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USMNT to face Jamaica in CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on Wednesday

CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – Fresh off a third straight clean sheet in its 2-0 Semifinal win against Costa Rica, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads to the Bay Area in search of its sixth confederation championship when it faces Jamaica in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on Wednesday, July 26. Coverage from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., begins at 9:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and Univision Deportes Network.

U.SROSTER BY POSITION (ClubCaps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 3/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 117/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 43/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 44/3), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 5/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 13/10), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 3/1), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 3/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 10/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 52/5)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 13/1), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 10/2), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 135/17), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 20/3), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 11/0), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; 19/1), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union; 5/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 36/6)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 25/3),Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 106/38), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC; 136/57), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 20/4)

U.S. MNT EARNS 2-0 SEMIFINAL WIN VS. COSTA RICA ON HISTORIC NIGHT IN DALLAS
Large spells of possession saw the U.S. MNT dominate its Semifinal clash with Costa Rica, but it took 72 minutes for the side to break through when substitute Clint Dempsey provided a highlight reel pass to Jozy Altidore to give the USA the ice breaker. Just 10 minutes later, Dempsey cleverly curled his free kick around the Costa Rica wall to tally his 57 th career goal and tie Landon Donovan for the U.S. MNT’s all-time goal-scoring lead.

Jordan Morris nearly gave the U.S. a dream start when he smacked his effort off the right post just 12 seconds into the match, while goalkeeper Tim Howard kept the U.S. in the match with two crucial saves on both sides of halftime to aid in the USA’s 2-0 win . The veteran net minder combined with the U.S. back line for its third-straight clean sheet and his 42nd career shutout.

With the win, the U.S. MNT also became the first team to earn a place in 10 CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals.

JAMAICA ARRIVES IN SECOND-STRAIGHT FINAL, SETTING UP 2015 REMATCH
Though Mexico was favored in Sunday’s second Semifinal, it was Jamaica that earned the victory, hanging tough before using New York Red Bulls’ defender Kemar Lawrence’s 88th minute free kick to collect a 1-0 victory against El Trí and a place in its second-straight Gold Cup Final. The win makes Jamaica the first nation outside the USA and Mexico to earn a place in back-to-back Finals, and sets up a rematch of the 2015 Semifinal when The Reggae Boyz utilized goals from Darren Mattocks and Giles Barnes to defeat the USA 2-1 in Atlanta.

The U.S. will now look to exact some revenge for that defeat as it seeks its sixth confederation championship in Wednesday’s Final at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

DEMPSEY TIES DONOVAN’S RECORD IN LONE STAR STATE
Not only did Dempsey play a crucial role in the U.S. MNT’s Semifinal win, it came in storybook fashion. Dempsey hit home the historic strike in suburban Dallas , where he used to travel three hours each way to train and play with elite youth club, Dallas Texans.

Dempsey had 27 family members and friends in attendance at the match Saturday to witness him become the USA’s joint leading scorer, doing so in his 136th cap, 19 matches less than Donovan tallied his 57 th goal.

Additionally, Dempsey’s assist on Jozy Altidore’s opening goal was his second in as many matches and took his career total to 20, pushing him past Claudio Reyna into sole possession of third on the MNT’s all-time list.

A RECORD TENTH CONCACAF GOLD CUP FINAL
With the win on Saturday night, the U.S. MNT became the first team to reach 10 different CONCACAF Gold Cup Finals. The USA and rival Mexico have dominated the competition since the first event in 1991, combining for 12 of 13 championships and 19 Finals appearances. Only seven other nations – and five from CONCACAF – have ever made it a Gold Cup Final.

Team Finals Appearances Years
USA 10 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017
Mexico 8 1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015
Jamaica 2 2015, 2017
Brazil 2 1996, 2003
Panama 2 2005, 2013
Honduras 1 1991
Canada 1 2000
Colombia 1 2000
Costa Rica 1 2002

ARENA CONTINUES SUCCESSFUL START TO SECOND TENURE
Having already set a new mark for longest undefeated streak at the start of a U.S. MNT head coaching tenure, the team extended its record to 13 matches unbeaten since Bruce Arena returned to the post he previous held from 1998-2006. The USA has gone 8-0-5 during Arena’s second tenure, keeping seven clean sheets while outscoring opponents 25-7.

NINE DIFFERENT PLAYERS FIND THE BACK OF THE NET
With 11 goals in five matches, the USA leads all teams in scoring at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The MNT has received its scoring punch from all over the field, with nine different players finding the back of the net to push the team to Wednesday’s Final. Interestingly, that number isn’t even a record, as the U.S. utilized goals from 10 different players during the 2009 tournament. The current total is tied with 2013 for second-most all-time at the Gold Cup.

TIM HOWARD SAVES ABOUT QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
One of the six roster additions following the Group Stage, U.S. MNT goalkeeper Tim Howard has combined with the back line to keep two clean sheets since joining up with the squad. While Howard has been called into action for only three saves in those matches, each have been vital, coming when the U.S. was sitting 0-0 with both El Salvador and Costa Rica.

The veteran netminder spoke at length about how he’s honed going from long periods of inactivity into making saves in big moments .

GOLD CUP HISTORY VS. JAMAICA
Since first meeting in 1988, the U.S. Men’s National Team holds an impressive 14-2-8 overall record in 24 matches against Jamaica, going 11-1-3 on U.S. soil and 3-1-0 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Those two blemishes of course came at the 2015 Gold Cup semifinal, when Jamaica upset the USA 2-1 to earn its first appearance in the tournament Final.

USA-Jamaica All-Time Gold Cup Results

Date

Result

U.S. Goal Scorers

Round

July 10, 1993 1-0 W Wynalda Group Stage
July 16, 2005 3-1 W Beasley (2), Wolff Quarterfinal
June 19, 2011 2-0 W J. Jones, Dempsey Quarterfinal
July 22, 2015 1-2 L Bradley Semifinal

UTILIZING ROSTER DEPTH
Setting out to test his full roster at the tournament, Arena started 22 different players during the Group Stage. The U.S. head coach continued to utilize nearly his entire roster when he handed starts to additions Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Darlington Nagbe in the Quarterfinal win against El Salvador.

In total, 27 of the 29 players who have been on the roster have started one of the USA’s four Gold Cup matches, with only Sean Johnson (Group Stage goalkeeper) and Jesse Gonzalez (Knockout Round addition) yet to appear in the tournament.

“I think one thing we’ve benefited from in the tournament was that we had been able to look at a lot of players and see how they fit in in the big picture, and if there’s anything I get out of the Gold Cup it’s going to be that,” Arena said.

HOW THEY GOT HERE
A quick look at the U.S. MNT’s road to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final:

2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Results and Goal Scorers

Date

Result

Goal Scorers

Round

July 8, 2017 1-1 D vs. Panama Dwyer Group Stage
July 12, 2017 3-2 W vs. Martinique Morris (2), O. Gonzalez Group Stage
July 15, 2017 3-0 W vs. Nicaragua Corona, Rowe, Miazga Group Stage
July 19, 2017 2-0 W vs. El Salvador O. Gonzalez, Lichaj Quarterfinal
July 22, 2017 2-0 W vs. Costa Rica Altidore, Dempsey Semifinal

KNOCKOUT ROUND FORMAT CHANGES
CONCACAF has implemented a few changes for this year’s Knockout Round. If Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches are tied at the end of 90 minutes, the games will bypass the normal 30 minutes of extra time and move straight to penalty kicks. Extra time will only be played in the Final if teams are tied at the end of 90 minutes. In that case, teams will also be allowed a fourth substitution to be used during the additional 30 minutes. These changes mirror those that were implemented during last summer’s Copa America Centenario.

A PROVING GROUND
U.S. MNT players have long used the confederation championship as an extended audition for a place at the FIFA World Cup. Dating back to 1993, 18 players with 10 or less caps have made the jump from the most recent Gold Cup roster onto a FIFA World Cup roster (see table below). Most recently, current MNT center back Matt Besler utilized the USA’s run to the 2013 championship to make his way onto the 2014 roster in Brazil .

U . S MNT Players From Gold Cup to World Cup

1993 Gold Cup/1994 World Cup Brad Friedel, Cle Kooiman, Roy Wegerle
1998 Gold Cup/1998 World Cup Frankie Hejduk, Juergen Sommer
2002 Gold Cup/2002 World Cup DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni
2005 Gold Cup/2006 World Cup Jimmy Conrad, Clint Dempsey, Marcus Hahnemann, Oguchi Onyewu
2009 Gold Cup/2010 World Cup Clarence Goodson, Stuart Holden
2013 Gold Cup/2014 World Cup Matt Besler, Mix Diskerud, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski

WHAT IS THE CONCACAF GOLD CUP ? 
Held every two years, the Gold Cup is the regional championship for CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football. Along with lifting a trophy and earning supremacy in the confederation, the winner of the Gold Cup earns a place in the CONCACAF Cup, a one-game playoff that determines the region’s representative at the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Should the same team win both in 2017 and 2019, they will automatically earn a place in the tournament.

Placed in Group B, the U.S. opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Panama on July 8 in Nashville and defeated Martinique 3-2 on July 12 in Tampa. The team concludes the Group Stage with its first-ever meeting against Nicaragua on July 15 in Cleveland. The top two teams in each of the three groups automatically advance to the Quarterfinals and will be joined there by the two best third-place finishers.

USA HISTORY IN THE GOLD CUP
The United States has won five editions of the tournament, beginning with the inaugural 1991 Gold Cup when the team defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Semifinal before downing Honduras on penalty kicks in the Championship. Current U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena is one of two managers to win the tournament twice, lead the side to its second and third titles in 2002 and 2005 respectively and the team followed those up with wins in 2007 and 2013. In 14 editions of the tournament has played in the Semifinal on 13 occasions and advanced to the Final 10 times.

EUROPEAN VACATION
The regular European-based contingent for the MNT is in the midst of a much-needed break between now and the World Cup next summer. Having completed their club seasons in May, the group went straight into camp for the World Cup Qualifiers in June. After a 14-day camp preparing for the rigors of altitude, the U.S. emerged with four points from two games including a huge draw away to Mexico. Now two weeks into holidays, they begin to return to preseason shortly with the hopes of earning regular playing time for the upcoming campaign.

USA ROSTER NOTES :

  • The U.S. is 8-0-5 since Bruce Arena returned as head coach. The 13-match unbeaten run is a team record at the start of a head coaching tenure.
  • Arena has handed starts to 27 of 29 players during through the first four games of the tournament.
  • With his 82nd minute free kick vs. Costa Rica, Clint Dempsey recorded his 57thinternational goal, tying him with Landon Donovan as the U.S. MNT’s joint all-time leading goal scorers.
  • Dempsey hit 57 goals in 136 caps, 19 less than when Donovan reached the mark in 2013.
  • With three appearances in the Gold Cup Final (2005, 2007 and 2011), Dempsey leads the list of seven U.S. players that have previously taken part in the tournament’s championship match: Tim Howard (2; 2007, 2011), Matt Besler (2013), Michael Bradley (2011), Joe Corona (2013), Omar Gonzalez (2013) and Eric Lichaj (2011).
  • The U.S. has seen its 11 goals tallied by nine different players, more than any team in the tournament.
  • Dempsey tallied his 20th career assist on Altidore’s goal vs. Costa Rica, moving him past Claudio Reyna and into sole possession of third all-time for the U.S. MNT. He sits just two back of second-place Michael Bradley.
  • Dempsey’s 13 all-time Gold Cup goals also rank him second behind Donovan, who tallied 18 in the competition.
  • Goals have come from Jordan Morris (2), Omar Gonzalez (2), Jozy Altidore, Joe Corona, Clint Dempsey, Dom Dwyer, Eric Lichaj, Matt Miazga and Kelyn Rowe.
  • With two goals each, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey lead the list of five U.S. MNT players to have previously scored against Jamaica. Michael Bradley, Jordan Morris and Graham Zusi have also found the back of the net vs. the Reggae Boyz.
  • Dempsey made his U.S. MNT debut in a 1-1 World Cup Qualifying draw vs. Jamaica on Nov. 17, 2004 in Columbus.
  • Eight players were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, Tim Howard and Graham Zusi.
  • A majority of the roster comes from Major League Soccer, with 17 players representing 11 clubs.
  • Six players come from clubs outside of M.L.S., with four from Mexico and two from England.
  • Twelve players have previously been part of a Gold Cup roster: Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Clint Dempsey, Omar Gonzalez, Bill Hamid, Tim Howard, Eric Lichaj, Gyasi Zardes, Graham Zusi
  • Ten players are also alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Acosta, Agudelo, Arriola, Corona, Jesse Gonzalez, Hamid, Miazga, Morris, Rowe and Zardes.

U.SMNT IN THE GOLD CUP

  • Beginning with the inaugural title in 1991, the U.S. has lifted the Gold Cup on five occasions. Current MNT head coach Bruce Arena guided the side to the 2002 and 2005 championships, while the team also went on to win in 2007 and 2015.
  • Arena is one of only two managers to win the Gold Cup twice. Bora Milutinovic led the U.S. to the 1991 title before managing Mexico to championship in 1996.
  • The USA has more wins in the CONCACAF Gold Cup than any other nation, going 55-8-9 all-time.
  • The U.S. has gone 32-7-5 during the tournament’s Knockout Round.
  • With a 17-1-4 record in the Gold Cup, Arena is also the winningest head coach all-time in the competition.
  • The U.S. manager is 7-1-3 in the Knockout Round and 15-0-4 overall vs. CONCACAF opposition in the tournament.
  • The MNT has advanced to the Final on 10 occasions: 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017.
  • The USA has made it to the Semifinals in 13 out of 14 tournaments, missing out only in 2000.

USA  JAMAICA NOTES

  • The MNT is 14-2-8 all-time against The Reggae Boyz and 11-1-3 on U.S. soil.
  • The USA is 3-1-0 against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, with the lone blemish coming in the 2015 Semifinal, a 2-1 defeat in Atlanta.
  • The U.S. defeated Jamaica 1-0 on Feb. 5 in Chattanooga, with forward Jordan Morris scoring the game-winner in the 58th minute.
  • U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena holds a 5-0-5 all-time record against Jamaica.

JAMAICA ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union/USA); Damion Hyatt (Arnett Gardens FC); Dwayne Miller (Valsta Syrianska IK/SWE)

DEFENDERS (9): Sergio Campbell (Pittsburgh Riverhounds/USA); Oniel Fisher (Seattle Sounders FC/USA); Shaun Francis (Montreal Impact/CAN), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View FC); Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls/USA); Damion Lowe (Tampa Bay Rowdies/USA); Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers/USA); Ladale Richie (Montego Bay United FC); Jermaine Taylor (Minnesota United FC/USA)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Michael Binns (Portmore United FC); Ewan Grandison (Portmore United FC); Kevon Lambert (FK Vojvodina/SRB); Ricardo Morris (Portmore United FC); Je-Vaughn Watson (New England Revolution/USA)

FORWARDS (6): Cory Burke (Bethlehem Steel FC/USA); Owayne Gordon (Montego Bay United FC); Jermaine Johnson (Tivoli Gardens FC); Darren Mattocks (Portland Timbers/USA); Shamar Nicholson (Boys’ Town FC); Romario Williams (Charleston Battery/USA)

JAMAICA NOTES

  • Similar to Bruce Arena with the U.S. MNT, Jamaica head coach Theodore Whitmore is in his second stint leading the Reggae Boyz. He first managed Jamaica from 2009-2013, leading the side through the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups and into the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • Capped 120 times, Whitmore was also part of the Jamaica side that advanced to the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the only Reggae Boyz team to do so.
  • Jamaica finished second in Group C, defeating Curaçao 2-0 (July 9), drawing Mexico 0-0 (July 13) and El Salvador 1-1 (July 16). In the Quarterfinals, they defeated Canada 2-1 (July 20) before upsetting Mexico 1-0 in Sunday’s Semifinal.
  • Darren Mattocks (Portland Timbers) and Romario Williams (Charleston Battery) each lead the Reggae Boyz with two goals in the tournament. They’ve also received single strikes from defenders Shaun Francis (Montreal Impact) and Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls).
  • With their Semifinal win, Jamaica became the first team outside of the USA and Mexico to advance to two consecutive Gold Cup Semifinals.
  • Fourteen players on the roster appeared in the last meeting between the two sides: Andre Blake, Damion Lowe, Alvas Powell, Sergio Campbell, Ladale Richie, Oniel Fisher, Ewan Grandison, Rosario Harriott, Romario Williams, Cory Burke, Shamar Nicholson, Michael Binns, Je-Vaughn Watson and Owayne Gordon.
  • Nine players are based domestically, while eight play in MLS and four more feature in the Second Division United Soccer League. Jamaica also has one player in Sweden and Serbia, respectively.
  • There are lots of club teammate connections between the sides. U.S. midfielder Darlington Nagbe plays with Darren Mattocks and Alvas Powell at Portland Timbers, Chris Pontius lines up with goalkeeper Andre Blake at the Philadelphia Union, tandem forwards Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris play alongside Oniel Fisher at Seattle Sounders FC, while Juan Agudelo is teammates with Je-Vaughn Watson at the New England Revolution.

LAST TIME OUT VS. JAMAICA:

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Jamaica
Date: Feb. 3, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 17,903
Weather: 38 degrees; mostly clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F 
USA                          0 1 1 
JAM                          0 0 0

USA – Jordan Morris (Benny Feilhaber) 58th minute

Lineups: 
USA: 12-Luis Robles (22-David Bingham, 46); 19-Graham Zusi (capt.) (3-Brad Evans, 68), 15-Steve Birnbaum,21-Walker Zimmerman, 14-Jorge Villafaña (7-DaMarcus Beasley, 86); 20-Dax McCarty (6-Darlington Nagbe, 63); 23-Chris Pontius (11-Alejandro Bedoya, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (4-Michael Bradley, 62), 18-Sebastian Lletget; 8-Jordan Morris, 9-Juan Agudelo
Subs not used: 1-Nick Rimando, 2-Greg Garza, 5-Chad Marshall, 17-Jozy Altidore 
Head coach: Bruce Arena

JAM: 1-Andre Blake (23-Ryan Thompson, 46); 3-Damion Lowe, 5-Alvas Powell, 6-Sergio Campbell (4-Ladale Richie, 61), 8-Oniel Fisher, 9-Ewan Grandison, (2-Rosario Harriott, 78), 10-Romario Williams (16-Jourdain Fletcher, 83), 11-Cory Burke (14-Shamar Nicholson, 83), 12-Michael Binns, 15-Je-Vaughn Watson, 18-Owayne Gordon (7-Omar Holness, 56)
Subs not used: 17-Kevon Lambert, 19-Dwayne Ambusley 
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore

Stats Summary: USA / JAM 
Shots: 10 / 4
Shots on Goal: 3 / 0
Saves: 0 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 17 / 14
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
JAM – Ewan Grandison (caution) 10th minute

Officials: 
Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Williamson (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Alejandro Camarena (PAN)
4th Official: Jose Kellys (PAN)

Man of the Match: Jordan Morris