Wondolowski, Bingham called up to US National Team duty


Wondolowski, Bingham called up to US National Team duty

SAN JOSE - Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham and forward Chris Wondolowski were among 23 players called to the U.S. Men's National Team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that will train in advance of the historic meeting against Cuba. The team begins gathering Sunday in Miami.

The first friendly between the nations on Cuban soil since 1947 kicks off at 1 p.m. PTon Oct. 7 at Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and UniMas.

Four days later, the U.S. will host New Zealand at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and UniMas.

"These two games are very important for us because it's the last time we can see certain players before making the decision on the 23 going in to represent us for the Mexico and Costa Rica clashes," said Klinsmann. "There's a lot at stake for the players to make their case, to show where they are right now. We have the opportunity to bring some players back that haven't been with us for a little bit, and we want to see if they can put a stamp on this camp and have a chance for being in the roster next month. The bigger picture behind this is definitely Mexico and Costa Rica, and these two games will show us a lot about individual players.

"I think the goalkeeper position is unique. Obviously we have the two experienced guys with Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. Both are in different situations right now - Tim is obviously very busy with the Colorado Rapids and Brad is not getting the opportunity to play at Middlesbrough. I think it's a perfect time to give an open window to three younger goalkeepers with William Yarbrough, Ethan Horvath and David Bingham. That's why we decided to leave the two older guys out and give these three youngsters a chance to prove their point. That kind of opportunity is very rare."

Bingham, 26, has made one prior appearance for the U.S. National Team, earning a shutout victory over Canada back in February. Among all goalkeepers in MLS history, Bingham ranks tied for fifth in goals against average (1.14) and sixth in saves percentage (72.8).

Wondolowski, 33, has made 34 appearances for the U.S. National Team, scoring 10 goals. He has tallied 120 career MLS goals, fourth most in league history, and is the only player to score 10+ MLS goals in seven consecutive seasons (2010-16).



GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

DEFENDERS (7): Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Danny Williams (Reading)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

Women's World Cup: How USWNT golf clap celebration vs. Chile started


Women's World Cup: How USWNT golf clap celebration vs. Chile started

The small celebration wasn't something we were used to witnessing from the United States Women's National Team during the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

But the message it sent in their 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday was tremendous. 

Carli Lloyd had just scored to put the United States up when 11 minutes ticked by. Then she celebrated -- at first with a leap, a fist pump and a hug to teammate Lindsey Horan. She then followed it up with a dainty clap, golf style. 

So why the show? Why make such a big performance in a small way? And how did they decide to do it?

“I can’t take credit for it. I’m not sure if Lindsey is taking credit for it,” Lloyd told the Associated Press after a 3-0 victory Sunday night. “She had told me if we score, that’s what we’re going to do so I just went along with it after I did my little celebration But it was fun. I think it made a statement on the sideline there. It was cool.”

This came off the heels of a record-setting 13-0 win over Thailand in which the team had been criticized for over-celebrating.

Former Canadian players on the TSN panel called it "disgraceful."

But there were also words of support -- none of which the USWNT has eemed to mind. 

“I guess we could have just passed it around the back for a million times, but that’s boring,” said Megan Rapinoe. "That’s disrespectful to everyone: fans, ourselves."

Which more than likely would have been criticized also. It was a lose-lose situation.

[RELATED: Menlo Park's Tierna Davidson shines in World Cup debut]

The golf clap routine could have also been a tribute to Lloyd's husband, professional golfer Brian Hollis. After all, the U.S. Open was still going on in Pebble Beach.

Horan simply said the team wanted to "do something different." The handshakes and the golf claps were just a part of it. 

Women's World Cup: Bay Area's Tierna Davidson shines for USWNT vs. Chile


Women's World Cup: Bay Area's Tierna Davidson shines for USWNT vs. Chile

The United States Women's National Team's youngest player might have been its best Sunday. 

20-year-old Tierna Davidson made her first Women's World Cup start, and assisted twice in the United States' 3-0 win over Chile in Paris. Davidson was one of seven changes to the starting lineup that head coach Jill Ellis made after Tuesday's 13-0 thrashing of Thailand, and the victory clinched the Americans' spot in the Round of 16. 

Davidson, a Menlo Park native who attended Sacred Heart Preparatory (Atherton) and Stanford, started at left back in the Group F clash. Normally a central defender, Davidson was on corner-kick duty Sunday as a fullback. She delivered two pinpoint, left-footed crosses 10 minutes apart in the first half, setting up Julie Ertz and Carli Lloyd's headers.

Davidson, who left Stanford with a year of eligibility to become the No. 1 pick (Chicago Red Stars) in January's NWSL draft, said after the game that taking corners didn't necessarily come naturally. 

“I was a little bit unsure exactly because I hadn’t taken a corner kick since September, so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll just put it up there for Carli and she will get her head on there, put it in there for [Ertz] and she’ll get her head on it,’” Davidson told Pro Soccer USA's Ashley Scoby. “Big credit to them, because we have such fantastic aerial presence and they really commit to what they do. So me putting it just outside the goalkeeper’s range was all I really had to do for them to score.”

Although she is the USWNT's youngest player, Davidson has been a fixture in Ellis' side when healthy. Davidson missed World Cup qualifying with a left ankle injury, but started 12 games in 2018. She played all 90 minutes in each of her first five caps, becoming the first to do so since Julie Foudy in 1994. 

On Sunday, Davidson became the youngest player to start for the USWNT at a World Cup since 1995, as well as the youngest defender ever, according to TruMedia Networks' Paul Carr. Central defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who has over 100 more caps than Davidson, told reporters in Paris that Davidson's potential is nearly limitless. 

Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper -- another Sacred Heart alum -- likely remain locks for Ellis in central defense, but Davidson's performance might have given Ellis something to ponder with regards to her back line. Crystal Dunn, who plays forward for the NWSL's North Carolina Courage, started at left back against Thailand. Dunn offers more in attack than Davidson, but the 20-year-old's defensive instincts might be needed as the Americans face stiffer competition deeper in the tournament.

Ellis, for her part, was impressed by Davidson's performance in the attacking third. 

“I mean, those balls she played in – she’s got one of the sweetest left foots I’ve ever seen,” Ellis told Scoby. “I think her distribution on the ball – she can open up a game with the left foot and obviously her set pieces.”

[RELATED: Watch Lloyd, USWNT troll celebration critics]

Thursday's Group F finale against Sweden will be the USWNT's first real test of the tournament. Winning Group F would likely eventually set up a quarterfinals matchup with host France, but playing Canada -- second place in Group E faces second place in Group F -- in the Round of 16 still sets up a difficult path through the knockout stages. 

Ellis' Thursday lineup and eventual substitutions, then, should provide some insight into her thinking ahead of the knockout stages. With Sunday's two-assist performance, Davidson certainly made a strong case for herself.