Thursday, October 30, 2008

Clint Dempsey Checks in from London

We caught up with Clint Dempsey of Fulham today and recorded a podcast with the Fulham midfielder from his house in London. Clint talked about his club's next game with Everton this weekend, scoring a goal earlier in the week, and the progress that the U.S. team has made in World Cup qualifying so far. Listen to the full podcast here.

Howard's End and Fulham's Good Run

Tim Howard kept his first clean sheet of the season as Everton earned a 1-0 victory over Bolton in the Premier League last night. The shutout ended a run of 17 consecutive games in which Everton had conceded a goal, a streak that Howard admitted had him a bit nervous. He spoke to Everton's website about getting his first clean sheet of the season; read the full interview here.

Up next for Everton: A date with Clint Dempsey and Fulham. The two sides will meet at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking of Fulham, their recent revival continued with a 2-0 victory over Wigan yesterday. Dempsey came off the bench in the second half of the win, as Fulham jumped up to 14th in the table.

Wednesday Results

In Germany Steve Cherundolo and Hannover were beaten 3-0 by Hertha Berlin. In France, Rennes tied 0-0 with Valenciennes, with Carlos Bocanegra playing the full game at left back for the his club.

Jozy Altidore and Villarreal lost 5-0 Club Polideportivo Ejido in the Copa del Rey. That one didn't go down too well. Villarreal will look to set things right on Saturday when they take on Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.

In Sweden, Charlie Davies came on as a second half sub in Hammarby's 2-1 victory over Halmstads.

In the Championship earlier this week, Jay DeMerit and Frankie Simek are making their way back from injuries. DeMerit went 90 minutes in Watford's 2-0 loss to Preston on Tuesday. Simek completed his long road to recovery by coming on as a second half sub in a 1-0 loss to Plymouth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Full Schedule Wednesday

There's a full slate of midweek games around the world today, but first let's catch up on a result from yesterday.

Maurice Edu
played the full 90 minutes of Rangers' 2-0 win over Hamilton in the Scottish CIS Cup. The win puts Rangers into the quaterfinals of the competition, and they'll turn the focus back to the SPL this weekend as the Glasgow club takes on Inverness.

Now to Wednesday's action:

In England, Everton will look to build on their good result from this weekend when Tim Howard's team hosts Bolton at Goodison Park. Get the fact lowdown on the fixture from Everton's website.

Fulham host Wigan at Craven Cottage tonight, and Clint Dempsey will look to build on his goal from the weekend. In Roy Hodgson's preview, the Fulham manager tells the club's website how important it was to get a result on the road at Portsmouth. Follow the game with live text updates at Eurosport or at Soccernet.

In Ligue 1, Rennes travels to Valenciennes while Monaco hosts Nancy. Earlier this week Carlos Bocanegra of Rennes spoke to about adjusting to life in Ligue 1. You can read the full interview here.

Over in the Bundesliga, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover take on Hertha Berlin.

In Spain it's time for the Copa del Rey, and Villarreal is in action against lower league outfit Club Polideportivo Ejido in the 4th round.

Finally, Hammarby play host to Halmstad over in the Swedish Allsvenskanliga.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tough Tuesday for Gladbach

In midweek action Michael Bradley and 'Gladbach fall to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg. The result leaves 'Gladbach second to bottom in the Bundesliga table ahead of a big game with fellow strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend.

Catching up on Highlights

Carlos Bocanegra: Rennes 2, Le Mans 2

Oguchi Onyewu: Genk 0, Standard Liege 0

Marcus Hahnemann: Reading 2, Doncaster 1

Monday, October 27, 2008

Edu Settling In

Maurice Edu spoke to Rangers' website about settling in with his new club. Edu could feature in tomorrow's Scottish League Cup match against Hamilton, as Rangers continue their defense of the title they won last year.

There's action around Europe tomorrow night, with Michael Bradley and 'Gladbach taking on Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Heath Pearce and Hansa Rostock face SpVgg in the 2nd Bundesliga, while Danny Szetela and Brescia host Salernitana in Serie B.

There are games in England as well, with Reading visiting to Burnley and Watford traveling to Preston.

This awesome image courtesy or

Video from Dempsey's Goal

Here's video of Clint Dempsey's tying goal this weekend:

We're searching for a more complete highlights package, so stay tuned...

Highlights from Mexico

Michael Orozco and San Luis defeated Monterrey, 2-0.

Jose Torres and Pachuca tied Morelia, 1-1.

Check out the full standings of the 2008 Apertura here. With the win, San Luis extended their lead in Group 3 to five points, while Pachuca remain in third place in Group 1.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dempsey Scores Late to Snatch Point

Clint Dempsey grabbed his first goal of the season, coming off the bench to notch the equalizer in a 1-1 game against Portsmouth. Dempsey entered the game in the second half and, in the 87th minute, knocked in a cross at the near post to rescue a valuable away point for Fulham.

We'll be back tomorrow with highlights and more news stories from the weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Results

Tim Howard and Everton fight for a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

Michael Bradley and 'Gladbach get back on track with a 1-0 win over Karlsruhe.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover draw, 1-1, with Werder Bremen.

DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers cruise to a 3-1 victory over Hamilton.

On Friday, Heath Pearce came on as a second half sub in Hansa Rostock's 0-0 draw with FSV Frankfurt.

Early Morning at Fadó

The Global Blog is up early this morning at Fadó Chicago to watch Tim Howard and Everton take on Manchester United. Fadó is the U.S. Soccer Bar Program October Bar of the Month and we've ventured here to catch this intriguing match up, as Tim takes on his former club.

Everton also include former United players Louis Saha and Phil Neville in their starting lineup, and how the Toffees could do with a result in this game. Everton have started this campaign slowly and a point against the champions at Ewood Park could be just the kickstart they need.

Meanwhile, the kick the global blog needs is on the table in the form of hot coffee. We've also ordered up some food, which we're awaiting eagerly.

In other games around Europe, Rangers travel to Hamilton in the SPL. Borussia M'gladbach host Karlsruhe, as new manager Hans Meyer looks to make an impact on Michael Bradley's team. In France, Rennes host surprise package Le Mans as Carlos Bocanegra's team looks to continue its five game unbeaten run.

And with that, our food has arrived! We'll check back later!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Highlights from Germany and a Coaching Change

Michael Bradley was in the starting lineup for Borussia M'gladbach this past weekend, as the club traveled to Bochum. In a closely contested match, M'gladbach fought VFL Bochum to a 2-2 draw.

Early this week, the club made news by hiring Hans Meyer as manager. Meyer returns for his second stint at Gladbach - he previously coached the club from 1999 to 2003.

Also in Germany this weekend, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover went down, 5-2, to high-flying TSG Hoffenheim.

Midweek Action

The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup aren't the only matches on the schedule this week, as many domestic leagues are in action as well.

In England, Cardiff bounced back from this weekend's loss to earn a 2-2 draw at Watford. Eddie Johnson came off the bench in the second half for the visitors, who got two late goals from Jay Bothroyd to grab a point on the road. Jay DeMerit is still sidelined for Watford, who next face a big game with Wolves this coming weekend.

Reading got back on track with a 2-1 victory over Doncaster. Marcus Hahnemann spoke to Reading's website about grinding out the the win, which he said was an important result on the road for the club.

Over in Italy, Danny Szetela and Brescia fell to a 2-0 defeat. Brescia wil travel to Modena on Saturday as they try to improve on their 7th place position.

In Denmark, Danny Califf and FC Midtjylland defeated Jeremiah White and AGF Aarhus, 2-1.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

English Highlights of Rennes

As an alternative to yesterday's post...

Davies Scores in Hammarby Win and more Highlights

In Monday night's Stockholm derby, Hammarby defeated Djurgarden, 3-0. Charlie Davies notched a goal for his club in the second half, while Hammarby moved up to fourth place with the win. Catch full highlights of the game by clicking here.

Over the weekend, Jose Torres and Pachuca went down, 3-0, to Toluca. Torres came on as a second half sub in the losing effort.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fulham Earn a Point

Clint Dempsey and Fulham stopped their run of four defeats by earning a 0-0 tie against Sunderland. The game was not without excitement, as Sunderland were denied a goal on multiple occasions: once by the referee and once by the woodwork. Clint Dempsey came on as a second half sub for the cottagers.

The inconsistent start for Tim Howard and Everton continued this weekend, with the Toffees going down, 3-1, to Arsenal in London. Everton took the lead in the first half but couldn't maintain the advantage in the second period, and Arsenal stormed back to take all three points. It gets no easier for Everton, who are in 16th place in the Premier League: they take on Manchester United next weekend.

In other action, Eddie Johnson and Cardiff won 2-0 at Charlton while Marcus Hahnemann and Reading fell, 2-1, to Preston.

Rennes Still in Seventh

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes remain in seventh place in Ligue 1, following their 0-0 draw with Auxerre on Sunday. Bocanegra played the full game on the Rennes backline.

Also in France, Freddy Adu came off the bench to make a cameo appearance in Monaco's 2-1 loss to Nice. Monaco, in 15th place in Ligue 1, have endured a tough start to the season, and they'll look to turn things around with a game against Toulouse next Saturday.

Szetela Scores in Win

Danny Szetela and Brescia are up to 8th in Serie B after a 3-2 victory over Triestina on Saturday. Szetela entered the game as a 2nd half sub, and his 88th minute goal turned out to be the winner as Brescia held on for the three points. The goal was Szetela's first for the Italian club. Highlights of the game start at about 42 seconds:
It's a quick turnaround for Brescia, who will be in action midweek against Rimini on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Until Next Month...

As the guys are packing up their bags before our departure in a few hours, we figured we'd wrap up the blog, at least until next month. Tonight's loss was only the U.S.' second ever to Trinidad and Tobago, and the first in World Cup Qualifying. Full credit goes to the Soca Warriors who really showed their mettle on the pitch tonight. A big shout out to their fans who made the game unforgettable - unforgettable in the sense that now the Blog will remember the moment when it partially lost its hearing. In all seriousness though, the atmosphere was fantastic all the way down to the live steel-drum band version of the Star Spangled Banner.

The island will be partying tonight, especially since rivals Guatemala succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Cuba. That means T&T are now three points clear in the race to make the final round. Around CONCACAF, Jamaica rolled on, beating Honduras 1-0, while Mexico fought back twice to salvage a 2-2 draw with Canada in Edmonton. That sets up a big final day in Group 2, but we'll get to that next time around...

Thanks for reading everybody and be sure to keep the coments coming! We'll see you in just under a month...

Live at Hasely Crawford Stadium

7:10 pm - CONCACAF is putting the finishing touches on a busy day around the world in Qualifying. Tonight's games include Canada hosting Mexico in cold, cold Edmonton. Poor Canada, already eliminated. However they can do everybody in CONCACAF a favor by beating Mexico to really put the pressure on El Tri going into the final game...

7:08 pm - The band is absolutely killing it. They've launched into a version of Abba's "Dancing Queen."

7:06 pm - People are slowly filing in here, and the stadium is just about half full. Originally the blog tried to sit in the seat of T&T's Sports Minister. Oops! Needless to say we were booted from that area.

7:05 pm - Here's how the U.S. will lineup for tonight's game:
Kljestan-------Adu------Beasley (c)

7:02 pm - As a live band brings us a calypso version of My Way, the blog checks in from Hasely Crawford Stadium. We're online here (for now) and we'll be heading towards the 8 pm kickoff...

Live at Hasely Crawford Stadium

7:02 pm - As a live band brings us a calypso version of My Way, the blog checks in from Hasely Crawford Stadium. We're online here (for now) and we'll be heading towards the 8 pm kickoff...

Studio 90 Sets The Table for T&T

Things are heating up here in Port of Spain - both literally and figuratively - as the excitement builds here for tonight's match at Hasely Crawford Stadium. Fans and media are clamoring for the Soca Warriors to get their first-ever qualifying win against the United States, and the 0-0 draw against Guatemala last Saturday has the population filled with optimism.

For the perfect pregame primer, check out today's Studio 90. Start with a behind-the-scenes look at the USA's 6-1 victory against Cuba, then listen in on the sit-down with four-time World Cup qualifying veteran and the team's ever-present promoter of positive energy, Frankie Hejduk. S90 then switches gears with an eye towards the T&T game, exploring the opportunities the match presents for player's looking to make their mark before getting the last word from players and coaches from both sides prior to the contest.


The coaching staff informed the team last night that DaMarcus Beasley will wear the captain's armband tonight against T&T. Beas will be leading the team onto the field tonight for the first time in his international career. The Rangers midfielder has 17 goals in 81 appearances since debuting with the full team on Jan. 27, 2001 against China. DaMarcus paced the U.S. with two goals against Cuba last Saturday night to secure the USA's place in the final round of qualifying. And who can forget his goal against Mexico on Sept. 3, 2005, that cemented the 2-0 victory and the USA's ticket to Germany?

Congratulation to DaMarcus. The only downside for Beas is that he's normally the last one out of the locker room!

Officially Bar-red

What's the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans?
Watching a game at an official U.S. Soccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans!
Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S.teams in an atmosphere that is
loud and rowdy.

Check the latest listings for the official U.S. Soccer Bar in your area.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now that we got our camera out of customs

Some closeups from training today, the final session before the match tomorrow night:

The Jersey Factory

There are many intriguing operations that goes on behind the scenes with the national team, or any team for that matter. Come to think of it, that's how the MNT blog got started! So to fulfill our continuing mission of giving you a glimpse inside the inner workings, we bring you the jersey factory...

A little background: FIFA instituted a new rule for the 2010 qualifying campaign that states players may only wear numbers 1-18 during a qualifier. We suppose that wouldn't be a huge issue if you only had 18 players in a camp for every game (although sizes can be a challenge), but what happens when you have 19 players? 23 players? And what happens when the roster changes for games that are four days apart? What happens when a player gets hurt? And what happens if you are a team like the United States that puts the players' names on every jersey? Do we see human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria? (Couldn't resist the old movie quote, folks. What can we say - it's a habit...)

Well, we'll tell you what happens with the U.S. team. Mr. Tim Cook, our team equipment manager, travels with a boatload of extra jerseys, numbers, letters, a 100-pound heat press, and an alarm clock (in case he falls asleep in the middle of the night while printing). Once the 18-man roster has been decided - usually the night before the game - Tim sets about applying names, numbers and the official World Cup qualifying patch to the uniforms. Now don't get us wrong - many uniforms can be printed in advance, but the possibility of changes requires that he prepared to do a lot of printing. And as you can see, he's got a long night ahead of him...

Did we mention each player needs two jerseys per game?

Trip Down T&T Memory Lane

It's inevitable that every time we come to Trinidad, the conversation at some point shifts to Paul Caliguiri's "shot heard round the world" that catapulted the U.S. into the 1990 FIFA World Cup, their first trip to the finals in 40 years. The goal is widely regarded as the 'big bang' moment of the modern era of soccer in the United States. Turns out the goal was a huge deal for the Trinis as well. What isn't often spoken of is that T&T needed only one point from that game to reach the World Cup, and that goal served as a major set back to the program here. "We had fans who refused to watch football for years after that," Stern John told us. Reporters here can still tell you the lineups and describe in detail events of that game. Moral to the story, Caliguiri's goal still lives on in the hearts and minds of many.

Fast forward to 2005, and you have memories of a different sort. Arriving in the midst of the craziness that is Carnivale, discovering U.S. Soccer superfan Drew Carey, and a pair of Eddie's scoring goals to set the tone for the rest of the final round qualifying campaign.

Fortunately, you can re-live all these memories and more in one place. Check out the folder marked 'Trinidad & Tobago' from the archived files of's all_access

Jose Torres Podcast sat down with the newest U.S. MNT player, Jose Torres. Jose got his first cap against Cuba in DC, and we asked him about that experience. We also talked about the decision making in process involved in becoming a U.S. international and about the difference in styles between Mexico and America. Listen to the full podcast here.

quote of the day

"We have an agreement - we don't eat them, they don't eat us."

Celebrated surfer Frankie Hejduk, declining an invitation to try the famous shark sandwich here in Trinidad.

Monday's training video

Trini Connections

Several of the U.S. players have faced Trinidad at the youth international level. Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Sacha Kljestan, Danny Szetela, and Marvell Wynne played in the 6-1 win against T&T on Jan. 12, 2005, in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Wynne is currently club teammates with Julius James, who is still looking for his first cap for T&T.
DaMarcus Beasley had a pair of goals in the 5-1 win against T&T on March 20, 2001 in Tunapuna, Trinidad, in the second group game of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2001 U-20 World Youth Championship. Beasley scored three goals and set up the game-tying goal that earned the U.S. a place in the finals en route to being named Tournament MVP.

On the T&T side, several players on the roster made stops in MLS during their career journey. Stern John had the most success in MLS, scoring 44 goals in 55 matches for the Columbus Crew. John was the 1998 MLS Scoring Champion (the previous incarnation of the Golden Boot award) and, with 26 goals, he was also a member of the MLS Best XI that year. Here's a look at the players and their time in MLS:

Cornell Glen - MetroStars,Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy - 2004-06
Julius James - Toronto FC - 2008-
Avery John - New England Revolution - 2004-2007
Stern John - Columbus Crew - 1998-1999
Keyeno Thomas - Colorado Rapids - 2000-2001

Borstein and Carroll Checked In

New faces at the breakfast table this morning with the arrival of Jonathan Bornstein and Brian Carroll. Chris Rolfe is en route and will be here later this afternoon. Some of the players have a gym session before lunch, and otherwise it's down time until training at 5:30 p.m.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Podcast from Training on Monday

Today's contestants with the media: Frankie Hejduk, DaMarcus Beasley and Bob Bradley talk about what they expect from a Trinidad team that knows that a victory against the U.S. would put them in a fantastic position to advance to the final round. As T&T striker Stern John told us today, "for many players this is the game of their lives."


A Few Observations At The Stadium

U.S. fans may remember the grounds as the site of the 0-0 draw in World Cup qualifying back in November of 2001 - which also happened to be the qualifying debut of a young DaMarcus Beasley - but we digress...

  • The stadium holds about 25,000 people. We were there well after nightfall, and the stadium lights looked much brighter than some of our other recent road venues (we really hope we didn't just jinx ourselves).
  • The field played fairly smoothly, and definitely fast. The ground is firm, but not hard.
  • There is a track around the field, which always lessens the impact of the crowd a bit.
The U.S. will hold their stadium training session tomorrow afternoon, so we'll have more on their thoughts later.

This Doesn't Happen Every Day

One of the privileges of traveling with the national team is the opportunity to meet many some of the world's best players, coaches and sometimes even world leaders. But how often do you meet the guy who has a stadium named after him?

Happened today at Hasely Crawford Stadium site of Wednesday's match . Some folks from ESPN were admiring a statue out front, when one commented that it might be Hasely Crawford. "Pretty sure it is," came the cheerful word from the man standing just behind. "I'm Hasely Crawford."

Mr. Crawford holds the distinction of being the first gold medalist in T&T history, winning the 100 meters at the 1976 Olympic Games. He was busy coaching future track athletes when we saw him, and still looking good.

Guess he probably doesn't need a ticket to get in Wednesday.

Gettin' Licks

The Blog headed over to T&T's training at the stadium today (doing some work in the TV truck ahead of Wednesday's game) and you better believe that the locals are fired up for this game. People are hesitant to say the game will be a sellout game is probably going to be a sellout. And it's going to be LOUD. The Soca Warriors' 0-0 draw with Guatemala has reinvigorated soccer fans on the island and now everybody is looking forward to Wednesday.

"U.S. is gonna get licks from us Wednesday night?" one worker asked us. It didn't really take much to figure out what he was implying.

"10 goals you're gonna give us in the game?" another one commented. Looks like the fans in Trinidad are ready for a big match on Wednesday...

Roster Update

Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against Trinidad & Tobago after tweaking his knee in the 3-2 loss against Los Angeles on Sunday. The two-time World Cup veteran has been replaced by Columbus Crew midfielder Brian Carroll. The 27-year-old has six caps for the United States, making his debut in the 6-0 win against Panama in the World Cup qualifier on Oct. 13, 2004 at RFK Stadium. Carroll boarded a flight this morning and will reach Trinidad later this evening.

Crew forward Robbie Rogers has also been sidelined, the Olympic alumnae [sorry, alumnus] experiencing a sore back after taking a hit in the 2-2 draw against Chicago. Fire forward Chris Rolfe has been added to the mix, and will arrive into Port of Spain on Tuesday afternoon prior to the team's official training in the stadium. Rolfe has played eight times for the full team, most recently in an appearance in the USA's 1-0 win in Barbados on June 22 in the second round of qualifying.

On this date in history ...

Well, if this date was Oct. 15 ...

Got to wondering if the U.S. had ever played a match on Oct. 15, and sure enough there is one time since the Federation was founded in 1913 that the U.S. saw action on this date. Unfortunately, the result didn't go in our favor as we got blanked 3-0 by Saudi Arabia in the Kings Cup (which is now known as the Confederations Cup) in 1992 in Riyadh.

Come to think of it, next time we'll try to control our curiosity ...

Happy Columbus Day!

That's all we have to say about that ...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Trini Time

Greetings from Port of Spain, where the local time is ... late.

Long day of travel from D.C. to Trinidad, but extremely smooth. The flight from Washington is just under five hours air time, which gave the lads plenty of opportunity to rest following last night's big win against Cuba. 'Twas the usual assortment of chess, card games, movies, and a lot of sleeping. Fifteen of the 18 players on the roster are now here, with Pablo Mastroeni, Jonathan Bornstein and Robbie Rogers set to arrive tomorrow.

The Trinidadians that we have met so far are pumped about the 0-0 draw in Guatemala last night that puts them right in the thick of advancing to the next round. They were very polite when they were welcoming us to the country and telling us that they hope we lose. And of course they did it with a smile! All signs are that is going to be a big night here Wednesday, and certainly a big test for many of the players seeking to make an impression on the coaching staff.

Transitioning to Trinidad

Following last night's win against Cuba, the mood in MNT camp is buoyant. Guys are excited about securing qualification for the Final round and the focus now shifts to Trinidad & Tobago, where the pressure of needing a result is gone.

Last night's crowd was an excited and noisy one, with the Oguchi Onyewu Section providing a particular verve. We say "section" because there were around 100 of Gooch's family and friends in attendance. Undoubtedly they were pleased with Gooch getting on the scoresheet late in the game, and afterwards their favorite player came over and tossed his jersey up into the crowd.

This morning the guys underwent a regen session in the gym, getting on treadmills and moving around a bit before stretching and winding down. With another game in just a few days, preparations have already begun, and that includes wearing compression pants on the flight down.

We've just wrapped up a team lunch and are heading out in a few minutes. We'll be back after touching down in Trinidad tonight!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Starting XI vs. Cuba

Here's the starting XI that U.S. coach Bob Bradley sends out to get the three points that will guarantee the USA's place in the final round of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

4-2-3-1: Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Bocanegra (capt.), Pearce; Bradley, Kljestan; Dempsey, Donovan, Beasley; Ching

The lineup remains unchanged from the group that defeated Trinidad & Tobago in a convincing 3-0 win on Sept. 10 in Bridgeview, Ill. Clint Dempsey leads the U.S. attack with four goals in qualifying so far, with Brian Ching right on his heels with three strikes of his own in the campaign. The group is seeking to extend its six-match shutout streak in World Cup qualifying that dates back to 2005.

Around CONCACAF Qualifying

MEXICO, HONDURAS POISED TO ADVANCE: In Group 2, Mexico and Honduras have jumped into the lead as favorites to advance to the Hexagonal. Sven Goran-Eriksson's Mexico squad has three wins, and will clinch advancement with a win at Jamaica on Oct. 11. Honduras can clinch advancement with a win at home against winless Canada along with a Jamaica loss or tie.


August 20
Canada 1, Jamaica 1
Mexico 2, Honduras 1

September 6
Mexico 3, Jamaica 1
Canada 1, Honduras 2

September 10
Honduras 2, Jamaica 0
Mexico 2, Canada 1

October 11
Jamaica vs. Mexico
Honduras vs. Canada

October 15
Jamaica vs. Honduras
Canada vs. Mexico

November 19
Honduras vs. Mexico
Jamaica vs. Canada

COSTA RICA, EL SAVADOR IN THE DRIVERS SEAT: Group 3 produced the most lopsided results of the Semifinal Round on the second match day, with Costa Rica cruising to a 7-0 pummeling of Surinam, and El Salvador running past Haiti in a 5-0 win. At the halfway point, Costa Rica sits atop the table with nine points, while El Salvador is primed to advance in the second spot. Costa Rican can clinch advancement with a win at Suriname on Oct. 11. El Salvador can clinch advancement with a win at Haiti along with a Surinam loss or tie.

Costa Rica3300111+109
El Salvador321071+66

August 20
Costa Rica 1, El Salvador 0
Haiti 2, Suriname 2

September 6
El Salvador 5, Haiti 0
Costa Rica 7, Suriname 0

September 10
Suriname 0, El Salvador 1
Haiti 1, Costa Rica 3

October 11
Suriname vs. Costa Rica
Haiti vs. El Salvador

October 15
Costa Rica vs. Haiti
El Salvador vs. Suriname

November 19
Suriname vs. Haiti
El Salvador vs. Costa Rica

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pre-Game Prep For Cuba

TT Answered

Once again our fans prove to be some of the most resourceful in the biz ...

Landon Donovan made his World Cup qualifying debut at RFK in the 3-2 loss to Honduras on Sept. 1, 2001. He went on to earn the penalty kick that Joe-Max Moore converted to give the U.S. a 2-1 victory against Jamaica on Oct. 7, 2001, catapulting the U.S. into the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Oguchi Onyewu cut his chops in qualifying in D.C. on Oct. 13, 2004, when he entered in the 86th minute of the USA's 6-0 drubbing of Panama. Gooch was involved in the game's final goal, directing a header on goal that was misplayed by a Panama defender and wound up in the back of the net. Gooch still counts that as his first international goal, but despite our best efforts we couldn't convince the referee otherwise.

Good guess about Frankie by the way. We did play Guatemala in D.C. in November of 1996; however, Frankie didn't make his first appearance until the return leg on Dec. 21. Interestingly, that match was played in El Salvador.

RFK Rich in History

While it holds the dubious distinction of being the last place the U.S. Men lost a home qualifier, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium hosts the U.S. for the 18 times and has been the site of 10 U.S. wins - more than any stadium in the world. Overall, the U.S. is 10-3-4 on East Capitol Street. The last appearance for the U.S. in RFK was in the Semifinal Round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and resulted in a 6-0 win vs. Panama fueled by a second-half hat trick by Eddie Johnson. The aforementioned loss came vs. Honduras on Sept. 1, 2001, but that is sandwiched between three wins on either side, including a 1-0 win vs. Argentina in 1999. RFK has hosted five World Cup qualifiers, and the U.S. has posted a 3-1-1 record in those matches. Other memorable wins for the U.S. include a 3-1 win vs. Ireland in 1992, and a 4-0 win vs. Mexico in 1995, the largest margin of victory ever for the U.S. vs. their rival.

For a comprehensive look at the history of this fantastic soccer cathedral, click here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Be Official When You're Watching

What's the next best thing to being at a game surrounded by your fellow screaming fans?
Watching a game at an official U.S. SOccer Bar surrounded by your fellow screaming fans!
Bars across the U.S. are becoming the destination spots to gather and watch your U.S.teams in an atmosphere that is
loud and rowdy.

Check the latest listings for the official U.S. Soccer Bar in your area.

TT - D.C. Debutants

RFK Stadium has been the site of many special events in soccer history, and for two players on the current U.S. roster, it holds the significance of being the site of their first-ever appearance in a World Cup qualifier.

You know the drill from here ...

(We know we've threatenedthis before, but if Amy posts the answer to this question in next 10 minutes again - it's 1:19 a.m. ET, after all - we really are retiring from trivia time ...)

DeMerit Done For Now

U.S. defender Jay DeMerit was diagnosed with a hamstring strain this afternoon following an MRI and will not be available to play in the upcoming qualifiers. The Watford-based defender had not responded to treatment during the first few days of camp after tweaking the hamstring this past weekend in England. DeMerit will continue to rehab with the national team trainers before heading back to England on Sunday.

DA Coaches Getting First-Hand Experience

Claudio wasn't the only guest at training today. Coaches from U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams in the area were invited to watch the session and learn from the nation's top coaches as part of the benefits of the program. U.S. Soccer assistant coach John Hackworth spoke to the Development Academy coaches prior to training, explaining the plan for the session, the purpose of each exercise, and giving a little insight into what the coaches were looking for out of the players. Afterwards, head coach Bob Bradley addressed the group and answered questions for about 20 minutes.

The second season of the highly successful U.S. Soccer Development Academy is well underway. To keep track of the future stars of American soccer, click here.

Reyna Returns

But this time as an observer ...

The team got a welcome surprise today when former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna stopped by training this afternoon. There were plenty of hugs and handshakes between the four-time World Cup veteran and his former teammates. While enjoying his retirement - "I'm enjoying being a dad now, " he told us - Claudio is still clearly up on what is happening with the national team. Unfortunately he can't stay for the game - he's heading back to Jersey to be a fan at his son's soccer tournament this weekend.

T-Ho on

The front page of has an interview posted with Tim Howard, where he talks about the USA's defensive prowess in FIFA World Cup qualifying and the way forward for the U.S. national team. Dating back to the Semifinal Round of 2006 qualifying, the U.S. has won six consecutive qualifiers, a record. The team has tied a record set during Final Round qualifying for 2006 with five consecutive wins in one cycle.Tim is as insightful and thoughtful as ever ...

Game Notes

Everything you would want to know - and we think you'd want to know - to get ready for the USA-Cuba showdown on Saturday. Read away!

Let us know if you have any questions....

Trinis Trounce Dominican Republic

The Soca Warriors got a nice confidence boost heading into their all-important qualifier against Guatemala this weekend when they manhandled the Dominican Republic in a 9-0 victory in Port of Spain.

Hat tricks from Jason Scotland and Cornell Glen paced T&T to the win, who welcomed back Dwight Yorke, Chris Burchall and Carlos Edwards into the lineup. The group travels to Guatemala City today in advance of their MatchDay 4 meeting with Guatemala, as both sides sit on four points in the battle for second place in Group 1. Here's the match report from Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Studio 90 News Update - Day 2

A Little from the New Guy

The newest member of the U.S. national team pool is Jose Francisco Torres, who got his first sniff in training yesterday. Born in Longview, Texas, he left high school and his family behind at the age of 16 to join Pachuca. Four years later, he has earned a regular place in Enrique Meza's squad, and all the while he had an eye on fulfilling his dream of playing for the national team. That dream came one step closer to being a reality yesterday, so we asked Jose about his first experience with the U.S. national team.

us: How was your first day?

Jose: "The first day was good. I was really nervous because I didn't know what to expect. Everyone has treated me really well. I started to feel very comfortable, and after the first day of training I'm feeling better and better."

us: With all the anticipation, has camp been different than you expected?

Jose: "It's better than I expected. I thought my teammates might be different, because sometimes in Mexico your teammates can be difficult. But here everyone treated me well. I felt comfortable with everyone very quickly. The coach is really cool, and everyone on the staff has been great. I'm really excited."

us: You've said that this has been a lifelong dream. How does it feel to now actually be wearing the colors of the U.S. National Team?

Jose: "When I put on the shirt I get the chills, because it's a dream. I think it is everyone's dream as a kid to be on the national team. Right now I think I'm living it, and when I put the shirt on I'm very excited and motivated to start playing. My choice was always to come here and represent the country was where I was born."

Perkins Back in Town

Training at RFK evoked a sense of deja vu for goalkeeper Troy Perkins, the former D.C. United netminder having spent four seasons in Washington, D.C. Joining the squad as an undrafted rookie, he went on to post a league best 16-6-7 record en route to earning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2006. Perkins joined Valerenga IF in Norway this past January, and while his career continues to move forward, he is certainly enjoying his time back in the United States.

us: What's it like being back in your old stomping grounds?

Troy: "It's weird. You go from the biggest city in Norway, which you think is good sized, but it wouldn't even be a third of the size of DC. Seeing old faces, the old club ... It's a walk down memory lane."

us: You made an appearance at D.C. United's training yesterday. How was it seeing the fellas?

Troy: "Yeah, I showed up to say hi to some of the guys . I didn't get a chance to say goodbye before I left for Norway. Many of them didn't travel to Costa Rica (for the Champions League match against Saprissa), so I should get a chance to seem them again."

us: How did it feel walking out the tunnel underneath RFK and on to the stadium field?

Troy: "Neat. I have a lot of good memories on that field. We left on really great terms, and you never know in this game where you are going to wind up."

us: So what's the first thing you did when you got back?

Troy: "I went to Starbucks coffee. And I was very disappointed. It wasn't as good as I thought in my head. I also went to some of the back country outfitters that you only find on the east coast, like REI and couple other place. I've been seeing some old friends and family. D.C. is an impressive city. Very neoclassical."

us: You've been in with national team a couple in times in the past, but were you surprised by the callup?

Troy: "I know the national team coaches are always keeping an eye on players all over the world, and they are very good about giving players opportunities. I just try to focus on playing well and getting better, and letting the other things take care of themselves. I'm very pleased to get the chance to be here, so I just plan on working hard and hopefully showing enough to continue to get called in when there are opportunities."

us: Biggest difference living in Norway?

Troy: "The expenses! Norway has a lot of good things. The culture is centered around the family. We are about working and making money all the time. A full time job there is considered 35 hours a week, with five weeks guaranteed vacation. So in those terms, the lifestyle is quite nice."


The Maryland Terrapins had a special guest at their 2-1 overtime win against Charlotte at Ludwig field last night: none other than former Terp and current Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu. Mo managed to avoid the pomp and circumstance, watching the game from behind the Terps bench. A member of the 2005 NCAA National Championship team, he played with many of the seniors and some juniors on the team, so for the former Olympian, it was a nice reunion.

Restaurant Picks

Last night was the night the players got a chance to have dinner on their own. For those Washingtonians in search of restaurant recommendations, here's a sample of where our guys spent their evening:

Oguchi Onyewu - Some Italian Restaurant in Georgetown (We're pretty sure he meant Paparazzi). He recommends the stuffed crabcakes.

Brad Guzan (Michael Bradley and Sacha Kljestan) - BLT Steak. "It's the bomb-diggety!" (Feel free to send in your translations).

Troy Perkins - Legal Seafood. Let's just say his favorite part of the meal was the company.

Frankie Hejduk - Mate. "Solid sushi."

Jay DeMerit (Heath Pearce) - Chipotle. [Editor's Note - Holy cow ...]

Danny Califf (Tim Howard) - We went the non-traditional route and had different things at different places. We started at Capital Grille, moved on to J Pauls (joined by Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo), and finished at Clyde's. We were just enjoying the Georgetown scene.

(For the record, the MNT bloggers went to the District Chophouse. Great steaks).

Getting after it

The first nearly-full training session for the national team in D.C. was a lively one. Minus Tim Howard (dentist appointment) and Charlie Davies (somewhere over the Atlantic), the rest of the group engaged in an intense and focused 90-minute training that had a great buzz about it. After a 25-minute warmup, they went straight into a possession game of 7 v. 7 plus two. It's fair to say the ball was pinging all over the place, with crisp passing and fine spacing off the ball. Next was 8 v. 8 to big goals, where both teams were able to create good scoring opportunities and finish several off as well. The day ended with a crossing and finishing exercise.

"It was a good day. From start to finish, there was a good mentality, sharpness and competitiveness, said U.S. coach Bob Bradley. We believe that the camps add up and eventually you get to the point where, when you come in, you don't start over; you start from where you left off. More and more, that is the case."

Stay tuned for video of the action ...

Listen to Bob Bradley's quotes

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Americans in the UEFA Cup

Two U.S. players learned their fate for European club competition this morning as the draw for the Group Stage of UEFA Cup was announced. Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege, fresh off their qualifying victory against Tim Howard and Everton, were drawn into a Group C headlined by 2006-07 UEFA Cup champions Sevilla. Meantime, goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Aston Villa face an interesting challenge in Group F along with fellow former European Champions Ajax and Hamburg. Group play kicks off Oct. 23.

Group C


VfB Stuttgart


Partizan Belgrade

Standard Liege

Group F



Slavia Prague

Aston Villa

MSK Zilina

Studio 90 News Update

Impromptu Interview with Jay DeMerit while Jay is on the Training Table

us: What's the most interesting thing that has happened to you in the last two months?

Jay: "The goal that never was! It was against Reading [a 2-2 draw on Sept. 20, 2008]. They had a corner kick that gets played into the box. Our guy heads it down, then it hits another player's knee and is heading out of bounds about three yards wide of the goal. Just before the ball is across the endline, a Reading player slides to keep it in and crosses it back across the goal. The linesman's flag goes up, the referee blows the whistle, and everyone sets up for a goal kick. All of a sudden, the referee runs over to the linesman and then points towards the center circle as if it's a goal. Naturally we go ballistic, the ref is handing out yellow cards left and right, and he is adamant that they scored a goal. The ball was three yards wide! Our manager compared that goal call to a UFO landing in the middle of the pitch. Neither ever happened."

us: That certainly qualifies as interesting. Your take on the Brett Favre move to New York?

Jay: "I thought it was dealt with badly by both parties. As a huge Favre fan, you never wanted to see him go. At the end of the season he said he was done, and the team had to be prepared for the future, and it's hard to take that back. Then again, he's proved with the Jets that he can still get it done. The Packers had a decision to make, and fair enough to Brett that he wanted to be the number one. It's weird seeing him in another jersey. But then again, Rogers has come in and done a good job, so everyone's been proved right."

us: So clearly you are still conflicted ...

Jay: "Clearly."

us: What's the last thing you read?

Jay: "I'm reading Richard Branson's book. He's the owner of Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Being the budding entrepreneur that I am, it's a fascinating read for me."

us: What's next?

Jay: "Pool workout, more stretching and getting ready for training. The life of the footballer..."

Olympic Reunion

Sitting in the breakfast room and noticed that one of the tables - in fact the only table that is occupied by players at the moment - is made up of this summer's Olympians. Both Mo Edu and Sacha Kljestan are wearing some of the USA team gear from Beijing, while Michael Orozco, Danny Szetela, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore join them in breaking bread. Jose Torres is taking in the stories as well.

And just in case you were going to give the youngsters extra credit for being up early, several of the veteran players have already been in and out of breakfast...

Americans in UEFA Cup

Two U.S. players learned their fate for European club competition this morning as the draw for the Group Stage of UEFA Cup was announced. Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege, fresh off their qualifying victory against Tim Howard and Everton, were drawn into a Group C headlined by 2006-07 UEFA Cup champions Sevilla. Meantime, goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Aston Villa face an interesting challenge in Group F along with fellow former European Champions Ajax and Hamburg. Group play kicks off Oct. 23.

Group C


VfB Stuttgart


Partizan Belgrade

Standard Liege

Group F



Slavia Prague

Aston Villa

MSK Zilina

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Cuba Experience

While we look forward to the USA's return to RFK and meeting Cuba on Saturday, it's hard not to look back at the experience of being the first full U.S. national team to travel and play in Cuba since 1947. From the thriving culture to the unusual landmarks, the match and all its surroundings provided the team a truly unique memory. Take a peek behind the scenes at this two-part series of the USA's Cuba Experience.

And don't forget the highlights from on the field, including Clint Dempsey's game-winning goal that delivered the U.S. a 1-0 win and is part of his team-leading four goals in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

veintidos aqui

The line at the dinner buffet was much longer tonight as 22 of 23 players have now completed the journey to D.C., with Charlie Davies the lone member of the squad left to arrive. The flow of Euros across the Atlantic from Beasley and Edu in Scotland to Bocanegra in France continued throughout the evening, while Jose Francisco Torres made the cross-border trip from Pachuca. It was the usual scene of smiles and hugs from a group that truly enjoys being together. Now the real business starts tomorrow with the first full session of the week and the match against Cuba creeping up the horizon ...

Tough Start to the Season for Mochengladbach

Michael Bradley's Borussia Monchengladbach are enduring a tough start to the Bundesliga campaign and, after Sunday's loss, head coach Jos Luhukay was sacked.

Christian Ziege becomes the caretaker manager for 'Gladbach, who have the international break to try to steady the ship.

In other Bundesliga action over the weekend, Steve Cherundolo helped Hannover to a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

Rennes Record Win over Lyon

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes dispatched Lyon, 3-0, with a well-earned victory at the Stade de le Route-de-Lorient. The win, which marked the Ligue-1 Champions' first loss of the season, will be a helpful tonic for Rennes, who were eliminated from the UEFA Cup by Twente on Thursday.

The three points bump Bocanegra and Co. up to 7th in the LIgue 1 table.

tranquilo training

The first session of the D.C. camp was decidedly brief, the group on the field for less than an hour, with some just seeing the inside of the gym. Brian Ching and Jay DeMerit went straight to the bikes, while Landon Donovan hit the weight room shortly after warmups. Clint Dempsey, Sacha Kljestan and Michael Orozco - all of whom went 90 on Saturday - were the next to start on the regeneration path, while Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Frankie Hejduk and Danny Szetela stayed on the field for ball work and finishing. Not much else to it, to be honest, but we'll have video from training a little later today. By the start of the Red Sox - Angels game, 22 of 23 players will have made it Washington.

Coach out at 'Gladbach

There's a shakeup at Borussia Moenchengladbach, the new home of U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley, as coach Jos Luhukay has been fired after posting a 1-6-0 record in seven matches. Sporting Director Christian Ziege will assume the reins while the search for a successor begins.

Group 1 Primer

Since we've been out of action for a spell, figured we would give you a refresher on the USA's group in the semifinal round of qualifying. The U.S. sits in sole possession of first place with nine points from three matches, snagging away victories in their first two matches against Guatemala and Cuba. Tied on four points, Guatemala is ahead of Trinidad & Tobago based on superior goal differential. The Chapines picked up an important road point in Port-of-Spain on MatchDay 2, then trounced Cuba with a 4-1 win in Guatemala City. The swing match could be Oct. 11 at back in Guatemala City, where T&T will be looking to get back the points lost in the home leg. Cuba has yet to earn a point in the group, but is nowhere near mathematically eliminated from advancing. The two best teams will move on to the final round hexagonal, which kicks off in February of 2009.

Group 1

Trinidad and TobagoTrinidad and Tobago3111454

Easing into it

With an abundance of Sunday matches involving our Euros, attendance at today's training session will seem a bit ... sparse. When you combine travel, minor injuries and playing time during the weekend, it's fair to say that for the players his won't be the most strenuous session of their careers. Here's the 10 who will picking up their training gear this afternoon:

Jozy Altidore
Michael Bradley
Brian Ching
Jay DeMerit
Clint Dempsey
Landon Donovan
Frankie Hejduk
Sacha Kljestan
Michael Orozco
Danny Szetela

Welcome to Washington

It's the start of a big week for the U.S. National Team as a place in the final round of qualifying for South Africa is within reach, and there's no better setting than historic RFK Stadium in our nation's capital. It's a town conceived to host big events, and the upcoming match against Cuba certainly fits the bill. Leading Group 1 with nine points from three matches, the U.S. takes on Cuba on Saturday, Oct. 11 at RFK Stadium where a victory would ensure their advancement to the CONCACAF Hexagonal (tickets). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Galavision.

There's plenty of storylines to follow, from the team's six-match shutout streak to their storied history in D.C. And as always, will be there to provide the inside scoop. For the moment, Bob Bradley's men continue to trickle into Washington, with several members of the 23-man squad having been completing club commitments earlier today. The team begins training Monday, so get ready for a plethora of sights and sounds as the World Cup qualifying campaign continues ...

Final: USA 1 - 8 Portugal

Final - USA 1, Portugal 8

40 min - Cabral takes a shot on the volley that's saved by Bebe and goes out for a corner.

37 min - Cardinal finishes off Pedro Cary's cross.

37 min - Shocking giveaway by Portugal and Naumoski buries it in the top corner. Good finish there.

37 min - Hammes tries to test him but the ball goes wide.

36 min - Portugal sub in their backup goalie who looks like he's 12. Conveniently, that's his number.

35 min - Beasley with more good work to win a corner...he tries to find Myers at the far post but nothing doing.

34 min - Beasley and Wiesner play a good one-two but the return pass is just too far.

33 min - Vorberg with a good sliding stop to deny Leitao.

32 min - U.S. just can't get much going here. It's been the story of the tournament, really...

29 min - Israel sets up Bibi for the tap in finish.

27 min - Jardel makes it six with a left footed drive.

26 min - Silky stuff from Ricardinho as he beats two men then threads the needle for Leitao to pick up his hat trick.

25 min - Portugal pick up a giveaway and break quickly! Vorberg with a sliding stop outside the area though.

24 min - Leitao turns provider now, squaring for the captain Arnaldo to make it 4-0.

23 min - Portugal with a counter and Arnaldo looks for Bibi at the far post. His flick doesn't come off and the ball goes wide.

21 min - Goncalo picks up a bad U.S. clearance and makes it 3-0.

21 min - And we're underway!

20 min - Under a minute left and Portugal are content to run out the clock, they keep the ball and ease themselves into halftime...

18 min - Good save by Vorberg and Stewart leads the counter. Wieser's pass can't get through and Portugal clears.

17 min - U.S. looking to get something before halftime, and Hammes with a good move. Bendito take it off his feet though.

16 min - Portugal with a corner kick, as Cabral slies over to block Goncalo's effort. From the corner, Portugal loses it out of play.

15 min - Out of a Portugal timeout, Bibi tires a shot but Beasley bocks it out of play.

14 min - Apple lifts the ball to Wieser on the overlap, and Wiesner volleys. Good save by Benedito. Now up the other end where Portugal have a good chance, a failed cross pops loose at the top of the box and Goncalo whacks it. Vorberg with a save though.

13 min - Leitao goes for his hat-trick. If the safety net wasn't behind the goal that ball probably wouldn't have landed yet.

12 min - Since those early goals it has been even between the two teams...

10 min - Fancy footwork by Jardel who eludes Hammes by the sideline. He drags his shot wide of the goal though.

9 min - Portugal are content to be patient, but they've also shown their ability to attack at any moment. Goncalo loses his man and cracks a shot at Vorberg bu it goes wide...

7 min - The U.S. is controlling the ball better now. They're had more possession in the last few minutes.

6 min - Beasley with some good running, he side stepshis man and megs Ricardinho. He's brought down for a foul and a good free kick chance for the U.S. Cabral takes it but it's wide.

5 min - Now Wiesner just flashes a shot wide.

4 min - Great chance for the U.S. - Stewart with some good running up the line, and he squares it for Beasley with a good ball. Beasley's shot is saved by J. Bendito though.

3 min - A cutting through ball finds Arnaldo but Vorberg is out well to make the stop at his feet. From the corner, Goncalo lifts the ball to the top very Leitao volleys it home.

2 min - Giveaway by the U.S. and Arnaldo takes it. He squares it to Leitao who finishes easily past Vorberg.

1 min - Naumoski steals the ball and leads the U.S. on the counter, he tries to find Stewart but Portugal is back well.

1 min - And we're underway!

The National Anthems now: first Portugal and here's the U.S. Andy Rosenband and Chile Farias are suspended for this game. And The U.S. will start with Vorberg (GK), Beasley, Cabral, Naumoski, and Stewart. Joe Hammes is the captain for the U.S. today.

We're now in week two of the Futsal World Cup. Portugal needs the points here, they're still harboring a realistic chance of qualification for the next round.

Well, we're going to take one more detour from MNT happenings to bring you the U.S.' last game from the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. Today the U.S. is facing Portugal, hoping to come away with something to show from their trip to South America.