U.S. Soccer
US Soccer

USA Falls to Italy 1-0 in Tournament of Gradisca

GRADISCA D’ISONZO, Italy (April 25, 2016) – The Under-16 Girls’ National Team fell to host Italy, 1-0, in its opening game of the 1st International Women’s Tournament of Gradisca. It was the first international match of the year for the U.S. U-16s and first since the program was re-instated last year.

The USA out-shot Italy 12-5, but could not find the net, and the game’s lone goal came early from Italy’s Veronica Benedetti in the 5th minute.

The six-team tournament is taking place in Gradisca d’Isonzo, which is located in northeast Italy close to the border with Slovenia. The USA is competing in Group A with Italy and Iran, which the USA will face on April 26. It will be the first meeting between the USA and Iran in women’s international soccer at any age level. It will also be an historic match of sorts as it will be the first time a U.S. Women’s National Team at any age level has ever faced a country from the Middle East.

The tournament has existed for boys’ U-15 teams for 13 years, but this is the first year to feature a girls’ competition as well. The U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team are also competing in the tournament.

After the group stage, the top two teams in each group will play for the championship, the two second place teams will play for third and the two third place teams will play for fifth.

The group matches will be feature 35-minutes halves while the placements games will be 40-minutes halves.

This age group is in the second year of a two-year cycle before becoming the U-18s and then the U-20s with the goal of playing in the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

- U-16 Girls’ National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Under-16 Girls' National Team vs. Italy 
Date: April 25, 2016
Competition: 1st Women’s Tournament Delle Nazioni
Venue: Stadio Gino Colaussi: Gradisca, Italy
Attendance: 200
Weather: Low 60s; sunny

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

ITA - Veronica Benedetti        5th minute

USA: 1-Hensley Hancuff; 4-Shae Bell, 3-Maycee Bell, 10-Sierra Enge, 15-Brianna Martinez; 2-Croix Bethune (14-Olivia Wingate, 63), 17-Jenna Nighswonger (5-Sarah Piper, 55), 19-Cori Dyke, 7-Lia Godfrey; 20-Summer Yates (9-Emily Vatne, 55), 21-Nohemi Mendoza
Subs not used: 6-Kylie Minamishin, 8-Rebecca Jarrett, 11-Makenna Morris, 13-Madelyn Desiano, 16-Madeline Vergura
Head Coach: Tricia Taliaferro

ITA: 1-Camilla Forcinella; 5-Ginevra Costantino (C), 6-Nadine Nischler, 7-Benedetta Orsi (15-Sara Baldi, 56), 8-Bianca Bardin; 9-Veronica Benedetti, 10-Marem Ndiongue, 11-Anita Coda (2- Martina Sclavo, 65), 13-Elena Crespi (14-Noemi Visentin, 65); 16-Valentina Puglisi (3-Federica Cafferata,70), 17-Martina Tomaselli (4-Elena Nichele, 57)
Subs not used: 12-Giulia Cascapera, 18-Francesca Quazzico, 20-Sofia Meneghini
Head Coach: Massimo Migliorini

Stats Summary:USA / ITA
Shots: 12 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 3
Saves: 2 / 9
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 19 

Misconduct Summary:

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U-16 GNT Apr 25, 2016

- U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Under-16 Girls’ National Team vs. Italy
Date: April 25, 2016
Competition: 1st Women’s Tournament Delle Nazioni
Venue: Stadio Gino Colaussi: Gradisca, Italy
Kickoff: 9 a.m. ET
Attendance: 200
Weather: Low 60s; sunny

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

ITA – Veronica Benedetti                             5th minute

USA: 1-Hensley Hancuff; 4-Shae Bell, 3-Maycee Bell, 10-Sierra Enge, 15-Brianna Martinez; 2-Croix Bethune (14-Olivia Wingate, 63), 17-Jenna Nighswonger (5-Sarah Piper, 55), 19-Cori Dyke, 7-Lia Godfrey; 20-Summer Yates (9-Emily Vatne, 55), 21-Nohemi Mendoza.
Subs not used: 6-Kylie Minamishin, 8-Rebecca Jarrett, 11-Makenna Morris, 13-Madelyn Desiano, 16-Madeline Vergura. 22-Katie Meyer
Head Coach: Tricia Taliaferro

ITA: 1-Camilla Forcinella; 5-Ginevra Costantino, 6-Nadine Nischler, 7-Benedetta Orsi (15-Sara Baldi, 56), 8-Bianca Bardin; 9-Veronica Benedetti, 10- Marem Ndiongue, 11-Anita Coda (2-Martina Sclavo, 65), 13-Elena Crespi (14-Noemi Visentin, 65); 16-Valentina Puglisi (3-Federica Cafferata, 70), 17-Martina Tomaselli (4-Elena Nichele, 57)
Subs not used: 12-Giulia Cascapera, 18-Francesca Quazzico, 20-Sofia Meneghini
Head Coach: Massimo Migliorini

Stats Summary: USA / ITA
Shots: 12 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 3
Saves: 2 / 9
Corner Kicks: 2 / 3
Fouls: 8 / 19

Misconduct Summary: N/A

US Soccer

Safira Rise, Christos Fall & Winds Whirl in Third Round of #USOC2019 Local Qualifying

It was an action-packed weekend of games in the third round of 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup local amateur qualifying despite two games being postponed due to weather and another that didn’t get all the way to the end because the lights went out. There were several big upsets on Saturday and Sunday, none more surprising than Christos FC’s loss on the road in Virginia. Join ussoccer.com for a look back at all the action as local qualifiers continue on their path toward the 2019 Open Cup, U.S. Soccer’s National Championship. 

Safira FC Takes Next Step in Northeast
Safira FC, the reigning Massachusetts State Amateur champion, needed a stoppage-time goal from Matthew Vidal to equalize matters 2-2 before young goalkeeper Patrick made four saves in a shootout to preserve a 7-6 victory over 2017 Open Cup participants GPS Omens – themselves three-time consecutive winners of the top division of the Bay State Soccer League (BSSL) – at Rotch Field in the heart of Boston.

(Safira - from near Boston - are chasing a place in their first Open Cup proper - photo by Chris Aduama)

West Chester United Predators Soccer Club of Pennsylvania got two first-half goals – the first from Matt Greer – and a third in the second 45 to take down three-time Open Cup champions N.Y. Pancyprian Freedoms of the famed Cosmopolitan League, 3-0, at Belson Stadium on the campus of Queens, N.Y.’s St. John’s University.

Elton Joe and Daniel Anikrah scored first-half goals for Maryland’s (and its Maryland Major Soccer League) World Class Premier Elite FC, who went on the road to score a 3-1 victory against Rochester Lancers 2 at Roberts Wesleyan College in a driving snowstorm.

(This is Open Cup - Rochester Lancers (2) & World Class Premier Elite in the snow in NY)

Christos Upset, Soccer Soldiers Fight in FLA
Tireless veteran midfielder Daniel Baxter scored in the first half but it wasn’t enough as 2017 U.S. Open Cup darlings Christos FC – who two years ago reached all the way to the tournament’s Fourth Round – allowed a second-half goal in a 2-1 loss to Virginia United at Howtson Homestead Soccer Complex in Manassas (Va.). The loss is the first time in three years that the side from Baltimore County, for years the top amateur side in the mid-Atlantic, will miss out on the Open Cup proper.  

William Stamatis had two goals and Valentin Sabella added two assists as Florida Soccer Soldiers scored three goals on each side of halftime in a 6-0 victory over Hurricane FC at Delray Beach (Fla.)’s Seacrest Soccer Complex.

(Michigan's Livonia FC's 2019 Open Cup run came to an end this weekend)

Soda City Sorinex was able to get out to an early lead on a goal from Driss Bareket but gave up a penalty less than 10 minutes later that knotted the score a 1-1. William Eyang then added the go-ahead goal at the stroke of halftime as America SC squeezed through with a 2-1 victory at West Orange High School in Winter Garden (Fla.).

FC Maritsa Outlast Livonia City in Central Region
Following 120 scoreless minutes in near freezing temperatures in Eastern Michigan, FC Maritsa St. Louis went round-for-round with Livonia City FC before holding on to win 6-5 at Schoolcraft College.  

Down in North Texas, NTX Rayados – hunting an eighth straight trip to the U.S. Open Cup will have to wait to play Motagua of New Orleans until a later date as tournament officials postponed the match to allow Motagua equal preparation time after their second round qualifier against Austin’s Celtic Cowboys was twice postponed due to poor weather in Texas.  

(St Louis has loads of Open Cup history - FC Maritsa is the city's present)

Farther south in El Paso, Southwest FC got a goal and an assist from David Lopez to topple San Juan FC 3-0 at Pebble Hills High School, while up in the Rockies, FC Denver’s home game against GAM United FC was postponed due to freezing rain and pitch conditions. Hearty as they are in Colorado, there was simply no way to proceed with this one.

Winds FC Gets Two in Overtime to Move On Out West
Santa Ana Winds FC went a goal and a man down early (due to a red card) but they rallied to equalize before scoring twice in the first period of overtime to beat Buena Park FC at the sprawling Lake Forest (Calif.) Sports Complex.

“It was a very good game for us,” said Javier Corona of the winning Winds. “It took us a little time to get into the rhythm of the game, but we always kept our confidence and believed in ourselves.”

(IPS Marathon Taverna were cruising early in their third-rounder, but had to sweat it out in the end)

IPS Marathon Taverna went up 3-0 on second half goals from Eric Hernandez and Alcides Thomas before holding on to defeat JASA RWC, 3-2, at Portland (Ore.)’s Buckman Field. 

In Ventura, Calif., Cal FC and California United FC 2 played to a 2-2 draw before the lights went out at Cal Lutheran University’s Rolland Stadium in the 89th minute of the second half. Irvin Parra scored both early goals for Cal FC, but Chris Klute got one back for Cal United FC 2 before Christian Gordillo equalized late in the first half. Officials will determine a new time and date to resume play.

Oakland Stompers were set to host to Academica SC at Raimondi Park but the game was postponed because of air quality issues stemming from the wild fires in Northern California.

Third Qualifying Round

Northeast Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 17

GPS Omens (Mass.) vs. Safira FC (Mass.)

2-2 (6-7 PKs)

Rotch Field; Boston, Mass.

Nov. 17

New York Pancyprian Freedoms (N.Y.) vs. West Chester Predators (Pa.)


Belson Stadium, St. John's University; Jamaica, N.Y.

Mid-Atlantic Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 18

Rochester Lancers 2 (N.Y.) vs. World Class Premier Elite FC (Md.)


Roberts Wesleyan Turf Field; Rochester, N.Y.

Nov. 18

Virginia United (Va.) vs. Christos FC (Md.)


Howison Homestead Soccer Complex - Field 1; Manassas, Va.

Southeast Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 17

America Soccer Club (Fla.) vs. Soda City FC Sorinex (S.C.)


West Orange High School; Winter Garden, Fla.

Nov. 18

Hurricane FC (Fla.) vs. Florida Soccer Soldiers (Fla.)


Seacrest Soccer Complex - Field 1; Delray Beach, Fla.

Central Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 17

Livonia City FC (Mich.) vs. FC Maritsa (Mo.)

0-0 (5-6 PKs)

Schoolcraft College Sports Complex - Outside Turf Field; Livonia, Mich.


Motagua New Orleans (La.) vs. NTX Rayados (Texas)


Pan American Stadium; New Orleans, La

Mountain Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 17

Southwest FC (Texas) vs. San Juan FC (Utah)


Pebble Hills High School; El Paso, Texas


FC Denver (Colo.) vs. Gam United Football Club (Colo.)


Northfield High Shcool; Denver, Colo.

Southern California Region


Game (home team listed first)



Nov. 17

Santa Ana Winds FC (Calif.) vs. Buena Park FC (Calif.)


Lake Forest Sports Park - Field A; Lake Forest, Calif.

Nov. 18

Cal FC (Calif.) vs. California United FC II (Calif.) (match to resume at later date)


Cal Lutheran University - Rolland Stadium; Thousand Oaks, Calif.

West Region



Game (home team listed first)




Oakland Stompers (Calif.) vs. Academica SC (Calif.)


Raimondi Park; Oakland, Calif.

Nov. 18

IPS/Marathon Taverna (Ore.) vs. JASA RWC (Calif.)


Buckman Field Park; Portland, Ore.

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U.S. Open Cup Nov 19, 2018

PREVIEW: USA Meets Honduras for Shot at 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Title Game | 8pm ET | Concacaf GO, UDN

U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
2018 CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Nov. 1-21, 2018 

Having secured its a spot at the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup with a 4-0 win over Costa Rica last Friday, the USA now sets its sights at returning to the Concacaf U-20 Championship title game when they face Honduras Monday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

The contest is a rematch of the 2017 Concacaf U-20 Championship final, in which the USA defeated Honduras on penalty kicks to win its first-ever regional title. The USA needs a draw or win Monday night to return to the 2018 title game, while Honduras is looking to secure the final Concacaf berth at the U-20 World Cup, which they would obtain with a win, draw, or loss by three goals or less.

Mexico and Panama have also qualified for the World Cup, and on Monday they’ll meet at 5:30 p.m, also at IMG Academy, to determine who advances to the Concacaf final from Group H.

The matches can be watched live on Univision Deportes Network and the Concacaf GO App. Fans can also follow the USA’s game via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, twitter (ussoccer_ynt) and Instagram (ussoccer_ynt) accounts.

A Concacaf record 34 nations competed in the Group Stage of the tournament from Nov. 1-10, with the winners of the six groups after round robin play advancing to the Qualification Stage.

As determined at the tournament draw in September, the USA, winner of Group A, is matched with the winners of Group C (Honduras) and E (Costa Rica) in the Qualification Stage, forming Group G.

  • Tues., Nov. 13: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica
  • Friday, Nov. 16: USA 4-0 Costa Rica
  • Monday, Nov. 19: USA vs Honduras (8:00 p.m.)

Group H consists of Mexico (winner, Group B), Panama (winner, Group D), and El Salvador (winner, Group F).

  • Tues., Nov. 13: Panama 1-0 El Salvador
  • Friday, Nov. 16: El Salvador 0-1 Mexico
  • Monday, Nov. 19: Mexico vs Panama (5:30 p.m.)

After the triangular round robin, the top two from each group will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup and the group winners will meet in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship final on Nov. 21.

Nov. 1: USA 7-1 Puerto Rico (Goals: Ayo Akinola (2), Alex Mendez, Paxton Pomykal, Justin Rennicks, Ulysses Llanez, own goal)
Nov. 3: USA 13-0 U.S. Virgin Islands (Llanez (3), Rennicks (2), Mark McKenzie (2), Anthony Fontana, Griffin Dorsey, Akinola, Pomykal, Mendez, Manny Perez)
Nov. 5: USA 6-1 Trinidad and Tobago (Brandon Servania, Pomykal, Mendez, Llanez, Juan Pablo Torres, own goal)
Nov. 7: USA 6-0 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Fontana (3), Torres, Llanez, Servania)
Nov. 9: USA 7-0 Suriname (Akinola (2), Mendez (2), McKenzie, Torres, Rennicks)


  • Nineteen of the 20 players on the U.S. roster for the Group Stage started at least two matches, with only goalkeeper David Ochoa starting one.
  • Paxton Pomykal and Justin Rennicks were the only two players to play in all five matches.
  • The USA led all teams with 39 goals scored in the group stage, followed by Mexico (31) and Honduras (30).
  • The 37 goal differential was also highest, with Mexico (29) and Honduras (25) next.
  • Eleven different USA players scored goals in the group stage, with 9 scoring two or more.
    • Goalscorers: Llanez (6), Akinola (5), Mendez (5), Fontana (4), Rennicks (4), McKenzie (3), Pomykal (3), Torres (3), Servania (2), Griffin (1), Perez (1), own goals (2).
    • Thirteen players contributed assisted, led by Rennicks (6), Llanez (4), Mendez (3) and Griffin (3).
    • With five wins, the USA is unbeaten in its last 10 Concacaf U-20 Championship matches dating back to the opener of 2017.
    • U.S. head coach Tab Ramos is to 17-3-2 all-time in Concacaf U-20 Championship play.
    • The USA are defending champs, capturing its first Concacaf U-20 Championship in March 2017, defeating Honduras in penalty kicks in the final in Costa Rica.
    • Prior to last year, the USA’s best finish was second place, accomplished six times (most recently in 2013).
    • The USA is tied with Mexico for most appearances by a Concacaf nation at the U-20 World Cup with 15 each (out of 21 total), and the U.S. has qualified for 10 of the last 11 tournaments.

Per tournament rules, teams were permitted to make up to six changes to its roster after the group stage. The USA made three adjustments, bringing in defenders Sergiño Dest and Chris Richards as well as forward Sebastian Soto to replace Isaac Angking, Griffin Dorsey and Anthony Fontana.

Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico and Panama each made one roster move ahead of the Qualification Stage. FINAL ROSTERS

USA 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualification Stage (ROSTER NOTES):
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.), 1-Brady Scott (FC Koln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (8): 22-Sergiño Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands), 3-Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.), 2-Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting KC; Charlotte, N.C.), 4-Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.), 14-Manny Perez (N.C. State; Garner, N.C.), 5-Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.), 26-Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Hoover, Ala.), 19-Sam Rogers (Seattle Sounders FC; Seattle, Wash.)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 20-Frankie Amaya (UCLA; Santa Ana, Calif.), 16-Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.), 8-Alex Mendez (SC Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.), 10-Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Tex.), 6-Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Birmingham, Ala.), 7-Juan Pablo Torres (K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen/BEL; Lilburn, Ga.)

FORWARDS (4): 17-Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.), 11-Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.), 9-Justin Rennicks (Indiana Univ.; Hamilton, Mass.), 23-Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.)

Prior to the start of the tournament, the USA made one change from the initial roster. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa replaced CJ Dos Santos, who was recalled by his club, Benfica. 


  • Costa Rica won Group E with 12 points off wins over Bermuda (5-0), Barbados (2-0), Haiti (1-0), and Saint Lucia (6-0).
  • Costa Rica is the only team to not concede a goal during the group stage.
  • Top goal scorers: Luis Ronaldo Araya (3 goals) and Carlos Villegas (2 goals). Nine players scored one goal.
  • Costa Rica has won the Concacaf U-20 Championship twice: 1988 and 2009
  • Costa Rica has qualified for nine FIFA U-20 World Cups, last qualifying in 2017 along with the USA, Mexico and Honduras.
  • Costa Rica came from behind to tie 10-man Honduras 1-1 in the first game of the Qualification Stage on Tuesday, Nov. 13 on a goal by Andres Gomez.  
  • The USA and Costa Rica have met 11 times in this tournament, entering Friday’s match with a record of 4-3-4 against the Ticos:
    • Aug. 29, 1982: USA 0-0 Costa Rica
    • Aug. 31, 1984: USA 0-0 Costa Rica
    • April 9, 1988: USA 0-1 Costa Rica
    • April 20, 1988: USA 1-3 Costa Rica
    • April 29, 1990: USA 2-0 Costa Rica
    • May 7, 1992: USA 2-0 Cost Rica
    • Aug. 5, 1998: USA 1-1 Costa Rica
    • March 20, 2001: USA 1-1 Costa Rica
    • Jan. 16, 2005: USA 2-0 Costa Rica
    • March 15, 2009 (Final): USA 0-3 Costa Rica
    • Feb. 13, 2013: USA 1-0 Costa Rica


  • Honduras won Group C with 15 points off wins over: Dominican Republic (7-1), Sint Maarten (12-0), Cuba (3-1), Belize (4-0) and Antigua & Barbuda (4-3).
  • The 30 goals were good for third behind the USA and Mexico in group play.
  • Top goal scorers: Josue Villafranca (6 goals), Luis Palma (5 goals) and Carlos Mejia (5 goals).
  • On Tuesday, Honduras held on to tie Costa Rica 1-1 in each side’s Qualification Stage opener. Villafranca scored early. Defender Mariano Alvarez was issued a red card.
  • Honduras has won the Concacaf U-20 Championship twice: 1982 and 1994
  • Honduras has qualified for eight FIFA U-20 World Cups, including the last two.
  • The USA has a 1-4-4 all-time record versus Honduras in this competition, including scoreless draws in the last three meetings, two wins on PKs, and a few matches of significance:
  • In the 1980 semifinal, the USA edged Honduras on PKs to advance to its first FIFA Youth Championship (now U-20 World Cup). In 1983, the USA fell to los Catrachos in the final, but Honduras was later disqualified for age irregularities and the USA advanced to that World Cup. Finally, in 2017 the USA defeated Honduras on penalty kicks to win its first Concacaf U-20 Championship. 
    • Oct. 3, 1976: USA 0-1 Honduras
    • Dec. 12, 1978: USA 1-2 Honduras
    • Aug. 15, 1980: USA 0-0 Honduras (8-7 Pks)
    • Sept. 5, 1983 (Final): USA 0-1 Honduras
    • Aug. 21, 1984: USA 1-2 Honduras
    • May 12, 1992: USA 4-0 Honduras
    • April 19, 1996: USA 0-0 Honduras
    • March 8, 2009: USA 0-0 Honduras
    • March 25, 2017 (Final): USA 0-0 Honduras (5-3 pks)



  • Mexico won Group B on goal differential over Jamaica after both teams tied with 13 points, including a 2-2 draw in their meeting. Mexico also defeated Nicaragua (7-0), Saint Martin (4-0), Grenada (8-0), and Aruba (10-0).
  • Their 31 goals and 29 goal differential were second to the USA in the group stage.
  • Jose Macias leads the tournament with 10 goals. Other top scorers: Daniel López (5 goals) and Edgar López (3 goals).
  • Mexico has won the Concacaf Championship 13 times, most recently in 2015.
  • Mexico is tied with the USA in qualifying for 15 FIFA U-20 World Cups, including the last four.

El Salvador:

  • El Salvador won Group F with a 3-1-0 record and nine points: Curaçao (2-1), Cayman Islands (301), Guatemala ((2-1) and Guyana (L 0-2).
  • Top scorers: Siliazar Henríquez (2 goals).
  • El Salvador lost its Qualification Stage opener to Panama 1-0 on Tuesday.
  • El Salvador won its only Concacaf U-20 Championship in 1964.
  • El Salvador qualified for its only FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2013.


  • Panama swept its five matches to win Group D, defeating Guadelupe (4-0), Martinique (5-1), Canada (2-1), Dominica (4-0) and St. Kitts & Nevis (2-1).
  • Top scorers: Saed Diaz and Diego Valanta with four goals each.
  • Panama defeated El Salvador 1-0 in the Qualification Stage opener on a goal by second half sub Axel McKenzie.
  • Panama has never won the Concacaf U-20 Championship, but they have qualified for four FIFA U-20 World Cups, most recently in 2011.
Read more
U-20 MNT Nov 19, 2018
US Soccer

MNT Ends 2018 with Kickoff Series Friendly Against Italy in Genk, Belgium

CHICAGO (Nov. 19, 2018) – The U.S. Men’s National Team ends its challenging 2018 calendar with its final Kickoff Series friendly against four-time World Cup champions Italy on Tuesday, Nov. 20 in Genk, Belgium.

Coverage of USA-Italy begins at 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1 and UniMas. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 60/0), 12-Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0),22-Jonathan Klinsmann (Hertha Berlin/GER; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (9): 6-John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 36/3), 25-Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 1/0),
5-Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 6/0), 26-Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), 3-Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 11/1),18-Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 4/0), 19-Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers; 20/0), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 57/0), 21-Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 3/1)

MIDFIELDERS (9): 23-Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 22/2), 4-Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 8/1), 9-Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 5/0), 27-Romain Gall (Malmö/SWE; 0/0), 16-Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 15/4), 14-Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 4/1), 10-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 22/9), 20-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 10/0), 11-Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 8/1)

FORWARDS (2): 13-Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 5/2), 7-Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 44/13)


  • As of Nov. 20, 2018, the roster will carry an average age of 23 years, 318 days, while 16 players are 23 years and under.
  • Seven players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jonathan Klinsmann, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah.
  • Brad Guzan (60 caps), DeAndre Yedlin (57) and Bobby Wood (44) are the senior-most players on the roster.
  • The 23 players on the roster ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (9), Germany (6), France (2); Belgium, Canada, England, Spain, Sweden and Wales (1 each)
  • Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) currently plays his club football in Belgium.
  • Four players are with teams currently involved in the MLS Cup Playoffs: Tyler Adams and Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls); Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC) and Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers).
  • Midfielder Romain Gall and goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann are in the midst of their first MNT camps.
  • Gall, 23, has recorded 14 goals in 31 matches across all competitions for Swedish sides Sundsvall and his current club, Malmö in 2018.
  • Klinsmann has appeared in nine matches, keeping four clean sheets for Hertha Berlin II this season.
  • Fourteen players have represented the U.S. at a Youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luca de la Torre, Marky Delgado, Ethan Horvath, Jonathan Klinsmann, Matt Miazga, Shaq Moore, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Wil Trapp, Jorge Villafaña and DeAndre Yedlin.

MNT head coach Dave Sarachan began 2018 by saying this would be a year of opportunity and experience for players, and as the year closes he has lived up to that promise. A total of 51 players have earned at least one cap in the 10 matches so far, including 19 first-timers – a figure that sits third all-time for debuts in a calendar year behind only 1992 (21 debuts, 21 GP) and 2007 (20 debuts, 18 GP). Including the debuts of Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Weston McKennie in last November’s draw in Portugal that figure rises to 22, meaning Sarachan’s 11-game tenure has seen more debuts than any other modern-era MNT coach in the same time frame.

MNT Debuts in First 11 Games of Tenure

Head Coach

First Caps Awarded

Time Frame

Dave Sarachan


Nov 14, 2017-Nov. 15, 2018

Bob Bradley


Jan. 20, 2007-June 24, 2007

Bruce Arena


Nov. 6, 1998-Aug. 3, 1999

Jurgen Klinsmann


Aug. 10, 2011-May 26, 2012

Bruce Arena


Jan. 29, 2017-July 15, 2017

Bora Milutinovic


May 5, 1991-Sept. 14, 1991

Steve Sampson


April 22, 1995-July 20, 1995

One of the positives from Thursday’s match against England was the return of midfielder Sebastian Lletget. The midfielder made his first U.S. appearance since suffering a devastating lisfrac injury after a tough tackle in the MNT’s 6-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Honduras on March 24, 2017. Lletget recorded his first international goal in that match to open the scoring early, only to be forced out of the match after suffering a tough tackle minutes later. Corrective surgery and a 10-month recovery process ensued, but the midfielder returned to the field with the LA Galaxy this season and made his first international appearance since the injury on Thursday against England. 

The MNT roster was reduced to 23 players ahead of the Italy match as Weston McKennie, Kenny Saief and Luca de la Torre departed camp. McKennie was diagnosed with a left hamstring tendon strain and returned to his club to begin rehabilitation. De la Torre remained in London following the England match to continue training with Fulham, while Saief returned to Belgian club Anderlecht.

With their style long defined by defensive acumen, Italy has proven a difficult opponent for the USA to find goals against. The MNT has recorded just five in 11 all-time meetings -- one of which was the own goal in the 1-1 draw at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Check out the MNT’s small goal-scoring club against the Italians:

MNT Players to Score vs. Italy






Aldo “Buff” Donelli

May 27, 1934

1-7 L

1934 FIFA World Cup

Rome, Italy

John Harkes

June 6, 1992

1-1 D


Chicago, Ill.

Landon Donovan

June 15, 2009

1-3 L

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

Pretoria, South Africa

Clint Dempsey

Feb. 29, 2012

1-0 W


Genoa, Italy

*The USA goal in the 2006 FIFA World Cup was credited as an own goal

Clint Dempsey score the winner for the USA vs. Italy in 2012.

With UEFA overseeing Tuesday’s friendly against Italy, the governing body for the game in Europe has elected to utilized Video Assistant Referee (“VAR”) technology during the match. VAR has been used at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as in Major League Soccer, the German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.

The six-man referee crew for Tuesday’s match hails from Turkey:


Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)

Assistant Referee 1:    

Bahattin Duran (Turkey)

Assistant Referee 2:   

Tarik Ongun (Turkey)

4th Official:               

Alper Ulusoy (Turkey)


Hallis Özkahya (Turkey)

Assistant VAR: 

Barış Şimşek (Turkey)

With the 2022 cycle officially underway, the process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. Since November of last year, a total of 19 players have debuted for the senior MNT. Seventeen of them came in under 24 years old at the time of their first caps, while 10 will be age-eligible to represent the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls at the start of the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicle the route of players on their quest to become a part of the National Team by going behind the scenes with family, youth, coaches, teammates and professional club managers from across the world.


  • The teams have met 11 times, with the USA trailing the all-time series by a mark of 1-7-3
  • The USA’s lone win came in the last meeting between the two sides, using a Clint Dempsey goal to defeat Italy 1-0 on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa
  • Italy has been the USA’s opponent in three FIFA World Cup matches – which is the join most along with Germany.
  • The USA faced Italy in both World Cups hosted by the Azzuri, falling 7-1 at the 1934 edition before dropping a narrow, a 1-0 defeat in 1990. Both matches were played in Rome.
  • In 2006, a nine-man U.S. squad earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Italy, joining France as the two teams not to lose as the Azzuri marched on to win their fourth FIFA World Cup. 
  • Tuesday’s match in Genk, Belgium marks the USA’s first neutral site friendly since a 2-1 defeat to Colombia on Nov. 14, 2014 at Craven Cottage in London, England.
  • The USA has played three previous matches on Belgian soil – all against Belgium – going 0-3-0.
  • The MNT’s last visit to Belgium resulted in a 1-0 defeat to the Red Devils on Sept. 6, 2011 in Brussels.
  • The last meeting with England also came at the FIFA World Cup. Steven Gerrard and Clint Dempsey traded goals as the teams played to a 1-1 draw during the 2010 tournament in Rustenberg, South Africa.
  • The USA’s other win in the series came thanks to goals from Thomas Dooley and Alexi Lalas as the MNT defeated England 2-0 on June 9, 1993 in Foxborough, Mass.
  • England has hosted the MNT at Wembley Stadium twice before. On Sept. 7, 1994, the USA fell 2-0 to the Three Lions in its first match following that year’s FIFA World Cup. The MNT returned to London 14 years later, again falling 2-0 to England on May 28, 2008.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Alessio Cragno (Cagliari; 0/0), Gianluigi Donnaurumma (AC Milan; 11/0), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino; 18/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Francesco Acerbi (Lazio; 2/0), Cristiano Biraghi (Fiorentina; 4/1), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus; 84/6), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus; 36/0), Gianluca Manchini (Atalanta; 0/0), Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea/ENG; 1/0), Daniele Rugani (Juventus; 7/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Nicolò Barella (Cagliari; 3/0), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter Milan; 5/0), Vincenzo Grifo (Hoffenheim/GER; 0/0), Stefano Sensi (Sassuolo; 0/0), Sandro Tonali (Brescia; 0/0), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 28/1)

FORWARDS (6): Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo; 4/0), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina; 10/0), Moise Kean (Juventus; 0/0), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese; 2/0), Leonardo Pavoletti (Cagliari; 0/0), Matteo Politano (Inter Milan; 1/0)


  • Italy currently sits 19th in the FIFA World Rankings.
  • The Azzuri are currently coached by Roberto Mancini, best known for his time guiding Manchester City to its first Premier League title in 2011-12, Mancini also won three-straight Serie A titles with Inter Milan from 2006-08.
  • Italy are 2-3-5 in 2018 and unbeaten in their last three matches.
  • Playing their final match of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League group stage on Saturday, Italy drew 0-0 with reigning European Champions Portugal in Milan.
  • While the Italians didn’t win UEFA Nations League Group 3, their second place finish did ensure they would remain in League A for the next edition of the competition.
  • Italy midfielder Marco Verratti is teammates with MNT winger Tim Weah at Paris Saint-Germain.
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MNT Nov 19, 2018
US Soccer

After Devastating Injury, Sebastian Lletget Celebrates Personal Milestone in Return Against England

Though it came with little fanfare, Sebastian Lletget’s 76th minute entry into the USA’s friendly match against England on Thursday served as a personal milestone in the MNT midfielder’s long road to recovery.

At the beginning of 2017, Sebastian Lletget had just taken his first steps with the U.S. Men’s National Team. Earning his first caps in January and February, the LA Galaxy midfielder was tapped to start the USA’s World Cup Qualifying match that March against Honduras in San Jose, Calif.

Born in San Francisco, Lletget had a dream start to his first cap in a qualifier, tapping in the rebound of a saved shot from Christian Pulisic to give the USA a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. The trajectory of his night changed dramatically nine minutes later when Honduran defender Ever Alvarado leveled Lletget with a nasty challenge near the sideline. Hobbled, he tried to grind through the ailment but was forced to come off in the 18th minute.

That moment was the last time he would see the field for club or country in 2018. Diagnosed with a lisfrac injury to his foot, the condition required surgery and a lengthy recovery timetable.

“It was the ultimate high to the ultimate low a few minutes later,” Lletget told ussoccer.com this week. “Things happen. You can’t blame anybody. It’s just part of the sport.”

A 10-month recovery process followed, one which Lletget says tested him mentally but only made him stronger.

“I’ve learned so much and I wouldn’t change anything to be honest with you. As a player, as a person, you grow through that time. Now that I’m healthy, I think I’m better for it. I look back and feel like I learned so much about myself that I wouldn’t have learned if it hadn’t happened. Of course when things are going well, you want to stay with that, but that’s not always what happens. In this case it wasn’t the plan.”

Nearly a year later, Lletget was back on the field for the Galaxy’s season opener and played well enough to earn a recall to the MNT for its September friendlies. In that moment, he hit another road block, suffering an abdominal injury with the Galaxy before arriving in camp. After a few days with the MNT, he returned to the Galaxy.

“Mentally it was another test, and I asked myself if my time to get back on the field was ever going to come,” he said.  “You get another lesson. I was feeling healthy, but life keeps hitting me with some lessons. Now I’m happy that I’m fully fit and I feel even better than back in September. I think I can offer more to the team being 100 percent than being 60 percent.”

Appearing in 28 matches for the Galaxy this season, Lletget finished the season in good form and earned a return for the MNT’s matches in November. Though he didn’t start against England, the former West Ham United Academy product finally got back on the field with the MNT in the same city he spent much of his developmental years.

“To come back from what I went through, the journey and how hard it was to just get back, from walking to running and actually playing this year, it was definitely uphill, but I didn’t give up and I climbed my way up. To be back here and step back out at Wembley was an amazing experience, given that it was so much time to get back to this. It was a beautiful moment for me, for my friends and family that kept me going through the tough time.”

Like his teammates, Lletget will hope to end the year on a high note with Tuesday’s match against Italy and as the MNT turns another chapter in 2019.

“I’m working my way back to where I was and I keep building on my strengths and improving my weaknesses. There is going to be a new coach and new feel around this team, and I think there are plenty of things to be excited about. I know we have a long way until the World Cup, but we have lots of important games in the next year so I think there is a lot to look forward to, both individually and as a team. We have a lot of promising playersObviously right now we’re still building and I think you can see this, but I think as we grow together this team can become something special.”

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MNT Nov 18, 2018
US Soccer

Weston McKennie and Luca de la Torre Depart MNT Camp Ahead of Italy Match

CHICAGO (Nov. 18, 2018) – U.S. Men’s National Team midfielders Weston McKennie and Luca de la Torre have departed training camp ahead of the MNT’s Kickoff Series finale friendly against Italy on Tuesday.

McKennie has been diagnosed with an injury to his left hamstring tendon and has returned to Schalke to begin rehabilitation. The 20-year-old midfielder made six appearances for the MNT in 2018.

Following the England match, de la Torre remained in London to resume training with Fulham. The midfielder made his MNT debut during June’s 2-1 defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

Neither player will be replaced on the roster, which now stands at 24 players.

The USA concludes its 2018 schedule against four-time World Cup champions Italy on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium (2:45 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas).

Fans can follow both matches on U.S. Soccer's official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 60/0), Jonathan Klinsmann (Hertha Berlin/GER), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0)

DEFENDERS (9): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 36/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 1/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 6/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 11/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 4/0), Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers; 20/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 57/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 3/1)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 22/2), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 8/1), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 5/0), Romain Gall (Malmö/SWE; 0/0), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 15/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 4/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 22/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 10/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 8/1)

FORWARDS (2): Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 5/2), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 44/13)

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MNT Nov 18, 2018