CHICAGO (June 10, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is bound for Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and before the tournament gets underway, ussoccer.com is proud to present its “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.” series on the full roster representing the USA.
The series is an extensive and exclusive collection of videos, pictures, narratives and biographies with each player and produced by U.S. Soccer.
U.S. Men’s National Team Feature Pages:
- GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
- DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
- MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
- FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
The series includes the following features on ussoccer.com:
‘My Story’ Video Series: Each player sat down with ussoccer.com and discussed his story both on and off the field to give viewers a glimpse into their lives. The videos feature a wide range of material as they delve into stories about their families and friends, the people who have shaped them, their hobbies or obsessions, their upbringing and personalities. (Full Playlist)
2014 #USMNT Roster Video Cards: The 2014 #USMNT Video Cards are the greatest hits of the U.S. Men’s National Team, showcasing each player’s top highlights with a quick-to-watch and easily shareable series. (Full Playlist)
World Cup Guide: On the player biography pages, well-presented posters display some of the intriguing statistical numbers and tidbits of each person. The information ranges from professional and international facts, to accolades and personal anecdotes.
Playing History: A more traditional element, ussoccer.com provides the full factual background of every player from his youth days for club and country to his professional and senior international experience.
Club History Map: An interactive map displays the locations and clubs the players have represented throughout their careers. The maps provide a true scope of the travel the U.S. MNT players have put into competing at the highest levels of the world’s game.
Photo Gallery: From in-game photos to personal images collected through family albums, ussoccer.com features a strong visual presentation of the players, making for a wonderful timeline piece to see how they have progressed into the World Cup-bound players they are today.
The U.S. Men’s National Team is beginning its final preparations for its Group G opener against Ghana on Monday, June 16, at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal, Brazil. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN, WatchESPN and ESPN Radio. Fans can also follow live on Twitter @ussoccer.
On Feb. 9, 2013, the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the new year with a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida. Christen Press, then 24-years-old, was responsible for two goals that day, scoring in the 13th minute and adding another in the 32nd to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.
The early goal was Press’ first for the USA, coming in a match that was also her first cap.
Becky Sauerbrunn hugs Christen Press in the aftermath of Press scoring on her WNT debut.
Earning that first cap is special for any player, but a debut and a goal in the same game? That’s a rare feat. In the 30+ year history of the U.S. WNT 21 players have scored in their first caps.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Press’ path to that first game three years ago was an interesting one. In early 2012, she made the decision to move to Sweden after U.S.-based Women’s Professional Soccer folded. Press thought leaving the country might negatively impact her hopeful National Team career, but little did she know, it was only just beginning.
“I think just because I always thought that the National Teams would be watching the American league, I thought that going abroad was kind of like saying goodbye to my dream of playing for the National Team,” recalled Press. “I left around this time, in February, and I thought I would not get a call, I sort of thought that I would fall out of U.S. Soccer’s radar.”
As it turns out, head coach Pia Sundhage kept tabs on players in Europe, especially in her native land of Sweden. Press got off to a hot start with her new club, and it wasn’t long before she was on her way back home.
Press returned to the U.S. and joined the WNT in Florida in April during the final stretch of what had been an intense fitness camp. She kept to herself and tried to quickly learn as much as possible despite only being there for five days.
“I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It was my first camp, it was warm and I was so happy. I don’t think I spoke to anybody. I was not nervous, I was just happy to be in Florida and my dream was coming true. I’m always quiet when I don’t know my surroundings, so I just kept to myself trying to learn the rules, how to behave; it was all so quick.”
That short stint turned out to be the only one for Press before she was named an Olympic alternate in 2012. The following February, Tom Sermanni took over as WNT head coach, and it was then Press learned she would start against Scotland. Her chance had arrived.
“I went on the field, the crowd was so much bigger than I’d ever played in front of, and for me it was so much bigger than life,” said Press. “But I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not nervous, I’m confident, I’m a good player and I believe in myself.’”
Years and multiple goals later, plus one Women’s World Cup title to her name, the dream is alive and well for Press.
Press celebrates scoring her first World Cup goal against Australia in the USA's opening match of the 2015 Women's World Cup