U-23 MNT head coach ANDI HERZOG
On conceding two early goals:
“It was a shock for our players. They completely lost confidence. In possession we lost the confidence to connect passes. Even defensively we were not able to close the attacking players from France down and at halftime we knew it was going to be tough because my team was mentally in a tough positon and I said guys, we’ve got to correct all the stuff we did wrong in the first half. We’ve got to start again and I think the second half was okay, but when a team like France is 3-0 ahead they don’t play 100 percent any more, but I think overall after the first half it was good and my team showed character to score at least one goal and keep the game a little bit open, but with the performance we had in the first half you can’t win games in this tournament.
“We conceded two goals in one minute, but not because France created opportunities, but because we made two horrible mistakes. I know France is a very good team they have a lot of good players, but we helped them. We supported them a lot with our mistakes and that was the key of the game and that’s why we lost the game. You can see that France is a good organized team and in attacking they’re a very technical team with a lot of great attacking players and we made it too easy for them in the first half.”
On how difficult the tournament will be moving forward:
“It will be difficult, but we knew it from the beginning. I was hoping that we’d have a good start into the tournament, but like I said the first half was really, really bad so it’s not getting any easier but we want to try now every game to win the next game. Of course with our schedule we play every second game, so I think most of my players aren’t used to playing that much, because they’re not even starters in our league so it will be tough and we coaches have to be smart and have a good balance between playing time and regeneration and resting some important players.”
U-23 MNT defender WILL PACKWOOD
On the game:
“Obviously we’re disappointed in the result first and foremost, but that came in the first 15 minutes of the first half when we let them get two easy goals. In terms of actual play in terms of the way we played and the way they played, I thought it was a very even game. Overall, we came back a little bit and one the second half 1-0, but the damage had been done by then.”
On the team getting off to a slow start:
“The first two goals are mistake. The first one we gave the ball away at the edge of our box and then the second we gave the ball away at the edge of our box again. When you do that against good teams like France, they’ll punish you and they did. Those are things that you just can’t do. But in general, we worked a lot on our shape, and tried to send them off to the edge and I thought we had some success and I think it showed in the second half.”
On what the team needs to do for the next game:
“We need to tighten up a little bit, because obviously these are good teams and they’re tough to play against, and we know that we can’t give them gifts the way that we did today and when we don’t, we’re a very good match for them and we’ll play right there with them and have a good even game. We need to cut out the mistakes and play forward and keep the ball and be a little more ruthless and we’ll be right there with those teams.”
U-23 MNT forward JORDAN MORRIS
On the game:
“That was the most frustrating part that we came out and gave up easy goals so quickly and a couple of them definitely could have been preventable, so I think it’s frustrating to see us come out in the second half, and I think we were the better team, so we saw that we could play with these guys, but going down 3-0 is tough to come back from.”
On moving on to the next game in the Tournament:
“I definitely think we have to put this game behind us. There were some negatives for sure, but also some positives. I thought we worked really hard and showed some really good stuff in the second half, so if we can take that and translate that and instead of just doing that in the second half, doing it in the first half, I think we’ll do very well.”
On the run of play that led to his goal:
“I think Marc [Pelosi] had the ball on the left and he played it to me around half-field and their center back stepped and missed it and I turned and kind of just ran at the last center back and took to my left and fortunately slotted it by the ‘keeper. I think he came out and it just kind of trickled by him”
U-23 MNT midfielder MARC PELOSI
On the game:
“I think just showing against a team like France that we dominated the second half and had most of the chances and scored a goal, I think it just shows that we can compete with the top teams. In the first half to be honest I don’t think we played that bad, but obviously letting in three goals in ten minutes, you can never do that and expect to finish with a result and after one goal you’ve just got to hold together and not let one in again.”
On how it felt to be back with the MNT:
“It was great. Obviously you want to start better, but being back with the National Team again and seeing the boys I haven’t seen in a long time its great and it’s just an honor to be with the U.S. team.”
TOULON, France (May 27, 2015) – Despite a strong second half, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team fell to host-France 3-1 on Wednesday in their opening group match of the 2015 Toulon Tournament.
France came out on the attack and a pair of U.S. mistakes resulted in two goals for the tournament hosts in the game’s first 11 minutes. In the 21st minute France extended its lead to three off of a Stephane Sparagna free kick.
The U.S. battled for the remaining minutes of the first half and controlled the ball on France’s side of the pitch, but could not turn possession into any chances. The U-23s carried the momentum from the end of the first half into the second and got on the board in the 65th minute when Marco Pelosi fed Jordan Morris for the USA’S first goal of the tournament.
The U-23s applied the pressure for the remaining minutes, but were unable to earn a result.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA- Fares Bahlouli, 10th minute: Cody Cropper made a diving save and parried the ball away, but the deflected ball was not cleared. Fares Bahlouli picked it up for France and promptly smashed it past a still-recovering Cropper and into the bottom right corner. USA 0, FRA 1
FRA- Enzo Cervelli, 11th minute: After intercepting off the kickoff following the first goal, France got the ball out to Lemar Thomas, who brought it down and got forward with pace on the left side. Thomas sent a hard shot at Cropper who dove and knocked it away. Off the rebound Enzo Cervelli jumped and headed it in to give France an early 2-0 lead. USA 0, FRA 2
FRA- Stephane Sparagna, 21st minute: A USA foul set up France with a free kick from 20 yards out, above the top corner of the box. The France captain Sparagna sent in a low, hard ball that threaded a number of players and ended in the lower right corner of the goal. USA 0, FRA 3
USA- Jordan Morris (Marc Pelosi) 65th Minute: Marc Pelosi played a square ball to Jordan Morris in the center of the park 45 yards from goal. Morris spun and burst past a pair of French defenders. With just the ‘keeper to beat, the U.S. forward calmly slipped a shot past and into the lower right corner. USA 1, FRA 3 (FINAL)
- Jordan Morris has now scored in back-to-back games with the U-23s and three straight for the U.S. overall counting his goal with the senior team in their 2-0 win against Mexico on April 15.
- Marc Pelosi made his first appearance in a U.S. uniform in more than two years, having recovered from a series of injuries. He earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT and tallied an assist.
- Sam Strong earned his first cap with the U-23 MNT
Next on the Schedule:
The U-23 MNT faces the Netherlands on May 29 at Stade Perruc in Hyeres, France
Broadcast information: 11 a.m. ET BeIN SPORTS
Social: Twitter @ussoccer
- This match was the first between France and the USA at the U-23 age level.
- Benji Joya, who scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the match against France in the 2013 Toulon Tournament (when the teams met as U-20 opponents), made the start tonight as the captain.
- Joya and Shane O’Neill are the only players on the roster that have started in all four games this year for the U-23s.
- Jordan Morris, who earned ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors, recorded his third goal in 2015 with the U-23s and the fourth of his five-game career with the team.
- U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team vs. France
Date: May 27, 2015
Competition: 2015 Toulon Tournament
Venue: Stade Leo Lagrange; Toulon, France
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET)
Weather: 70 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
FRA 3 0 3
FRA – Fares Bahlouli 10th minute
FRA- Enzo Crivelli 11
FRA- Stephane Sparagna 21
USA- Jordan Morris (Marc Pelosi) 65
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 3-Boyd Okwuonu, 5-Will Packwood (6-Sam Strong, 73), 4-Shane O’Neill, 2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (7-Dillon Serna, 62); 8-Benji Joya (capt.), 16-Daniel Metzger, 10-Marc Pelosi; 17-Jerome Keisewetter (11-Alonso Hernandez ,73), 9-Jordan Morris, 16-Julian Green (15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 62)
Subs Not Used:, 12-Charlie Horton, 13-Fatai Alashe, 18-Jalen Robinson, 20-Tyler Turner, 22-Tyler Miller
Head coach: Andreas Herzog
FRA: 1-Thomas Didillon; 15 Raphael Diarra, 5-Stephane Sparagna, 4-Presnel Kimpembe, 2-Damien Dussau, 13-Baptiste Santamaria (8-Adrien Hunou, 61), 6-Yann Bodiger, 11-Lemar Thomas, 20-Romain Habran (19- Aristote Madiani, 51), 9-Enzo Crivelli (14-Ulrich Nnomo, 65), 18-Fares Bahlouli (10-Younes Kaabouni, 61)
Subs Not Used: 3-Louis Nganinoni, 7-Jean-Luc Diarra-Dompe, 12-Marco Ilamaharita, 16-Louis Souchad, 17-Jordan Diakiese
Head coach: Francis Smerecki
Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 5 / 9
Shots on Goal: 4 /5
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 1 / 1
USA – Jerome Kiesewetter (caution) 19th minute
FRA- Presnel Kimpembe (caution) 38
FRA- Stephane Sparagn (caution) 49
FRA- Yann Badiger (caution) 54
Referee: Adi Zourak (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Hacham Ait Abbou (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahya Nouali (MAR)
4th Official: Romo Macias (MEX)
ussocer.com Man of the Match: Jordan MorrisRead more
TOULON, France (May 27, 2015) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will participate in the 2015 Toulon Tournament from May 27 to June 7 in six venues in the south of France.
The USA has been drawn into Group A with host France, Netherlands, Costa Rica and Qatar. The U.S. opens against France (May 27, 1 p.m. ET), followed by Netherlands (May 29, 11 a.m. ET), Costa Rica (May 31, 11 a.m. ET), and Qatar (June 2, 12 p.m. ET). The top team from the group will advance to the final, while the second-place finisher will move on to play for third. The advancing pair from Group A will match up with the top two finishers from Group B, which includes China PR, England, Ivory Coast, Mexico and Morocco. The placement matches will be played on June 7.
All of the U.S.’s group-stage tournament games will be broadcast on BeIN SPORTS. Fans can also follow the U.S. games on Twitter @ussoccer.
U.S. U-23 MNT ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Cody Cropper (Unattached; Maple Grove, Minn.), Charlie Horton (Unattached; Cleveland, Ohio), Tyler Miller (Zweibrücken; Woodbury, N.J.)
DEFENDERS (8): 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.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Tyler Turner, (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): 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.)
FORWARDS (5): Julian Green (Bayern Munich; Tampa, Fla.); Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Tex.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Stuttgart; Berlin, Germany), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.)
- A total of 17 players gathered in the countryside outside of Toulon on May 24. San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Fatai Alashe and goalkeeper Cody Cropper arrived on May 25, while Orlando City SC defender Tyler Turner arrived shortly before tournament kickoff May 27.
- Eight players from this roster were a part of the U-20 MNT that competed in the 2013 Toulon Tournament: Cropper, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Shane O’Neill, Benji Joya, Dillon Serna, Alonso Hernandez, Alfred Koroma Shams, and Jordan Morris.
- Eleven players from this roster were a part of the group that most recently defeated Mexico 3-0 in Carson.Cropper made seven saves to earn the shutout in that game, while Morris scored a goal, and Serna and O’Neill both recorded assists.
- Five players were a part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cropper, Hernandez, Joya, Ocegueda and O’Neill.
- Ocegueda, Hernandez, and Joya are the most experienced players at the U-23 level, each having 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Julian Green, Marc Pelosi, Jalen Robinson and Turner are the only four players making their first appearance on a U-23 roster.
- 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.
EYES ON RIO: The Toulon Tournament serves as a part of the U-23s’ continued preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship, where the team will seek to earn a berth in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The U.S. hopes to return to the Olympics for the first time since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where it posted a 1-1-1 record but could not advance past the group stage. The USA’s best showing in the Olympics came during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, when the team advanced past Japan in the quarterfinals and finished fourth in the event. The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13.
MOVING ON FROM TOULON: Over the years the Toulon Tournament has proven to be a springboard for success for a host of young players, as some of the biggest names in world soccer having made a name for themselves at le lieu où naissent les étoiles, the place where stars are born. Over the years, the Toulon Tournament has proven to be a springboard for success for a host of young players, as some of the biggest names in world soccer having made a name for themselves at le lieu où naissent les étoiles, the place where stars are born. Luminaries like Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Shearer, Javier Mascherano, and James Rodriguez have their names recorded in the record books here, along with others close to home. In 1997, Josh Wolff earned honors as the tournament’s top goal scorer alongside France’s Thierry Henry and Colombia’s Gustavo Victoria. Wolff went on to play in a pair of World Cups for the United States, assisting on the game-winning goal against Mexico in the Round of 16 in Korea. The French legend Henry also earned Player of the Tournament honors that year, going to on to be France’s all-time leading goalscorer and a legendary figure at Arsenal and Barcelona before heading state side to play for New York Red Bulls from 2010-2014.
USA VS. FRANCE (May 27, 1 p.m. ET; Stade Léo Lagrange; Toulon, France)
- The U-23 MNT has not competed against France since Olympic soccer was designated as an Under-23 competition (1992).
- Eight players on this roster were a part of the U.S. U-20 team that faced off with France in the 2013 Toulon Tournament: Cropper, Ocegueda, O’Neill, Joya, Serna, Hernandez, Koroma Shams, and Morris. France, which was playing with a roster of U-23 players, won that matchup 4-1.
- Five players were part of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team: Cropper, Alonso Hernandez, Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda and O’Neill. That team tied France in 1-1 in group play. France went on to win the World Cup that year.
- Benji Joya was the lone goalscorer for the U.S. in the 2013 matchup with France
- France and the U.S. have been grouped together in four Toulon Tournaments. The U.S. is 0-0-4 in those matches.