US National Team
Omar Gonzalez serves as late substitute as U.S. defeat Nigeria 2-1 in final World Cup Send-Off match
The United States attack came alive in a major way on Saturday thanks to a brace from Jozy Altidore as the Americans earned a 2-1 victory over Nigeria helping the U.S. compile a perfect 3-0-0 record in their "Send-Off Series."
Altidore scored in both halves with a tap-in to put the Americans ahead in the 32nd minute before tallying a confident strike in the 68th minute to seal the victory. The goals ended a six-month scoring drought for Altidore who had last scored for his club side Sunderland back in December 2013.
Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez checked in for Altidore in the 80th minute and just moments after he checked in, Nigerian striker Victor Moses was awarded a penalty after a defensive breakdown forced American center back Matt Besler to bring down the forward in the penalty area. Moses slotted the penalty past American goalkeeper Tim Howard to spark a Nigerian rally, but the U.S. held on for the victory.
The U.S. will head to Brazil in the coming days and play their final World Cup tuneup against Belgium in a closed-door scrimmage on June 12 in Sao Paulo. Klinsmann's group will open Group G play on June 16 against Ghana in Natal. Nigeria are in Group F alongside Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina and tournament favorite Argentina. The Super Eagles open the tournament on June 16 against Iran in Curitiba.
Pleased by the result? Upset that Gonzalez did not start for a third straight match for the USMNT?
Share your thoughts below.
In the latest trailer of ESPN's "Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil," USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann tells ESPN's Roger Bennett about the formation of his 23-man squad and the controversial decision to drop longtime international Landon Donovan.
Check it out below.
SAN FRANCISCO – Once again, it was the man in the No. 10 shirt that played the hero for the U.S. National Team.
Only this time it wasn’t Landon Donovan, it was bold Norwegian-American midfielder Mix Diskerud who proved decisive in the Americans 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
In his first match donning the No. 10—a decision that U.S. Soccer insists is not finalized—Diskerud had an immediate impact after coming off the bench after the our mark. In the 75th minute, the midfielder found himself at the right place at the right time as he pounced on a rebound created by a Michael Bradley shot and gave the Americans their first goal in their 2-0 win.
Such clutch scoring has been a hallmark of Donovan’s career and Diskerud offered the USMNT a glimpse of life without the USMNT’s all-time leading goal scorer in the first match of their “Send-Off Series” prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Although Diskerud knows that the decision for him to don the No. 10 in Brazil is not set, the midfielder is relishing the chance to wear the number.
“It’s an honor for me,” Diskerud told reporters. “If you look back at all the players who’ve been wearing No. 10 – Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan – so for me, I’m just sort of borrowing it. I’m for sure going to play with Landon again, so he’ll get it back then. No. 10 is just a number, but I understand that a lot of people see it as more than that.
“But I don’t play for the number on the back,” he added. ‘I play for the U.S. crest on my front chest.”
SAN FRANCISCO— Omar Gonzalez will look to make his case to be one of the two starting center backs for the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Tuesday’s friendly against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park.
Gonzalez has returned to training with the U.S. after suffering a knee injury against the Colorado Rapids in May, and was named to the 23-man squad for Brazil last Thursday. Whether or not he’ll start for the Americans is a point of contention, however, as he’ll face stiff competition from Geoff Cameron and John Anthony Brooks for his spot alongside Matt Besler in the USMNT backline.
As part of the continuing World Cup coverage on LAGalaxy.com, I’ll be covering Tuesday’s friendly from San Francisco and will provide reaction from Gonzalez following the match.
Do you believe that Gonzalez will get on the field against Azerbaijan?
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Former U.S. National Team boss Bruce Arena gives coaches' perspective to cutting players ahead of World Cup
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s omission from the U.S. World Cup roster is still sending shockwaves through the American soccer universe.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, I get the Galaxy’s reaction to Landon Donovan’s ouster from the U.S. National Team’s World Cup squad.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who led the U.S. National Team to the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups provided some insight to reporters on Friday about the coaches’ perspective when making cuts for a World Cup.
“When coaches make decisions, you’ve got to support those decisions unless they’re proved otherwise. The last thing that I’m going to be is a Monday morning quarterback like everyone else in this world,” said Arena. “These are hard decisions, I’m sure that Jurgen has his reasons for it and you’ve got to respect that. It’s never easy. If it was my decision, he’d be on the team, but it’s not my decision. I have to leave at that. Only time tells if these things make sense or don’t make sense.
“In all fairness, I’m going to tell you from the coaches’ perspective, I’m not going to listen to one fan about how the team should play or you people [reporters]. Not to disrespect, but it’s our job to make those decisions,” he added. “You make those decisions and you live with them. That’s the decision that he made. He has his reasons and that’s in his realm of responsibility about how he wants to articulate that and move his team forward.”
It was no surprise that Landon Donovan's exclusion from the U.S. National Team's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the hottest topic at Friday's press conference on the campus at Stanford University.
During the nearly 30 minute long press conference, Klinsmann stated that he felt that other players were a "step ahead" of Donovan at the time being but was quick to mention that the Galaxy forward is eligible to come in as an injury replacement by virtue of the stand-by list. Klinsmann also addressed the incendiary tweet by his son Jonathan which directed at the Galaxy forward.
Donovan will be available for Sunday's LA Galaxy match against the Philadelphia Union according to LA head coach Bruce Arena.
Check out Klinsmann's press conference below.
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan will be available for the LA Galaxy for Sunday’s match against the Philadelphia Union.
The message was loud and clear from LA head coach Bruce Arena who addressed the media a day after Donovan’s shock exclusion from the U.S. World Cup squad. Arena told reporters that he was “disappointed” and “somewhat surprised” by the move to drop Donovan but was quick to declare that he’ll be available for the match on Sunday.
“I expect Landon to be available on Sunday,” said Arena. “He’s doing well given the circumstances. … I would think that he’ll be available to play on Sunday for sure.”
Thoughts on Donovan playing?
CARSON, Calif. — The disappointment is understandable for LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.
On Thursday, the Galaxy stalwart who has starred in three World Cups with the U.S. National Team was not named to the Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man U.S. roster for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The squad will include his Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez who will be making his first ever trip to the world’s biggest stage.
Donovan was named as an alternate along with the rest of the seven players cut for the squad. Hours after the announcement, the forward who has scored five of his 57 U.S. National Team goals at the World Cup issued a statement via his official Facebook page.
“It has been an honor and privilege to have represented the US National Team in three World Cups. I was looking forward to playing in Brazil and, as you can imagine, I am very disappointed with today’s decision,” Donovan said in a release on Facebook. “Regardless, I will be cheering on my friends and teammates this summer, and I remain committed to helping grow soccer in the US in the years to come.”
Is Landon Donovan's career with the U.S. National Team over? Who knows.But if it is, then what a ride that it has been.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, I look back at Donovan's accomplishments with the USMNT.
After Thursday's shocking news, take a look at all 57 goals and 58 assists that Donovan tallied in a U.S. shirt.
Check it out below.
Jurgen Klinsmann on omitting Landon Donovan from the World Cup: "One of the toughest decisions" of his coaching career
Landon Donovan is not heading to Brazil and in an interview with U.S. Soccer, Jurgen Klinsmann discusses Landon Donovan's omission.
Klinsmann calls the omission one of the "toughest decisions" of his coaching career and admits that Donovan took the news "professionally" but was "crushed" by the news.
Check out the video below and leave your thoughts below.