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USMNT announces Iceland, Canada friendlies to kick off 2016

Michael Bradley USMNT Trinidad & Tobago 25

The U.S. Men’s National Team will open 2016 at the StubHub Center. Not with one friendly, but with two.

U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday that the U.S. will hold its annual January camp next month in Carson, California, and conclude it with a pair of home friendlies against Iceland and Canada. The Americans will play Iceland on Jan. 31 before welcoming Canada on Feb. 5.

“Iceland is one of the up-and-coming soccer nations in Europe,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a team-issued statement. “They have been really impressive in qualifying for the European Championship for the first time, and they have earned huge compliments for their youth player development. Their players are now spread across the big leagues in Europe.

“As we know from our past meetings, Canada is a difficult opponent that is not easy to break down. It’s a good experience to play against them, particularly for some of our younger players. They started off on the right foot in World Cup qualifying, having won at home and picking up a point on the road in El Salvador, so this will be a good challenge.”

The U.S. is 2-2-2 all-time against Iceland, but this January friendly will be the nations’ first meeting in more than 20 years. The Americans have played Canada 32 times in their long history, and have not lost to the northern neighbor in 35 years.

Klinsmann will summon mostly MLS-based players to this camp, though he will mix both fringe senior team players and U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team regulars. The camp and friendlies will help the two groups prepare for World Cup qualifying and Olympic qualifying, respectively.

What do you think of the USMNT scheduling Iceland and Canada for friendlies at the StubHub Center? Would you have preferred to see different opponents or a different venue? Which players are you hoping get called in?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. So he says fringe players and U23 players. Sounds good. Let’s see how true that ends up being. I would like to see maybe 30 players… enough for two teams…. called in. And I don’t want to see Jozy, Bradley, Dempsey, or ANYBODY he uses on a regular basis. This is the ONLY chance some of the “fringe” players ever get to make their case and the 30 should be MOSTLY MLS players with maybe 8-10 U23s

    • well USSF has already said it will be “around 27 players” and include a “few top U-23 players”. so not sure the emphasis on “mostly MLS players”. that’s a given. the overwhelming majority will be. so you can forget 8-10 U-23s…especially if you also want “fringe” players like Feilhaber, Agudelo, Dax, etc or “fan favorites” like Kitchen, Villafaña, Finlay, Lletget, etc. plus, we know a few of the U-23 players already; Morris and Trapp. and i don’t agree that Jozy, Bradley, and Dempsey should not be there. we need them in 2016 so getting them in a camp is a good thing.

      players like Jones, Mix, and Evans should be left off if I had to choose.

      • A certain number of USMNT regulars have to be in the camp in order to evaluate the fringe players against. Therefore Bradley, Jozy, Besler, etc…will be there as the measuring stick.
        I agree with you that older statesmen (Dempsey, Jones, Beckerman, Rimando) should be left out so that younger talent can have an opportunity and we can see what the USMNT may be like after they’re gone. Besides these older players need time to recover in order to be productive in 2016.
        Now some of the “fan favorites” won’t be available for selection….Villafana has been transferred to Liga Mex, so won’t be available. Kitchen is likely to be on his way to Europe when the winter window opens.

  2. Sure..everyone likes playing in LA I guess.

    Has the Olympic Qualifier vs. Colombia venue been announced? I heard DC a while ago…why not Columbus doubleheader with the WCQ?!


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