U.S. Soccer
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USA Players Enter Record Book as Team Steps Closer to Hex in 6-0 Qualifying Win at St. Vincent

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Sept. 2, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team added a handful of new entries to the record books and moved a step closer to reaching the next round of World Cup Qualifying via a 6-0 win away to St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Dominant from start to finish, the U.S. saw three different players scribe career and/or team milestones at the offensive end of the field. With the U.S. up 3-0 by halftime, second half sub Christian Pulisic stole the show with a late pair of goals in the 71st and 92nd minute, the first of which saw him become the USA’s youngest player to score in a World Cup qualifier at 17 years, 349 days old. Pulisic also assisted Sacha Kljestan – who in turn assisted both of Pulisic’s strikes – as he scored his first goal for the U.S. since 2010 in the 78th minute.

In the first half, Bobby Wood opened the scoring in the 28th minute before drawing a penalty that Jozy Altidore, serving as captain in the absence of the suspended Michael Bradley, converted in the 43rd to tie Clint Dempsey, who was unavailable for selection due to health concerns, atop the USA’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals scored list. Additionally, center back Matt Besler, who had recently received news of the birth of his first child, scored his first international goal in the 38th minute.

On the defensive side of the field, the U.S. defense kept its seventh clean sheet of the year with a solid display that required goalkeeper Brad Guzan to make one crucial save on the hosts’ only shot on goal; St. Vincent did have two goals correctly ruled out for offside.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT returns stateside for a showdown with Trinidad & Tobago. Should Trinidad defeat Guatemala on Friday night, Tuesday’s game at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., will be a battle solely for first place in Group C. Should the two teams draw or Guatemala win, the U.S. would need a result against the Soca Warriors to ensure advancement to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying, a.k.a. ‘The Hex.’ The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FS1 and UniMas.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer)

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Bobby Wood (Fabian Johnson), 28th minute:
JozyAltidore battled for and controlled the ball near the top of the St. Vincent box, flicking a quick pass to Fabian Johnson just inside the penalty area. Johnson laid off a short pass for Wood, who stepped up to send a curling shot from top of the box across goal into the far right side netting. USA 1, VIN 0

USA – Matt Besler, 32nd minute: A free kick played into the box by Graham Zusi was poorly cleared by a St. Vincent defender and fell right to Besler at the left post. The U.S. center back brought the ball down off his chest before sending a one-time, left footed shot into the upper left corner for the first international goal of his career. USA 2, VIN 0

USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty kick), 43rd minute: Bobby Wood was taken down in the box, drawing a penalty kick attempt for Altidore. The U.S. captain for the day stepped up and dispatched a right footed blast into the middle of the net as Vincy Heat goalkeeper Christopher Lemus leapt to his right. USA 3, VIN 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan), 71st minute: A well-worked U.S. passing sequence led to the ball reaching Sacha Kljestan out on the right wing where he whipped in an incisive cross to the penalty spot for Christian Pulisic, who expertly brought the ball down with the outside of his right foot before finishing with his left into the lower right hand corner. The goal made Pulisic the youngest U.S. player to score a World Cup Qualifying goal. USA 4, VIN 0

USA – Sacha Kljestan (Christian Pulisic), 78th minute: The U.S. attack flipped sides of the field, as Pulisic turned provider after getting down the left flank and cutting a ball across the top of the six-yard box for a wide open Kljestan who only had to tap the ball across the line for his first National Team goal since 2010. USA 5, VIN 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan), 90+2: The final U.S. attack worked up the right side of the field and eventually to Kljestan’s feet near the right edge of the box. The second half sub did well to shield the ball away from his defender, spin and get his head up to pick out Pulisic waiting at the top of the area. Upon receiving the ball, Pulisic calmly got a sight of goal before golfing a shot into the upper left corner for the first multi-goal game of his international career. USA 6, VIN 0. FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
VIN – Christopher Lemus, 5th minute: Fabian Johnson played an excellent long ball from the left wing that spit the Vincy Heat center backs and landed right in the stride of Bobby Wood, who carried it past a defender before scuffing a shot toward the far right post that St. Vincent ‘keeper Christopher Lemus did well to get down and get a hand on for the save.

USA – Brad Guzan, 26h minute: Oalex Anderson evaded the U.S. defense and met a deep cross from the right wing at the back left post where he sent a close range header on goal. But, Guzan tracked the flight of the ball well and slid over to get his hands up and snag the shot out of the air.

MILESTONE WATCH:

  • With his 43rd minute penalty kick, Jozy Altidore moved past Eric Wynalda into sole possession of third on the MNT’s all-time goals list with 35. The finish also tied Altidore with Clint Dempsey for the MNT’s all-time lead in World Cup Qualifying goals with 14.
  • Altidore also earned his 30th World Cup Qualifying appearance, tying him with Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart for ninth on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying caps list.
  • At 17 years, 349 days, Christian Pulisic’s 71st minute goal made him the youngest player in MNT history to score in a World Cup Qualifier. Pulisic tallied his second of the match to cap the scoring at 6-0 in the second minute of second half stoppage time, becoming the youngest player in MNT history to score a brace in a match.

NOTES:

  • Bobby Wood scored his seventh career international goal and second in World Cup Qualifying. Wood also scored the MNT’s first goal in the 6-1 win against St. Vincent on Nov. 13, 2015.
  • On the day he and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Parker into the world, Matt Besler also scored his first international goal in the 32 nd minute.
  • Altidore has four goals in five U.S. appearances in 2016.
  • Wood and Altidore have combined for eight goals in the four matches they’ve started up front together all-time.
  • Brad Guzan earned his sixth clean sheet in his 10th start of 2016. The MNT goalkeeper is 8-2-0 this year.
  • Sacha Kljestan entered the match along with Christian Pulisic in the 66th minute, marking his first MNT appearance since a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014. Kljestan assisted on Pulisic’s goal in the 71st minute, before Pulisic returned the favor on Kljestan’s goal in the 78th minute. Kljestan than assisted on Pulisic’s second goal in second half stoppage time.
  • The goal was Kljestan’s first since a 2-1 friendly win against El Salvador on Feb. 24, 2010.
  • DeAndre Yedlin’s 13th minute yellow card is his second of the semifinal round and will force him to miss out on the MNT’s match against Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday.
  • Yedlin and Geoff Cameron are the only two players to start all five of the MNT’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
  • Electing to start Brad Guzan in goal, MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded a starting back line of DeAndre Yedlin on the right, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler in the middle and Kellyn Acosta on the left.
  • The four-man midfield consisted of Graham Zusi on the right flank, Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya playing centrally and Fabian Johnson on the left.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Date: September 2, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Semifinal Round
Venue: Arnos Vale Stadium; St. Vincent
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny

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

USA – Bobby Wood (Fabian Johnson)            28th minute
USA – Matt Besler                                        32
USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty)                         43
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)        71
USA – Sacha Kljestan (Christian Pulisic)        78
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)        90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler, 4-Kellyn Acosta; 19-Graham Zusi, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (16-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 23-Fabian Johnson (10-Christian Pulisic, 66); 17-Jozy Altidore (capt.) (8-Jordan Morris, 72), 7-Bobby Wood
Subs not used: 12-Tim Howard, 22- Ethan Horvath, 14-Paul Arriola, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-Darlington Nagbe, 9-Rubio Rubin, 13-Caleb Stanko, 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

VIN: 1-Christopher Lemus; 3-Roy Richards, 5-Shawn Benjamin, 8-Theon Gordon (6-Teron Miller, 73) (capt.), 20-Ajrue Durham, 17-Emerald George (16-Daniel Patrick, 68), 10-Oalex Anderson, 13-Gavin James (12-Tevin Slater, 53), 11-Cornelius Stewart, 9-Myron Samuel, 7-Nazir McBernette
Subs not used: 22-Jahvan Peters, 2-Danroy Edwards, 14-Ezra Alleyne,
15-Kevin Frances
Head Coach: Cornelius Huggins

Stats Summary: USA / VIN
Shots: 12 / 1
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 13th minute
VIN – Emerald George (caution) 17
VIN – Theon Gordon (caution) 39
VIN – Roy Richards (caution) 43

Officials:
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
4th Official: Drew Fischer (CAN)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Matt Besler

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MNT Sep 2, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Date: September 2, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Semifinal Round
Venue: Arnos Vale Stadium; St. Vincent
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny

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

USA – Bobby Wood (Fabian Johnson)               28th minute
USA – Matt Besler                                             32
USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty)                            43
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)            71
USA – Sacha Kljestan (Christian Pulisic)            78
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)           90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler, 4-Kellyn Acosta; 19-Graham Zusi, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (16-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 23-Fabian Johnson (10-Christian Pulisic, 67); 17-Jozy Altidore  (capt.) (8-Jordan Morris, 72), 7-Bobby Wood
Subs not used: 12-Tim Howard, 22- Ethan Horvath, 14-Paul Arriola, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-Darlington Nagbe, 9-Rubio Rubin, 13-Caleb Stanko, 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

VIN: 1-Christopher Lemus; 3-Roy Richards, 5-Shawn Benjamin, 8-Theon Gordon (6-Teron Miller, 73) (capt.), 20-Ajrue Durham, 17-Emerald George (16-Daniel Patrick, 68), 10-Oalex Anderson, 13-Gavin James (12-Tevin Slater, 53), 11-Cornelius Stewart, 9-Myron Samuel, 7-Nazir McBernette
Subs not used: 22-Jahvan Peters, 2-Danroy Edwards, 14-Ezra Alleyne,
15-Kevin Frances
Head Coach: Cornelius Huggins

Stats Summary: USA / VIN
Shots: 12 / 1
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA DeAndre Yedlin (caution)                  13th minute
VIN – Emerald George (caution)                  17
VIN – Theon Gordon (caution)                     39
VIN – Roy Richards (caution)                       43

Officials:
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
4th Official: Drew Fischer (CAN)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Matt Besler

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First Kid, First Goal - A Special Day for Matt Besler

Matt Besler woke up Friday morning hoping for a special day. It’s fair to say he had no idea precisely how special it would be.

On the day he and his wife Amanda welcomed Parker Rhea Besler into the world that morning, he scored his first international goal in the 32nd minute of the USA’s 6-0 World Cup Qualifying victory at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“It’s amazing, it really is,” Besler said when asked about his day following the match. “It’s just hard to explain how I was feeling this morning. Obviously a big part of me would have liked to have been at home to be there and be at the side of my wife. At the same time, I was just so excited to play in the game. I really felt special today, and I’m glad that things worked out and I made the most of it.”

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MNT Sep 3, 2016

USA Players Enter Record Book as Team Steps Closer to Hex in 6-0 Qualifying Win at St. Vincent

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Sept. 2, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team added a handful of new entries to the record books and moved a step closer to reaching the next round of World Cup Qualifying via a 6-0 win away to St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Dominant from start to finish, the U.S. saw three different players scribe career and/or team milestones at the offensive end of the field. With the U.S. up 3-0 by halftime, second half sub Christian Pulisic stole the show with a late pair of goals in the 71st and 92nd minute, the first of which saw him become the USA’s youngest player to score in a World Cup qualifier at 17 years, 349 days old. Pulisic also assisted Sacha Kljestan – who in turn assisted both of Pulisic’s strikes – as he scored his first goal for the U.S. since 2010 in the 78th minute.

In the first half, Bobby Wood opened the scoring in the 28th minute before drawing a penalty that Jozy Altidore, serving as captain in the absence of the suspended Michael Bradley, converted in the 43rd to tie Clint Dempsey, who was unavailable for selection due to health concerns, atop the USA’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals scored list. Additionally, center back Matt Besler, who had recently received news of the birth of his first child, scored his first international goal in the 38th minute.

On the defensive side of the field, the U.S. defense kept its seventh clean sheet of the year with a solid display that required goalkeeper Brad Guzan to make one crucial save on the hosts’ only shot on goal; St. Vincent did have two goals correctly ruled out for offside.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. MNT returns stateside for a showdown with Trinidad & Tobago. Should Trinidad defeat Guatemala on Friday night, Tuesday’s game at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., will be a battle solely for first place in Group C. Should the two teams draw or Guatemala win, the U.S. would need a result against the Soca Warriors to ensure advancement to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying, a.k.a. ‘The Hex.’ The match is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FS1 and UniMas.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer)

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Bobby Wood (Fabian Johnson), 28th minute:
JozyAltidore battled for and controlled the ball near the top of the St. Vincent box, flicking a quick pass to Fabian Johnson just inside the penalty area. Johnson laid off a short pass for Wood, who stepped up to send a curling shot from top of the box across goal into the far right side netting. USA 1, VIN 0

USA – Matt Besler, 32nd minute: A free kick played into the box by Graham Zusi was poorly cleared by a St. Vincent defender and fell right to Besler at the left post. The U.S. center back brought the ball down off his chest before sending a one-time, left footed shot into the upper left corner for the first international goal of his career. USA 2, VIN 0

USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty kick), 43rd minute: Bobby Wood was taken down in the box, drawing a penalty kick attempt for Altidore. The U.S. captain for the day stepped up and dispatched a right footed blast into the middle of the net as Vincy Heat goalkeeper Christopher Lemus leapt to his right. USA 3, VIN 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan), 71st minute: A well-worked U.S. passing sequence led to the ball reaching Sacha Kljestan out on the right wing where he whipped in an incisive cross to the penalty spot for Christian Pulisic, who expertly brought the ball down with the outside of his right foot before finishing with his left into the lower right hand corner. The goal made Pulisic the youngest U.S. player to score a World Cup Qualifying goal. USA 4, VIN 0

USA – Sacha Kljestan (Christian Pulisic), 78th minute: The U.S. attack flipped sides of the field, as Pulisic turned provider after getting down the left flank and cutting a ball across the top of the six-yard box for a wide open Kljestan who only had to tap the ball across the line for his first National Team goal since 2010. USA 5, VIN 0

USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan), 90+2: The final U.S. attack worked up the right side of the field and eventually to Kljestan’s feet near the right edge of the box. The second half sub did well to shield the ball away from his defender, spin and get his head up to pick out Pulisic waiting at the top of the area. Upon receiving the ball, Pulisic calmly got a sight of goal before golfing a shot into the upper left corner for the first multi-goal game of his international career. USA 6, VIN 0. FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
VIN – Christopher Lemus, 5th minute: Fabian Johnson played an excellent long ball from the left wing that spit the Vincy Heat center backs and landed right in the stride of Bobby Wood, who carried it past a defender before scuffing a shot toward the far right post that St. Vincent ‘keeper Christopher Lemus did well to get down and get a hand on for the save.

USA – Brad Guzan, 26h minute: Oalex Anderson evaded the U.S. defense and met a deep cross from the right wing at the back left post where he sent a close range header on goal. But, Guzan tracked the flight of the ball well and slid over to get his hands up and snag the shot out of the air.

MILESTONE WATCH:

  • With his 43rd minute penalty kick, Jozy Altidore moved past Eric Wynalda into sole possession of third on the MNT’s all-time goals list with 35. The finish also tied Altidore with Clint Dempsey for the MNT’s all-time lead in World Cup Qualifying goals with 14.
  • Altidore also earned his 30th World Cup Qualifying appearance, tying him with Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart for ninth on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying caps list.
  • At 17 years, 349 days, Christian Pulisic’s 71st minute goal made him the youngest player in MNT history to score in a World Cup Qualifier. Pulisic tallied his second of the match to cap the scoring at 6-0 in the second minute of second half stoppage time, becoming the youngest player in MNT history to score a brace in a match.

NOTES:

  • Bobby Wood scored his seventh career international goal and second in World Cup Qualifying. Wood also scored the MNT’s first goal in the 6-1 win against St. Vincent on Nov. 13, 2015.
  • On the day he and his wife welcomed their first child, daughter Parker into the world, Matt Besler also scored his first international goal in the 32 nd minute.
  • Altidore has four goals in five U.S. appearances in 2016.
  • Wood and Altidore have combined for eight goals in the four matches they’ve started up front together all-time.
  • Brad Guzan earned his sixth clean sheet in his 10th start of 2016. The MNT goalkeeper is 8-2-0 this year.
  • Sacha Kljestan entered the match along with Christian Pulisic in the 66th minute, marking his first MNT appearance since a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014. Kljestan assisted on Pulisic’s goal in the 71st minute, before Pulisic returned the favor on Kljestan’s goal in the 78th minute. Kljestan than assisted on Pulisic’s second goal in second half stoppage time.
  • The goal was Kljestan’s first since a 2-1 friendly win against El Salvador on Feb. 24, 2010.
  • DeAndre Yedlin’s 13th minute yellow card is his second of the semifinal round and will force him to miss out on the MNT’s match against Trinidad & Tobago on Tuesday.
  • Yedlin and Geoff Cameron are the only two players to start all five of the MNT’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
  • Electing to start Brad Guzan in goal, MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fielded a starting back line of DeAndre Yedlin on the right, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler in the middle and Kellyn Acosta on the left.
  • The four-man midfield consisted of Graham Zusi on the right flank, Kyle Beckerman and Alejandro Bedoya playing centrally and Fabian Johnson on the left.

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

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Date: September 2, 2016
Competition: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying; Semifinal Round
Venue: Arnos Vale Stadium; St. Vincent
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBD
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny

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

USA – Bobby Wood (Fabian Johnson)            28th minute
USA – Matt Besler                                        32
USA – Jozy Altidore (penalty)                         43
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)        71
USA – Sacha Kljestan (Christian Pulisic)        78
USA – Christian Pulisic (Sacha Kljestan)        90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Brad Guzan; 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler, 4-Kellyn Acosta; 19-Graham Zusi, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (16-Sacha Kljestan, 66), 23-Fabian Johnson (10-Christian Pulisic, 66); 17-Jozy Altidore (capt.) (8-Jordan Morris, 72), 7-Bobby Wood
Subs not used: 12-Tim Howard, 22- Ethan Horvath, 14-Paul Arriola, 21-Steve Birnbaum, 3-Omar Gonzalez, 6-Darlington Nagbe, 9-Rubio Rubin, 13-Caleb Stanko, 18-Chris Wondolowski
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

VIN: 1-Christopher Lemus; 3-Roy Richards, 5-Shawn Benjamin, 8-Theon Gordon (6-Teron Miller, 73) (capt.), 20-Ajrue Durham, 17-Emerald George (16-Daniel Patrick, 68), 10-Oalex Anderson, 13-Gavin James (12-Tevin Slater, 53), 11-Cornelius Stewart, 9-Myron Samuel, 7-Nazir McBernette
Subs not used: 22-Jahvan Peters, 2-Danroy Edwards, 14-Ezra Alleyne,
15-Kevin Frances
Head Coach: Cornelius Huggins

Stats Summary: USA / VIN
Shots: 12 / 1
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 13
Offside: 0 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA DeAndre Yedlin (caution) 13th minute
VIN – Emerald George (caution) 17
VIN – Theon Gordon (caution) 39
VIN – Roy Richards (caution) 43

Officials:
Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Philippe Briere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
4th Official: Drew Fischer (CAN)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Matt Besler

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MNT Sep 2, 2016

Lineup Notes: USA Aims for Three Points vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines

USA vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Sept. 2, 2016
Semifinal Round - 2018 World Cup Qualifying
Arnos Vale Stadium
Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Live Broadcast: beIN Sports

Starting XI: Brad Guzan; DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, Kellyn Acosta; Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson; Jozy Altidore (capt.), Bobby Wood

  • Seven of the 11 starters also started the MNT’s 6-1 win against St. Vincent on November 13: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Brad Guzan, Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, DeAndre Yedlin.
  • In that match, Altidore tallied a brace, while Cameron, Johnson and Wood each added a goal apiece.
  • Kellyn Acosta makes his first World Cup Qualifying appearance for the MNT. He is the 25th player utilized by Jurgen Klinsmann during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle.
  • Cameron and Yedlin are the only two MNT players to start all five 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches.
  • Altidore and Wood have tallied a combined six goals in their three previous starts together for the MNT. 
  • The MNT captain for today’s match, Altidore sits tied with Landon Donovan for second on the MNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying goals list with 13. They sit one behind leader Clint Dempsey. Altidore’s next goal would also move him past Eric Wynalda and into third-place on the MNT’s all-time goal scoring list.
  • Altidore also earns a milestone 30th World Cup Qualifying cap, tying him for eighth all-time on the MNT with Cobi Jones, Earnie Stewart and teammate Tim Howard.
  • Guzan makes his 10th appearance of 2016 and 11th all-time World Cup Qualifying appearance. The MNT goalkeeper has gone 7-2-0, earning clean sheets in five matches this year.
  • Bedoya sits tied with Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Gyasi Zardes for the team lead in assists this year with three.
  • Nine of the 11 starters were part of the MNT’s Copa America Centenario roster this summer.
  • Today’s match in St. Vincent and the Grenadines marks the 70th different country the MNT has played in since its first match in Stockholm, Sweden on Aug. 20, 1916.
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MNT Sep 2, 2016

MNT Sep 2, 2016

Game Notes: USA Travels to St. Vincent to Secure Advancement to Final Round of Qualifying

CHICAGO (Aug. 31, 2016) – The U.S. Men’s National Team pays its first visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a crucial semifinal round FIFA World Cup Qualifying clash. Kickoff from Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown is set for Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the match being broadcast live on beIN Sports. Fan can also follow the game live on Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.

Sitting on seven points after four matches, the MNT can clinch a berth in CONCACAF’s final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, also known as “The Hex”, with a win in St. Vincent and a Trinidad & Tobago victory at home against Guatemala later Friday night. After losing its first four matches in the semifinal round, St. Vincent has been eliminated from contention for a spot in the final round.

In the first match between the two nations, the U.S. ran out 6-1 winners on Nov. 13, 2015 in St. Louis, Mo. Jozy Altidore bagged a brace, while Bobby Wood, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron and Gyasi Zardes also found the back of the net in the MNT’s opening match of the semifinal round.

The U.S. will close out the group against Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 6 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., with the game’s implications dependent on the results of Friday’s matches in Kingstown and Port-of-Spain.

USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has named Brad Guzan as the MNT's starting goalkeeper for Friday's match at St. Vincent and confirmed that Tim Howard would start Tuesday's match against Trinidad & Tobago against Jacksonville.

ALL TO PLAY FOR
Heading into the last two matches, the United States sits in second place in the group on seven points, three behind T&T and one ahead of Guatemala. The MNT has its destiny in its own hands, since two wins would guarantee a spot in the Hexagonal. However, the only way the U.S. can qualify on Matchday 5 is beating St. Vincent AND Trinidad winning at home against Guatemala. Any other combination means that the matches on Sept. 6 will determine which two teams advance out of the group.

CONSISTENCY FROM COPA AMERICA
After taking fourth place in Copa America Centenario this past June – tying the USA’s best finish in the tournament - Klinsmann has kept most of the group together, recalling 20 of the 23 players from the roster before losing Jones and Zardes to injury.

“We definitely think that the group that got fourth in the Copa America deserves a certainpriority going on to the next World Cup qualifiers because they did tremendously well in the Copa America,” Klinsmann said. “It was an exciting tournament with great games. The whole group learned a lot, playing teams like Colombia, Ecuador and Argentina. This is a big stage, and they deserve to come back and confirm what they did in the tournament in these upcoming, very important World Cup qualifiers. We are preparing for these two games very seriously, with a lot of urgency because we want to finish off our group in first place if possible, and this group of players gets the chance to do that.”

STRONG STRIKE FORCE
Despite the absence of Clint Dempsey due to health concerns and Gyasi Zardes due to injury, the U.S. attacking corps enters in fine form. Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore is back with a vengeance, tallying five goals in his last seven matches. Bobby Wood began his Bundesliga career at Hamburg by scoring the team’s opening goal of the campaign. San Jose captain Chris Wondolowski has recorded nine goals in 21 matches, while Jordan Morris is tied at the top of Seattle Sounders FC strikers with eight goals. Take a more in depth look at the MNT strikers heading into Friday’s match at St. Vincent.

ISLAND HOPPING, THE HARD WAY
Playing against the island nations on their own soil presents more of a challenge than meets the eye. In addition to facing determined opponents, there are issues of travel, weather, field conditions and other idiosyncrasies that combine to make getting results a real test. In qualifying for both the 2002 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, games against Caribbean teams went down to the wire and nearly cost the United States a spot in the final round. For the MNT, the trip to St. Vincent started with a change of planes – as in multiple. Since the runway on the island isn’t sized to accommodate jets, the MNT landed in Barbados and then was supposed to switch to a series of 19-passenger puddle jumpers to complete the journey. Two planes carrying players and coaching staff departed, but the third plane meant to carry the team’s gear had a dead battery. The problem meant the two planes had to return to collect the team’s equipment as well as remaining staff later on Wednesday afternoon. The 11,000 seat Arnos Vale Stadium – better known as the Playing Fields – will host the match. Built in 1981 as a cricket venue, it is the home of the Winward Islands Cricket Team. The stadium does not have floodlights; thus, the afternoon kickoff.


In the misty morning before the sun rises, the U.S. MNT hits the airport to being its island hopping trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

MNT WORLD CUP QUALIFYING ROSTER
In naming the roster, MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann leaned heavily on the players that represented the U.S. at this summer’s Copa America Centenario, with 18 of 23 players forming the basis of the team that helped the USA to a fourth-place finish at the historic tournament. Tim Howard leads the roster with 31 World Cup Qualifying caps, while five other players have played in 13 or more qualifying matches for the United States. Set to captain the side against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jozy Altidore is tied with Landon Donovan for second all-time on the MNT’s World Cup Qualifying goals list with 13, one behind record holder Clint Dempsey.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough;10/0), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 31/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 0/0), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 8/0), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 1/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City; 17/2), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 9/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach; 11/1), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 5/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; 4/0)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; 0/0), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake; 7/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 4/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 28/5), , Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 15/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 3/0), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; 1/0), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz; 0/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 13/3)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 29/13), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 1/0), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht; 0/0), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV; 4/1)

SCENE SET: How The USA Advances to The Hex

  • The MNT can advance to CONCACAF’s final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines AND a Trinidad & Tobago victory against Guatemala on Friday.
  • Should those results occur, Tuesday’s group finale in Jacksonville would be a battle for first place in the group.
  • Any other combination of results would see the USA, Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala all playing for the top two spots in Group C on Sept. 6.

FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING CONCACAF GROUP C STANDINGS

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Trinidad & Tobago

4

3

0

1

11

3

+8

10

USA

4

2

1

1

10

3

+7

7

Guatemala

4

2

2

0

7

6

+1

6

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

4

0

4

0

3

19

-16

0

MNT IN 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

  • The U.S. is 2-1-1 (seven points) in four FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying matches.
  • The MNT defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6-1 (Nov. 13), drew 0-0 at Trinidad & Tobago (Nov. 17), lost 2-0 at Guatemala (March 26) and defeated Guatemala 4-0 (March 30).
  • Jurgen Klinsmann has utilized 24 different players during the course of the team’s first four matches.
  • Jozy Altidore leads the team in scoring during 2018 World Cup qualifying with three goals in four matches. Geoff Cameron is second with two in four games.
  • Cameron, Michael Bradley and DeAndre Yedlin are the only three MNT players to play every minute of 2018 World Cup Qualifying thus far.
  • Due to yellow-card accumulation, Bradley will serve a one-game suspension for the match at St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • Defender Michael Orozco will also be unavailable for the match after being shown a red card in the Copa America Centenario third-place match against Colombia.

USA ROSTER NOTES:

  • Since naming the initial 27-player roster, Jermaine Jones (knee), Gyasi Zardes (broken foot), and John Brooks (back) have been forced to withdraw. New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan joined the group Aug. 29 in Jacksonville.
  • A total of 18 players on the roster were part of the side that earned fourth-place at this summer’s Copa America Centenario.
  • Five players could gain their first World Cup Qualifying caps: Kellyn Acosta, Paul Arriola, Ethan Horvath, Rubio Rubin, Caleb Stanko.
  • The 26 players ply their trades in eight different countries: USA (12), England, Germany, Mexico (3 each), Canada (2), Liechtenstein, Netherlands and Norway (1 each)
  • Tim Howard leads all players on the roster with 31 World Cup Qualifying caps, followed by Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley who have 29 each.
  • Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco are unavailable for selection against St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Bradley will sit out the match after accumulating two yellow cards during the first four semifinal round qualifiers, while Orozco will serve a one-game suspension after receiving a red card during the Copa America Centenario Third-Place Match against Colombia.
  • Altidore sits tied with Landon Donovan for second all-time on the MNT’s World Cup Qualifying goals list with 13. Altidore and Donovan sit one goal behind first-place Clint Dempsey at 14.
  • Altidore (2 goals), Cameron, Johnson and Wood each scored in the MNT’s 6-1 World Cup Qualifying win against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13, 2015 in St. Louis. 
  • Having transferred to Middlesbrough last month, goalkeeper Brad Guzan comes
  • Kljestan has earned 46 caps – 15 in World Cup Qualifying - and scored four goals since making his MNT debut in 2007. A member of the preliminary roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he last appeared for the U.S. in a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014 in Lanarca, Cyprus. Kljestan has amassed five goals to go along with his MLS-leading 15 assists in 26 matches for the Red Bulls this season.

USA-ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CONNECTIONS:

  • Nine of the players on the roster took part in the MNT’s 6-1 victory against St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 13 in St. Louis.
  • Five of the six goals in that match came from players on the current roster: Jozy Altidore (2), Bobby Wood, Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron
  • A member of Seattle Sounders FC 2 at the time, Oalex Anderson scored a fifth minute goal to give St. Vincent a 1-0 lead in their previous meeting against the United States. Anderson is now a member of the Seattle Sounders FC first team where he is teammates with MNT forward Jordan Morris.

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES UPDATE:
While Vincy Heat has lost all four games of their games during the semifinal round and is already eliminated from advancement, they have proved capable of providing some scares to their group opponents. In their opening match of the round, they tallied a fifth minute goal to take a 1-0 lead against the U.S. in St. Louis before the MNT came back to win 6-1. In their third match at home against Trinidad & Tobago, goals from Myron Samuel in the 45th minute and Shandel Samuel in the 77th minute saw St. Vincent twice hold the lead, before eventually falling 3-2 to the Soca Warriors.


A sea side view for the U.S. MNT when at training in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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MNT Sep 1, 2016
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