US National Team
Photo courtesy of @nickbarbir
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown was in the starting lineup for the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team for their fourth straight match on Saturday at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. The U.S. fell 2-1 to Croatia in the semifinals, held in Kotschach, Austria. The Yanks lone goal came from Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) from the penalty spot in the first half.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, will now return to Bradenton, Fla. where he is a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program. Croatia advances to the final and will play the winner between Japan-Mexico.
In the starting lineup for the third straight match, Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown helped the United States Under-15 Boys' National Team to a 2-0 win over Slovenia today at the Torneo Delle Nazioni in Grandisca, Italy. The U.S. secured their second clean sheet of the tournament and got goals from Joshua Perez and Christian Pulisic to move past Slovenia in the Group A standings.
- USA 5pts
- Slovenia 4pts
- Chile 3pts
- Italy 2pts
The United States advances to the semifinals to face the winner of Group B (likely Croatia) on Saturday. Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit resident, is currently a member of the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. and is one of 19 players chosen by head coach Tony Lepore for the 12-team international tournament. He started in the team's 0-0 draw with Italy on Tuesday and again in a 1-1 draw against Chile yesterday.
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown started his second straight match for the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team today in a 1-1 draw against Chile at the Tournament Delle Nazioni. Two days after earning a scoreless draw against hosts Italy, the U.S. got a goal from Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas) in the game's final minute and now sit in a tie for second place heading into their Group A finale on Friday against leaders Slovenia. The top four sides from the 12-team international tournament will advance to the semifinals on Saturday.
Palmer-Brown, a Lee's Summit, Mo. resident who is currently attending the U.S. Soccer Residency Program, is one of 19 players on the trip under head coach Tony Lepore. Follow @ussoccer_ynt for updates.
Sporting Kansas City U16 Academy defender Erik Palmer-Brown started for the U.S. Under-15 Boys' National Team today as they opened the Tournament Delle Nazioni with a 0-0 draw against hosts Italy. One of 19 players on the trip, Palmer-Brown traveled from the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. to Grandisca, Italy for the 12-team international tourney.
Head coach Tony Lepore's squad are competing in Group A and will next play Chile on Thursday before wrapping up the group stage against Slovenia on Friday. The semifinals are scheduled for May 4 with the championship to be decided on May 5.
Palmer-Brown is a Lee's Summit, Mo. resident and was named Player of the Game against Italy by one observer:
Italy vs USA final 0-0, 2nd half subs Wright , Olasunde, Rice. USA outchanced Italy again 3-1. POTG my opinion Pulisic and Palmer-Brown
— Nick Barbir (@nickbarbir) April 30, 2013
Today is the centennial day of the United States' Soccer Federation, when the official charter was signed at the Astor Hotel in New York City. Kansas City's contribution to the sport in the last 100 years has been significant. Below is the history of U.S. Soccer's National Teams playing in Kansas City.
November 2, 1968
The Men's National Team defeats Bermuda 6-2 in 1970 World Cup qualifying. Former KC manager Bob Gansler started and played the full match.
October 7, 1999
The Women's National Team defeats Finland 6-0 in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium.
April 25, 2001
KC's Josh Wolff scores the match winner in a 1-0 win for the Men's National Team against Costa Rica in 2002 World Cup qualifying.
October 22, 2003
The Women's National Team earns a 2-2 draw against Italy in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium
September 22, 2004
KC defeats the Chicago Fire 1-0 at Arrowhead Stadium to win the Lamar Hut U.S. Open Cup.
October 16, 2004
The Women's National Team defeats Mexico 1-0 in a friendly at Arrowhead Stadium.
June 14, 2011
The Men's National Team defeats Guadeloupe 1-0 in the final match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup to clinch a spot in the knockout stage.
June 14, 2011
The Women's National Team earns a 1-1 draw against Canada in a friendly match, which extends their domestic unbeaten streak to 53 matches.
August 8, 2012
Sporting KC defeats the Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
October 16, 2012
The Men's National Team rallies from an early 0-1 deficit to defeat Guatmela 3-1 and advance to the final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying.
October 11, 2013
The Men's National Team will host Jamaica at Sporting Park for their final home match of 2014 World Qualifying
Matt Besler and Graham Zusi are back in KC, returning on Wednesday after helping the U.S. Men's National Team secure their first four points in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The Sporting Kansas City duo are garnering considerable media attention after their strong performances for both club and country in 2013. Below are a few of our favorite clips...
- USA Today's Kelly Whiteside tells the story of their rise from being drafted in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and living with Besler's parents as rookies to now starring for the U.S. MNT.
- Tod Palmer was among the first to talk to Besler and Zusi upon their return for a feature in today's Kansas City Star.
- ESPN the Magazine (get your copy on newsstands now) highlights Zusi's status as one of Major League Soccer's elite playmakers on their Playbook page.
- Speaking of ESPN, Zusi was complemented for his defensive workrate (and hairstyle) on SportsCenter, while Besler got a shoutout on Around the Horn.
Need Sporting KC audio coverage above and beyond your daily dose of Snippets of Sporting? The hour-long Sporting KC Show airs weekly on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Callum Williams and Andy Edwards. They took to the airwaves last night to discuss all the latest developments around Sporting Kansas City, including a preview of Saturday's home match against the first place Montreal Impact and interviews with Davy Arnaud (MTL) and Ike Opara (SKC). Click here to listen to the podcast from last night's show and put 913-3-810-810 on your speed dial to call into next week's show.
You can also join Callum tonight for a special taping of Off the Pitch with Sporting KC at Hooters (1712 Village West Pkwy, Kansas City, KS) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT. Special guests Jimmy Nielsen and Soony Saad will be in attendance and the episode -- featuring Sporting Kansas City supporters in the background -- will air at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday on KSMO-TV.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and Graham Zusi started for the U.S. Men's National Team on Tuesday in a historic 0-0 draw against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Both players -- former MLS All-Stars and members of the 2012 MLS Best XI -- received high ratings in the responses compiled below from media members following the match. And for good measure, check out the front page of today's Récord daily newspaper in Mexico (shown on right).
Besler and Zusi will re-join Sporting Kansas City today following their flight from Mexico City.
"Tackled and won balls in the air confidently. Cut out an amazing number of through balls and angled passes off the feet of Giovanni dos Santos and Javier Aquino, and confidently cleared most of the high balls launched in his direction. The absence of a true second forward to partner Chicharito eased his task, yet he timed his interventions impeccably to repel Mexico’s dinking passes and darting runs as they edged into the penalty area." - Ridge Mahoney (Soccer America)
"For the U.S., the heroes were many. The raw center back pairing of Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler more than held its own…As Mexico created chance after chance, it was the physicality of Gonzalez and the anticipation of Besler that snuffed the opportunities." - Thomas Floyd (Soccer by Ives)
"Matt Besler, Gonzalez's partner in central defense, was just as impressive considering the circumstances…The cerebral, left-footed Besler, who had just one U.S. cap coming in (with the B-squad, no less), showed that he's a viable center back option going forward, and a perfect partner for the tall, tough, right-footed Gonzalez." - Doug McIntyre (ESPN.com)
"It marked a coming of age for the young central defensive duo of Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez. Besler, making just his second appearance for the U.S., delivered a composed performance…Gonzalez and Besler repelled most everything Mexico threw their way…For a player experiencing just his second cap, he didn't look overawed at all. Took one for the team in the first half, getting booked for a tactical foul on Dos Santos, but otherwise performed well, especially in the air." - Jeff Carlisle (ESPN.com)
"Perhaps the biggest worry on the starting XI was it’s most complimentary contributor. In only his second international appearance ever, the Sporting KC man has shown he belongs. To have a performance like he did while carrying a yellow card for most of the match? That is talent." - Dave Martinez (Empire of Soccer)
"Centerbacks Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler turned in star performances despite the fact both still have single-digit appearances totals for the national team...Besler was equally impressive, showing well in his very first qualifier...Played every bit like a veteran rather than a novice playing just his second U.S. Men’s National Team match. He was strong in the air, confident on the ball and did his best to keep tabs on Chicharito." - Ives Galarcep (Soccer by Ives)
"Besler got EVERYONE'S attention. Big player. Big game. On a big stage." - Brad Porter (Metro Sports)
"Biggest result of the Klinsmann era. Besler and Gonzalez were massive. Not sure how any other CBs can start going forward." - Seth Vertelney (Goal.com)
"Gonzalez and Besler looked like they have played together all their lives. Fact is, they played together once -- in the 0-0 tie with Canada in January, which also happened to be Besler's only previous cap." - Paul Kennedy (Soccer America)
"Showed polish and confidence in the attacking third and played clever touches on several sequences...His defensive contributions were vital. He tracked back to topple Giovanni Dos Santos with a sharp tackle at a critical moment, and got his head to a dangerous back-post cross. Throughout the match he helped shield Cameron from the runs of Guardado and Torres Nilo." - Ridge Mahoney (Soccer America)
"Besler and Omar Gonzalez were ball-clearing beasts…Graham Zusi’s tremendous tracking in the 72nd minute, a 30-yard dash to heroically head away a ball and prevent a point blank header from Angel Reyna." - Steve Davis (NBC Sports)
"The defensive contributions of Graham Zusi and Herculez Gomez can’t be overstated...Known more as a creative finess player in MLS, Zusi showed on Tuesday that he is more than capable of doing the necessary dirty work as a two-way winger. He made some lung-busting runs to help cover for Cameron on the right flank and tried testing Mexico’s defense when he could." - Ives Galarcep (Soccer By Ives)
"Play of the game for me was that 40yd run to make that defensive play #huge #Zusi." - Taylor Twellman (ESPN)
"I thought a big take away for the #usmnt was the defensive play of Graham Zusi. It won't be talked about a lot but it was huge." - Brian Sciaretta (Yanks Abroad)
"I see you @mbesler. The whole world sees you, too. And @gzusi continues to solidify his place as an indispensable piece for #USMNT...After tonight, one has to think @mbesler and @gzusi are a few more steps along the #RoadtoBrazil." - Tod Palmer (KC Star)
"The right-sider again saw the ball too infrequently, but he made sure to contribute with a few excellent plays on the backtrack. One in particular, a mad hustle to disrupt a potential back post shooter in the waning moments, was big." - Greg Seltzer (MLSSoccer.com)
"With two plays alone — his backtracking tackle deep down left wing on Andres Guardado in the first half and his 30-yard run to nick an open header off the head of Angel Reyna in the 72nd — Zusi made a case for man of the match honors." - Andrew Das (New York Times)
Sporting KC's Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, two of three MLS players in the starting lineup for the U.S. Men's National Team on Tuesday, returned to Estadio Azteca last night seven months after taking part in the United States first-ever victory on Mexico's home soil in a 1-0 win in an international friendly last August.
That upset lifted the United States all-time record in Mexico to 1-23-1 entering Tuesday's showdown in FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Matchday 3 of 10 on the road to Brazil. And with the stakes raised and odds against them -- Mexico was 68-1-6 all-time at home in World Cup qualifying, including a 13-0-1 record against the Americans -- Besler and Zusi helped the U.S. MNT produce another historic road result in a 0-0 draw in front of nearly 100,000 fans in Mexico City on Tuesday.
Besler, earning his first World Cup Qualifying appearance and second career cap, partnered with LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez to anchor the United States backline in a strong showing that limited Mexico to only three shots on goal; just one of those attempts came from inside 25 yards and none came from Manchester United striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.
Zusi, in his 10th international appearance, played 82 minutes on the right side of midfield for Jurgen Klinsmann, four days after starting in the United States 1-0 victory over Costa Rica. Zusi has now appeared in all four of the United States' matches in 2013 and each of the Yanks last six FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The U.S. is 6-0-2 all-time with Zusi in the starting 11.
The U.S. MNT is now 1-1-1 (4 points) in the six-team Hexagonal and sit in a three-way tie for 2nd place. Click to see the stats/standings/results on CONCACAF.com and check out match highlights below...
Sporting Kansas City rookie midfielder Mikey Lopez made his fourth appearance in five games for the United States Under-20 Men's National Team as they took on Mexico in the final of the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Sunday in Puebla, Mexico. Lopez started and the played the full 120 minutes for Tab Ramos' squad as the U.S. fell to the hosts 3-1 in extra time and were crowned regional runners-up after winning their previous four matches.
The U.S. -- one of four teams to secure a berth in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer in Turkey -- advanced to the finals of the CONCACAF U-20 qualifying tournament for the fourth time in team history, but were beaten in extra time on a game-winning goal from Julio Gomez, who led Mexico to the FIFA U-17 World Cup crown two years ago as the tournament's top scorer.
Lopez, a Generation adidas signee taken in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of North Carolina, returns to Kansas City tomorrow to re-join his Sporting KC teammates. Visit USSoccer.com and follow @USSoccer_YNT on Twitter for postgame reaction and coverage from Sunday's championship.