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SAN JOSE, Calif. — It’s been a tough couple of weeks for San Jose Earthquakes defender Nick Lima, but he’s not letting any recent disappointments on the field slow him down.

Lima barely had time to digest the Quakes’ disappointing end to the 2019 Major League Soccer season, a Decision Day 3-1 loss at the Portland Timbers that eliminated San Jose from the MLS Cup playoffs chase, before he was on a plane to join up with the U.S. men’s national team for a pair of Concacaf Nations League matches.

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The USA beat Cuba convincingly in their tournament debut but followed that up with a dispiriting 2-0 loss on the road against Canada, the first time in 34 years they’d lost to their northern neighbors. Lima played a role of the bench in Toronto after not seeing the field against Cuba, but he could do little to help the U.S. avoid defeat.

A day later, after traveling cross continent, Lima was finally back in the Bay Area, reunited with his Earthquakes’ teammates and taking part in the team’s Thursday morning training session. Blocking out the vitriol that spewed forth after the Canada loss, he was already looking ahead to what is next for both club and country.

“Clearly, we weren’t happy with the result,” Lima said from the Avaya Stadium press room, “but going forward there’s stuff you can control in a game. We go forward and we know what we can control, and that’s our effort and what we put into the field.”

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With the Earthquakes beginning a three-month off-season, Lima’s full attention is with the national team, and he expects to be called up by head coach Gregg Berhalter in November for two more Nations League games against the same two opponents. If the USMNT wins both, defeating Canada by at least two goals when they face off November 15 in Orlando, they’ll advance to the semifinal round of the tournament next June. Lima feels the defeat to Canada provides plenty of lessons for him and his countrymen.

“You know, eleven guys working as a unit, as a team, follow the tactics and then just go out and execute the next game,” Lima said. “But we have to execute it with 110% from everyone, and I think it’s something that we can easily fix. Guys are willing, guys are hungry, so it’s a bump in the road for sure, but I think that it is a group that is resilient and will be able to make some good out of it.”

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Berhalter has received the brunt of the criticism following the defeat to Canada, especially as he works to instill a specific system of play within the group. There are concerns that the coach’s ambitions may be too grand for a roster that spends such limited time together, but Lima is not buying it, especially since Berhalter communicates regularly with every player. He does feel that more games together, including those in November and friendlies expected to be scheduled early in 2020, are what is necessary for the team’s development.

“Gregg breaks it down in a way that is understandable for each player,” Lima said. “He’s good with communication and talking guys when they have questions, seeing their confusion on the field without them having to say anything. He analyzes it very well, players and tactics, and I think guys are learning. Yeah, it’s a process and it’s going to take time for guys to really get full confidence, and hopefully this turns around sooner than later. It will take time.”

Trusting the process is nothing new for Lima, as he’s been going through the same trials and tribulations at the club level throughout 2019. He was the Earthquakes’ Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 and one of the few bright spots during a lost MLS season, earning the attention of the soccer public heading into the new year. His call-up to Berhalter’s first camp in charge of the men’s national team was heralded as the next step in his professional development, and following an impressive debut against Panama, followed closely by another strong performance against Costa Rica, Lima was touted as a favorite to be the U.S. right back for years to come.

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Big, meaningful victories have become scarce for the US national team over the last couple years, but they definitely scored one when Ajax right back revelation Sergino Dest announced that he would continue his international soccer in red, white and blue.

The 18-year-old son of a Dutch mother and a Surinamese-American father, who earned his first two senior caps in October, was eligible to make a one-time switch to the Netherlands. Though Dest has come up through the youth international ranks in a US shirt, Oranje boss Ronald Koeman made a late bid to turn his head on behalf of the country of his birth. He took a spell to think it all over, setting off sweat glands at Soccer House and across our soccer bubble.

In the end, Dest opted to stick with the USMNT instead of teaming up with the Dutch, who have reached three World Cup finals and routinely boast one of the most talented squads in the world. Now that the sighs of relief have passed, we can all take stock of what his decision means for the Nats, both now and in the years to come.

The obvious factor relates to what Dest adds to the team on the field. The youngster greatly improves and deepens Gregg Berhalter’s right back pool, if not also providing the manager with a starting-caliber choice for the left side.

Dest is more comfortable on his natural right side, but possesses enough adaptable quality to make it work on the opposite flank. Whether working starboard or port, the youngster display some wizardly moves rushing in to attack. He already has four assists in just 16 games for Ajax and can also threaten with long-range shots. He largely defends well, especially when facing up to a ball-carrier, but can certainly gain more savvy to eliminate mistakes.

On the right-back depth chart, Dest is in a dogfight with the likes of Reggie Cannon, Nick Lima and the presumed top pick, fit-again Newcastle United man DeAndre Yedlin. However, it can be well-argued that he instantly becomes the best option on the left.

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But upon joining his Quakes teammates in preseason, two weeks later than everyone else, he had a tough transition under another new head coach, Matias Almeyda, and suddenly his position upon the pedestal he had ascended was in peril. The Argentine coach had his own grand tactical plans he was implementing, and they seemed almost orthogonal to those Lima had been groomed with under Berhalter. It was a challenge.

“I think it was a learning experience for us all,” Lima said. “We had the opportunity to come in and learn from a different system. We had so much to work on coming off of last year. We started off slow, but then as time went on, we gained confidence, and then it was up and down, and I think through it, we put ourselves in positions we wanted to be.”

Lima, perhaps more than others on the team, seemed to struggle under the guidance of Almeyda during the first two months of the season. He had lost his starting role as the Earthquakes right back to Tommy Thompson, the role he also featured at with the USA, and was finding his minutes limited to left back. It was a big adjustment for Lima, but it was not one he shied away from in making his presence felt on the field.

“It was different, you know, from playing on the right, but it is just not thinking about it,” Lima said. “You go out and read the game and try to put myself and teammates in positions they want to be in. You still go out with full confidence, but work more on the training pitch, ask questions, look at film. … It is different, but at the same time, you are still playing, and it’s soccer, and I know how to do that.”

After a season in which he started all 34 games for the Earthquakes, Lima featured in only 24 games in 2019. With Thompson established at right back, Lima battled with newcomer Marcos Lopez for time on the left. By season’s end, he had bested the Peruvian international and was Almeyda’s every game starter. Accordingly to the underlying numbers, Lima’s last four games were his best for the Quakes all season, and it was a tough pill to swallow to not see San Jose make the MLS Cup playoffs.

“By the end of the season, we dipped a little bit and we, unfortunately, didn’t make it,” Lima said, “but I think there is a lot of good that we take away from it. We have the knowledge going into the off-season for what we need to do to be ready for, in terms of workload, practices, the preseason. When the season starts to not still be learning something that is brand new, and I think we are in a good spot to move forward.”

2019 has been a learning experience at the club and country level like no other for Lima, and he showed no signs of being worn down by the process. Rather, the 24-year-old defender, with 9 national team caps and counting this year and a new on-field responsibility with the Earthquakes, knows exactly what he needs to do in the coming months to continue his growth for both teams.

“It goes without being said, you bring your top level when you go into the off-season and get ready,” Lima said. “There’s another camp in November, so stay ready for next month. And then, it starts in early January and you keep going and come in and bring a level of quality to the guys, improved fitness, speed, endurance, strength, a little bit of everything. That’s what the off-season is for. It’s enjoyable in that aspect because I get to train in ways that I don’t normally get to in the season.”

For Lima and his development as a professional, 2018 might have provided the awards, but 2019 has been even more rewarding. And given his drive and determination, 2020 promises to be, whether he’s donning Quakes’ black and blue or the colors of the USA, his best year ever.

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Tonight’s USMNT Starting XI vs. Cuba: 1-Brad Guzan, 3-Matt Miazga, 5-Daniel Lovitz, 8-Weston McKennie, 10-Christian Pulisic (capt.), 11-Jordan Morris, 13-Tim Ream, 14-Jackson Yueill, 15-Cristian Roldan, 19-Josh Sargent, 20-Reggie Cannon

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Substitutes: 12-Sean Johnson, 22-Zack Steffen, 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Michael Bradley, 6-Miles Robinson, 7-Paul Arriola, 9-Gyasi Zardes, 16-Nick Lima, 17-Sebastian Lletget, 18-Corey Baird, 21-Tyler Boyd, 23-Aaron Long

Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Brad Guzan (62), Tim Ream (37), Jordan Morris (36), Christian Pulisic (33), Matt Miazga (18), Cristian Roldan (17), Weston McKennie (16), Daniel Lovitz (11), Josh Sargent (10), Reggie Cannon (9), Jackson Yueill (4).

Tonight’s Starting XI has an average age of 24 years, 350 days and 23 caps.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter utilizes six players that started the 1-1 draw against Uruguay on Sept. 10, 2019 in St. Louis: Guzan, Cannon, Ream, Yueill, Roldan, Morris and Sargent.

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Morales had been sidelined with the flu but returned for the last 25 minutes of that Düsseldorf loss. He got a yellow card for a bad foul in the 82nd minute.

FotMob: 5.8 | WhoScored: 6.1
78% passing | 2/4 duels | 1/1 dribble

Julian Green
The 24-year-old played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Greuther Fürth’s scoreless draw at Osnabrück.

FotMob: 6.8 | WhoScored: 6.7
2 chances created | 79% passing | 1/2 shots on target | 2 corners | 7/13 duels

Timmy Chandler
The 29-year-old was back in the lineup this past week, making a 7 minute appearance in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 Europa League win over Standard Liege. He then played 11 minutes in a 4-2 loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach.

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Emmanuel Sabbi
He applied the final touch to open the scoring in Hobro’s 1-1 draw with Silkeborg. An easy goal but he did well to sniff out the play and get himself into position. Sabbi was FotMob’s Man of the Match after winning 12 duels and eight dribbles (both match highs). YOUTH UPDATE

FotMob: 8.4
2 chances created | 89% passing | 3/5 shots on target | 8/11 dribbles | 12/23 duels

American Soccer Now
In Denmark, U.S U-23 winger Emmanuel Sabbi scores a 3rd minute goal for Hobro for a 1-0 lead on Silkeborg. Game now 1-1 in the 42nd

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7:45 PM – Oct 27, 2019
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Christian Cappis
He entered the match for Hobro in the 88th minute.

Ventura Alvarado
Necaxa got the 2-0 win over Atlas with Alvarado going 90 minutes at centerback.

FotMob: 6.8
62% passing | 0/1 shot on target | 4/8 duels | 5 clearances | 1 interception

Andrija Novakovich
He came on for the last 11 minutes as Frosinone got the 1-1 draw at Cremonese.

Tim Weah – Lille – Got his boots back on

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Weston McKennie – Schalke – Out with muscle problems

Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig – Out since June 10 with groin injury

Jonathan Amon – Nordsjaelland

Kenny Saief – Anderlecht

Lynden Gooch – Sunderland – Ankle

Fabian Johnson – Borussia Mönchengladbach – Groin

Did Not Play
Matt Miazga – Reading – Match Postponed

Tyler Boyd – Besiktas – Unused Sub

Romain Gall – Malmö FF – Not in the 18

Erik Palmer-Brown – Austria Wien – Unused Sub

Ethan Horvath – Club Brugge – Unused Sub

William Yarbrough – Leon – Unused Sub

Jann George – Jahn Regensburg – Not in the 18

Bobby Wood – Hamburg – Unused Sub

Khiry Shelton – Paderborn – Unused Sub

Jonathan Klinsmann – St. Gallen – Unused Sub

Christian Pulisic captains the side for the third time tonight. The 21-year-old last wore the armband in the 1-0 win Gold Cup quarterfinal win against Curaçao on June 30 in Philadelphia.

Earning his 10th cap tonight, Josh Sargent (19 years, 233 days) becomes the sixth fastest and ninth USMNT player all-time to hit double-digital caps while still a teenager. The others: Christian Pulisic (18 years, 54 days), Juan Agudelo (18 years, 152 days), Jovan Kirovski (19 years, 126 days), Freddy Adu (19 years, 131 days), Jozy Altidore (19 years, 209 days), Landon Donovan (19 years, 321 days), Michael Bradley (19 years, 325 days), DaMarcus Beasley (19 years, 353 days).

Six players make their first competitive, non-confederation championship appearance tonight: Cannon, Lovitz, McKennie, Roldan, Sargent and Yueill.

Tonight’s match marks the first time that Matt Miazga and Tim Ream will pair in central defense.

Veteran goalkeeper Brad Guzan earns his 31st competitive appearance in his 62nd cap.

Left back Daniel Lovitz also gains his first start since the 1-0 defeat of Panama on June 26 in the Gold Cup group stage.

Making his ninth appearance, Reggie Cannon earns his fifth-straight start at right back tonight.

Five players in the starting XI are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Cannon, McKennie, Pulisic, Sargent and Yueill

With teams limited to dressing 23 players, midfielders Brenden Aaronson and Wil Trapp are healthy scratches from tonight’s lineup. Teams are allowed three substitutions.

The USMNT owns a healthy 10-1-1 advantage against Cuba. Its current 10-game, 70-year winning streak against Los Leones del Caribe is the team’s longest against any international opponent all-time.

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ATLANTA — Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez, the 2018 South American footballer of the year who joined Atlanta United for a Major League Soccer record transfer fee in January, did not feature in the Five Stripes’ 1-0 MLS Cup playoff win over the New England Revolution Saturday. Asked about his decision to sit El Pity, manager Frank de Boer left open the possibility Martínez could return to the starting lineup in this postseason. Everything de Boer said before that made it clear Martínez has started his last game for Atlanta in 2019.

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“Right now, I think, with the three in midfield of Emerson Hyndman, Jeff [Larentowicz] and Darlington [Nagbe] is a good balance,” de Boer told reporters. “Then, I have one spare spot left in that position and that’s either [Ezequiel] Barco or Pity. Now I’m choosing for Barco, and he is doing well. I have choices always, but for me, I didn’t have any reasons to change him for Pity.”

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De Boer played the same lineup — save for Michael Parkhurst replacing injured center back Miles Robinson — that defeated New England on the final day of MLS’ regular season two weeks ago. The manager has made it clear the midfield balance of Hyndman, Larentowicz and Nagbe is more important than fielding two dynamic players in Barco and Martínez. Atlanta’s No. 10 can play passes unmatched by anyone else on the team, but his defensive engine is far too inconsistent — non-existent at times — for de Boer’s liking in a single-elimination tournament.

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ATLANTA — Atlanta United’s MLS Cup title defense came to a surprising halt Wednesday night. The Five Stripes fell 2-1 to Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference final at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Substitute Nick DeLeon scored a 78th-minute winner for the Reds, evading three Atlanta defenders at the top of the penalty area. Franco Escobar, Jeff Larentowicz and Julian Gressel appeared to have DeLeon covered, but everyone backed off after the forward completed a circular dribbling move, and he fired from distance into the top corner. Darlington Nagbe was behind the play, slow to get up from a hard challenge.

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“Obviously we were upset, we think it’s a foul on Darlington, and they catch us on a break,” Michael Parkhurst said in the locker room after the crushing defeat. “We get guys back. We do well to slow up their counterattack right on top of the box on DeLeon and have a few guys around him. I don’t know what happens. Everybody thinks that somebody else is going to stay with the ball and we start to pick up runners. For half a second we let him free, and he takes a great shot. We should have had more pressure on the ball there.”

“Well, I think Pity is always a player for the No. 10 position, and Hyndman is one of the three midfielders,” de Boer said. “I think you can play with Barco and Pity like we did versus Minnesota [in the U.S. Open Cup final], but the discipline that Emerson does and what he brings defensively in our box, that’s the balance that I’m searching for.

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“Of course, you can play with players like [Martínez], but it’s a big risk. I know that Emerson is very comfortable on the ball, and he combined well with Barco and Darlington, and they are three players who are very comfortable playing in small triangles. So, I had no reason to change. In the future it could change, but right now for me this is the best balance in the midfield. I look at the opponent always, and maybe next time it will be different.”

Martínez got off to a wretched start this season and criticized his manager in the media. He has improved in recent months and delivered some big moments for his team, including winning goals against D.C. United in regular-season play and Minnesota United in the U.S. Open Cup final. In his last five appearances, Martínez has two goals and two assists. His long history of playing well in important games has netted 11 trophies in his career. Still, Martínez has never lived up to the hype that came with his price tag. And with the season on the line in every game going forward, de Boer does not trust Martínez’s positives to outweigh his negatives.

“It was just a decision that Frank made,” Julian Gressel said of Martínez’s absence. “It was just that mindset from the coaching staff and we’ve trained like that all week. Pity was obviously upset at first, but today, he did a good job being up for it and being a good teammate supporting us. I’m sure we’re going to need him down the stretch.”

No doubt, Atlanta will need Martínez to offer his support as a good teammate. Perhaps he will be called upon to make an impact in a substitute appearance. But de Boer seemingly has settled on a lineup that he trusts to get a result. It is hard to imagine he will change his mind.

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Wayne Rooney sent a corner into the box. Midfielder Lucas Rodriguez sent the set piece in to the roof of the net to equalize against Toronto FC in the first round of the 2019 MLS Cup playoffs.

United roared to life.

But the energy didn’t last. Toronto quickly ravaged United’s defense, scoring four goals in less than 15 minutes of extra time to advance 5-1 Saturday night at BMO Field.

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“It’s an unfair scoreline when you look at the game itself in regular time, but they also scored five goals and we scored one,” DC coach Ben Olsen said. “It’s hard to process that.”

In the first half, the battle to advance took place mostly in the middle of the park, with a few chances both ways in the final third. While United started in a high press, it was Toronto which got four shots on goal.

The Reds got a good look on goal in 23rd minute thanks to a ball into the box from Justin Morrow. Alejandro Pozuelo, with his back to goal, quickly redirected the ball to Nicolas Benezet, whose shot hit off his teammate and out of danger.

As Berhalter pointed out, sheer desire is a huge part of it. You know it when you see it, and if you watched that game on Tuesday you certainly saw it from Sam Piette, Liam Fraser, Jonathan Osorio and Scott Arfield. But there are two other things we need to explain that go beyond “try harder.”

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The Player Pool
Tyler Adams is literally a world-class ball-winner. Paxton Pomykal looks like he will be there soon. If you just slot them into the US midfield things naturally improve by about 90% because winning the ball in those situations is a fundamental piece of who they are as players. It has never been so for Michael Bradley (he prefers to contain rather than challenge) and does not appear to be so for Cristian Roldan or Weston McKennie.

Is it so for Jackson Yueill? He’s made huge strides this year, but he didn’t win games for the Quakes with his defense the way that Pomykal did for FC Dallas, or that Adams has for the Red Bulls both here and in Europe. Alfredo Morales? He’s done dirty work in the Bundesliga, but we may have seen the limit of his abilities vs. Mexico. Russell Canouse was my big hope heading into this MLS season, but Russell Canouse is now a right back.

Hopefully Brandon Servania gets there – he did the job well for the U-20s this spring in the U-20 World Cup – but he played as more of a No. 8 for Dallas down the stretch for a reason. His and Pomykal’s teammate Edwin Cerrillo has promise, and North Texas SC coach Eric Quill is specifically working with him on the “be more nasty and inflict some pain” part of his game, but we’re talking about a 19-year-old USL player here.

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Hassani Dotson was excellent for Minnesota United this season and was, according to a few folks who were there, one of the outstanding players at this most recent U-23 camp for the US playing as a pure, ball-winning No. 6. But Hassani Dotson is not an MLS starter, and as of right now the U-23 are the right spot for him.

With Adams, Pomykal and Morales all hurt… I mean, in retrospect the answer was “play Yueill to see if he can do it against a better team than Cuba or a stuck-in-third-gear version of Uruguay.” At least then, even if the US lost in this exact same way, Berhalter could’ve learned something new about a young, promising player on his roster.

Here is something I wrote last week in a preview of this international date:

For this camp the question is “Can Bradley, Yueill or Trapp show they’re a defensive answer – or at the very least, not a liability – against a team with as much attacking firepower as Canada?”

That’s as crucial a question as Berhalter’s of Adams. And if the answer is no, then it’s probably time for the coach to start re-thinking what he needs from that spot on the field.

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As it stands, this loss as a come-to-Jesus moment on the central midfield is the only possible silver lining I can see for the US here.

It is absolutely essential that the US get ball-winners into midfield even if it means sacrificing some distribution from the No. 6 spot. If Adams gets healthy, write his name in pen. If Dotson can translate what he’s done at the club level and with the U-23s up to the full national team in January (yes, he should be there in January, if not sooner), then glory hallelujah we suddenly have a smidge of depth. If Pomykal gets healthy and keeps progressing, we have ball-winners in two spots. If Yueill shows that he can dive into a scrum without the ball and come away with it, then we have depth and flexibility.

The tension broke in the 32nd minute when Pozuelo evaded defender Russell Canouse. Toronto’s shot leader rocketed a ball toward Hamid, who had kept a clean sheet for more than 480 minutes prior the Saturday’s game. Hamid blocked the first shot, but in an uncharacteristic mistake, parried into the sprinting feet of midfielder Marky Delgado.

Delgado easily put the rebound past Hamid, who was still getting off the ground.

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The first half goal left United in a tough position. D.C. finished the regular season with a record of 1-9-5 after conceding first.

United also lost midfielder Felipe Martins to injury in the 44th minute. Not only did it take away a veteran who has been the glue of United’s spine, but it also forced a switch in formation. Canouse shifted from right back to defensive mid, while Paul Arriola moved from the wing into Canouse’s vacant spot. Forward Ola Kamara came on for Felipe and played high with Rooney moving behind him.

“It’s tough. I think we put a lot of attackers out there to try to score that goal,” Kamara said. “A lot of people were out of position.”

Toronto started the game shorthanded. While forward Jozy Altidore was an expected absence due to a hamstring injury suffered in the final regular season game, the Reds were also without Omar Gonzalez. The defender was a late scratch after suffering a hamstring injury and failing a fitness test, according to TSN reporter Kristian Jack.

While the Reds have found goals without Altidore, the loss of Gonzalez presented a challenge for the Toronto defense. The 31-year-old defender joined Toronto in June from Pachuca in Mexico’s Liga MX. His veteran presence helped Toronto finish the regular season with a 10-match unbeaten streak.

The absence of Gonzalez opened opportunities in the final third for D.C. United. In what was ultimately his final appearance in Major League Soccer, Rooney desperately searched for the back of the net to keep his team’s season alive. He had two close calls around the 64th minute, both coming from distance. And both were saved in acrobatic fashion by goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

“You’ve got Wayne’s three (chances) and Ola’s 1-v-1,” Olsen said. “We didn’t, over the course of the day, make enough plays to win it in regular time and then we threw so much at it in the end.”

In stoppage time, Westberg made a gutsy play and came well off his line to head a ball away. Arriola took advantage of the open net and attempted a chip in goal, but Chris Mavinga headed the chance away.

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ON MONDAY MORNING, Ajax fullback Sergino Dest announced that he had made his decision over his international future and that he has opted to represent the United States over his native Holland. The decision helped provide a needed boost the U.S. national team.

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Dest, 18, has enjoyed a breakthrough in recent months where he as earned the starting right back position for Ajax and has impressed in both Eredivisie and Champions League games.

While he was born and raised in the Amsterdam area, Dest’s involvement with U.S. youth national teams is extensive. In 2017 he played for the U.S. team at the U-17 World Cup. Earlier this year, he played for the U.S. U-20 team at the 2019 World Cup. In both occasions, the U.S. team advanced to the quarterfinals. In September, he made his senior team debut for a pair of non-cap tying friendlies.

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But as Dest became more successful, the Dutch federation began its public pursuit of Dest in hoping to convince him to use his one-time switch of national team affiliations.

Liverpool midfielder Matteo Ritaccio (age 18): U-18s

Leicester City goalkeeper Chituru Odunze* (age 17): U-18s (did not play in 4-1 defeat to Senegal at U-17 World Cup)

Women’s Super League

Birmingham City defender Adrienne Jordan: played 90 in 2-0 victory over Liverpool

Birmingham City midfielder Bri Visalli: played 90

West Ham defender Erin Simon: not in the 18 for 3-1 defeat to Chelsea

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Reading defender Matt Miazga, on loan from Chelsea: at Nottingham Forest, ppd.

Fulham defender Tim Ream: played 90 in 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough

Stoke City defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur: played 90 in 2-0 defeat at Millwall


Wigan defender Antonee Robinson: played 90 in 2-2 draw at Bristol City

Hull City defender Eric Lichaj: played 90 in 2-0 victory over Derby County

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Derby County midfielder Duane Holmes: played 90

Queens Park Rangers defender-midfielder Geoff Cameron: played 72 in 3-1 defeat to Brentford

Fulham midfielder Luca de la Torre: played 90 (scored in 88th) in U-23s’ 4-0 victory over Sunderland

Fulham goalkeeper Damian Las* (age 17): U-23s (played 90 in 4-1 defeat to Senegal at U-17 World Cup)

Fulham defender Marlon Fossey: not in the 18 for U-23s

League One

Rotherham defender Matthew Olosunde: played 73 in 1-0 defeat to Wycombe

Sunderland midfielder Lynden Gooch: not in the 18 (injured) for 1-0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town

Southend forward Charlie Kelman (age 18): not in the 18 (injured) for 3-1 defeat to Ipswich Town

Last week, U.S. national team head coach Gregg Berhalter and U.S. Soccer’s soccer director Earnie Stewart travelled to Holland to meet with Dest and his father. It apparently helped in Dest’s decision.

Here are a few thoughts on the matter

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While Jonathan Gonzalez opted to leave U.S. Soccer for Mexico in 2018 and Neven Subotic left for Serbia in 2008, U.S. Soccer’s record with dual nationals is actually strong despite the two high-profile defections.

This year, it has brought in players like New Zealand-born Tyler Boyd (whose stock was soaring with Ankaragucu in May) and American-born, English-raised Duane Holmes who has been effective with Derby County.

Under previous coaches, Bob Bradley brought in Timothy Chandler, Mix Diskerud, Jose Torres, and Jermaine Jones. Jurgen Klinsmann brought in John Brooks, Danny Williams, Julian Green, Fabian Johnson, Terrence Boyd, Ventura Alvarado, Aron Johannsson, and Matt Miazga. The short-lived second tenure of Bruce Arena introduced Kenny Saief (who was highly regarded at the time) and Dom Dwyer. Dave Sarachan, meanwhile, introduced Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson for their first respective caps.

But this dual national recruiting win is unique for a variety of reasons. It essentially involves having a player commit to the U.S. program over Holland where that player was born and raised in the Amsterdam area, was a Champions League starter for Ajax at 18 years old, and had concrete and public interest from a Dutch federation that is has far more prestige in the sport compared wtih U.S. Soccer. With all of those factors working against U.S. Soccer, U.S. Soccer pulled it off.

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Pessimism permeates the United States men’s national team fanbase at the moment. The team has suffered two losses to Mexico in the past four months, Christian Pulisic can barely get off the bench for Chelsea, and stars Tyler Adams and Tim Weah are injured. But if you’re looking for something to get excited about heading into the next two games against Cuba and Canada, and for the rest of the season, it’s Weston McKennie.

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McKennie’s club career is going great at the moment thanks to FC Schalke 04’s hiring of German-American coach David Wagner, who previously managed Huddersfield in England. Previous Schalke boss, Domenico Tedesco, had his team play a low defensive block and long ball-oriented attack that made the Royal Blues downright painful to watch. Wagner brought his high pressure style to Germany, and his team has lost just once in its first seven games, falling only to Bayern Munich.

“It’s been nice to watch the evolution of Schalke this season under David Wagner, I think he’s done an excellent job,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter said at a Thursday press conference. “They’re a very dynamic team. A lot of emphasis on counter-attacking, and organized, but they still have some very creative players. It’s good to see Weston performing in that team.”

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McKennie, who had little to do but sit deep and clear long under Tedesco last season, is playing a more dynamic role under Wagner. He still has room to improve as a passer, but he’s been excellent in defensive transition, regularly helping to force turnovers that lead to scoring chances. He’s one of the Bundesliga’s elite pressing players, and he’s improved the rest of his game dramatically as well.

Here, from StatsBomb, are some of McKennie’s key stats from this season compared to last season. He’s far from elite at anything but pressing, but he’s starting to become a useful passer.

Weston McKennie scored hat-trick in the USMNT’s 7-0 win over Cuba on Friday night. The midfielder poses a unique conundrum: he is a box-to-box midfielder who is best in advanced areas.
Weston McKennie is one of the primary talents in the U.S. Men’s National Team set-up. For some time, the central midfielder has been one of the most touted names of the Gregg Berhalter era. And given his natural ability, ever since he broke through at FC Dallas and moved to Germany as a teenager, there was good reason for it.

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What McKennie represents is a very modern midfielder. He has all of the tools that you would want in a present-time central midfielder. Extremely athletic and mobile, highly capable in tight spaces and a calm, composed, accurate and consistent passer.

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But there is one problem: he also scores goals.

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While goalscoring central midfielders were the talk of the town just a decade ago, nowadays, with the influx of 4-3-3 shapes and inverted wingers where the goals are more completely scored by the front three, it has become more customary for central midfielders to offer control and command, not goals and game-changing moments.

McKennie has the quality to play that role. He is a capable enough player to conduct such control in central zones. But it seems a little foolish to ask him to play in this manner when it might undermine the number of goals that he can score.

After his historic hat-trick in Friday night’s 7-0 victory over Cuba, McKennie spoke about the offensive freedom that he is enjoying under new manager David Wagner at Schalke:

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“He’s more on the attacking side and wants us to play our style. He always says that he gives us ideas, it’s not something we just have to stick to, he understands that we have our own individual qualities that we can apply to the game and he wants us to do that. In a way he has a leash on us, but he lets us free sometimes, too.”
It is this attacking license that allows McKennie to be so dangerous with his late runs into the box. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter echoed the same sentiment:

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“[Wagner] has ideas that they want to get Weston involved, he wants him arriving late in the penalty box, being an attacking midfielder, so there are a lot of similarities.”
It is a nice problem to have. The unique goalscoring abilities of McKennie are what make him so special. You do not want to take it away from him. But against better teams, his natural offensive make-up could be exploited, his late runs into box turned against them on the counter-attack. In a 4-3-3, the positional balance of the attacking most central midfielder is vital to a well-structured team, and McKennie must prove that he can play with the required nous and guile to proficiently fulfil the responsibilities of a goalscoring, box-to-box role.

For now, it seems as though Berhalter is at peace to let McKennie go. And against opponents Cuba, that is all well and good. But what happens when you play better teams, with more tactically astute midfielders who can contain spaces and release counters? That is when the McKennie conundrum surfaces.

NEXT: USMNT Vs Cuba: 3 things we learned
It remains to be seen how Berhalter uses McKennie moving forward. But for now, he is a premier USMNT talent, even if some uncertainties come with his usage.

McKennie is enjoying playing for Wagner, and playing a more ambitious style of soccer.

“This year he’s really big on playing our style, and our style is with high pressure and counter-attacks, as well as keeping the ball well and combining,” McKennie says. “That’s been a fun way for us to play, and I think a lot of the players are having a lot more fun, realizing we can play instead of just sitting back and playing the ball long.”

McKennie adds, “We feel like [Wagner] believes in us. He’s more on the attacking side and wants us to play our style. He always says that he gives us ideas, it’s not something we just have to stick to, he understands that we have our own individual qualities that we can apply to the game and he wants us to do that. In a way he has a leash on us, but he lets us free sometimes too.”

Having McKennie on a team that plays attacking soccer, and asks him to contribute going forward, is important for the future of the national team. While Schalke could move McKennie into a more defensive role and buy pure playmakers, the USMNT does not have the same luxury. Young attacking talents are coming up through the USMNT pipeline, but for the foreseeable future, Berhalter needs McKennie to make creative contributions.

“[Wagner] has ideas that they want to get Weston involved, he wants him arriving late in the penalty box, being an attacking midfielder, so there are a lot of similarities,” Berhalter says about McKennie’s roles for club and country.

“They have the same idea of what type of role I play,” McKennie says about his two managers. “They both know that I’m good at applying pressure to the defense, breaking up play and winning tackles. They also know that I can bring some flair to the game in offensive plays.”

A decade ago, having any American player competing in Champions League and the Bundesliga was a dream. McKennie did it as a teenager. He has yet to round into a complete midfielder, but McKennie is undoubtedly one of the biggest talents to ever grace the USMNT. With a club manager like Wagner, McKennie now has the opportunity to make the most of those talents and become a cornerstone player for his country.

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TORONTO — Daniel Lovitz’s 2019 season has been filled with ups and downs.

Lovitz earned his first cap with the U.S. men’s national team in January and has since played 13 times. He also featured in the crushing 2-0 defeat to Canada at BMO Field earlier this week. At the club level with the Montreal Impact, he lifted his second Voyageurs Cup. Lovitz was also left out of the 18 by Wilmer Cabrera for the Impact’s season finale.

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“It was a discussion between me and the head coach,” Lovitz said. “I’ll keep that between us but more than anything it was nice to be on the same page about it. Obviously, I expressed to him that I wanted to play but I respected his decision and it’s one of those things.”

Ahead of the U.S.’s loss to Canada, Gregg Berhalter spoke about Lovitz’s progression with the national team. Berhalter enjoyed what the Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania native has been giving his squad.

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“He’s done a good job, he really has,” Berhalter said. “What I really like with Danny is that he can attack. He’s very aggressive going forward. He’s a competitor as well.”

Tonight’s USMNT Starting XI vs. Canada: 1-Zack Steffen, 2-DeAndre Yedlin, 4-Michael Bradley, 5-Daniel Lovitz, 8-Weston McKennie, 10-Christian Pulisic, 11-Jordan Morris, 13-Tim Ream (capt.), 15-Cristian Roldan, 19-Josh Sargent, 23-Aaron Long

Substitutes: 12-Sean Johnson, 22-Brad Guzan, 3-Matt Miazga, 6-Wil Trapp, 7-Paul Arriola, 9-Gyasi Zardes, 14-Jackson Yueill, 16-Nick Lima, 17-Sebastian Lletget, 18-Corey Baird, 21-Tyler Boyd, 20-Reggie Cannon

Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Michael Bradley (151), DeAndre Yedlin (60), Tim Ream (38), Jordan Morris (37), Christian Pulisic (34), Cristian Roldan (18), Weston McKennie (17), Zack Steffen (17), Aaron Long (14), Daniel Lovitz (12), Josh Sargent (11)

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Tonight’s Starting XI has an average age of 25 years, 219 days and 37 caps.

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter makes four changes to the starting XI that faced Cuba, inserting Zack Steffen in goal, Aaron Long and DeAndre Yedlin on the back line and Michael Bradley in central midfield.

Tim Ream captains the USMNT for the fourth time tonight. The team is 2-0-1 when Ream wears the armband.

Having returned from groin surgery, DeAndre Yedlin makes his first USMNT appearance since the 1-1 draw against Chile on March 26.

Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley becomes the first USMNT player to feature in an away game in his current club’s home stadium.

Having started his career with Toronto FC in 2014 and played his whole professional career in Canada, current Montreal Impact defender Daniel Lovitz is the other Canadian-based player in the USMNT lineup tonight.

Six players will appear in their first away match in official competition tonight: Long, Lovitz, McKennie, Roldan, Sargent and Steffen.

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Aaron Long and Tim Ream pair in central defense for the second time, having previously worked the 1-1 draw against Uruguay on Sept. 10 in St. Louis.

Coming off his hat-trick performance against Cuba, Weston McKennie earns his 10th appearance of 2019 tonight.

Interest in returning to Montreal
In his introductory news conference, Impact sporting director Olivier Renard expressed his interest to build an attacking style. When asked about potentially contributing to the Impact’s new era, Lovitz simply said: “I would love to.”

“I was a winger for the majority of my life and my professional career so it’s something that I have a natural knack for,” Lovitz added. “It’s been an adjustment to just pick the right spots, to do that and to be on a team that is constantly trying to attack from wide areas.”

The fullback had an informal conversation with Renard. For him, the sit-down with the Impact’s new sporting director was “to get on the same page and put a face to a name more than anything.”

“I think that anyone that knows MLS knows that things operate quickly and when you least expect it sometimes,” Lovitz said. “Especially now that the Impact are not in the playoffs, I think a lot of other teams still focused on the current year in the season and they’ll kind of reevaluate things when the dust settles.

“For us, it’s a head start to try to figure out what we want to look like next year and who’s going to be available. That stuff always plays out and players don’t always have a say in what happens.”

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Growing pains
Playing at BMO Field last Tuesday brought back memories of Toronto FC, the club where Lovitz started his professional career. He hadn’t made the transition to left back yet and struggled to find regular minutes.

“For me it was about sticking around and doing what I can do to impress the coaches, whoever they were at the time, and to make sure that I was consistent when it counted,” he said. “At times [in Toronto] I didn’t think I did a great job with that and I was able to transition into Montreal and find some stability in a position that I was able to call home as a left back and move forward from there.”

Lovitz added that one of the challenges for him growing as a left back in Montreal has been finding balance. He needed to know when to move forward and stay back with star left winger Ignacio Piatti. He believed that playing for the USMNT helped him play through that struggle as a left back.

“We struck a good balance at times and we were incredibly dangerous,” Lovitz said. “I think the structure [at the U.S. national team] has been good for me I think especially this camp. The [Cuba] game, just what we’ve been able to put together structurally, I feel the most like myself in the position and I’m able to get across half field and get touches on the ball and I love that.”

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FLUSHING, N.Y. — New York City FC finished the regular season on top, but is going home after just one playoff game.

A last-minute penalty sent top-seeded NYCFC packing Wednesday with a 2-1 loss to No. 4 Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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Alejandro Pozuelo scored both of Toronto’s goals in the second half. Toronto will now advance to the conference final to face the winner of a Thursday semifinal between Atlanta United and the Philadelphia Union.

“The mentality is really strong with this team, the work rate is really strong, the quality is there, they believe in themselves,” Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney said. “Anything is possible when all those things are put together.”

The decisive goal came after Ronald Matarrita tripped Toronto’s Richie Laryea inside the penalty area. Pozuelo put his penalty kick past Sean Johnson in the 90th minute in front of an announced crowd of 19,829 at Citi Field.

NYCFC coach Dome Torrent is under contract for next season, but said after the game he does not know whether he will return. He has to go back to English sister cub Manchester City to meet with ownership and discuss his future.

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“I don’t know what will happen,” Torrent said. “Right now we have time, it’s October, we have time to talk about the next year. But don’t worry because if Dome’s not here … the most important thing is the club. They have a good, good team, amazing players and no doubt about if Dome is the head coach or another coach, he can play really well with these kind of players.”

Torrent said he told the players many times leading up to Wednesday’s match, “It’s about the mistakes” in knockout games.

That proved true.

Just three minutes into the second half, Toronto FC capitalized on a gaffe by NYCFC’s defense to score the game’s first goal. Maxime Chanot attempted to head back to Johnson, but only popped the ball slightly behind him. Pozuelo picked the ball off and finished with his left foot from 12 yards out.

“It’s just one of those moments where things don’t work out the way you really planned them,” Johnson said. “That’s the game of football. He’s a terrific defender so it doesn’t define him by any means. I’m sure we’d all have that back that moment back and do it differently next time.”

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Sean Johnson: “Best point total and all that goes out the window if you can’t make anything of it.” (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis Editor

QUEENS, N.Y. — New York City FC’s elimination from the MLS Cup Playoffs was one bitter pill to swallow for goalkeeper Sean Johnson.

He just came off one of his best, if not the best games of the Major League Soccer season. In the first half alone, the 30-year-old keeper made four spectacular saves to keep City in the game at Citi Field.

As well as he played, Johnson wasn’t a miracle worker and gave up two goals in what turned into a distressing 2-1 defeat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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“It’s tough to find words right now,” he said. “The emotions are still pretty fresh in a game where it’s everything to play for. We simply weren’t good enough today. I think you look at the course of the game. We start off with 45 minutes and we’re lucky we escape with 0-0 at halftime. We didn’t show up with the right energy, the right focus.”

Johnson refused to blame any of his teammates for both Toronto FC’s goals, even though they were dreadful mistakes.

“Mistakes happen, but I think it’s a collective,” he said. “In big games and in big moments we’ve got to show up. That’s the name of the game in the playoffs and fighting for each other. I think for 90 minutes Toronto did what they had to do to get the lead twice. It’s disappointing because you put so much into a long year.”


NYCFC won its first conference title with an impressive 18-6-10 record and 58 points. Many members of the media, pundits, observers and fans were pointing toward a possible MLS Cup match-up with Supporters Shield winner Los Angeles Football Club Nov. 10.

“Thirty-four game season, postseason, international breaks, Open Cup, all that jazz, first place in the East, best point total and all that goes out the window if you can’t make anything of it,” Johnson said. “Off-season’s here and it’s a harsh reality for a lot of guys who haven’t experienced that yet. And for those who were here last year, it’s a repeat. I said it last year, it wasn’t good enough. We did all we did to come back this year to make things better, but we fell short again. So, no lack of support all year from the fans. They were incredible and spurred us on until the very last minute of the game. So, for that I’m thankful.”

Still, NYCFC can’t get over the hump in the playoffs. After missing the postseason in its first year in 2015, City has booked a spot there four consecutive times. And every time the club has exited in the first round in which has competed.

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In fact, NYCFC is 1-6 in seven playoff matches as it has been outscored, 17-5. It also been eliminated by Toronto FC twice, including by a 7-0 aggregate in 2016.

Since it received a first-round bye, City had a 17-day break from matches. Toronto FC, on the other hand, was coming off a 120-minute affair, a 5-1 extratime win over D.C. United Saturday.

“To be honest I don’t think we can make any excuse whether it was the amount we had,” he said. “Not playing any meaningful games in that time period, you can write the narrative any way you want, but at the end of the day, you have to take responsibility as players. We worked hard enough to put ourselves in that position and with that position comes responsibility to take care of business when the moment comes up. I think you can go around the room and ask any player and I don’t think they’ll put it down to anything that happened in the last week and a half, two weeks. For us, the moment was now, and it wasn’t good enough for a team to go out the way we did and now we’re looking at another offseason.”

Taty Castellanos came close to the equalizer in the 57th minute when he turned from 20 yards out and fired just wide of the far post. Two minutes later, Maxi Moralez put a shot on frame, but goalkeeper Quentin Westberg made the save.

The leveler came in the 69th minute, when Moralez crossed to the back post and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi beat Westberg off the bounce.

NYCFC had a first-round playoff bye, and looked every bit a team that hadn’t played in 17 days during the opening 45 minutes. The home team would have trailed at the break if not for the play of Johnson.

Toronto FC 2, NYCFC 1 – 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs

Oct 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) warms up before a game against New York City FC at CitiField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“Simply we just weren’t good enough today,” Johnson said. “I think you look at the course of the game and we start off for 45 minutes and think get lucky to escape 0-0 at halftime. We didn’t show up with the right energy, the right focus and mistakes happen, but i think is a collective. In big games, in big moments, we have to show up.”

Johnson made four saves in the first half, each a critical intervention. He parried away an attempt by Tsubasa Endoh in the 5th minute and dived to his right to push aside a point-blank shot by Pozuelo 10 minutes later.

In the 37th minute, a clever combination for Toronto FC saw Pozuelo play a penetrating pass to Endoh in the box. The Japanese midfielder set up Jonathan Osorio with a backheel, but Johnson pushed the Canadian international’s shot over the crossbar for one of TFC’s three first-half corner kicks.

The best chance for NYCFC in the first half came on a quick restart by Alex Ring after Moralez was fouled. He played to a streaking Castellanos, but Westberg got a piece of the attempt for an NYCFC corner. NYCFC had one final shot to level in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, but Westberg pushed aside Castellanos’ close-range header.

“I think the second half we played much better than the first half and we deserved more,” Torrent said. “But sometimes the soccer is unfair with the players and that happened tonight.”

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CHICAGO (Oct. 7, 2019)—Two players have been replaced on the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team roster for its October training camp, which culminates in a match against El Salvador on Oct. 15 in Miami, Fla.

Defender Kyle Duncan suffered an injury during the New York Red Bulls’ 3-0 loss to Montreal on Sunday. North Carolina FC defender Manny Perez will replace Duncan in South Florida. The outside back was a part of the USA squad that won the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship in Bradenton, Fla. and has made 19 appearances for North Carolina this season.

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The USMNT defender wouldn’t be where he was today without his older sibling’s example and her stories, his favorite being her meeting Freddy Adu
As women’s soccer grows and grows, there are plenty of stories of today’s stars getting into the game by joining in with their brother and his friends, kicking a ball around.

Jill Ellis, who led the United States to back-to-back Women’s World Cup titles, spent her childhood “playing with her brother in the backyard”, while photos of Lucy Bronze tackling her older brother, Jorge, have circulated the internet for years.

But Auston Trusty is one of the rare examples of the shoe being on the other foot.

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When the Philadelphia Union defender was born, his sister, Onnie Nicholson, was already in love with soccer and would soon be travelling around with the national team, starring in their youth teams and inspiring her little brother with her stories.

“I’m the youngest of six. Everyone in my family played collegiate sports and high-level sports so I was kind of bound to have that pathway,” Trusty explains to Goal.

“My sister played with national teams in soccer, so I fell in love with soccer watching her.

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“She was on the women’s national team and everything. She was a big-time player and I was the little ball boy on the sidelines, kicking a ball.

“I never got to really play with her because by the time I was really able to play, she had already stopped playing and already had a kid, but I get to hear her stories and everything so that’s pretty cool.”

The tale that stands out for Trusty is that of his sister meeting Freddy Adu while away with the national team, the former D.C. United ‘wonderkid’.

“When I was really little, I remember her saying she’d just got back from a trip playing with the national team and the men’s national team was there too,” he recalls.

“And Freddy Adu – he actually played for the Union too at the time – he was like the biggest name in America, the biggest soccer player, the biggest prospect in the world.

“And he was like 15, 16 years old. I remember her telling me she’d met him and they were friends and I was like, ‘wow, one day I want to go to that national team place and see it and play at the World Cup’.”

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Auston’s sister, Onnie (No.24), pictured here playing with future USWNT World Cup winners Naeher (No.1), O’Hara (No.8), McDonald (No.15) and Heath (No.10) in 2005

Although Trusty is yet to be capped at senior level for his country, the 21-year-old has risen through the youth ranks at some pace and has represented the USMNT’s under-17s and under-20s at World Cup tournaments.

“Not too much later, I was in the residency school and playing at the World Cup,” he beams.

“I never knew that existed until she told me that. So it’s stories like that.”

Despite his parents being very supportive of his passion for soccer, and being able to financially support him too, Trusty’s love for the game wasn’t shared by many outside of his family.

“I grew up when soccer wasn’t the main thing. My friends didn’t grow up playing soccer and I was the weird one for playing soccer,” he explains.

“All the kids in the neighborhood, every single day we were outside playing but it would never be soccer. It was always football or basketball or baseball or anything else but soccer.

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“If I even mentioned soccer they’d be like, ‘what?’, you know?

“It’s just not in the American mindset. It’s hard growing up. When you’re growing up, you do what your friends do, and they’d rather watch a football game than a soccer game. It’s not in their mindset. It’s sad, it’s unfortunate for me, but you get over it.

“It was easier for me because my family had the money to afford it all for me but a lot of kids it’s not as accessible for them. It’s really, really expensive.”

The issues that exist in America’s relationship with soccer are something Trusty discusses at length in Soccer in the City, a documentary featuring a plethora of top talent from the USA and beyond that is set to premiere on October 17.

“I think it’s getting the backing from the city itself to allow fields to be put in parts of town,” Trusty says.

“I think it’s extremely important because if kids in the city have to have access to proper fields and proper nets and everything, it can grow the game and there’s more potential for teams to look at.

“Every team is in the city but not every team is tapping into the full potential of that city.”

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While soccer has developed into something of a pay-to-play sport in the States, it’s something that Trusty sees improving since he was a kid.

The defender grew up just five minutes from the Union’s stadium and spent his childhood idolising those who he plays with now – describing current teammate Ray Gaddis as someone who was his favorite player, and is now his best friend.

Thanks to the Union’s work in the community, the soccer landscape of Philadelphia is changing for the better, and Trusty is delighted that the next generation of future soccer players will enjoy that.

“I go home and I can see little kids playing around, which I always did, but I see them with a soccer net outside their house.

“It makes me really happy. When I grew up, that was not a thing. I had a net, but it was two lacrosse nets because my brother played lacrosse, so I put them together. I always wanted a net.”

He also believes that attitudes in the U.S. are changing for the better when it comes to the future of soccer in the country.

“I think the mindset of the people I grew up with has changed,” he says.

“But that might be because they see me and they want to support me so they get involved in it.

“That said, it shows that when you put aside the fact that ‘soccer’s a wimp sport’ or things like that and people try to watch it and they enjoy it.

“If you give it a chance, when the American mindset gives it the chance, it’ll grow on you.”

Additionally, defender Miles Robinson has been called up to the senior MNT for the upcoming Nations League matches against Cuba and Canada after defender Walker Zimmerman was forced to withdraw from the roster due to injury. Robinson earned his first call-up to the full team during the Sept. international window and earned his first two caps vs. Mexico and Uruguay.

Robinson will be replaced by Philadelphia Union defender Auston Trusty. Trusty has been a part of the last two U-23 MNT camps and has made 22 appearances this season for the Union, helping the team to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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CHICAGO (Oct. 14, 2019) – Following a comprehensive 7-0 win against Cuba on Friday night, the U.S. Men’s National Team heads north to take on Canada on Tuesday, Oct. 15 where a win would see the side pull level with les Rouges in the Concacaf Nations League A, Group A table. Pre-game coverage of Canada-USA begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on ESPN2, UniMás and TUDN, with kickoff to follow at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.

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GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 62/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER; 16/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 9/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 13/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 11/0), Matt Miazga (Reading/ENG; 18/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 37/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 59/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 150/17), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 12/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 16/6), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 33/14), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 17/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 4/0)

FORWARDS (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 29/5), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4/0), Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş/TUR; 8/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 36/7), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 10/3), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 53/10)

The U.S. Men’s National Team opened Concacaf Nations League play in impressive fashion, routing Cuba 7-0 on Friday night at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. The side used a hat trick from Weston McKennie and a Jordan Morris strike inside the first 13 minutes to put the game away early. Morris then forced an own goal not long after the hour mark, before Josh Sargent gave the side a 6-0 halftime lead. Captaining the team for the third time, Christian Pulisic recorded his 14th goal and first from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute, capping the scoring and sending the USMNT north to Canada with its largest margin of victory of the Gregg Berhalter era.

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With three goals inside 13 minutes, USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie recorded the fastest hat trick from the start of a game in team history. It was also the second-fastest in minutes spanned, coming in just one minute behind Brian McBride, who tallied three goals in 12 minutes in a 4-0 Gold Cup quarterfinal victory against El Salvador on Jan. 27, 2002.

With a trio of assists, Jordan Morris became just the third player in USMNT history to achieve the record of three in a match, tying Cobi Jones (Nov. 14, 1993 vs. Cayman Islands) and Landon Donovan (April 1, 2009 vs. Trinidad & Tobago and July 21, 2013 vs. El Salvador).

Finally, the USMNT’s six first-half goals in the match set a new record for goals in a half among matches which goal times are recorded (going back to at least 1968). Interestingly, the previous record of five goals all came in the second half of matches.

Friday’s 7-0 victory against Cuba also marked Gregg Berhalter’s ninth as USMNT head coach.

Set to manage his 16th match on Tuesday against Canada, a win would see Berhalter become the second-fastest USMNT manager to achieve double-digit victories after only Bob Bradley, who achieved his 10th win in his 11th match as head coach in 2007.

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Games Coached

10th Win Date



Bob Bradley


June 24, 2007

2-1 W vs. Mexico

2007 Gold Cup

Bruce Arena


February 16, 2000

1-0 W vs. Peru

2000 Gold Cup

Jurgen Klinsmann


September 11, 2012

1-0 W vs. Jamaica

2014 WCQ

Steve Sampson


June 9, 1996

2-1 W vs. Ireland


Bob Gansler


April 8, 1990

4-1 W vs. Iceland


Bora Milutinovic


May 30, 1992

3-1 W vs. Ireland


* Gregg Berhalter has 9 wins in 15 games coached with the USMNT

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The USMNT roster was reduced to 24 players on Saturday with defender Miles Robinson returning to Atlanta United FC after suffering a left hamstring strain in training following Friday night’s win against Cuba. Robinson was summoned to camp earlier in the week as an injury replacement for Walker Zimmerman who suffered a concussion in LAFC’s regular season finale.

TORONTO (AP) — The U.S. men’s soccer team lost to Canada for the first time in 34 years, allowing second-half goals to Alphonso Davis and Lucas Cavallini in a 2-0 defeat Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Nations League.

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A little over two years after the Americans failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup by losing at Trinidad and Tobago, they saw their 17-match unbeaten streak against their northern neighbor come to an end.

The U.S. men’s national team—and let’s be clear, the U.S. Soccer Federation as a whole—are in crisis again. And the whole thing makes you wonder if anyone learned any lessons at all from the monumental failure to qualify for World Cup 2018.

On Tuesday, Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT lost 2-0 to Canada in Toronto in the Concacaf Nations League, a loss that was deserved, a loss that was historic (the first time Canada has beaten the U.S. in 34 years) and a loss that probably should have been by an even bigger margin. It was the latest example that the U.S., whose best teams were always hard to play against, has lost that identity in the last five years of freefall.

It was one thing to lose 1-0 to Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup final. But to lose 3-0 to the Mexicans after that (while failing to execute on the basics) and 2-0 to the Canadians in a competitive game are other things entirely.

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Under Berhalter—as was the case under Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena—the U.S. is worse than the sum of its parts. The talent that is there is being asked by Berhalter to adopt a play-out-of-the-back tactical approach that isn’t suited to the players at hand, who would be better off using a more direct style that (combined with pressing) would help keep the ball in the opponent’s half of the field. If Berhalter doesn’t adapt now, he should be out of a job soon.

Davies turned in a cross from Scott Arfield. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen put a palm up to block Davies’ shot but the ball still dropped over the line as Canada’s players rushed to join Davies for a raucous celebration.

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63′ Goal by Alphonso Davies! @CanadaSoccerEN’s has the lead! 1-0 over @ussoccer_mnt in Toronto | #FollowTheDream #CNL

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Cavallini added a 90th-minute for 75th-ranked Canada, taking long pass and beating Steffen to the near post with a low shot.

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Goal @CanadaSoccerEN ! Lucas Cavalini scores Canada’s second goal of the night! This is the first win against @ussoccer_mnt since 1985! #CNL #FollowTheDream

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Christian Pulisic had a point-blank shot saved by goalkeeper Milan Borjan in the 51st minute.

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The 21st-ranked U.S., coming off last week’s opening 7-0 home rout of Cuba, had nine wins and eight draws against Canada since a 2-0 exhibition defeat at Vancouver, British Columbia, in April 1985.

Canada is trying to climb into the top six in the region in FIFA rankings, which will be used next summer to determine the nations in the hexagonal will produce the three direct qualifiers from the North and Central American and Caribbean region for the 2022 World Cup.

The U.S. and Canada meet again Nov. 15 at Orlando, Florida, and the U.S. faces Cuba four days later George Town, Cayman Islands.

American coach Gregg Berhalter made four changes, inserting Steffen, right back DeAndre Yedlin, central defender Aaron Long and midfielder Michael Bradley. Yedlin made his first international appearance since March 26 after recovering from groin surgery.

With the departure, the USMNT roster stands at 24 players heading into Tuesday’s match against Canada. Teams are allowed to dress 23 players for Concacaf Nations League games (20 field players and three goalkeepers).

Normally at this point of the cycle, the USMNT would still be playing friendlies in preparation for the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying. With the advent of the Concacaf Nations League, the team is now getting competitive matches in a home-and-away format that can replicate what the team will experience come the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which begins next September.

“This is competitive soccer,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said about the new competition. “For us, it’s playing away games and playing home games that leads to a result in a tournament format which is important. World Cup qualifying is an absolutely crucial event, and these games will help prepare us. Any time there is a trophy on the line and in the inaugural Nations League tournament [there is], we want to put ourselves in a position to win.”

Drawn into Nations League A, Group A, the USMNT closes out the year with home and away matches against Canada and Cuba. Those countries faced off during the September window, with Canada earning a 7-0 win on Sept. 7 in Toronto before a 1-0 victory in Cuba’s “home” match on Sept. 10 in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. With those results, the USMNT will have the goal of equaling Canada’s six points by the end of the October window.