10/11/16 US vs NZ tonite ESPN 8 pm, Indy 11 @ Jax Wed 8 pm

US takes on New Zealand tonite on ESPN at 8 pm — in the last of the friendlies before the Nov Qualifier with Mexico.  Mexico beat NZ 2-1 on Thursday so this will be an interesting test to see the  comparison. Look for Klinsmann to try a lot more new players tonite after starting a pretty strong side in the 2-0 win over Cuba last Friday afternoon.  Also the Indy 11 take on Jax on Wed Eve at 8 pm – in a game moved from the weekend because of the hurricane in Florida.  Check out lots of stories below.

cfc_soct16_03g

Coach Baker’s U14 G Gold team took home the top level championship at Socctoberfest this past weekend at Zionsville.

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Congrats to the Carmel FC U-8 Boys Gold (pictured) and the U-8 boys (white) for going undefeated in this weekend’s Soctoberfest in Zionsville.

MUST SEE GAMES ON TV

Tues, Oct 11  – World Cup Qualifying

2:45 pm ESPN 2?                                Slovenia vs England

4 pm beIN Sport                                 Columbia vs Uraguay

7:30 pm beIN Sport                                                 Chile vs Peru

8 pm ESPN                            USA (Men) vs New Zealand (friendly)

8:30 pm beIN Sport                                                 Brazil vs Venezuela

Weds, Oct 12 –

7 pm  My Indy 23??            Indy 11 vs Jacksonville

Fri, Oct 14

2:30 pm  Fox Sports 2?                  Dortmund vs Hertha  – US Christian Pulisic vs US Defender John Brooks

Sat, Oct 15  

7:30 am NBCSN                   Chelsea vs Leicester City

9:30 am Fox Sports2                                                 B M’Gladbach vs Hamburger  – US Johnson vs US Bobby Woods of Hamburger

10 am NBCSN                                         Man City vs EvertonArsenal vs Swansea  (coach Bob Bradley debut)

12:30 pm Fox Sports 2       Werder Bremen vs Bayern Leverkusen

7:30 Wish TV 8                     Indy 11 vs Carolina 

USA

How will US Line-Up vs New Zealand Tonite? NBCSN

Match Preview for Tonites game – US Soccer

Klinnsy Hopes Fringe Players Deliver Surprises – ESPN FC

5 things to Know About Tonights Game

Gooch Eager for 1st MNT Cap  ESPN FC

Wondo, Green, GK Horvath Star for US in 2-0 win over Cuba –ESPNFC

http://www.yardbarker.com/soccer/articles/where_should_us_soccer_play_their_home_world_cup_qualifiers/s1_12749_22048903

The US top Wing Options

EUROs

Euro Qualifying Wrap-up – Mon

Euro update from Weekend

OTHER

NY Flash beat Washington Flash in PKs to Win Title

Bob Bradley Arrives at Swansea – Dsicussion on NBCSN

GOALIES

Pretty Cool Keeper Drill going Viral

England Keeper Training for Qualifiers

England U21s GK Training

More GAMES ON TV

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

 Tues, Oct 11  – World Cup Qualifying

12 noon Fox Sports 2                      Kazakhastan vs Romania

2:45 pm Fox Sports 2                      Poland vs Armenia

2:45 pm ESPN 2?                                Slovenia vs England

4 pm beIN Sport                                 Columbia vs Uraguay

7:30 pm beIN Sport                                                 Chile vs Peru

8 pm ESPN                            USA (Men) vs New Zealand (friendly)

8:30 pm beIN Sport                                                 Brazil vs Venezuela

Weds, Oct 12 – U17-WWC

9 am Fox Sports 2                               WWC Quarter Final 1

12 noon Fox Sports 2                                               WWC Quarter Final 2

7 pm  My Indy 23??            Indy 11 vs Jacksonville

Thurs, Oct 13 – U17-WWC

9 am Fox Sports 2                               WWC Quarter Final 3

12 noon Fox Sports 2                                               WWC Quarter Final 4

Fri, Oct 14

2:30 pm  Fox Sports 2?                  Dortmund vs Hertha  – US Christian Pulisic vs US Defender John Brooks

Sat, Oct 15  

7:30 am NBCSN                   Chelsea vs Leicester City

9:30 am Fox Sports2                                                 B M’Gladbach vs Hamburger

10 am NBCSN                                         Man City vs EvertonArsenal vs Swansea  (coach Bob Bradley debut)

12:30 pm                         NBCSN                                West Brom vs Tottenham

12:30 pm Fox Sports 2       Werder Bremen vs Bayern Leverkusen

7:30 Wish TV 8                     Indy 11 vs Carolina 

Sun, Oct 16  

3 pm ESPN                                               Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC

5 pm ESPN                                               Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

Wed, Oct 19

9 pm ESPN2                          US Women vs Switzerland

Wed, Oct 26

MLS Playoffs Start

MLS TV Schedule ‘

EPL TV Schedule on NBC + NBCSN

German Bundesliga TV Schedule on Fox Soccer and Gol TV

 

How will an experimental USMNT line up vs. New Zealand?

Leave a commentJoe Prince-WrightOct 10, 2016, 1:40 PM EDT

With plenty of unfamiliar faces set to be involved for the U.S. national team in their friendly game against New Zealand on Tuesday, who will line up from the start for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side?Truth be told, there are some many different ways he could go with this.

[ PREVIEW: USA v New Zealand ]Following the 2-0 win in Cuba on Fridaynine players were released from the team and seven were called up, as Klinsmann shuffles his pack and tries to look at as many players as he can ahead of the two huge 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica next month.The Hex is on the horizon and although the starting lineup looks pretty set, there are still plenty of spots up for grabs in the USMNT squad. So Klinsmann says.[ MORE: What did we learn from win in Cuba? Below is a look at three options the USMNT head coach could go for at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Option 1 (4-2-3-1)

—– Yarbrough —–

— Orozco — Birnbaum — Gonzalez — Acosta —

—- Williams —- Kitchen —-

— Arriola — Gooch — Agudelo —

—– Boyd —–

Option 2 (4-4-2, Diamond)

—– Hamid —–

— Yedlin — Parker — Besler — Acosta —

—- Bradley —-

— Gooch — Williams —

—- Kljestan —-

—- Agudelo —- Green —-

Option 3 (4-3-3) 

—- Bingham —-

— Orozco — Birnbaum — Gonzalez — Besler —

—- Gooch —- Bradley —- Williams —-

—- Agudelo —- Altidore —- Green —-

Conclusion

Let’s start with Option 1: Well, this for me would be a really good lineup which would see youngsters handed a chance to impress as none of the starters from the Cuba game would start again. That always seemed to be the aim when these two friendlies were arranged as Klinsmann could get to look at as many players as possible over two matches. With Terrence Boyd up top on his own supported by Paul Arriola and Juan Agudelo there would be plenty of pace and trickery in attack. In midfield the trio of Danny Williams, Perry Kitchen and Lynden Gooch would compliment each other well and in defense Kellyn Acosta would get another chance at left back with Omar Gonzaez and Michael Orozco handed chances to show their importance as squad players. As for the goalkeeper, William Yarbrough impressed against Switzerland in a friendly last year and it could be time for him to make a real push to get alongside Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.

Option 2 sees a little mix of youth and experience. With Bill Hamid in goal, this may be one of his final chances as Ethan Horvath’s emergence threatens his spot in the player pool. In central defense Tim Parker and Matt Besler could mix well and DeAndre Yedlin could start again at right back after only getting 45 minutes against Cuba. A diamond in midfield would see captain Michael Bradley at the base and Sacha Kljestan pulling the strings in front of an energetic duo of Gooch and Williams, while two up top would be the most interesting part for me. Julian Green was lively out on the left against Cuba but in his preferred central role he could wreck havoc alongside Agudelo.Option 3 is in line with the kind of formation we expect from the USMNT’s first choice lineup. Again, a new goalkeeper in net sees David Bingham start after his solid display against Canada in February. The back four is more experienced with Besler getting an outing at left back like he was used in an emergency situation during the Copa American Centenario. In midfield the trio of Gooch, Williams and Bradley would again blend well and in attack Jozy Altidore could be the main man with Agudelo and Green picking up his knockdowns.Simply put: Klinsmann has plenty of options as he continues to see as many players as possible in action for the Stars and Stripes.

MATCH PREVIEW: USAVNZL | 8PM ET | ESPN, UNIMAS

MNT Oct 11, 2016

The U.S. Men’s National Team plays its last match before the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup when they take on New Zealand on Tuesday at iconic RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Kicking off at 8 p.m. ET, the match can be seen live on ESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the game live on Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp.Coming off a 2-0 win against Cuba in Havana on Friday, the MNT faces New Zealand for the third time and first since a 2-1 victory on June 8, 2003 in nearby Richmond, Va. The two sides first met in the opening match of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, also a 2-1 win which pushed the U.S. on to a third-place finish at the tournament in Mexico.Just as the U.S. will use the game as its last test before opening “the Hex” next month against Mexico (Nov. 11) and at Costa Rica (Nov. 15), New Zealand will also utilize Tuesday’s contest as its final warm-up before embarking on the third round of Oceanic Football Confederation qualifying, which opens next month against New Caledonia.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (7)Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig), Julian Green (Bayern Munich)

COMPETITION HEATS UP AHEAD OF THE HEX
With the depth chart filling up in positions all over the field, competition will be fierce for the coveted 23 spots on the roster for the huge opening game of the Hex against rivals Mexico and the away trip to the venomous confines of Estadio Nacional in Costa Rica. While there are a host of regulars in the squad, there are a number of players looking to “make their case” for inclusion in November.

Coming off a two-and-a-half year absence from the National Team, Sacha Kljestan rose to the occasion upon his recall last month, tallying two goals and two assists in World Cup Qualifying matches vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said this week he hoped some of the players recalled for this camp would follow Kljestan’s example over the next two matches, while the veteran U.S. midfielder admitted he’s hoping to use games against Cuba and New Zealand as an audition for a starting XI spot when the Hex opens next month.

ROSTER CHANGES ANNOUNCED
Following the MNT’s 2-0 win in Havana, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced a number of roster changes, allowing players based both in MLS and abroad the opportunity to return to their clubs early to prepare for upcoming matches. The nine departuresopened the door for seven players to join the team, with Kellyn Acosta, Juan Agudelo, Matt Besler, Terrence Boyd, Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco and Tim Parker arriving to take part in Tuesday’s friendly against New Zealand.

After last appearing in MNT camp more than two years ago, Boyd returns to the team after overcoming a long comeback from an ACL injury suffered at the end of 2014. Besler also returns to the side after scoring on the same day his first-born daughter Parker was born back in the MNT’s 6-0 World Cup Qualifying win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 3 in Kingstown. Both playersspoke about their returns upon rejoining the team earlier this week.

JULIAN GREEN MAKES STRONG RETURN
A last-minute addition to the U.S. roster for Friday’s match at Cuba, 21-year-old attacker Julian Green earned his second career start and repaid Jurgen Klinsmann for the opportunity when he helped set up Chris Wondolowski’s 62nd minute goal before finishing himself nine minutes later to cap the 2-0 win. With seven appearances to his credit, the Bayern Munich forward hopes to continue his form against New Zealand in an effort to replicate the output from Sacha Kljestan in his National Team return last month.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY IN GOAL
Klinsmann has opened up a rare window of opportunity for the next generation of goalkeepers this week. Standing down veterans Brad Guzan and Tim Howard, the MNT head coach brought in David Bingham, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough for the Cuba match. Becoming one of the youngest goalkeepers all-time to debut for the MNT during Friday’s 2-0 win in Havana, Horvath was allowed to return to Norwegian club Molde following the match, leaving the door open for Bingham, Yarbrough and new addition Bill Hamid to gain time in Tuesday night’s friendly against New Zealand.

THE FORTRESS OF RFK STADIUM
Returning to RFK Stadium on Tuesday night, the MNT comes back to a place it has found a lot of success over the years. Going 15-3-5 all-time at the iconic venue, the USA enters Tuesday’s match with a nine-game unbeaten run at RFK, going 8-0-1 in a streak that dates back to a 2-1 win against Uruguay on May 12, 2002. Having hosted 23 matches since a 1-1 draw with China on Oct. 6, 1977, RFK Stadium has been the host of more MNT games than any other venue worldwide.

NEW ZEALAND NOTES

  • The U.S. is 2-0-0 all-time against New Zealand, winning both previous meetings by a 2-1 score line.
  • The sides first met in the opening match of the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Jovan Kirovski and Brian McBride scored on both sides of halftime to give the U.S. three points in Guadalajara, Mexico. More recently, the teams faced off in a warm-up for the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup in nearby Richmond, Va., with Kirovski and Chris Klein scoring in the 2-1 win.
  • The match also marks New Zealand’s final test before beginning the third round of OFC qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The All-Whites will take on New Caledonia in two group games on Nov. 12 and 15 before taking on Fiji on March 20 and 28, 2017.
  • Captained by West Ham United center back Winston Reid, New Zealand also features a few connections to Major League Soccer. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson has had a revelatory season, winning the starting job for Portland Timbers, while defender Kip Colvey plies his trade for San Jose Earthquakes.
  • The All-Whites also feature Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 defender Deklan Wynne as well as University of Wisconsin defender Sam Brotherton.

Jurgen Klinsmann hoping U.S. fringe players can deliver ‘surprises’

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann says he is hoping to find a few “surprises” among his fringe players in Tuesday night’s friendly against New Zealand.Following last week’s win in Cuba, the U.S. returns home for the friendly at RFK Stadium (8 p.m., ESPN) in its final test before beginning the final World Cup qualifying round against Mexico next month.The squad to face New Zealand features many new faces as nine players departed following the 2-0 win in Havana, and Klinsmann said he’s using the opportunity to evaluate as many players as he can, even if they won’t be able to force their way into the lineup in November.”A month away from the clash with Mexico, we have a clear picture already of how we want to approach this very, very big game,” he said in quotes released by U.S. Soccer.”But at the same time we want to see some players who we haven’t really had the opportunity in the last few World Cup qualifers to have a closer look at. And obviously when you do that, when you bring in players that weren’t with us for a little bit, you might get surprised.”And we had one surprise definitely with Julian Green. Julian Green is training tremendously well. He had a good game in Cuba, even if you couldn’t judge that game because of the field, but we see a lot of elements that we were hoping for in his game.”Then we have other young [players] like Lynden Gooch, training really well. Guys back in the group like Perry Kitchen or Danny Williams, we have a young goalkeeper coming through with Ethan Horvath in his debut for the national team program.”So it’s very helpful for us to gather that information. But do we have a pretty clear picture of how to approach Mexico? Yes we do.”One player who could get a chance to shine against New Zealand is striker Juan Agudelo, who was called up for the first time in over a year.Agudelo made his senior international debut six years ago at age 17, but after the absence the New England Revolution forward said he’s learned to appreciate playing for his country.”I am more excited now to get a call-up, maybe because I haven’t been called in a year,” Agudelo told MLSsoccer.com. “But it’s definitely more of a privilege — and it should’ve always been a privilege, but now it’s like,  understand. It’s more about maturing, I guess.”

Christian Pulisic, Julian Green and Lynden Gooch – Sizing up the U.S. wing midfield pool

Goal.com  8:35 AM PDT

Not since Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey were working on opposite flanks in their prime during the 2010 World Cup qualifying cycle have we really seen the U.S. national team boast a dangerous and reliable set of wingers.That could be about to change — if not in the immediate future, then very soon.Christian Pulisic’s rapid emergence has given the U.S. its most promising attacking wing option in years. Though he’s still just 18, he has already shown enough to start being considered a good bet to be a starter when the final round of World Cup qualifying begins in November.Pulisic is actually just one of a handful of talented young wing options coming up the pipeline, such as Paul Arriola and Brooks Lennon, not to mention Julian Green, who has played his way onto the Bayern Munich first-team roster, even if as a reserve striker.What makes the winger pool even more interesting is the fact that the U.S. team’s best winger may not wind up playing on the wing. Fabian Johnson remains Klinsmann’s best midfielder, but he also happens to be Klinsmann’s best left back. And with left back having fewer viable options than the left wing, Johnson still looks like a good bet to be starting in the back four rather than midfield when the Americans take on Mexico and Costa Rica in November.In the latest installment in Goal USA‘s series on the U.S. player pool depth chart, we take a closer look at Klinsmann’s wing options, including the veterans who still have a role to play in the immediate future, and younger options who could develop into difference makers in years to come.This list doesn’t include the likes of Joe Gyau and Josh Gatt, a pair of speedy wingers who would have been a part of such a list two years ago, before injuries left them both sidelined for extended periods of time. Gatt has recently returned to playing with Molde in Norway, while Gyau is continuing to rehab as he moves closer to full action in Borussia Dortmund’s setup. They may not be on this list now, but they could very well be back among the top options in the near future.

Also absent from the list are MLS midfielders Lee Nguyen, Darlington Nagbe and Ethan Finlay. Though Nguyen and Nagbe have been used on the wings by Klinsmann in the past, they are more natural central midfielders, while Finlay has taken a bit of a step back after his outstanding 2015 season, which helped earn him a look from Klinsmann in March. All three are still young enough to be options on the flanks, but they will need to step it up to get back into the top 10.

Here is a closer look at how Klinsmann’s top wing options stack up at the moment:

FABIAN JOHNSON

A left winger for Borussia Moenchengladbach, Johnson has shown time and time again on the club level that he is very much a capable player on the flanks. He has done the same with the U.S. when played in such a role, but with Klinsmann needing him more as a fullback, we haven’t been able to see Johnson’s attacking prowess on a consistent basis for the U.S.Could that be changing? It will depend completely on new fullback options emerging in order to free up Johnson to play a more advanced role. If a player like Timmy Chandler can step up and show themselves to be a dependable starting option at left back, then we could see Klinsmann deploy a Johnson-Pulisic winger tandem, which most U.S. fans are probably already dreaming of.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC

September was a breakout month for Pulisic, who not only turned 18, but enjoyed a strong run for both club and country which essentially erased the lingering “he’s too young” notions that were keeping him from being considered a serious factor for the U.S. Yes, he’s young and will have his growing pains, but it’s tough to argue that he hasn’t shown enough to be considered a strong candidate to start for the U.S. from here on out.Pulisic’s versatility should help give Klinsmann some good options. He’s capable of playing on either wing, and though he’s not a natural left winger, his speed and ability to cut inside and wreak havoc make him effective there, as he has shown with Borussia Dortmund. He will eventually develop into a central playmaker, but for now, Pulisic is looking like the dynamic winger the U.S. had been lacking since Johnson was forced to play fullback.

ALEJANDRO BEDOYA

A workhorse midfielder who doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves, Bedoya has been an effective wing option, if not a flashy one. His two-way work, and ability to combine well and move well in the flow of the attack has long made him a useful contributor on both ends of the field.Bedoya has settled into central midfield with the Philadelphia Union and could float into a more central role with the U.S. soon enough, particularly as other wing options develop. But Bedoya could definitely still be a wing starter when World Cup qualifying resumes in November.

GYASI ZARDES

Currently sidelined as he recovers from a broken foot, Zardes had established himself as a regular starter on the wing over the previous two years. A natural striker, Zardes was able to use his speed, strength and tireless motor to be an effective flank player, even though he never was quite effective at providing service.Zardes recently began running again, but it remains unclear whether he can make it all the way back for November’s qualifiers. If he can’t make it back, he should still be a strong candidate for a flank role in 2017, though Klinsmann might start eyeing him more as forward depth if some younger wingers continue emerging.

PAUL ARRIOLA

The 21-year-old winger earned his first senior national team look in May, and made the most of it by impressing in a friendly against Puerto Rico. He has parlayed that into more looks, including a goal-scoring cameo in September’s World Cup qualifying win against Trinidad and Tobago.Though he has yet to establish himself as a starter on the club level, Arriola has been a regular substitute for Club Tijuana, which is currently in first place in Liga MX. His ability to take defenders on and provide service makes him a good option off the bench for the U.S., and he’s still young so we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

GRAHAM ZUSI

Don’t go forgetting about the Sporting Kansas City winger even though injuries have kept him from showing his best in recent years. When he has been healthy, Zusi has shown that he still can make an impact, as evidenced in March’s World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala, and his goal-scoring cameo in the Copa America rout of Costa Rica.What the 30-year-old winger provides is good service from the wing, and another set-piece/corner-kick option for Klinsmann, and he has shown a penchant for being able to step up in big moments. He will need to stay healthy to keep his place in Klinsmann’s pecking order before younger options move past him permanently.

LYNDEN GOOCH

No, Gooch hasn’t played for the U.S. senior team yet, but he has earned his first call-up for the current camp and is a good bet to make his debut in the coming days. The Sunderland winger has been a real revelation, earning regular minutes for the English Premier League club and showing himself to be a tenacious and versatile midfielder.The 20-year-old is still young and a bit raw, but he has already shown good qualities, including speed and a willingness to take on defenders, that could keep him in the picture for both the U.S. and Sunderland.

JULIAN GREEN

Funny how fortunes can change. Julian Green has gone from prodigy and World Cup goal-scorer, to national team afterthought struggling to play on the youth national team level, to now on Bayern Munich’s first-team squad and back in Klinsmann’s squad. Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to use Green as a striker has helped rejuvenate his standing with the German champions, though he still isn’t getting first-team minutes. So is he a winger or a striker? Klinsmann hasn’t discussed yet whether he’s buying into Ancelotti’s belief that Green is a more effective striker than winger, but we might find out in the upcoming U.S. friendlies. It should be noted that Green has played almost exclusively on the flank for both the senior national team and youth national teams.

BROOKS LENNON

The least well-known of the players on this list, Brooks Lennon may have the most upside of anybody not named Pulisic. The Liverpool youth player has been turning heads since leaving Real Salt Lake’s academy and signing with the English powerhouse. The 19-year-old forward-winger has been scoring goals with regularity in the Liverpool youth ranks, and should raise his profile among American fans as a key figure in the next U.S. Under-20 World Cup qualifying cycle.

Though he might develop into more of a forward option, Lennon has shown himself to be an effective wing player, and developing under the watchful eye of Jurgen Klopp is certainly not a bad thing for the teenager.

JEROME KIESEWETTER

The German-American winger-forward earned a place in Klinsmann’s January camp after having previously impressed on the youth national team level. As a U-23 winger, Kiesewetter was particularly impressive with his speed and service, forming a good partnership with Jordan Morris.Now with Bundesliga 2 side Fortuna Dusseldorf, Kiesewettter is fighting for regular playing time, though he will have to establish himself as a starter to really move up these rankings.

 

Gooch eager to make U.S. debut vs. New Zealand

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – If there were any lingering doubts about which national team Lynden Gooch wants to represent at the international level, the Sunderland forward/midfielder extinguished them on Sunday. The 20-year-old Santa Cruz, California native, who started the Black Cats first four games of the Premier League season, remains eligible for play for England (through his father) and the Republic of Ireland (through his mother). But Gooch, who suited up mostly for the U.S. but also Ireland at youth level, is hoping to make his senior debut for the Americans in Tuesday’s exhibition against New Zealand. And he left no doubt that his allegiance lies with the USA.”I’m definitely committed” to the red, white and blue, the soft-spoken Gooch told reporters before the U.S. trained in suburban Washington, D.C. ahead of the match at RFK Stadium (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN). “I just want to play in this friendly and I want to play next month in the qualifiers, hopefully, if I do well. I’m committed to playing for this team. That’s why am here.” Gooch was referring to November’s World Cup qualifying games against Mexico and Costa Rica. He would be permanently tied to the U.S. should he appear in either.Gooch’s declaration isn’t a huge surprise; he’s said as much when asked in the past. But for a country that doesn’t exactly have Prem players falling from trees — Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron is the only American earning regular minutes in England’s top flight this season — it’s still a significant coup.Now comes the match against the Kiwis. Gooch didn’t get off the bench for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side in Friday’s 2-0 victory versus Cuba. But with nine players — including six starters — released to their clubs following the win in Havana, Gooch is expected to see his first action at the top level.”I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to play a little bit in the Cuba game, but it didn’t happen. But hopefully I’ll get my first cap.”on the wing and as a deep-lying midfielder for Sunderland, but is hoping to occupy a more advanced role under Klinsmann. With attackers Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Chris Wondolowski and Bobby Wood among those released between matches, he might get his wish and possibly from the first whistle.A strong performance would go a long way toward earning a recall from the coach next month. But both his immediate and long-term future with the U.S. is more likely dependent on how — and how much — he plays for his club.After those season-opening starts, Gooch was an unused substitute in Sunderland’s 1-0 loss at Tottenham and didn’t make the 18 for 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace. He came off the bench for the final minutes of the Black Cats most recent game, a 1-1 tie with West Bromwich Albion on Oct. 1.  “I think that’s normal for young players — you’re not gonna be able to play every game,” Gooch said when asked about the highs and lows so far. “I started four games straight off the bounce. I think that was a surprise, but they manage players well. “I think you’ll get burned out if you play every second after making that jump,”I’ve got an experienced manager, David Moyes. He knows how to handle young players…he said that at times, ‘I have to take pressure off you as well.'”Speaking of pressure, he did get a little ribbing from his family when it came time to choosing which country’s colors to defend, even though it wasn’t a difficult decision. “I’ve got an Irish mother and an English dad, but I was born and raised in California,” Gooch said. “My mom, she’s always saying ‘Ireland, Ireland.’ But she’s happy.”U.S. fans ought to be, too.Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN 

 

Green, Horvath, Wondolowski star as United States edge Cuba in Havana

The United States did little more than fill an international date with a glorified scrimmage on Friday afternoon in Havana, Cuba. The game was more “historic event” than meaningful soccer exercise, but a 2-0 win will nevertheless feel good for Jurgen Klinsmann and his team, especially in light of the difficult conditions.

Positives

The debut of Ethan Horvath in goal represents a step forward in the young player’s career, and Julian Green did well on the left side of the American midfield. Steve Birnbaum got 45 more minutes toward his experience total in a U.S. shirt (and suffered a cut for his trouble), but perhaps most importantly, the Americans suffered no significant injuries. That’s no small feat considering the conditions.

Negatives

It’s tough to know what to make of a friendly played on such a terrible surface. A bumpy field with barren patches made for difficult passing all afternoon long. Rhythm was essentially nonexistent for the Americans, despite the weakness of the Cuban side. Several key U.S. players looked uncomfortable simply running on the Cuban grass, much less trying to play up to their usual standard. The energy level was low, and if not for Chris Wondolowski, the U.S. might have left Havana with an embarrassing result.

Manager rating out of 10

7 — Klinsmann’s starting lineup has potential, and might work against weaker opponents in better — more meaningful — circumstances and on a better surface. Giving Green a start proved to be a smart move. With a full complement of friendly substitutions, the United States boss was able to get a look at most of his roster.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ethan Horvath, 8 — Composed and confident. The only American player to make a positive impression in the first half. Bailed the U.S. out a few key saves.

DF DeAndre Yedlin, 6 — Handled his defensive responsibilities reasonably well, but made no mark in the attack. Subbed at half-time.

DF Geoff Cameron, 5.5 — Victimized by Cuban movement on a couple of counterattacking opportunities. Like many of his teammates, never found the pace of the field and passed poorly.

DF John Brooks, 5.5 — Struggled with the rest of his defensive mates to hold and manage a high line. Stumbled on the bumpy field more than once and was likely happy to take a seat at half-time.

DF Fabian Johnson, 5 — Lethargic and disinterested throughout. Occasionally got forward into the attack but did nothing when there. Did not recover his position quickly enough.

MF Julian Green, 8 — The most vibrant of the U.S. attackers for most of the day. Created the first goal with a shot, then scored the second by getting on the end of Wondolowski’s service.

MF Sacha Kljestan, 7 — Provided a number of useful balls out of his central midfield position. Showed the vision that earned him a spot back in the national-team picture, even as his teammates were unable to leverage it.

MF Michael Bradley, 6 — Sat deep as the only holding midfielder in the game at the start. Looked troubled by the Cuban break. Passed well enough, but without much danger.

MF Christian Pulisic, 4.5 — The Dortmund wunderkind did not enjoy his half in Havana, both because of the rough surface and the physical approach of the Cubans.

FW Bobby Wood, 5.5 — Popped up in good spots a few times, but wasted the chances he was given. Gave the requisite effort tracking back and making runs off of Jozy Altidore.

FW Jozy Altidore, 5.5 — A presence and little more at the front of the formation. With the surface so poor, was asked to win a number of long balls in the air, pulling him away from goal and limiting his danger.

Substitutes:

FW Chris Wondolowski, 8 — Took his goal exceptionally well and set up the second. Adapted to the field better than any other American forward.

DF Timothy Chandler, 6 — Helped with possession as the U.S. played out the second half, defending adequately.

DF Steve Birnbaum, 7 — Brought needed interest and energy to the back line when he entered at half-time, but suffered a nasty injury when kicked in the head by a Cuban player.

FW Jordan Morris, 6 — Involved in a few dangerous moments in combination with Wondolowski, including one he stumbled away shortly after entering.

FW Paul Arriola, NR — Essentially anonymous in a little more than 20 minutes as a second-half substitute.

MF Danny Williams, NR — Didn’t seem to have much success slowing down the Cuban attack, who still found joy on the counter after Williams entered to help stiffen the American midfield.Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer 

Where should U.S. Soccer play home World Cup qualifiers?

Originally posted on 32 Flags  |  By Pauly Kwestel  |  Last updated 10/6/16

As expected, it didn’t take long for U.S. Soccer to announce that the U.S. Men’s National Team’s opening game in the Hex against Mexico would be played in Columbus, Ohio. After all, that’s where the U.S. has played Mexico since 2001, and the Americans seem to always win by a famous scoreline that you may have heard of.But U.S. Soccer has yet to announce where the other four home matches will be. This year, the U.S. is in a very interesting position where for each two-game stretch of the Hex the USMNT will have a Friday home game proceeding an away game. That means the U.S. can in theory pick similar cities to the conditions of its away game to help prepare for those elements if the team so chooses.The question is, where should U.S. Soccer host these games? For starters, these games are about one thing and one thing only, qualifying for the World Cup. They are not for making as much money as you possibly can. That’s what friendlies are for. That’s why, unless there’s a special situation, U.S. Soccer should be choosing cozy MLS Stadiums that are designed for soccer rather than half-empty football stadiums. If more fans want tickets than the stadium can hold, so be it.If you were in charge of U.S. soccer, where would you put the games? That’s a question that can be taken to Twitter. But if I was in charge of U.S. Soccer? Well, here’s where I’d put them.

March 24, 2017: USA vs. Honduras (Denver) 

There’s a school of thought that the U.S. should play the Trinidad & Tobago match in June in Denver’s altitude to prepare for the Mexico match at the Azteca, but that’s a bunch of hogwash. Why waste one of the few home-field advantages the United States has by playing in Denver in June?

The March game is pretty much the only game that falls out in winter. Denver is a great winter city. As we found out from the snow-game against Costa Rica in 2013, the weather in Denver can pretty much be anything. The Americans are used to that. We have winter. You know who doesn’t have a winter season? Honduras. Put the game in Denver in the winter, and Honduras will have no chance.

June 9, 2017: USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Jacksonville)

Sure, people want to play this game in Denver to prepare for the Azteca’s altitude, but that’s only one of the battles the U.S. will be facing. It will also have to deal with the heat and humidity that comes with Mexico City. Ergo the U.S. should be looking for the hottest and most humid city it can find. If there’s a hotter and more humid city in the middle of June than Jacksonville then sure play it there, but Jacksonville is the one that comes to my mind, and the U.S. is undefeated there.

I understand the U.S. literally just played Trinidad & Tobago in Jacksonville this past September, but like I said, this isn’t about making money, it’s about qualifying for the World Cup. That last game worked out well for the U.S., just run it back. (If you want to move this game to Washington, D.C., I won’t argue).

September 1, 2017: USA vs. Costa Rica (Kansas City)

Kansas City has a great stadium, and it has a great crowd. The atmosphere that the fans create in Kansas City is not only top-notch, but it’s mainly only rivaled by that of Columbus, Washington and the Pacific Northwest. Kansas City deserves a World Cup qualifying match, and since it didn’t get one last round, the city gets one now. Plus Costa Rica will be the second toughest game the U.S. will play, so the Americans need to play it in a good location.

October 6, 2017: USA vs. Panama (Washington, D.C.) 

Every other country plays home games in its capital city, therefore the U.S. should play one in its too. The fact that RFK Stadium crowd always brings it is just an added bonus. If the Hex plays out like the last one did, the U.S. will have already advanced, and this will be a 90-minute party. If it plays out like the 2010 Hex did, the U.S. will need to win to advance, and where better to play than the stadium that holds more USMNT wins than any other?

And with RFK Stadium likely to close down after the 2017 MLS season, this would be one of the final games ever played and would serve as a fitting tribute to a historic stadium that has been so important for U.S. Soccer’s history.

UEFA World Cup qualifying: Italy edges Macedonia, Spain eases past Albania

3 CommentsBy Matt ReedOct 9, 2016, 4:41 PM EDT

One of Europe’s top sides needed a late strike to get past a surprisingly competitive Macedonia side.[ MORE: England adds keeper Pickford following Heaton injury ]Ciro Immobile’s brace in the final quarter hour helped Italy rescued a victory against Macedonia during their 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon.Immobile scored in the 75th and 91st minutes for the Italians, which helped them avoid a potentially disastrous result.Despite Andrea Belotti’s first-half finish for the Azzurri, it was Macedonia that opened the second half on the front foot. Goals from Ilija Nestoroski and Ferhan Hasani handed the hosts the lead within a span of three minutes, before Immobile rescued the Italians.Spain pulled off a 2-0 win against Albania behind second-half finishes from Diego Costaand Nolito on the road.Nacho Monreal played a quick pass to Nolito on left wing for Spain’s second in the 63rd minute, which puts La Furia Roja back atop Group G on seven points. The Manchester City attacker made a brilliant move to cut back against a defender, before slotting his effort past goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.Following a crucial mistake from the Albania backline, Diego Costa gave the Spaniards the advantage after halftime when David Silva played a simple ball across the center of the box for the Chelsea striker to smash home.

Elsewhere around Europe:

Group D

Wales 1-1 Georgia

Moldova 1-3 Republic of Ireland

Serbia 3-2 Austria

Group G

Israel 2-1 Liechtenstein

Group I

Iceland 2-0 Turkey

Finland 0-1 Croatia

Ukraine 3-0 Kosovo

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