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Category: USA! USA!


USA-Portugal draw 2-2; Dempsey scores, Yedlin plays

FIFA14The United States and Portugal each took leads and lost leads before settling for a 2-2 draw in World Cup action today.

Clint Dempsey scored the second USA goal, which appeared to be the winner until Portugal scored in the final seconds of stoppage time. DeAndre Yedlin came on as a second half substitute in his World Cup debut.

The result leaves all four teams in contention to move on when group play concludes Thursday with Germany-USA and Ghana-Portugal.

Below is a game report and notes from U.S. Soccer:

In hot, humid conditions at Arena Amazonia, the U.S. Men’s National Team earned one valuable point in a 2-2 draw against No. 4 Portugal during its second match of Group G play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey each scored for the USA with Dempsey’s 81st-minute tally giving the USA a 2-1, come-from-behind lead.

The U.S. was seconds away from clinching a spot in the Round of 16 as a win would have sent the U.S. through and Portugal would have been eliminated. However, Portugal’s Silvestre Varela tallied the latest of equalizers in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time on virtually the last touch of the game.

The USA is now tied atop Group G with Germany at points each, but Germany holds the tiebreaker based on goal differential. The USA will face Germany in its Group G finale on Thursday, June 26, at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision) and can clinch a spot in the Round of 16 in the following ways:
• A victory against Germany, which would also give the USA the group title
• A draw against Germany
• A draw between Ghana and Portugal in the other Group G match, which will be played concurrently to USA vs. Germany
• A loss combined with ending group play with superior goal differential over the winner between Ghana and Portugal
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Schmid talks World Cup and U.S. Open Cup

Last week, we got a chance to ask Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid about his thoughts on the USA’s 3 p.m. Sunday match against Portugal:

“Obviously they’re going to play a team that’s desperate,” he said. “Portugal, they’ve got no points and they’ve got a bad goal differential. So for them three points is important. A tie might not be enough for them to put them in a position to get there easily. I think Portugal is really going to go after it. That makes the game, maybe not from the opening whistle, but it definitely will open up the

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Sounders are World Cup fans, too


Seattle Sounders FC is made up not only of soccer players, but of soccer fans.

Recent practices have generally coincided with the end of each day’s first World Cup game and the start of the second, but most players and coaches have been watching when they can.

“It’s nice just to sit back as a fan and just get excited and just put your hands to your face when they make dumb plays and exalt when they make good plays,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “To me, every four years I think this is the best time.”

Looking on with particular interest Friday was veteran defender Leo Gonzalez of Costa Rica, whose homeland advanced to the knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Italy.

Gonzalez watched the start of the match from the Sounders’ locker room area, but he was on the practice pitch when the final whistle blew.

“Some guy on the team told me we won,” he said. “Enjoy the moment. … Hopefully they do very good against England and finish that part of the tournament with confidence.”

Here’s our full story on the topic, and below some Sounders’ quotes on this World Cup:
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Schmid: “Absolutely fantastic for U.S. to win”

Here’s what Sounders coach Sigi Schmid had to say today about the USA’s 2-1 World Cup-opening win over Ghana on Monday:

It was great: absolutely fantastic for the U.S. to win. The early goal by Clint. It’s tough to play when you get hit in the nose like he got. You can’t breathe out of your nose for the rest of the game — two days later with a broke nose it all settles down. Great performance by Clint, great performance by the team. Coming back and getting the late goal was fantastic. Between the first goal and the late goal winner I’m sure there are some things they would feel better about if they play had been a little bit better or a little bit sharper. At the end of the day, nobody is going to remember that. All they’re going to remember is 2-1, and they’re going to remember three points, and it’s so important in a World Cup opener.

Below is a game report and notes from U.S. Soccer:
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Sounders train during Cup, but before USA at 3

The Sounders are back at training Monday, despite an exceptionally appealing World Cup lineup that will find the Sounders on the training pitch while Germany and Portugal are in action (9 a.m., ESPN) and probably also the beginning of Iran-Nigeria at noon (ESPN).

“I don’t know, we’re going to have to cancel training altogether,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said … jokingly. “Actually, training at 10. We adjusted our flight to D.C. to watch Germany-USA, but I can’t adjust it every day. The most important thing are the Seattle Sounders – no offense to Germany and the U.S.”

We also asked

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Sounders join WC viewing parties … Tacoma included

Hahnemann will join Doyle's event.
Hahnemann will join Doyle’s event.

Doyle’s Public House in Tacoma is among a set of World Cup viewing party sites that have been joined by Sounders FC. Here is the word from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC has joined with The American Outlaws, the official supporters group of U.S. Soccer, for live viewing parties of the U.S. National Team’s three group stage matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The events will be held at The Atlantic Crossing Pub and Fuel Sports Eats and Beats and will feature Sounders FC player appearances and a raffle with prize giveaways.

Two additional viewing parties will be held at Doyle’s Public House in Tacoma, including the opening match for the USMNT against Ghana on Monday and the Uruguay-England match on Thursday.

Sounders FC midfielder Lamar Neagle will be at the Atlantic Crossing Pub for the USA-Ghana match. Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and former Sounders FC player Roger Levesque will be at Doyle’s for Monday’s event.
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World’s greatest sporting event kicks off at 1 p.m.

WCmlsThe 2014 FIFA World Cup is finally here, with the first kick scheduled to be struck around 1 p.m. PT: host Brazil vs. Croatia, carried on ESPN.

We’ll try to keep this blog active with some updates, especially as they relate to the U.S. national team and especially with Sounders Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin. However, for full Cup coverage, there is the official FIFA site, the World Cup coverage, and all the other obvious ones and maybe some favorites you’ve discovered.

Included above is a chart of MLS participants provided by the league.

And below is a World Cup overview given by coach Sigi Schmid about a week ago: Read more »


Schmid gives take on USA, Dempsey, Yedlin

Clint Dempsey on one of four SI World Cup covers.
Clint Dempsey on one of four SI World Cup covers.

Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey is featured on the cover of one of Sports Illustrated’s World Cup preview issues unveiled Tuesday.

The cover shows Dempsey draped in a United States flag. The national team captain appears on one of four SI covers, while the others show Lionel Messi of Argentina, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Luis Suarez of Uruguay.

Dempsey becomes the first Sounder featured on the hallowed SI cover.

“It’s hard to measure, but for sure it raises the profile of the club, and that ultimately I assume sells tickets and sponsorships and TV ratings,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “And so absolutely that’s part of the bigger picture.”

In 2010, Dempsey shared the SI cover with national team members Landon Donovan and Tim Howard. Hope Solo of the University of Washington and currently with Seattle Reign FC appeared in 2011.

Earlier this year, Seattle Mariners second baseman appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s baseball preview issue. The Seattle Seahawks also were featured before and after winning the Super Bowl — but Sounders coach Sigi Schmid noted Tuesday that a World Cup is a much bigger event.

“Unless you’re there, you really don’t know how big an event is it,” he said. “No offense to Seattle Seahawks and the Super Bowl, but it’s the Super Bowl times 10.” Read more »