The U.S. National Team will be playing for their World Cup destiny on Thursday when they take on Germany in their final group stage match.
A win or a draw assures the Americans a spot in the last 16, but even if they fall to Germany, they could still book passage to the knockout stages.
Ahead of the match, a hype video made by Ted Harrison is garnering loads of attention. Check it out below.
Landon Donovan's U.S. national team career may continue after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the LA Galaxy forward admits that he's unlikely to represent the U.S. once the 2018 edition in Russia rolls around.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated media reporter Richard Deitsch, Donovan talked about his broadcasting prospects and his future with the U.S. National Team after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Donovan admitted that he's unsure whether he'll continue after the tournament concludes, but regardless of his national team future, he doubts that he'll play at his fourth World Cup in four years time .
“There are not many guys who play at 36 or over,” Donovan told SI.com. “I try to never say never, but at this point it is pretty unlikely that I would be a part of that team based on how my body feels and based on how good our team has been. If I am playing in four years, that means we have not progressed enough, to be quite honest. As much as I would love to be there and play in Russia, I think it is better for our national team if I am not there.”
As for a broadcasting career, Donovan told reporters last week that he was enjoying the gig with ESPN and reiterated that to Deitsch.
“Obviously I have to balance it with my real job, which is playing soccer,” said Donovan. “That takes priority now, but we have already had quite a few discussions with different people about post-career stuff. I’m not quite there yet, but it is good to know people are interested and I am hopeful that interest continues.”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane's goalscoring prowess leads to plenty of accolades and in July, he'll have an opportunity to add yet another to his sterling resume.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Keane was among the four players nominated for the Best MLS Player ESPY Award. Joining Keane on the list are Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill and Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio.
In 2013, Keane finished as a finalist for the league MVP award with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances. He's kept up his impressive scoring rate this season with seven goals and three assists in 11 games played.
Online voting for the award ends on July 16.
CARY, N.C. -- The LA Galaxy are returning to MLS play on Saturday, but it looks like they'll be doing so without a full strength Landon Donovan.
Donovan started the Galaxy's 1-0 U.S. Open Cup fourth round defeat to the Carolina RailHawks on the bench, coming on in the 55th minute as he was unable to help LA get past an organized RailHawks side. Following the game, associate head coach Dave Sarachan explained the rationale behind leaving Donovan on the bench at the outset.
“Landon has been battling a couple of little things and we thought it would be best to save him for a time we think we could get the most out of him in terms of minutes," he said. "We didn’t think he’d go 90 or 120 minutes so that’s the reason.”
Despite Sarachan's claims, Donovan assured that he will be "fine" ahead of Saturday's California Clasico match between the Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes.
Think Donovan starts against San Jose? Will he help turn the Galaxy's season around?
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LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chose not to address the media following the Galaxy's U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks instead associate head coach Dave Sarachan spoke to reporters after the loss.
His thoughts are below.
On his thoughts on the match:
SARACHAN: “When we come here it’s always a game that’s going to be a battle. Colin [Clarke] does a good job getting their guys upward. We had enough chances to win the game. When you have that many shots on goal, and chances and don’t put them away then you keep teams in it. And that team fought like crazy, kept us at a zero and they made one play, this was a one play night. It’s the way soccer is sometimes.”
On how deflating the match was, after the Galaxy was not able to find the back of the net:
SARACHAN: “Well, it’s frustrating, it’s the way I’d put it. It’s frustrating. In a competition where if you lose, you’re out. We’ve seen it a lot in soccer, where a team dominates and doesn’t win and that was the way it was tonight. It’s very deflating and frustrating. Our guys have spent and put a lot of effort into this game and it’s a quiet locker room because they are disappointed and because they put everything out there.”
On what the team’s overall goal was going into the tournament:
SARACHAN: “It’s a competition for a trophy, and anytime you have competitive athletes like we do, what we talk about is we want to win trophies. Obviously by winning this trophy, it does get you into the [CONCACAF Champions League] but you don’t shoot for that immediately you just want to continue to advance and at the end of it you win a trophy and then get the spoils at the end of that. So that’s really where we were at.”
On why the “A” team was used this year as opposed to the previous two years in U.S. Open Cup action:
SARACHAN: “Well, over the past few years we’ve played this competition with a very congested schedule, and we had other competitions. So we had to mix and match, this was the year where we had an opportunity to bring fresher guys and more of a first line guys that were able to contribute and we still have had a layoff so I think a few of our guys were rusty tonight but on paper we clearly had our strongest lineup.”
On how the team now looks ahead of the match against San Jose on Saturday:
SARACHAN: “Well we have depth this year; we’re going to have to asses guys after the trip. It’s all part of the process. I think we are going to have some sore bodies no question so we have to then see where we are at.”
On his thoughts on the play of Carolina’s goalkeeper Scott Goodwin:
SARACHAN: “Well he made, I don’t know what the stats were, but he made a lot of saves tonight. A lot were in his range. I don’t remember him being really stretched to take one out of a corner but fair play to him and not only that, it felt like an NHL hockey game. That must have been, I swear, 30 blocked shots tonight. Guys diving in front of balls, crosses picked out, so that’s a testament to the group of fighting and digging in but the goalkeeper had a good night.”
On the field and the atmosphere:
SARACHAN: I think it was outstanding except the lighting was terrible. Whether that was taken into consideration, at 7 o’clock it’s terrific; at 9 o’clockit’s not great. So if I had any complaints, or there were any complaints, is that it’s not conducive to a night game to be fair. Now, did it play into us losing? Probably not, but if you’re going to host it, you need the proper set up. But other than that I thought it was a good environment, really. The field played great.”
The U.S. National Team will not have the services of forward Jozy Altidore for a second straight match due to injury, the federation announced on Tuesday.
Altidore has been sidelined with a left hamstring injury since the early stages of the USMNT's 2-1 victory over Ghana last Monday. The 24-year-old target striker missed the U.S.' dramatic 2-2 draw with Portugal last weekend as Clint Dempsey started as a lone forward for the Americans. Although Altidore will be unable to take the field for the Americans against Germany, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is confident that he can see the field at some point soon should the Americans advance to the knockout stage.
“Jozy is recovering really well. He’s doing a tremendous job there,” Klinsmann said to reporters in Sao Paulo. “Our medical staff is on top of it. This game comes still too early for him. But we're working on him."
KLINSMANN DENYS ANY CLAIMS OF COLLUSION AHEAD OF GERMANY MATCH
Jurgen Klinsmann squashed any claims of collusion between the United States and his home nation of Germany ahead of their decisive Group G match on Thursday.
An accomplished international with Germany, Klinsmann coached Germany during the 2006 FIFA World Cup where his assistant was current German boss "Jogi" Löw which leads to calls that Klinsmann may dail up his old assistant since a draw would see both nations through to the second round.
“There’s no such call,” Klinsmann told reporters. “Jogi is doing his job, we’re good friends and I do my job. My job is to get everything done to make us into the round of 16, and that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no time right now for personal calls. It’s about business now.”
Klinsmann's fierce denial is no surprise due to the stigma that such collusion holds in German soccer culture as the German national team once famously reached an agreement with Austria to earn a 1-0 victory which allowed both teams to advance in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
"You’re talking about a game that is decades away in its own part of German history and is not part of the United States,” Klinsmann said, showing remarkable restraint as the point was, indeed, belabored. “The United States is known for giving everything they have in every single game. If you look in the past, we make things happen. Otherwise Mexico wouldn’t be here.”
The LA Galaxy are on the ground in the Research Triangle.
LA will take on the Carolina RailHawks at 4:00 p.m. PT at Koka Booth Field in Cary, North Carolina in Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup fifth round match up. The Galaxy have been bounced from the competition for the last two years by the RailHawks, but LA are confident that this particular match will be a different story as stars Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have all revealed that they will travel for the fixture.
If LA win, they'll host the winner of the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas match on either July 8 or July 9 at StubHub Center.
After two years of being hassled about poor showings in the Open Cup, the Galaxy insist that they're ready for a title challenge.
"This is the short way to get back to CONCACAF," said Marcelo Sarvas last week. " If we beat them than we are in the quarterfinal, so we want to go there and get a win."
In addition to the "rivalry" that the two teams have developed over the past two years, another interesting subplot is developing as the RailHawks announced via Twitter on Monday evening that former MLS goalkeeper William Hesmer will "un-retire" to suit up for the club against the Galaxy. Hesmer was selected by LA in the 2013 MLS Re-Entry Draft, but was not signed by the club.
— Hipólito Gamboa (@poligol21) June 23, 2014
Defeat the Carolina RailHawks on Tuesday and the LA Galaxy will host a U.S. Open Cup match at StubHub Center for the first time since 2011.
If the Galaxy reach the quarterfinals, they'll face the winner of Tuesday's FC Dallas match against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Galaxy's potential quarterfinal match will take place on either July 8 or July 9.
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The United States had their hearts broken with a crushing last-minute 2-2 draw against Portugal on Sunday, but hopes are still alive for the U.S. to advance to the Round of 16.
Below are the scenarios for the U.S. to advance.
1) The U.S. advance with a win or a draw against Germany
2) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and a draw between Portugal and Ghana.
3) The U.S. advance with a loss to Germany and by winning a tiebreaker against the winner of Portugal and Ghana.
Should the U.S. fall to Germany, Ghana would qualify in their place if they win by two goals or more. If the U.S. loses by one goal, the Black Stars need two goals or a high-scoring one goal victory. Meanwhile, Portugal must erase a goal-difference of five to bypass the Americans.
Omar Gonzalez made his World Cup debut, but he could not help the U.S. preserve the victory needed to put themselves through to the Round of 16 after two matches as the U.S. drew Portugal 2-2.
Gonzalez entered the match for Graham Zusi in the first minute of second half stoppage time with the U.S. ahead 2-1, but the Portuguese leveled four minutes later. The decisive goal came in the fifth minute of stoppage when Cristiano Ronaldo found Silvestre Varela who beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard for the game-tying strike.
The fact that Gonzalez came into the match could bode well for his prospects heading into the decisive group stage match against Germany as center back Geoff Cameron was beat on both Portuguese goals. With Germany expected to press the Americans early and often, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann may opt for a change of pace heading into the final group stage match.
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