U.S. Men’s National Team set for pivotal match vs. Antigua & Barbuda in FIFA World Cup qualifying
The U.S. Men’s National Team is shooting for six points from two games, and it starts by facing Antigua & Barbuda at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 12, in the Semifinal Round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT. Four days later at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the USA closes out the Group A play against Guatemala at sold-out LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Coverage on ESPN2 begins at 5:30 p.m., and the match will also be shown live on WatchESPN and Telefutura.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – DETAILED ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
GROUP A STANDINGS: The U.S. (2-1-1, 7 points) is tied atop Group A with Guatemala as both teams are even in points, goal differential and goals scored. Jamaica also has seven points, but sits in third place because of a lower goal differential. With the three nations tied on points and jockeying for the top two spots, no team will be able to secure a place in the Final Round until the last group matches are played on Oct. 16.
GROUP A STANDINGS
|Antigua & Barbuda||4||0||3||1||2||7||-5||1|
Group A Schedule
USA 3, Antigua & Barbuda 1
Jamaica 2, Guatemala 1
USA 1, Guatemala 1
Antigua & Barbuda 0, Jamaica 0
Jamaica 2, USA 1
Guatemala 3, Antigua & Barbuda 1
USA 1, Jamaica 0
Guatemala 1, Antigua & Barbuda 0
USA at Antigua & Barbuda
Jamaica at Guatemala
Guatemala at USA
Antigua & Barbuda at Jamaica
CONCACAF SEMIFINAL ROUND: GROUP B AND C
The Semifinal Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying for CONCACAF consists of three groups of four teams each, comprised of the top six seeds (USA, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba) being split into three groups and joined by six previous group winners from the second round (Panama, Canada, El Salvador, Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, Guatemala). The top two teams from each group advance to the Final Round, with that stage to be played from February through October 2013. The top three teams automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth-place team would then play a two-game playoff against the champion of the Oceania region to determine the other World Cup-bound team.
Among the rest of the CONCACAF field, Mexico has won Group B with a 4-0-0 record and 12 points, most recently defeating Costa Rica 1-0 on Sept. 11. Panama moved into first place in Group C with a 3-1-0 record and nine points, two points ahead of both Honduras and Canada.
U.S. MNT 2012 SCHEDULE
|Date||Opponent||Result/Time (ET)||U.S. goalscorers/TV||Venue|
|Jan. 21||Venezuela||1-0 W||Ricardo Clark||Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.|
|Jan. 25||Panama||1-0 W||Graham Zusi||Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama|
|Feb. 29||Italy||1-0 W||Clint Dempsey||Stadio Luigi Ferraris; Genoa|
|May 26||Scotland||5-1 W||L. Donovan (3), M. Bradley, J. Jones||EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.|
|May 30||Brazil||1-4 L||Herculez Gomez||FedExField; Landover, Md.|
|June 3||Canada||0-0 T||—||BMO Field; Toronto, Canada|
|June 8||Antigua & Barbuda*||3-1 W||Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez||Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.|
|June 12||Guatemala*||1-1 T||Clint Dempsey||Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores; Guatemala City|
|Aug. 15||Mexico||1-0 W||Michael Orozco Fiscal||Estadio Azteca; Mexico City, Mexico|
|Sept. 7||Jamaica*||1-2 L||Clint Dempsey||National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica|
|Sept. 11||Jamaica*||1-0 W||Herculez Gomez||Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio|
|Oct. 12||Antigua & Barbuda*||7 p.m.||beIN SPORT||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium; North Sound, Antigua|
|Oct. 16||Guatemala*||7 p.m.||ESPN2/WatchESPN/Univision family||LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.|
*2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
- Landon Donovan, Brek Shea and Edgar Castillo, who were originally named to the 24-player roster, have been ruled out of the World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala. Donovan has a knee injury and Shea an abdominal strain, both suffered prior to joining camp in Miami. Castillo will miss the matches with a foot injury following an MRI evaluation earlier Wednesday. No replacements have been named, leaving the U.S. travel roster at 21 players.
- Fabian Johnson has been ruled out for Friday’s game because of a recent bout with the flu. Johnson will join the team in Kansas City, Kan., to prepare for Tuesday’s match against Guatemala. In the USA’s 3-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda in the open match of the Semifinal Round of qualifying, the U.S. faced a similar situation at left back and deployed Jose Torres, who earned his first cap for the U.S. Men’s National Team in that position in 2008.
- Clint Dempsey has scored in three of four World Cup qualifiers in this round, with two of the goals coming on the road. Herculez Gomez has scored two goals, including the game-winner against Jamaica on Sept. 11 in Columbus.
- Dempsey now has eight career goals in World Cup Qualifying, good for a tie for fourth place all-time on the U.S. list with Eddie Johnson.
- Michael Bradley returns to the fold after recovering from a muscle injury that sidelined him for four weeks and forced him to miss the previous two qualifiers against Jamaica.
- Five players have appeared in all four World Cup Qualifiers in this round: Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Gomez, Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones.
- Jones leads all U.S. players in games played (10) and minutes (877) in 2012.
- Howard sits in second place all-time for victories among U.S. goalkeepers (33) and third in shutouts (29). He has nine clean sheets in 20 World Cup Qualifying appearances.
- Brad Guzan brings an additional three shutouts in five matches played.
- Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi is in first place in assists (15) in Major League Soccer this season, along with Landon Donovan.
- Leagues from eight different countries are represented on the U.S. roster. MLS contributes the most with seven players called into Miami.
- Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson and Anderlecht midfielder Sacha Kljestan join the squad for these next two qualifiers and are no strangers to the national team. Johnson, who has 14 goals in MLS this season, has eight career goals in World Cup Qualifying. Kljestan has 34 career caps and has earned two under Klinsmann against Costa Rica on Sept. 2, 2011, and against Italy on Feb. 29 earlier this year.
- With his appearance in the World Cup qualifier against Jamaica on Sept. 11, Danny Williams officially became tied to U.S. Soccer.
- Five players on the roster are currently involved in European competition. Jones (Schalke), Kljestan (Anderlecht) and Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland) are in the Champions League, while Cherundolo (Hannover) and Dempsey (Tottenham) are in the Europa League.
USA vs. ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
- The U.S. has faced the island nation of Antigua & Barbuda only one other time, a 3-1 victory to open the Semifinal Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on June 8 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
- Clint Dempsey’s 44th-minute penalty kick proved to be the game-winner as the USA went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
- U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra tied the all-time scoring mark for USA defenders with his 13th career goal, matching the mark set by National Soccer Hall of Famer Marcelo Balboa.
- U.S. forward Herculez Gomez provided an insurance goal in the 72nd minute, about seven minutes after Antigua’s Peter Byers tallied his team’s lone goal.
- Five U.S. players are carrying yellow cards heading into Friday’s match against Antigua & Barbuda: Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones and Graham Zusi. Their next caution will result in a one-match suspension.
- Two Antigua players are serving a one-game suspension for Friday’s game. Antigua’s Ranja Christian and Lawson Robinson were issued yellow cards in their previous two matches against Guatemala on Sept. 7 and 11.
- Two Antigua & Barbuda players are currently carrying yellow cards: Randolph Burton and Peter Byers.
ON THE ROAD AGAINST CONCACAF ISLAND NATIONS
- The U.S. MNT is 18-11-11 all-time on the road against CONCACAF island nations. This Friday’s match will be the USA’s first road match against Antigua & Barbuda.
- The USA’s road breakdown against CONCACAF island nations are as follows: Barbados (2-0-0), Bermuda (3-2-0), Cuba (1-1-0), Grenada (1-0-0), Haiti (4-5-3), Jamaica (2-1-5), Netherlands Antilles (0-0-1), Trinidad & Tobago (5-2-2).
LAST-DAY QUALIFYING MOMENT
- With three teams tied in points in Group A (USA, Guatemala, Jamaica), it is guaranteed that this year’s qualifying will come down to the final day of the semifinal stage. The situation is reminiscent of the U.S. needing to win its final match during the Semifinal Round of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
- In that stage in in 2000, the U.S. overcame a slow start (draw in Guatemala and a 2-1 loss at Costa Rica) by posting four straight shutouts in order to take first place in Group E.
- The USA’s group fate came down to the final day, needing a win to secure advancement to the Final Round. The U.S. suffered through 63 minutes of scoreless before exploding for four goals to secure a 4-0 win at Barbados on Nov. 15, 2000. The U.S. moved to the top of the group with a 3-1-2 record and 11 points, just edging out Costa Rica (3-2-1, 10 points) and Guatemala (3-2-1, 10 points).
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
- Clint Dempsey has the two fastest goals in World Cup qualifying history for the United States. His goal 35 seconds in against Jamaica on Sept. 7 supplanted his own record of 53 seconds that he set in the 8-0 win against Barbados on June 15, 2008, at The Home Depot Center.
- Dempsey, who has 28 career goals, is now two behind third-place Brian McBride (30).
- Carlos Bocanegra moved into sole possession of seventh place all-time in career caps with 107 when he got the start against Jamaica on Sept. 11. He moved ahead of Eric Wynalda (106) and is now chasing Paul Caligiuri (110) for sixth place.
- Tim Howard can move into a tie for third place all-time in goalkeeper caps with his next appearance. Howard currently is fourth with 81 appearances, trailing Brad Friedel (82 caps).
- With the USA’s 1-0 victory against Jamaica on Sept. 11, the team eclipsed its 2011 win total (6) and improved to 7-2-2 on the year. This year’s two losses are the lowest total since posting an 8-1-6 record in 2004.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- 1: CONCACAF team advancing through the Semifinal Round of qualifying (Mexico)
- 1: CONCACAF team eliminated from the Semifinal Round of qualifying (Cuba)
- 3: Goals by Clint Dempsey to lead the USA in Semifinal Round qualifying
- 3: Number of matches played and victories secured by the U.S. in cricket stadiums since 2000
- 6: Shutouts by the USA in 2012 for a 5-0-1 record
- 6: One-goal decisions for the U.S. in 2012 (5-0-1)
- 8: Career goals in World Cup qualifying for Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson
- 29: Career caps in World Cup qualifying for Carlos Bocanegra, fourth on the USA’s all-time list
- 32: USA’s current FIFA ranking
- 106: Antigua & Barbuda’s current FIFA ranking
JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in the midst of his second year and first full calendar year in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Below are some of his past accomplishments as a player and coach.
- Klinsmann was named the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach on July 29, 2011, making him the 35th coach in the history of the program.
- Klinsmann’s record as head coach of the Men’s National Team is 9-6-3, and he led the team on a five-game winning streak that started with a 3-2 victory on Nov. 15, 2001, against Slovenia and was capped off by a 5-1 win against Scotland on May 26, 2012.
- Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, opponents outscored the USA by a 7-5 margin. The USA’s two victories during the Klinsmann era in 2011 include a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
- Klinsmann was named the Germany National Team manager in 2004 and guided Germany to a 20-6-8 record and a third-place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He earned Coach of the Year honors in Germany, and two years later, he took over the head coaching position at Bayern Munich.
- As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981 to 1998 with the following teams: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95, 97-98), Bayern Munich (1995-97) and Sampdoria (1997-98). During that time, he scored 226 goals in 506 appearances. He was named German Player of the Year in 1988 and 1994 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.
- Klinsmann earned 108 caps with the German National Team, scoring 47 goals. He participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998) and won the 1990 World Cup.
- Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.
IN FOCUS: ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
Antigua & Barbuda Football Federation
Founded: 1928 (Joined FIFA in 1970)
Head Coach: Tom Curtis
FIFA Ranking: 106
Highest FIFA Ranking: 83 (2011)
Best World Cup Finish: Never qualified
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA UPDATE
- Antigua’s Peter Byers is responsible for his team’s only two goals during qualifying. He had the lone Antigua goal in the 3-1 loss to the USA and posted the game’s first goal in a 3-1 loss to Guatemala on Sept. 7.
- Byers leads Antigua in career international goals (25) and career World Cup qualifying goals (10).
- Twelve of the 18 players on the roster play for Antigua Barracuda FC, which plays in the USL Pro Division.
- Sir Vivian Richards is a cricket oval that hosted eight matches during the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA’S QUALIFYING
- One CONCACAF nation has officially been eliminated from the qualifying competition (Cuba) and Antigua & Barbuda is on the brink of a similar fate, needing to win out just to keeps its group hopes alive.
- Antigua is 0-3-1 in Group A, sitting in last place and six points behind the USA, Guatemala and Jamaica.
- Antigua opened Group A qualifying with a 3-1 loss to the U.S. on June 8, followed by a scoreless draw against Jamaica on June 12 at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. Antigua then fell to Guatemala 3-1 on Sept. 7 and lost to Guatemala 1-0 on Sept. 11.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Molvin James (Antigua Barracuda FC), Keita De Castro (Antigua Barracuda FC), Brent Mohammed (Florida Institute of Technology)
DEFENDERS (6): George Dublin (Antigua Barracuda FC), Akeem Thomas (Antigua Barracuda FC), Karanja Mack (Antigua Barracuda FC), Hazel Pyle (Antigua Barracuda FC), Marc Joseph (Kendal Town FC), Zaine Francis-Angol (Motherwell FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Tomarley Thomas (Antigua Barracuda FC), Luke Blakeley (Antigua Barracuda FC), Quinton Griffith (Antigua Barracuda FC), Randolph Burton (Antigua Barracuda FC), Mikele Leigertwood (Reading FC), Kieran Murtagh (Macclesfield Town FC)
FORWARDS (4): Peter Byers (Antigua Barracuda FC), Stefan Smith (Antigua Barracuda FC), Dexter Blackstock (Nottingham Forest), Moses Ashikodi (Ebbstfleet United)
On the field for USA:
Sept. 11, 2012 – Columbus Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio – 2014 World Cup Qualifier, Group A
USA 1 Herculez Gomez 55
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson; 14-Danny Williams; 19-Graham Zusi (7-Maurice Edu, 72), 13-Jermaine Jones, 16-Jose Torres (11-Brek Shea, 67); 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 80)
Subs not used: 2-Jonathan Spector, 5-Kyle Beckerman, 10-Joe Corona, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Michael Parkhurst, 18-Terrence Boyd
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
JAM: 13-Dwayne Miller; 19-Arian Mariappa, 2-Nyron Nosworthy, 14-Lovel Palmer; 15-Je-Vaughn Watson (20-Tremaine Stewart, 75), 17-Rodolph Austin, 7-Jason Morrison, 6-Jermaine Taylor; 21-Luton Shelton (capt.) (18-Kavin Bryan, 66); 10-Omar Cummings (11-Dane Richards, 76), 9-Ryan Johnson
Subs not used: 1-Duwayne Kerr, 3-Dicoy Williams, 4-Shavar Thomas, 5-Darren Mattocks, 8-Joel Senior, 12-Andrae Williams, 16-O’Brian Woodbine, 22-Ewan Grandison, 23-Jacomeno Barrett
Head coach: Theodore Whitmore
Vs. Antigua & Barbuda
June 8, 2012 – Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla. – 2014 World Cup Qualifier, Group A
USA 3 Carlos Bocanegra 8, Clint Dempsey (pen.) 44, Herculez Gomez 72
ATG 1 Peter Byers 65
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 16-Jose Torres (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 57); 7-Maurice Edu , 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones (18-Terrence Boyd, 81); 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 80)
Subs not used: 2-Michael Parkhurst, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Kyle Beckerman, 20-Geoff Cameron
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
ATG: 18-Molvin James; 2-Marvin McCoy, 5-Marc Joseph, 17-George Dublin, 11-Quinton Griffith; 14-Randolph Burton, 8-Mikele Leigertwood, 15-Lawson Robinson, 10-Keiran Murtagh (16-Peter Byers, 62); 13-Tamarley Thomas (9-Stefan Smith, 83), 23-Dexter Blackstock
Subs not used: 1-Olson Forde, 3-Joshua Parker, 4-Karanja Mack, 6-Ranja Christian, 7-Kimoi Alexander, 19-Troy Dublin, 20-Akeem Thomas, 21-Keita Decastro, 22-Justin Cochrane
Head coach: Tom Curtis