CONCACAF held the draw for the 2015 Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship earlier today and the US U-23s will be in Group A with Panama, Cuba and Canada.
The US was in a group with Cuba and Canada in 2012 when it failed to qualify for the Olympics. The US hasn’t won a Olympic Qualifying Championship since 1992.
Here is the US’s group stage schedule:
Oct. 1 – USA vs. Canada, 8 p.m. CT, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
Oct. 3 – USA vs. Cuba, 4 p.m. CT, Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kan.
Oct. 6 – USA vs. Panama, 7:30 p.m. MT, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
If the US can finish in the Top 2 of the group, it will advance to the semifinals in Sandy, Utah.
Oct. 10 Semi-Finals, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. MT, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Oct. 13 Third Place Game, 5 p.m. MT, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
Oct. 13 Final, 8 p.m. MT, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
The Top 2 teams from this tournament will qualify for the Olympics, while the third-place team will take on Colombia (CONMEBOL) in a one-game playoff in Brazil in March for a spot in the Olympics.
The US U-23ers held their College ID camp (the college version of Camp Cupcake?) this past week and ended it with a 3-1 win over Tijuana’s Segunda Premier team. The US goals came from Paul Salcedo (California) Mac Steeves (Providence) and Brandon Vincent (Stanford). US Soccer has some highlights of the match, while here is a write-up from Tijuana’s website.
A couple people have recently asked me to do a “23 Names” type article on the U-23 team, but ASN’s Josh Deaver just did something similar so go read that.
One U-20 player who could be part of the U-23 team, Lynden Gooch, scored a goal and notched an assist in Sunderland U21s’ 3-1 win over Norwich City over the weekend. You can check out both right here.
Another youth player, US U-17 midfielder Luca de la Torre, recorded an assist with Fulham’s U21 team over the weekend as well.
The German Cup had some interesting things happen this weekend to teams featuring Americans. First we had someone shoot a gun at Hertha Berlin’s bus. Luckily for John Brooks and his teammates, no one was on board when the shooting took place. And while he is still out, Terrence Boyd’s RB Leipzig match against Osnabruck was abandoned in the 72nd minute after someone injured the ref by throwing a lighter at him. Come on, Germany, you are better than that.
Geoff Cameron started at center back this past weekend in Stoke City’s loss to Liverpool. Here is a photo of him in action. He also spoke to Goal.com about why he missed the Gold Cup.
While his manager might not like it, Timothy Chandler told the press that he plans on accepting future USMNT call-ups.
Jann George scored a goal for Jahn Regensburg this past weekend. I can’t find highlights of it yet, but here is a photo of him celebrating the goal.
Staying with the Mexican-American theme, the Total Soccer Show had Tom Marshall on this week to talk about El Tri, Liga MX and Mexican-American dual nationals. No one covering Liga MX has a better British accent than Tom.
And finally, Will likes to rank goalies and has his updated Top 100 list for you as well as some bonus lists.
As we get closer to Olympic qualifying in October, Andi Herzog has called in 28 college players in effort to try and identify some more players for the pool. The camp will run August 5-8 in Carson, California.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Wade Hamilton (Cal Poly; Murrieta, Calif.), Jonathan Klinsmann (Cal; Newport Beach, Calif.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Andrew Tarbell (Clemson; Mandeville, La.).
DEFENDERS (9): Jonathan Campbell (North Carolina; Greensboro, N.C.), Alex Crognale (Maryland; Gahanna, Ohio), Chase Gasper (UCLA; Alexandria, Va.), Tomas Hilliard-Arce (Stanford, Matthews, N.C.), Grant Lillard (Indiana; Hinsdale, Ill.), Jakob Nerwinski (Connecticut; Lawrenceville, N.J.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Sam Strong (UCSB; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Brandon Vincent (Stanford; Valencia, Calif.).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Corey Baird (Stanford; Escondido, Calif.). Andrew Brody (Lousiville; Orlando, Fla.), Mael Corboz (Maryland; Green Brook, N.J.), Niko Hansen (New Mexico; Sacramento, Calif.), Ian Harkes (Wake Forest; Fairfax, Va.), Patrick Hodan (Notre Dame; Brookfield, Wisc.), James Moberg (Washington; Winsdor, Calif.), Adam Najem (Akron; Clifton, N.J.), Keegan Rosenberry (Georgetown; Ronks, Pa.), Jake Rozhansky (Virginia; Germantown, Md.).
FORWARDS (5): Michael Gamble (Wake Forest; Columbia, Md.), Connor Maloney (Penn State; Harrisburg, Pa.), Alex Muyl (Georgetown; New York, N.Y.), Paul Salcedo (Cal; Inglewood, Calif.), Mac Steeves (Providence; Needham, Mass.).
For the Three Lions, it is their first game after this summer’s trip to the Euro Finals in Czech Republic ended with a group stage exit and a chance to re-focus on the forthcoming term.
“It will be a good test for us as this will be a USA team which is a little bit older and wiser and who will be making up their Olympic team for Rio next year,” revealed head coach Gareth Southgate.
“We played the States at U20 level last season and we’ve managed to have a few fixtures against them in other age groups which have all been really good fixtures.
“They’ve got a really good programme now and we’re trying to play teams from outside of Europe throughout our age groups, so we’re expecting a hard game and one which will help us prepare for the trip to Norway a few days later.”
According to Steven Goff, the USMNT will be taking on Peru in a friendly at RFK Stadium in Washinton D.C. in September. The US hasn’t faced Peru since a 1-0 win at the 2000 Gold Cup.
Want to impress your friends with knowledge of the US U-23 goalkeeper pool? Thankfully we have Will to set us straight.
Brian Span went the full 90 minutes and scored his second league goal of the season in Mariehamn’s 1-1 draw to HIFK on Sunday. Here are the highlights. A couple other guys scored if you follow along with our goal tracker.
We also had some goals in friendlies over the last couple days.
Kenny Saief scored for Gent in a 2-2 draw to SK Deinze. Nermin Crnkic scored a goal for Jablonec in a 2-1 win in something called the Minister Cup. And Andrew Wooten scored a goal for Sandhausen in a 1-0 win over Würzburger Kickers.
Shaq Moore’s Huracán Valencia CF did not win promotion to Spain’s second division (lost 3-1 on aggregate), but you can learn more about his club here.
Earlier in the year, I took a gander at the top Olympic-eligible goalkeepers. Now after a stunning performance at the U20 World Cup, where he only allowed four goals in five matches, Zack Steffen has propelled himself into conversation for the U23 team. Strengthened with his patriotic gloves, Steffen overcame a rough start to the tournament to almost single-handedly defeat eventual champion Serbia in penalty kicks. Additionally, his performance in the prior game against Colombia can be described as “heroic” and “generally awesome in just about every way.” Steffen has really excelled in saving penalty kicks and staying composed in tight situations, both unique for his age.
In October, the U23s will kick off CONCACAF qualifying to be one of the two teams that represent the region in the 2016 Olympics. Only two goalkeepers will be on the roster but since goalkeepers are the greatest position in all of sports, let’s look at the depth chart for the U23s’ goalkeeper position, as ranked by yours truly.
1. JonKempin (Sporting Kansas City) – Largely jumped to number one because of the previous favorite’s fall from grace. If Kempin can play to expectations, he should be the starter. If he plays above that, he could be in Europe soon.
2. ZackSteffen (SC Freiburg) – It was a great World Cup with multiple shining moments. However I am worried about Steffen’s game against aerial service, which we saw in the opening moment against Myanmar. In a few months, he could face opposition for players 3-4 years older and they won’t be any slower to punish a mistake.
3. CodyCropper (Free Agent) – Mistake after mistake will cost him his practically guaranteed starting spot. His future is murky. So murky, one could write an entire post about his play and development. TLDR? Cropper has had a drop in confidence and the Toulon Tournament was another low point in his tenure with the USYNTs. The current free agent is rumored to be signing with another Championship club in England, where he could be playing instead of qualifying this fall.
4. Tyler Miller (SVN Zweibrücken) – The story of what a cold shoulder to MLS can do for your career. Since Miller has gone to Germany, even if it is the fourth division, he’s been invited to multiple Euro-based U23 camps. Had he gone with Seattle, he likely wouldn’t be anywhere close to making the roster.
5. CharlieHorton (Leeds United) – Like Miller, Horton has enjoyed the Europe tag to get USYNT call ups. Horton was released from Cardiff City then quickly picked up by Leeds United. If Horton can get a hot streak together he’ll jump up the list but from what he has already showed with the U23s, he is a step behind the competition.
6. AlexBono (Toronto FC II) – Bono hasn’t flourished at USL Toronto as much as we were expecting but USYNT coaches really likes to give second chances. He may be a good option later down the road, but right now he’s not an ideal selection.
7. DevinPerales (Austin Aztex) – Foregoing his senior year at Coastal Carolina has given him eight starts in USL action, four of which were shutouts. He’s good enough for the U23 team, but he doesn’t have the glamor of not playing in America so it would be a shock to see him, or any of the following goalkeepers, make the cut.
8. TravisWorra (DC United) – Notched 32 minutes in MLS action for DC United but has otherwise been on the bench or with the USL affiliate Richmond Kickers. Surprisingly wasn’t even drafted in the 2015 SuperDraft.
9. PaulBlanchette (Loyola Marymount) – Got to have one collegiate player on the list. Blanchette has enjoyed his time with the Des Moines Menace. If you’re unfamiliar with Blanchette, think of a NFL tight end playing goalkeeper.
10. AndrewWolverton (Los Angeles Galaxy) – Last but not least, Penn State product could hypothetically sneak onto the roster. Wolverton officially inked a contract with the Galaxy earlier this month but it’s unclear how they plan to use him as they are turning into the new Philadelphia Union with goalkeepers.
Well looks like America is safe on goalkeeping for a while. The larger point is that if a goalkeeper hasn’t been with the team this late into the cycle, there’s almost zero chance he will get the call. Not to mention, the final Olympics roster could see an overaged goalkeeper player as the team gets three overage players in total. Still, these are fifteen goalkeepers that are all very good in their own right. The battle will come down to the top five and possibly an older goalkeeper, although the elder goalkeepers won’t be available for participation until after qualifying has finished.
The US U-23s won their final game of the group stage, 1-0, against Qatar behind a goal from Julian Green. Despite the win, the US is unlikely going to advance out of the group unless they receive some help from the Netherlands and Costa Rica. Here are the highlights.
The US U-23 team bounced back from their opening game loss with a 3-1 win over Netherlands. The US goals were scored by Jerome Kiesewetter, Alonso Hernandez and Will Packwood. Here are some highlights.
I am still playing catch up on the soccer world as work decided to kick me as soon as I got back into the office after the mini vacation. Enough babbling.
In case you missed what happened on the field over the past weekend, Roderick has you covered. I was finally able to go back to update the goal tracker from the few goals over the last week, including links to goals by Moises Orozco, Cesar Romero, Björn Maars Johnsen, Harrison Hanley and Jonathan Bornstein.
Also earlier this week, we unveiled the sixth edition of the legendary OT XI. Plus we picked our MVP of the season as well as goal and performance of the year. So go check that out.
The US U-23 team opened up the Toulon Tournament with a disappointing 3-1 loss to France yesterday. Here are some highlights. Sounds like Jordan Morris was the only player who did somewhat well for the US. Also, if you missed the roster of the team (since it came out while I was gone), here that is. Luis Gil was apparently on the initial roster, but Real Salt Lake was able to keep him after a little talk with US Soccer.
One player on that roster, Cody Cropper, is searching for a new club after parting ways with Southampton. While he is likely to stay in England, Ives Galarcep is hearing that Cropper is on the discovery list of at least three MLS teams.
With Friedel retiring, that means DaMarcus Beasley is the only player left from the 2002 US World Cup roster still playing. And his Houston Dynamo did a nice prank this week.
The US U-20 team is headed to Australia to train before the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. In case you were living under a rock this week, Gedion Zelalem was cleared by FIFA to play for the US.
If you follow the U-20ers on a regular basis, you have probably noticed that Shaquell Moore has been listed as “unattached” for a while. Tab Ramos said in a chat last week that the defender had been training with Huracan in Spain’s third division followed by Moore signing a professional deal with the club.
CONCACAF announced some Olympic qualifying details yesterday. The US will have two games in Kansas City and one in Commerce City, Colorado. If they advance out of the group, they would be playing in Sandy, Utah at Rio Tinto.
Three Americans (Oguchi Onyewu, Zak Whitbread and Jay Denny) were released by their clubs in England in the last week.
Sebastian Lletget left England last week and his agent decided to fill us in on how complicated it was to get Lletget to LA. Yay MLS roster rules!
According to Grant Wahl, Alejandro Bedoya could have some suitors in Germany and England, while Perry Kitchen is being looked at by teams in Germany, Belgium and Denmark.
Wahl is also hearing that Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood could be looking into getting a new goalkeeper, which wouldn’t be great news for Brad Guzan.
A lot of American greatness going on in Norway. Bob Bradley has led Stabæk to a tie for first on points in Norway’s Tippeligaen. The Fighting Bob Bradleys have won eight straight games across all competitions, including six straight shutout victories in league play, which is apparently a league record. Also, ESPN FC took a look this week at the various players who have become coaches after playing for Bob.
That is not the only greatness in Norway. Rhett Bernstein has had consecutive games with scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals. His four goals are tied for the eighth most in Norway and the most among defenders. Why the sudden outburst in scoring? Having his dad in town to watch him play this week probably helped.