US Soccer

U-23 MNT Falls to England 1-0 in Olympic Qualifying Warmup

The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team began its camp in England with a narrow 1-0 defeat against England at Deepdale Stadium in Preston, England. 

A hard fought defensive effort was spoiled when England’s winning goal came after the Young Lions played a quick free kick and beat the recovering U.S. defense down the left side.

England a strong attack, bolstered by a number of Premier League regulars, but for most of the match the U.S. defenders proved equal to their counterparts.

The U.S. offense responded with a handful of strong attacks, with its best chance coming on a blast from Mario Rodriguez that England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford finger-tip saved on a dive.

The U-23’s will conclude their final camp before the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament when they play Qatar at Gigg Lane in Bury, England on sept. 8. 

Game Notes:

  • Emerson Hyndman, Zack Steffen, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Rubio Rubin and Matt Miazga, who each participated in the 2015 U-20 World Cup for the U.S., made appearances for the U-23’s in tonight’s match.
  • Shane O’Neill made the start as captain.
  • Gboly Ariyibi, Matt Polster, Eric Miller, Steffen, Miazga, Carter-Vickers, Hyndman and Wil Trapp made their first appearances with the U-23’s in 2015.

-U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: United States U-23 vs. England U-21
Date: September 3, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Deepdale Stadium; Preston, England
Kickoff: 2:40 p.m. ET (7:40 p.m. Local)
Weather: 55 degrees cloudy

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

ENG-James Wilson                72nd minute

USA: 1-Cody Cropper (12-Zack Steffen, 46); 3-Boyd Okwuonu (20-Oscar Sorto, 61), 19-Matt Miazga, 4-Shane O’Neill (capt.) (2-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 62), 15-Eric Miller (7-Dillon Serna, 86); 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 8-Emerson Hyndman (21-Matt Polster, 63), 6-Wil Trapp, 13-Marc Pelosi (9-Gboly Ariyibi, 86) 18-Mario Rodriguez (23-Rubio Rubin, 63), 11-Alonso Hernandez (10-Luis Gil, 61)
Subs Not Used: 14-Benji Joya, 5-Will Packwood, 24-Maki Tall
Head Coach: Andi Herzog

ENG: 1-Jordan Pickford (13-Angus Gunn, 61); 2-Joe Gomez (12-Dominic Iorfa, 61), 5-Calum Chambers, 6-Eric Dier (15-Jack Stephens, 61), 3-Matt Targett (14-Kortney Hause, 61), 4-Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 8-James Ward Prowse (16-Nathaniel Chalobah, 61), 7-Jordon Ibe (19-Duncan Watmore, 61), 10-Dele Alli (10-Jake Foster-Caskey); 11-Nathan Redmond (Solly March, 61), 9-Cauley Woodrow (20-James Wilson, 61)
Subs Not Used: None
Head Coach: Gareth Southgate

Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 3 / 14
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 13
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
Mario Rodriguez (caution)      18th minute           

Referee                       Alan Mario San (MLT
Referee 2                    Roberto Vella (MLT)
Referee 3                    Luke Portelli (MLT)
4th official                   Steve Martin (ENG)

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U-23 MNT Sep 3, 2015

-U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: United States U-23 vs. England U-21
Date: September 3, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Deepdale Stadium; Preston, England
Kickoff: 2:40 p.m. ET (7:40 p.m. Local)
Weather: 55 Degrees; Cloudy

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

ENG-James Wilson                72nd minute

USA: 1-Cody Cropper (12-Zack Steffen, 46); 3-Boyd Okwuonu (20-Oscar Sorto, 61), 19-Matt Miazga, 4-Shane O’Neill (capt.) (2-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 62), 15-Eric Miller (7-Dillon Serna, 86); 17-Jerome Kiesewetter, 8-Emerson Hyndman (21-Matt Polster, 63), 6-Wil Trapp, 13-Marc Pelosi (9-Gboly Ariyibi, 86) 18-Mario Rodriguez (23-Rubio Rubin, 63), 11-Alonso Hernandez (10-Luis Gil, 61)
Subs Not Used: 14-Benji Joya, 5-Will Packwood, 24-Maki Tall
Head Coach: Andi Herzog

ENG: 1-Jordan Pickford (13-Angus Gunn, 61); 2-Joe Gomez (12-Dominic Iorfa, 61), 5-Calum Chambers, 6-Eric Dier (15-Jack Stephens, 61), 3-Matt Targett (14-Kortney Hause, 61), 4-Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 8-James Ward Prowse (16-Nathaniel Chalobah, 61), 7-Jordon Ibe (19-Duncan Watmore, 61), 10-Dele Alli (10-Jake Foster-Caskey); 11-Nathan Redmond (Solly March, 61), 9-Cauley Woodrow (20-James Wilson, 61)
Subs Not Used: None
Head Coach: Gareth Southgate

Stats Summary: USA / ENG
Shots: 3 / 14
Shots on Goal: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 6
Fouls: 16 / 13
Offside: 1 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
Mario Rodriguez (caution)      18th minute           

Referee                       Alan Mario San (MLT
Referee 2                    Roberto Vella (MLT)
Referee 3                    Luke Portelli (MLT)
4th official                   Steve Martin (ENG)

US Soccer

Snow Calls 24 Players to U-23 WNT Roster for 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational

CHICAGO (March 19, 2019) – U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow has named a 24-player roster for the 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational where the USA will face Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and the Chicago Red Stars in the four-team NWSL pre-season competition.

U.S. U-23 WNT Roster – 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Laurel Ivory (Virginia; Surfside, Fla.), Amanda McGlynn (Virginia Tech; Jacksonville, Fla.) 

DEFENDERS (8): Maycee Bell (NC Courage Academy; Wichita, Kan.), Schuyler Debree (Sparta Prague, CZE; Fair Haven, N.J.), Emily Fox (UNC; Chapel Hill, N.C.), Naomi Girma (Stanford; San Jose, Calif.), Meaghan Nally (Georgetown; Herndon, Va.), Kirsten Pavlisko (Florida State; Middleburg, Fla.), Kiara Pickett (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Kaleigh Riehl (Penn State; Fairfax Station, Va.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Savannah DeMelo (USC; Bellflower, Calif.), Emina Ekic (Louisville; Fairdale, Ky.), Channing Foster (Mississippi; Murray, Ky.), Jaelin Howell (Florida State; Windsor, Colo.), Jenna Nighswonger (Florida State; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Brianna Pinto (UNC; Durham, NC)      

FORWARDS (8): Paula Germino-Watnick (Georgetown; Chevy Chase, Md.), Penelope Hocking (USC; Anaheim, Calif.), Haley Hopkins (Vanderbilt; Newport Beach, Calif.), Catarina Macario (Stanford; San Diego, Calif.), Ashley Sanchez (UCLA; Monrovia, Calif.), Martha Thomas (Le Havre, FRA); Weston, Fla.), Ally Watt (Texas A&M; Colorado Springs, Colo.), Morgan Weaver (Washington State; University Place, Wash.)  

Snow named a roster that features 21 collegiate players, two players current playing professionally in Europe – Schuyler Debree (Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic) and Martha Thomas (Le Havre in France) -- and one U.S. Soccer Development Academy player in Maycee Bell, who is a member of the USA’s current Under-20 WNT player pool.

The roster includes two players from the 2018 NCAA Champion Florida State Seminoles in midfielder Jaelin Howell and defender Kirsten Pavlisko. The roster also features two players from runner-up University of North Carolina in midfielder Brianna Pinto and defender Emily Fox, who has recently seen significant training time with senior U.S. WNT and has earned three caps, two at the end of 2018 and one this year.

Three players from Stanford University were also called up, including 2018 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Catarina Macario, who scored all four of the USA’s goals at this tournament last year.

Two players from USC were called up in forward Penelope Hocking and midfielder Savannah DeMelo, who scored four times at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to lead the team.

Pinto, Howell, and UCLA forward Ashley Sanchez have also trained with the full National Team, but none are capped.

Ten players from the USA’s 2018 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup Team are on the roster and forward Ally Watt played in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea where she scored twice off the bench.

Howell, Pinto, Sanchez and Penn State defender Kaleigh Riehl (Sanchez and Riehl also played in PNG) are the only members of the roster with previous U-23 international caps. Reihl has three with one goal, that scored against Norway in 2017, and Howell has three with two goals, having scored against Norway and Sweden in 2017. Pinto has two U-23 caps and Sanchez has three.

The U.S. Under-23s are taking part in Thorns Spring Invitational for the third year in a row and all the matches will take place at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. The competition will take place over three matchdays, with an early game that has free admission and a later match featuring the Thorns that will be a ticketed event. Tickets for the matches featuring the Thorns are general admission. Individual tickets are on sale to the public online at www.thornsfc.com

The USA opens against Reign FC on Sunday, March 24 at 11:30 a.m. PT, while Portland will face Chicago at 5 p.m. PT. The second matchday on Wednesday, March 27, features Chicago vs. Reign FC at 1:30 p.m. PT and the USA taking on Portland at 7:30 p.m. PT. The U.S. finishes against the Red Stars on Saturday, March 30 at 1:30 p.m. PT and Portland wraps things up with rival Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. PT.

2019 Thorns Spring Invitational Schedule – Merlo Field, University of Portland

Sunday, March 24
Reign FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT                            11:30 a.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars      5 p.m. PT

Wednesday, March 27
Chicago Red Stars vs. Reign FC                       1:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 WNT           7:30 p.m. PT

Saturday, March 30
U.S. U-23 WNT vs. Chicago Red Stars             1:30 p.m. PT
Portland Thorns FC vs. Reign FC                     7:30 p.m. PT  

At last year’s Thorns Spring Invitational, Snow called in a roster of 23 collegiate players and one professional. The USA fell 2-1 to the Houston Dash, drew the Thorns 2-2 and took down the Red Stars 1-0.    

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U-23 WNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

2019 National Soccer Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

CHICAGO (March 20, 2019) - Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2019 elections. Voting has begun and runs through Monday, April 1 for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories. The results of the voting will be announced at a later date.

Players in their first year of eligibility include Shannon Boxx, Edson Buddle, Rachel Van Hollebeke, Lori Chalupny, Lauren Holiday, Kenny Cooper, Todd Dunivant, Karina LeBlanc, Stephanie Cox, Heath Pearce, Troy Perkins, Cat Whitehill, Donovan Ricketts, Leigh Ann Robinson Brown, Homare Sawa, Bakary Soumare and Abby Wambach.

To be eligible for selection in the Player category, an individual must have been retired for at least three (3) full calendar years, but for no more than ten (10) full calendar years AND meet one (1) of the following criteria:

  • A player must have played at least twenty (20) full international games for the United States. This 20-game requirement is reduced to ten (10) games if the games were prior to 1990.
  • A player must have played at least five (5) seasons in an American first-division professional league and been a postseason league all-star at least once.
  • Played at least five (5) seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League between the end of the NASL in 1984 and the end of the MISL in 1992 and been selected as a first-team postseason all-star in at least one of those seasons.

The voting committee includes all past and present Men's and Women's full National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach at the highest professional level in the United States, MLS and NWSL management representatives, the MLS Commissioner and NWSL President, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members and all Hall of Famers.

Each voter can select up to ten (10) candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be removed from voting contention until they qualify for the Veteran ballot.

Of the individuals on the Player ballot, 2002 FIFA World Cup defender Tony Sanneh, 2006 FIFA World Cup defender Ben Olsen and 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup champion Taylor Twellman are in their final year of eligibility.

2019 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
David Beckham | Gregg Berhalter | Carlos Bocanegra | Shannon Boxx* | Edson Buddle* | Rachel Buehler Van Hollebeke* | Lori Chalupny* | Lauren Cheney Holiday* | Steve Cherundolo | Brian Ching | Kenny Cooper* | Jeff Cunningham | Todd Dunivant* | Kevin Hartman | Frankie Hejduk | Thierry Henry | Stuart Holden | Eddie Johnson | Chris Klein | Karina LeBlanc* | Amy LePeilbet | Eddie Lewis | Lori Lindsey | Stephanie Lopez Cox* | Pablo Mastroeni | Clint Mathis | Heather Mitts | Jaime Moreno | Ben Olsen | Pat Onstad | Heath Pearce* | Troy Perkins* | Steve Ralston | Cat Reddick Whitehill* | Donovan Ricketts* | Leigh Ann Robinson Brown* | Tony Sanneh** | Homare Sawa* | Kate Sobrero | Markgraf | Bakary Soumare* | Taylor Twellman** | Aly Wagner | Abby Wambach* | Josh Wolff

*First year of eligibility
**Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2020

In addition to voting for Player candidates, voting will also open for the Veteran and Builder candidates. fourteen (14) veteran players are up for selection on the Veteran ballot, which has been narrowed down by a screening committee, and will be voted on by current Hall of Famers.

Voters can select up to ten (10) Veteran candidates, and the top vote-getter will be elected as long as he or she appears on a minimum of 50 percent of the ballots. If no individual appears on 50 percent of the ballots, then no Veteran will be elected to the 2019 Class. More than one (1) candidate may be elected in the event of a tie.

  1. Through his/her play on the United States National Team (senior teams).
    1. Player must have played at least TWENTY (20) full international games for the United States.
    2. This TWENTY (20) game requirement is reduced to TEN (10) games if those games were prior to 1990 and to FIVE (5) games if games were prior to 1960.
  1. Through his/her play in Major League Soccer, Women’s United Soccer Association, original North American Soccer League prior to 1968, in one of various regional leagues that include the American Soccer League, North American Soccer Football League, German-American Soccer League of New York, National Soccer League of Chicago, St. Louis Soccer League, Keystone League of Western Pennsylvania, Greater Los Angeles Soccer League, San Francisco Soccer League and National Association Football League.
    1. He/she must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in above mentioned leagues
    2. Been a post season league All Star at least ONE (1) time.
  1. Through play in the Major Indoor Soccer League (1984 - 1992).  There was no first division outdoor league in the United States.
    1. Must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in the MISL
    2. Been a post season league All Star at least ONE (1) time.

2019 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
Chris Armas | Mike Burns | John Doyle | Lorrie Fair | Linda Hamilton | Mary Harvey | Chris Henderson | Lori Henry | Dominic Kinnear | Shep Messing | Tiffany Roberts | Mike Sorber | Greg Vanney | Tisha Venturini – Hoch

The 2018 Builder ballot includes eight (8) individuals selected by a screening committee and those who can vote U.S. Soccer Director of Officials; MLS and NWSL management representatives; MLS Commissioner; NWSL Executive Director; U.S. Soccer Secretary General; U.S. Soccer President; all Hall of Famers.

  • Candidates must be at least 50 years old or deceased
    • Eligibility for 2018 election - living candidates born no later than Dec. 31, 1968
  • Must have made a positive impact on American soccer at the national federation or first-division level lasting at least TEN (10) years.
    • An exception to this TEN (10) year rule applies to International Referees. Per FIFA requirements International Referees are retried at age 45; therefore, International Referee criteria for a positive impact is SEVEN (7) years.  Please note International Referees with less than the required SEVEN (7) years, can still be eligible IF they have completed TEN (10) or more years as a United States first-division referee.
  • Candidate cannot be a current elected official and/or current full-time employee of the United States Soccer Federation or the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
  • Any person who has been officially suspended by FIFA, CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, the IOC or the USOC are ineligible to appear on this list.

2019 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot
Joe Cummings | Sunil Gulati | Sandra Hunt | Tim Leiweke | Francisco Marcos | Thom Meredith | Lothar Osiander | Kevin Payne | George Strawbridge

Complete information about the election and eligibility procedures is available online at ussoccer.com.

The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.  

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MNT WNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

PREVIEW: MNT Continues March to Gold Cup With Test Against Ecuador

CHICAGO (March 20, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its march towards the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup when it takes on Ecuador on Thursday, March 21 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla Coverage of USA-Ecuador begins at 8 p.m. ET ESPN2, UniMás and UDN. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) Read more
MNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

Q&A: Tyler Adams on Adjusting to Germany and a New System with the U.S. MNT

A lot has happened for U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Tyler Adams since we saw him in November. The 20-year-old midfielder has moved to RB Leipzig, where he’s become an integral part of the midfield for a German Bundesliga club pushing for a UEFA Champions League place. While his focus has been on making his way with a new club and in a new culture, he’s also kept a kee Read more
MNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

U-23 MNT Returns to Action with Two Matches in Spain

CHICAGO (March 15, 2019)—The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will play its first matches of the 2020 U-23 cycle with a pair of friendlies in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain. Twenty-three of the USA’s brightest Olympic hopefuls will gather to face Egypt on Friday, March 22 and the Netherlands on Sunday, March 24. Both matches are set to kick off at 12 p.m. ET at the Pinatar Arena in San Pedro del Pinatar.

Newly-appointed U-23 MNT head coach Jason Kreis will lead the training camp.

The matches represent the beginning of a long journey to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo as the USA aims to qualify for its first Men’s Olympic Football Tournament since 2008. After narrowly missing qualification to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by dropping an intercontinental playoff, the new U-23 MNT will set its sights on the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship. Set for late 2019 or early 2020, two nations will advance to Tokyo from the tournament. 

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are age-eligible for the 2020 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. This roster features 13 players born in 1997, four born in 1998 and two born in 2000.

U.S. U-23 MNT Roster by Position (Club; Hometown)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Hertha BSC/GER; Newport Beach, Calif.), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (9): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompac, Calif.), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; Southend-on-Sea, England), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers; Portland, Ore.), Jack Maher (Indiana; Caseyville, Ill.), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United/ENG; Trenton, N.J.), Donovan Pines (D.C. United; Clarksville, Md.), Lucas Pos (FC Lausanne-Sport/SUI; Irvine, Calif.), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; Milton Keyes, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; Arlington, Mass.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union; Philadelphia, Penn.), Cameron Lindley (Orlando City SC; Carmel, Ind.), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; Lemont, Ill.), Keaton Parks (New York City FC; Plano, Texas), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers; Alexandria, Va.), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; St. Paul, Minn.)     

FORWARDS (6): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; Bethesda, Md.), Josh Perez (LAFC; La Habra, Calif.), Emmanuel Sabbi (Hobro IK/DEN; Columbus, Ohio), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; O'Fallon, MO), Tim Weah (Celtic FC/SCO; Rosedale, N.Y.), Haji Wright (Schalke/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.)     

The U-23 MNT’s two matches will serve as part of the Pinatar Arena Football Festival, an event featuring 14 international friendlies between 14 national teams in the U-20, U-21 and U-23 age groups from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The U.S. U-20 MNT will play France on Friday, March 22 and Japan on Monday, March 25 as part of the event.

Eight players on the roster have already debuted with the senior Men’s National Team. Four saw significant time with the MNT last year: forwards Josh Sargent (six appearances) and Tim Weah (8, as well as defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers (6) and Antonee Robinson (6). Defender Matthew Olosunde and midfielder Keaton Parks picked up their first caps in the MNT’s 3-0 win against Bolivia in Philadelphia last May, while forward Jeremy Ebobisee and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic made their first senior team debuts during the MNT’s January Camp victories against Panama and Costa Rica. Goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann was called to MNT camp last November but did not play against England or Italy.

Eight players were a part of the USA’s quarterfinal run at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup: Carter-Vickers, Ebobisse, midfielder Derrick Jones, Klinsmann, goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, forward Emmanuuel Sabbi, Sargent and midfielder Eryk Williamson. Sargent took home the Silver Boot in Korea Republic as the tournament’s second-leading goalscorer. The U-20s topped their group at the World Cup and took down New Zealand 6-0 in the Round of 16 before falling to eventual runner-up Venezuela in added extra time.

Sargent and Weah both appeared at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. The 17s also advanced to the quarterfinals, putting together a rousing 5-0 Round of 16 victory against Paraguay before bowing out to eventual champion England. Sargent captained the squad in India, while Weah scored a historic hat trick and one of the goals of the tournament against Paraguay. The USA was one of just two countries to advance to the quarterfinals of both the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in 2017.

ROSTER NOTES                                                          

  • Nineteen different clubs are represented on the roster. Thirteen players come from 10 domestic clubs, with the most coming from the Portland Timbers (3). Nine players are based internationally in Germany (3), England (2), Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales.
  • Ebobisse scored his first goal of the 2019 MLS season on March 10 against LAFC.
  • After missing more than three months due to injury, Antonee Robinson returned to action for Wigan on March 9, going the full 90 at Reading. He also played the full 90 in Wigan’s two games last week, March 12 at Blackburn and March 16 vs. Bolton.
  • Carter-Vickers has started and played the full 90 minutes in each of Swansea’s last eleven games.
  • Miles Robinson has impressed for Atlanta United FC so far this season as one of two players to start and play the full 90 in all seven of the club’s matches.
  • Jonathan Klinsmann made his first start of 2019 for Hertha BSC II on March 17 in a 3-1 win over Babelsberg.
  • Nineteen of 23 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
  • The roster includes two former Academy Players of the Year: Ebobisee won the East Conference U-15/16 award in 2014 and Williamson took home East Conference U-17/18 honors in 2015.
  • Two players have won an Academy national championship: Cameron Lindley and Djordje Mihailovic took home the title as teammates for Chicago Fire U-17/18 in 2015.

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U-23 MNT Mar 19, 2019
US Soccer

Jason Kreis Q&A: "It’s an opportunity to work with the country’s brightest young stars."

An accomplished player and coach at the game’s highest levels, former U.S. international and MLS head coach Jason Kreis will now take the reins of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team. Kreis sat down with ussoccer.com to discuss his excitement about joining U.S. Soccer, his experience coaching throughout the USA and more.

ussoccer.com: What motivated you to take on this role at this point of your coaching career?

Jason Kreis: “It’s a tremendous opportunity. It’s an opportunity to be a part of a new system under the leadership of Gregg Berhalter and Earnie Stewart leading the National Team the way that they are. I’m a big fan of both of them. It’s an opportunity to work with the country’s brightest young stars. We have some fantastic young players. And it’s an opportunity to represent your country. In my opinion, that’s the highest honor of all.”

ussoccer.com: Several Olympic-eligible players saw time with the Men’s National Team last year, and strong prospects continue to come through the ranks of the Youth National Teams system. How exciting is it to work with this player pool that’s packed with so much potential?

JK: “There’s no doubt about it, this group of players was a major factor in my thinking about this position. The group is going to be very talented. I think it should be arguably the best U-23 group that this country’s ever seen. That’s a huge credit to all the work that everyone in the soccer community has done in this country over the last 10-20 years.

“We’re at a different stage in our lives in the game here where you can see that the player pool mostly consists of professional players, and the top of the player pool almost exclusively consists of professional players. No longer are we in the days where we’re going to be relying on a large number of college players to represent us in Olympic qualification.

“It’s a lot of top talent all over the field. It’s not like you can look at this group and say, ‘They’ve got some great attacking pieces but defensively they struggle.’ I think on every line there’s real quality. It’s an amazing opportunity when you think about the fact that all these players have been developed in professional environments and are currently in professional environments. That’s just different than I think it ever has been in the past.”

ussoccer.com: You’re going to hit the ground running with this group, heading immediately to a training camp in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain. What are your goals for this first camp?

JK: “It’s pretty clear what the goals are. The first is to build a culture and an environment for high-level play. That’s in lockstep with Gregg and with the Men’s National Team. We want to teach a style of play and to identify the player pool a little bit more. Working with the players is always different than viewing them from the outside, so a large chunk of this will just be identifying what we have there. The last piece is competing - not just competing in the games, but also competing in the training sessions. We’re looking for the players to show a certain mentality that we value and that we’re going to keep around with the group moving forward.”

ussoccer.com: You’ll have some more time to settle into the position following this training camp. What will be the next steps in your role as U-23 MNT head coach?

“The very next steps will be all-encompassing. It will be important to spend some time in Chicago with the entire group and really hash over what the player pool looks like. It’ll be working with Gregg to have a complete understanding of the system of play and the methodology that he wants to implement, because we want to be in line with that. And then we’ll look at the broader schedule between now and whenever the Olympic qualifying is determined to be and outline a plan for how we best prepare ourselves to be at the peak of our performance come qualification.

ussoccer.com: What have your initial conversations with Earnie and Gregg been like?

JK: “Those two individuals were a big reason why I wanted to consider this opportunity, as well as Gregg’s coaching staff. I spent a little bit of time around his coaching staff, and I spent quite a bit of time around Gregg. We have a long history that’s crossed paths many times and I think we’re going to have a really good communicative effort between the two groups.

“I see it as a real collaboration. That’s what I like to be a part of - I like to be a part of teams that work together and communicate and figure out the best solutions.”

ussoccer.com: What’s the importance of this team as a bridge to the senior MNT?

JK: “It’s absolutely important that we try to establish a seamless pathway from the YNTs to the senior MNT and the Under-23 piece is critical in that. There are two main objectives overall when you look at my job. First and foremost, the main objective has to be to qualify for the Olympics. But going right hand-in-hand with that, it’s important that I’m a part of the development of some of the very best players so that they can move seamlessly into the full National Team.”

ussoccer.com: How have your experiences in Concacaf competitions as a player and a coach prepared you for the rigors of a Concacaf qualifying tournament?

JK: “It helps any time that you’re involved with a Concacaf tournament. I was involved in it a little bit through my National Team career, albeit short and brief. There were a few games in Central American countries that I was a part of. Then to be a part of that as a coach through the Concacaf Champions League, you just gain a whole lot of experience and understanding of those matches and what the surroundings of those matches look like. You understand those things, and I think it’s important that you convey that well to the team. I’ve had some pretty decent success in the past at the club level with Concacaf and I think it should be the same internationally.”

ussoccer.com: You’ll aim to guide the U-23 MNT to its first Olympics since 2008. Does missing the last two Olympic tournaments provide any extra motivation to qualify this time around?

JK: “I don’t think so. I don’t think we should need any extra motivation. I think the past is the past and we need to look forward and be focused on ourselves. One of the most fantastic things about this type of opportunity is that at the end of the day, you really shouldn’t have to motivate anybody. Everybody that’s a part of this is going to be motivated by the simple fact that they’re representing their country and they have an opportunity to play in an Olympics.”

ussoccer.com: You recently joined the technical department of MLS expansion club Inter Miami CF and you’ll continue in that role while serving as U-23 MNT head coach. How will you balance those responsibilities?

JK: “Diligently. You need to be organized and U.S. Soccer has already laid out a calendar for me, and I’ve put that in front of Miami and they’re on board with it. I think that says a lot about the club that Miami is forming. They are appreciative of these types of opportunities and supportive of me and my endeavors. I’ll have to work a lot, there’s no doubt, but I’ve never been afraid of that.”

ussoccer.com: What will your staff look like moving forward?

JK: “That’s still a question mark that I’m going to leave until after this camp. This camp has already been staffed. Earnie and U.S. Soccer Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn did a great job of making sure all those spaces were covered and really just needed to insert a head coach.

“I am going to bring an assistant coach on this trip. We’ve asked for the permission to have Miles Joseph come with us from Portland, and Portland has graciously allowed us that request. But as we move forward, we need to really put some thought into how we can staff this team the best way. One of our main objectives is to create an environment of elite performance. In order to do that, we need elite staff members.”

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U-23 MNT Mar 19, 2019