USMNT Behind The Lens: 2019 In Photos

By: John Dorton

In 2019, the USMNT began pushing forward towards qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Like any journey there were highs and lows along the way; overall, we are confident that we’re headed in the right direction. The below photos are some of my favorite action and other candid shots – some historic, some silly, and some just memorable that span 2019 and make us excited about next year.

See you on the sidelines in 2020!

January 27, 2019 - Prior to the first game of the year on Jan. 27 against Panama, both teams observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the life and legacy that U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame head coach Sigi Schmid left on the game in the United States.
March 21, 2019 – Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic represent a lot for the future of the National Team, and photos of the three of them are always popular. This photo in particular was taken prior to our friendly against Ecuador in March, and it struck me as one that I’d like to try and recreate in a few years.
March 24, 2019 – Before our game against Chile in Houston, we had some extra time to take some photos around town. Here are two of “Iron Man”, Cristian Roldan and Sebastian Lletget giving the camera his patented selfie face.
March 25, 2019 – The players always have to make sure they’re wearing their GPS units before every training session. What better way to make sure everyone has them on than by helping out your buddy?
June 8, 2019 –That’s Sam the Eagle from the Cincinnati Zoo, who swooped around Nippert Stadium before our training session in June. He’s pretty famous in Cincy and I wanted to ask for his autograph, but got a little shy…
June 22, 2019 – Those of us that were in Couva in 2017 will never forget that night. Our first match against Trinidad & Tobago since then came during the Gold Cup, and while it wasn’t the same as a World Cup Qualifier, winning 6-0 did feel pretty good. Paul Arriola always shows a lot of emotion in his goal celebrations, but this one felt a little more special considering he was one of the few players to feature in both games.
June 26, 2019 – More emotion. In all the years I’ve shot the National Team, I feel like I’ve watched Jozy Altidore grow up in front of my eyes. I missed having him around our team last year. This is his celebration after scoring the bicycle kick against Panama in the Gold Cup. It was his first goal since coming back, and just like Paul’s above I think it held some special significance for him. I know it did for me.
July 3, 2019 – This is just a great photo of Christian Pulisic flying through the air. It makes me think that maybe he really is Superman?
September 6, 2019 – Like Jozy, I shot Timmy Howard so much through the years. It was a nice surprise to learn that U.S. Soccer would honor him prior to the Mexico game in New Jersey. Here he is with his mom taking in the ceremony prior to kickoff.
October 15, 2019 – It wasn’t our night in Canada. It was my night getting this pretty photo of Zack Steffen fully extended as he tries to make a save on Jonathan David. For the record, this shot didn’t go in.
November 12, 2019 – Two great guys that joined us this year, and it occurs to me they did so despite other options in New Zealand and the Netherlands. I’ve also learned they both love having their picture taken, so this one worked out pretty well.
November 15, 2019 – It was a tough month for our group after we lost to Canada in Toronto. We all felt happy a month later after we got a little payback. I remember this photo specifically because I was shooting the crowd and then realized Gregg was coming up behind me. As he was passing me, I told him, “Good job on the game,” then I said, “Keep walkin’, I’m gonna make this one look good.” I think it turned out alright, and I hope for Gregg he appreciated how this night ended.
November 15, 2019 – I got my start shooting for U.S. Soccer through the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, so when the 1999 U-17 team had a reunion around our game in Orlando, things kind of came full circle for me. I’d shot a lot of these guys over the years, and obviously got to see DaMarcus, Kyle and Gooch rise to the senior team. It was another special moment to cap off a great win against Canada.  

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