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US Soccer

Q&A with U.S. WNT Head Coach Jill Ellis

In advance of the USA’s two April friendlies matches – on April 4 against Australia in Commerce City, Colo., and on April 7 against Belgium in Los Angeles – U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis spoke with ussoccer.com about the opponents, roster selections and the games.

On her goals for the April friendlies and their potential impact on World Cup roster selection:
“Right now, everything is about preparing for June. Recognizing that these are our last friendlies before the “Send-Off Series” and that we’re playing two quality teams provides a positive sense of urgency to get the most out of these two matches. Australia is a top-6 team, and Belgium came within a goal of qualifying for the World Cup, so these opponents will provide us a level of competition that we’ll be experiencing in France. Our time together will be important to keep forging team chemistry and build on the connectivity on the pitch so we can bring out the best from each other in our team play.”

On facing a familiar opponent in Australia:
“We’ve had some highly competitive games with them over the past few years and we love playing Australia as they push us to be better on both ends of the field. There aren’t very many unknowns between our teams and they have quite a few players playing in the NWSL, but while there is a familiarity, they will also have new leadership, and that may or may not influence a change in personnel or style. What remains important is our preparedness for being able to read and manage any situations our opponents will present.”

On facing Belgium for the first time:
“The growth of many Women’s National Teams around the world has been remarkable to watch, but this is especially true of these European countries outside of the teams who have had the most recent success like Germany, England, Sweden, Norway and France. When you look at teams like Spain, Scotland and Portugal, and the countries that competed in the UEFA World Cup playoffs – Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark – you see teams that have made remarkable strides over the past four or five years and that only helps grow the game worldwide. Belgium is a country with a rich soccer culture – I believe their men’s team is ranked #1 in the world – so I can only see the Belgian women’s team continuing to improve and we’re really excited about the opportunity to play them for the first time.”

On calling up defender Ali Krieger:
“I spoke with Ali and she’s excited to come into camp and help this team in any way she can. Opportunities, however they transpire, are exactly that, and Ali has been a great pro and will no doubt lean on her experience and strengths when she comes back into this environment. Recently, she has been training with her club in the outside back position and with the potential to add depth on the right side, it was good timing to bring Ali into this camp to join the other six defenders.”

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WNT Mar 21, 2019
US Soccer

24 Players Called for WNT Friendlies vs. Australia and Belgium in Denver & LA

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 24-player training camp roster for the USA’s two April friendlies, against Australia on April 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (7 p.m. MT on FS1) and against Belgium on April 7 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles (6 p.m. PT on ESPN2). 

Following these two matches, the USA will have only its three-game “Send-Off Series” in May remaining before departing for France.

WNT April Roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 149/43)

Tickets
Only a small quantity of tickets remains for the USA vs. Australia match, including Summit Club and limited view bleacher seats. All tickets are available at ussoccer.com. Tickets for the USA vs. Belgium match are on sale through ussoccer.com. Groups of 20 or more can submit an online order form at ussoccer.com. Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Contact circles@ussoccer.org for more information.

Roster Notes:

  • Forward Alex Morgan comes into the match with 99 career goals, just one shy from becoming the seventh player in U.S. history to score 100 or more.
  • Defender Ali Krieger, a member of the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship squad, returns to the roster for the first time since the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She last played for the USA against Russia in April of 2017.
  • Veteran defender Kelley O’Hara was not available for selection for this roster due to an ankle issue.
  • Megan Rapinoe’s next cap will be her 150th, making her the 21st American female player to hit that mark.
  • Horan returns to the roster after missing the 2019 SheBelieves Cup due to a quadriceps injury, but she started the first two matches of the year in Europe against France and Spain.
  • The U.S. will conduct a six-day training camp in Santa Barbara, Calif., prior to traveling to Denver to face Australia. It will be the first training camp for the U.S. Women in Santa Barbara since 1991, when the team trained there several weeks before departing for the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.

WNT - Megan Rapinoe

Australia and Belgium:

  • After the USA went unbeaten in its first 26 matches against Australia, the last three games between the teams have produced a 3-1 win for the USA in the opening game of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 loss at the 2017 Tournament of Nations and a 1-1 draw on a late goal by Lindsey Horan at the 2018 Tournament of Nations.
  • Australia qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by defeating Thailand in penalty kicks in the semifinal of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, before falling to Japan, 1-0, in the championship game.
  • Australia was drawn into Group C in France and will face Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, in that order, at the World Cup.
  • The meeting with Belgium, another fast-improving European nation, will be the first between the teams and will mark the 54th opponent for the USA in its history. Belgium finished second in UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Group 6, two points behind Italy, and earned a playoff berth but fell to Switzerland in the two-leg semifinal playoff. The series was tied 3-3 on aggregate, but Switzerland went through on away goals.
  • Australia is ranked sixth in the world. Belgium is ranked 21st.
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WNT Mar 21, 2019
US Soccer

Snow Calls 24 Players to U-23 WNT Roster for 2019 Thorns Spring Invitational

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.    

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U-23 WNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

2019 National Soccer Hall of Fame Nominees Announced

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.

  1. Through his/her play on the United States National Team (senior teams).
    1. Player must have played at least TWENTY (20) full international games for the United States.
    2. 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.
  1. 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.
    1. He/she must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in above mentioned leagues
    2. Been a post season league All Star at least ONE (1) time.
  1. Through play in the Major Indoor Soccer League (1984 - 1992).  There was no first division outdoor league in the United States.
    1. Must have played at least FIVE (5) seasons in the MISL
    2. 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.  

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MNT WNT Mar 20, 2019
US Soccer

PREVIEW: MNT Continues March to Gold Cup with Test vs. Ecuador | 8pm ET | ESPN2, UniMás and UDN

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

Coverage of USA-Ecuador begins at 8 p.m. ET ESPN2, UniMás and UDN. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.

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)

KEEPING CONSISTENT
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. 

USA-ECUADOR NOTES

  • 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)

ECUADOR NOTES

  • 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).
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MNT Mar 20, 2019
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