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.Read more
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.
- Through his/her play on the United States National Team (senior teams).
- Player must have played at least TWENTY (20) full international games for the United States.
- 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.
- 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.
- He/she must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in above mentioned leagues
- Been a post season league All Star at least ONE (1) time.
- Through play in the Major Indoor Soccer League (1984 - 1992). There was no first division outdoor league in the United States.
- Must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in the MISL
- 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.Read more
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
USA DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), 22-Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 3/0), 1-Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (8): 5-John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 36/3), 3-Omar Gonzalez (Atlas/MEX; 48/3), 24-Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 2/0), 23-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 4/0), 16-Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact; 2/0), 19-Matt Miazga (Reading, ENG; 11/1), 13-Tim Ream (Fulham, ENG; 26/1), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United, ENG; 57/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 14-Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, GER; 9/1), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, CAN; 143/17), 17-Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 7/2), 8-Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 7/1), 10-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 23/9), 15-Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 7/0), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 13/0)
FORWARDS (6): 7-Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 19/3), 20-Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 2/0), 18-Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 2/0), 11-Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 25/5), 21-Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 2/1), 9-Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 42/6)
Wins against Panama (3-0) and Costa Rica (2-0) highlighted the first camp under U.S. MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter in January and in the buildup to those matches the MNT’s domestic player pool steeped itself in developing a new team culture and style of play. Now with a short window of time to prepare for this month’s matches against Ecuador and Chile, Berhalter called back 13 players from the January Camp, while adding a number of the team’s foreign-based contingent to the roster as he and his staff use the March games to make decisions about the roster that will represent the USA at this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
“We thought it was important to tie some of the themes of last camp into this next camp and to have some consistency in the personnel made a lot of sense,” Berhalter said. “Again, we still think we’re able to evaluate a new group of players and we think that is going to be valuable as we move into the Gold Cup.”
NEW ‘OLD’ FACES
Among the “first-time” faces in camp with Berhalter are center backs Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream. Returning to the MNT for the first time since 2017, the veteran defenders have continued to play at a high level – Ream with Fulham of the English Premier League and Gonzalez with Atlas in Liga MX – and will be looked to for experience and competition in the group.
“We have been saying all along that we thought it was important to have a veteran presence in the National Team,” Berhalter said. “I think it’s really important when you talk about the history, the heritage and culture of what it means to play for the National Team. In Omar and Tim’s case, they’re both playing at a high level, they’re both playing every week and we thought this would be a good camp to evaluate their performance.”
Meanwhile, forward Jordan Morris also returns for the first time after recovering from a torn right ACL last February. The 24-year-old visited the team in Chula Vista, Calif., for a few days during January Camp before going heading on to preseason and has started the 2019 MLS campaign very well, registering three goals and an assist, helping Seattle Sounders FC to a perfect 3-0-0 record this year.
“On the club stage is when you have small victories, when you see guys returning after long-term injury,” Berhalter said. “On the National Team, it’s equally as gratifying to be able to call a player up after he has had a good preseason and a great start to this season. We’re excited for Jordan. He’s a player that we had contact with in January Camp and it will be great to see him live and in person on the field.”
PREPARING TO PREPARE
One of the challenges for any National Team coach is impacting their players during the long periods between matches. Now add in a new coach and a new game model, and addressing that gap becomes more important. The coaching staff has spent the last six weeks attempting to do just that.
“We have laid a lot of ground work in preparation for this camp,” Berhalter said. “It entailed meeting with the players, video conferences with the players, conversations with the players, evaluating their games … it’s a very important time period to keep working and be productive. We’ve used that time to meet the players and communicate what we’re looking to do in the next camp.”
BIG OPPORTUNITIES FOR MNT GOALKEEPERS
Originally named to the 24-player roster last week, goalkeeper Zack Steffen was forced to withdraw on Sunday due to a minor right knee injury. Steffen’s absence opens the door a bit wider for the likes of Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) and his replacement, Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas) to stake a bigger claim in the MNT goalkeeping conversation this month.
A veteran of the MNT program since 2011, Johnson, 29, has six caps and appeared during the second half of last month’s 3-0 win against Panama. Since debuting in 2016, the 23-year-old Horvath has earned three caps for the MNT, while Gonzalez is the lone uncapped player on the 24-man roster.
- The teams have met 14 times, with the USA trailing the all-time series by a slight 4-5-5 mark.
- The teams last met in 2016, playing two matches in less than a month’s time. The MNT defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a warm-up friendly for the Copa America Centenario on May 25, 2016 in Frisco, Texas, before earning a 2-1 victory against La Tricolor in the tournament quarterfinals on June 16, 2016 in Seattle.
- MNT striker Gyasi Zardes scored what would stand as the game-winner during the 2-1 quarterfinal victory.
- The MNT is 1-0-0 all-time at Orlando City Stadium. In its last visit, the USA rode a brace from Jozy Altidore as well as goals from Christian Pulisic and Bobby Wood to a 4-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Panama on Oct. 6, 2017.
- The USA’s 24-player roster averages 25 years, 266 days and 21 caps, while Ecuador’s 23-man roster is 26 years, 184 days and 19 caps.
USA ROSTER NOTES
- Fifteen players play domestically in Major League Soccer, while nine feature for clubs abroad in Germany (4), England (3), Belgium and Mexico (1 each).
- Based on appearances, the senior-most players on the roster are Michael Bradley (143), DeAndre Yedlin (57), Omar Gonzalez (48), Gyasi Zardes (42) and John Brooks (36).
- On the flip side, 13 players hold nine or fewer caps.
- Having successfully recovered from a torn right ACL suffered last February with Seattle Sounders FC, forward Jordan Morris returns to the team for the first time since January 2018. The 25-year-old striker has registered three goals and an assist to help Seattle Sounders FC to a perfect 3-0-0 start to the 2019 MLS campaign.
- Veteran defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream make their first camp appearances since 2017.
- Thirteen players return from the MNT’s January Camp squad that earned back-to-back wins against Panama (3-0) and Costa Rica (2-0), while 10 players will take part in their first camp under MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter.
- Midfielder Tyler Adams comes to camp for the first time as a member of German club RB Leipzig. The 20-year-old has found consistent playing time with the Bundesliga side, helping the club to a 6-0-3 record in the eight competitive matches he has appeared in since his debut in late January.
- Zardes is also the only player on the roster to score against either opponent, tallying in the USA’s 2-1 win against Ecuador in the quarterfinal of Copa America Centenario on June 16, 2016 in Seattle.
ECUADOR ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Maximo Banguera (Barcelona; 35/0), Alexander Domínguez (Velez Sarsfield/ARG; 47/0), Pedro Ortiz (Delfín; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Gabriel Achilier (Morelia/MEX; 38/1), Xavier Arreaga (Barcelona; 1/0), Beder Caicedo (Barcelona; 2/0), John Narváez (Melgar/PER; 2/0), Juan Carlos Paredes (Emelec; 73/0), Ángelo Preciado (Independiente del Valle; 4/0), Jackson Porozo (Santos/BRA; 0/0), Cristian Ramirez (Krasnodar/RUS; 18/1)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas/USA; 20/0), Renato Ibarra (Club América/MEX; 37/1), Romario Ibarra (Minnesota United FC/USA; 6/3), Jefferson Intriago (LDU Quito; 4/0), Jhegson Méndez (Orlando City SC/USA; 5/0), Jefferson Orejuela (LDU Quito; 12/0), Ayrton Preciado (Santos Laguna/MEX; 9/0), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United/ENG; 93/11)
FORWARDS (4): Leonardo Campana (Barcelona; 0/0), Ángel Mena (Club León/MEX; 9/3), Jhohan Julio (LDU Quito; 0/0), Enner Valencia (Tigres UANL/MEX; 46/27)
- After leading Panama to its first FIFA World Cup appearance in 2018, Hernan Dario Gomez returned as head coach of Ecuador last year. “El Bolilo” famously guided La Tricolor to its first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 2002.
- The early returns for Ecuador under Gomez have been positive, with the team going 4-1-1 in its six matches since last fall.
- Gomez will use his team’s March matches against the USA and Honduras (March 26 in Harrison, N.J.) as final preparation for their own regional tournament, Copa America 2019, to be held this summer in Brazil.
- With 27 goals, forward Enner Valencia sits second on Ecuador’s all-time scoring list, just four behind all-time leader Agustin Delgado.
- With 93 caps, Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia is the most experienced played on the roster.
- Orlando City SC midfielder Jhegson Méndez has the chance of representing Ecuador in his home stadium and headlines the trio of Ecuador players from MLS. The others are Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas) and Romario Ibarra (Minnesota United FC).
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 keen eye on what has transpired with the MNT under new head coach Gregg Berhalter.
ussoccer.com caught up with the Wappingers Falls, N.Y. native to see how his transition to Germany has gone and his impressions of the MNT going forward…
ussoccer.com: Watching from afar, what were your impressions of what you saw from January Camp?
Tyler Adams: “Getting a new coach, there were new opportunities for a lot of guys. I had the opportunity to go to January Camp last year, and having a new coaching staff this year we knew it was going to be different. When I made the move to Europe, I wasn’t able to participate in that, but there were a lot of guys that I was excited to see make it - guys like Djordje Mihailovic, who I played with at the Youth National Teams, and Aaron Long who I know from the Red Bulls and captained the team in the games against Panama and Costa Rica. It was exciting staying up late to watch and see how they developed over the course of two games.
ussoccer.com: You guys are always texting and talking through the social media. What did you hear from your teammates that were part of January Camp?
TA: “Specifically, I had good conversations with Jeremy Ebobisse who is another guy I know from the Youth National Teams and someone I’m really close with. I spoke a lot with Aaron Long too. They were so excited about the vibe of the camp and how everything was going. Obviously things were changing with a new coaching staff, but I heard a lot about the energy level, how the training sessions went, the attention to detail and how they wanted to play. They were giving a specific identity to the team and the importance of the different variables that go into everything we do.
“Those guys were obviously excited and the first thing they said to me was, ‘You’re going to have so much fun when you come into camp.’ Obviously as a player watching from afar, that’s what you want to hear. Whenever you’re able to put the crest on and have a smile on your faces, that’s an exciting feeling.”
ussoccer.com: And so, watching those games from abroad, was it evident to you that there was a shift in the style of play?
TA: “Absolutely, but having played many games against Columbus before, that identity was so clear there with the players they had to fit that style of play. Playing against it was never easy, so I think it definitely challenges defenses and that’s the most important thing.
All in all, we want to go out there and get results, but at the same time, we want to change the way people view soccer in the United States. Other nationalities sometimes look down on soccer here – maybe it hasn’t come quite as far as it could have yet. We want everything to come full swing. We’re part of that movement now.”
ussoccer.com: To get guys that were not part of January Camp up to speed for these games, Gregg has said he and his staff had video conferences with you guys. What did you take away from those sessions?
TA: “The first thing I noticed was the attention to detail and how they convey it. There’s so many little details with how we want to play -- the movements that open up different players defensively and offensively, the different variables and perspectives that you can take, and certain positions and roles you can take. It’s something that you have to pay close attention to and the guys in January Camp had a full month to try and grasp as much information as possible.
“For those of us coming back from Europe, we have to grasp as much as possible on the fly, but the coaching staff has done a great job being in contact coming into camp, showing video and graphics of how you move and what positions they want you to take up. They’ve been lengthy discussions, but they’ve been good ones.”
“You want to be as prepared as possible coming into these camps and you want to be right on cue with your attention to detail. For me, I’m obviously focusing on something different in Germany, but in my downtime there I’d hope on a Skype call and be shown this information that in a few week’s time gives me the best preparation and opportunity to succeed when I get in camp.”
ussoccer.com: Gregg has said that he wants to try you at right back in this system. How do you think your skillset fits with that position in this system?
TA: It’s definitely an interesting role. Nick Lima did a good job with it in January Camp and I’ve had the conversations with Gregg that have helped me understand what he wants from it.
“The analogy you can make with it as how Manchester City plays. They have a left back that moves into central midfield in attack. Obviously, it’s on the opposite side here, but you often find yourself tucked into the middle of the field being able to help with the transition plays and attacking in different roles. The most important thing that Gregg emphasized was that the No. 8 can take up that position, the winger can take up that position and I can take up that position at different times. The chemistry and rotation between those players will be very important."
ussoccer.com: While a number of young guys got their chances with the MNT last year, there’s been a shift in the last few camps as more veteran players have come back into the fold. How do you feel about having more experience around this group?
TA: “I absolutely think it’s crucial to help the team develop in the right way. As a young player, it’s a little bit different. Of course you want to be around all your buddies and connect with guys your age, but the veterans offer experience that we don’t have. I think whether it’s leadership on and off the field and being able to connect in different ways is important.”
ussoccer.com: In January, you made the big move from the New York Red Bulls to RB Leipzig in Germany. What have been the biggest adjustments for you?
TA: “The jump to Leipzig has gone about as well as it could have. A lot of people see what takes place on the field, but for me it’s the work I’ve tried to put in off the field – understanding the language and the coaches getting me up to speed with the tactics. In New York we played a similar system, and having [former New York Red Bulls head coach ] Jesse Marsch make that jump as an assistant coach before me has helped get me up to speed as well.
“Having a short break after the MLS season, getting back into the swing of things with a good preseason and trying to make teammates trust your ability and want you to be on the field with them has been the biggest thing. Now that I’ve earned the respect of some of those guys, everything is going smoothly.”
ussoccer.com: What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you living in Germany?
TA: “A lot of people in Germany speak English, but sometimes you run into a situation someone doesn’t. I went to the grocery story one time and they only spoke German and they have such different accents in Leipzig.
“I tried to use my card at the cash register and I was just standing there, wondering why this lady was just staring at me. She wasn’t saying anything except this one word in a German accent that was harder to understand. After a few minutes wondering why she didn’t give me my receipt and looking at my card sitting there, I just gave her cash and left.
“I came around later and figured out that she was asking me to type in my pin number, but I didn’t think I was using a debit card!
“It was so funny because she’s just standing there. The line is stacking up behind me and I’m just like, ‘Sorry guys, I don’t know what’s happening!’ They’re looking back at me wanting to get through the line. It was pretty funny.”
ussoccer.com: Has there been a culture shock moment yet?
TA: “No real culture shocks. We have so many foreigners on our team that it’s not a typical German locker room or staff. Obviously the language is German, that’s not going to change, but when you have French and Scandinavian guys that all speak English – that makes for a pretty calm environment.”
ussoccer.com: And since you’ve joined RB Leipzig, the team is unbeaten in the matches you’ve played, third place in the Bundesliga…
TA: “Don’t jinx me! Everyone that wants to talk about it. I’m scared they’re going to jinx what we have going right now…"
ussoccer.com: Okay… Rephrasing that question… Is it fair to say you’re happy with the success you’ve had so far in Germany?
“So far, so good. I think that there’s so much to improve on still and so many things you want to do well. For me, it’s just making sure I’m in the starting XI every game now. I want to provide a positive influence on the team and now we have some big games ahead of us, so I’m excited for the second half of the second half of the season to get underway.
ussoccer.com: A year ago, we were visiting you at your parents’ house and driving with you to training for your RISING video… Now you’re playing in Germany, starting for one of the best clubs in the Bundesliga and making strides with the National Team… Is it crazy to think about how everything has worked out?
“I feel really fortunate to have things work out like they have so far. I think to go into a club where there’s so many familiar faces I’ve seen around New York before, because they were always checking in on our club. It’s nice to go and make this transition that we’ve talked about for a long time now – basically since I signed my first deal with New York, this was a potential move. I just take it as it goes.
“The biggest thing for me when I think about it is remembering where I came from. Being in my house a year ago with my family, valuing those times when I have the opportunity. Now I don’t see my family for months at a time. It’s hard at times, you go through ups and downs with that. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not just every Saturday that the work goes into. It’s the six days before that and there are good and bad days. Working through those ups and downs is the biggest challenge for sure.”Read more
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.
- Jason Kreis Named Head Coach of U-23 MNT
- Jason Kries Q&A: "It’s an opportunity to work with the country’s brightest young stars."
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.
- READ: U-20 MNT Roster Release
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.
- 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.