U.S. Soccer

USA Cruises to 6-0 Win vs. Honduras in Critical World Cup Qualifier

SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 24, 2017) – The U.S. Men’s National Team used a hat trick from Clint Dempsey as well as goals from Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley and Christian Pulisic to earn an emphatic 6-0 Final Round World Cup Qualifying win against Honduras at Avaya Stadium. The victory gives the U.S. its first three points of the Hexagonal and pushes the team into fourth place, just one point behind Tuesday’s opponents Panama for CONCACAF’s third and final automatic World Cup berth.

The U.S. was clinical in front of goal all night, converting six of the eight shots it put on target. That finishing touch told from the outset as it took the U.S. just five minutes to gain a lead when Lletget tallied his first international goal by finishing Pulisic’s deflected shot at the back post. The U.S. doubled the advantage through Bradley in the 27th minute, before Pulisic slipped Dempsey in on goal to score his first in the 32nd, sending the MNT into halftime with a 3-0 advantage.

The U.S. was relentless coming out of the locker room, with Pulisic converting 12 seconds into the second half to give the MNT a 4-0 lead. A well-worked play between Jozy Altidore and Pulisic led to Dempsey finishing his second of the game in the 49th minute, before the veteran forward scored his third from a brilliant free kick in the 54th minute. Dempsey’s hat trick is the second of his international career and first by a U.S. player in World Cup Qualifying since Jozy Altidore bagged all three in a 3-0 U.S. win on April 1, 2009 vs. Trinidad & Tobago

The win is the largest margin of victory for the U.S. against Honduras as well as the team’s biggest in the Final Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying. 

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT looks for another three points as it travels south to take on third-place Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City on Tuesday, March 28 at 10 p.m. ET on beIN Sports, Telemundo and Universo.
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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying - CONCACAF Final Round Standings
 TEAM GP
W
L D Pts. GF GA GD
Mexico 3 2 0 1 7 4 1 3
Costa Rica
3
2
1
0
6
6
2
4
Panama 3
1
1
1
4
1
1
0
United States 3 1 2 0 3 7 6 1
Trinidad & Tobago 3 1 2 0 3 2 5 -3
Honduras 3
1
2
0
3
3
8
-5

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Sebastian Lletget, 5th minute: The Honduras defense struggled to control the USA’s early high press, with Ever Alvarado popping a clearance straight up in the air. Jozy Altidore chested it down and began a nice combination with Christian Pulisic, sending the 18-year-old into the box along on the left. The MNT midfielder rifled a quick shot that deflected off the goalkeeper straight into the path of Lletget, who easily tapped home at the back post. USA 1, HON 0 [WATCH]

USA – Michael Bradley (Alejandro Bedoya), 27th minute: After sustaining some pressure from Honduras, the U.S. double its lead through its captain. Alejandro Bedoya collected a pass on the right sideline and laid it back for Michael Bradley. The veteran midfielder switched towards the left, rounding Jorge Claros to gain more space and unleash a shot that skipped off the wet turf and inside the lower right post. USA 2, HON 0 [WATCH]

USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic), 32nd minute: Continuing to press the attack, Darlington Nagbe headed a ball into the path of Pulisic who turned and took a stride before sending a deft chip into the path of Dempsey. With Henry Figueroa on his back, the bullish forward took the ball off his right shoulder before muscling off the Honduras defender and chopping a rising shot past Donis Escober and inside the top right corner. USA 3, HON 0 [WATCH]

USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore), 46th minute: Christian Pulisic started and finished the fourth goal, which came straight from the second-half kickoff. Pulisic laid back to Michael Bradley in the center circle, who chipped a ball to the right sideline for Altidore. The expert forward then nodded ahead for Dempsey, who got a foot to it, but briefly lost possession to Maynor Figueroa. Dempsey won the ball back and played for Altidore, who then threaded Pulisic into the box, where the young attacker coolly finished inside the lower right corner 12 seconds after kicking off. USA 4, HON 0 [WATCH]

USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic), 49th minute: After pressure from Pulisic forced a turnover at midfield, Altidore drove up the left flank and centered for Pulisic, who caught Dempsey strolling straight up the middle and a perfectly weighted through ball. The newly returned forward split the Honduran defense and rounded Escober to bury his second of the game. USA 5, HON 0 [WATCH]

USA – Clint Dempsey, 54th minute: After Pulisic earned a free kick just outside the penalty area, Dempsey lined up over the ball and rifled a right-footed blast that swung inside the top left corner to complete his second career hat trick. The goal also pushed Dempsey back past Jozy Altidore and into first on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals list with 17. USA 6, HON 0 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Tim Howard, 16th minute:  After Omar Gonzalez made an initial clearance on a through ball, Emilio Izaguirre collected on the left and charged up the flank before centering a cross. The ball fell for Alberth Ellis right at the penalty spot, where he settled with his left before turning to hit a low, right-footed effort that Howard was quick to get down to save.

NOTES:

  • Making his World Cup Qualifying debut, Lletget tallied his first international goal in the fifth minute before having to leave the match due to injury in the 18th.
  • Bradley’s 27th minute strike was his 16th international goal, sixth all-time in World Cup Qualifying and first since scoring against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinals on July 22, 2015.
  • Dempsey recorded his second hat trick and first since July 18, 2015 vs. Cuba. The three goals push him to 17 all-time in World Cup Qualifying, moving him past Jozy Altidore into first for the MNT’s all-time lead.
  • Dempsey’s hat trick for the USA is the team’s first in a World Cup Qualifier since Jozy Altidore bagged all three goals against Trinidad and Tobago in a 3-0 U.S. win on April 1, 2009 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The hat trick also pushes Dempsey’s overall goals total to 55, placing him just two behind Landon Donovan for the USA’s all-time lead.
  • The goals were Dempsey’s first for the USA since returning from medical problems he suffered over the end of 2016. He last scored against Ecuador in the MNT’s 2-1 win on June 16 in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
  • Christian Pulisic’s goal is his third career World Cup Qualifying strike. He previously scored two against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, 2016 (also in a 6-0 USA win).
  • Tim Howard made four saves to earn his 38th career clean sheet.
  • After making his international debut on Jan. 29 vs. Serbia, Jorge Villafaña joined Lletget in earning his first World Cup Qualifying cap.
  • The U.S. Men’s National Team moves to 16-4-4 all-time against Honduras and has gone 13-2-3 on U.S. soil.

 

  • The MNT has now gone 6-2-1 against Los Catrachos in World Cup Qualifying.

  • Bruce Arena moves his career record vs. Honduras to 6-1-0 all-time.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: March 24, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - Qualifier
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Attendance: 17,729
Weather: 56 degrees; raining

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             3          3          6
HON                            0          0          0

USA – Sebastian Lletget                                            5th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (Alejandro Bedoya)              27
USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic)                   32
USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore)                      46
USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic)                   49
USA – Clint Dempsey                                                 54

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jorge Villafaña, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-John Brooks (14-Tim Ream, 70), 20-Geoff Cameron (19-Graham Zusi, 59); 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 9-Sebastian Lletget (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18), 10-Christian Pulisic, 15-Darlington Nagbe; 8-Clint Dempsey, 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 12-David Bingham, 22-Nick Rimando; 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 21-Walker Zimmerman; 13-Kellyn Acosta, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 23-Dax McCarty; 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head coach: Bruce Arena

HON: 22-Donis Escober; 7-Emilio Izaguirre (14-Boniek Garcia, 46), 3-Maynor Figueroa (capt.), 4-Henry Figueroa, 5-Ever Alvarado, 21-Brayan Beckeles; 20-Jorge Claros, 15-Roger Espinoza; 12-Romell Quioto (11-Erick Andino, 43) 19-Alberth Elis, 17-Andy Najar (8-Oliver Morazan, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Luis Lopez, 18-Ricardo Canales, 2-Felix Crisianto, 6-Allans Vargas, 23-Cesar Oseguera; 10-Mario Martinez, 16-Carlos Disuca, 9-Anthony Lozano, 13-Eddie Hernandez
Head coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 9 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 0 / 7
Fouls: 15 / 8
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
HON – Ever Alvarado (caution)          15th minute
USA – Geoff Cameron (caution)        25

Officials:
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)                                                                                               
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)
4th Official: Oscar Reyna (GUA)                                                                                           

Budweiser Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey

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MNT Mar 24, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Honduras
Date: March 24, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia - Qualifier
Venue: Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Attendance: 17,729
Weather: 56 degrees; raining

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
USA                             3          3          6
HON                             0          0          0

USA – Sebastian Lletget                                  5th minute
USA – Michael Bradley (Alejandro Bedoya)      27
USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic)                        32
USA – Christian Pulisic (Jozy Altidore)              46
USA – Clint Dempsey (Christian Pulisic)                        49
USA – Clint Dempsey                                       54

Lineups:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jorge Villafaña, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-John Brooks (14-Tim Ream, 70), 20-Geoff Cameron (19-Graham Zusi, 59); 4-Michael Bradley (capt.), 9-Sebastian Lletget (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18), 10-Christian Pulisic, 15-Darlington Nagbe; 8-Clint Dempsey, 17-Jozy Altidore
Subs not used: 12-David Bingham, 22-Nick Rimando; 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 21-Walker Zimmerman; 13-Kellyn Acosta, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 23-Dax McCarty; 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head coach: Bruce Arena

HON: 22-Donis Escober; 7-Emilio Izaguirre (14-Boniek Garcia, 46), 3-Maynor Figueroa (capt.), 4-Henry Figueroa, 5-Ever Alvarado, 21-Brayan Beckeles; 20-Jorge Claros, 15-Roger Espinoza; 12-Romell Quioto (11-Erick Andino, 43) 19-Alberth Elis, 17-Andy Najar (8-Oliver Morazan, 61)
Subs not used: 1-Luis Lopez, 18-Ricardo Canales, 2-Felix Crisianto, 6-Allans Vargas, 23-Cesar Oseguera; 10-Mario Martinez, 16-Carlos Disuca, 9-Anthony Lozano, 13-Eddie Hernandez
Head coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

Stats Summary: USA / HON
Shots: 9 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 0 / 7
Fouls: 15 / 8
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
HON – Ever Alvarado (caution)                   15th minute
USA – Geoff Cameron (caution)                 25

Officials:
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)                                                                                      
Assistant Referee 1: Gerson Lopez (GUA)                                                                              
Assistant Referee 2: Hermenerito Leal (GUA)                                                  
4th Official: Oscar Reyna (GUA)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey

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Vexed by the Hex? A Simple Guide to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying

The U.S. Men’s National Team has played in the last seven World Cups – one of only six nations in the world to accomplish that feat – and some people naturally assume that every four years the U.S. is just penciled into the bracket. Not so!

In fact, qualifying for the FIFA World Cup out of CONCACAF  is a marathon. Since the current qualifying format was adopted for the 1998 tournament, the U.S. has had to play 16-18 matches spanning two years in order to book its place in the FIFA World Cup.

In the case of the current cycle, the MNT began its quest to qualify for Russia 2018 when it started play in CONCACAF’s Semifinal Round in November 2015. Having finished on top of a group that also featured Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the U.S. now finds itself in the CONCACAF's Final Round of World Cup Qualifying.

The six-team group, nicknamed “The Hex” (short for Hexagonal), pits the top two teams from each of CONCACAF’s three semifinal groups – in this case, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and USA -- in a home-and-away mini-league which began in November 2016 and concludes in October 2017. At the end of the 10-game schedule, the top three teams in The Hex automatically qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, the fourth-place team from CONCACAF will go into an intercontinental playoff with the fifth-place finisher from the Asian Football Confederation’s own qualifying tournament. The winner over two games will be 32nd and final entrant into the World Cup.

Got all that?

Here’s a breakdown of the 10-game schedule the MNT will have to navigate to qualify for its eighth consecutive FIFA World Cup, with a little history added in.

USA 1, Mexico 2 - Nov. 11, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio
Having defeated Mexico 2-0 in each of its previous four Final Round matches played in Columbus, Ohio, the MNT went back to MAPFRE Stadium in November, where they fell 2-1 to a talented Mexico side

A deflected effort from Miguel Layun gave Mexico a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute, before the U.S. suffered another setback when goalkeeper Tim Howard suffered a fractured right adductor while taking a routine goal kick and had to leave the match in the 40th minute. After halftime, the U.S. bounced back through Bobby Wood's 49th minute strike and had chances to push ahead that came up empty. Just as it looked like both teams would settle for a 1-1 draw, Mexico captain Rafael Marquez headed home an 89th minute corner kick from Layun to give El Trí all three points.

WATCH: U.S. Falls 2-1 to Mexico in November 


Costa Rica 4, USA 0 - Nov. 15, 2016 in San Jose, Costa Rica

Four days after falling to Mexico, the U.S. traveled to Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica for a match against Los Ticos. The MNT's success rate in Costa Rica had never been great and while the U.S. nearly went into halftime tied 0-0, but Johan Venegas pushed the home side ahead in the 44th minute. Costa Rica then added strikes from Cristian BolaƄos and a brace from Joel Campbell to run out 4-0 winners.

In the days following the match, Jurgen Klinsmann was replaced by former MNT head coach Bruce Arena, who is charged with righting the ship for the U.S. to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

USA 6, Honduras 0 - March 24, 2017 in San Jose, Calif.

After dropping its opening Final Round qualifiers to Mexico and Costa Rica, the USA entered the March slate of games with the necessity to #Get3 points at home against Honduras. Under the guidance of Arena, the team showed up to Avaya Stadium in a big way, using goals from Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic and a hat trick from Clint Dempsey to lay down a 6-0 drubbing on Los Catrachos.

The resounding result came despite a number of injury setbacks, showed the response of the team to new leadership under Arena and helped symbolize the MNT's turnaround in its goal of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

WATCH: USA Turns Things Around With 6-0 Win vs. Honduras

Panama 1, USA 1 - March 28, 2017 in Panama City, Panama

Four days later, the USA traveled to take on a Panama side that it was in direct competition with for one of the top three spots in the Hex. What transpired at Estadio Rommel Fernandez was a cagey and physical match, high on atmosphere, but devoid of many chances. 

A moment of brilliance from Christian Pulisic saw the U.S. jump on board first. The young attacker chased down a ball up the right side before dispossession Felipe Baloy and shaking off a second defender before centering for Clint Dempsey who scraped home the opening goal in the 39th minute. Just as the U.S. looked headed to halftime, Panama equalized when a long throw in led to a break in the defense and allowed Gabriel Gomez to put home the equalizer from close range.

Just after the break, Pulisic saw a great volley turned away by Baloy, while goalkeeper Tim Howard came up with two big stops to preserve the 1-1 draw and an important away point

After starting the March qualifying set in last place, the win and draw handed the USA four crucial points and moved the side up to fourth heading into June. 

WATCH: U.S. Battles Hard for Important Away Point in Panama

USA 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0 - June 8, 2017 in Commerce City, Colo.

With momentum for March, the U.S. took a high-altitude approach to its June set of qualifiers, playing a warmup friendly against Venezuela in Sandy, Utah, before taking on Trinidad & Tobago at the 5,280 feet provided by Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Though favored against the Soca Warriors, the USA was left frustrated in the first half due to the stellar play of Jan-Michael Williams and entered the locker room knotted at 0-0.

The deadlock was broken in the 52nd minute when a clever pass from Jorge Villafaña found Christian Pulisic who poked home the opening goal. Ten minutes later, Jozy Altidore cleverly picked out Pulisic's run before the attacker slotted the icing goal past Williams, giving the USA a 2-0 victory and another crucial three points at home

WATCH: Pulisic Brace Hands U.S. 2-0 Win vs. Soca Warriors

Mexico 1, USA 1 - June 11, 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico
With nearly two weeks of altitude adjustment under its belt, the U.S. Men's National Team headed to the vaunted Estadio Azteca to take on rivals Mexico on Matchday 6. A young U.S. midfield featuring Christian Pulisic, Paul Arriola and Kellyn Acosta was joined by captain Michael Bradley, who opened the scoring with a stunning goal just six minutes in. The veteran midfielder anticipated a pass in midfield, quickly countered and sent a 40-yard chip over Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. 

The U.S. continued attacking and came close again through Bobby Wood in the 23rd minute. The saved attempt was quickly collected by Ochoa who sent an outlet pass through midfield to start a Mexico counter and led to the equalizer through Carlos Vela. Both teams would trade chances the rest of the way and Bradley's second effort from distance rang off the post, but in the end, the sides would share the spoils, giving the USA its third all-time draw in World Cup Qualifying at Estadio Azteca

WATCH: Bradley Chip Spurs USA to Road Point at Azteca

USA 0, Costa Rica 2 - Sept. 1, 2017
Riding high off strong performances during June's World Cup Qualifiers and July's Gold Cup championship, the MNT welcomed fellow CONCACAF power Costa Rica to Red Bull Arena. While the U.S. had a number of dangerous opportunities, they were thwarted by the stellar play of goalkeeper Keylor Navas and an unlikely brace from Ticos and San Jose Earthquakes forward Marco Ureña in a 2-0 loss

WATCH: MNT Falls 2-0 to Costa Rica on Matchday 7

Honduras 1,  USA 1 - Sept. 5, 2017
Thanks to the home defeat vs. Costa Rica and other results on Matchday 7, the U.S. found itself with little room for error when it visited Honduras on Sept. 5. A mid-afternoon kickoff meant the players on the field were dealing with heat and humidity that made the temperature feel like it was over 100 degrees. Despite that factor, the MNT looked steady and comfortable through the early going, only to be undone when Rommel Quioto put the home side up 1-0 in the 27th  minute. Nail biting moments ensued, but the USA stayed composed and earned a late free kick when Christian Pulisic was upended about 10 yards from the penalty area. Kellyn Acosta's ensuing take was well saved by Honduras 'keeper Luis Lopez, but a scramble to the right of goal involving Matt Besler and Jordan Morris keeping the ball alive before Bobby Wood buried the dramatic 85th minute equalizer. The goal stood up through the remaining minutes as the U.S. earned an important 1-1 draw

With Honduras sitting level with the U.S. going into the match, the late goal was crucial in making sure the U.S stayed in control of its own destiny going into October's final set of matches. 

WATCH: How They Scored - Bobby Wood's Important Equalizer in Honduras

October 6, 2017 - USA vs. Panama
Historically speaking, the MNT will still be in need of points to qualify when they host Los Canaleros on Matchday 9. The U.S. has won all three of its previous home World Cup Qualifying matches against Panama, outscoring the Central American side 10-0 in process. Last go around, the USA also played a major role in denying Panama a potential place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup when Graham Zusi and Aron Johannsson's stoppage time strikes doomed the nation to just missing out on CONCACAF's fourth-place playoff spot. The result has appeared to motivate an improved Panama side, with Los Canaleros playing the USA to four consecutive 1-1 draws, including March's result in Panama City, ever since.

The stakes for USA-Panama, presented by Volpi Foods, are similar to that 2013 match. A Panama win on U.S. soil would see the side book its first World Cup appearance, while a U.S. victory would push the MNT two points ahead of Los Canaleros, keeping the team in the driver's seat for its Matchday 10 visit to Trinidad & Tobago. 

WATCH: U.S. sees off Panama during 2013 Hex in Seattle 

All-Time WCQ Record vs. Panama: 5-0-2
All-Time Home WCQ Record vs. Panama:
3-0-0

October 10, 2017 - Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA
In 1989, the MNT visited Trinidad & Tobago on the final day of World Cup Qualifying knowing that only a win would take the USA to its first World Cup since 1950. On that day, the task of winning away in Port of Spain was no foregone conclusion, and Paul Caligiuri’s “shot heard ‘around the world’ launched the modern era of U.S. Soccer. Flash forward almost 30 years, and anything less than three points there hasn’t met expectations. The MNT learned that lesson last in November 2015 following a 0-0 draw in its semifinal round match at Hasely Crawford Stadium. 

Similar to the match in 1989, this last qualifying game will have huge stakes for the United States, who will no doubt need some kind of result in Trinidad in order to book its ticket to Russia. Not so similar is the fact that the game will be played in tiny Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, approximately 45 minutes away from Hasely Crawford Stadium in the capital, Port of Spain. 

WATCH: Paul Caligiuri sends USA to first World Cup since 1950 

All-Time WCQ Record vs. Trinidad & Tobago: 13-1-3
All-Time Away WCQ Record at Trinidad & Tobago:
4-1-2

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MNT Sep 28, 2017

IN PHOTOS: The Team Behind the U.S. Men's National Team

Go on tour with the big-time bands and you’ll find a team of tireless experts that works behind the scenes to make sure that everything is perfect when the group steps on stage to perform for their legion of fans, from setting up the lighting and sound, to tuning instruments, to the organization of the food and travel. As the “team behind the team,” the members of that dedicated staff are the most important people you’ve never heard of.

The U.S. Men’s National Team deploys a similar group, each having different responsibilities but working towards the same goal. To give you a glimpse, ussoccer.com went behind the scenes with MNT Equipment Manager Jesse Bignami (left above) and Team Administrator Jon Fleishman (right) to document three different phases of their work behind a successful 10-day gathering. 

Photos: John Dorton and Mike Janosz / ISI Photos

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On March 9, MNT Equipment Manager Jesse Bignami and Team Administrator Jon Fleishman are putting the finishing touches on a large shipment of gear that will go from its home at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif., to the MNT hotel in San Jose. 

For Fleishman, it means packing up approximately nine cases that contain everything he needs to setup a mobile office at the team hotel, while Bignami works with the MNT medical staff to gather all of their equipment as well as the large amount of player gear needed to go on the road. 

The MNT kit man packs up the usual items such as boots, balls, jerseys, goalkeeper gloves, casual wear, massage tables, and medical equipment. There’s also some more eccentric items, like a heat press, boot stretcher, power adapters for foreign countries, and even the game balls that will be used by our opponent on the road.

In total, he estimates they ship about 100 different trunks and cases to San Jose that add up to almost 10,000 pounds.

And there’s another wrinkle.

“We almost always are shipping prior to the roster being announced and we don’t have a home stadium, so we basically have to bring everything we need to be self-sufficient anywhere in the world,” Bignami told ussoccer.com “That’s different than any club team who travels 48 hours before a game. Jon has nine trunks that are basically his mobile office. All the medical stuff we travel with accounts for the fact that we obviously don’t have a fully equipped training room when we show up in a hotel. There’s a lot to consider.”

 

As he’s packing, Bignami keeps a meticulous list, tracking everything that goes onto the shipment truck. 

After three long days of packing, the two see the shipment off to San Jose where they’ll collect it eight days later. 

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Flash forward to March 17 where Bignami and Fleishman are joined by MNT Assistant Equipment Manager Mike Zawlocki and other staff to begin setting things up at the team hotel before players and coaching staff arrive two days later. 

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MNT Apr 4, 2017

Sebastian Lletget Sidelined Four to Six Months with Lisfranc Injury

Sebastian Lletget had a dream start to Friday’s crucial World Cup Qualifying clash vs. Honduras, tapping home a rebound on Christian Pulisic’s shot to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. 

Moments after the goal, the 24-year-old’s World Cup Qualifying debut went from joy to pain – quite literally – due to a late, hard tackle from Éver Alvarado in the 15th minute.

While the Honduras midfielder was shown a yellow card for the challenge, Lletget was forced out of the match minutes later and is now feeling the long-lasting effects after the LA Galaxy announced Tuesday that the midfielder sustained a Lisfranc injury.

Sebastian Lletget Tackled by Ever Alvarado - March 28 USA vs. Honduras

The U.S. Soccer and LA Galaxy medical teams, headed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Rachel Triche, determined that Lletget will require surgery next week when the swelling comes down.

Lletget will be sidelined for the next 4-6 months.

Get well soon, Sebastian. We’re behind you all the way.

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MNT Mar 28, 2017

After Statement Game vs. Honduras, MNT Looks to #Get3More vs. Panama

After two tough losses to begin the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying back in November, the U.S. Men’s National Team came into Friday’s home match against Honduras with a simple message:

#Get3 points.

By the 54th minute, they had peppered six goals in the back of the net and rode that score line to the final whistle, setting a record for the largest margin of victory in the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying since CONCACAF adopted the current format in advance of the 1998 tournament.

The victory not only provided a boost of confidence, but coming after a bitter 4-0 defeat at Costa Rica in November, it also served as a reminder to the rest of the region what the U.S. was capable of all along.

“I think it’s a statement game for sure,” said veteran MNT defender Geoff Cameron. “I don’t think we expected to win 6-0, but I think we just overall finished amazing tonight. Every opportunity we had we finished, and that’s very clinical. I think overall we pressured the ball and made it difficult. It was a great all-around game for everybody. We knew it was a big game for us. It was a must win and we took advantage of that.”

As Cameron points out, the MNT was efficient going forward, converting six of their eight shots on goal. In defense, Tim Howard made four saves while the MNT midfield and back line often frustrated the Honduras attack. The U.S. has yet to surrender a goal during Arena’s current tenure, posting three straight shutouts.

“It’s three points,” said U.S. captain Michael Bradley. “It’s the first step in terms of getting ourselves back in a good position in the table. We’ve waited a long time for tonight, especially given the way the two games went in November. I thought across the board, every guy stepped on the field tonight with the right mentality, ready to give everything to make sure we walked off the field with three points.”

Having begun the day at the bottom of the six-team Hexagonal, the U.S. jumped up to fourth place by the end of the night thanks to the win and other results around the region. Now they head south to Panama in search of a result on the road that can push them even higher.

“We can build off tonight and we know it’s going to be a tough game down in Panama,” said Cameron. “We’re not expecting to win 6-0 like we did tonight, but we know it’s wide open now with the results that happened. We know if we take care of business in Panama, we can climb the table and get back to where we belong.”

Bradley added, “I think tonight’s a good first step in terms of re-establishing a lot of things for our group in terms of who we are and what we’re about. We move on and get ourselves ready for Panama where we want to get three more.”

#Get3More

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MNT Mar 25, 2017
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