US National Team
On Wednesday, June 16, I woke up antsy and nervous. The U.S. Men’s National Team would match up against Ghana later that day. Ghana: a team who has had our number for two World Cups now. Ghana: who dealt the final blow in 2006, and knocked us out once again in the round of 16 in 2010. Ghana: our kryptonite.
I went on a run to get the jitters out, but as game-time approached, my nerves were long gone. As a relatively young soccer nation, the U.S. has made great strides. We finished first in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and have recently looked less like a team with something to prove and more like a nation that’s confident in its ability to compete with any team in the world.
As our national anthem played, I stood and sang my heart out at Arena das Dunas with 22,000 of my new American friends. I had no idea that the next 90 minutes might be some of the proudest of my life.
If you’re reading this, you probably watched the game, so I don’t need to give you a play-by-play. What struck me weren't the statistics; stats won’t win you games, let alone the World Cup. Last night, Ghana was the better team on paper. But while they won the possession battle; we came to win the war.
With veterans like Tim Howard, Damarcus Beasley and Clint Dempsey on our roster, the U.S. had a leadership core working on field to implement Jurgen Klinnsman’s style of play. But to me, the fiercest competitors in the game were Jermain Jones and Kyle Beckerman. These two battled with heart and lead the team with discipline, playing as if this was the championship game. Jones seemed to be all over the field, involved in every big play. There were stretches where he looked like the only player who belonged out there. Beckerman never lost the ball and connected the field with his passing, staying composed when others weren’t.
The U.S. went into the match 13th in FIFA rankings and came out no longer the underdogs. We looked every bit like a team deserving of a top spot. Americans should be proud and confident— each game is just one step closer to the goal, and I, for one, am looking forward to the next step against Portugal.
Join D.C. United at Reston Town Center on Sunday, 6/22 to watch USA take on Portugal! Admission is FREE, details here.
Unmarked, presented by AT&T
D.C. United Manager of Digital Communication Rebecca Payne shares her favorite memories from past World Cups, what she is most excited for in Brazil and how the passion for soccer in America has grown.
Donald Wine, President of American Outlaws D.C. and member of the Screaming Eagles talks supporting both DCU and USMNT.
D.C. United Marketing Coordinator Adam Hoyt talks working for an MLS Club while supporting USMNT and when his passion for the Red, White and Blue began.
Marcel Hillie of the America Outlaws DC Chapter explains how he became involved in the leadership core of AO, where his passion for both DCU and USMNT stem from and his plans for World Cup 2014.
Victoria Clark of AO Baltimore shares her unique perspective on USMNT, having joined AO after experiencing the passion of the supporters group through social media.
The final and most challenging game day for the U-18s was finally here. The players groggily awoke for their final game against top ranked Real Salt Lake AZ. The 11:15 game was upon everyone before they knew it. The sun was out and blistering hot for a team that had just left 20 degree weather and snow a few days ago. The wind helped a bit, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as United looked to upset the defending Developmental Academy champions.
The game started out at a very fast pace with both teams looking to attack and score. The first twenty minutes were rough for United as they looked to counter and disrupt their opponents rhythm, but Real Salt Lake scored in the 12th minute off a set piece from 30 yards out. United had several scoring opportunities in the first half, including two that went off the post and a no-call in the penalty area. United found themselves one goal down at halftime with 45 minutes to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net. Bashir Hooper was subbed in at halftime and proved to be one of the defining factors in the outcome of the game. Michael Monahan beat two Salt Lake defenders and crossed the ball to Hooper, who slotted the ball home in the 68th minute to tie the score at 1-1. The intensity of the game immediately picked up as Salt Lake pushed forward for the winning goal. Goalkeeper Jimmy Knoebel had two clutch saves in the last five minutes to deny Real Salt Lake their winning goal. The Black-and-Red worked hard as a unit to defend the flurry of attacks. When the final whistle blew, United was able to hold on to a gritty and well-deserved 1-1 tie against the number one Developmental Academy team in the nation.
The U-18s walked off the field to round of applause from the D.C. United U-16s, and high-fived and patted each other on the back. The excited mood was contagious as everyone packed their gear up and headed to the bus. Jimmy Filerman, Christian Kershaw, Jimmy Knoebel and Hiram Munoz-Cantu played all 90 minutes of all three games at the Winter Showcase. Over 30+ college coaches showed up to every single D.C. United U-18 game and asked multiple questions about many of the players. The U-18s ended the Showcase with a 1-1-1 record and will have a few weeks to rest until they begin training again in January.
The U-16s enjoyed their free day by watching the U-18s play and having a cheering match against the Real Salt Lake U-16 team. More beach volleyball, Ping-Pong, corn hole and FIFA were played as the U-16s enjoyed a day in the sun. The entire academy had dinner at Café Amici and walked around St. Armands Circle to end the day. The U-16s will look to end the Showcase with an undefeated record on Sunday, Dec. 15 against the San Jose Earthquakes at 9 a.m.
The team will return to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Dec. 15 and immediately head back to school, homework and chilly northern weather. Goodbye sunny and warm Florida! See you next year!
Each year, adidas releases a new official match ball for MLS, and this year, we're going Brazilian!
The Brazuca, the official match ball of the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been given a make-over for MLS play. I tend to like the color update, which are said to represent the heart, "as the ball is the heart of soccer and MLS." MLS match balls are typically green and blue, like the league logo. But this year, it's all about the Black-and-Red!
What do you think of the new design?
The matches have been set. Who will you be cheering for, and which groups do you think have the toughest road to the second round?
150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. The Gettysburg Address was a dedication at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA, delivered just four and a half months after the Union Army defeated the Confederate Army in the Battle of Gettysburg.
In remembrance of this important day in US history, and the values that Americans hold so dear, Bill Hamid and the U.S. Men's National Team recited the speech today.
This afternoon (3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) The US Men's National Team faces off against Scotland in an international friendly. One face on the USMNT squad stands out for DCU fans, as Homegrown keeper Bill Hamid was recently called into National Team camp and will be joining his countrymen in Glasgow.
D.C. United’s Jose Carranza (Manassas, Va.; North Virginia Soccer Club) has been called up to the U-15 Boys National Team (BNT) Camp to be held in Carson, Ca. from Oct. 26-Nov. 3. While he’s there, Carranza will train and play games alongside 29 others selected from other clubs and Developmental Academy teams across the United States. Carranza has become a mainstay with the BNT since attending the U-14 camps; this is his second time being invited up to the U-15 camp.
“We are happy that Jose has stayed consistent in his development path into the next age group cycle,” said D.C. United’s U-16 Head Coach Tom Torres. “He has been super committed and despite playing up with U-16’s, he has never shied away from the challenges that he is presented with.”
Carranza has been playing up an age division in the D.C. United Developmental Academy system and has thrived under the increased pressure of competing with older, more physical players.
“He is a true playmaker with a gift of clean technical ability and understanding of rhythm in possession,” said Torres. “We wish him all the best.”
On Monday, March 18, Jurgen Klinsmann named his 23-man roster for upcoming, all-important, World Cup qualifiers. The full roster, which was complete with a total of nine stars from Major League Soccer is below:
US ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England - 5/3 SO), *Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire - 0/0), *Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake - 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): *Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake - 0/0), *Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City - 0/0), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/England - 6/0), *Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy - 1/0), Clarence Goodson (Brondby/Denmark - 5/0), *Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes - 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla/Mexico - 26/6), *Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake - 2/0), Michael Bradley (Roma/Italy - 20/5), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/Mexico - 1/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor/Turkey - 10/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04/Germany - 6/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht/Belgium - 13/0), Brek Shea (Stoke City/England - 2/0), *Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City - 4/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar/Netherlands - 18/6), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna/Austria - 2/0), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur/England - 27/11), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna/Mexico - 6/2), *Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC - 12/10)
* Denotes MLS player
What do you think of the selected list? Are there any players that you would have included?