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Global Jun 16, 2016

USMNT set to face Ecuador tonight in Copa America quarterfinals

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(Via U.S. Soccer) – Having captured first place in Group A on the strength of back-to-back shutouts, the U.S. Men’s National Team continues the historic Copa America Centenario with a quarterfinal matchup against Ecuador. Kickoff from CenturyLink Field in Seattle is set for 6:30 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on FS1, UniMás and Univision Deportes Network.

Here are some storylines to follow:

DEJA VU: This will be the second meeting between the teams in less than a month. In the first tune-up match after the Copa rosters were finalized, Darlington Nagbe scored his first international goal in the 90th minute to lift the U.S. to a 1-0 win in Frisco, Texas. 

MNT COPA AMERICA CENTENARIO ROSTER: The U.S. roster is loaded with experience, boasting 14 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad and a total of 18 who have already appeared in Qualifying for Russia 2018. Veterans like team captain Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey marshal the group that has collected an average of over 40 caps. There are six players with 50 or more and five with five or less. Meantime, John Brooks, Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin lead a youth contingent that includes five players who are 23-years-old or younger.

U.S. Roster by Position:
1-Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), 12-Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), 22-Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)

DEFENDERS (8): 5-Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 3-Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), 6-John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), 20-Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), 21-Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), 23-Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 14-Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (12): 15-Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 8-Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), 13-Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 16-Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), 10-Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 17-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 18-Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 7-Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), 20-Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 19-Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

MNT IN COPA: The U.S. deployed same starting XI for all three matches in group phase: Guzan; Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, Johnson; Bedoya, Bradley (capt.), Jones; Zardes, Dempsey, Wood.

That streak will end Thursday night, as DeAndre Yedlin is suspended after being sent off in the 1-0 win against Paraguay.


NO EXRA TIME ‘TIL THE FINAL: As is traditional in Copa America, there is no extra time played in the quarterfinal and semifinal round. If any these matches are tied after 90 minutes, teams will go straight to penalty kicks to decide a winner.

BROOKS HAS BEEN A BEAST: The 23-year-old center back has earned back-to-back Budweiser Man of the Match honors for his rock solid displays against Costa Rica and Paraguay. “I think John Brooks, with a performance like this, I guess all of Europe is watching that,” Klinsmann said following the win against Paraguay. “This is a big statement what he did tonight.”

DEUCE BACK ON THE LOOSE: Clint Dempsey primed the pump earlier this year when he said playing in Copa America would be a dream come true, and his commitment has been on full display. With two goals – both game-winners – and two assists, Deuce is tied for the tournament lead in points with Lionel Messi of Argentina (3 goals, 0 assists) and Philippe Coutinho of Brazil (3 goals, 0 assists).

TENACIOUS D: The U.S. has not given up a goal from the run of play in its last five matches. In fact, six of the USA’s 10 games this year have ended with a clean sheet to their credit. At the back, Brad Guzan has now posted 11 shutouts in 22 career matches in official competition.

As Jurgen Klinsmann’s group returns to Seattle for the first time since 2013, the team is riding a 8-2-0 record in 2016 into Thursday’s match. With an overall record of 51-23-17, Klinsmann sits second on the MNT’s all-time list for wins behind Bruce Arena with 71. Similarly, his overall winning percentage of .657 is just a smidge behind Arena’s (.658). In official competition it’s even better. At .700, he’s tops in U.S. history.

SUPER SUBS: One of the few ways a coach can have an impact once the whistle blows is through substitutions. When Graham Zusi scored against Paraguay, he became the fifth player in 10 games this year to tally after coming off the bench.


  • Clint Dempsey’s game-winner against Paraguay was his 51st in international play. Along with Landon Donovan (57), the U.S. is now one of 11 nations to have two 50-goal scorers and the first in CONCACAF
  • Four others have put their name on the scoresheet in Copa. Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood and Graham Zusi all scored in the 4-0 against Costa Rica, while Gyasi Zardes teed up Dempsey against Paraguay
  • The United States is 5-0-0 all time at CenturyLink Field
  • A total of six players have played all 270 minutes in the tournament so far: Bradley, Brooks, Cameron, Guzan, Johnson, Zardes
  • Dempsey now has 127 caps for the USA, equaling Marcelo Balboa as the fourth-most capped player in MNT history


  • The MNT is 3-5-5 in 13 all-time meetings against Ecuador dating back to 1984.
  • The U.S. has earned a result in four of its last five matches against Ecuador dating back to 2001(3-1-2).

ECUADOR COPA AMERICA CENTENARIO ROSTER BY POSITION:GOALKEEPERS (3): Máximo Banguera (Barcelona, ECU), Alexander Domínguez (LDU Quito, ECU), Esteban Dreer (Emelec, ECU)

DEFENDERS (7): Gabriel Achilier (Emelec, ECU), Robert Arboleda (Universidad Católica, ECU), Walter Ayoví (Monterrey, MEX), Frickson Erazo (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Arturo Mina (Independiente del Valle, ECU), Juan Carlos Paredes (Watford, ENG), Cristian Ramírez (Ferencváros, HUN)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Michael Arroyo (Club América, MEX), Fernando Gaibor (Emelec, ECU), Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas, USA), Pedro Larrea (El Nacional, ECU), Fidel Martínez (Pumas UNAM, MEX), Ángel Mena (Emelec, ECU), Jefferson Montero (Swansea, WAL), Christian Noboa (Rostov, RUS), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, ENG)

FORWARDS (4): Jaime Ayoví (Godoy Cruz, ARG), Miler Bolaños (Grêmio, BRA), Juan Cazares (Atlético Mineiro, BRA), Enner Valencia (West Ham United, ENG)

  • Ecuador is led by head coach Gustavo Quinteros, who was hired in January 2015 and last led Ecudaorian club Emelec to back-to-back championships in 2013 and 2014. Quinteros played for Bolivia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
  • The South American side earned a result in all three of its group stage games, earning second place behind Peru in Group B. Ecuador opened the Centenario with a scoreless draw against Brazil, came back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with Peru and most recently earned a 4-0 victory against Haiti.
  • La Tri is tied with Uruguay at the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying table with 13 points apiece, but trails in goal differential. Ecuador led off its qualifying campaign with four wins before drawing with Paraguay and dropping a 3-1 result to Colombia in March.
  • Since last year’s Copa America, La Tri is 6-1-3.
  • Ecuador’s roster includes four English Premier League players – Enner Valencia, Antonio Valencia, Jefferson Montero and Juan Carlos Paredes – and a strong contingent of domestic league players.
  • FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo has earned 10 caps for Ecuador dating back to his debut in 2014.
  • Ecuador has never finished above fourth in Copa America (1959, 1993).
  • Last year, La Tri bowed out in the Group Phase despite a 2-1 victory against Mexico on its third matchday.

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