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.”Read more
PREVIEW: WNT & Spain Face Each Other for First Time in History | Tuesday, Jan. 22 | 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & UDN
The USA is coming off a 3-1 loss to 2019 Women’s World Cup hosts France on January 19 in Le Havre and will now look to get back to its winning ways when it faces Spain on Jan. 22 at Estadio José Rico Perez in Alicante (2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & UDN). Spain will also be in France this summer after qualifying for its second Women’s World Cup.
A less than full-strength U.S. side faced a very talented and athletic France team in front of 22,870 last Saturday night. It was the USA’s first loss in 29 matches dating back to the summer of 2017. Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup in March of that year, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 34-game span.
U.S. WNT ROSTER BY POSITION: FRANCE & SPAIN 2019 (CAPS/GOALS)
(Houston Dash; 3/0); 21-
(Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24-
(Orlando Pride; 19/0), 1-
(Chicago Red Stars; 39/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 31/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 13/1); 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 76/24), 26- Emily Fox (UNC; 3/0), 5- Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2); 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 150/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), 2- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 27/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 82/6), 22- Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 63/7), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 42/8), 27- Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 7/0)
FORWARDS (7): 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25); 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 266/105), 20- Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 4/1), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 154/98), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 107/46), 11- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 44/13), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)
USA vs. Spain: This meeting will mark the first between the teams at the senior level and will be the USA’s first match in Spain. The meeting with Spain will mark the 27th European country the USA has faced in its history. (Four of those countries no longer exist: West Germany, USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia).
100 Goals Watch: After scoring against Scotland on Nov. 13 to close out 2018, Alex Morgan – the 2018 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, now has 98 goals and at age 29 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 25 goals over her last 27 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and 2018. With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now tied with Michelle Akers in third place all-time in multi-goal games (26) behind Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38). She has 22 career two-goal games. Morgan has scored against 28 different countries and in 11 different countries, including 12 goals in Portugal – all at the Algarve Cup – and three in Scotland, two against France at Hampden Park in Glasgow during the 2012 Olympics, and one against Scotland on Nov. 13.
Countdown to the Cup: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the eighth consecutive World Cup appearance for the USA, which has appeared in each of the previous seven tournaments that have been contested and won in 1991, 1999 and 2015. The USA is one of six countries to qualify for all eight Women’s World Cups along with Brazil, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Nigeria. The tournament will be held from June 7-July 7 in nine cities in France. The USA’s Draw and placement in Group F gave the USA venues that are all within a two-hour drive of each other, with the opening game taking place in Reims, followed by Paris and then Le Havre. The “Countdown to the Cup” will take the WNT to all four times zones in the continental United States, giving fans across the country a chance to cheer the team on to France. FULL SCHEDULE HERE .
U.S. Soccer Federation and Volkswagen Announce Multi-Year Presenting Partnership: U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced a landmark, integrated partnership making Volkswagen the presenting automotive partner to the Federation through 2022 . As part of Volkswagen’s long-term commitment, the automobile maker will help U.S. Soccer with its mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States by increasing participation, developing world class players, coaches and referees, and increasing fan engagement around the sport. As part of the historic partnership, Volkswagen will have branding on training tops for all U.S. Soccer National Teams, including the Men’s and Women’s National Teams, all Youth National Teams and the Para 7-a-side, Beach and Futsal National Teams, and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
On Tuesday, Jan. 22 (2:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2 & UDN), the U.S. WNT will take on Spain for the first time in team history. The match will be played in Alicante, located on the central east coast of Spain. Here are Five Things to Know about this rising women’s soccer nation.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Lola Gallardo (Atlético de Madrid), Sandra Paños (FC Barcelona), Sun Quiñones (Real Sociedad)
DEFENDERS (8 ): Ivana Andrés (Levante UD), Marta Carro (Valencia Féminas FC), Celia Jiménez (Seattle Reign SC), Mapi León (FC Barcelona), Leila Ouahabi (FC Barcelona), Andrea Pereira (FC Barcelona), Irene Paredes (PSG), Marta Torrejón (FC Barcelona)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Aitana Bonmatí (FC Barcelona), Marta Corredera (Levante UD), Vicky Losada (FC Barcelona), Silvia Meseguer (Atlético de Madrid), Andrea Sánchez Falcón (Atlético de Madrid), Amanda Sampedro (Atlético de Madrid), Ángela Sosa (Atlético de Madrid), Virginia Torrecilla (Montpellier HSC)
FORWARDS (6): Mariona Caldentey (FC Barcelona), Lucía García (Athletic Club), Nahikari García (Real Sociedad), Jenni Hermoso (Atlético de Madrid), Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona), Alba Redondo (Fundación Albacete)
Spain is Off to France 2019
Spain qualified for France by easily winning UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group 7. It won all eight games against Austria, Finland, Serbia and Israel, outscoring its opponents 25-2 over the eight games. Star Spain striker Jenni Hermoso scored a team-leading seven goals in World Cup qualifying. She is far and away Spain’s top scorer on the roster with 25 career goals. Spain was drawn into perhaps the most competitive group at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and will face South Africa, Germany and China PR, in that order.
Spain, one of the rising women’s soccer nations in Europe, has a young roster with the oldest player being 29 and 17 players 25 or younger. While Spain is young, they are also experienced. They have seven players with 49 or more caps. The U.S. roster has 11 players that falls into that category. Spain opened its 2019 schedule on Jan. 17 in Cartagena, Spain, with a 1-1 draw against Belgium on a 64th minute goal from Alba Redondo. Belgium equalized off a header off a free kick in the 89th minute. Spain made six subs in the game, one of whom was Redondo, and had the majority of the attacking play during the match. Spain rested several of its top player against Belgium, including Hermoso.
U-17 Champions and U-20 Runner Ups
Spain, which is producing some fantastic young players, won the 2018 U-17 Women’s World Cup which was held in Uruguay under a female coach in Antonia Is. The historic triumph came just months after Spain’s U-20 WNT finished second to Japan in that U-20 Women’s World Cup that was held on August in France. One of Spain’s top players of that U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, Patricia Guijarro, was called up for the match vs. the USA but was replaced due to injury. One other player from the U-20 WWC runners-up is on the roster in forward Lucía García.
Spain’s coach, Jorge Vilda, was appointed after the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and has led a renewal for women’s soccer in the country, bringing in new players and new tactics. In 2017, Spain won the Algarve Cup and reached the last eight of the UEFA Women’s Euro while in 2018, Spain won the Cyprus Cup and qualified for its second Women’s World Cup. Vilda came from the youth ranks, coaching highly successful teams at the U-17 and U-19 levels for Spain before taking over the senior side.
LE HAVRE, France (Jan. 19, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its 10-game pre-2019 World Cup schedule with a 3-1 loss to tournament hosts, France at Stade Océane – one of the USA’s group stage venues for this summer’s competition – in front of raucous sold-out crowd of 23,000.
France’s Kadidiatou Diani put the hosts on the board early with a goal in the 9th minute, while the USA was able to get a few chances with Christen Press leading the way on the left wing.
In the second half, the USA came out determined and immediately began to get into France’s final third, with a good chance coming around the 50th minute mark. In the 56th however, Diani showed off some excellent individual play and netted her second of the match for the 2-0 France advantage. France’s 20-year-old Marie-Antoinette Katoto added a third in the final minutes of regulation before Mallory Pugh finished off a good passing sequence with a well-taken shot across the face of goal into the lower right corner in second half stoppage time.
Up Next: The U.S. travels to the southern tip of the Iberian penninsula to face Spain in Alicante on January 22 (2:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2 & UDN) at Estadio José Rico Pérez. The match will be the first in history between the teams.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Delphine Cascarino), 9th: The USA turned the ball over in its attacking third and France sprung a counter attack down the right side as Delphine Cascarino sprinted past Emily Fox to win the ball and took it to the end line before cutting it back in the box for Diani. She bodied off a U.S. defender as she collected the ball and then hit a low shot into the lower left corner from nine yards out for the early lead. USA 0, FRA 1
FRA – Kadidiatou Diani (Marion Torrent), 56th: France doubled its advantage on a nice bit of individual play from Diani, who ran onto a ball in the right side of the U.S. penalty area and sent a deft chip over U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, dropping it into the net just inside the right post. USA 0, FRA 2
FRA – Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Élise Bussaglia), 78th: With the U.S. pushing forward trying to pull a game back, France’s 20-year old young star got behind the U.S. back line on left side, dribbled around Naeher and rolled the ball to the back of the net from a tight angle. USA 0, FRA 3.
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd), 90+1: The U.S. put together a flowing move beginning with a pass out of the back that Jessica McDonald one-touched to Carli Lloyd, who spotted the early run of Pugh and hit a quick chip over the France defense. Pugh out-worked a defender to collect Lloyd’s pass and rifle a low shot from the left side of the box across the face of goal and into the lower right corner. USA 1, FRA 3 [WATCH] FINAL
- Tonight marked the first loss for the USA in 28 games. The U.S. hadn’t lost a game since July 2017 when it lost 1-0 to Australia.
- Several U.S. players were precautionarily unavailable today: Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Casey Short, and Julie Ertz due to minor injuries, while Kelley O'Hara is still returning from ankle surgery, but not yet game ready.
- Tierna Davidson made her first appearance for the USA since Sept. 4, 2018. Davidson broke her ankle early in the season while playing with Stanford and was out for the remainder of the year.
- The USA’s record vs. France now stands at 17-3-3.
USA vs. FRANCE
Date: Jan. 19, 2019
Venue: Stade Ocèane; Le Havre, France
Broadcast: FS1, UDN
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. ET
Starting XI vs. France: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 2-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 26-Emily Fox; 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 19-Crystal Dunn; 11-Mallory Pugh, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 23-Christen Press
Subs: 3- Samantha Mewis, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Tierna Davidson, 16-Rose Lavelle, 20-Jessica McDonald, 21-Adrianna Franch, 22-Danielle Colaprico, 25-McCall Zerboni, 27-Andi Sullivan
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 28 matches (25-0-3) and has averaged 3.3 goals per game, outscoring its opponents 93-17 over those 28 matches while scoring in all 28 games.
- Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in just one game (vs. Australia at the 2017 ToN). That’s a 33-game span.
- Alyssa Naeher will earn her 40th 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 27 today.
- Abby Dahlkemper will earn her 31st cap tonight. She played in 17 of the USA’s 20 games of 2018.
- Becky Sauerbrunn will earn her 150th cap tonight. She becomes the 20th player, and just the third player who has played exclusively defender, to play 150 times for the U.S. WNT.
- Emily Fox will earn her third cap today after making her debut vs. Portugal on Nov. 8. She is the 26th player to be capped under head coach Jill Ellis. Fox, who has started in all three of her caps so far, is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina.
- Morgan Brian earns career cap No. 82 today at just 25-years-old.
- Lindsey Horan scored three goals in 2018 and had eight assists, second-most on the team. She is making her 63rd international appearance with the WNT.
- Crystal Dunn will earn cap No. 76 today.
- Still 20-years-old, Mallory Pugh will earn her 44th career cap today. She scored six goals in 2018 and had three assists. In her career she has scored 12 goals – most recently vs. Chile on Sept. 4 – and has earned 14 assists.
- Alex Morgan scored 18 goals in 2018 and now has 98 career goals in 153 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 26 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. 154 today and is one away from tying Michelle Akers (155) for 17th all-time in caps.
- Christen Press will earn her 107th cap tonight. She has scored 46 career goals after scoring vs. Panama on Oct. 7 and is now in 13th place on the all-time WNT goals list. She averages 0.43 goals per game and 0.76 goals per every 90 minutes she's on the field.