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United States

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann eyes Ashton Gotz for March friendlies

United States Men's National team head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann notes that he remains optimistic for the future of the USMNT despite the disappointing run of recent results.

Jurgen Klinsmann could invite Hamburg right-back Ashton Gotz to the United States national team for the upcoming European friendlies at the end of March, the U.S.'s European scout Matthias Hamann said.

Gotz, 21, who does not currently hold a U.S. passport, broke into Hamburg's first team in September 2014, and has since gone on to make a total of 11 competitive appearances for the struggling Bundesliga giants.

His performances for the club have not only won him a professional contract at HSV, but...

Kasey Keller, Tiffeny Milbrett lead U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame eligibles

Kasey Keller, right, is one of 13 players on the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

CHICAGO -- Goalkeeper Kasey Keller and forward Tiffeny Milbrett are among 13 players on the ballot for the first time for the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Goalkeepers Pat Onstad, Eddie Robinson and Zach Thornton; defenders Gregg Berhalter, Jimmy Conrad and Frankie Hejduk; and forwards Jovan Kirovski and Diego Serna are the other men on the ballot for the first time, the Hall said Thursday.

First-time women on the ballot include forwards Natasha Kai, Lindsay Tarpley and Christie Welsh.

Thirty-one...

USMNT prospects blog: Five to watch at CONCACAF U-17s

Attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic is one of the Yanks' key offensive weapons.
Attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic is one of the Yanks' key offensive weapons.

As the coach of the U.S. under-17 national team, Richie Williams must constantly balance praising his gifted young players when they perform well with reminding them that they haven't really accomplished anything as far as the big picture is concerned.

"It's a fine line," Williams told ESPNFC.com on Wednesday from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where over the next two-plus weeks the Americans will attempt to qualify for this fall's U-17 World Cup in Chile, beginning with Friday's opener against Cuba in the CONCACAF U17 Championship.

"A lot of things can still happen. Do they continue to grow physically and mentally? Do they lose passion for the game and stop putting in as much work as they should? They're talented, but they're still young and they need to continue to work hard to reach our goal, their goal, which is to become professionals and represent the United States at U20, U23 and then hopefully the senior team."

Figuring out which U17s might make it all the way to the top has been a favorite pastime among American soccer fans for the better part of two decades now. The phenomenon's roots can be traced to 1999, when a couple of awkward teenagers named DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan led the Yanks to a fourth-place finish at that year's U17 World Cup in New Zealand.

Beasley and Donovan would go on to make 278 varsity appearances between them before both retired from international duty last year. Three other players from that inaugural residency class at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida -- Kyle Beckerman, Bobby Convey and Oguchi Onyewu -- also ended up starting senior World Cup games for the U.S., and five U17 alums (Beasley, Beckerman, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Omar Gonzalez) were on Jurgen Klinsmann's 2014 squad in Brazil.

Those are the success stories. Many of the most promising U17 prospects never pan out as pros let alone senior internationals (nobody is comparing Andrew Oliver to Donovan these days), while players who were overlooked by the residency program, such as current U.S. captain Clint Dempsey, have gone on to become stars nonetheless.

Point is, with players this young, projecting how their futures will turn out is anything but an exact science. But that's not to say that fans shouldn't get excited about the kids. It's just something to keep in mind when reading this list of five phenoms who could break out with this U17 group in Honduras.

...

CONCACAF to announce Philadelphia Gold Cup final

U.S. Women's National Team head coach Jill Ellis weighs in on the lessons learned from their four losses prior to the 2015 World Cup.
United States Men's National team head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann notes that he remains optimistic for the future of the USMNT despite the disappointing run of recent results.

MIAMI -- Football's governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean has called a news conference for March 12 in Philadelphia to announce this year's Gold Cup final will be at Lincoln Financial Field.

The United States will open its title defense in the 12-nation championship on July 7. The tournament also includes Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. The final spot will be determined by a playoff between French Guyana...