U.S. Soccer

- U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-18 MNT vs. Belarus U-18 MNT
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Competition: 2017 Slovakia Cup
Venue: Cervenik; Trnava, Slovakia
Kickoff: 9 a.m. ET
Weather: 52 degrees; sunny

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

BLR – Miraslau Khlebasolau                                  8th minute
USA – Paxton Pomykal                                        69
USA – Jonathan Gonzalez (penalty kick)                75

USA: 12-Trey Muse; 15-Jack Maher (24-Mark McKenzie, 71), 18-Jonathan Esparza (10-Jose Carranza, 60), 5-Kyle Gruno, 3-Aedan Stanley (capt.), 21-Brandon Servania, 11-Paolo Belloni (8-Paxton Pomykal, 41), 19-Emanuel Perez, 17-Shaft Brewer (7-Griffin Dorsey, 60), 23-Will Inalien (13-Justin Rennicks, 41), 9-Brian Perez (14-Jonathan Gonzalez, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Brady Scott, 2- Koby Carr, 4-Daniel Jones, 6-Angel Uribe, 20-Lucas Del Rosario, 22-Brandon Austin
Head Coach: Omid Namazi

BLR: 12-Aleksandr Svirski; 4-Andrei Pilipavets (capt.), 13-Mikita Bylinkin, 5-Nikita Biatsenia, 9-Yahor Lapun, 11-Hleb Shauchenka (8-Pavel Chekhau, 65) (15-Aliaksandr Ksenafontau, 80),14-Mikhail Tupalau (17-Artsiom Mirayeuski, 65), 16-Aliaksandr Svirepa (20-Illia Juhir, 80), 19-Andrei Alshanik, 10-Miraslau Khlebasolau (7-Dzmitry Baradzin, 53), 22-Kiryl Yermakovich (21-Ilya Sen, 53)
Subs Not Used: 1-Egor Davydenka
Head Coach: Raman Kirenkin

Stats Summary: USA / BLR
Shots: 10 / 3
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 12
Offsides: 3 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
BLR – Pavel Chekhau (caution)                 68th minute
BLR – Ilya Sen (caution)                          72
BLR – Andrei Pilipavets (caution)               72
BLR – Andrei Pilipavets (caution)               74
BLR – Andrei Pilipavets (sent off)              74
USA – Aedan Stanley (caution)                  74
USA – Justin Rennicks (caution)                80+2
USA – Jose Carranza (caution)                  80+3

Notes: Match was played with 40 minute halves.

US Soccer

PREVIEW: USA Aims for Second Consecutive Concacaf U-20 Title vs. Mexico | 7pm ET | UDN, ConcacafGO.com

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2018) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will aim to defend its regional title when they face rivals Mexico in the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Final on Wed., Nov. 21 at 7:10 p.m. ET at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

The USA advanced to the final following seven straight wins in the Group Stage and the Qualification Stage. Mexico won their Group by virtue of goal differential after tying Jamaica with 13 points, and then advanced to the Final after tying Panama in the Qualification Stage with 4 points each on the Fair Play tiebreaker, having receiving one less caution than Panama.

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

USA 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualification Stage Roster:
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.)


USA Midfielder Alex Mendez on playing Mexico in the Final:
“It means a lot because we're playing versus my family’s roots. I grew up watching them, and now to be able to play against them in a final, it means a lot.

USA Defender Chris Gloster, who played in the 2017 Concacaf U17 Championship Final versus Mexico, which Mexico won on PKs:

“Honestly it’s an unbelievable feeling to play against Mexico, and especially now playing them twice in a final. It’s hard to describe. When you’re on the field you’re only focusing on beating Mexico – not the trophy, or where you’re going after that – because it’s a huge rivalry. When we get that opportunity we’ll all be ready for it.”

USA Defender Chris Richards on being defending champions:
“It’s always a great feeling to play a final for your country and to represent all the people who support you. You want to show you’re the best in Concacaf - the guys did it before us, led a pathway for us to do the same thing - and so we have a big responsibility.”   

For the USA, this marks the second straight Concacaf U-20 Championship Final and third title game in the last four cycles under the guidance of head coach Tab Ramos: 

  • The USA won its first-ever regional title in 2017 by defeating Honduras in the final 5-3 on penalty kicks after the teams played a scoreless match. The USA’s run included an opening day loss to Panama (0-1) before winning four straight over Haiti (4-1), St. Kitts & Nevis (4-1), Mexico (1-0), and El Salvador (2-1) in the tournament played in Costa Rica.
  • In 2015, the USA qualified for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup as third place finishers, posting four consecutive shutout victories after a 0-1-1 start to the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
  • In 2013, the USA had defeated Haiti (2-1), Costa Rica (1-0), Canada (4-2, Quarterfinal) and Cuba (2-0, Semifinal) before facing Mexico in the Final held in Puebla, Mexico. Tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, Mexico scored twice in overtime on a 10-man USA side to win 3-1
  • Prior to last year, the USA’s best finish was second place, accomplished six times (most recently in 2013).

This will be the 11th meeting between these two rivals – and the third in a Final - in the now 27th edition of this tournament. Mexico holds the edge with an 8-2-0 record:

  • Sept. 28, 1976: USA 1-7 Mexico
  • Aug. 17, 1980 (Final): USA 0-2 Mexico
  • Sept. 6, 1984: USA 0-1 Mexico
  • Aug. 17, 1986: USA 3-0 Mexico
  • *Aug. 24, 1988: USA 1-2 Mexico
  • May 11, 1990: USA 1-3 Mexico
  • May 12, 1992: USA 0-3 Mexico
  • April 25, 1996: USA 1-2 Mexico
  • March 3, 2013 (Final): USA 1-3 Mexico (AET)
  • Feb. 27, 2017: USA 1-0 Mexico
    • * Mexico disqualified for age irregularities.


Group A:

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) 

Qualification Stage – Group G:
Nov. 16: USA 4-0 Costa Rica (Mendez, Llanez, Torres, Akinola)
Nov. 19: USA 1-0 Honduras (Akinola) 

  • The USA leads the tournament with 44 goals and a +42 goal differential in the seven games.
  • Eleven different USA players scored goals in the group stage, with nine scoring two or more.
  • Goalscorers: Llanez (7), Akinola (7), Mendez (6), Fontana (4), Rennicks (4), Torres (4), McKenzie (3), Pomykal (3), Servania (2), Griffin (1), Perez (1), own goals (2).
  • The USA’s record for individual goals at this tourmanet is held by Ricky Davis, who scored 8 goals in the 1976 competition.
  • Fifteen players contributed assisted, led by Rennicks (6), Llanez (4), Mendez (4) and Griffin (3).
  • The USA has registered five shutouts: three by GK Brady Scott and two by GK David Ochoa.
  • Paxton Pomykal and Justin Rennicks have appeared in all seven games, while Chris Gloster leads the team with six starts.
  • Tab Ramos is 19-3-2 all-time in Concacaf U-20 Championship play.
  • The USA is on a team-record 12-game undefeated streak dating back to the opener of the 2017 tournament.


Group B:
Nov. 2: Mexico 7-0 Nicaragua
Nov. 4: Mexico 4-0 Saint Martin
Nov. 6: Mexico 2-2 Jamaica
Nov. 8: Mexico 8-0 Grenada
Nov. 10: Mexico 10-0 Aruba 

Mexico won Group B on goal differential over Jamaica after both teams tied with 13 points.

Qualification Stage: Group H
Nov. 16: Mexico 1-0 El Salvador
Nov. 19: Mexico 2-2 Panama 

Mexico advanced to the Final by virtue of the Fair Play tie-breaker, having received one less caution than Panama.

  • Their 34 goals and 30 goal differential are second to the USA.
  • Jose Macias leads the tournament with 10 goals. The next top scorer is Daniel López (7 goals).
  • Mexico has won a Concacaf-record 13 titles, including three of the last four (2011, 2013, 2015).
  • Mexico is tied with the USA in qualifying for 16 FIFA U-20 World Cups, including the last five.


  • The USA features seven players with Mexican backgrounds (one or both parents or grandparents): Frankie Amaya, Julian Araujo, Ulysses Llanez, Alex Mendez, Manny Perez, David Ochoa and Sebatian Soto.
  • USA defenders Chris Gloster and Jaylin Lindsey and forward Ayo Akinola were on the USA U17 MNT that defeated Mexico in the 2017 Concacaf U-17 Championship group stage before falling to their rivals in the Final on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.  
  • Mexico U20 forward Daniel Lopez was also on Mexico’s U17MNT at last year’s U17 Championship.
  • On September 11, midfielder Diego Lainez made his second appearance for the Mexican National Team in the match against the USA. MNT midfielder Tyler Adams – 19 and eligible for this U20 team – scored his first international goal in that 1-0 win over Mexico in Nashville, Tenn.


A total of 24 teams will compete in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland next May 23 – June 15. Aside from the hosts, the other 23 nations qualify through confederation tournaments.

  • The USA, Mexico, Panama and Honduras have clinched the four Concacaf berths, with the USA and Mexico each advancing to their 16th World Cup (out of 22 total) this year. Panama has qualified for its fifth World Cup (first since 2011) while Honduras will be making their eighth appearances.
  • Twelve other nations have also qualified to date: Poland (hosts); France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Ukraine (Europe); New Zealand and Tahiti (Oceana); and Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia (Asia)
  • Still to qualify: Four teams from the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations (Feb, 2019 in Niger) and four teams from the 2019 CONMEBOL South American U-20 Tournament (Jan-Feb, 2019 in Chile).
  • England, winner of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, became the sixth consecutive champion to fail to qualify for the next U-20 World Cup.

Mexico 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship Qualification Stage Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Carlos Higuera, 12-Luis Lopez 

DEFENDERS (6): 2-Kevin Alvarez, 3-Gilberto Sepulveda, 4-Efrain Orona, 6-Naelson Cardenas, 13-Mario Trejo, 14-Oswaldo Leon

MIDFIELDERS (8): 7-Carlos Guitierrez, 8-Misael Dominguez, 10-Diego Lainez, 11-Diego Hernandez, 15-Alexis Gutierrez, 16-Fernando Plascencia, 18-Eduardo Torres, 21-Roberto Meraz

FORWARD (4): 9-Jose Macias, 17-Edgar Lopez, 19-Daniel Lopez, 20-Adrian Lozano 
Read more
U-20 MNT Nov 21, 2018
US Soccer

Thank You Dave: Sarachan Tenure Lays Groundwork for Future MNT Success

The past year has been one of transition for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Forging ahead after just missing out on qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the last 12 months have seen the MNT guided by the experienced hand of veteran coach Dave Sarachan.

Chosen to lead the program forward while the search for a General Manager and permanent head coach took place, Sarachan largely elected to use his time at the helm to give the next generation of U.S. Men’s National Team players their first taste of the international stage.

“I think he’s done a really good job of getting this group to understand what it means to be a U.S. Men’s National Team player,” said MNT midfielder Wil Trapp, who served as captain for much of the year. “Within that, you have so many young players that have gotten their feet wet and begun to step into roles on the team where the experience has grown, but I think the chemistry and comfort within this group has also gotten there.”

Knowing the experiences provided to young players early in the cycle were more important than results, the Rochester, N.Y. native’s tenure has largely been defined by laying the early groundwork for the Men’s National Team program as it approaches the rest of the cycle. In 12 matches guiding the MNT, Sarachan gave 23 players debuts – by far the most of any manager during the modern era in the same time span.

MNT Debuts in First 12 Games of Tenure

Head Coach

First Caps Awarded

Time Frame

Dave Sarachan


Nov 14, 2017-Nov. 20, 2018

Bruce Arena


Nov. 6, 1998-Sept. 8, 1999

Bob Bradley


Jan. 20, 2007-June 28, 2007

Jurgen Klinsmann


Aug. 10, 2011-May 30, 2012

Bruce Arena


Jan. 29, 2017-July 19, 2017

Bora Milutinovic


May 5, 1991-Oct. 19, 1991

Steve Sampson


April 22, 1995-July 22, 1995

Twenty of the debuts that occurred under Sarachan came during 2018, a figure that ties with 2007 for second-most during the MNT’s modern era, just behind the 21 attained in 1992. Those years also saw the MNT play a much higher number of games, presenting Bora Milutinovic and Bob Bradley more opportunities to offer up first-time opportunities.

MNT Debuts by Year (Modern Era)




Future World Cup Players That Debuted




Mike Burns, Thomas Dooley, Brad Friedel, 
Cobi Jones, Mike Lapper, Joe-Max Moore, 
Mike Sorber, Roy Wegerle




Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, 
Jonathan Bornstein, Jay DeMerit, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Robbie Findley








Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis, Eddie Pope, Preki

Beyond the raw numbers, most valuable is the age at which MNT debuts have come under Sarachan. Of the 23 debutants, 13 have been age 22 or under, while 11 of those are players who will be age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

As time goes by, that group would project to be in the prime years of their career when the USA co-hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2026. 

“Dave has done an incredible job of giving us the experiences we need now for the future,” said Tyler Adams, one of Sarachan’s 23 debutants. “When we look forward, whether it’s in the Olympics which a lot of us can play in or towards 2022 and 2026 World Cups, we’re going to be in our prime ages to go out and perform.”

Olympic Eligible MNT Debuts (November 2017-November 2018)



Debut Age

2020 Age*

2026 Age**

Tyler Adams

Nov. 14, 2017 at Portugal




Cameron Carter-Vickers




Weston McKennie




Tim Weah

March 28, 2018 vs. Paraguay




Erik Palmer-Brown

May 28, 2018 vs. Bolivia




Antonee Robinson




Keaton Parks




Josh Sargent




Luca de la Torre

June 2, 2018 at Ireland




Jonathan Amon

Oct. 16, 2018 vs. Peru




Reggie Cannon




*2020 age reflects age at start of the Summer Olympics -- July 22, 2020

**2026 age reflects age as of June 1, 2026

And while minutes on the field are one thing, Sarachan’s tutelage has also helped set a number of players up for milestone career moments. Five players each have recorded their first goal or assist during Sarachan’s tenure, while two goalkeepers have earned their first win and kept their first clean sheet in the same time span. 

Individual Firsts Since November 2017

First Goals

First Assists

First Win/Clean Sheet

Tyler Adams

Joe Corona

Alex Bono

Weston McKennie

Matt Miazga

Zack Steffen

Josh Sargent

Antonee Robinson


Tim Weah

CJ Sapong


Walker Zimmerman

Tim Weah


Then there are the team moments, and while results haven’t been the most important factor during the past year, a young and rebuilding MNT group has come together to pull off some impressive performances.

The notable highlights began with Sarachan’s first match in charge, when an MNT side reeling from the World Cup disappointment a month earlier played to a 1-1 draw with reigning European Champions Portugal last November in Leiria.

Taking on Bolivia in May, Sarachan selected a lineup that averaged 22 years, 160 days – at the time, the youngest of the modern era – which had little difficulty in a 3-0 win against La Verde.

Facing a tougher task a couple weeks later, he boldly trotted out what was then the second youngest MNT lineup (22 years, 183 days) to face France in the host’s last match before heading to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A first-half goal from Julian Green put the MNT in front in Lyon and saw the team ultimately settle for a 1-1 draw against the soon-to-be crowned World Cup champs.

Adams added, “It’s not easy to throw teenagers out on the field and there could have been guys that came in and already had a bunch of caps, but he’s trusted us and given the confidence to go in and be fearless to do our jobs.

“The experiences of playing France, Brazil, Portugal, England and Italy this past year will go a long way to help us be confident in our abilities.”

MNT Player Pool Breakdown (November 2017-November 2018)

Called to Camp


First Camps

First Caps

First Starts






In September, Sarachan oversaw the USA’s 1-0 victory against Mexico in Nashville. The win was the MNT’s first against its regional rival since 2015, and memorably came on September 11, days after the team toured Ground Zero in New York.

In his final match as MNT head coach, Sarachan put out a group averaging 22 years, 71 days against Italy, besting the average age record set during May’s 3-0 win against Bolivia and setting a new mark that may never be broken.

The mission of guiding the MNT through the past year has been no easy task, but one the long-time coach has done with grace, class and the overriding goal of setting up the program for future success.

The path ahead is promising and Sarachan has played a big role in laying it.

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MNT Nov 20, 2018
US Soccer

Nominees Set for 2018 U.S. Soccer Male and Female Player of the Year Awards

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2018) – U.S. Soccer has announced the five nominees for the 2018 U.S. Soccer Male and Female Player of the Year awards. This year’s field features midfielders Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan, and forwards Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe for the WNT. Midfielders Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Wil Trapp, defender Matt Miazga and goalkeeper Zack Steffen are the MNT nominees.

Voting for the awards starts today and closes on Dec. 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced during the first week of December.

All five WNT nominees played significant roles for the Women’s National Team during a 2018 that saw the USA finish its 20-game schedule with an unbeaten 18-0-2 record. The five nominees were also impact players on the squad that qualified the USA for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year nominees

Morgan finished 2018 with 18 goals in 19 games while playing 1,500 minutes, the most of anyone on the team. Ertz once again was a vital cog in the midfield, playing more than 1,000 minutes for the third time in her career while scoring four goals. In her comeback year after sitting out most of 2017 due to injuries, Heath provided consistent danger in the attacking third, scoring seven goals in eight starts while adding six assists. Rapinoe led the USA in assists this year with 12, tying her previous high for most in a calendar year and her play on the flank was a big part of the USA’s consistent success. She scored seven goals and started all 16 games in which she played. The 24-year-old Horan had a stellar year for both club and country and won the NWSL Most Valuable Player award. She played in every game but one for the USA in 2018, tying Alex Morgan for most on the team.

Three of the nominees have won the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award before: Ertz won in 2017, Heath in 2016 and Morgan earned the honor in 2012. Ertz (neé Johnston), Heath, and Horan have previously won the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award, with Heath winning in 2009, Ertz in 2012 and Horan in 2013.

As the MNT went through a transitional phase in 2018, all five MNT players are first-time nominees and used this year to take their first steps toward establishing themselves with the senior team.

2018 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year nominees

Adams tied for the team lead with eight appearances and scored his first international goal in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 11. The 19-year-old also stayed consistent with the New York Red Bulls, registering seven assists in 27 appearances to help the club to the MLS Supporters Shield and their current run to the Eastern Conference Final. McKennie established his place in the USA midfield by making six appearances while also taking huge strides with German Bundesliga club Schalke, helping Die Knappen qualify for the UEFA Champions League last season before going on to score his first two goals during the current campaign. Miazga led all MNT center backs with seven appearances, while serving as a key figure in helping Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse qualify for the UEFA Europa League. With six caps, Steffen tied the MNT record for most appearances by a goalkeeper in their debut year and made eight saves in a friendly against France before their successful run to the 2018 FIFA World Cup title. Steffen also earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors after helping Columbus Crew SC back to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Captain of Columbus Crew SC, 25-year-old Wil Trapp’s veteran presence in midfield served a young MNT group well as he wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. as well in each of his team-leading eight appearances while earning Man of the Match against Paraguay and Peru.

Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches for the WNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the MNT, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for the WNT award.

The U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year has been awarded since 1984 when Rick Davis won it. Current U.S. MNT General Manager Earnie Stewart won it in 2001. Landon Donovan holds the record for most awards, winning it four times, while Clint Dempsey won it on three occasions. Then eighteen-year-old Christian Pulisic became the youngest player to win the award in 2017.  

The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor. Abby Wambach holds the record by winning the award six times. Mia Hamm won it five times.

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MNT WNT Nov 20, 2018
US Soccer

Young MNT Surrenders Stoppage Time Goal in 1-0 Loss to Italy

GENK, Belgium (Nov. 20, 2018) — Fielding the youngest lineup in the team’s modern era, the U.S. Men’s National Team battled hard, but a strike from Matteo Politano deep in second-half stoppage time saw the U.S. fall 1-0 to Italy at Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium.

Having previously started the two youngest MNT lineups earlier this year, head coach Dave Sarachan deployed a starting XI with an average age of 22 years, 71 days. He also made history by selecting the youngest captain in modern era (1990-present), handing 20-year-old Christian Pulisic the armband for the very first time.

But while the USA showed some positive moments, the young side ceded much of the possession to Italy during the first half. In control through much of the match, the Azzurri took multiple looks at the U.S. goal, but was thwarted time and again thanks to a heroic effort from goalkeeper Ethan Horvath.

Taking the field in Belgium where he suits up for Club Brugge, the 23-year-old Horvath was called into action in the third minute, turning away a point-blank attempt from Federico Chiesa. He followed it up with another brave stop on Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci in the 18th minute, pushed a belted effort from Domenico Berardi over the bar in the 39thand parried a free kick from Marco Verratti in the 44th to keep thing scoreless at the break.

Horvath was again called into action just before the hour-mark but did brilliantly to thwart a one-on-one attempt from Kevin Lasagna in the 59th minute.

Gaining confidence to push forward, the USA nearly pulled ahead in the 64th minute as Kellyn Acosta’s free kick from the right picked out Walker Zimmerman at the back post, but his headed effort was pushed out for a corner kick by Salvatore Sirigu. Just as that chance came, Horvath was called on again to make perhaps his best save of the night, stretching full out to push Vincenzo Grifo’s effort out for a corner kick in the 70th minute.

Becoming the 20th player to debut for the MNT in 2018, substitute Romain Gall tested Sirigu in the 90th minute, unleashing a low blast that forced the Italy ‘keeper to push the ball out for a corner kick.

Just as it looked like the USA would earn a hard-nosed draw, Italy broke through when Roberto Giagliardini combined with Politano in the box. With the defense collapsing around him, the substitute poked his effort past Horvath to give Italy the 1-0 victory in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time.

Up Next: Earlier Tuesday, the MNT announced it would play regional foe Costa Rica on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. The match will serve as one of two domestic matches to begin 2019. Kickoff time and the MNT’s further schedule for next year will be announced at a later date.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
ITA – Matteo Politano (Roberto Gagliardini), 90+4th minute: The USA looked like it would take a 0-0 draw home, but Italy continued to press and broke through as Gagliardini fed Politano into the box where he finished past Horvath from close range. ITA 1, USA 0 FINAL.

Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Ethan Horvath, 3rd minute: Federico Chiesa ran onto a long ball over the top and strolled into the box on the right. Taking an additional touch, the Italy striker was thwarted as Horvath came off his line to make a save with his right.

USA – Cameron Carter-Vickers, 16th minute: Streaking into the box on the left, Domenico Berardi did well to get into the box and looked to get a shot off before Carter-Vickers came through to deny the attempt and put it out for a corner kick.

USA – Ethan Horvath, 18th minute: Italy gained another dangerous opportunity as Emerson was fouled about 30 yards from goal on the left. Stefano Sensi swung in a free kick, finding Leonardo Bonucci alone in the area, but his shot from the penalty spot was thwarted as Horvath came off his line to make a point-blank save. 

USA - Ethan Horvath, 39th minute: After Italy moved the ball around outside the area, Berardi took it on his left foot and unleashed a swerving effort that Horvath pushed over the bar for a corner kick.

USA – Ethan Horvath, 44th minute: Reggie Cannon upended Emerson and Italy earned another dangerous opportunity to the left of the USA goal. Marco Verratti swung in a low ball that threaded through the USA penalty box, but Horvath’s foot work was superb and kept the ball off the goal line before it was cleared.

USA – Ethan Horvath, 59th minute: While the USA showed more in the attacking third early in the second half, it still allowed Italy openings on the counter attack. The Azzurri caught the MNT out just before the hour mark when Kevin Lasagna got on the end of a ball and leapt past Walker Zimmerman only to see Horvath powerfully charge off his line to deny the attempt.

ITA – Salvatore Sirigu, 64th minute: The USA nearly pulled ahead just after the hour mark. Kellyn Acosta’s free kick from the right swung through to the back post where Walker Zimmerman’s snap header was kept out when Sirigu dramatically pushed the ball over the bar for a corner kick.

USA – Ethan Horvath, 70th minute: Stefano Sensi played a square pass to Vincenco Grifo who let rip an effort destined for the top right corner, but Horvath used all of his 6-4 frame to stretch at full extension and push the ball out for a corner kick.

ITA – Salvatore Sirigu, 90th minute: The USA found one final chance, as substitute Romain Gall pushed forward through the midfield. Taking the space given to him, Gall let loose on a low blast that Sirigu dove to his left to push out for a corner kick.

Additional Notes:

  • Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath made five saves to earn Budweiser Man of the Match honors.
  • With nine of 11 starters 23 years old or younger, the average age of the USA XI came in at 22 years, 71 days, besting the MNT’s previous modern era-record of 22 years, 160 days which came on May 28, 2018 vs. Bolivia.
  • Five of 11 starters were also age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent
  • At 20 years, 71 days, Christian Pulisic became the youngest MNT captain of the modern era (1990-present), beating Landon Donovan who first captained the MNT at 22 years, 220 days in a World Cup Qualifier on Oct. 9, 2004 at El Salvador.
  • Entering the match in the 83rd minute, Romain Gall became the 20th player to debut for the MNT in 2018 and 23rd overall under head coach Dave Sarachan. The 20 debuts in 2018 ties 2007 for the second most in the MNT’s modern era history, sitting just one back of the record of 21 in 1992.
  • The MNT moves to 1-8-3 all-time against Italy.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, John Brooks, Jonathan Klinsmann and DeAndre Yedlin were healthy scratches from tonight’s match.
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MNT Nov 20, 2018
US Soccer

Lineup Notes: U.S. MNT vs. Italy - International Friendly

Italy vs. USA Lineup Notes 
International Friendly
Nov. 20, 2018
Luminus Arena; Genk, Belgium
Live Broadcast: 2:45 p.m. ET on FS1 and UniMas

Tonight’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Italy (3-5-2): 12-Ethan Horvath; 5-Cameron Carter Vickers, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 26-Aaron Long; 25-Reggie Cannon, 9-Marky Delgado, 4-Tyler Adams, 23-Kellyn Acosta, 18-Shaq Moore; 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.), 13-Josh Sargent

Substitutes: 1-Brad Guzan; 3-Matt Miazga, 7-Bobby Wood, 11-Tim Weah, 14-Sebastian Lletget, 16-Julian Green, 19-Jorge Villafaña; 20-Wil Trapp, 27-Romain Gall 

  • U.S. MNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Kellyn Acosta (23), Christian Pulisic (23), Tyler Adams (9), Cameron Carter-Vickers (7), Marky Delgado (6), Josh Sargent (6), Shaq Moore (5), Walker Zimmerman (4), Ethan Horvath (3), Reggie Cannon (2), Aaron Long (2)
  • Five of the 11 starters are also age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent
  • With nine of 11 starters 23 years old or younger, the average age of the USA XI comes in at 22 years, 71 days, besting the MNT’s previous modern era-record of 22 years, 160 days which came on May 28, 2018 vs. Bolivia.
  • The Starting XI averages eight caps.
  • The lone holdover from Thursday’s game against England, Christian Pulisic captains the MNT for the first time tonight. At 20 years, 63 days, Pulisic is the youngest MNT captain of the modern era (1990-present), beating Landon Donovan who first captained the MNT at 22 years, 220 days in a World Cup Qualifier on Oct. 9, 2004 at El Salvador.
  • Both making their 23rd appearances, Pulisic joins Kellyn Acosta as the senior-most players in the lineup.
  • Having earned their MNT debuts in the 1-1 draw with Portugal a little more than a year ago, 19-year-old midfielder Tyler Adams (nine caps) and 20-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers (seven caps) come in behind Acosta and Pulisic as the third and fourth most capped players in the starting XI.
  • Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath earns his third appearance, suiting up for the MNT in the country where he plays professionally with Club Brugge. Horvath played at Luminus Arena earlier this month, backstopping the Blauw-Zwart to a 1-1 draw with Belgian league-leaders KRC Genk on Nov. 3. 
  • Defenders Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long and midfielder Marky Delgado will make their first appearances against a European opponent tonight.
  • Seven starters make up the 22 players that have debuted in the last year under Sarachan: Adams, Cannon, Carter-Vickers, Delgado, Moore, Long and Sargent.
  • After missing out on Thursday’s match against England, Josh Sargent returns to the lineup to make his sixth MNT appearance. Sargent scored the USA goal in last month’s 1-1 draw against Peru.
  • The MNT starting XI represents clubs in six different countries: USA (5), Germany (2), Belgium, Canada, Spain and Wales (1 each), 
  • Should he score in tonight’s game, Pulisic would become the fastest MNT player to 10 goals by age (20 years, 63 days) and tie Clint Mathis for the fastest in caps (23). 
  • The three-man backline will see Cameron Carter-Vickers, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long line up from right to left.
  • Sarachan’s five-man midfield features wing backs Reggie Cannon (right) and Shaq Moore (left). Tyler Adams sits at the center of the park with Kellyn Acosta to his left and Delgado to his right. 
  • Christian Pulisic partners with fellow-German based attacker Josh Sargent up top. 
  • Should he enter the match, substitute Romain Gall would become the 23rd player to debut under Sarachan and 20th in 2018.
  • The MNT holds a 1-7-3 all-time record against Italy. The MNT’s lone win in the series came as Clint Dempsey scored the goal in a 1-0 victory on Feb. 29, 2012 in Genoa.
  • Dempsey’s goal that night made him one of four MNT goal scorers to find the back of the net against the Azzurri. The Others: Aldo “Buff” Donelli (1-7 L; May 27, 1934), John Harkes (1-1 D; June 6, 1992) and Landon Donovan (1-3 L; June 15, 2009)
  • The MNT is 0-3-0 all-time and has never scored on Belgian soil. All three previous matches came against Belgium.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, John Brooks, Jonathan Klinsmann and DeAndre Yedlin are healthy scratches from tonight’s match. Teams are allowed to make six substitutions.   
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MNT Nov 20, 2018