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- U-16 Boys’ National Team Match Report -

Match: U-16 BNT vs Brazil U-16 BNT
Date: Monday, April 17, 2017
Competition: 45th International Tournament of Montaigu
Venue: FEC, La Chaize-le-Vicomte, France
Kickoff: 10 a.m. CEST
Weather: 65; sunny

Scoring Summary: 1          2          F                     
USA                            0          0          0                                
BRA                            0          2          2

BRA – Rodrygo Sylva de Goes                            42nd minute
BRA – Joao Oliveira                                               80+2

Lineups:
USA: 12-David Ochoa, 2-Ian Hoffmann, 3-Julian Araujo, 15-Victor Rangel, 24-Abraham Gonzalez, 13-Nelson Martinez (6-Mario Anaya, 62), 8-Aidan O’Toole (7-Aidan Morris, 55), 14-Jordan Bender (20-Gabe Segal, 62), 11-Jose Rivas (17-Matko Miljevic, 73), 9-Konrad De La Fuente, 19-Stefan Stojanovic (10-Mitch Cruz, 73)
Subs not used: 1-Nico Defreitas-Hansen, 4-Kevin Peraza, 18-Armando Haro, 21-Jalen Anderson
Head Coach: Omid Namazi

BRA: 1-Lucas Galdino de Azevedo, 2-Lucas Lima, 5-Jonathan Flores, 13-Kaique Lima, 16-Luan Candido de Almeida, 15-Bruno Tatavitto (3-Fabio Bogler, 78), 8-Victor Santos, 20-Lucas Andrade (7-Victor Arantes, 63), 10-Yuri de Oliveira (17-Wallace Almeida 73), 11-Rodrygo Sylva de Goes (19-Joao Oliveira, 78), 9-Yuri Monteiro da Silva
Subs not used: 4-Lucas dos Santos, 6-Lucas Sylva, 12-Yuri Batista, 14-Sandro Perpetuo, 18-Ruan dos Santos
Head Coach: Guilherme Dalla Dea Carlos

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 8 / 11
Shots on Goal: 1 / 6
Saves: 4 / 1
Corner Kicks: 5 / 3
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
BRA – Victor Arantes (caution)                             70th minute  
BRA – Lucas Galdino de Azevedo (caution)     71
BRA – Fabio Bogler (caution)                               80+1

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US Soccer

USA Moves Within One Game of Beach World Cup With 5-1 Win vs. Guadeloupe

PUERTO VALLARTA, JALISCO, MEX. (May 17, 2019) – The U.S. Beach Soccer National Team advanced to the semifinals of the 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship with a 5-1 win against Guadeloupe in Puerto Vallarta. The tournament’s top two scorers – Tanner Akol and Nick Perera – each scored twice and David Mondragon added his third of the competition.

The USA found itself trailing for the first time in the tournament when Guadeloupe’s Sylrick Phirmis did well to hold a defender off before spinning and shooting past Chris Toth early on. The lead lasted just five minutes, as Nick Perera was fouled on a bike attempt in the box and converted the penalty kick.

A patient U.S. side finally broke the game open with three goals in the final five minutes of the second period – all off bicycle kicks. Akol gave the team the lead when he spectacularly biked a Ryan Futagaki throw-in on the fly into the back of the net. David Mondragon followed with his own bike that bounced over the goalkeeper, and Nick Perera finished the period by flicking up his own set-up before slamming in a powerful bike from inside the box.

The USA changed goalkeepers midway through the third period, and Juan Cervantes was up to the test with successive saves, first tipping a shot over the crossbar and then a quick reaction dive to his left to prevent Guadeloupe from inching closer. Akol then put the game away with another scoop bike for his tournament leading 11th goal.  

Up Next: The USA is through to the semifinals where they’ll face El Salvador on Saturday, May 18  (5:45 p.m. ET). El Salvador defeated the Bahamas in the other Quarterfinal earlier in the day, setting up a rematch of the 2013 Final, which the USA won 5-4 in overtime. The winner will automatically qualify for the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay and play for the Concacaf title on Sunday. Fans can watch games live on UDN, Concacaf’s Facebook page and the ConcacafGo app.

NOTES:

  • This was the first meeting between the USA and Guadeloupe in the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship.
  • The USA has now advanced to the semifinals in five of the six Concacaf Beach Championships in which the winner was decided by a title game rather than standings, missing out only in 2017.
  • With 11 goals, Akol has tied Perera’s USA single tourmanet scoring record set in 2013.
  • David Mondragon scored his third goal and first since the opener versus Bonaire.
  • Akol and Perera (10 goals) are the leading scorers in the tournament. El Salvador’s Augustine Ruiz is next with 9.
  • As a team, the USA’s 33 goals are most in the Championship, followed by El Salvador’s 31.
  • The semifinal matchup against El Salvador will mark the first time the teams have met with elimination on the line since the 2013 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship final, when the USA defeated El Salvador 5-4 in added extra time on a goal by Nick Perera to claim its last Concacaf Beach Soccer title.
  • El Salvador won the last meeting in the 2015 third place match (2-5). They also previously won in the 2009 Semifinals (3-5). The teams split group play matches in each of their first two meetings (USA W 9-5 in 2007, SLV W 6-5 in 2008).

- U.S. Beach Soccer National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Beach Soccer National Team vs. Guadeloupe
Date: May 17, 2019
Competition: 2019 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship; Quarterfinals
Venue: Visit Puerto Vallarta Stadium, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: ---
Weather: 84 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:  1    2    3    F
USA                        1    3    1    5
GLP                        1    0    0    1

GLP – Sylrick Phirmis                             1st minute
USA – Nick Perera (penalty)                   6’
USA – Tanner Akol                                19’
USA – David Modragon                         21’
USA – Nick Perera                                 23’
USA – Tanner Akol                                33’

Lineups:

USA: 1-Chris Toth, 4-Adrian dos Santos, 5-Alessandro Canale, 7-Nick Perera, 8-Tanner Akol
Substitutes: 12-Juan Cervantes, 2-Jason Leopoldo, 3-Ryan Futagaki, 6-Jason Santos, 9-Franck Tayou, 10-Oscar Reyes, 11-David Mondragon
Head coach: Eddie Soto

GLP: 5-Mikael Germain, 3-Benoit Zembama, 5-Terry Shillingford, 10-Sylrick Phirmis, 11-Sebastien Hell
Substitutes: 12- Jordan Sennoaj, 2-David Bordelai, 4-Ricardo Mezence, 6-Gael Geolier, 7-Alan Lefort, 8-Melaick Breter, 9-Theo Gelas
Head coach: Damien Granchi Constant

Misconduct Summary:
GLP – Alan Lefort (caution)                     31st minute

Officials:
Referee: David Cruz (SLV)
Second Referee: Jair Robles (MEX)
Third Referee: Juan Andres Angeles (DOM)
Fourth Official: Gonzalo Carballo (SLV)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: --

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Beach May 18, 2019
US Soccer

First-Year Legion Long on Open Cup Glory

When Jay Heaps was playing for the Miami Fusion and Tom Soehn for the Chicago Fire in the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, they could not have predicted they would be teaming up to prepare for the tournament in Birmingham, Alabama 19 years later.

Now, Heaps is president of the Birmingham Legion and Soehn the team’s head coach. And they are hoping their first-year team can continue their winning start in one of sport’s longest-running tournaments, after beating lively amateurs West Chester United Predators 4-1 in the Second Round of the U.S. Open Cup last week.


(Heaps was an Open Cup winner as a player before losing a Final as coach of the NE Revolution)

“We talk about the history of it,” Heaps said of the Open Cup. “You love the fact that if you win, you know you’ll be there forever.”

Heaps won the 2007 Cup as a starting defender for the New England Revolution (current Legion assistant coach Khano Smith played in midfield), a 3-2 decision over FC Dallas. As a coach, Heaps guided the Revolution to the 2016 finals, with Soehn as his top assistant, but this time, FC Dallas exacted revenge with a 4-2 win.

Winner as Player & Coach
Soehn can go Heaps one or two better, though, as he is among the few who have won the event as a player and coach: he was a member of title teams with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) in 1997 and the Fire in 2000, and guided D.C. United to the ’09 title.

“I mean, to be honest, Jay was quite the competitor, he was one of those guys you loved to beat,” Soehn recalled. “So, if you asked me if we would be working together I would have said ‘no chance’. But when you meet him off the field, he is a great guy. We formed a bond and we see the game through the same lens, what we liked in a team, what makes a team. We clicked from the get-go and we’ve worked together for quite some time.”


(Heaps & Soehn have put together a Legion team with a number of former MLS players)

Soehn’s history with the Open Cup dates to when his father, Joseph, born in Romania of German descent, competed for the Chicago Kickers. “When I was growing up, the Chicago area had unbelievable teams and I’d be watching great soccer on the weekends,” Soehn said. “I grew up playing for the Kickers and the soccer club was my home. Their clubhouse was full of trophies back in the day.”

Soehn was a starting defender for the Dallas Burn team that won the U.S. Open Cup the first year MLS teams entered the competition, taking a penalty shootout victory over D.C. United. “It was a big deal for us,” Soehn said. “We were a league-owned team and we played D.C. United in the final, and at that point they were a perennial champion. And to be able to beat them in the final, which was played after the MLS Cup, so it was kind of the final game of the year, it was really cool.”

In 2000, Soehn came on as an 86th-minute substitute in a 2-1 victory over the Fusion at Soldier Field in Chicago. Hristo Stoitchkov’s 44th-minute goal opened the scoring and an 88th-minute Tyrone Marshall own-goal gave the Fire a 2-0 advantage before Welton cut the deficit in the 90th minute. Heaps was at right-back and current Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando started for then-coach Ray Hudson’s Fusion.

Cup Ups & Downs
The next year, Heaps was part of a mid-season trade to the Revolution, who were on the way to early elimination from MLS playoff contention. But the Revs proved to be a Cup contender, defeating the Columbus Crew in the quarterfinals and D.C. United in the semifinals on the way to a title date with the Galaxy. The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks caused MLS to cancel games, and by the time the playoffs concluded with the Galaxy as MLS Cup champions, it was late October. The Revolution had not played a meaningful game since late August, so they were plenty rested and hoped to catch the Galaxy off guard in the Open Cup final on Oct. 27, 2001. But the Revolution lacked sharpness in the second half, squandered the lead, and lost, 2-1, on Danny Califf’s 92nd-minute golden goal at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif.

By 2008, Soehn was coaching D.C. United, and he guided the Red & Black to a 2-1 win over the Charleston Battery in the Cup final at RFK Stadium. “There are different rewards when you’re playing,” Soehn said. “Obviously, you get the feeling of enjoyment because you’re on the field participating. As a coach, so much more work goes into it, you don’t realize it when you’re a player. I had been assistant coach in Chicago when we won it [in 2003] and it is a totally different reward for winning [as a coach].


(Heaps - standing, in white - in the 2007 Open Cup Final against FC Dallas)

“Bringing it up makes me reflect on it a little bit,” Soehn went on. “I’ve had really good experiences in the game, some you take for granted. But being with my peers and all the conversation, all the good times, I’m just thankful the game’s been really good to me.”

United’s ’08 campaign included a 3-1 Semifinal victory over a Revolution team that included Heaps. But Heaps was not in the lineup – he went out a winner, his final Open Cup match a 3-2 victory over FC Dallas in the 2007 final in Frisco, Texas.

“That was one of the strangest things because we had lost in that very stadium,” Heaps said of Revolution defeats in the 2005 and ’06 MLS Cup. “I had missed a penalty kick the year before and we were so close so many times. And with the U.S. Open Cup we got over the hump. We had lost two finals and there was no way we were going to lose this game.”

A Different Approach
Though the Legion leaders have plenty of experience in Cup play, they are approaching the competition differently this time. They started out as favorites, survived, and should now be considered underdogs on the road in the Third Round up against back-to-back and reigning USL Championship toppers Louisville City.  

“This is the first time we are entering this early,” Heaps said. “So you’re playing different types of teams. This is a difficult time for us because of injuries and also loan players are going back to their clubs, plus we can’t cup-tie our loan guys. So, we’re a little thin.” 

Thick or thin, the Legion — mid-table in USL league play for most of the season, so far — have an opportunity to build some crucial support, momentum and excitement via the Open Cup. A good long Cup run can paper over a lot of cracks, and make history – even for a first-year club.  

In any case, the Legion’s leaders are about to write another chapter in the long and storied history of the Open Cup. “It’s crazy,” Soehn said. “My father played in [the Open Cup] back then. A bunch of immigrants came over, some of them had played professional soccer in Germany, but there was nothing here so they played on amateur teams. I love to see what it’s turned into and it’s kept growing.”

[Lead Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe]

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U.S. Open Cup May 18, 2019
US Soccer

FIFA Approves Change of Association Request for Tyler Boyd

CHICAGO (May 18, 2019) - U.S. Soccer confirmed Saturday that Tyler Boyd has been approved by FIFA for a change of association. Boyd is a dual citizen of New Zealand and the United States.

Because he represented the All Whites in official competition at the youth level, he was required to submit an application for a one-time switch. With his request granted, he can now only represent the United States at the international level.

Born in New Zealand, Boyd spent some of his formative years growing up in Santa Ynez, Calif., before returning to his birth country at age 10. Signed with Portuguese side Vitória Guimarães, the 24-year-old has spent 2019 on loan with Turkish Süper Lig club Ankaragücü where he has registered five goals and four assists across 13 matches. 

He also previously played in friendlies for New Zealand’s senior national team.

WATCH: Tyler Boyd Scores on May 12 vs. İstanbul Başakşehir

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MNT May 18, 2019
US Soccer

Mike Anhaeuser: It Can Be Done

Mike Anhaeuser’s been with the Charleston Battery for all 25 years of the club’s life – and he’s forgotten more about the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup than most will ever know. ussoccer.com had the pleasure of sitting down for an animated, all-encompassing chat with the last coach to lead a non-Major League Soccer (MLS) team to the tournament Final. Among the topics open for discussion were that glorious run of 2008 and why it was “amazing and great and disappointing”, what the Open Cup means in Charleston, why hunger matters and why he thinks the time is right for a winner to come from below the top-tier for the first time in 20 years.

    ussoccer.com: Reaching the Final once, the semis twice and the quarters three times, the Charleston Battery seem to have a special bond with the Open Cup.
    Michael Anhaeuser: From back when I was playing [he was a midfielder with the club for three seasons before taking over as coach in 1999], from the beginning of the Charleston Battery 26 years ago in 1993, the Open Cup was something really high on the list. We wanted to compete for the title, not just make runs. It was our goal from the beginning to really go on and win it.


    (Anhaeuser was intense in his playing days for the Battery after earning All-American honors at Indiana)

    You can’t talk about the Battery and the Open Cup without talking about 2008, when you guys went all the way to the Final.
    MA: That year showcased and enforced the Cup as something really important at the club. We put a lot of onus on winning it. We had Lazo Alavanja [a former collegiate star at Indiana University, like Anhaeuser], Osvaldo Alonso [who went on to become a ten-year MLS vet with Seattle Sounders], Ian Fuller [Minnesota United assistant coach], Marco Reda [Canada international] and Randy Patterson [of New York Red Bulls and Trinidad & Tobago]. We had experienced guys. We had about five or six guys in the team that just had that pure winning mentality. You can’t overestimate what that means. It didn’t matter who we played against, they had the quality to compete and to win on the day. But we had the quality back then too. Oh yes we did.

    Is it harder these days for a non-MLS team to make a deep run in the Cup?
    MA: It was easier back then because you were probably only going to have to get past two, or maybe three, MLS teams. But now it’s more like four or five. It keeps getting harder and harder. We try to keep it at the same level here at the Battery and strive for success. I play a lot of my starters in the early rounds; not everyone does that. In the old days, MLS teams didn’t want a home game, so we got to play a lot at home. But it’s not like that any more. It’s another edge lost; it makes it that much harder

    Is it tough to find a balance between league play and Cup play with a USL Championship team?
    MA: Is it hard to find a balance? Yeah, definitely. When you have a smaller roster like we do it’s not ever easy to find the balance [laughs]. You’ve got games coming at you all the time. Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday. You’re burning all the time. It’s nice to get a break, but it doesn’t always come and you have to find the balance between using some young guys and really pushing, really leaning, on your experienced players. If you pick up an injury – which happens when you’re playing a lot of games – then you’re scrambling. Then you have to shuffle your pack and improvise.

     
    (Anhaeuser's been with the Battery for 25 years - that's as long as there's been a Battery)

    Was there much scrambling and shuffling in 2008?
    MA:
    I was playing starters in the Cup from the beginning, putting a focus on it. I’d bring in new guys for the league games sometimes, rookies and guys without too much experience. You needed them, and you might lose some of those league games, but you have to prioritize in years like that. Those are special times and you have to recognize it. We had a lot of home games in 2008 [Just two of their six games were on the road that year]. That helps


    Does succeeding in the Open Cup require a special intensity?
    MA:
    I compare it to the NCAA [basketball] tournament. I think it’s like that in a lot of ways. It has the same feeling and the same intensity. It’s one-and-done. I’m a big fan of this. That format brings out something special. You need luck, sure, and a bit of quality on the day. We won many games on penalties in 2008. We beat Seattle in a shootout. You need all those things to fall into place, but it’s no different than Loyola-Chicago in the NCAA tournament a couple years ago. You have those guys people don’t know about and that’s important – you need those hungry guys trying to go higher.


    (Charleston's run to the 2008 Open Cup Final was the last time a non-MLS team went that far)

    Do your players today understand the meaning of those successes ten years ago?
    MA:
    It’s helped us here that we’ve had success in the Cup. It gets in their belly. I can show them what it’s like and that it can be done. They know it when they’re here. But all of that just helps a little – what’s really important is that we have to go out there and win now. That’s what really matters. The past and the tradition, that just helps us a little before the opening whistle.

    It’s obvious that the Open Cup has special meaning for you.
    MA:
    It’s not just me. For our club, the Open Cup is huge. I say that before the first game to my guys, “If you win this, you’re playing an MLS team.” It’s the first statement I make and I make sure my players know what I’m saying. I believed it as a player and I believe it as a coach: all players want to play the best. That’s a given. And MLS aren’t just throwing out reserve teams in the Cup. It’s changing and evolving. The Open Cup has taken two steps forward. The prize money is up – it’s 300,000 now to the winner and that’s a bump. One more sponsor here or there and it could be huge in American sports.

    You mentioned being hungry. How important is that in the Cup, as a team and as individuals?
    MA: You won’t get anything out of that unless you're hungry. Having guys who are hungry to show what they can do and to take the next step is huge. You’re putting yourself in the shop window in a big way as a player. It makes a big difference if a coach sees you first-hand instead of on tape – a massive difference.


    (A well of enthusiasm and soccer knowledge, Anhaeuser still gets involved in the nitty-gritty of training)

    That’s what happened with Osvaldo Sanchez, who was so impressive with Charleston and ended up signing with Seattle after you beat them in 2008.
    MA:
    Yeah, exactly. Our 2008 run was just the start for him and look what he’s gone on to achieve. We played in Seattle and we pushed them and beat them, and they signed him up just like that. You get seen in the Open Cup. It gives those guys a chance, so you have to be hungry because you don’t want to miss a chance.

    The Battery has been around for 25 years – first in the USISL, then the USISL Pro League and now in the United Soccer League (USL). How has the club changed in those years?
    MA:
    I treat the club the same way I did in my first year here. We were the Battery then and we’re the Battery now. We’re the same as we ever were as far as I’m concerned. We have the club and the history and things are expected of us here. People didn’t know us back then and then we had a little success and people wondered if we could carry it on. But now we have a lot of years behind us and we have a tradition.

    How much of that tradition is connected to the Open Cup?
    MA:
    A lot of it is connected to the Open Cup. It’s something special for us and for our players. Whether they’re rookies, or guys on loan from MLS, or our veterans. We’ve been there as a club. We have a chance to win it. I truly believe this and I try to pass it on every year. You have to believe it. You win and you move on. We have that always on our minds. Five games or something like that and you’re in the Final. Not in front of 4,000 people like it was in the past, but now you’re in front of 40,000 people maybe. That’s a big difference. We’re carrying on a tradition here and we don’t want to lose sight of that. We’re here and we’ve been here. But look what the Cup did for a club like FC Cincinnati in 2017 [the Ohio side went to the Semifinal and and are now a Major League Soccer franchise]. The same thing could happen for us. We want to be the best we can be as a club – and the Open Cup is an opportunity, every year, to win something.


    (The Battery have been crowned league champs - USISL & USL - Four times, with Anhaeuser as player or coach) 

    In the Open Cup, you go from being favorites to underdogs in weeks. Which do you prefer to be?
    MA:
    You try not to prepare the team differently no matter who you play. That’s what you try, anyway. But it’s difficult not to be aware of it when you’re playing an MLS team – when you’re up against a top-flight team you know it. You play in the first games against amateur teams and a few guys are getting their first starts. I’m nervous in those games when I put a new guy out there – because you’re expected to win. You lose, and it’s not a good feeling. It’s happened to us and, trust me, you don’t want it. It’s going to happen – it’s just the nature of the beast, but you want to do all you can to avoid it happening to you.

    With the tradition, the preparation and the hunger right, do you think something like what happened in 2008 could happen again?
    MA: We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but I do use that 2008 Final run as a motivation. We were a few bounces away from winning the Open Cup. We were in the Final at RFK against DC United – with all their tradition and talent – but we tied them up at 1-1. Then we went ahead, but the goal was called back for offside. It was only my third year as a head coach. It was a huge thing. We were right there.


    (Anhaeuser in action in one of his animated team talks)

    Is it the kind of thing you look back with disappointment or pride – or both?
    MA: It was very disappointing to lose, because you build up an expectation when you make it that far. When you compete so well and go so far, you‘re not happy just to make it there – we were unhappy that we lost. But we were there for a reason. It was amazing and great and disappointing. It’s easy for me to pass this feeling on to the players now because I still have that feeling in my belly. I’d love to get Charleston back there for the players of today. They’d never forget it. People out there might forget that we made it to the Final – but we won’t forget. Not here at the Battery. What we did was what is amazing about the Cup – we were a lower division team and we had a chance to win it. This is a for-real opportunity. It just takes one or two upsets here or there and you’re a champion.

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    U.S. Open Cup May 17, 2019

    BERHALTER: "There is an amazing atmosphere in Cincinnati"

    The last time U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter managed a game at Nippert Stadium, he came away with a memorable experience – if not a positive result.

    Head coach of Columbus Crew SC when the MLS side took on FC Cincinnati in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth round, Berhalter’s side were on the wrong end of a 1-0 shutout to the then-USL club, just one of the many upsets the lower division side pulled off on its Cinderella run to that year’s tournament semifinals.

    Asked on Thursday what he remembered about the encounter, Berhalter replied, “The first thing about that match is that I’m still mad that we lost it.”


    FC Cincinnati supporters in The Bailey at Nippert Stadium (Courtesy FC Cincinnati)

    Though Berhalter’s Crew SC were one of the giants taken down by FC Cincy that year, the more than 30,000 in attendance provided a special atmosphere that night and gave the future MNT head coach a view towards what the burgeoning soccer market – now in the midst of its first MLS season – could offer going forward.

    “It was one of the better atmospheres I experienced while working in Major League Soccer,” he said. “I’ve been there watching other games as well, and there is just an amazing atmosphere in Cincinnati.”

    FC Cincinnati has continued to support the club well this season, averaging more than 27,000 fans leading up to the MNT’s first match in the Queen City when they face Venezeula on June 9 at Nippert Stadium. The signs of strong support should extend to the USMNT as well, with ticket sales for the match surpassing 19,000 as of Thursday, May 16.  

    And while hitting up a thirsty soccer market is one part of the MNT’s trip next month, the game also represents the USA’s final tune-up before tackling the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.


    Christian Pulisic scored in the USA's 1-1 draw with Venezuela on June 3, 2017 in Sandy, Utah (John Dorton/ISI Photos)

    La Vinotinto has made serious strides recently against the traditional powers in South America, with their U-20 side advancing to the final of the 2017 FIFA World Cup and the senior team earning some impressive results of late.

    That progress has Berhalter feeling pretty good about the test on offer for his team before it begins its quest to bring home a seventh Gold Cup title.

    “I think it’s going to be a great game,” he said. “Venezuela is a team that had a very successful U-20 group [in 2017] that they’ve been able to push through to the full national team. Their full team is doing well - they just beat Argentina. I think it’s going to be a really difficult final preparation match.”

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    MNT May 17, 2019
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