The US U-23 team is down in Brazil this week for two friendlies as they continue to prepare for March’s Olympic playoff against Colombia. The first game was today in Recife with Brazil winning 2-1. Here are the goals.
The US U-23 team is headed to Brazil this week for two friendlies and Andi Herzog has called in 19 players for the games, including John Brooks, Julian Green and Gedion Zelalem.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (MK Dons; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Leeds United; Cleveland, Ohio), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Leawood, Kan.)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; Westcliff on Sea, England), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact; Woodbury, Minn.), Shane O’Neill (Royal Mouscron; Boulder, Colo.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Dave Romney (LA Galaxy; Irvine, Calif.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire; Milwaukee, Wisc.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Gedion Zelalem (Rangers; Bethesda, Md.)
FORWARDS (3): Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC; Leander, Tex.), Maki Tall (FC Sion; Washington, D.C.)
The US U-23 team kept their Olympic hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Canada. The goals came courtesy of Marc Pelosi and Jerome Kiesewetter.
They will now have a two-game playoff against Colombia in March to determine one of the last spots in the Olympics. Two-game playoff, you say? I, and others, thought it was only a one-game playoff, but *shockingly* there was some confusion among CONCACAF. Here are the goals and some tweets explaining the two-game playoff.
Seems to be confusion about U.S.-Colombia playoff. Everything I’d heard was one game, but U.S. officials all talking about home-and-away.
First off, not defending Klinsmann, but Fabian Johnson looked like a guy who wanted no part of that game after about 15 minutes. Could it be injuries? Could it be that he has played poorly in the heat before? Could it be that he was mad at the bus driver for not stopping at In-N-Out on the way to the Rose Bowl? Who knows the reason but he did not play well on Saturday and asked to be subbed out late in the game.
That said, Klinsmann could have sent him home and just told the media that he wanted to give him rest but instead he threw Johnson under the bus. 2015 has not been a good year for Mr. Klinsmann.
Also on “Black Saturday”, the US U-23 team lost to Honduras in the important semifinal match of Olympic qualifying (highlights). Andi Herzog was sent off so assistant John Hackworth will be coaching the team tomorrow. Since they lost on Saturday, they now have to beat Canada on Tuesday then beat Colombia in a one-game playoff in March in order to qualify for the Olympics.
The US U-20 team is in Germany for the Mercedes-Benz Cup and tied Mexico 3-3 in their last game. They also had a 2-2 draw with Scotland and an 8-1 loss to Germany during the week.
Also taking place on US Soccer’s “Black Saturday” was the US U-23 team losing 2-0 to Honduras in the important semifinal match of Olympic qualifying. Since they lost, they now have to beat Canada on Tuesday then beat Colombia in a one-game playoff in March in order to qualify for the Olympics.
The US U-23ers finished off group stage play with a 4-0 win over Panama. The all important semifinal game will be on Saturday against either Mexico or Honduras. If Mexico wins or draws tomorrow, the US would face Honduras. A Honduras win tomorrow would mean a second US-Mexico game on Saturday.
In case you missed it on Saturday, here is the US roster. While a couple guys are injured (Aron Johannsson and John Brooks), I guess the biggest “snub” would be Omar Gonzalez considering he started one of the September friendlies so you would think he would be “on the depth chart” at centerback.
The US U-23ers have opened Olympic qualifying with wins against Canada (highlights) and Cuba (highlights). They take on Panama in the last group stage match tonight and I believe they only need a draw to win the group (and could even win the group with a loss depending on goal differential).
Over in Group B, Mexico and Honduras play on Wednesday with the loser likely facing the US in the all important semifinal (a draw would mean Honduras would finish second and play the US if the US can clinch their group).