CONCACAF Championship - United States v Mexico

More notes on the United States roster

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A few more roster notes on the 23 men available for selection to U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, courtesy of U.S. Soccer:

(More can be found  here, from U.S. Soccer’s communications staff.)

  • Fourteen players have World Cup qualifying experience.
  • Steve Cherundolo and Landon Donovan are beginning their fourth qualifying cycle; Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu commence their third.
  • Bocanegra is one of five players on the roster to captain their club teams. The others are Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Cherundolo (Hannover), Donovan (LA Galaxy) and Clarence Goodson (Brondby).
  • Tim Howard is second in all-time for victories for U.S. goalkeepers. Further, he has eight clean sheets in 16 World Cup qualifying appearances.
  • Donovan returns to the national team for the first time since September of 2011. The USA’s all-time leading scorer also has the most appearances for any U.S. player in World Cup qualifying (35) and goals (12).
  • Jozy Altidore has six goals in 13 career qualifiers; Michael Bradley and Dempsey have five each.
  • Dempsey is coming off a record-setting season for a U.S. international in England, recording his 50th career English Premier League goal while setting a single-season mark for league goals scored (17) and goals in all competitions (23). He also tallied the USA’s lone goal in the 1-0 win against Italy on Feb. 29 in Genoa.
  • Altidore finished his first season at AZ Alkmaar with 19 goals in all competitions, including 15 in league play and four in the Europa League. Jermaine Jones helped Schalke 04 to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga and a spot in next year’s UEFA Champions League.
  • With 19 goals in all competitions in the last year, Herculez Gomez became the first U.S. player to win both an MLS Cup title and Mexican League title as Santos defeated Monterrey in the two-leg final.
  • Terrence Boyd finished with 20 goals for Borussia Dortmund’s second team, scoring a goal in the final that helped the team gain promotion to the Third Division.
  • Bradley played in a career-high 34 league games in his first season at Chievo Verona in Italy’s Serie A, the Flying Donkeys finishing in 10th in the league table.
  • Joe Corona is the only player looking for his first U.S. cap.  The midfielder and Development Academy product scored four goals for the U-23 MNT in the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying tournament.
  • Michael Parkhurst comes to camp as a newly crowned champion, as FC Nordsjaelland captured the Danish Superligaen title after finishing two points ahead of FC Copenhagen.
  • Geoff Cameron started the USA’s first two matches of 2012, consecutive 1-0 victories against Venezuela and Panama.
  • Bocanegra and Maurice Edu play for Scottish Premier League side Rangers alongside Scotland defenders Lee Wallace and Steven Whittaker and goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

MLS Cup Playoffs: LA Galaxy 3-1 Real Salt Lake (video)

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme (37) congratulates forward Alan Gordon (9) for scoring against the Real Salt Lake during the first half of a knockout round MLS playoff soccer match in Carson, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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The game in 100 words (or less): The LA Galaxy are through to the conference semifinals of the MLS Cup Playoffs, where they’ll take on the Colorado Rapids beginning Sunday, for the seventh time in eight years with a 3-1 knockout-round triumph over Real Salt Lake at the StubHub Center on Wednesday. Alan Gordon put the home side ahead inside the first quarter-hour before RSL drew level seven minutes later, but Emmanuel Boateng bagged a quickfire brace to complete a pair of brilliant individual exhibitions of dribbling inside the penalty area. With Steven Gerrard unavailable and Robbie Keane only fit to feature off the bench, Bruce Arena turned to Gordon, who gave way to Keane early in the second half after picking up an injury of his own, to play the fulcrum of the Galaxy attack, and it worked to near-perfection during the opening half-hour. Landon Donovan started the game and played 87 minutes, providing the kind of defensive work rate that’s been missing up and down the flanks of LA all season. Sebastian Lletget put in a near-flawless passing performance while playing deep in midfield. Don’t look now, but those are the Galaxy’s biggest question of 2016, all just about answered as the playoffs begin. I won’t say, “I told you so” if/when they win MLS Cup 2016, but…

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

Three Four moments that mattered

14′ — Gordon finishes from close range for 1-0 — Landon Donovan -> Giovani dos Santos -> Alan Gordon. Just like Bruce Arena drew it up in preseason midseason last month this week this morning.

21′ — Plata converts from the spot after Morales’ dive — Javier Morales was angling for a penalty from the moment he entered the penalty area. All Emmanuel Boateng had to do was look at him, and Morales was going down.

26′ — Boateng weaves through to make it 2-1 — Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Boateng took advantage of some poor defending, and the Galaxy were back in the lead.

34′ — Boateng cuts inside, blows past his man, makes it 3-1 — There’s playing in top gear, and there’s having an extra gear that you rarely have to use because no one else on the field has it. Boateng falls into the latter category.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Emmanuel Boateng

Goalscorers: Gordon (14′), Plata (21′), Boateng (26′, 34′)

MLS Cup Playoffs: Toronto FC 3-1 Philadelphia Union (video)

Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): 10 years later, Toronto FC are MLS Cup Playoffs victors. For eight seasons, the playoffs eluded them altogether. Last year, they were one-and-done in embarrassing fashion at the hands of their local rivals. In 2016, it was  their year — a proclamation we’d heard plenty times before — and so far, they’ve lived up to the hype. Wednesday’s 3-1 home victory over the Philadelphia Union in the knockout round gets the monkey off the Reds’ back, but more importantly, afforded Sebastian Giovinco, who bagged a goal and an assist on the night (his second straight game with such a line), 90 more minutes of game time after missing more than a month through injuries as the regular season wound down. After 270 minutes of action, the Atomic Ant looks sharp as ever, and destined to terrorize New York City FC, whom TFC will face in the conference semifinals, beginning Sunday.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

Three Four moments that mattered

15′ — Atlidore feeds Giovinco for 1-0 — The first playoff goal in TFC’s 10-year history. Poor goalkeeping, ball-watching defending, terrible touches, an overhead cross, and a strike off the crossbar. There’s a lot going on here. Watch it all right here.

49′ — Osorio slams home from the corner for 2-0 — The Union have been bad at defending set pieces all season, so is it at all surprising a set-piece gaffe effectively ended their season? No, it’s not.

73′ — Bedoya puts the loose ball home for 2-1 — Speaking of failing to effectively clear a corner kick, the Union were gifted a lifeline 15 minutes before full-time.

85′ — Altidore puts it out of reach, seals it for TFC — Ken Tribbet did not have the best night a center back has ever seen. His final blunder resulted in Jozy Altidore reclaiming TFC’s two-goal lead, and ending the Union’s 2016 season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Men of the match: Sebastian Giovinco

Goalscorers: Giovinco (15′), Osorio (49′), Bedoya (73′), Altidore (85′)

Men In Blazers podcast: Mourinho’s Chelsea return; Bradley’s 1st point

Men In Blazers
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Rog and Davo break down Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea with Manchester United, another stumble for Manchester City and Bob Bradley’s first Premier League point.

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VIDEO: Altidore, Giovinco combine for TFC’s first-ever playoff goal

Sebastian Giovinco
Chris Young/The Associated Press via AP
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It’s been 10 years in the making, and Toronto FC finally have their first-ever goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS Cup Playoffs preview coverage ]

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in each of their first eight seasons, 2015 saw the Reds venture into the postseason for the first time ever, only to be thumped in the knockout round, 3-0, by their 401 derby rival Montreal Impact, of all sides.

This is the year, though, or so we’ve said and been told all season long. While it remains to be seen how deep of a run TFC can muster in 2016, they’ll always have the Jozy Altidore‘s terrible first touch; Altidore’s wayward second and third touches; Altidore’s overhead cross; and Sebastian Giovinco’s strike, all of which you can watch in all its hilarity glory below.

[ MORE: Power rankings — Playoffs edition | MLS Cup predictions ]