The US U-23 team won its game against Bosnia U-23s, 5-2, on Friday. The US goals were scored by Jordan Morris, Mario Rodriguez, Benji Joya, Alonso Hernandez and Fatai Alashe. Here was the starting lineup.
The U-23ers will next play Denmark’s U-23 team on Tuesday at Lyngby Stadion in Copenhagen.
Jurgen Klinsmann has appointed Berti Vogts as USMNT technical advisor. Vogts helped out during the World Cup and with Andi Herzog focusing on the US U-23 team, it allows Klinsmann to bring in someone to help out with the USMNT. And it allows me to post this photo of Vogts again.
The US Soccer PR department was hard at work today, releasing three different camp rosters for three different levels as the senior team, U-23s, and U-20s prepare for upcoming camps.
The senior team, which faces Denmark on Wednesday (3 PM ET, ESPN2/UniMás) and Switzerland on the following Tuesday (12 PM ET, FS1/UniMás), sees 23 players called up. William Yarbrough of León (Mexico) and Ventura Alvarado of América (Mexico) get their first camp callups; Reading’s Danny Williams will be looking for his first cap in over a year. Cody Cropper will also be seeking his elusive first cap.
The U-23s, who face Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday and Denmark on Tuesday, include a fair number of guys from the 2013 U-20s.
The U-20s will have a camp in England ahead of a Friday match with Tottenham Hotspur’s U-21s and a Sunday match with England’s U-21s. With the U-20 World Cup about two months away, Tab Ramos is bringing back about half of the squad that slipped through CONCACAF but bringing in some entirely fresh faces, including Desevio Payne of Groningen.
US Soccer is about to have a busy next couple of weeks with the USMNT, U-23 and U-20 teams all having camps and friendlies throughout Europe. It looks like we should expect to see the various rosters over the weekend.
While we wait for the rosters, a bunch of names are kind of leaking out. Thanks to Birmingham City’s site, we know that Will Packwood is going to be with the U-23 team. Brian Sciaretta is also hearing that Jerome Kiesewetter will be with the U-23s, while Andrija Novakovich will be with the U-20s. And while there has been speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann is going to call in Ventura Alvarado with the MNTers, there is at least one report of Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough being called in as well.
Will Packwood scored his first professional goal yesterday in Cheltenham Town’s 2-2 draw to Portsmouth (highlights). He had to be subbed out due to some kind of injury, but he tweeted after the game that he is “feeling groggy” but is OK.
DeAndre Yedlin is back on the field and played with Tottenham’s U-21 team on Monday. Here is a photo of him in action.
Andrija Novakovich made his debut with Reading’s senior team over the weekend in Reading’s 4-1 loss at Watford. Here is a photo of Novakovich about to come onto the field.
Reading and Danny Williams (went the full 90) won their FA Cup 6th round replay over Bradford City on Monday. Reading is headed to the FA Cup semis for the first time since 1927.
And finally, FIFA announced the stadiums that will be used at the 2016 Olympics and somehow Arena da Amazônia in Manaus made the cut as one of the seven stadiums. I still remember drinking two full glasses of water while just walking to my seat in the upper deck. It was such a furnace. I did snap this nice photo.
Herculez Gomez likes scoring goals for Puebla and he scored another one last night in a 2-1 win in Copa MX action (highlights). I was also able to find some highlights of Devann Yao’s goal from the weekend (highlights).
Also scoring earlier this week was Jake Keegan in Galway United’s win in Irish League Cup action (highlights). Here is the post-game press conference with Keegan and his manager. Around the 2:50 mark, his manager talks about Kevin Garcia joining the team soon. I am guessing he is waiting for a work permit as I believe it took Keegan a while to get a new one for this season.
Staying in Ireland, St Patrick’s Athletic has signed midfielder Morgan Langley. Langley played in one game for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but has mainly played his professional soccer with the Harrisburg City Islanders.
The US will host CONCACAF qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. It will take place October 1-13, although the host cities are unknown at this time. The top two teams qualify for the Olympics while the third place team will face Colombia in March of 2016 for a spot. The FIFA international window in October is between 5-13, so getting releases for some of the “better” players could happen for the second half of the tournament.
Brad Guzan wrote some words for The Players’ Tribune about life as a Premier League goalkeeper.
LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho would be interested in playing for the US, but he would have to wait a few more years to apply for citizenship since he just got his green card in July of 2013. So basically it would be a while.
The Irish Times has a story up about Ireland likely missing out on Shane O’Neill.
And finally, if you are a US Soccer twitter hipster, you are probably aware of @RobUsry. He makes a lot of fun videos of US players and his latest is on new Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic.
2015 is a big year for the US youth national teams. Of course we have the U20 and U17 World Cups on the horizon but we’re also approaching the Olympic U23 qualifying in the fall. We should start seeing more U23 camps and games like we saw against the Bahamas and Brazil in 2014. Because it’s the best position, here’s a quick run through of the state of the goalkeepers on each three USYNT teams.
Inside tracks: Cody Cropper, Jon Kempin, Alex Bono
Darkhorses: Paul Blanchette (Loyola Marymount), Devin Cook (Austin Aztex), Andrew Wolverton (LA Galaxy), Tyler Miller (SVN Zweibrücken)
Of course Bono is the hot item right now going from expecting to stay for his senior year to landing a Generation Adidas contract and getting a USMNT call-up all within a few weeks. But the Olympic squads only carry two goalkeepers into the final tournament. Qualifying will now take place this fall, the same time as Cropper’s club starts up, so while Bono may make the qualifying roster, he may not be able to jump Cropper or Kempin to make the final two. Kempin, who was named over Bono as one of the three final goalkeepers for the upcoming Chile game.
Cook passed on his senior year to play at Austin Aztex. Wolverton and Miller had rightful buzz this past MLS draft and Paul Blanchette, highlights here of the true dark horse of the bunch, has a playing style very similar to Bono. The four have this next year to really make a case as to why they should be considered for the U23s.
Inside tracks: Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath
Darkhorses: Evan Louro (Michigan), Jeff Caldwell (Virginia), Paul Christensen (Portland), Josh Weiss (Sienna)
Completely out of the running: Santiago Castaño
Before the Red Bulls keeper switched to Colombia, Castaño was a shoo-in to backup Steffen through the winter qualification. So when he jumped to Colombia, not only did he give up a spot to Horvath, but he didn’t even make the final roster for Colombia. But even with the departure, the US is stacked at the position. The four dark horses all finished their freshman year at their respective schools and would be fine replacements if Steffen or Horvath couldn’t attend.
As for Steffen and Horvath, Steffen finished on a very high note as he saved a penalty in a, at the time, 1-0 game against El Salvador. Steffen not only covered a great deal of the goalmouth to make the save, doing his best Steve Clark impression, but it did it in such a nonchalant manner. It was a lot of fun to see him casually make the game-winning save. Even though he has some mechanics he could work on, he’s a worthy choice for New Zealand 2015.
Inside tracks: Kevin Silva, Will Pulisic
Darkhorses: Cameron Keys (La Salle), Charlie Furrer (Stanford), Austin Aviza (Syracuse), Tucker Schneider (SIUE)
The typically stalwart netminders had an uncharacteristically rough finish in the 2014 Nike Friendlies with a 4-1 loss to Brazil. Still, expect these two to be with the team at the end of February, the start of qualifying. The Silva/Pulisic combo has been a deathly duo for opposing offenses in the past and I expect them to roll zeros through qualification.
Keys, Furrer, Aviza, and Schneider are all looking to start their freshman year around the same time the U17 World Cup kicks off. Of the four, Keys and Aviza have a decent shot at starting for their schools but I don’t think any of them would mind missing their collegiate season to play at the U17 World Cup. Pulisic is actually the youngest of the six listed. In a tournament where age is incredibly important, let that speak as strong testimony for Pulisic’s ability, surpassing his peers that are 16 months older than him.
Speaking of the US U-20 team, in case you missed it, here are highlights of their 2-0 win over El Salvador to qualify for New Zealand. Romain Gall shared the Golden Boot with Mexico’s Hirving Lozano with each scoring five goals throughout the tournament.
Some reading material as you countdown until the weekend.
Coming off a 1-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday (highlights), the US U-20 team found out that it will be playing El Salvador on Saturday in the win-or-go-home playoff match to determine who will go to this summer’s U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The game will be on Fox Sports 2 at 5:00 PM Eastern. The US will have a chance to get some revenge on El Salvador as they knocked out the 2012 U-23 team from qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. (UPDATE – Looks like the game is now on Fox Soccer Plus).
Speaking of the U-23 team, Ives Galarcep decided to guess at a possible Olympic qualifying team of MLS players since some of the European-based played might not get released for qualification.
Joe Corona returned from his broken foot to score in Tijuana’s Copa MX match on Wednesday (highlights). Jon Arnold (who has been everywhere this week) was at Estadio Caliente on Wednesday and got some post-game quotes from Corona. Tijuana’s website also got some words from Corona following the game.
For those of you with a Darlington Nagbe-to-USMNT countdown clock, you can probably move the time up a bit. Most people thought he would become a US citizen at the end of 2015 but it now looks like it could be September according to Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson.