U-23 MNT head coach ANDI HERZOG
On the game and the win:
“I knew that we were the better team, but you could see that we were really tired today. When you’re tired you have to make the right decisions on the field, especially in possession you have to keep the ball, but I’m happy that we won the game. I’m not that happy with our performance, but when you have four games in seven days, and it was really hot. We had some injuries and some players with muscle problems at the end. It was great that we didn’t concede any goals, we had a shutout and that’s the most important thing for me, even though we didn’t play well at least we won, 1-0 and it’s a good result for us, it’s just that in the second half I was expecting us to get more counter breaks.”
On if he expects more out of the team in the future:
“We have to do better, but as a coach you have to think about all the positives as well. We had a very tough schedule. We had to play every other day and my players are not used to playing this way and today we rested some of our key players in the first half and in the second half I thought they would make the difference, but they were not on the level that they were against Netherlands.”
On the best teams remaining in this tournament:
“France I think is the best team. We helped them a lot with the mistakes that we made in the first 15 minutes of our game and for us the game was already over, but again I think France is a great team. I don’t know exactly the other group, maybe Morocco, England and Mexico have some good players and good quality. For us we’ll have to wait and watch France and see if they win to get us through to the next round.”
U-23 MNT midfielder DAN METZGER
On going ahead early:
“It was definitely the way we needed to start this game. It was the first game we’d started out with the first goal so it gave us a lot of momentum in this game to give ourselves a chance to move forward in the tournament. It was good to just get out and get the win and get the first goal and put together 80 minutes.”
On the mentality of the team going into the next few days of waiting to see what happens:
“It’s unfortunate that we put ourselves in this situation, where we have to rely on some teams. We’re hoping for the best from France to put up some good results, so it’s just a waiting game right now.”
On what the team takes away from this tournament:
“That every international game is going to be a battle no matter what the team is and no matter what the circumstance is, we’ve just got to stick with what we know best.”
U-23 MNT midfielder JULIAN GREEN
On his goal:
“It was a good feeling to score a goal of course and it was important for us to have the first goal in this game and after that it was a little bit easier, but I think we could have scored more goals.”
On where this win leaves the team:
“I think we can do nothing. We just have to look at the other teams playing and hope for the best.”
On how the team has performed over the course of the tournament:
“It’s always a good experience to play against team’s like Netherlands and France and I think it was a hard tournament because we played every other day and it’s very hard for bodies, but I think we made the best out of the situation and it was a good experience for us.”
On what the team takes away from this tournament:
“We know we have a lot of work to do. We saw from the first game against France that every little mistake can change the game and that’s what we can learn from these games.”
U-23 MNT forward JORDAN MORRIS
On the rigorous tournament:
“Yeah it was pretty tough. The schedule for us was definitely grueling and some of the other teams had three or four days in between games and we never had that. We had to rebound have a day off and play again and I think definitely in this fourth game you saw some fatigue, but I thought the team did really well to fight through that and we got the win today, which wasn’t the prettiest, but we got the result.”
On what the team takes away from this tournament:
“I think we learn that we have to approach every game in the way that we approached the game against Netherlands. We saw that we came out flat against France and they punished us for it and when you play really good teams they’ll punish you for it, but I think we rebounded really well in the second half of that game and in all other games I don’t think that our work rate was the issue. I think that in all games it’s important to learn that mentality that we’re just going to outwork the other team and I think we did that this tournament and it’s something we’ll take to qualifying.”
On the game today:
“I think we were a little bit frustrated because we knew we could do a little bit better and put some more in the back of the net, but that starts with me, you’ve got to finish your chances there. I think that coming into this game we knew that you’ve got to get at least a result and hopefully goals, so we were a little bit frustrated and obviously the second half was the prettiest of halves either. We just know that we can do better and I think that the guys were a little bit frustrated because of that.”
In France it has been called le lieu où naissent les étoiles, the place where stars are born. Always a gathering of the world’s top soccer powers, this year’s 43rd edition of the Toulon Tournament features regular competitors Netherlands, England and host France, as well as Costa Rica, China, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Mexico, Qatar and the USA.
“It’s a huge tournament,” U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog said. “I think at this age group, there’s the World Cup and for sure there’s the Olympic Tournament, but apart from those competitions, this is the biggest tournament in this age group. With all the teams like England, Netherlands, France, Mexico, and the USA competing against each other, at this age group that’s a really, really good competition and it’s a good challenge for us to show that we have a good team together.”
In 1975, Cesar Luis Menotti coached an Argentina youth squad featuring Daniel Passarella, Americo Gallego, Alberto Tarentini, and Jose Daniel Valencia to a championship in the third Toulon Tournament. Three years later, those four players were a part of the Argentina side that won the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Following the win, Menotti recalled Toulon as being a fundamental piece of the players’ development that led to their victory, and hence, le lieu où naissent les étoiles.
In the 40 years since, many of the biggest and most renowned footballers have made their mark in Toulon, and the tournament has proven to be a foreshadower of what’s to come in international play. In 2011, Colombian striker James Rodriguez earned honors as the Toulon Player of the Tournament. Three summers later, Rodriguez burst onto the scene and won the Golden Boot at the 2014 FIFA World cup after scoring six goals in five games.
Other international footballers who have also gained experience in the Toulon Tournament include: Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Shearer, Javier Mascherano, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Nuno Gomes, Rui Costa and many more.
The U.S. was in Toulon for the tournament in 2013, competing with its U-20 MNT and taking seventh place. Their best finish in Toulon history dates back to 1989, when the team took third place behind Bulgaria and champion France.
This year the U-23’s will try to best that finish. To do that, they will have to navigate through group play matchups with France on May 27, Netherlands on May 29, Costa Rica on May 31 and Qatar on June 2.Read more
CHICAGO (May 24, 2015) - U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Andi Herzog has finalized the 20-player roster for the 2015 Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in the south of France.
“Toulon is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world at this age level, and we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to compete against some of the top teams in the world,” said Herzog. “Having seen matches here many times before, I know the type of talent we will face. This is huge for us as we get ready for qualification this October, and is another step in the development of our players in international competition.”
Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Unattached; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Unattached; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (7): Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), William Packwood (Unattached; Concord, Mass.), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United; Catonsville, Md.), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Tyler Turner, (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.)
FORWARDS (5): Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.); Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Tex.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.)
The last time the U.S. competed in the Toulon Tournament was in 2013 when they sent the U-20 MNT. Seven players from that roster return for this edition of the tournament.
The tournament comprises two five-team groups. The United States is with Costa Rica, France, Netherlands and Qatar in Group A. Group B consists of China PR, England, Ivory Coast, Mexico and Morocco. The top teams from each group will meet in the final on June 7, and the second-place teams from each group will play for third place that day as well.
The U-23s have logged three matches in 2015 (2-1-0), opening with a 5-2 win over Bosnia and falling 0-1 to Denmark in March before bouncing back with a 3-0 win against Mexico on April 22 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The Toulon event will play a part in the team’s continued preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, which will be played in the United States from Oct. 1-13.
- Seventeen players arrived in France on May 24. Fatai Alashe and Cody Cropper arrived on May 25 and Tyler Turner arrived on May 27.
- Seven players from this roster were a part of the U-20 MNT that competed in the 2013 Toulon Tournament.
- Eleven players from this roster were a part of the group that most recently defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson. Cody Cropper made seven saves to earn the shutout in the game, while Jordan Morris scored a goal, and Dillon Serna and Shane O’Neill both recorded assists.
- Five players were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cropper, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda and O’Neill.
- Morris made his first start and scored his first international goal with the senior MNT during the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
- Morris is the leading goalscorer on this roster. In two matches in 2015 he has scored two goals, and overall in his four-game career with the U-23’s he has scored three times.
- Ocegueda, Hernandez, and Joya are the most experienced players at the U-23 level, having each earned five caps.
- Six players on this roster come from MLS, four from European clubs, three are from Mexico-based clubs, one plays in the USL, three are unattached and two compete at the collegiate level.
- Cropper, Green, Morris, O’Neill and Serna have all been part of a U.S. MNT senior camp this year.
- Green played in the U.S. MNT’s Round of 16 match against Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and scored a goal, becoming the youngest player to score in a World Cup game since 2006.
- Twelve players have ties to the Development Academy: Fatai Alashe (Vardar), Christian Dean (De Anza Force), Benji Joya (De Anza Force), Alfred Koroma Shams (Solar Chelsea SC), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls Academy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy), Boyd Okwuonu (FC Dallas Academy), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids Academy), Marc Pelosi (De Anza Force), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Sam Strong (Real So Cal), Tyler Turner (IMG Academy)