Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Visitors to Training

Tuesday we were visited by the family of Kambryn Lowery, who came out to training for a day they won't soon forget. Kambryn (5) is in long term maintenance for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and his entire family, including his mom, dad and four brothers and sisters (Keelan (11), Kylei (9), Keédance (8), Kohmin (3)) will be coming to the game as well.

The kids got to meet the team, take pictures with the guys, and they even got some special gifts - Landon Donovan presented Kambryn with his shoes while Brad Guzan gave him his gloves (they're slightly big).

On Wednesday, the family will watch warm-ups from the field. They are set with tickets for the game and then will come down post-game to meet the team again.

Something You Won't See Every Day

That just about sums it up...

The Book on USA-T&T

Here are the official pre-game press notes for tomorrow night's match in Nashville. Let us know if anything jumps out at you.

Official Game Notes

Here Comes The Rain Again

The forecast for this afternoon and evening is calling for heavy rains, which may force a schedule change on the fly. The official Match Commissioner's meeting is underway right now, so we will keep you posted.

Meantime, Trinidad & Tobago have arrived and are gearing up for Wednesday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Few Shots (and Saves) from Training...

Here are a few shots from today's training session in Nashville. The full team got the run out today, and that included Oguchi Onyewu who made it through the complete session with no ill effects.

The guys started with some 10 v 10 before adding the goalies and shortening the field to play some 6 v 6. The team ended with some finishing (or some saves, depending on how you look at it). In fact, we compiled the best of the goalkeepers here:

Encore Performance

Five members of the U.S. squad for Wednesday's game are re-living the fond memories of their time here in Nashville in last year when the city hosted the semifinals and finals of the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, and Jonathan Spector were part of the group that dispatched Canada 3-0 in the semifinals behind two goals from Adu and a late clincher from Kljestan. Led by U-23 head coach and current MNT assistant coach Peter Nowak, that victory punched their ticket to Beijing.

Adu finished as the leading scorer in the tournament with four goals, while Sacha Kljestan earned an honorable mention for the all tournament team. Fans will recall that Spector traveled thousands of miles from his club in England to play in the decisive semifinal match, then was quickly whisked away when the game was over to travel back across the pond.

TT - The Comeback Kids

It is not often that the U.S. finds itself down two goals, particularly against teams from CONCACAF. The exciting come back in the final 13 minutes to earn a point on the road and snatch two from El Salvador on Saturday ranks as one of the best rallies in team history (watch here). But is it unprecedented?

The question, dear readers, this: When was the last time the United States came back from being down two goals on the road to earn at least a draw?

Check Out Studio 90 News from Nashville

Bornstein Called, Hahnemann Departs

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has added Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein to the roster for the USA's World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago. Bornstein has 14 career appearances for the full team, and was on the roster for the USA's 2-0 win against Mexico to open final round qualifying. He has one World Cup qualifying cap to his credit, a start in the 2-0 win against Guatemala on Nov. 19, 2008, to close out the semifinal round.

Meantime, goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann heads back to Reading this afternoon to get ready for this weekend's match at Coventry City . As always, Marcus is a tremendous presence in camp.

The roster count remains at 22 players, with the full complement scheduled to train later this afternoon.

Reaction from MNT vs. SLV

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nashville Training Photos

It was a brisk but gorgeous late afternoon as the clouds convened to provide a picturesque backdrop to this afternoon's training. The reserves from Saturday night took part in a spirited session that involved an intense 6 v. 6 game to big goals.

Tim Howard stood in the nets, eagerly returning from his one-game suspension to prepare for Wednesday night's encounter with Trinidad & Tobago. He is especially excited to be welcoming family and friends from Memphis, which is where he makes his home back here in the United States.

Fans will also be thrilled to see Oguchi Onyewu back on the training field. Gooch did some ball work with the trainers, and is still optimistic that he'll be fit for Wednesday.

Post-Game Press Conference from El Salvador

Head Coach Bob Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra address the media following the 2-2 draw with El Salvador:

Getting Back To Business

The team is on the ground in Nashville and already gearing up for the next training session. While the trainers and equipment manager busily get set up, the starters from last night's game will do regeneration work in the hotel while the reserves hit the field for an hour-long workout.

It's quite a change of setting in less than eight hours, going from sunny skies with temps near 90 degrees in San Salvador to the overcast afternoon here with the afternoon high of 44 degrees. Of course, there's no place like home.

With more than 17,000 tickets already so far in Nashville, the buzz is already starting to build for Wednesday's game. Here's a feature on Tim Howard in the Sunday edition of The Tennessean.

On To Nashville

The team is departing shortly for the airport in San Salvador for the three-hour flight to Nashville. There are boxed breakfasts waiting in the lobby, then we get out of Dodge. The schedule rolls on, with an afternoon training session slated for 5 p.m. after we land and check into the hotel. For the fans in Nashville, you can see Tim Howard tonight on WTVF's Sunday night sports show.

See you in the Music City.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

They Said It

U.S. head coach BOB BRADLEY

"El Salvador played with a tremendous about of energy. It was our challenge to match it. When we found ourselves behind it took a great effort from our players to fight back and come away with a point. We prepared for this game knowing that El Salvador would be difficult. We found ourselves behind, and that was not part of the plan, and at that point the team spirit and mentality paid off."

"We knew we had to fight back, and credit to the guys that we did it. With this team, we never feel like we are out of the game."

"Give them credit. They had two decent two goals, but at the end of the day we never gave up. We believed in ourselves and we fought back hard and got a point. The U.S. has a never say die attitude, and we brought it today. Even at 2-0, we knew the game wasn't over. We believe in each other, and fighting to get that point says a lot about the team."

On his assist on the first goal:
"It was a great buildup. I was making a lot of runs like that in the first half and really not getting the ball as much. Finally we connected on a couple passes and Landon laid it off to me. I saw a few players at the back post try and I just tried to get it there. Jozy did well to get it on goal and bury it."

Describing the tying goal:
"Typically at that point I don't go up on corner kicks, but it was the dying moments and I told Jose [Torres] to stay back because I wanted to go in for it. I made a near post run and then ducked to the far post and no one was with me. I don't know what happened, but the ball came to the back post and next thing you know it was on my head. It was a great feeling. At the end of the day, it was good that everyone fought hard and never gave up."

U.S. forward and ussoccer.com Man of the Match JOZY ALTIDORE
"The ball came to the back post, and I was just at the right place at the right time. I was just trying to put in on frame. When you are that close, you don't have to place it that well."

What's There To Say?

The U.S. turned around what would have been a disappointing result by all accounts with two goals down the stretch to earn a point in San Salvador. Frankie Hejduk was key to the comeback effort, assisting on the first goal and scoring the second after being out-jumped on El Salvador's second goal.

The MNT blog will have more later, as will ussoccer.com including photos, videos, quotes and more. We'll leave you for now with tonight's game story & stats, and this fantastic stat researched with the help of the folks over at Elias Sports Bureau.

Stat of Note: Frankie Hejduk's goal was the seventh of his career, and his second in FIFA World Cup qualifying. His last qualifying goal came on Dec. 21, 1996, in a 2-2 draw vs. Guatemala that -- wait for it -- was played in San Salvador. The gap of 12 years and 97 days was the longest between qualifying goals ever for a U.S. player, with Tab Ramos holding the distinction previously with eight years and 130 days between qualifying goals.

U.S Lineup vs. El Salvador

The U.S. Starters:
18-Brad Guzan;
2-Frankie Hejduk, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Danny Califf, 15-Heath Pearce;
8-Clint Dempsey, 12-Michael Bradley, 16-Sacha Kljestan, 7-DaMarcus Beasley;
10-Landon Donovan, 11-Brian Ching

1-Marcus Hahnemann, 4-Pablo Mastroeni, 5-Jay DeMerit, 6- José Francisco Torres, 9-Jozy Altidore, 13-Maurice Edu, 17-Jonathan Spector

  • The U.S. will lineup in a 4-4-2.
  • Guzan and Califf, replacing Howard and Onyewu, are the only changes in the Starting XI from the 2-0 victory vs. Mexico to open the round.
  • Spector dresses for the U.S. for the first time since March 26, 2008, against Poland.
  • Hahnemann last played in the 1-0 victory against Switzerland on Oct. 17, 2007, in Basel.
  • Bradley, Ching and Dempsey lead the U.S. with four goals each in qualifying.
  • Altidore, Ching and Dempsey are carrying yellow cards.

Onyewu Will Not Dress

U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu, who has started six of the USA’s nine qualifiers for 2010 so far, will not dress tonight after suffering a knee sprain last Wednesday during training. Gooch’s knee has improved enough that he could have played tonight, but the decision was made to save him so that he would be 100-percent for Wednesday’s match in Nashville vs. Trinidad & Tobago.

Danny Califf (3/0 career qualifying caps/goals), Jay DeMerit (1/0) and Jonathan Spector (2/0) are the candidates to play in central defense. Califf is the only of the three to play in the semifinal round, starting one game.

The other players that will not dress are Tim Howard (yellow card suspension), Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson. The U.S. lineup will be turned in (and posted here on the MNT Blog) one hour before kickoff so check back in.

Coverage Reminder

Tonight’s game will be televised live on ESPN2 and Telefutura. If you’re not in front of a TV, ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker will have full play-by-play, lineups and stats. The U.S. Soccer feed at Twitter will also have updates.

Pre-Game Primer

Some quick facts for you to keep in mind as you settle in your chairs for tonight's game:
  • Four players on the U.S. roster are carrying yellow cards into Saturday’s match: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Frankie Hejduk, Oguchi Onyewu. Should they receive another caution, it will result in a one match suspension.
  • El Salvador has seven players in a similar predicament: Cristian Castillo, Salvador Coreas, Alexander Escobar, Miguel Montes, Alfredo Pacheco, Eliseo Quintanilla and William Romero.
  • The match on March 28 will mark the 19th meeting between the United States and El Salvador. The U.S. holds a commanding 13-1-4 record, with 41 goals scored and 10 conceded.
  • The United States is 4-0-2 all-time versus El Salvador in World Cup qualifying, including a 1-0-1 record in San Salvador.
  • The teams drew 1-1 on June 29, 1997, in their first World Cup qualifier on Salvadoran soil, and the U.S. snatched a 2-0 win on Oct. 9, 2004.
  • Four players on the U.S. roster were on the field for that victory: DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Hejduk, Eddie Johnson (1) [starters in bold]. Also on the bench that day were Tim Howard and Pablo Mastroeni.
  • Donovan is the leading capwinner on the roster with 106 international appearances, and has two goals and six appearances against El Salvador.
  • In addition to Donovan, three other players have scored at least once against El Salvador: Beasley (2), Brian Ching, and Johnson. There is not a single player on El Salvador’s roster that has tallied against the United States.
  • In fact, the Salvadorans have not scored a goal against the U.S. since a 4-2 loss on Nov. 16, 1997, in Foxborough, Mass., a string of six matches spanning more than 11 years. The last goalscorer? Two-time MLS Cup champion and current technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, Raul Diaz Arce.

1999 Flashback...

Maybe you saw Studio 90's extra time today...We thought you'd enjoy this as well...

Studio 90 Previews USA-SLV

If you haven't seen the full show yet, head over to ussoccer.com and tune in for an interview with Brad Guzan, a closeup on a visit with the Futbol Forever program yesterday, and a extra time rendezvous with a chicken head...

Watch the full show here.

30,000 Reasons to Win

So screams this morning headline in El Diario de Hoy, referring to the capacity crowd that will be on hand tonight. It's one of several pages of coverage that blanket today's newspapers across El Salvador. As you can see, there are probable lineups, keys to the matchup, and of course predictions for the result (apparently the Salvadoran pundits aren't too optimistic). Nonetheless, the entire nation is buzzing and wearing the colors in anticipation. In attendance tonight will be the President of El Salvador, Antonio Saca, who had breakfast with the Salvadoran team Friday morning.

Deja Vu?

Turns out the U.S. will be playing on March 28 for third time this decade. In the most recent match in 2007, the U.S. extended its unbeaten run under Bob Bradley to four matches with 0-0 draw in against Guatemala in Frisco, Texas.

Perhaps the other contest on this date will have more to tell us, particularly if you believe in history repeating itself ...

March 28, 2001: Honduras 1, USA 2 (World Cup Qualifier, San Pedro Sula)

In front of a standing room only crowd of 46,000, Clint Mathis buried a free kick in the 86th minute to lift the United States to a 2-1 victory in the second match of final round qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Wearing the captain’s armband on his 32nd birthday, midfielder Earnie Stewart put the U.S. ahead 1-0 in the 33rd minute when his blast from 35 yards ricocheted off a defender before settling in just inside the left post. Missing regulars Claudio Reyna, Brian McBride, Joe-Max Moore and Eddie Pope through injury, the U.S. registered its first qualifying victory in Central America since September 17, 1989 while securing a valuable three points on the road.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Say Hello to Mr. Monkey

Really don't know what to say about this one, other than it's in full view from the windows of our hotel and everyone stops to look at it. Feel free to share your hypotheses...

Stadium Training

Everything from the narrow streets that the bus navigates to get to the stadium to the dark, narrow the narrow hallway and stairs that ascend mere feet from the touchline, you get the sense that the Estadio Cuscatlán is all about intimacy and intimidation. So it felt for the U.S. team as they took the field for their final training session in advance of Saturday's nights game. Bob Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra and Landon Donovan spoke to a packed press conference before the field work began, the group going through a 60-minute workout to gain their bearings and put the finishing touches on preparations for the

qualifier. Dozens of photographers and film crews from the moment the team stepped on the field, wasting precious little time before the quarter-past bells signal the time of their departure. After a warm up and shadow work, the team worked on crossing and finishing before the lights shut down on the match field.

More than 30,000 are expected to work their way into the stadium for what has been dubbed "David vs. Goliath" in the local press, and there is no doubt they are committed to creating a home-field advantage. President Saca will be on hand to support the Cuscatlecos

As most players would tell you, these are the games they live for. And judging by our group, they are clearly ready to get after it.

It's time for another U.S. national team game, which means the Official U.S. Soccer Bars across the country are getting ready to roll out the welcome mat to provide the best atmosphere to watch a game you can find. Bars like Claddagh Irish Pub, the March 2009 Bar of the Month, are serving up great food, great drinks, and even greater support for the craziest, most passionate fans the U.S. has to offer. Have a look for yourself.

In the mean time, log on to ussoccer.com to find the Official U.S. Soccer Bar near you. Don't just watch the game - live it!

Futbol Forever

One of the themes that is consistently emphasized within the national team is the honor and responsibility that comes with wearing the jersey of the United States. The team is considered ambassadors of the country wherever we travel, and because of the limited time we spend in the countries we visit - often only 48 hours! - there isn't often an opportunity to reach out to the local communities. Fortunately for Bob Bradley, Mike Sorber, Tim Howard and Jose Francisco Torres, today was one of those opportunities.

The group traveled to the Universidad Don Bosco where 100 kids from the Futbol Forever Program were assembled for an hour-long clinic and meeting with the U.S. delegation. The
Futbol Forever Program was established last year to provide a safe and meaningful environment for underprivileged kids to learn soccer as well as the values of friendship, leadership and community. Already more than 3,000 children and volunteers have been enrolled in the program.

More than 50 journalists from six countries were on hand for the event that included the Vice President of El Salvador, Ana Vilma de Escobar. The coaches and players joined in som small-sided games before Mike Sorber and Jose Francisco Torres addressed the kids with stories about following their dreams.

"It's a really fantastic program here," said Howard. "I think it's very important to have outlets like these for kids, and to provide this type of opportunity is very special. As an athlete, I believe we should be giving back to the community. I'm grateful for the chance to spend time with them."

Tune in to Saturday's edition of Studio 90 to see the memorable event. And for information on the program, log on to futbolforever.org

Charged up for the Game

Today at lunch we were visited by the U.S. Embassy's chargé d'affaires, Robert Blau, and his wife, Carmen. "We don't expect much support in the stadium tomorrow so it's nice to have some local support here today," said Bob Bradley, who presented Chargé Blau a U.S. jersey.

"Americans here are very highly regarded and we're all very proud of you," said Chargé Blau to the team. "We'll have as many of us from the embassy in the stadium tomorrow as we can get. Best of luck to you and here's hoping for three points." Well, based on what we've heard so far, that support will be much appreciated!

A Stroll Down Memory Lane...

Earlier in the week Studio 90 took a look at some classic U.S. goals from games against El Salvador. Now we're bringing those goals to you here, so enjoy. The goals come from different games spanning all the way back to 1993. Which is your favorite?

Friday Morning in San Salvador

With the change in time, the meal room was slightly more populated at breakfast than it would have been otherwise. One person who hasn't been affected by the clock shift is Jonathan Spector who, in the eyes of roommate Marcus Hahnemann, sleeps way too long. "I don't get it," said Marcus to us at the table this morning. "He goes to sleep before me, even if all the lights are on. Then I wake up early and he's still sleeping." Even after we went back upstairs, Marcus was still afraid to go back in his room for fear of waking up the roomie.

Training is in the afternoon this time around, which means there's a large period of hotel time in the middle of the day. The Match Commissioner's passport check is scheduled for 12:45, and there are several interviews for ESPN and U.S. journalists, but other than that there is just some protracted chilling going on.

With nobody leaving the hotel, the floor has taken on a college dorm feel, and as we sit here writing this guys amble back and forth down the hall (there goes Danny Califf), and somebody is playing music a few rooms down (we think it's Maurice Edu).

Not too much going on other than that, just stay tuned to ussoccer.com for today's Studio 90 News...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frankie Answers

Thanks to everyone for writing in questions to the blog, twitter, and Facebook. Frankie sat down with coffee in hand to respond ...

Michael said...

Hey Frankie,

Thanks so much for being the ambassador you've been for U.S. soccer for years now--on and off the pitch.

My question is, as a guy who's been around the block a few times and who's been a leader for both club and country, in what areas would you say the National Team needs to develop to make it to the next level internationally? And what areas do you think american soccer as a whole needs to improve to do the same?

Frankie: “I think we’re on the right track. We’ve got all the tools in place that we need. Now that we have developed our own professional league, there are plenty of opportunities for U.S. to grow and develop. Saying that, we have plenty of guys playing abroad. Most of the top teams in the world have a similar mix. I think it now comes down to executing at the right time. In the World Cup, you need to have some luck. In 2002, we performed well and at the same time had some breaks go our way. We were very unfortunate not to make the semifinals. In 2006 we didn’t have as much luck, and still gave ourselves a chance to make it to the next round. Some people consider the 2006 World Cup, and I think that’s a good thing. It means we are setting our standards higher.”

AdamTheRed said...

How did you increase your awesomitude to...11, that's one louder than 10.

Frankie: “One of my favorite movies all time. Thanks, bro."

[Editor’s Note: for the uninitiated, the quote is from Spinal Tap]

Frail312 said...

Frankie, I really have to ask what went down in the tunnel after the Mexico match? All I saw was that one of Mexico's coaches slapped you, what was the deal? And by the way, you played a hell of a match against Mexico, solid defense from whistle to whistle.

Frankie: “Thanks for the compliment. All the stuff that happened is in the past. It was dealt with in the proper way, and now we’re focused on getting a result on Saturday. If you can win games on the road, you put yourself in a great position to qualify for the World Cup.”

Leonardo said...

Mr. Sweet Home San Diego,

Would you ever make a bet where ya had to cut your hair? like if the US wins the world cup? cuz i'd do that (i have long hair too)

Frankie: “No way. I’m a hippie at heart. It’s going to stay long for a while.”

BloggerAndrew W said...

Hey Frankie,

What makes you the best captain in the MLS? What makes you different than some other captains? Not only do you inspire your teammates, but you inspire the fans as well. When I am in Crew Stadium watching games I get pumped up just watching ya out there. Thanks for taking my question and for being such a passionate leader.

Frankie “Thanks again. At the end of the day, we’re trying to inspire everyone, whether it’s players, coaches or fans. The fans make the game that much more passionate for us, which in turn makes us perform better on the field. It’s a great feeling as a player to know that you have the support behind you. Not only was the 12th man a factor in our MLS Cup run, but it was a huge help in the game against Mexico. You guys pump us up, so I should be thanking you!”

Kristina G. says …


What makes it so hard to win qualifying games on the road? People always talk about the crazy things that happen to you, and I’ve seen the video of the ceiling bouncing in Costa Rica (watch the video). Why do you think people want to beat the U.S. so badly?

Frankie: “In CONCACAF we have become the team to beat. It’s almost comparable to being the championship team. That next year, everyone always plays a little bit harder against. During the past eight years, we have established ourselves really well, so everyone is looking for us. Also, the passion that the people have in these countries is second to none. Not only are the players pumped up to play against us, but the fans are even more jacked up. The pride of a nation is on display. Many of these countries have never been to a World Cup, so for them a game against the U.S. is often the biggest game on the calendar.”

J. Moorhouse said …

Hi there Frankie,

I think it’s really cool that you write Bob Marley lyrics up on the board in the locker room before games. How do you decide what inspirational message you are going to give the guys?

Frankie: “It’s actually a tweak between Marley’s lyrics and my own words. Sometimes I take the message and add my own flavor. I do switch it up a bit also. I’ve used lyrics from Jane’s Addiction, Ben Harper, and others. I don’t really think about it until we get to the stadium. The ideas just come to me.”

Photos from Our Travels

We have arrived safe and sound in San Salvador and the guys are settling into their rooms with about 48 hours to go until game time. We flew past Quetzaltepec on our way into the city (above). The volcano is situated to the north of San Salvador and the hilly terrain meant that we landed some way away from the city.
When getting off the plane you notice one thing first: it's hot. Luckily the team's casual gear this time around features a v-neck t-shirt. Undoubtedly the extra ventilation is a requirement in this climate. Nice thinking, Nike! After a quick passport check we were off, but not before Brad Guzan took a picture with an adoring fan whose day was made by the photo op.

We drove up into the city in a bus and arrived at the hotel after about forty minutes, a journey that we documented for Saturday's Studio 90. A large amount of photographers greeted us at the door, and we headed through them and into the lobby.

In the hotel, lots of families from the U.S. embassy were waiting and the guys signed autographs and took pictures before heading off to dinner. Training will be tomorrow afternoon in the stadium. Until then, the guys will be resting, relaxing and preparing for Saturday's game.

Travel Day

After four days in Miami, it's time to head even further south as they team makes the three-hour journey to San Salvador. The bags are already on their way to the airport, with the charter flight scheduled to depart shortly after 3 p.m. ET.

Earlier today, the team completed their final training session in South Florida. Oguchi Onyewu was the only holdout, resting a sore knee. Gooch is expected to be fit for selection Saturday night.

Time for us to pack up the cameras and computers and head for MIA. Before we go we'll leave you with a short video we filmed after yesterdays training, when Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley and DaMarcus Beasley answered a few questions from reporters. We'll see you on the other side!

Michael Bradley on fifa.com

fifa.com's one-on-one with Michael

A 30 Second Look Ahead

While the team is certainly taking things one game at a time in training on the field, back at Soccer House our group has churned out this commercial -- which has been running in the Nashville market.

Will we see you there?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Making History in El Salvador

It's been a little more than four and a half years since the U.S. traveled to face El Salvador, and the last time out holds some historical significance. The 2-0 win in San Salvador on Oct. 9, 2004, not only put the U.S. firmly in first place of Group 1 of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but also marked a few other milestones:
  1. Eddie Johnson became the seventh U.S. player since 1986 to score a goal in his first international appearance. “I was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time,” said Johnson. “I moved into the box and Landon made a very unselfish play to pass the ball. I just wanted to do well for the team." Incidentally, the guy before Eddie to do it? Landon Donovan, against Mexico on Oct. 25, 2000. Speaking of Landon ...
  2. He wore the captain's armband that night for the first time in his international career. The opportunity came in his 56th appearance for the United States. “The second highest honor is playing for your country and the highest honor is wearing the (captain’s) armband for your country,” said Donovan after the game. “It was good because I knew I was going to be ready. It shows that the players have confidence in me and that feels good.”
  3. The victory ended a dubious streak for the U.S. as the team won a World Cup qualifying game in Central America for the first-time ever outside of Honduras. Going into that match, the U.S. had been 0-for-11 (0-5-6) in trying to earn a full three points in Central American qualifying games outside of Honduras, which included a single draw in their only previous qualifying game in El Salvador (a 1-1 tie in 1997).
Wonder what history will be recorded this Saturday. Any predictions?

TT - Putting Up a Three Spot

While we were reviewing highlights of the USA's goals against El Salvador since 1993, we recalled that one of the USA's four four-goal performances by an individual player came against the Azul when Joe-Max Moore did it on Dec. 5, 1993. Further, one of the USA's seven hat tricks also came against Saturday's opponent when Brian McBride dropped in a trio on Jan. 27, 2002.

So that got us wondering: when was the last time someone put in three against the U.S.? That one had us scratching our heads.

And now it's your turn ...

Photos from Today's Training

Today's training featured all 22 players as the guys took the field in Miami on a warm Wednesday morning. The bulk of training consisted of 9 v 9, with Sacha Kljestan wearing the red jersey to indicate all-time offense. After training there were some high jinks with a cone (see today's Studio 90, coming soon to ussoccer.com) and we headed back to the hotel for lunch followed by a beautiful afternoon in south Florida...As always, you can find the full photo gallery at ussoccer.com.

Josh Blue on Comedy Central

U.S. Paralympian Josh Blue, who three years ago was the winner of Season Four of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, will once again bring his standup to the network as Comedy Central presents Josh Blue, at 10 p.m. ET on Friday, March 27. In 2006, Blue was selected over hundreds of comics to make the show and joined 11 other comedians to live on the cruise ship Queen Mary, where they competed in various contests to determine the top six. Once he made his way to the final six, the public voted to see who would stay and who would go home and Blue won over his audience to win the fourth season of the NBC comedy competition. Fans can check out more about Blue at www.joshblue.com. ussoccer.com spoke to Josh prior to his Comedy Central appearance (listen now to the full podcast).

Fear the Turtle

Two guys on the roster are keeping a close eye on the bracket for the NCAA Women's Tournament, former University of Maryland Terrapins Danny Califf and Maurice Edu. The Lady Terps, one of four No. 1 seeds, are seeking their second NCAA title in four years after winning the 2006 trophy under head coach Brenda Frese, and have reached the Round of 16 after comprehensive victories against Dartmouth and Utah.

"They have a great leader in Kristi Toliver, and they have been very convincing in their wins," said Edu. "I think they have the tools to be national champions."

Fans of ussoccer.com's All_Access Video will recall that the MNT's original videographer Mark Thomas is the husband of the Maryland coach. Fear the turtle!

A Two-Sport Hotel

The team hotel in Miami is loaded with professional athletes this week as members of the French Tennis Federation are gearing up for the Sony Ericsson Open, which opens play this morning in Key Biscayne. All of the French players are staying here, including eighth-ranked Gilles Simon and tenth-ranked Gael Monfils on the men's side, and Amelie Mauresmo, Marion Bartoli and Alize Cornet on the women's side.

The Sony Ericsson is one of the top draws on the circuit, with all of the top 10 players in the world on the men's side competing and nine of the top ten women.

Wednesday Morning Notes

  • Danny Califf arrived in Miami last night, completing the U.S. roster
  • All 22 players are expected to train this morning, the only session of the day
  • The team will travel by charter to El Salvador on Thursday afternoon
  • Stay tuned for a full edition of Studio 90 later today, which will include highlights of the USA's goals against El Salvador since 1993, a sit-down with Clint Dempsey, and the debut of a new feature called 'One v. One' with Pablo Mastroeni as the inaugural subject

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A First Look At El Salvador

El Salvador head coach Carlos de los Cobos has called on 25 players to train in advance of Saturday's match. Alfredo Pacheco is the leading capwinner on the roster, the defender having made 67 appearances for the Azul. Rudis Corrales headlines the goalscorers with 13 career goals, including seven strikes in this World Cup qualifying cycle alone. Made up exclusively of players who ply their trade in El Salvador, the group began training Sunday, and is holding double sessions until Thursday, when de los Cobos intends to finalize his starting team.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Luis Castro, Juan Jose Gomez, Miguel Montes

DEFENDERS (8): Dennis Alas, Alexander Escobar, Marvin Gonzalez, Mardoqueo Henriquez, Luis Hernandez, Alfredo Pacheco, Manual Salazar, Deris Umanzor

MIDFIELDERS (11):Lester Blanco, Cristian Castillo, Salvador Coreas, Oscar Jimenez, Julio Martinez, Edwin Miranda, Carlos Monteagudo, Eliseo Quintanilla, Osael Romero, Ramon Sanchez, William Torres

FORWARDS (3): Carlos Ayala, Rudi Corrales, Rodolfo Zelaya

Photos from Tuesday's Training

As we mentioned earlier, today's training session was more fully populated than yesterday's regeneration session. In all, 21 out of 22 guys were in action and there was lots of work to be done on the field. The team started with a warm up and some technical work before moving to a game of 7 v 7 with goalkeepers where the pace really picked up. Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu were mostly doing stretching exercises, each having played full matches on Sunday. Training concluded with a finishing exercise, and after 90 minutes the group was pretty well spent. Check out the full gallery of photos at ussoccer.com.

No Longer a Spectator

Jonathan Spector is back in the MNT camp this time around, marking his first call-up of 2009. Spector, you may remember, was injured last year and is returning to form and full fitness after a lengthy layoff from a torn labrum in his hip. The last time he appeared for the U.S. came in the 3-0 victory against Poland at this same time last year, and he was a part of the squad that traveled to Europe last summer before pulling out due to injury. This weekend marked Spector's first Premier League start of the year and was also his first full 90 minutes for the club this season. We sat down with Jonathan and asked him about the long road back. Listen to ussoccer'com's full podcast here.

Afternoon Off

We've just finished lunch here at the hotel and the guys are scattering quickly for their afternoon off. Well, not quite all of them. The Spanish speakers on this roster - Landon Donovan, Pablo Mastroeni, José Francisco Torres and assistant coach Mike Sorber - are sitting down for TV interviews with Univision and ESPN Deportes.

We'll be back in a bit with some pictures from today's training, but for now check out Studio 90 where we caught up with a few guys after the first training session from Monday.

Added a Half Dozen

Six more players arrived into Miami throughout the day yesterday, leaving the squad one man short of its full complement. Eddie Johnson was glowing after seeing his young daughter for the first time in two months here in Florida, and Tim Howard dropped off his bags just in time to attend the team meeting. In between, Landon Donovan, Brad Guzan, Oguchi Onyewu and José Francisco Torres picked up their room keys and schedules.

Danny Califf is en route following FC Midtjylland's 3-2 loss to current Danish champions AaB. Meantime, the team resumes training this morning.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ask Frankie

Here's your chance to hit up one of the most popular players in U.S. history with those questions that have been swirling around in your head since he first donned the U.S. uniform in 1996. It's no surprise that the veteran of four World Cup qualifying cycles who is a three-time Gold Cup champion, reigning MLS Cup holder, renowned fitness freak, surfer dude, espresso chugger and all-around menace on the soccer field is ready and willing to take your questions.

If you're looking for a good primer on 'Dukes', have a look at this sitdown we did last year in Chicago. And in a Starbucks no less - how poetic.

Pictures from Today's "Regen" Session

Today's training session featured 15 players, 12 of whom played major minutes this past weekend in their various domestic leagues. As such, today's activity had more of a "regeneration session" feel to it. Nonetheless we got the camera out and snapped a few shots. For the full gallery head over to ussoccer.com.

Hot Ticket in San Salvador

Tickets for the game in El Salvador are going fast, with a capacity crowd of 30,500 expected to pack Estadio Cuscatlán Saturday night.

Interestingly, tickets didn't go on sale until one week before matchday. You can only purchase tickets at the Salvadoran Federation offices or at the stadium box office, and only the Federation office will accept credit cards.

On the home front, more than 14,000 tickets have been sold for the April 1 match against Trinidad & Tobago. Fans from 43 states and three countries will be descending on 'Music City' for the first World Cup qualifier ever hosted in the state of Tennessee.

Clint Talks About Taking Down Man-U

Fulham pulled off one of the results of the Premier League season on Saturday, beating champions Manchester United 2-0 at Craven Cottage. The win kept Fulham in ninth place and gives the team a major boost heading toward the final stretch of a long season. While the mentality here in camp is shifting toward the game on Saturday, all the guys were well aware of Fulham's heroics on Saturday and congratulating Clint for a job well done, so we thought we'd ask Deuce a few quick questions about this past weekend.

MNT Blog: Certainly a weekend to remember for Fulham. You and your teammates must have been elated by such a big win?

Clint Dempsey: The most important thing is that the three points keep us in the top half of the table. It is a tight race, and we want to make sure we finish in the top ten and try to push on for a UEFA Cup spot. Of course it is great to beat a top-four team, but the main focus, as always, is to finish as high as we can. It always feels good to compete well against the top teams, and I think we gave a really good account of ourselves. A win like the one this past weekend is great for the fans who come out and support us, and I think it's great for the league too. In the Premier League everybody is competitive, and like on Saturday, any team can win on any day.

MNTB: With recent defeats against Manchester United, first 3-0 and then 4-0, hardly anybody expected such a drastic turnaround on Saturday...

CD: Recently things didn't go our way against them. At Old Trafford we tried a slightly different formation, playing a type of 4-5-1, and we weren't at our best. In the FA Cup quarterfinal we conceded early and found ourselves in a hole looking up for most of the game.

This time, we knew it was going to be a tough game but we wanted to stick to what was working for us. Defensive shape has been one of our strong points throughout the year and I think we took our chances well in the end. Obviously a major turning point was us taking the lead and them going down a man, but we also did well to make the advantage count. In the second half they were dominating us for the first 15 minutes and our 'keeper came up with some big saves. On the whole, everybody has to do their part [to win in a difficult game like that] and I think we stepped up as a team for the big occasion.

MNTB: This season is shaping up quite differently from the last campaign, when Fulham only achieved safety on the last day of the season...

CD: We've grown more confident from our success this season, and I think it all started with the fact that we're a tough to team to break down defensively. Those ties add up. You get points here and there, and sometimes those ties will turn into wins. Staying away from the bottom builds your confidence but we've still got a ways to go to achieve what we want to.

MNTB: With nearly two weeks now until the next Premier League fixture, how can Fulham maintain the momentum of such a big win?

CD: The guys who stay at the club will be well rested and I think the guys who come back from international duty carry the momentum of playing for whatever country they are from. After you represent your country, you always return to your club with a sense of pride. We'll be playing against Liverpool, but we have nothing to lose. We have to go out hard and work to get a result. People don't expect you to get those points, but anything can happen.

(picture from Fulhamfc.com)

Twitter Shout Out

Before you’d heard of it, we were doing it. Make your cell phone a real-time link to the U.S. National Team, and get the news as it happens. http://twitter.com/ussoccer

It's the Thought That Counts...

Do you have one of those friends to whom spontaneously random things always happen, and no matter what they do it seems to make for an entertaining story?

We do. And we appreciate his willingness to allow us to share those stories. So welcome back, Marcus Hahnemann.

In today's episode, Marcus - ever the considerate and generous one - is making a trip to the coffee shop following breakfast. He asks players and staff if anyone would like to order, then realizes that one of his good friends on the team isn't in the room, so he decides to call him on his cell phone. Thoughtful, right?

What he didn't remember is that his old pal Landon isn't here in Miami yet. And that it's 5:30 a.m. in Los Angeles.

So if you're reading this on the way to the airport later today - yes, Marcus did wake you up this morning, Landon. It wasn't just a weird dream ...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back To Business

After a nearly six-week break following the memorable 2-0 victory against Mexico to kick off the final round, the team has begun to reassemble in Miami with FIFA World Cup qualifying set to resume this coming weekend. Fifteen players from the 22-man roster have arrived and will be on the field Monday morning. Landon Donovan, fresh off a two-goal performance in the Galaxy's come from behind 2-2 draw against D.C. United on opening day, will be joined by Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Eddie Johnson, Oguchi Onyewu, and José Francisco Torres tomorrow afternoon, while Danny Califf is the last to arrive following the matchup against his former club and defending Danish champion AaB Aalborg on Monday evening.

We're gearing up for a big round of blogs, Studio 90, podcasts, photos ... you name it. As always, we look forward to audience participation, so keep your questions and comments coming.

Highlights from England

Clint Dempsey and Fulham impressively dispatched Manchester United at Craven Cottage yesterday, a great result for the Cottagers and their supporters.
Fulham v Manchester United

Everton and Tim Howard slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth at Fratton Park yesterday. Everton remain in 6th place, four points behind Aston Villa after the latter's defeat to Liverpool today.
Portsmouth v Everton

Jonathan Spector played the full ninety minutes in West Ham's 1-1 draw with Blackburn. It was Spector's first Premier League start of the year.
Blackburn v West Ham

Highlights from Mexico

José Francisco Torres played ninety minutes in Pachuca's 3-0 win over Necaxa:

Michael Orzoco helped San Luis to a 4-1 over Indios:

Pachuca keep their lead in Group 1, maintaining a two point advantage over Puebla. San Luis meanwhile are up to 15 points in Group 3, still five points behind Toluca.

Confused by all this? We recommend checking out Reuters Soccer Blog to seek clarification.

Gladbach Falter on Friday

Michael Bradley and Borussia Mönchengladbach failed to get out of the relegation zone this weekend, falling 1-0 to VFL Bochum in the Bundesliga's Friday night game. Bradley picked up a yellow card in the game and Bochum cleared a goalbound attempt off the line in the final stages. Gladbach remain two points adrift from safety, just behind Arminia Bielefeld. Also in Germany on Friday, Heath Pearce played the full game for Hansa Rostock at left midfield in a 1-1 draw with Koblenz.

0-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. VfL Bochum Highli… - MyVideo

Rennes Held at Home

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Valenciennes yesterday. Bocanegra went 90 minutes for Rennes, who remain in seventh place in Ligue 1.

Short Highlights from Rangers' Draw

Here are some very short highlights from Rangers' 2-2 draw with Hearts yesterday. DaMarcus Beasley setup the first goal (though the highlights don't do a very good job of showing it). We'll try to find a better version...

Premier League Debut for Guzan

Brad Guzan made his first career appearance in the Premier League on Sunday, coming on as a second half sub for Brad Friedel. Unfortunately, Guzan and Aston Villa will probably want to forget the occasion as soon as possible, as they were trounced 5-0 by Liverpool at Anfield. The former American international was dismissed in the 65th minute for bringing down Liverpool's Fernando Torres. in the area and Guzan came off the bench to attempt to stop the subsequent penalty kick. Guzan was unsuccessful, though

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Results

Friday, March 20, 2009

22 Called in for World Cup Qualifiers

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Bob Bradley has named a roster of 22 players that will train in advance of the critical FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago.

The U.S. first travels to face El Salvador at Estadio Cuscatlán in the second match of the 10-game final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Kickoff on March 28 is set for 7 p.m. MT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Telefutura. Four days later, the state of Tennessee will host its first World Cup qualifier when the U.S. welcomes T&T to LP Field in Nashville.

The U.S. is tied for first place in the final round hexagonal following the comprehensive 2-0 victory against Mexico on Feb. 11 in Columbus, Ohio. The team will begin assembling on March 22 in Miami, and will depart Thursday afternoon for El Salvador.

The Blog will be back full-time on this Sunday from Miami, but stay tuned this weekend for updates on all our guys playing abroad.

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 4/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton: 8/6 SO), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading: 1/1 SO)
DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 17/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 3/0), Jay DeMerit (Watford: 1/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 15/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 13/1), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 8/0), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United: 2/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Freddy Adu (AS Monaco: 5/1), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 22/6), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach: 7/4), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 3/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 7/0), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids: 12/0), José Francisco Torres (Pachuca: 2/0)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Xerez C.D.: 4/1), Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 13/6), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 13/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 26/9), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 9/8)
*numbers indicate all-time World Cup Qualifying caps/goals

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Orozco Scores in Tie

Michael Orozco scored a late goal to give San Luis the lead in yesterday's Copa Libertadores game against Universitario, but the Mexican side couldn't hold on and conceded a late equalizer to share the points.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rennes Move into Semifinals

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes advanced to the semifinals of the Coupe de France, courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Rodez today. Bocanegra started for Rennes, playing the full 90 minutes in the victory.

Rennes join Grenoble, shootout winners Toulouse and Ligue 2's Guingamp in the semfinals to be played on April 21-22.

Better Highlights: Cologne vs. Gladbach

Here are some longer highlights of Michael Bradley's two-goal performance in Borussia Mönchengladbach's 4-2 win over Cologne at the weekend:

Wednesday Games

Cardiff City and Watford meet in English League Championship action this afternoon, and Watford captain Jay DeMerit could feature for the Hornets. DeMerit, who has been out injured, returned to training this week. Eddie Johnson could get time for Cardiff City, who will be keen to hold on to their sixth place position in the table. The Bluebirds currently occupy the fourth and final playoff spot.

It's as close to do-or-die time as possible for Michel Orozco and San Luis in the Copa Libertadores. San Luis, with only one point to its name after three matches, takes on Universitario of Peru tonight in Mexico.The Gladiadores will host the Peruvian club, with Orozco's side very much in need of a win to stay alive in the competition. As it stands, they are at the bottom of Group 8 with one point and a -4 goal differential, behind Libertad (9 points), Universitario (4 points) and San Lorenzo (3 points).

The MNT Blog

Welcome to the new-look MNT Blog. While the layout isn't that different from before, there are a few major differences that we think you'll enjoy. Most importantly, we're now able to post larger videos, so all the great action and behind the scenes footage will be that much easier to enjoy. Just to show you the difference, we've added the USA-Mexico "Behind the Scenes" feature from last month.

Feb. 11, 2009: USA vs. Mexico - Behind the Scenes from ussoccerdotcom on Vimeo.

You'll also start to notice more extended coverage on the MNT Blog, and that's because we've merged the MNT Blog and the Global Blog. Now you'll have one-stop shopping for all the news on MNT players from abroad, whether they are marching through their league campaigns or in with the national team. The MNT Blog is now the single best source for the inside scoop on the men in the red, white and blue.

Stay tuned this week as the players compete in their final matches before the start of the next set of crucial World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Better Highlights: Le Mans vs. Rennes

Highlights from Rennes' 1-1 draw with Le Mans this past weekend:

Standard Move into First Place

Standard Liege capped a great weekend by beating Genk 2-0 on Sunday. Friday the 13th was unkind to Anderlecht, as the challengers to Liege's title went down 2-1 to KV Mechelen. Oguchi Onyewu and company took the field on Sunday knowing that a win could take them top of the table, even on games played with their rivals. Liege did just that, claiming all three points to put themselves one point ahead of Anderlecht.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Results

Highlights: Everton v. Stoke City

Highlights of Tim Howard and Everton's win over Stoke City:

Highlights: Bolton v. Fulham

Highlights of Clint Dempsey and Fulham's win over Bolton:

Last Minute Equalizer for Rennes

Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes kept pace with a European spot by rescuing a last minute draw yesterday against Le Mans. Moussa Sow popped up in injury time to tie the score at 2-2 and keep Rennes in 7th spot in Ligue 1.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Results

  • Michael Bradley scored twice in Borussia Mönchengladbach's 4-2 win over FC Cologne. Bradley opened the scoring in the first half before adding a late penalty to ensure 'Gladbach of all three points.

  • Clint Dempsey and Fulham bounced back from their recent struggles to claim a 3-1 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium
  • Tim Howard and Everton withstood lots of second half pressure from Stoke City and saw out the 3-1 victory at Goodison Park.
  • Frank Simek entered as a second half sub but he couldn't help Sheffield Wednesday overturn a 2-1 loss to Watford.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What We're Watching

Lots going on this weekend, so head to your local U.S. Soccer Official Bar to take in some of the action. If you're up early enough on Saturday, you may just see us there catching the massive Premier League game between Manchester United and Liverpool from Old Trafford. Here's what else we'll be watching this weekend.


11 a.m. ET - Everton vs. Stoke City, FSC - David Moyes is celebrating seven years in charge of Everton this weekend and the and he's spoke of returning the club to its days of winning trophies. No silverware on the line this weekend but three points never hurts.

7 p.m. ET - Monterrey vs. Pachuca, Telemundo - José Francisco Torres and Pachuca face Monterrey in a clash between first and second in the Primera División's Group 1.

7:30 p.m. ET - Bolton vs. Fulham, FSC (delayed) - Clint Dempsey's goal in Fulham's last match failed to help the Cottagers get the win, and Fulham ended up falling to Blackburn at home. With three losses in a row in all competitions, Fulham will look to get back on track this weekend with a visit to the Reebok Stadium.


12 p.m. ET - Aston Villa vs. Tottenham, FSC - Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa look to stave off Arsenal and Everton in their quest for the much-coveted fourth place spot in the Premier League.

5 p.m. ET - Puebla vs. San Luis, Azteca America - Michael Orozco and San Luis face Puebla in this Sunday afternoon matinée.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tim Howard on ChannelBee

Check out Tim Howard's interview with ChannelBee where he answers a series of rapid fire questions including whether or not he believes in ghosts, who the most famous person is in his mobile and past fashion disasters. Good times.

Also, watch the interview with Mr. T.

Highlights of Clint's Goal

Here are some not-very-good highlights of Clint's Dempsey's goal, which was indeed his fifth in the Premier League. Thanks for nothing, soccernet.

Update - Found some better highlights:

Fulham v Blackburn

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dempsey Scores but Fulham Go Down

An early Clint Dempsey goal for Fulham wasn't enough to beat Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday, with two late goals condemning the Cottagers to a 2-1 loss.

Dempsey scored in the second minute, poking home with his left foot for his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

We'll be back tomorrow with some highlights...

Better Highlights: Gladbach v Hamburg

Better highlights from Gladbach's win over Hamburg this weekend:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Better Highlights: Rennes v Auxere

Carlos Bocanegra's goal from this weekend. As the announcer points out, he was also voted the sexiest player (Joueur le plus sexy) at Rennes by voters on the club's website. A good week all around!

Eddie Johnson's Goal

Eddie Johnson scored for Cardiff City on Saturday, to the delight of the Ninian Park crowd and City manager Dave Jones. Here is the goal. Great soundtrack selection by whoever did this. We'll have better highlights from this game later on, so check back:

Standard Liege Wins, Still in Second

On Friday, Standard Liege won, moving to the top of the table ahead of Anderlecht. However, on Monday morning Liege are back in second place, with Anderlecht victorious in their game last night. Regardless, here are highlights from Friday's win for Liege:

Highlights from Mexico

Michael Orozco and San Luis fell 2-0 to UNAM on Saturday.

José Francisco Torres and Pachuca beat U.A.G. 3-2.