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Global Jul 14, 2017

USMNT continues CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday vs Nicaragua

CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team looks to finish atop 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B when it takes on Nicaragua in the Group Stage finale on Saturday, July 15. Coverage from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland begins at 7 p.m. ET on FXX, Univision and Univision Deportes Network.

U.SROSTER BY POSITION (ClubCaps/Goals ): 
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 57/0), Bill Hamid (D.C. United; 2/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 41/1), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX; 42/2), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas; 4/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 12/0), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 2/0), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC/CAN; 2/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna, MEX; 8/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 50/5)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 11/1), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX; 7/2), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 63/2), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX; 19/2), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire; 9/0), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union; 3/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 1/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 2/0), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy; 34/6)

FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 25/3),Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City; 2/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 18/4)

+READ: Jordan Morris brace sparks USMNT in 3-2 Gold Cup win over Martinique

U.S. MNT MOVES INTO FIRST PLACE IN GROUP WITH 3-2 VICTORY AGAINST MARTINIQUE 
Following a 1-1 draw with Panama in its opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the USA utilized second-half goals from Omar Gonzalez (53′) and Jordan Morris (64′) to run out to a 2-0 lead against Martinique on Wednesday, only to have the Caribbean island pull level within 10 minutes. A nice combination with Gyasi Zardes saw Morris record what would stand as the game-winner in the 76th, the forward recording his first-multi goal international game and delivering the USA three points in the process.

That result pushed the USA to the top of the Group B table, tied on four points with Panama who defeated Nicaragua 2-1 earlier on Wednesday night. Level on goal differential, the U.S. leads the group by virtue of its four goals scored, compared to Panama’s three.

2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B

TEAM

GP

W

L

D

Pts.

GF

GA

GD

USA

2

1

0

1

4

4

3

+1

Panama

2

1

0

1

4

3

2

+1

Martinique

2

1

1

0

3

4

3

+1

Nicaragua

2

0

2

0

0

1

4

-3

ADVANCED NOTICE
The USA-Nicaragua clash will follow the encounter between Panama and Martinique Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. With the U.S. tied on four points with Panama, should Los Canaleros win against Martinique, the U.S. will know exactly how many goals it needs to defeat Nicaragua by in order to claim first in Group B. Should the U.S. finish in pole position, it will face the third-place finisher either from Group A or C, while a second-place finish would see the side face the winners of Group A, where Canada, Costa Rica and Honduras are still vying for the top spot.

The U.S. has finished on top of its group in each of the 13 previous CONCACAF Gold Cups.

MORRIS DOUBLES INTERNATIONAL TALLY

The pair of goals for Jordan Morris in the second half against Panama took his international strike total to four, and made him the seventh U.S. MNT player all time to record multiple goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Still just 22, Morris is the second-youngest U.S. player to achieve the feat, trailing only Landon Donovan who tallied four goals against Cuba in a 5-0 Quarterfinal victory during the 2003 tournament.

U.S. MNT Players With Multi-Goal Gold Cup Matches

Player

Multi-Goal Games

Landon Donovan

4

DaMarcus Beasley

2

Clint Dempsey

2

Brian McBride

2

Chris Wondolowski

2

Jordan Morris

1

Eric Wynalda

1

DOM DWYER STILL CHASING HISTORY
Since he didn’t appear in Wednesday’s 3-2 win against Martinique, forward Dom Dwyer still has a chance to become just the third U.S. player to record a goal in each of his first three international matches.

Having tallied in his U.S. debut on July 1 vs. Ghana as well as his first Gold Cup match on July 8 vs. Panama, Dwyer became just the 10th U.S. MNT player to find the back of the net in each of his first two appearances.

With rest from the Martinique match, Dwyer sets his sights on scoring in a third-straight game against Nicaragua, a feat achieved by just two previous U.S. players in Alexander Rae (1937) and Eddie Johnson (2004-05). Rae tallied in three straight friendly defeats to Mexico that year, while Johnson bested the record, scoring six goals across his first four MNT appearances, all of which came in World Cup Qualifying.

Player

First Cap First Goal

Second Cap Second Goal

Charles Ellis 3-2 W at Sweden (Aug. 20, 1916 1-1 D at Norway (Sept. 3, 1916)
Rudolf Kuntner 2-11 L vs. Argentina (May 30, 1928)+ 3-3 D at Poland (June 10, 1928)
Bert Patenaude 3-0 W vs. Belgium (July 13, 1930)** 3-0 W vs. Paraguay (July 17, 1930)**
Aldo Donelli 4-2 W vs. Mexico (May 24, 1934)* 1-7 L at Italy (May 27, 1934)*
John McEwan 2-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 12, 1937) 3-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 19, 1937)
Alexander Rae 2-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 12, 1937) 3-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 19, 1937)
Eddie Johnson 2-0 W at El Salvador (Oct. 9, 2004)* 6-0 W at Panama (Oct. 13, 2004)*
Paul Arriola 3-1 W at Puerto Rico (May 22, 2016) 4-0 W vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Sept. 6, 2016)

Denotes Olympic matches , * Denotes World Cup Qualifying matches , ** Denotes World Cup matches

CRISTIAN ROLDAN DEBUTS
Eligible to play for Guatemala or El Salvador due to his parents’ heritage, midfielder Cristian Roldan never put his hand over his heart for the Star Spangled Banner when lining up for his club team, Seattle Sounders FC. That decision wasn’t out of disrespect, but out of deference for both nations as he mulled his international future. Once he learned of his call-up for Gold Cup camp, Roldan changed the practice in Seattle and proudly earned his first international cap for the U.S., placing his hand over his heart ahead of the USA’s 3-2 victory vs. Martinique.

UTILIZING ROSTER DEPTH
Having handed Cristian Roldan his U.S. debut and using Chris Pontius as a substitute against Martinique, U.S. MNT head coach Bruce Arena has utilized 20 of the 23 players on his roster through the first two matches of the tournament.

FIRST MEETING VS. NICARAGUA
Saturday’s encounter with Nicaragua will mark time the nations have met at the senior international level. In the midst of their second CONCACAF Gold Cup, Los Pinoleros Albiazules will be the 97th different international opponent the U.S. MNT has faced since beginning play in 1916.

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 13 editions of the tournament, the U.S. has played in the Final nine times and has advanced to the Semifinal on 12 occasions.

EXPERIENCE AT THE CORE 
The group-phase roster boasts a dozen players with experience in World Cup Qualifying and 11 who have played in a Gold Cup, including six with a Gold Cup medal in their trophy case and 2015 Golden Glove winner Brad Guzan.

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 in the midst of 10-match unbeaten streak, going 5-0-5 since Bruce Arena returned as head coach.
  • Through the first two games of the tournament, Bruce Arena has utilized 20 of the 23 players on the U.S. roster.
  • Jordan Morris’ brace vs. Martinique doubled his international goal tally and made him just the seventh U.S. MNT player to score multiple goals in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match .
  • At 22, Morris is also the second-youngest U.S. player to record a multiple goal game at the confederation championship, trailing only Landon Donovan who tallied in four in a 5-0 Quarterfinal win vs. Cuba during the 2003 edition.
  • Defender Omar Gonzalez opened the scoring vs. Martinique, tallying his second international goal and first since the USA’s 6-0 Quarterfinal win vs. Cuba on July 18, 2015.
  • Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan made his U.S. MNT debut , logging 90 minutes in the effort vs. Martinique.
  • Midfielder Gyasi Zardes earned his first start since June 25, 2016 in Wednesday’s 3-2 win vs. Martinique.
  • After extended absences, full backs Justin Morrow and Eric Lichaj each returned to the U.S. lineup vs. Martinique. Morrow made just his second appearances and first since a 0-0 draw vs. Canada on Jan. 29 2013, while Lichaj earned his first cap since a 3-1 win at Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016.
  • With his goal against Panama, Dom Dwyer became just the 10th U.S. MNT player all-time to score in each of his first two appearances.
  • A long-time member of Sporting Kansas City, the English-born Dwyer received his U.S. citizenship in March, paving the way for his first invite to an MNT roster.
  • Five players on the U.S. roster were part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup team: Alejandro Bedoya, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Brad Guzan 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 from this group have been a part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign.
  • Eleven players have previously been part of a Gold Cup roster, including Alejandro Bedoya, Omar Gonzalez, Joe Corona and Graham Zusi.
  • With 63 caps, Bedoya is the player with the most international experience, followed by goalkeeper Brad Guzan (57), and defenders Graham Zusi (50), Omar Gonzalez (42) and Matt Besler (41).
  • Bedoya also has the most CONCACAF Gold Cup experience, earning 13 appearances during four different confederation tournaments (including 2017).
  • Guzan was one of two U.S. players to play every minute of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper.
  • Six players were on the U.S. MNT’s last Gold Cup-winning side in 2013: Bedoya, Besler, Joe Corona, Gonzalez, Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson.
  • Five players have registered goals in the Gold Cup: Corona, Gonzalez and Morris (2 each), Dwyer and Gyasi Zardes.
  • With the average cap total for the squad at 16, this Gold Cup roster will provide international seasoning to several players. It’s the second lowest average since 2000, ahead of the 2009 roster which averaged nine caps and reached the championship final.
  • Coming off a campaign in which he won Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Season award, Eric Lichaj returns to the MNT fold for the first time since a 3-1 friendly win against Puerto Rico on May 22, 2016.
  • Having helped Vitesse win the Dutch Cup back in April, center back Matt Miazga is also part of his first senior camp since last May’s friendly against Puerto Rico.
  • Youth is the movement. Eight players on the roster weren’t even born when the U.S. won the inaugural CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991: Agudelo, Acosta, Arriola, Miazga, Morris, Roldan, Rowe and Zardes.
  • Nine players are also alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Acosta, Agudelo, Arriola, Corona, 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 52-8-9 all-time.
  • The U.S. has gone an impressive 31-1-4 during the Group Stage.
  • With a 15-1-4 record in the Gold Cup, Arena is also the winningest head coach all-time in the competition.
  • The U.S. manager holds an 9-0-2 mark in the Group Stage and is 13-0-4 vs. CONCACAF opposition.
  • The MNT has advanced to the Final on nine occasions: 1991, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
  • The USA has made it to the Semifinals in 12 out of 13 tournaments, missing out only in 2000.

USA  NICARAGUA NOTES

  • Saturday’s match marks the first-ever meeting between the USA and Nicaragua.
  • Nicaragua will be the 97th different international side the U.S. has faced since beginning play in 1916.

NICARAGUA ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (3): Justo Lorente (UNAN FC), Henry Maradiaga (Real Estelí FC), Diedrich Tellez (Diriangen FC)

DEFENDERS (8): Luis Copete (Comerciantes Unidos/PER), Cyril Errington (Real Estelí FC), Oscar Lopez (Managua FC), Henry Niño (Jaco Rays FC/CRC), Josue Quijano (Real Estelí FC), Manuel Rosas (Real Estelí FC), Erick Tellez (Diriangen FC), Bismarck Veliz (Chinandega FC)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Daniel Cadena (Njarðvíkur/ISL), Elvis Figueroa (Real Estelí FC), Luis Galeano (Real Estelí FC), Bryan Garcia (Real Estelí FC), Marlon Lopez (Real Estelí FC), Maykel Montiel (UNAN FC), Bismarck Montiel (Managua FC), Luis Peralta (CD Walter Ferretti)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Barrera (Comunicaciones FC/GUA), Carlos Chavarria (Real Estelí FC), Jorge Hurtado (CD Walter Ferretti), Eulises Pavon (CD Suchitepéquez/GUA)

NICARAGUA NOTES

  • Nicaragua has been coached by Costa Rican manager Henry Duarte since 2014.
  • Nine players on the roster hail from Nicaraguan powerhouse Real Esteli.
  • Nicaragua is 0-5-0 all-time in its five previous CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.
  • Against Panama, forward Carlos Chavarria hit home a highlight-reel strike which also stood as the country’s first-ever goal in the competition.
  • Chavarria picked up his second yellow card of the tournament against Panama and will suspended for Saturday’s game vs. the USA.
  • Martinique is in the midst of its fifth Gold Cup tournament. Their best finish came in 2002, advancing to the Quarterfinals where they fell on penalty kicks to Canada.
  • Defender Jordy Delem is teammates with U.S. forward Jordan Morris and midfielder Cristian Roldan at Seattle Sounders FC.

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