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.
This past weekend had some action on the field. Fabian Johnson scored his first goal with Borussia Mönchengladbach. Aron Johannsson and Tim Ream both returned from their injuries. Roderick has you covered with everyone in The OT Report.
The US U-17 team began play at the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a 5-0 win over Cuba on Friday (highlights) followed with a 2-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago yesterday (highlights). Joe Gallardo (four goals) and Christian Pulisic have been the US’s two best players in my non-expert opinion so far.
According to one report out of Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann might call up Ashton Götz for the US friendlies and camp this month even though he doesn’t have his US passport yet (he wouldn’t be able to play in the games but he could train with the team).
It looks like Freddy Adu could be headed to Sweden to sign with a real team according to Ives Galarcep. If true, this would be his 11th different team in his eighth different country since becoming a pro in 2004. Over that same time, I have lived in two different apartments and have had the same job.
Continuing with the rumors, this report claims Fabian Johnson has been scouted recently by Barcelona as he is one of a few players on their list of potential fullbacks since Dani Alves’ contract ends this summer.
Barcelona youngster Ben Lederman is currently in playing purgatory as part of the team’s injunction that retroactively disqualified many academy players. Some guys just got cleared to play again but not Lederman.
And also thanks to Josh Deaver, I am now aware of a second American at Barcelona. Konrad de la Fuente is a U-14 forward and he scored a goal back in early February for Barca’s Infantil A.
Brian Span looks to be in Finland on trial with IFK Mariehamn after being waived by FC Dallas last week. Span has European experience with Swedish side Djurgården in 2012 and 2013. He returned to the US with FC Dallas in 2014, but spent most of his time in USL Pro with Orlando City on loan or with FC Dallas’ reserve team.
I posted last week with a link about how Kevin Garcia was making the move to Ireland with Galway FC. Someone in Ireland e-mailed me that it is not true (“was news to the press officer”). Also, Jake Keegan isn’t with the club either at the moment as he is still waiting for a work permit. And former Yale and Portland Timbers U-23 defender Andy Hackbarth is on trial with the club.
The US will begin group play on May 30 against Myanmar in Whangarei. Their second game will be on June 2 against New Zealand in Auckland and they finish off group play on June 5 against Ukraine in Auckland. It looks like the game times will be 12 AM Eastern, 3 AM Eastern and 3 AM Eastern (perfect for late night owls on the West Coast) All three games will be on Fox in some form (likely Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2).
The US will be looking to advance out of the group stage for the first time since Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu led the 2007 team to the quarterfinals.
Here is the complete draw:
Group A New Zealand
Group B Argentina
Group C Qatar
Group F Germany
The four CAF representatives will be determined at the upcoming African U-20 Championship 2015, which will take place in Senegal between 8 and 22 March.
Former USMNT goalkeeper Frank Borghi passed away this week. He will probably be remembered most for his performance against England in the US’s upset at the 1950 World Cup. Resident goalkeeper historian Will did a good job of collecting news/links/information on Borghi over the last week.
We have had a couple goals so far this week. Herculez Gomez scored yet another goal for Puebla in Copa MX action on Tuesday (highlights). Dating back to his first stint with Puebla, it was his 13th goal in 22 career games across all competitions with Puebla
Nermin Crnkic scored a goal yesterday in Jablonec’s 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen in something called the Atlantic Cup (highlights). It appears to be a friendly/winter break tournament that no one attends.
Heading back to Mexico last night, 20-year-old Jesus Vazquez scored a goal in Leones Negros’ 2-0 win over Necaxa. Looking at our goal tracker, that is already the fourth goal scored by an American against Necaxa since January 21.
Sticking with Copa MX, Joe Corona wore the arm band for Tijuana last night in their 3-2 win over Coras de Tepic. Fellow Americans Alejandro Guido, John Requejo Jr. and Paul Arriola also saw the field for the Xolos. Jon Arnold got some quotes from Arriola following the match.
Also in action on Wednesday, Rubio Rubin went the full 90 minutes in Utrecht’s 1-0 loss to Willem II. While Tim Ream went 90 minutes in Bolton’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.
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.
The US U-20 team is headed to New Zealand for the U-20 World Cup after beating El Salvador 2-0 today. Goals came from Ben Spencer and Paul Arriola, while Zack Steffen made a huge save on a PK with the score only 1-0 in the second half. Here are the highlights.