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Anthony Hudson praises USMNT after 1-0 triumph over El Salvador



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The USMNT qualified for the Concacaf Nations League knockout rounds with a 1-0 win vs. El Salvador at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.  Though Los Cuscatlecos didn’t make it easy, a goal from Ricardo Pepi propelled the American side through to the next round of the international tounament.

It what a fairly difficult game for the US, as El Salvador went into the match tactically sound, specifically on the defensive side. They forced the Stars and Stripes to put six shots off target, which is a complete change from what the US put up during their 7-1 route of Grenada just a couple of days earlier. 

Eventually, the Americans would break the deadlock with a cheeky Ricardo Pepi goal in the 62nd minute. After the match, head coach Anthony Hudson gave El Salvador kudos for their tactical setup and touched on the slow first half for the US.

“All of us, coaching staff included, I don’t think we probably set the team up in a way to really help them in the first half. They made it very difficult for us. The first half, defensively, we were far too stretched.”

Goalkeeper Matt Turner spoke about their sluggish start and how at halftime, they needed a reality check.

“The message amongst the players as well was that it just wasn’t good enough in the first half – individual mistakes, individual errors, balls going under guys’ feet. “We knew coming off of [the win vs. Grenada that] we needed to give our fans something to cheer for in the second half.”

Turner also touched on the return of Pepi, who missed out on the final World Cup roster. The 20-year-old is back into the national team fold with a chip on his shoulder, scoring three goals in his last two matches with the team.

“I’m so happy for [Pepi], because he works so hard, and that’s a guy with a lot of confidence to come in and finish like that, in a tight game, in a really challenging game,” Turner said.

“It makes me emotional, being a father, because I’m one of the older guys on this team. And to see somebody his age who’s taken a big step in his career, gone over to Europe and things, let’s say haven’t gone perfectly to plan for him. To turn around and take his opportunities here, it’s just really, really great for him and for this program.”

After transferring from FC Dallas to Ausburg, Pepi struggled to get going, which saw him loaned out to Dutch side FC Groningen where they’re currently in a relegation battle.

Hudson chimed in on the young forward, saying that he was glad Pepi could maintain his good form despite the tumultuous circumstances.

“His club team, unfortunately they’re not in a great place in the table and it sometimes can be tough when you’re down there at that end of the table. When you come out of that environment, you come back to your national team environment, it sort of gives you a little bit of a break, which I think that in itself helped him.”

Another young player returning to the national team fold after some difficult times is midfielder Gio Reyna. After a highly publicized spat between his parent Claudio and Danielle, Reyna, and the US Soccer Federation, many looked to see if the 20-year-old could shake off the noise.

“Gio’s performance overall, I thought was really good. He showed flashes of being our biggest attacking threat. … we believe in him – clearly he has talent and you see tonight some of the things he does. He probably needs a few more games under his belt.”

“We’re very, very pleased with how he’s been this week in training. And I think we’re all just in a position where we just want to keep looking forward.”

Lastly, this game marked the return of Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson, who spent the last ten months on the sidelines dealing with a ruptured Achilles tendon in May 2022.

“Miles, really, really pleased, just pleased he’s back, pleased with his performance. You saw moments of the old Miles where he’s just so dominant in 1-v-1 situations, and he reads plays well and he steps in at the right time. He just very, very quietly goes about being dominant in his role.”

The USMNT’s next match will be on April 19th, as they square off against Mexico in Glendale, Arizona. 

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USWNT’s Catarina Macario ruled out of the Women’s World Cup



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United States Women’s national team midfielder Catarina Macario will miss out on the 2023 World Cup as she’s still recovering from an ACL tear.

The 23-year-old suffered the long-term injury last June while playing for her club team Lyon. Macario announced via social media that she “won’t be physically ready for selection” nearly a year after the injury.

“The desire to return to play for my club and country has driven my training and fueled my everyday life,” she stated via an Instagram post. “However, what’s most important right now is my health and getting fit and ready for my next club season.”

Despite not taking part in training for Lyon in April, Macario still expressed optimism about being fit in time for the World Cup. However, the recovery has taken longer that expected with the midfielder not featuring for Lyon at all this season.

With the USWNT looking to win their third straight championship, Macario will be supporting her teammates when they travel to Australia and New Zealand.

“I’ll be cheering hard for my teammates at the World Cup, and I look forward to dedicating myself to fight to earn a spot for what I hope will be a long future on the U.S. national team,” she wrote.

Macario’s injury is not the only long-term setback to hit the USWNT. Forward Christen Press, who was key in the 2015 and 2019 World Cup wins, is also still recovering from an ACL tear. The 34-year-old still hopes to recover in time for the tournament.

Forward Mallory Swanson, who suffered a torn torn patella tendon in her left knee just last month, will also not feature for the USWNT.

The USWNT hopes to make it three consecutive World Cup wins but faces a difficult task without three key players in the picture.

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FIFA approvedone-time switch for new USMNT player Timothy Tillman



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Dual-nationality midfielder Timothy Tillman has committed to the US men’s national team

FIFA approved the player’s one-time change of association, making him eligible to represent the American team in international competition. Tillman previously formed part of the German national team, playing in official matches at  the youth level. 

Tillman was born in Nürnberg, Germany to an American father and German mother, allowing the dual-nationality figure to represent both teams at an international level. 

Despite playing in Germany for most of his career, last featuring for Greuther Fürth before joining LAFC, the player followed in the footsteps of his older brother Malik Tillman in choosing to sport the Red, White and Blue. 

“To represent the United States is obviously making me proud. I’m really honored to do so and I’m looking forward to the future with the United States,” Tillman said in a release. “Telling my family about it was really exciting. As a kid, my brother and I dreamt of playing for a national team together and now we’re one step closer.”

Tillman, who came up through Bayern Munich’s youth system, has impressed since joining the reigning MLS champions in 2023. He’s managed three goals and two assists in 13 matches across all competitions to become a starter under head coach Steve Cherundolo.  

The midfielder is the latest dual-nat player to commit to the United States, after Folarin Balogun announced his choice just last week. The two could soon feature for the senior side in the upcoming CONCACAF tournaments as the Nations League semifinals and Gold Cup take place this summer. 

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Big USMNT news as FC Dallas striker Jesús Ferreira shines



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Big news for the USMNT as Ligue 1 striker Folarin Balogun opts for international play with the U.S. over England. But fans should also rejoice as another USMNT striker option, FC Dallas’ Jesús Ferreira, puts in the work to arrive in the best possible shape for the U.S.

The 22-year-old netted in the 89th minute of Dallas’ 1–nil victory over Austin FC last Saturday and scored a brace Wednesday night in their 2–1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at Toyota Park.

Ferreira now has eight goals in 13 matches this season and is in a three-way tie for second in the 2023 MLS Golden Boot race.

Balogun’s much-awaited announcement certainly pulled the spotlight away with his 19 goals in 34 matches on his loan at Reims from Arsenal this season, Ferreira is doing his part to make himself an attractive option for interim USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup this summer.

“I’m just setting personal goals for myself and trying to better myself for the team,” Ferreira said after the match. “I’m finding that rhythm I had again, getting into pockets and spaces in the box. My teammates are trusting me to be the guy to score goals, and I’m happy we did a good job today.”

The good news isn’t tied exclusively to USMNT hopes and aspirations as Dallas is also enjoying an upswing from his productivity, sitting in the third spot of the Western Conference with 21 points and are unbeaten in their last three matches.

Ferreira, a Dallas homegrown player, added to his growing tally of milestones as his latest brace is the eighth time in his career that he nets multiple goals and adds to his 44 career goals, putting him in third place in Dallas history two goals behind Kenny Cooper.

His good form has fueled European transfer rumors with Ferreira himself denying a rumor of Serie A champion Napoli putting in an offer for his services.

In the meantime, Ferreira’s focus is on the club he’s called home since 2016.

“At the end of the day we’re a team trying to win games, make the playoffs, and win the MLS Cup,” he said. “We all know that when someone is down we have to support them and continue on and push the next person. The level tonight was there, the guys were hungry and we showed that we’re here to get points.”

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