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Mar 262013
Clint+Dempsey+Costa+Rica+v+United+States+FIFA+6UFtLPE6cz3l 300x199 Hexagonal: USA vs. Mexico Preview

Captain Dempsey vs. Costa Rica


The rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico heats up tonight-in Azteca. This comes days after the USMNT’s very cold 1-0 victory over Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican Federation’s complaint to FIFA asking for a rematch of Friday’s qualifying game in Denver was denied by FIFA. FIFA released a statement today saying, “The result of the match played on March 22 stands and is considered as valid.”

The stars and stripes will be playing their toughest match of their qualifying cycle. Last August’s win over El Tri marked the first time the U.S. won in Mexican soil.

Mexico is under pressure to win tonights match after coming off a 2-2 draw last Friday against Honduras and a scoreless draw against Jamaica on home soil. With the pressure on El Tri’s shoulders, the team will come out tonight in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation and come out attacking to avoid another home loss.

With several of the U.S.’s players out with injuries, the team will have to once again make several adjustments to the line-up.

The US will be without midfielder Jermaine Jones and his Snow Fro after he suffered a sprained ankle in Friday’s match. U.S. had announced that Michael Orozco Fiscal has been called in as a replacement for the roster. Orozco Fiscal scored the historic winning goal for the American’s against El Tri in Azteca last August. To fill Jones’s spot in the midfield for the tonight’s match Jurgen Klinsmann has the choice to go with either Kyle Beckman or Maurice Edu.

With Steve Cherundolo, Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler all out with injuries young players Omar Gonzalez, Justin Morrow, and Tony Beltran are available to play in back-line.

Klinsmann is likely to go back to a similar 4-2-3-1 as the one played against Costa Rica.

With all of the stories surrounding the USMNT, and with the talks of problems in leadership and in the team, a win is a must tonight not just for qualifying purposes, but to build morale between the U.S. players and grow fan’s trust in Klinsmann.

Here are the rosters for tonight’s game:


GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando

DEFENDERS: Tony Beltran, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson Justin Morrow, Michael Orozco Fiscal.

MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Brad Davis, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Graham Zusi.

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore, Terrence Boyd, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson.

EL Tri                                                                                                

GOALKEEPERS: Guillermo Ochoa, Jesús Corona, Alfredo Talavera

DEFENDERS: Severo Meza, Jonny Magallón, Francisco Rodríguez, Héctor Moreno, Hugo Ayala, Diego Reyes, Jorge Torres Nilo), Carlos Slaked

MIDFIELDERS: Jesús Zavala, Gerardo Torrado, Jesús Molina, Héctor Herrera, Javier Aquino, Andrés Guardado, Ángel Reyna

FORWARDS: Giovani dos Santos, Oribe Peralta, Javier Hernández, Omar Bravo, Raúl Jiménez

Mar 052013

If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the details about this year’s Centennial Edition of the US Open Cup.

Well now the details are in and you can start circling your calendars. Here’s everything you need to know…

Qualifying Deadline

April 28

Play-In Round

Number of games: 2

Date: May 7

Teams: One National Premier Soccer League team will take on the US Club Soccer representative. A second NPSL team will face the US Special Sports Association representative.

First Round

Number of games: 18

Date: May 14

Teams: The winners of both Play-In Round games will enter the field with the remaining 30 Adult Council category teams as well as four USL Pro teams; the Dayton Dutch Lions, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, and expansion sides Phoenix FC Wolves & VSI Tampa Bay FC.

Second Round

Number of games: 16

Date: May 18

Teams: The 18 winners from the First Round will meet the eight remaining USL Pro clubs (Charleston Battery, Charlotte Eagles, Harrisburg City Islanders, Los Angeles Blues, Orlando City, Richmond Kickers, Rochester Rhinos, Wilmington Hammerheads) as well as the six NASL participants (Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Minnesota United FC, San Antonio Scorpions, Tampa Ba Rowdies)

Third Round

Number of games: 16

Date: May 28

Teams: The 16 winners from the Second Round will meet the 16 MLS sides represented (Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy,  New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City)

Fourth Round

Number of games: 8

Date: June 12

Teams: The 16 winners from the Third Round.


Date: June 26


Date: August 7 or 21


Date: October 1 or 2

Some miscellaneous notes on the tournament this year…

-All home sites for all rounds will be determined by a coin flip

-The USL Premier Development League (PDL) will contribute 16 of the First Round participants: Carolina Dynamo, GPS Portland Phoenix, Ocean City Nor’ Easters, Reading United, Austin Aztex, Laredo Heat, Ocala Stampede, Orlando City U-23, Des Moines Menace, Michigan Bucks, Real Colorado Foxes, River City Rovers, FC Tucson, Portland Timbers U-23, Seattle Sounders U-23, Ventura County Fusion

-This year’s field of 68 teams is the largest since the “modern era” began in 1995

-The 32 Amateur teams is also the largest since the “modern era” began in 1995.

-The tournament champions will receive $250,000 while the runners up will receive $60,000 and the last remaining team from each divisional level will receive $15,000


Keep an eye out for some more information on this year’s individual participants as the Play-In Round approaches!

Mar 012013

 U.S. Soccer and Nike Unveil New U.S. Men’s and Women’s Kit Celebrating 100 Years of U.S. Soccer

U.S. Soccer and Nike have unveiled a new U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team home kit that celebrates U.S. Soccer’s 100th year. A stylish and striking design pays tribute to the centennial milestone, giving the uniform a classic but contemporary look.

860738 10151460789993941 1439844896 o U.S. Soccer and Nike Unveil New U.S. Men’s and Women’s Kit Celebrating 100 Years of U.S. Soccer Known originally as the United States of America Foot Ball Association, the organization was officially formed on April 5, 1913. Three years later, the team played its first game against Sweden in Stockholm, winning 3-2, and the new kit is inspired by the uniform worn by those pioneers 100 years ago.

The new U.S. Men’s and Women’s National team kits will be available online and in stores starting today.

The jersey includes a solid white design with obsidian blue collar and sleeve detailing. The V-neck is noticeably wide and deep to match the 1913 kit. Vent details on the right and left hem represent the nation’s iconic stars and stripes, while the inner neck detail also celebrates U.S Soccer’s centennial year.

A standout feature of the new kit is the crest. The enlarged crest pays homage to the original kit, and is interwoven to maximize the top’s luxurious feel. The crest’s 13 stars and 13 stripes replicate the motif of the 1913 kit and symbolize the first American flag of the original 13 colonies.

The shorts are white with an obsidian blue trim along each side and have the full crest and a white swoosh detail. The socks are white and have “USA” woven into the design.

In line with Nike’s commitment to combining performance with lower environmental impact, fabric for the new kit’s shorts is made with 100 percent recycled polyester, while the shirt fabric is made with a minimum 96 percent recycled polyester. Each kit is made from an average 13 recycled plastic bottles.

The kit is constructed using Nike Dri-FIT technology to wick moisture and is made out of 23 percent lighter fabric with 20 percent stronger knit structure than Nike’s previous kits. The shirt also features laser-cut ventilation holes that promote localized cooling to help regulate players’ body temperature during a match.

Feb 062013

Jurgen+Klinsmann+Costa+Rica+v+United+States+CWEHXAIgcfbl 300x200 USMNT vs Honduras Preview: Hex Game #1 The U.S. opens their Hex campaign today against Honduras on the road to Brazil 2014. Honduras holds home field advantage and is going all out for those three-points. The government in Honduras has even named today a national holiday in the country. The USMNT veterans have only had two days to prepare together, with most players not getting to San Pedro Sula until this past Monday.

Back in 2009 in the team’s World Cup qualifying game against Honduras, Conor Casey was the star of the game. Casey’s goal helped clench the U.S. a spot at the 2010 World Cup. The last time both teams faced each was in 2011 in a friendly that ended in a 1-0 victory for the USMNT marking the first win for the team under Jurgen Klinsmann.

 This time around the team will be facing an even stronger Honduran-side, but will see the team operate in a similar formation to the one two years ago. Los Catrachos have included several MLS players on their roster, which means U.S. fans will be seeing familiar faces on the other side of the field. The large influence MLS has on the Honduran-side meant that the team’s roster selections did not come as a surprise. This will also serve as an advantage in Klinsmann’s team preparation for the break down of the opponent team’s operational tactics.

 “You have strikers up front in Bengtson who can always harm an opponent, and you have Espinoza in midfield who has a lot of creativity and a wonderful touch. They have a very strong defense physically so that’s why we respect them. That’s why we’ve done our homework,” Klinsmann told press on Monday.

Honduras comes into the game with a strong defensive midfield. The U.S. will have to work through the midfield to score. The earlier the USMNT scores the better chances they will have in holding the lead during the game.

The game will mark the first time in several years the stars and stripes have played a qualifying match without Landon Donovan on the squad. Although his omission did not come as a surprise to most, U.S. fans will have start getting used to not seeing Donovan in the starting XI and the Dempsey/Donovan combo. Back in December after the 2012 MLS Cup, Donovan still was not sure on whether he wanted to continue playing.

U.S. fans will have one thing to look forward to. Today’s game will mark Chandler’s return to the U.S. men’s national team and will officially cap-tie him to the U.S. An official competitive match with the USMNT will finally end all worries of the 23-year-old’s commitment to the team. Chandler will help fill the role Steve Cherundolo plays on the team, after Cherundolo’s omission from the roster because of a knee injury.

“It’s a huge opportunity for Timmy and I think he’s simply just maturing. He’s growing into his role as a fulltime professional and that’s why we were very patient with Timmy to mature,” Klinsmann said.

Klinsmann included seven MLS players from January camp to his roster for the match. Similar to Honduras, the stars and stripes go into the match with a strong defensive midfield and a solid backline. The U.S. will have to place its efforts on attacking and getting the ball to Dempsey and Gomez in the front from the outer flanks to avoid a standoff in the Honduran defensive midfield.

USMNT Roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Timmy Chandler (Nuremberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim ), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)

Midfielders: Michael Bradley (Roma), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Jose Torres (Tigres), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)

Honduras Roster:

Goalkeepers: Donis Escobar (Olimpia), José Mendoza (Marathón), Noel Valladares (Olimpia)

Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Víctor Bernárdez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chávez (Wisla Krakow), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Juan Carlos García (Olimpia), Juan Pablo Montes (Platense), Arnold Peralta (Vida), Orlin Peralta (Vida)

Midfielders: Jorge Claros (Hibernian), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Oscar Boniek García (Houston Dynamo), Luis Garrido (Red Star Belgrade), Alex López (Olimpia), Mario Martínez (Seattle Sounders), Aldo Oviedo (Real España)

Forwards: Christian Altamirano (Marathon), Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Carlo Costly (Veria), Roger Rojas (Olimpia), Georgie Welcome (Motagua)

My starting XI: Howard, Chandler, Cameron, Bocanegra, Johnson, Edu, Bradley, Jones, Torres, Dempsey, and Gomez.

My prediction: 2 (USMNT)- 1 (Honduras)

What are your predictions?

The better question is how long do  you think it will take before Jermaine Jones receives a yellow card?

USMNT vs Canada Review

 Posted by on January 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm  Breaking News, United States, USMNT
Jan 302013

If you managed to watch the entire match against the Canadians, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. If you are reading this review on last night’s game, you are probably not expecting a lengthy piece. At least we can all look ahead to next week’s game against Honduras instead of dwelling on last night’s scoreless draw against our northern neighbors.

The scoreless draw marks the U.S.’s second straight draw against the Reds and their 16th unbeaten game against them. Who ever said there was a rivalry between the two countries was definitely not talking about their soccer teams. Last night’s match showed no signs of sparks or spirit.

On the bright side, five players earned their first cap for the U.S.: Tony Beltran, Matt Besler, Justin Morrow, Will Bruin, and Alfredo Morales. Three of which are defenders and with time may grow into the national team.

Although no player was a standout in the match, there were a couple players who had a few bright moments including Benny Feilhaber, who made a difference as a second-half sub, and Omar Gonzalez, who takes my pick as the player who showed the most consistency during the game.

The Reds focused most of their emphasis this game on securing their backline. The Canadians must have had a wake-up call after being defeated last weekend by a Danish B-team. The player who stood out most last night was not an American but instead playing for the other team. As usual Dwayne DeRosario was Canada’s biggest threat to the U.S. and came close to netting in a goal, but U.S. goalkeeper Johnson was able to stop his shot.

The stars and stripes enter the final round of World Cup qualifying next Wednesday in an away match featuring the U.S. A-team in a game that could not in anyway be as dull as last night’s match.

My prediction of the names of players who may possibly be joining the veteran players in San Pedro Sula are: Eddie Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Grahman Zusi, Juan Agudelo, and Omar Gonzalez.






Jan 292013

The U.S. men’s soccer team take on their neighbors from the north tonight with a roster made up of mostly players from MLS, which includes a mix of new comers and experienced with the national team.  Of these players, seven players are waiting for their first cap tonight. These include: Alfredo Morales, Will Bruin, Connor Lade, Tally Hall, Justin Morrow, Tony Beltran, and Matt Besler. Eddie Johnson will be leading his team tonight with the most caps.

After three weeks of training in January camp, the B-team is sure to deliver a solid performance against a relatively young and inexperienced Canadian side in their first game of the New Year and their final match before the start of Hexagonal play. The Reds recently lost 4-0 in a friendly to a second-string Danish team on Saturday. Last time Klinsmann’s team took on the Canadians, the match resulted in a scoreless draw between the two neighbors.

The stars and stripes A-team will be back on February 6th against Honduras in their first game of the Hexagonal.

Here are both teams’ rosters of available players for tonight:


Goalkeepers: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire)

Defenders: Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards: Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


Goalkeepers: Lars Hirschfeld (Valerenga), Roberto Stillo (Genoa), Simon Thomas (unattached)

Defenders: Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Nana Attakora (FC Haka), Dejan Jakovic (D.C. United), Doneil Henry (Toronto FC), Mason Trafford (IFK Mariehamn), Andres Fresenga (Racing Club de Montevideo)

Midfielders:  Matt Stinson (Toronto FC), Evan James (unattached), Emmanuel Gomez (Club Atletico Griffa), Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault (unattached), Russel Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps), Kyle Bekker (Toronto FC), Terry Dunfield (Toronto FC), Philippe Davies (Richmond Kickers), Nik Ledgerwood (Hammarby)

Forwards: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Tosaint Ricketts (Sandnes Ulf), Frank Jonke (FF Jaro), Kyle Porter (FC Edmonton)