Seventy-five years of futility are now officially in the past.
The US national team made history at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night, stunning Mexico 1-0 thanks to a late goal by substitute defender Michael Orozco Fiscal.
The victory marks the United States’ first-ever win on Mexican soil, ending a long, painful winless streak and handing Jurgen Klinsmann’s side a massive confidence boost as they prepare to resume World Cup qualifying next month. And it arrived in the most unlikely scenario imaginable, delivered by a hybrid roster shorn of top contributors like Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Carlos Bocanegra.
The Yanks’ forward forays were few and far between but Brek Shea made the most of his first such opportunity after entering the game for Herculez Gomez in the 78th minute. The FC Dallas winger slashed into the Mexican penalty area barely two minutes later and centered to Terrence Boyd, whose improvised back heel skipped into the path of Orozco Fiscal for a short-range finish past Guillermo Ochoa to stun the Azteca crowd.
CHICAGO — FC Dallas' Brek Shea is among the group of players U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in to train for the upcoming friendly against Mexico on Aug. 15 at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. Kickoff for the USA’s first friendly against Mexico on Mexican soil since 1984 is set for 7 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision. Fans can follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer.
The players are reporting to Mexico City beginning Sunday, and will train for two days prior to the mid-week fixture.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to bring this group together and challenge Mexico for a win,” said Klinsmann. “For every game, we always look at who is in the best form, who is fit and who is ready to go. We have a lot of veteran players and also some new, hungry guys who deserve a chance. Every player in the pool looks forward to an amazing opportunity like this, the chance to take on Mexico in such an historic stadium like Estadio Azteca. With the World Cup qualifiers coming up next month, we can start preparing these players mentally and physically for Jamaica.”
A little more than a year into his tenure, Klinsmann seeks to lead the U.S. team to its first ever victory against Mexico in their own country. Several U.S. regulars will get their first experience at Azteca, as only three players on the roster have ever played against Mexico on Mexican soil. The match is the first for the U.S. since the 1-1 draw on June 12 in Guatemala, and represents another opportunity to prepare for the critical set of impending World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica next month.
U.S. TRAVEL ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim)
MIDFIELDERS (9): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
ADDITIONAL ROSTER NOTES
· Six players on the roster play professionally in Liga MX in Mexico: DaMarcus Beasley, Edgar Castillo, Corona, Herculez Gomez, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Jose Torres.
· MLS contributes the most players of any league, sending nine to Mexico City: Kyle Beckerman, Steve Beitashour, Matt Besler, Landon Donovan, Sean Johnson, Nick Rimando, Brek Shea, Chris Wondolowski and Graham Zusi.
· Eight players on the roster appeared in the last meeting between the teams, a 1-1 draw on Aug. 10, 2011, in Philadelphia (starters in bold): Beckerman, Castillo, Donovan, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones, Orozco Fiscal, Shea and Torres.
· Four players will arrive Monday after competing in matches on Sunday: Terrence Boyd, Donovan, S. Johnson and Jones.
After two matches, the U.S. leads Group A in the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. resumes qualifying action with back-to-back matches against Jamaica on Sept. 7 and 11. Jamaica hosts the Sept. 7 match in Kingston, and then four days later the U.S. will welcome the Caribbean nation to Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. That match will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPN3 and the Univision family. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer.
Kevin Hartman picked up his first MLS Save of the Week win in 2012 for his amazing effort against Portland on Sunday. His win was, of course, because of all the fans voting for him on MLSSoccer.com
Here are the vote totals:
- Kevin Hartman (DAL) 55%
- Andy Gruenebaum (CLB) 14%
- Milos Kocic (NY) 12%
- Josh Saunders (LA) 10%
- Matt Pickens (COL) 9%
Read more about Hartman's win at MLSSoccer.com.
The soccer world woke up Sunday morning to the news Columbus Crew rookie Kirk Urso had died overnight. FC Dallas and members of the team took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
Our thoughts are with the family, friends & teammates of Crew midfielder Kirk Urso after his passing.
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) August 5, 2012
Still can't believe this but lost a good friend and great person today. It was a privelege to play with and know you Cpt. Kirk
— Matt Hedges (@Matt_Hedges) August 5, 2012
mourning the loss of a friend today. RIP, Kirk. Blessed to have known you
— Brek Shea (@BrekShea) August 5, 2012
Kirk you will be forever missed. Praying for your friends and family. It was a blessing to have played together and know you.
— Zach Loyd (@ZachLoyd) August 5, 2012
— Matt Hedges (@Matt_Hedges) August 6, 2012
FRISCO -- Kevin Hartman is seeing the world thanks to two FC Dallas supporters.
Well, the Hartman bobblehead, that is.
And the veteran goalkeeper is more than happy to log on to Facebook each day and find out what his recently released bobblehead has been up to.
“I feel like Flat Stanley,” Hartman said. “It’s been great. I haven’t really had the opportunity to travel to England, which is really weird for someone who’s played professional soccer for 16 years.”
Among the destinations bobblehead Kevin Hartman has visited include Wimbledon, London’s Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Supporters Jon and Brenda Beard are making sure the bobblehead hits all the hot spots.
“It’s cool,” Hartman said. “I’m living vicariously through my bobblehead.”
FRISCO – A future MLS star could take the field on Saturday when 4v4 tournament Futbolito takes place at the Complex at FC Dallas Stadium.
If that thought seems ridiculous, talk to FC Dallas midfielder Ricardo Villar.
He was on a team that won Futbolito nearly a decade ago in Houston.
Villar visited Houston to see his girlfriend at the time and went to a local park to workout and stay in game shape. He had just finished a season with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds shortly after graduating from Penn State.
He wound up meeting some local soccer players who were playing a pick-up game in the park.
“I played a little bit with them, they said I could do this Futbolito thing and split the money with them,” Villar said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m not doing anything’.”
Villar and his three impromptu teammates played in 7 matches in one day, winning each one – including the title match.
“We had no subs, it was just four of us,” Villar said. “It was competitive, little short games. Short-sided, small goals.”
Villar remembers the prize money being $500-$700 per person. It wound up being incredibly important cash on hand for him.
He had been waiting for a call from an overseas team to come over and play. A week after winning Futbolito, he got the call.
The money he won was used to buy a one-way plane ticket to Germany.
“It was funny, it was a time in my life where I was almost going away from soccer for good. Not that because of winning I stayed [with soccer]. But I played, took the cash and went to Germany,” Villar said.
Brek Shea is all over Deuce Brand media this week. He's taken over the website, social media and video. It's all for his new Deuce Brand watch, which can be pre-ordered online and will be available in the FC Dallas Team shop by July 4. Check out the video featuring Brek:
FC Dallas' Blas Perez scored twice in the second half Friday night to lead the Panamanian National Team to a 2-0 win over Honduras in the first World Cup Qualifying match of this round for CONCACAF.
After a scoreless first half, Perez opened the scoring with a wicked strike from the top of the box in the 64' to give Panama the lead.
His second goal was even more spectacular - a header off a cross in the 80' to seal the deal.
With the win Panama earned three points and is in first place with Canada in Group C of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, ahead of Honduras and Cuba. Panama faces Cuba on Tuesday and is trying to reach the World Cup for the first time in the country's history.
Blas' two goals are below. Enjoy the very excited announcers:
The editors of MLSsoccer.com chose FCD's George John as the No. 4 centerback in MLS. Watch the video and listen to the compliments thrown at John: