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Archive for the ‘US Men’s National Team’ Category

Inside the Numbers: Jordan Morris’ goal against Mexico
   April 17, 2015 (8:23 AM) by Matt Benson


I finally had some time to sit down and look up some random stuff on the significance on Jordan Morris’ goal from Wednesday night to go along with other stuff that came out Wednesday night.  Hopefully it is his first of many more to come.  Enjoy the numbers.

* Jordan Morris was the 50th USMNT player all-time to score against Mexico (Juan Agudelo later became the 51st).

* He is the first college player to score for the US against Mexico since Dante Washington in 1991 while he was still at Radford.

* He became the sixth US player since 2000 to score his first international goal against Mexico, joining Landon Donovan, Josh Wolff, Jimmy Conrad, Jozy Altidore and Michael Orozco (h/t Paul Carr).

* He is the first US player to score in his first career start which was also against Mexico since Jozy Altidore in 2008.

* At 20 years and 171 days old on Wednesday, he also became the youngest US player to score against Mexico since Jozy Altidore (18 years, 92 days) in 2008.  Here is a look at the youngest US players to score against Mexico since 1970 (Juan Agudelo also makes the Top 10 with his goal on Wednesday).


Categories: Inside the Numbers, Jordan Morris, US Men's National Team
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Friday morning links
   April 17, 2015 (6:24 AM) by Matt Benson

Remember when the US beat Mexico on Wednesday?  That was fun.  Here are the highlights and some photos.

Will did a real cool interview with former USMNT goalkeeper Victor Gerley.  He played for the US in the 1960s.  He was also nice enough to scan some old newspapers from his playing days.  So go check it out.

As always, Roderick keeps you updated with games at the club level from the past week.

We have a couple goal highlights from the last week.  Luca de la Torre scored for Fulham’s U-18 team last Friday.  Edgar Castillo assisted in Atlas’ win in Copa Libertadores action on Wednesday.  And Brian Span scored a goal in Finnish Suomen Cup action on Thursday.

There were conflicting reports online whether Bobby Warshaw scored in his team’s season opener two weeks ago so I decided to go to the best source to figure this out and he told me that he did.

I meant to post this before the Mexico friendly, but Jeff Carlisle talked to various US players past and present about playing in this rivalry.  It is also your monthly reminder that Franke Hejduk is awesome.

Earlier this week, Canada manager Benito Floro claimed that Tesho Akindele is “99.9 percent” committed to Canada’s national team.  But Akindele pumped the brakes a little on that statement later in the week.

Kristan Heneage wrote some words for The Guardian on everyone’s favorite NASL/USMNT player Miguel Ibarra.  He didn’t do much on Wednesday, but he did have a nice little run on Juan Agudelo’s goal which freed up some space.

The New York Times decided to look at the current status of the goalkeeper position for the USMNT.

One of those goalkeepers, Brad Guzan, is back at it with The Players’ Tribune and gave his Top 5 soccer stadiums.

Want some more goalkeeper talk?  Will has your monthly roundup of news and whatnot for April.

Granted you can’t believe about anything he says, Sepp Blatter is now in favor of CONCACAF getting another automatic spot for the World Cup.  And not shocking, UEFA president Michel Platini doesn’t agree.

Freddy Adu was finally cleared to play for KuPS on Wednesday, but he was a DNP on the bench in the team’s 2-1 win in the Suomen Cup.  This is also what a Freddy Adu/KuPS jersey looks like.

Tom Marshall tells us why Liga MX is becoming an attractive playing option for Americans.

The US U-20 team will have a camp in Austria with games against Qatar and Croatia next week.  While they haven’t announced a roster yet to the public to my knowledge, Seattle’s Cristian Roldan is one of the players making the trip.

And for you few yearning to follow an American in Portugal.  It looks like Maryland product Matt Oduaran has been with Tirsense in Portugal’s Campeonato Nacional (third tier) since last summer.

Categories: Bobby Warshaw, Brad Guzan, Brian Span, Cristian Roldan, Edgar Castillo, Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, Luca de la Torre, Matt Oduaran, Miguel Ibarra, Tesho Akindele, US Men's National Team, US U-20 National Team
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US vs. Mexico Photos
   April 16, 2015 (7:23 AM) by Matt Benson

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s game courtesy of Chris Covatta/Getty Images North America.  Slideshow fun time!

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Categories: US Men's National Team
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US vs. Mexico Highlights
   April 15, 2015 (8:02 PM) by Matt Benson

Dos a Cero never gets old.

The US is now unbeaten in six straight games against Mexico, all under Klinsmann, the longest such streak by the US in series history.  The US is also now unbeaten in its last 18 games in the state of Texas.

Kyle Beckerman appears to be OK.  Jordan Morris is the first college player to score for the US against Mexico since Dante Washington in 1991.  Morris (20 years, 171 days) is the youngest US player to score against Mexico since Jozy Altidore (18 years, 92 days) in 2008.  And he was too young to win Budweiser Man of the Match since he is 20.

Here are some highlights.

Categories: Highlights, US Men's National Team

Here is your US-Mexico pre-game primer
   April 15, 2015 (2:15 AM) by Matt Benson

Here is a quick rundown of things you might want to look at before today’s game.

» The game is at 8:30 PM Eastern on FOX Sports 1, UniMás and UDN.

» Mexico is ranked #18 by FIFA and #11 by Elo, while the US is #27 by FIFA and #18 by Elo.

» Here are the official game notes by US Soccer.  As for some random stats/facts:

The US is 1-1-2 all-time against Mexico in the state of Texas, tying the last meeting in Texas, a 2-2 draw at Reliant Stadium in Houston in 2008.

The US is unbeaten in its last 17 games overall in the state of Texas (9-0-8).  The last loss in the Lone Star State was a 2-0 loss to Honduras at Delmar Stadium in Houston in 1988.

The US is unbeaten in its last five games against Mexico (2-0-3), its longest such streak in series history.

The US has scored 2+ goals in eight of its last 13 games against Mexico.

The US has scored at least one goal in 16 of its last 17 overall games, including 2+ goals in nine of the 17 games.

» If you want some more stats on US goals against Mexico, I did something yesterday.

» Want to kill time before tonight’s game?  Watch the entire 2001 Dos a Cero.

» The guys over at The Yanks Are Coming have your game preview.

» Apparently the field is not in the greatest shape, but Mexico agreed to play on it despite some early concerns.  Michael Bradley will be your captain again with Clint Dempsey out.  Mexico already announced its starting lineup.

I am calling another 2-2 draw with US goals by Michael Bradley and Juan Agudelo.

Categories: US Men's National Team
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Inside the Numbers: Scoring goals against Mexico
   April 14, 2015 (8:45 AM) by Matt Benson


I crunched some numbers last night and here are some random facts/stats on the history of US players scoring goals against Mexico.

* There have been a total of 73 US goals all-time against Mexico scored by 49 different players (and one own goal).

* Aldo “Buff” Donelli holds the US single-game record against Mexico when he scored four goals in the US’ 4-2 win on May 24, 1934 in a World Cup qualifier in Rome.

* Fourteen different players have scored at least two goals against Mexico with Landon Donovan leading the pack with six career goals against El Tri.


* Of the seven US players with 20+ career goals, Clint Dempsey (40 career goals), Joe-Max Moore (24) and Bruce Murray (21) have never scored against Mexico.

* Of the players called into this roster (including Michael Orozco even though he is no longer coming), only three have scored a goal against Mexico:  Michael Bradley (4), Michael Orozco (1) and Chris Wondolowski (1).

* The player with the best name who has scored against Mexico:  Helmut Bicek.  He only has five appearances all-time with the US but he scored both of his two career goals with the US against Mexico in 1960 and 1965.

* Eddie Murphy has scored against Mexico.  Not this Eddie Murphy, but this Eddie Murphy (in back-to-back games in 1965).

* And finally, Chicharito has as many goals against the US as you reading this has against Mexico.

Categories: Inside the Numbers, US Men's National Team
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Youtube Flashback: The beginning of Dos a Cero
   April 14, 2015 (7:46 AM) by Matt Benson

What better way to get you ready for Wednesday’s game then taking you back to the birth of Dos a Cero.

It was February 28, 2001 and the site was Columbus, Ohio.  The US were hosting Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium in the opening game for both teams in the Hex.  It was cold and Mexico didn’t like that.

The US entered the game on a two-game wining streak over Mexico after going 0-4-4 in the previous eight meetings with El Tri.  Bruce Arena threw out the following starting lineup (4-4-2):  Friedel; Regis, Agoos, Pope, Sanneh; Jones, Armas, Reyna (c), Stewart; McBride, Moore.

Enjoy the game!

Categories: US Men's National Team, Youtube Flashback

Klinsmann names roster for Mexico friendly
   April 12, 2015 (5:42 PM) by Howie Michaels

It’s time for the not-quite-annual USA-Mexico out-of-window cash grab friendly (Wednesday, 7:30 PM CT, Fox Sports 1/UniMas/Univision Deportes). The US released its roster today. It consists of 13 MLS players, 5 Liga MX guys, an NASL guy, a college guy, a guy who finally made his EPL debut, and whatever we classify Julian Green as these days.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS (8): Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)

FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Notable absences are Clint Dempsey (injured) and Jozy Altidore (suspended). Juan Agudelo makes his triumphant return. Brad Evans also returns after a lengthy absence.

EDIT: We’ve already had a change.

Categories: DeAndre Yedlin, Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Julian Green, Michael Orozco Fiscal, US Men's National Team, Ventura Alvarado, William Yarbrough

23 Names for the 2015 Gold Cup Roster (April Edition)
   April 10, 2015 (6:45 AM) by John D. Halloran


Following a string of disappointing results—and largely uninspiring performances—in a spate of recent friendlies, the United States men’s national team now finds itself only three months away from this summer’s all-important Gold Cup, where victory assures the U.S. of a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has spent the eight months since last summer’s World Cup experimenting with new lineups and new formations, but when push comes to shove this summer, he knows he will need to eschew his tinkering and implement a more pragmatic, results-driven approach.

Here are the 23 players he’s likely to call in this summer.



Brad Guzan missed the U.S.’s recent friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland, but is still the team’s No. 1 in the net. Nick Rimando deputized admirably in both friendlies—despite being hung out to dry repeatedly by his defense—and is still the American’s No. 2.

The only real decision for Klinsmann is: Who gets the last goalkeeper spot on the roster?

Bill Hamid still appears to be the man to fill that spot, even after giving up four goals against Ireland in his last U.S. start. Sean Johnson is another candidate, and played the second half against Panama in February, but has been battling a number of bizarre injuries this season in Major League Soccer.

On the outside looking in are Southampton youngster Cody Cropper and recent call-up William Yarbrough.

Locks: Guzan, Rimando

On the Roster: Hamid

In the Hunt: Johnson, Cropper, Yarbrough


Outside Backs

Surprisingly enough, the Americans are remarkably deep at outside back right now—even if there is no clear pecking order.

On the left, Greg Garza appeared to be cementing his spot in the starting XI last fall before a disastrous performance against Denmark two weeks ago. Against Switzerland, Garza was replaced by Brek Shea, who then put on his best performance yet in a U.S. jersey.

On the right, a battle is brewing between Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler and DeAndre Yedlin. While Johnson has recently been used in the midfield for club and country, he is still a candidate to play in the back for the Americans, especially after Chandler continued his tendency towards game-changing mistakes in the March friendlies.

Yedlin still hasn’t broke in for Tottenham in England, but remains a key player to the U.S., whether in the back, or in the midfield.

Long shots for the team include Tim Ream and Robbie Rogers. Ream has played often on the left for Bolton this season, but rarely plays when called into the U.S. squad and does not appear to be a serious contender for a roster spot at the moment. Rogers looked like a lock for a January camp call-up, but was passed over and has—even by his own admission—not had a great start to his 2015 MLS campaign.

Locks: Garza, Shea, Johnson, Chandler, Yedlin

In the Hunt: Ream    


Center Backs

No position on the U.S. Gold Cup roster is likely to have as much intrigue as center back. Klinsmann’s attempt to convert Jermaine Jones to the position has shown some promise, but also revealed some glaring weaknesses—especially in January against Chile.

Matt Besler, who was a hero at last summer’s World Cup, has been a shell of his former self since Brazil and could miss the roster entirely this time around. Many fans also still don’t seem to fully trust Omar Gonzalez, but Gonzalez played well against both Germany and Belgium in the World Cup and has proved his worth to the U.S. squad.

Geoff Cameron has gotten over a rough start to his Premier League season, but, shockingly, was not called into the U.S. camp for the March friendlies. However, despite consistent playing time in England, Cameron does have a tendency to give up early on plays and give up “soft” goals—not an endearing quality for a center back and one, unfortunately, shared by U.S. teammate John Anthony Brooks.

Likewise, the U.S. defense seemed to fall apart in the second half of both games in March, both times after recent call-up Ventura Alvarado was introduced into the match.

With every center back in the U.S. pool having a downside, Klinsmann could very well look for some new blood this summer.

Arguably, no player did more to boost their stock in March than Michael Orozco, who put forth two solid performances against Denmark and Switzerland and appeared, at times, to be the only U.S. defender not overwhelmed by the circumstances at hand. Ian Darke also reported during the Denmark game that Klinsmann said Orozco probably would have made the World Cup roster if not for an injury late last spring.

Finally, two MLS products, Steve Birnbaum and Matt Hedges, could sneak onto the roster. Birnbaum was particularly impressive against Chile in January, the only U.S. center back who didn’t struggle in that match. Hedges, however, appears a bit further off the pace, as he was a late call-up to the January camp and played only sparingly.

Locks: Jones, Gonzalez, Orozco

On the Roster: Cameron, Brooks

In the Hunt: Alvarado, Besler, Birnbaum, Hedges


Center Midfielders

The U.S. has plenty of depth in the center of the park, led by Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud. The troubling part, however, is that Klinsmann—despite all available evidence to the contrary—still sees Bradley as an attacking midfielder.

With players like Cameron, Jones and Bedoya all capable of playing in the middle if needed, Bradley and Diskerud are the only two locks. If Klinsmann brings an additional center midfielder, however, there are plenty of available options.

Kyle Beckerman certainly isn’t a long-term option for the team, but with this summer’s Gold Cup being so important, the Real Salt Lake man could still have a role to play for the Americans. Danny Williams and Alfredo Morales are also solidly in the mix and both started against Switzerland last week. Joe Corona, who was beginning to earn serious time in the fall before being sidelined with a foot injury, is now just starting to work his way back to club form.

Finally, youngsters Wil Trapp and Emerson Hyndman could sneak into the picture—but Hyndman will likely be playing with the U-20 team this summer in their World Cup.

Locks: Bradley, Diskerud

On the Roster: Beckerman

In the Hunt: Corona, Williams, Morales, Trapp, Hyndman


Attacking Midfielders/Wingers

Picking which attacking midfielders or wingers might make the squad is tricky for a number of reasons. First, Yedlin, Johnson and Shea are all capable of playing on the wing. Second, Klinsmann has shown a clear preference towards playing either Bradley or Clint Dempsey in the No. 10 role. Finally, there are few players in the U.S. pool at those positions who have definitively proved their case for a roster spot.

At the top of the list is Alejandro Bedoya, who put in his best performance yet for the Nats against Switzerland last month. Lee Nguyen could also make the team, but doesn’t seem to have earned Klinsmann’s confidence just yet with limited minutes in his recent call-ups.

After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Joe Gyau looked promising before a knee injury in the fall sidelined him. Gedion Zelalem could certainly be in the mix if FIFA approves his paperwork in time.

Julian Green has endured nothing short of a nightmare season in the Bundesliga this year and Miguel Ibarra has yet to prove he can contribute at the international level. Graham Zusi is the U.S.’s forgotten man since his underwhelming performance in last summer’s World Cup and MLS youngsters Kelyn Rowe and Harry Shipp have yet to catch Klinsmann’s eye—despite some great play for their clubs.

Locks: Bedoya

On the Roster: Nguyen

In the Hunt: Zelalem, Green, Gyau, Ibarra, Zusi, Rowe, Shipp



Up top, Klinsmann will rely on veterans Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey to do the heavy lifting, but the U.S. still has a deep bench. Aron Johannsson has endured a 2014-15 campaign full of fits and starts and is still looking to fulfill the promise he demonstrated prior to last summer’s World Cup.

Terrence Boyd has begun jogging as he recovers from a knee injury, but it’s doubtful he makes it back for this summer. That will leave Klinsmann to choose from a batch of youngsters, including Rubio Rubin, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris and Gyasi Zardes.

Wood is close to returning from a knee injury of his own, while Rubin will likely get pulled into the U-20 team for their World Cup.

Morris—who still hasn’t turned pro—certainly has Klinsmann’s eye, but seems a reach to make the final 23. Zardes, for his part, certainly has the work rate to compete at the international level, but his touch is still wanting far too often.

Finally, although few U.S. fans want to hear it, Chris Wondolowski is still solidly in the picture.

Locks: Altidore, Dempsey, Johannsson

On the Roster: Wood, Zardes

In the Hunt: Boyd, Morris, Rubin, Wondolowski


Categories: 23 Names, US Men's National Team

April’s FIFA world rankings
   April 9, 2015 (12:37 PM) by Matt Benson

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know these things are sort of worthless, but the US jumped up five spots to #27 this past month.  I would post the Elo rankings (which are a little better), but their website is suspended at the moment.  Here is the Top in the 10 world for this month:


And here are the Top 5 teams in CONCACAF:


Categories: US Men's National Team
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