Real Salt Lake’s Jordan Allen played a big role for the U.S. Under-20 National Team in its 3-2 Dallas Cup Semifinal victory over Brazilian club Fluminense on Friday, coming off the bench and hitting the post and earning the game-winning PK for the Stars-and-Stripes.
The U.S. got off to a great start on Friday, getting goals from Rubio Rubin and Ben Spencer to take a 2-0 lead after just 18 minutes. Fluminense cut the U.S.’s lead in half just before the halftime whistle and went up a man shortly after the break, with U.S. defender Erik Palmer-Brown picking up a second yellow card in the 48th minute. The U.S. held strong after Palmer-Brown’s ejection, but couldn’t quite see the game out, with Fluminense equalizing in the third minute of stoppage time to force extra time.
Allen was active in overtime, hitting a curling ball off the post in the first period of extra time and getting fouled in the box to earn the decisive penalty in the second overtime period. Rubin had his ensuing PK saved, but he slotted home the rebound to give the U.S. a 3-2 win.
— Jordan Allen (@jayalllen) April 19, 2014
Allen, fellow RSL Homegrown Benji Lopez and the rest of the U.S. U-20’s will take on a youth side from Argentine club River Plate in the Dallas Cup Final at 5:00 p.m. MT on Sunday.
Real Salt Lake U.S. youth internationals Jordan Allen and Benji Lopez continued their fine showing at the Dallas Cup on Wednesday, starting for the U.S. U-20’s in their 1-0 Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group win over a youth side from Mexican club Tigres UANL.
Rubio Rubin had the lone goal in the U.S.’s win, which propelled the U-20’s to Friday’s Dallas Cup Semifinals. Allen, Lopez and the rest of the U.S. squad will face off against Brazilian side Fluminense at 6:30 p.m. MT on Friday, with the winner advancing to take on the winner of the River Plate-Coritiba semifinal in Sunday’s final. The U.S. already beat River Plate in the Group Stage, with Allen registering two assists in the U-20’s 3-2 win over the Argentine club this past Sunday. Lopez scored a goal for the U.S. in its 3-0 win over German club Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday.
Allen and Lopez will return to Real Salt Lake following the completion of the Dallas Cup. Neither will be available for this Saturday’s home game against Portland Timbers.
Another win for the U.S. U-20’s, another strong performance by a Real Salt Lake player.
Forward Benji Lopez helped the U-20’s to a 3-0 Dallas Cup win over a youth side from Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, starting and scoring the Americans’ first goal in their victory over the German club. Lopez’s performance came one day after midfielder Jordan Allen notched two assists in the U.S.’s 3-2 win over a River Plate youth side in its Dallas Cup opener on Sunday.
Allen and Lopez were called to the U-20’s last week for the Dallas Cup. The U.S. will play its final Dallas Cup Gordon Jago Super Group match on Wednesday, taking on a youth team from Mexican club Tigres UANL.
— Benji Lopez (@Theonlybenji_11) April 14, 2014
The U.S. currently sits in first place in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group, three points ahead of second-place River Plate. The three Bracket winners and the top second-place team of the three brackets will advance to the Dallas Cup semifinals, which will be played on Friday.
Real Salt Lake’s Jordan Allen and Benji Lopez began their stint with the U.S. Under-20 national team on the right foot on Sunday, with Allen starting and registering two assists in the U.S.’s 3-2 Dallas Cup win over Argentine side River Plate. Lopez did not feature for the U.S.
Allen helped the U.S. get off to a great start in the 15th minute, playing a perfect pass to the penalty spot to forward Ben Spencer, who converted the chance to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. River Plate hit back with two first half goals to take a 2-1 lead into the break, but Allen helped pull the U.S. even with a 74th minute assist to Rubio Rubin to make it 2-2. The U.S. scored the winner in the 78th minute, when Spencer scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-2.
The U.S. will continue Dallas Cup play on Monday, when it will take on German club Eintracht Frankfurt at 3:00 p.m. MT.
Michael Bradley has been getting a lot of praise for his performance in the U.S.’s 2-2 draw against Mexico last night. Deservedly so, too. The Toronto FC man was excellent, scoring the Americans’ opener, brilliantly heading RSL defender Tony Beltran’s cross into the path of Chris Wondolowski for an assist on the U.S.’s second, distributing wonderfully and turning in a solid defensive shift at the top of Jurgen Klinsmann’s midfield diamond.
Bradley was freed up on Wednesday, and it paid off. Instead of spending 90 minutes providing cover in front of the backline, he was free to roam where he pleased, pulling attacking strings all over the pitch. He put in defensive work when necessary, but mainly served as a creator, with the entire U.S. attack running through him.
The man behind Bradley in the U.S.’s midfield diamond on Wednesday? That’d be RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman, whose positional discipline, rock-solid distribution and defensive ability allowed Bradley to get up the field with aplomb. The Beckerman-Bradley partnership flourished against El Tri; the two had an obvious chemistry, a solid understanding of each other and played well into each other’s strengths.
— American Soccer Now (@ThisIsASN) April 3, 2014
In short, it was everything that the Bradley’s partnership with Jermaine Jones – Klinsmann’s usual first-choice midfield tandem – usually isn’t. Bradley seemed to notice just that, hinting at it in his postgame comments on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t necessarily look at it so differently than normal other than now you’re playing with a guy in Kyle who does a good job of being disciplined and taking care of things in front of the defenders,” Bradley said. “It means that I’m able to have a little more freedom, have the ability to be a little more two-way and be more up-and-down. It’s certainly something I enjoy.”
Kyle clearly enjoyed himself too, completing 39 of 42 passes before coming off in the 72nd minute.
— MLS Fantasy Insider (@Ben_Jata) April 3, 2014
“I thought we got a lot joy from it. That first half was a lot of fun,” Beckerman said. “[Bradley] can just be effective in more dangerous areas. For all of us, really, there was a lot of space and attacking options once we got the ball.”
Now, the big question: Will we see the Bradley-Beckerman partnership this summer in Brazil? And could Klinsmann give Kyle a start (or two, or three), or will he stick with the familiar – if less dynamic – central midfield duo of Bradley and Jermaine Jones? We don't know, but we do know we're not the only ones who want to see KB5 out there come June.
Quick, someone make a mixtape of Kyle Beckerman's passing. Upload it to YouTube with a Euro trance track and send it to Jurgen. #USMNT
— Eric Beard (@BeardEric) April 3, 2014
Real talk: Kyle Beckerman has been this good throughout the entire cycle. You guys just weren't paying attention.
— Maxi Rodriguez (@FutbolIntellect) April 3, 2014
— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) April 3, 2014
We all know Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando is pretty heavy into music. It’s a big part of his life – he’s always at shows in the Salt Lake area, and he even picks out the pregame mix that gets played during warm-ups at every home game at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Nick had a pretty big foray into the music scene on Wednesday, with his #USAvMEX Locker Room Playlist popping up on the front page of Spotify, the popular music streaming service.
Here’s what you see on the front page of Spotify, right now:
Rimando has a wide-variety of songs on his 15-track playlist, featuring artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G. and – of course – Rancid, the band that RSL season ticket holder and “Believe” anthem creator Branden Steineckert drums for. Check it out on Spotify before Rimando, RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, midfielder Luis Gil, defender Tony Beltran and the rest of the USMNT take on Mexico in an international friendly tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
U.S. Men’s National Team Manager Jurgen Klinsmann was at Rio Tinto Stadium for RSL’s 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday, scouting U.S. internationals Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, Luis Gil, Nick Rimando and Michael Bradley ahead of this Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico in Phoenix.
Klinsmann was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his schedule at halftime, stopping by the ABC 4 booth for a quick interview with Bill Riley and Brian Dunseth. Dunny spoke with Klinsmann about 20-year-old RSL midfielder Luis Gil, asking the USMNT boss what it would take for a young player like Gil to impress enough to earn a spot on this summer’s World Cup roster.
Here’s what Klinsmann had to say. You can check out his entire halftime interview above.
“Well, he already impresses us otherwise we wouldn’t have called him in for the January camp and wouldn’t have given him his first cap,” Klinsmann said. “He’s a kid that has a lot, a lot of potential, and so we need to help him to grow, help him to understand what it takes to raise his game to the next level. He knows that he has to learn to move more, and also always be aware defensively once he loses the ball. We want him to have that spirit to take people on because that’s his gift, to play his strengths, so we will keep watching him. We will see him improve, and he himself kind of decides the quickness of everything. Obviously the quicker younger players shoot through and show their qualities the better it is individually for them, but if it takes a slower pace then so be it, no problem.”
Real Salt Lake forward Alavaro Saborio scored what turned out to be the game-winner in Costa Rica’s 2-1 win over Paraguay last night in an international friendly. Saborio subbed on at the start of the second half and netted his 45th career goal for Los Ticos in the 72nd minute. Costa Rican midfielder Michael Barrantes placed a perfectly weighted one-touch pass which Saborio ran onto at the top of the box and coolly slotted through the legs of the Paraguayan keeper. You can watch the goal HERE.
Arsenal forward Joel Campell opened up the scoring for Los Ticos in 43rd minute. The friendly was Costa Rica’s last home match before the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Saborio will join Real Salt Lake today in LA and will be available for Saturday’s season opener against the Galaxy. Saturday’s match will kick off at 8:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ABC 4 and ESPN 700.
MLSsoccer.com’s Dan Itel wrote up a nice piece on Tuesday on U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments on RSL midfielder Luis Gil and fellow 20-year-old national teamer, Seattle Sounders FC defender Deandre Yedlin.
Klinsmann had plenty of complimentary things to say about Gil and Yedlin, both of whom participated in the USMNT’s January camp and registered their first senior caps as substitutes in Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win over Korea Republic at StubHub Center.
Klinsmann’s main message? While they’re promising prospects, both Gil and Yedlin still have plenty of work to do to become mainstays with the senior national team.
“I think both youngsters … did well in this first introduction to the senior national team,” Klinsmann said. “That’s why we gave them also their first cap, their first couple of minutes on the field with the so-called older guys. They have a lot of talent, there’s no doubt about it.”
“It’s really important that they stay with their feet on the ground, stay modest,” he continued. “Yes, be proud of that moment, it’s a special moment when you play your first cap, but this is hopefully just the beginning of a very, very good career.”
Klinsmann also pushed for them to take more responsibility with their club teams, a notion Gil discussed with reporters at RSL’s Media Day on Tuesday.
“We need them now to push the envelope with their MLS teams,” he said. “We need them to understand that there’s more responsibility on their shoulders as a senior national team player.”
We’ll have more from Gil on his time with the USMNT and his first cap later on Wednesday. Stay tuned.
Billy Witz of The New York Times wrote an interesting feature on the U.S. Men's National Team on Thursday, going in-depth on the USMNT's practice of having players drive minivans to and from practice during the team's annual January camp in Southern California.
Our favorite part of the story came towards the end, when Witz shared an anecdote about RSL's Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando providing some roadside assistance to some unfortunate folks involved in a car accident. The passage is below. Top stuff, guys.
From The Times:
"It was not the most dramatic journey of the week. When Kyle Beckerman was driving back from practice Monday, there was an accident not far ahead of his van. He pulled over. Nick Rimando hopped out and, true to his goalkeeping nature, directed traffic. Donovan comforted a distraught young woman involved in the accident; she did not appear to recognize him. The players stayed until the police and paramedics arrived."
Give the entire piece a read, and be sure to check out this photo of Kyle and Nick. It's pure gold.