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Global Oct 12, 2015

USMNT prepares for World Cup qualifying with Costa Rica test

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CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to square off with Costa Rica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. in the final preparation friendly before qualifying begins next month for the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The match will kick off at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas and the Univision Deportes Network.

The MNT is coming off of a 3-2 extra-time loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup at The Rose Bowl on Oct. 10. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in five new players to join the MNT for Tuesday’s game against Costa Rica, while eight players have returned to their clubs.

+Read: U.S. U-20 MNT roster named for Four Nations Tournament

The roster currently stands at 21 players with goalkeeper Bill Hamid, midfielders Mix Diskerud, Lee Nguyen and Brek Shea and forward Andrew Wooten joining the team on Sunday. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Matt Besler, midfielders Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley and Graham Zusi and forwards Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski being released.

The United States has won two of the last three meetings with Costa Rica, a pair of 1-0 wins in official competition. The U.S. shoveled their way to a shutout in the “Snow Clasico”, its first home game of final round World Cup qualifying held in Denver in March of 2013. Four months later, the MNT again earned a shutout in Gold Cup group play in East Hartford, Conn.

Meanwhile in Utah, the Under-23 Men’s National Team faces a third-place game against Canada in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament. A win against Canada would qualify the USA for a one-game playoff against Colombia in March of 2016, with a final opportunity to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on the line. The critical match against Canada kicks offTuesday at 4 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on NBC Universo.

U.S. Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/ENG), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton/ENG)
DEFENDERS (7) : Ventura Alvarado (Club America/MEX), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchenglandbach/GER), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham FC/ENG), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City FC/ENG)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/FRA), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Danny Williams (Reading FC/ENG), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland AFC/ENG)
FORWARDS (4) : Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin/GER), Andrew Wooten (FC Sandhausen/GER), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

U.S. Roster Notes

  • Bobby Wood’s 108th minute goal against Mexico was the third of his international career and third of the year. Wood has been a clutch scorer for the MNT in 2015, with all three strikes coming after the 80th minute following late winners in June’s friendlies against Netherlands and Germany.
  • Geoff Cameron scored his second career international goal in the CONCACAF Cup. Cameron has started and played 90 minutes in all of Stoke City’s 2015 Premier League matches. After last appearing for the MNT in last November’s friendlies, Cameron returned to action for the U.S. in last month’s matches against Peru and Brazil.
  • Jozy Altidore has appeared in 10 games for the MNT this year. The forward scored a pair in the team’s 2-1 win against Peru in September, which was the fourth multi-goal game of his international career. With four goals in 2015, he is now just one behind Brain McBride (30) for fourth on the MNT’s all-time goal-scoring list.
  • DeAndre Yedlin has appeared in 16 of the 17 MNT matches in 2015 and tallied four assists, which puts him in a tie for second on the team with Gyasi Zardes behind Michael Bradley (six).
  • Alejandro Bedoya has seven matches under his belt for the United States this year. The French Ligue 1 midfielder tallied an assist in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Panama in the Group Stage of the Gold Cup. Bedoya missed the CONCACAF Cup Match due to illness.
  • Jermaine Jones played all 120 minutes in the CONCACAF Cup. He has been on the road to recovery, making his return from injury for the USA in September in starts against Peru and Brazil.
  • Gyasi Zardes was called in for his first MNT camp last January and has appeared in 16 games, starting in 13. The LA Galaxy forward has scored twice and assisted on four goals.
  • Danny Williams closed the Brazil game off on a high note, scoring a stunning long-range goal to put the USA on the scoreboard. Williams also scored a clutch goal that helped the U.S. knock off then sixth-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam earlier in the year.
  • Michael Orozco started against Peru and Brazil in September, taking up both the right back spot and then center back. Orozco – who moved to Club Tijuana this summer – owns a piece of history as the scorer of the game-winning goal in 2012 that led to the USA’s first victory at the Azteca.
  • Brad Guzan earned Golden Glove honors as the top goalkeeper at this summer’s Gold Cup and has posted a 8-4-3 record since September of last year.
  • Ventura Alvarado has appeared in 12 matches this year. The Club America defender made his debut in a U.S. uniform onMarch 25 against Denmark, and he became cap-tied to the U.S. after starting in the first match of the Gold Cup against Honduras on July 7.
  • Brad Evans has played in seven games this year, coming on as a late sub in the CONCACF Cup and in the MNT’s 2-0 win against Mexico in April.
  • Tim Ream, who recently completed a transfer to Fulham, earned honors as the Player of the Year for his former club Bolton in each of the last two seasons. Ream has started in the last three MNT matches.
  • Jonathan Spector returns to the squad after being a late add to the roster for the Peru and Brazil friendlies.


  • The United States is 13-13-6 all-time against Costa Rica and has won two of the last three meetings. All 13 wins have come on U.S. soil.
  • The most recent encounter came Sept. 6, 2013, a 3-1 loss in San Jose.
  • The U.S. has gone 2-2-0 against Costa Rica during Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure as head coach.
  • Brek Shea scored his first career international goal against Costa Rica in the USA’s 1-0 win in the 2013 Gold Cup.
  • Brad Guzan earned a clean sheet in the Snowclasico. Altidore, Cameron and Jones also contributed to the win.

IN FOCUS: Costa Rica
Federación Costarricense de Fútbol (FEDEFUTBOL)
Founded: 1921
FIFA affiliation: 1927
Head Coach: Oscar Ramirez
FIFA World Ranking: 42
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinal, 2014
Leading Cap-Winner: Walter Ceneno (137)
Leading Goalscorer: Rolando Fonseca (47)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Esteban Alvarado (Trabzonspor/Turkey), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid/Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense/Costa Rica)
DEFENDERS (8): Jhonny Acosta (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Francisco Calvo (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Oscar Duarte (Club Brugge/Belgium), Cristian Gamboa (West Bromwich/England), Ronald Matarrita (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Dave Myrie (Herediano/Costa Rica), Bryan Oviedo (Everton/England), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)
MIDFIELDERS (7 ): Elías Aguilar (Herediano/Costa Rica), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña/Spain), Mauricio Castillo (Cartagines/Costa Rica), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano/Costa Rica), David Guzman (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Deyver Vega (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Johan Venegas (Impact de Montreal/Canada)
FORWARDS (6): Joel Campbell (Arsenal/England), Daniel Colindres (Saprissa/Costa Rica), Marco Ureña (Midtjylland/Denmark)


  • The Costa Ricans are coming off a 1-0 win defeat at home to South Africa on Thursday
  • In 2014, Costa Rica earned its best-ever result in the World Cup by advancing to the quarterfinals where they fell to the Netherlands in a penalty shootout. A total of 11 players from that squad appear are on the roster that will face the U.S.
  • Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas leads the Costa Rican backline.
  • Celso Borges is the leading goal scorer on the Ticos roster with 19 goals in 84 international matches.
  • At 23 years old, Francisco Calvo is the youngest player on the Costa Rica roster.
  • Two players ply their trade in MLS, both interestingly for Canadian clubs. Kendall Watson is a defender for Vancouver, while Johan Venegas patrols the midfield for Montreal. A total of 11 players on the roster play for Costa Rican club teams, including six from co-league leaders Alajuelense and Herediano.

Jurgen Klinsmann Fact File

Jurgen Klinsmann became the 35th head coach in the history of the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 29, 2011. Here is a look at the program’s achievements since that time:

  • Overall, Klinsmann has a 42-20-14 record, sitting third on the U.S. MNT’s all-time coaching wins list. The top five include: Bruce Arena (71), Bob Bradley (43), Klinsmann (42), Bora Milutinovic (30) and Steve Sampson (26).
  • He won a record-setting 13 straight games at home from June 2, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014.
  • He led the MNT to a 12-game winning streak in 2013, the longest in program history.
  • The U.S. finished 2013 with a 16-4-3 record. The 16 victories and .761 winning percentage are all-time U.S. MNT records for a calendar year.
  • The U.S. finished the final round of 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying atop the Hexagonal with a 7-1-2 overall record, including an unblemished 5-0-0 home record that was achieved by pitching clean sheets in all five matches.
  • The team won six straight games en route to capturing the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, during which the squad scored a tournament-record 20 goals.
  • Committed to challenging the group against the best, under Klinsmann, the United States has a 4-3-2 record against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. With Klinsmann at the helm, the U.S. has also collected six historic victories:
    • Beating four-time World Cup champion Italy for the first time
    • Earning the first win against Mexico on Mexican soil
    • Defeating Jamaica on the road for the first time in World Cup Qualifying
    • Topping second-ranked Germany in U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration Match
    • Beating Netherlands and Germany on the road this June
  • 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, the USA’s two victories included a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
  • Klinsmann was named Germany’s 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 Germany’s most high-profile club, Bayern Munich.
  • As a player, Klinsmann played 17 club seasons from 1981-98 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 FIFA World Cup.
  • Klinsmann was born on July 30, 1964, in Goppingen, Germany.

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