, 2015. Since then, he made four appearances off the bench. His last match was on Oct. 13, 2015, when he entered at halftime against Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena.
  • Steve Birnbaum returned to the right back role he filled in his debut for the MNT a year ago when the U.S. lost 3-2 to eventual 2015 Copa America champion Chile in Santiago.
  • All five players in camp from the 2014 FIFA World Cup team were in the starting XI: Altidore, Matt Belser, Bradley, Jones and Diskerud.
  • Kellyn Acosta, Birnbaum, Jordan Morris and Lee Nguyen made their second career starts for the MNT.
  • Acosta and Nguyen made their first starts against Iceland (it was also Acosta’s MNT debut); Morris’ only previous start in eight appearances was on April 15, 2015 in a 2-0 win over Mexico in San Antonio. Birnbaum, who assisted and scored off the bench against Iceland, made his first start on Jan. 29, 2015 in Chile.
  • Ten players representing nine different MLS clubs are on the starting XI: D.C., S.J., SKC, DAL, LA, TOR, NYCFC, NE, SEA.
  • MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded a starting back line of Steve Birnbaum at right back, Jermaine Jones and Matt Besler in the center of defense and 20-year-old Kellyn Acosta at left back.
  • The USA’s starting midfield was comprised of Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley in the middle of the park with Gyasi Zardes on the right and Lee Nguyen on the left. Jozy Altidore led the forward line up top with Jordan Morris partnering him in attack.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 5, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. PT
Attendance: 9,274
Weather: 63 degrees, clear

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

USA – Jozy Altidore (Ethan Finlay) 89th minute

Lineups:
USA: 22-David Bingham; 15-Steve Birnbaum, 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler, 14-Kellyn Acosta (21-Brandon Vincent, 46); 9-Gyasi Zardes (18-Jerome Kiesewetter, 61), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 10-Mix Diskerud (20-Wil Trapp, 77), 16-Lee Nguyen (6-Darlington Nagbe, 61); 8-Jordan Morris (7-Ethan Finlay, 88), 17-Jozy Altidore (23-Perry Kitchen, 90+2)
Subs Not Used:1-Sean Johnson, 2-Eric Miller, 11-Khiry Shelton, 24-Matt Polster, 25-Tony Tchani, 26-Tim Parker
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

CAN: 1-Maxime Crepeau; 2-Nik Ledgerwood, (5-Doneil Henry, 46), 4-Adam Straith, 6-Julian de Guzman (capt.), 8-Will Johnson, 9-Cyle Larin (3-Samuel Adekugbe, 78), 12-Wandrille Lefevre (10-Kyle Bekker, 46), 15-Steven Vitoria, 16-Kianz Froese (11-Issey Nakajima-Farran, 46), 17-Marcel De Jong (13-Jamar Dixon, 85), 23-Tesho Akindele (7-Iain Hume, 72)
Subs Not Used: 14-Marco Bustos, 18-Tyson Farago, 19-Caleb Clarke, 20-Karl Ouimette, 21-Mallan Roberts, 22-Callum Irving
Head coach: Benito Floro

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 17 / 4
Shots on Goal: 8 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Matt Besler (caution)                 42nd minute
CAN – Doneil Henry (caution)                79

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Bermudez (SLV)
4th Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Steve Birnbaum

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MNT Feb 6, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 5, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. PT
Attendance: 9,274
Weather: 63 degrees, clear

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

USA – Jozy Altidore (Ethan Finlay)         89th minute

Lineups:
USA: 22-David Bingham; 15-Steve Birnbaum, 13-Jermaine Jones, 5-Matt Besler, 14-Kellyn Acosta (21-Brandon Vincent, 46); 9-Gyasi Zardes (18-Jerome Kiesewetter, 61), 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 10-Mix Diskerud (20-Wil Trapp, 77), 16-Lee Nguyen (6-Darlington Nagbe, 61); 8-Jordan Morris (7-Ethan Finlay, 88), 17-Jozy Altidore (23-Perry Kitchen, 90+2)
Subs Not Used:1-Sean Johnson, 2-Eric Miller, 11-Khiry Shelton, 12-Luis Robles, 24-Matt Polster, 25-Tony Tchani, 26-Tim Parker
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

CAN: 1-Maxime Crepeau; 2-Nik Ledgerwood, (5-Doneil Henry, 46), 4-Adam Straith, 6-Julian de Guzman (capt.), 8-Will Johnson, 9-Cyle Larin (3-Samuel Adekugbe, 78), 12-Wandrille Lefevre (10-Kyle Bekker, 46), 15-Steven Vitoria, 16-Kianz Froese (11-Issey Nakajima-Farran, 46), 17-Marcel De Jong (13-Jamar Dixon, 85), 23-Tesho Akindele (7-Iain Hume, 72)
Subs Not Used: 14-Marco Bustos, 18-Tyson Farago, 19-Caleb Clarke, 20-Karl Ouimette, 21-Mallan Roberts, 22-Callum Irving
Head coach: Benito Floro

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 17 / 4
Shots on Goal: 8 / 0
Saves:  0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 4 / 4
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Matt Besler
(caution)                         42nd minute
CAN – Doneil Henry (caution)                       79

Officials:
Referee: Marlon Mejia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Bermudez (SLV)
4th Official: Jair Marrufo (USA)

Budweiser Man of the Match: TBD

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Q&A Pt. 2: Klinsmann Discusses the Benefits of Mixed January Camp Roster

The U.S. recently completed its annual January Camp, which this year took on a different flavor as a combination of senior team players and U-23s who are each preparing for important qualifiers in March. Following consecutive victories against Iceland and Canada, ussoccer.com spoke with MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann about his takeaways from the four weeks in Los Angeles. In the second half of a two-part Q&A with the MNT boss, Klinsmann discusses the importance and effects of selecting a camp roster that blended senior and U-23 age players, how roster factored into the squad selection for both friendlies, and  finally the long-term outlook at the goalkeeper position.

ussoccer.com: Going into this camp, you said the primary goals were “identification and development.” Were you able to achieve those?

Jurgen Klinsmann: “I think we achieved the goals. We looked after the Olympic team, preparing them toward the Olympic Qualifiers at the end of March, and also got them closer to the Senior Team. I think having these two groups both together and feeding off each other really worked out well. I think it gave the younger players a real boost of confidence, of understanding of how it really works with the experienced guys. Obviously they struggled a bit in the beginning because the level, the tempo, the intensity is more than they are used to. So they adjusted then, and after a week to 10 days into camp, it really got into a flow and was very smooth. The spirit and atmosphere of the camp was very positive because everybody was looking after each other.”

ussoccer.com: With so many U-23 players in camp, you also said that you hoped to see the senior team players taking on a mentoring role. How did that play out?

JK: “We think that the older players really took care of the younger ones. I think that the younger players, after the first couple of days, really opened up and started to ask questions. The experienced guys, like Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Jermaine Jones, Jozy [Altidore] … these guys really embraced that role and just helped them everywhere they could. The feedback I received from a lot of the players, it was really very positive.”

ussoccer.com: There was a solid core of the U-23 group in camp that is getting ready for the Olympic Qualifiers in March. How important was it for them to work with [U-23 head coach] Andi Herzog for almost a month?

JK: “This is our big wish that Andi Herzog really benefits now from this camp in terms of his Under-23 players because that opportunity to have those two playoff games with Colombia and then hopefully go into Rio de Janeiro is just so big. We really hope that all the work we put in now these four weeks for these younger players will eventually pay off in the qualifiers with Colombia.”

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MNT Feb 10, 2016

Q&A Pt. 1: Klinsmann Reflects on Successful January Camp and Sets the Table for 2016

The U.S. recently completed its annual January Camp, which this year took on a different flavor as a combination of senior team players and U-23s who are each preparing for important qualifiers in March. Following consecutive victories against Iceland and Canada, ussoccer.com spoke with MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann about his takeaways from the four weeks in Los Angeles. In the opening half of a two-part Q&A with the MNT boss, Klinsmann expounded on which players stood out, and how the camp and friendly wins set the table for 2016.

ussoccer.com: After four weeks, no injuries, and two wins to start the year, what were you most satisfied with from the camp?

Jurgen Klinsmann: “I’m definitely most satisfied with the spirit of the group, the willingness to work hard, helping each other on the field in many, many training sessions, and off the field where they are looking after each other.  Obviously in January camp, traditionally we look for new faces so we find maybe the next special talent around the block, and I think we got great feedback from the players. None of the players really was at a disadvantage or put himself in a disadvantage. They all did well. We had a couple surprises. I would say Kellyn Acosta certainly. We were impressed by his level of maturity for an Under-23 player. Brandon Vincent as well. Lee Nguyen, as we discussed many times, came in very well prepared. Steve Birnbaum became a difference maker in both games. Obviously we are pleased with the leadership of the older guys - that was awesome. We constantly hope now that this helps - especially the younger players - to kind of step it up more and more, to bring out more and more personality in the game and not just go with the flow with what you’re used to in your club environment. Do more than anybody else. This is our key message. So we were very pleased with every one of them.”

ussoccer.com: You mentioned Steve Birnbaum. What stood out from his performances?

JK: “He was a difference maker against Iceland with his assist to Michael Orozco’s goal, and then obviously scoring the winning goal, and I think he had an outstanding game against Canada. He had to play at right back suddenly because there was no real option at that moment, and the way he kind of intercepted so many balls, cleaned them up and connected them cleanly with midfielders or even strikers was important. We talked the last couple of days about wanting to keep the ball on the ground, get it into the feet of people so it’s not bouncing all over the place, and he was outstanding from that side. He also kept the backline really safe. No matter who hits a ball over the backline, Steve was there to clean it up, and that’s what he really did outstanding. He raised a level of aggressiveness in one-against-one battles; that was one thing we wanted to see more against Canada because we missed that a little bit in some one-on-one situations against Iceland. I said, “Guys, you know we’ve got to be physical. It’s part of the game.” He took that on 100 percent, and I think he won every one-against-one situation throughout the game.”

ussoccer.com: Virtually all of the players on the roster were from MLS clubs. How beneficial will this be for them as they move into the league season?

JK: “I think it’s big. It’s big that they really have a feeling now that they gained a lot of fitness. They gained a strong foundation going into preseason. Obviously it puts them ahead of the curve once they go now into their club environment. They are already kind of used to going full speed. It’s huge.”


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MNT Feb 9, 2016

MNT By the Numbers: January Camp

The U.S. MNT recently finished its annual January Camp with back-to-back last-minute wins over Iceland and Canada. Look back at the most notable numbers from camp:

2,394 – Number of days since Luis Robles’ last start with the MNT prior to Jan. 31 against Iceland

90 – Steve Birnbaum scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute against Iceland

89 – Jozy Altidore scored the game-winning goal in the 89th minute against Canada

45 – Career wins for Jurgen Klinsmann following the two victories, putting him second all-time among MNT coaches

33 – Altidore’s career goal count for the U.S., putting him one behind Eric Wynalda for third on the scoring list. Altidore reached that mark in 91 caps, the fastest of any MNT player.

22 – Players on the match-day rosters who suit for clubs in MLS

20 – Michael Bradley’s career assist total for the USA, which ranks third all-time behind Landon Donovan and Cobi Jones

20 – Age of Kellyn Acosta, the youngest player on the roster. He earned his first two caps by starting both victories to open the USA’s 2016 slate

8 – Consecutive games started by Altidore, Jermaine Jones and Gyasi Zardes, the longest current streak among MNT players

6 – Players who earned their first cap (Acosta, David Bingham, Ethan Finlay, Jerome Kiesewetter, Tony Tchani and Brandon Vincent)

5 – The highest number of U-23 MNT players to appear in either of the year opening matches

4 – Goals scored by the USA

2 – Goals scored by Altidore

1 – First career international assist for Ethan Finlay, posted in his second cap

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MNT Feb 9, 2016

Gallery: MNT Tops Canada in 89th Minute

The U.S. Men’s National Team grabbed a deserved late goal by Jozy Altidore to win its second match of 2016, 1-0, against Canada at StubHub Center.

The MNT will continue its 2016 slate in March when World Cup Qualifying resumes against Guatemala. The teams meet twice in quick succession, first on March 25 at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala (beIN Sport, NBC Universo), before returning for the home leg on March 29 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN).

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MNT Feb 7, 2016
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