The USMNT kicks off the 2015 season with an away friendly match vs. Chile at the Estadio El Teniente, in Rancagua, on Jan. 28. The team will feature a mix of veterans as well as some talented newcomers, as the squad hopes to find the combination it needs to become a solid and winning team.
Training Camp opened on Jan. 12 in Carson City, Calif. with 28 players. New faces on the pitch are those of players coming from the Under-23 Men’s National Team, many who have ties to the U.S. Development Academy and many Major League Soccer players. Players from the World Cup roster who opened camp in Carson City include Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski.
The goals of the USMNT training, per us soccer.com,
— Continue to develop experienced leaders who can conduct the team moving forward and identify new talent that can grow into bigger roles within the U.S. MNT system.
Veterans will mentor the young players, but will also be pushed to up their games as the newcomers will ultimately be vying for their positions. Hopefully the healthy competition will benefit and improve the team in the end.
The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year. We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
The international friendlies are warmups for the Gold Cup. Home matches will see them face Panama and Mexico, with tough away contests in Chile, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and against World Cup champions Germany. Matches held during the FIFA international break in late March means that most of the domestic and Europe-based players will be available for the games where they will face the U.S. The U.S. and Canada are the host nations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup coming this July.
USMNT 2015 Schedule
- January 28: at Chile
- February 8: vs. Panama, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
- March 25: at Denmark
- March 31: at Switzerland
- April 15: vs Mexico, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
- June 5: at Netherlands
- June 10: at Germany
Cool, Major League Soccer names MVP Award after Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan is no longer with the national team after retiring and the end of 2015. Then he ended his professional playing career with the MLS by winning a fifth title with the Los Angeles Galaxy. MLS also paid tribute to the all-time leading scorer at a ceremony in Philadelphia, Pa. just ahead of the SuperDraft. And on Jan. 15, Major League Soccer made the announcement that they are now naming the MLS Most Valuable Player award after the soccer legend. The Landon Donovan MVP Trophy is designed by Tiffany & Co.
You can watch a video of the award here: Donovan Trophy