United States

FRISCO, TX - MAY 25:  Nagbe Darlington #10 of the United States celebrates with Christian Pulisic #17 of the United States after scoring against Ecuador during an International Friendly match at Toyota Stadium on May 25, 2016 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

United States 1-0 Ecuador: Nagbe grabs late winner in 90-minute snoozefest

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The United States snoozed its way through one half and flubbed its way through another, saved by an 89th-minute winner from Darlington Nagbe that gave the home side the admittedly deserved win over an even worse Ecuadorian side.

Ecuador came to Frisco, Texas, as both sides get ready for the Copa America to come just days away, and they each left with little to take from the scoreless draw until Nagbe broke the ice with a minute to go.

[ USMNT-ECUADOR: Player ratings | 3 things ]

The first big chance of the game came just on the half-hour mark, as a beautiful chipped ball from Clint Dempsey over the Ecuador back line sprung Gyasi Zardes free. Unfortunately, the famous Zardes touch saw the ball get away from him and out of play.

The rest of the half snoozed by, and after the break, the US spurned another great chance just three minutes into the second half. A beautiful ball from Michael Bradley reached the far post where Steve Birnbaum, John Brooks, and Clint Dempsey were all waiting, and somehow none of them made contact, instead toppling over each other as the ball rolled harmlessly to the goalkeeper.

Soon after, the US conceded its best chance yet to Ecuador. A great touch by Miller Bolanos sends Angel Mena into acres of space through on goal, but Michael Bradley sprinted from the mid-line to recover and punch the ball out as Mena cut back.

Jurgen Klinsmann switched up the attack past the hour mark, bringing on Bobby Wood, Darlington Nagbe, and young Christian Pulisic. They created a chance with 20 minutes to go as Graham Zusi delivered a ball across the face of goal. It was out of the reach of Pulisic, but it came to Alejandro Bedoya on the far side, who sent it back across the face, again untouched.

As the US took control through the late stages, they got the winner. DeAndre Yedlin sent in a cross that came off the head of Juan Paredes. Bobby Wood won the rebound, heading it back to Nagbe waiting in the middle, and the 25-year-old chested it down and volleyed it in for his first international goal.

The US takes on Bolivia on Saturday before the Copa America begins June 3.

US Soccer legend Abby Wambach announces retirement

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 16: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States claps following an attendance announcement in the second half against Costa Rica during the match at Heinz Field on August 16, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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The all-time leading goalscorer in world soccer is hanging up the cleats.

USWNT superstar Abby Wambach announced her retirement from the game on Tuesday. She will be with the women’s team for all four of its December matches, with her final one coming against China PR on December 16 in New Orleans, the last of the 10-game Victory Tour following the 2015 World Cup win.

“After much deliberation and talking with my friends, family, teammates and our coaching staff, I’ve decided to finally bring my soccer career to an end,” Wambach said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “While we still have more work to do for women’s soccer, after bringing the World Cup back to the United States this summer, I’m feeling extremely optimistic about the future of our sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”

Wambach, now 35, began her United States national team career at just 21 years old against Germany in 2001, amassing 252 caps and scoring 184 goals for her country, far and away the most in international soccer history, men’s or women’s.

However, as any pro athlete eventually faces, her production was in a slow but noticeable decline, forcing USWNT head coach Jill Ellis to make a difficult but necessary decision, relegating Wambach to substitute duty for much of the 2015 World Cup. With the 2016 Olympics nearing, Wambach’s retirement will allow the U.S. women’s team to progress without facing a similar situation.

The Rochester, NY native was a fan favorite throughout her career, and became a pioneer in the sport both on and off the field. She announced before the World Cup that it would be her last, signing off from the sport’s biggest competition with an emotional farewell video before the final.

USMNT releases 23-man roster for September friendlies

Howard
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Jurgen Klinsmann has announced the 23-man roster for the United States’ upcoming friendlies against Peru and Brazil.

Tim Howard makes his return to the USMNT after his hiatus from the national team, but Klinsmann has already said he will have to earn his starting role back from Brad Guzan.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron is also back in the side after being given some rest over the summer during the Gold Cup. Overall, 15 players from the Gold Cup roster will be returning for the September friendly matches.

For now, two of the USMNT’s most important players, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley, are not present on the 23-man roster for the match against Peru. However, both will be added after that match to face Brazil.

Klinsmann said these friendlies will mainly serve as warm-up matches to the one that everyone has circled on the calendar, October 10 against Mexico. The winner of that match will get to represent CONCACAF in the 2017 Confederations Cup.

The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now.

Obviously we want to continue to have a good flow of guys from the Gold Cup, but also to bring back guys who are in position to compete for a spot on the roster for Oct. 10.  Our message to these guys is simple: prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl.”

While most of the players are familiar faces around the U.S. camp, there is one new addition as Andrew Wooten received his first call-up. The German-born striker has scored five goals in the opening five matches of the season for SV Sandhausen, who play in the second division of German football.

COMPLETE ROSTER

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Greg Garza (Atlas), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham)

Midfielders: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Veracruz), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Alfredo Morales (FC Ingolstadt), Danny Williams (Reading), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Andrew Wooten (SV Sandhausen), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Gold Cup 3rd Place Preview: United States looks to finish strong vs Panama

Dempsey
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The addition of a 3rd Place match to the 2015 Gold Cup has been criticized by many, but it will allow some small form of redemption for a pair of teams feeling down on their luck.

The United States is coming off a depressing showing against Jamaica that has forced them to prepare for a Confederations Cup playoff in early October, and those preparations start Saturday at 4:00 from PPL Park in Philadelphia.

Clint Dempsey looks to secure his hold on the tournament’s top-scorer list, currently on top with six goals. It will also be interesting to see if Klinsmann sticks with his young central defensive partnership of Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks that has taken much criticism for a mistake-filled tournament.

[ LIVE: Watch Gold Cup 3rd Place Match | Follow live ]

The U.S. will take on Panama, who has plenty of reason to feel sorry about themselves, but also should feel they showed well throughout the tournament in spite of the contentious decisions the other day.

Unfortunately for Panama, they’ll be without at least one player due to their meltdown during and after the Mexico match. LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Peneda, who had been stellar throughout the tournament, was suspended two matches by CONCACAF for pushing an assistant referee. Leading scorer Luis Tejada will also be missing due to his contentious red card against Mexico handed out by Mark Geiger. Other decisions could come down by CONCACAF between now and the match as the North American governing body continues to investigate the incidents from that match, but at this point we know either Luis Mejia or Jose Calderon will start in goal for Panama in Philadelphia.

[ MORE: All of PST’s Gold Cup coverage

The biggest question seems how much will the Panamanian players have their hearts in a third place match following the disaster on Wednesday night. We may have seen a preview of what is to come during Friday’s training session:

For the United States, their hearts better be in this match despite what little is on the line. A second straight loss to a CONCACAF opponent would heap even more pressure on coach Jurgen Klinsmann and would throw the team into heavy turmoil ahead of a crucial Confederations Cup playoff to come in the fall.

There’s plenty more for the USMNT to lose in this match than Panama, and that could play a significant factor. Will they make amends and end the tournament on a high, or will the hard done by Panamanians push hard for revenge?

WATCH LIVE: U.S. take on Japan in Women’s World Cup final

Abby Wambach, USWNT
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Both Japan and the United States came out of their respective groups in first place and will find themselves matched up in a vital international match once again.

The USWNT, aiming for their first WWC crown since 1999, will hope to avenge their loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup, when the Stars and Stripes relinquished multiple leads and stumbled on penalty kicks.

In 2012, the tables turned, as the U.S. defeated Japan for the Olympic gold medal.

Starting from the round of 16, Jill Ellis’ squad defeated Colombia, China and top-ranked Germany en route to the final, while Japan had to overcome the Netherlands, Australia and England.

[RELATED: All the latest WWC news ]

United States (5-0-1) vs Japan (6-0-0)
Sunday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
WATCH LIVE ON NBC Deportes stream (on TV at FOX Sports)

 

LINEUPS

United States: Solo, Sauerbrunn, Lloyd, Krieger, Holiday, Morgan, Brian, Rapinoe, Heath, Johnston, Klingenberg

Japan: Kaihori, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima, Sakaguchi, Miyama, Kawasumi, Ohno, Utsugi, Ogimi, Ariyoshi