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US Soccer

Wambach, Johnston Steer USA to 3-0 Win Over Ireland on Mother's Day

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (May 10, 2015) - The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated the Republic of Ireland 3-0 on Mother’s Day in the first of its three-game Send-off Series ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium that included almost all of the players’ moms, the USA took the lead in the 42nd minute off a corner kick. Megan Rapinoe sent in the cross on the 10th of what would be 19 corner kicks and an Irish defender who was facing her goal tried to clear it away. The clearance smashed off the face of the far post defender and rolled back to Christen Press in the right side of the penalty box. Press settled and squared the ball to Abby Wambach, who swept the ball into the net for the game’s first goal and her 179th score. Minutes later Wambach would notch her 180th, heading in a Carli Lloyd cross to put the U.S. up 2-0.  Lloyd pulled off a nifty dribble to beat her defender before chipping a far post cross to Wambach for goal 180.

In the second half, Julie Johnston scored the game’s third goal, also of a corner kick as she athletically redirected the ball into the near post. It was her third goal of 2015 and she has now scored in three consecutive games.

In one week, the team will be back on the field at StubHub Center in Carson, California, for the second game of the Send-Off Series, against Mexico at 6 p.m. PT live on FOX Spots 1 and Univision Deportes.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Abby Wambach (Christen Press), 42nd minute: 
Megan Rapinoe sent in U.S.’s tenth corner kick of the first half and an Irish defender tried to clear it over the bar. The clearance bounced off the face of the back post defender and rolled back to Press, who crossed it to Wambach to sweep into the goal. USA 1, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 45th minute: Minutes after the first goal, Carli Lloyd took the ball to the end line on the left side, cut back and sent a cross to Abby Wambach at the far post. Wambach leaped high to send her header into the lower right corner for her second goal of the game and her 180th in the U.S. uniform. USA 2, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday), 54th minute: Lauren Holiday sent a corner kick in and Julie Johnston beat her defender to it at the near post, taking a slight to put it into the net for her third international goal. USA 3, IRL 0 FINAL (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 2nd minute (save):
 In the first offensive trip for the U.S., Amy Rodriguez brought the ball down centrally, and as the Irish defenders hustled back to get into position, was given room to rip a long distance shot from outside the box. Ireland goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke dove and just reached the ball, knocking it over the crossbar to set up a U.S. corner.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 27th minute (save): Amy Rodriguez delivered a great pass to Christen Press on the right side, who settled and cut in past an Irish defender. With room, Press fired on goal, but Reid-Burke dove and parried it wide.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 41st minute (save): Amy Rodriguez fired a shot that took a tricky deflection off of an Irish defender, but was grabbed and secured by Reid-Burke.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 42nd minute (save): Christen Press intercepted an Ireland clearance and sprinted with the ball down the right side. Press played a ball across the goal to Megan Rapinoe, who sent it on frame. Reid-Burke made a reaction kick save that knocked the ball out of play.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 52nd minute (save): Christen press quickly broke in along the left side, got past two defenders and took a shot from close range. Reid-Burke made another reaction save, diving and kicking the ball away.

IRL- Niamh Reid-Burke, 71st minute (save): A long U.S. free kick found Abby Wambach inside the six-yard box, but she slightly mishit the volley and Reid-Burke secured it to hold the score line at 3-0.

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 179th and 180th international goals in the first half.
  • The U.S. is now 11-0-0 all-time against Ireland and has outscored the Irish 40-1 in those 11 games.
  • The win also preserved the USA’s perfect record in Northern California. Though it was the U.S.’s first game in the newly opened Avaya Stadium, in six previous San Jose matches, the U.S. WNT was a perfect 6-0-0. The WNT has outscored opponents 31-1 in San Jose. The USA has also won its two other games in NorCal, the 2-0 victory against Brazil in the 1999 Women’s World Cup semifinal in Palo Alto and a 4-1 win vs. New Zealand at Candlestick Park in 2013 in one of the last events at the famed stadium.
  • Lori Chalupny entered into the game in the second half and became the 32nd USWNT player to reach 100 caps.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Mexico on May 17 at StubHub Center in Carson, California at 6 p.m. PT
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebookInstagram

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. extended its current unbeaten streak in 2015 to six games, improving its overall record to 6-1-1. The lone loss came in the team’s first game of the season to France, 2-0, in Lorient, France.
  • In a Mother’s Day surprise, he mothers of the U.S. team were flown in on Saturday by FOX Sports and surprised their daughters at team dinner. The entire U.S. team, including U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, walked out on to the pitch hand-in-hand with their mothers for the pre-game playing of the National Anthem.
  • The game was a homecoming for Julie Johnston (Santa Clara University), Christen Press (Stanford) and Kelley O’Hara (Stanford) who returned to the city of San Jose in close proximity of the collegiate campuses where they studied and played soccer.
  • Johnston scored her third goal of 2015, the third of her career and the third in as many games. She scored her first goal at this year’s Algarve Cup against France in the championship game and she scored her second against New Zealand on April 4. All three goals have come on set pieces.
  • In its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just one goal and has scored 15.
  • Lauren Holiday added another assist today and leads all U.S. players on the roster in assists with five in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
  • Megan Rapinoe made the start as the team’s captain. She was honored on the field before the game for her 100th cap, which she earned in the team’s last game against New Zealand on April 4.
  • Hope Solo extended her U.S. record for shutouts to 83.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath (hamstring) and forward Alex Morgan (bone bruise on her knee) sat out the match with minor injuries, but are expected to be fully fit for the Women’s World Cup. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: May 10, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, California
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. PT
Attendance: 18,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees: Partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            2          1          3
IRL                              0          0          0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Christen Press)       42nd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)             45
USA – Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday)         54 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (16-Lori Chalupny, 46), 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61); 23-Christen Press, 12-Lauren Holiday (9-Heather O’Reilly, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Shannon Boxx, 78), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (14-Morgan Brian, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (2-Sydney Leroux, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 24-Alyssa Naeher, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Head coach: Jill Ellis

IRL: 16-Niamh Reid-Burke; 17-Aine O’Gorman (capt.), 20-Jessica Gleeson (5-Ciara Grant, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 6-Meabh De Burca; 11-Julie Ann Russell (12-Ciara Rossiter, 84), 4-Karen Duggan, 19-Fiona O’Sullivan (14-Katie McCabe, 73), 8-Ruesha Littlejohn, 10-Denise O’Sullivan; 9-Stephanie Roche (15-Nicola Sinnot, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 21-Charlotte McCormack, 7-Emma Hansberry, 18-Emma Beckett
Head coach: Sue Ronan 

Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 26 / 0
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 19 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 4 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
IRL – Aine O’Gorman (caution)          19th minute

Officials:
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach

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WNT May 10, 2015

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: May 10, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, California
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. PT
Attendance: 18,000 (so)
Weather: 61 degrees: Partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        2          1          3
IRL                                         0          0          0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Christen Press)        42nd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)            45
USA – Julie Johnston (Lauren Holiday)         54 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (16-Lori Chalupny, 46), 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61); 23-Christen Press, 12-Lauren Holiday (9-Heather O’Reilly, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Shannon Boxx, 78), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (14-Morgan Brian, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (2-Sydney Leroux, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 24-Alyssa Naeher, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Head coach: Jill Ellis

IRL: 16-Niamh Reid-Burke; 17-Aine O’Gorman (capt.), 20-Jessica Gleeson (5-Ciara Grant, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 6-Meabh De Burca; 11-Julie Ann Russell (12-Ciara Rossiter, 84), 4-Karen Duggan, 19-Fiona O’Sullivan (14-Katie McCabe, 73), 8-Ruesha Littlejohn, 10-Denise O’Sullivan; 9-Stephanie Roche (15-Nicola Sinnot, 90+3)
Subs Not Used: 21-Charlotte McCormack, 7-Emma Hansberry, 18-Emma Beckett
Head coach: Sue Ronan 

Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 26 / 0
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 19 / 0
Fouls: 9 / 12
Offside: 4 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
IRL – Aine O’Gorman (caution)        19th minute 

Officials:
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Veronica Perez (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach

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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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