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US Soccer

U.S. WNT Continues Victory Tour with 7-2 Win in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (Aug. 19, 2015) – The World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team continued its Victory Tour with a 7-2 win against Costa Rica in front of a record crowd of 20,535 at Finley Stadium. The crowd was the largest for a stand-alone WNT friendly in the southeastern region of the United States.

Members of the military led the team out on the field and a moment of silence was observed before kickoff in memory of the tragedy that took place on July 17 when a gunman opened fire on two military sites in Chattanooga, killing five servicemen. During the game the WNT players wore black armbands in memory of the victims.

The U.S. WNT will be auctioning off their autographed game-worn jerseys on ussoccer.com to raise money for the families of the victims. More information on the start of the auction will be provided soon.

After the U.S. took an early 2-0 lead behind goals from Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly, the match was delayed for 83 minutes due to lightning. After returning to the field, the U.S. continued their dominance with additional goals from Abby Wambach, O’Reilly, Alex Morgan and Amy Rodriguez. The WNT also benefited from an own goal, but Costa Rica was able to find the back of the net twice in second half for their first ever goals against the U.S. in 12 meetings.   

The U.S. players will now return to their NWSL clubs for the stretch run of the season and continues its Victory Tour with a pair of matches against Australia in September, at Ford Field in Detroit on Sept. 17 and at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama on Sept. 20. Tickets are going fast with 30,000 already sold in Detroit and 27,000 in Birmingham. For more information on tickets, click here.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd, 7th minute:
Lloyd’s spectacular blast from 31 yards off a direct free kick deflected off a Costa Rican defender in the wall, hit the bottom of the crossbar at the upper left corner and bounced down into the goal to give the WNT an early lead. USA 1, CRC 0 SEE GOAL

USA – Heather O’Reilly, 13th minute: Carli Lloyd received a pass at the top of the box, spun towards goal and blasted a shot on frame. The Costa Rican goalkeeper responded with a tremendous diving save, but couldn’t hold the ball and Heather O’Reilly followed up to finish the rebound and double the WNT lead. USA 2, CRC 0 SEE GOAL

USA – Abby Wambach (Lori Chalupny), 18th minute: Carli Lloyd started the run down the right side and as she approached the end line sent a cross over to Lori Chalupny, who was positioned in the left side of the box. With the defense closing in, Chalupny sent the ball back across to Abby Wambach, who one-timed it home with her left foot. USA 3, CRC 0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe), 20th minute: The goal came off a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe whipped in a cross and Lloyd knifed though the defense, leapt into the air and volleyed home from close range for her second goal of the game. USA 4, CRC 0

USA – Heather O’Reilly (Abby Wambach), 23rd minute: Abby Wambach, who just five minutes before had scored a goal of her own, dribbled powerfully down the left side. O’Reilly made a run to the near post, and Wambach, who has been the recipient of many O’Reilly crosses in the past, was the distributor this time around. O’Reilly met Wambach’s cross with her a powerful header high into the net for her second score of the game. USA 5, CRC 0

USA – Katherine Alvarado (Own Goal), 31st minute: Off another corner Lloyd made a run into the box and Alvarado was grabber her the whole time. The driven ball skipped through traffic inside the penalty box, bounced off her shin and skipped into the back of the net. USA 6, CRC 0

CRC – Cristin Granados (Carolina Venegas), 56th minute: Carolina Venegas made a great move to get around Tobin Heath near the end line and then threaded a ball back to Granados in the seam. With a first-time shot she pushed it past a diving Hope Solo from close range. USA 6, CRC 1

CRC – Karla Villalobos (Mariana Benavides), 69th minute: Mariana Benavides got a long ball up and through the U.S. defense to Villalobos who took a few controlling dribbles near the top of the box and finessed a bending ball over Naeher and into the upper right corner. USA 6, CRC 2

USA – Alex Morgan (Amy Rodriguez), 81st minute: After substitute goalkeeper Yolian Sala made a great kick save, Costa Rica poorly cleared the ball away and it found Amy Rodriguez on the right side of the box. Rodriguez took a great touch to beat a defender and sent a perfect back post cross to Alex Morgan who chested it into the net for the seventh score of the game. USA 7, CRC 2 SEE GOAL

Next on the Schedule: The WNT continues the 2015 Victory Tour with a stop in Detroit on Sept. 17 to take on Australia at Ford Field, where more than 30,000 tickets have already been sold.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports GO (7 p.m. ET; Sept. 19)
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp); FacebookInstagram

Milestone Watch:

  • Tobin Heath earned her 100th cap with the WNT. She is the 33rd player to play 100 times, having made her debut with the USA in 2008. She will be honored before the USA’s next match in Detroit.
  • Wambach extended her record as the world’s all-time leading goal scorer, notching the 184th goal of her career.
  • Heather O’Reilly’s brace pushed her career scoring total to 45 goals. She has scored two goals in each of the last two games and has now tallied four multi-goal games in her career.
  • Lloyd’s two scores gave her 71 for her career, just four short of tying Cindy Parlow for sixth on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list.
  • Shannon Boxx earned her 193rd cap, moving past Brandi Chastain into sole possession of 11th place on the USA’s all-time caps list.
  • Carli Lloyd earned her 204th cap to move into a tie for eighth place on the USA’s all-time caps list with Tiffeny Milbrett.
  • Alex Morgan’s 53rd goal moved her into a tie for ninth place with Carin Gabbara on the USA’s all-time scoring list.

Additional Notes:

  • In the game’s 15th minute, the game paused for lightning delay, which lasted 83 minutes.
  • Prior to the match, Lori Chalupny was honored for earning her 100th cap. On May 10 against Ireland in San Jose, Chalupny, who announced her retirement from international soccer on Aug. 17, became the 32nd American female to play 100 times for her country. She debuted for the USA at the age of 17 in 2001 and has won a U-19 Women's World Cup title, an Olympic gold medal and a Women's World Cup title.
  • The match was the second for the WNT at Finley Stadium and with the win the team improved to 2-0-0 in the Chattanooga. The USA last played there in 1997, when it defeated Sweden 3-1 at the home of the National Premier Soccer League's Chattanooga FC and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins football and women's soccer teams.
  • The WNT is now 5-0-0 all time in the state of Tennessee, where it has outscored opponents 17-5.
  • Carli Lloyd’s 70th goal made her the seventh player in U.S. history to score 70 or more goals.
  • Heather O’Reilly has scored multiple goals in each of the WNT’s last two games.
  • Costa Rica’s first goal was the first it has scored against the USWNT in the history of the series between the two teams.
  • The USA remains perfect against Costa Rica, improving its all-time record to 12-0-0. 
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WNT Aug 19, 2015

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: Aug. 19, 2015
Competition: International Friendly – Victory Tour
Venue: Finley Field; Chattanooga, Tenn.
Kickoff: 6:30 ET
Attendance: 20,535
Weather: 79 degrees, humid

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                            6          1          7
CRC                            1          1          2

USA – Carli Lloyd                                                     7th minute
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd)                      13
USA – Abby Wambach (Lori Chalupny)                   18
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe)                         20
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Abby Wambach)               23
USA – Katherine Alvarado (Own Goal)                     31
CRC – Cristin Granados (Carolina Venegas)              41
CRC – Karla Villalobos (Mariana Benavides)            69
USA – Alex Morgan (Amy Rodriguez)                       81

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo (21-Alyssa Naeher, 46); 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (capt.); 9-Heather O’Reilly (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46), 12-Lauren Holiday, 17-Tobin Heath (7-Shannon Boxx, 64), 15-Megan Rapinoe (22-Meghan Klingenberg, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (23-Christen Press, 46); 20-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 56)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Morgan Brian, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Not available: 2-Sydney Leroux
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CRC: 1-Dinnia Diaz (18-Yolian Salas, 78); 3-Fabiola Villalobos (2-Gabriela Guillén, 67), 5-Diana Saenz, 20-Wendy Acosta, 4-Mariana Benavides (19-Maria Paula Coto, 86), 6-Maria Paula Elizondo (8-Daniela Cruz, 63), 10-Katherine Alvarado (capt.), 15-Cristin Granados, 7-Melissa Herrera, 9-Carolina Venegas, 17-Karla Villalobos (14-Mayra Almazán, 74)
Subs Not Used: 12-Lixy Rodriguez, 21-Noelle Sanz
Head coach: Amelia Valverde

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 28 / 4
Shots on Goal: 14 / 2
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 8 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 8
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Mariana Benavides (caution)  36th minute
CRC – Fabiola Villalobos (caution)    62

Officials:
Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)  
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (USA)
4th Official: Tori Penso (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Heather O’Reilly

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US Soccer

NCFC’s Sarachan: You Can Lose Any Time

Last December, Dave Sarachan was about to be presented as head coach of North Carolina FC when someone noticed the backdrop included a banner showing his former team, the LA Galaxy, being upset in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“They asked me if they should take it down,” Sarachan recalled recently. “I said, ‘No, keep it up. It’s a good reminder’.”


(Sarachan took over at NCFC at the start of the current season)

Sarachan knows the ups and downs of the U.S. Open Cup, having hoisted the trophy as a champion with the Chicago Fire in 2003 and ’06, as well as having been an upset victim. In fact, the Carolina RailHawks, forerunners to today’s NCFC, took down the Galaxy three times while Sarachan was an assistant to Bruce Arena – including a year in which the Galaxy were champions of Major League Soccer.

“They made us travel to Raleigh to play three times,” Sarachan recalled. “They were a bogey team for us. We couldn’t get over the hump.” 

Back in the Open Cup
Now, after a 22-year stint that included stops throughout MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team, Sarachan is coaching North Carolina FC in the USL Championship (the cdountry’s professional second division league) and preparing for an Open Cup contest against lively amateur side Florida Soccer Soldiers on Wednesday, May 29 at Koka Booth (Field 2) at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (7 p.m. ET).

Sarachan made the subject of Cupsets part of preparations for North Carolina’s 4-1 Second Round win over the Richmond Kickers last week. “I said to my team, this is why the tournament is so great and we always root for them,” Sarachan said of the Cup’s underdogs. “Except when we play them.”


(Sarachan - 2nd from left - with past legends of Chicago Fire & D.C. United)

“The message when we played Richmond was you can’t assume anything, whether it’s the best in MLS or an amateur team you’re playing,” Sarachan went on. “You can lose any time if your mentality is not right on the field. And the message won’t change [for the Soccer Soldiers] – they’ve beaten two good opponents on the road. They’re playing with house money. They have some high school guys, some semipro guys, they’re well-coached and they have some ability.”

Sarachan experienced immediate success as a coach in the Open Cup. In his first season as Fire head coach, the team swept to the Open Cup title, taking a 1-0 win over the then-NY/NJ MetroStars at Giants Stadium on Oct. 15, 2003.

“I met with the leaders of the team – Chris Armas, Jesse Marsch, C.J. Brown, Jim Curtin – all the senior guys, and they all wanted to win the Open Cup,” Sarachan said. “Their philosophy aligned with mine. We wanted to win the MLS Cup but any time you have a chance to win a trophy you have to put everything into that. The mentality was excellent during those runs. Everything is compounded, with regular-season MLS scheduling, crazy travel. So, it’s MLS on weekend, Open Cup midweek, juggling lineups and figuring out how not to compromise – it’s challenging.”

The Fire’s history with the Open Cup dates to the team’s first season, when they won the MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup double. Chicago also captured the 2000 Open Cup. “First of all they appreciated the tournament and what the Open Cup really means,” Sarachan said. “A number of guys had played in it and by winning the trophy in a [tournament] that included way more than MLS teams, that meant a lot.”

Chicago ‘03 Dream Team
“So there was a lot on the line other than the soccer,” Sarachan recalled of the ’03 final. “It was a terrific, a really good game, despite being later in the year, and guys were weary. It wasn’t easy to play the Final there, it was on turf and a little cold, and that made it tricky. We had an experienced group of guys and each man was really competitive – Carlos Bocanegra, DaMarcus Beasley, Ante Razov, Evan Whitfield. Damani Ralph scored the goal and we just played well and got the clean sheet. Chris Armas was the best leader I’ve ever managed.

“At the ceremony, [former U.S. Soccer president] Sunil Gulati gave us the medals and it was a precursor to the MLS Cup final,” added Sarachan. “We didn’t win that but we did get the Supporters Shield.”

The meaning of the Open Cup to the Fire players hit home again with Sarachan after the season. “We had a banquet to kick off 2004, and word was that we were not getting Open Cup rings,” Sarachan said. “Chris Armas was our captain, and he went crazy. He said: ‘Wait a minute, what are you talking about?’ He made sure ownership knew why we did it – and it wasn’t for rings and jewelry.”


(The 2003 Chicago Fire with the old Dewar Cup trophy - brought back out of retirement that year)

The Fire lost the ’04 Final, 1-0, to the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) as Igor Simuntenkov scored a 95th-minute golden goal at Arrowhead Stadium.

Two years later, the Fire returned to the Final, this time taking a 3-1 victory over the Galaxy in Bridgeview, Ill., on Sept. 27, 2006. “Armas had been suspended, he got a second yellow against D.C., for nothing,” Sarachan recalls. “He was crying because that meant he would miss the final.”

But the Fire started strong, Nate Jaqua (10th minute) and Andy Herron (16th) opened the scoring. The Galaxy’s Alan Gordon cut the deficit in the 51st minute and Thiago rounded out the scoresheet via a Tony Sanneh assist in the 88th minute.

“There’s always a guy or two that emerges, for whatever reason, in the tournament,” Sarachan said. “In ’03 we had Dipsy Selolwane. Then, we had Andy Herron, and in year two he was on fire.”


(Sarachan in his days at LA Galaxy, where MLS Cups were plentiful but not Open Cups)

But that would be it for Sarachan’s career as a head coach in the U.S. Open Cup. He had compiled a 14-2-1 record in the century-old tournament, but was dismissed by the Fire with the team in fifth place in the Eastern Conference in June of 2007.

Sarachan went to the Galaxy in 2008 and a rapid rebuilding project resulted in MLS Cup titles in 2011, ’12 and ’14, but Open Cup success has eluded Sarachan since ’06.

No Cup Luck in LA

In 2012, the Galaxy were in the midst of capturing successive MLS Cups when they visited the RailHawks for a Third-Round game in Cary, N.C. And the Galaxy took the lead on Pat Noonan’s 38th-minute goal. But Tiyi Shipalane equalized (75th) and Brian Shriver decided the match, heading home a Shipalane cross in the 88th minute.

The next year, current North Carolina captain Austin da Luz and Shriver converted in a 2-0 win over the Galaxy in another Third-Round match.


(Sarachan during his days in charge of the U.S. Men's National Team)

The teams met in the Fifth Round in 2014. The RailHawks blanked a forward line consisting of Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, then took the lead on Danny Jackson’s 105th-minute goal. The RailHawks went on to lose 5-2 to FC Dallas in the Quarterfinals and finish fifth in the NASL standings that year. The Galaxy, meanwhile, ended up second in MLS’ regular season and went on to lift MLS Cup for a fifth time.

“There are upsets every year – semipro teams win,” Sarachan said, looking back in order to look ahead at his latest tilt at the Open Cup. “And that’s the other thing. As a coach you try and explain to guys and they’re like ‘whatever, yeah …’ Until you get a bit of a scare.”

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U.S. Open Cup May 21, 2019
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About the Concacaf Nations League

Later this year, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take part in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League. Here are five things to know about the new competition:

What Is It?

Similar to the recently launched UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version was created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of the confederation’s 41 Member Associations.

How Teams Qualified

A four-game qualifying tournament for the Concacaf Nations League began last September and just concluded during the March FIFA international window.

While all 41 Member Associations are part of the competition, the qualifying tournament was used to help place teams in their respective leagues for the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League: League A, League B and League C.

The Format

Here’s a brief rundown of the tournament format:

League A
Number of Teams: 12 teams
Group Format: Four groups of three teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the six teams that took part in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup AND the top six finishers in Nations League Qualifying.
Teams: USA, Bermuda, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago

League B
Number of Teams: 16 teams
Group Format: Four groups of four teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the teams which finished 7-22 in Nations League qualifying
Teams: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname

League C 
Number of Teams: 
13 teams
Group Format: Three groups of three teams AND one group of four teams
Qualifiers: Comprised of the teams which finished 23-34 in Nations League qualifying and Guatemala, who was suspended at the beginning of the competition.
Teams: Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos and U.S. Virgin Islands

The Group Phase for each league is a round-robin, home-and-away format which will play out during the course of the September, October and November FIFA international dates in 2019. At the end of the round-robin competition, the League A and B teams that finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners in Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the next edition of the competition.

Additionally, the four group winners from League A will advance to the Knockout Round, where a semifinal and final will be played during the March FIFA international dates to crown the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League champion.

It’s important to note that the Concacaf Nations League will run separate from the long-established Concacaf Gold Cup, though this year’s CNL qualifying competition did help determine the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup field, with the top 10 finishers punching their tickets to this summer’s regional championship.

The Draw

The 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League Draw was held on March 27, 2019 at The Chelsea Theater in Las Vegas. The USA was drawn against northern neighbors Canada and Caribbean foe Cuba. See the full League A draw below:

2019-20 Concacaf Nations League A Draw

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

USA

Mexico

Honduras

Costa Rica

Canada

Panama

Trinidad & Tobago

Haiti

Cuba

Bermuda

Martinique

Curacao


The MNT will face a Canada side that finished second in the 34-team 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying tournament. The USA holds a 14-8-11 advantage over Les Rouges, and will play its first competitive match on Canadian soil since Nov. 9, 1997, a 3-0 win which clinched the MNT's participation at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. 

The draw also set up a fourth visit for the MNT to Cuba. The USA leads the all-time series by a 10-1-1 mark. 

The Schedule

Concacaf unveiled the full schedule for the 2019-20 Nations League group stage on May 21. Following the home-and-home series between Cuba and Canada during the September window, the USA will begin play with a home match against Cuba on Friday, Oct. 11. 

Venues for all League A, Group A matches are still to be confirmed.

The full schedule is below:

Date

Home

Away

Kickoff Time (ET)

Saturday, Sept. 7

Canada

Cuba

8 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

Cuba

Canada

7:15 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 11

USA

Cuba

7 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

Canada

USA

7:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 15

USA

Canada

7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov 19

Cuba

USA

7:30 p.m.

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MNT May 21, 2019
US Soccer

U.S. MNT Learns Schedule for Concacaf Nations League Group Stage

CHICAGO (May 21, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team has learned its group stage schedule for the inaugural 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League after the region’s governing body unveiled the full fixture list on Tuesday. Drawn into Group A of League A alongside Cuba and Canada back in March, the USA will open the competition with a home match against Cuba on Friday, Oct. 11 (7 p. Read more
MNT May 21, 2019
US Soccer

U-20 MNT Defender Mark McKenzie Named Captain for 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup

CHICAGO (May 21, 2019)—U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos named defender Mark McKenzie as the team’s captain for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. The USA kicks off the tournament on Friday, May 24 against Ukraine (2:30 p.m. ET; FS1, Universo). “Mark is a natural leader,” Ramos said. “First of all, he’s a hard player on the fie Read more
U-20 MNT May 21, 2019
US Soccer

RSVP for U.S. Soccer's Women's World Cup Viewing Event at Gallagher Way Outside Wrigley Field

CHICAGO (May 20, 2019) – U.S. Soccer will host a viewing event for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Group F match against Chile on Sunday, June 16, at Gallagher Way, located adjacent to Wrigley Field.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., near the intersection of N. Clark St. and W. Addison St.

The viewing event will feature FOX’s broadcast of the match displayed on a giant outdoor video board along with food and beverages available for purchase. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. CT. It is the second match of the group phase for the U.S. WNT, who will open the tournament against Thailand at 2 p.m. CT on Tuesday, June 11 (FOX, Telemundo, FOX Sports App). The USA will also face Sweden at 2 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 20, in its Group F finale (FOX, Telemundo, FOX Sports App).

Gallagher Way
Fans turn out at Gallagher Way to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The event at Gallagher Way is free and open to the public, however, fans are encouraged to RSVP in advance [REGISTER]. Walk-ups are welcome, but space is subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans are reminded to review the rules of Gallagher Way along with the prohibited items list.

Founded in 1913, the U.S. Soccer Federation has been the official governing body of soccer in the United States for more than 100 years. During that time, and especially over the past 30 years, soccer has grown tremendously at all levels. As U.S. Soccer looks towards the future, its mission is to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States. With a long-term and strategic approach, U.S. Soccer is working to accomplish its mission by supporting its members to increase participation at the youth and adult levels and assist in developing world class players, coaches and referees while consistently winning at the highest levels on the international stage. In addition, U.S. Soccer is always striving to serve fans by engaging with them in deeper and more meaningful ways.

ABOUT GALLAGHER WAY 

Located in the heart of Wrigleyville and adjacent to Wrigley Field, Gallagher Way is an entertainment destination where family, friends, neighbors and visitors get together. Gallagher Way is brought to you by — and named after — Gallagher. As part of the Ricketts family’s commitment to be a good neighbor and Gallagher’s desire to contribute to the community, Gallagher Way offers year-round community programming including movie nights, an outdoor fitness series, live music, open-air markets and more. Gallagher Way offers a host of chef-driven restaurants, beautiful Hotel Zachary and is a much sought-after destination for private events. For more information about Gallagher Way, visit www.gallagherway.com.
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WNT May 20, 2019
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About the FIFA U-20 World Cup

Twenty-one of the USA’s most promising young prospects have gathered in Poland to represent the red, white and blue at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Entering as champions of Concacaf, they’ll join 23 of the world’s best teams at the 22nd edition of FIFA’s longest-running youth competition. Here are five things to know about the tournament.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

Contested every two years, the FIFA U-20 World Cup crowns the world champion for soccer at the Under-20 age level. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999 are age-eligible for this year’s tournament. Twenty-four teams from around the globe have qualified through continental competition to earn their spots in Poland.

The USA qualified from North America alongside Honduras, Mexico and Panama. Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa carry the banner for Africa; Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia represent Asia; France, Italy, Norway, host Poland, Portugal and Ukraine earned their berths from Europe; New Zealand and Tahiti come from Oceania, and Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay punched their tickets from South America.

The 24 nations were drawn into six groups of four teams.

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Poland

Mexico

Honduras

Qatar

Panama

Portugal

Colombia

Italy

New Zealand

Nigeria

Mali

Korea Republic

Tahiti

Japan

Uruguay

Ukraine

France

Argentina

Senegal

Ecuador

Norway

USA

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

The top two finishers in each group, as well as the four best-ranked third-place teams will advance to the Round of 16. From there, it’s a knockout round bracket to the tournament final. The competition will be played at six venues across Poland.

ABOUT THE U-20S

Head coach Tab Ramos has assembled a deep, talented 21-player roster for the U-20 World Cup, with a developing at some of the world’s biggest clubs. Fourteen helped the USA during its dominating run to the confederation crown at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship. Alex Mendez took home 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year, mostly based on his standout performance in midfield at the tournament.

Brady Scott returns from the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he served as the team’s third goalkeeper, while six players represented the U.S. at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. Tim Weah is the lone player on the roster to have debuted with the senior MNT, the attacker picking up eight caps in 2018.

GOALKEEPERS (3): CJ Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Foxchase, Pa.; 2/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.; 4/0), Brady Scott (Köln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.; 9/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands; 8/1), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; Montclair, N.J.; 11/0), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC; Columbus, Ohio; 2/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.; 10/3), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.; 10/0), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 0/0), Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.; 2/0), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.; 4/0), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.; 15/8), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas; 9/3), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas; 8/2)
FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Brampton, Ont.; 12/9), Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Miami, Fla.; 2/1), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; Lynwood, Calif.; 11/7), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; South Hamilton, Mass.; 13/6), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.; 5/2), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; Rosedale, N.Y.; 0/0)

The roster is made up of made up of six players born in 1999, 12 born in 2000 and three born in 2001. Nine players are based domestically, while 12 are based internationally in Germany (six), Netherlands (two), Canada, Portugal, Scotland and Spain (one each). Nineteen of the 21 players have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

THE STORY SO FAR

The U-20s enter the World Cup with a 13-2-0 international record and as confederation champions after an authoritative showing at last fall’s Concacaf U-20 Championship in Bradenton, Fla. Thirty-four teams competed in the World Cup qualifying tournament for four spots in Poland, and the U.S. rolled through its six-team group of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname by a combined score of 39-2.

The USA then advanced to a qualification stage group alongside Costa Rica and Honduras. A World Cup berth hung in the balance against Costa Rica, and the U.S. answered the call, taking down Los Ticos in a 4-0 shutout. Alex Mendez opened the scoring with a highlight-reel tally from distance in the early going, then Ulysses Llanez, Juan Pablo Torres and Ayo Akinola added goals to put the game out of reach. The U.S. then faced its tightest test of the tournament against Honduras, edging out a 1-0 victory on a goal from Akinola to clinch a spot in the confederation final.

The USA’s archrival Mexico awaited in the championship match, and the United States once again rose to the occasion. Mendez bagged a brace against El Tri, combining with Paxton Pomykal to create the opening goal in the 17th minute before Pomykal teed up Mendez again in the 50th. The U.S. commanded the run of play throughout, while the back line and Scott recorded the shutout.

The victory marked the USA’s second straight and second-ever Concacaf U-20 Championship title. During its 8-0-0 run, the U.S. outscored its opponents 46-2 and didn’t allow a single goal in the qualification stage against its strongest opposition.

Most recently, the U-20s gathered for two March friendlies in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain, earning a 2-2 comeback draw with France and a 2-1 win against Japan. Thirteen players on the World Cup squad were with the team in those tune-up matches.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE LEGACY

A who’s who of MNT legends have played in the U-20 World Cup. In total, 35 players have represented the USA in both a U-20 and senior World Cup tournament. Current U-20 MNT head coach Tab Ramos was a part of the USA’s second U-20 World Cup squad in 1983 at just 16 years old. Jeff Agoos, Marcleo Balboa, Tony Meola and Kasey Keller all played the 1987 edition in Chile. The team’s best finish at the competition came in 1989, as Keller and future senior team players Mike Burns, Neil Covone and Chris Henderson led the U.S. to fourth place in Saudi Arabia. Keller took home the Silver Ball as the tournament’s second-best player.

In 1999, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo and Tim Howard were part of the USA team in Nigeria, while Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu represented the red, white and blue in 2001 in Argentina. Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey took the field for the U.S. in Saudi Arabia in 2003. Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley starred for the U-20s at the 2007 tournament in Canada, while DeAndre Yedlin was the last player to appear in both the U-20 and senior World Cup, playing for the U-20s in Turkey in 2013 before joining the senior MNT in Brazil in 2014.

The last two U-20 World Cup cycles have fueled the senior MNT’s recent youth movement. Half the players on the USA’s 2015 U-20 World Cup roster have made their senior team debut, while six players from the 2017 squad have already picked up their first MNT cap.

 HOW TO FOLLOW

The USA kicks off the U-20 World Cup on Friday, May 24 against Ukraine, face Nigeria on Monday, May 27 and wrap up the group stage on Thursday, May 30 vs. Qatar. All three matches will be broadcast on the Fox Sports family of networks and Universo. 

U.S. Schedule – 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup

Date

Match-up

Venue

Broadcast

Friday, May 24

Ukraine`

Bielsko-Biiala Stadium; Bielsko-Biala

FS1, Universo

Monday, May 27

Nigeria

Bielsko-Biala Stadium; Bielsko-Biala

FS1, Universo

Thursday, May 30

Qatar

Tychy Stadium; Tychy, Poland

FS2, Universo

Fans can follow all of the action from Poland on U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


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U-20 MNT May 20, 2019
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