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USMNT to face Cuba in October friendly

Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports
Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports

For the first time since 1947, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face Cuba in an international friendly.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that Jurgen Klinsmann and co. will meet the Cubans in Havana on October 7.

The two nations last met at last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, when the USMNT comfortably dispatched of Cuba, 6-0, in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

“We are happy to have the chance to bring our team to Cuba,” U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. “In addition to good competition, we are always looking for our group to have different experiences, and this is a unique opportunity.”

The U.S. will conclude the fourth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in September, when the team faces St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago to close out Group C play. The USMNT currently sits second in the group, three points behind Trinidad.

The Hexagonal Round of World Cup qualifying is set to begin in the fall, meaning the Cuba friendly is likely to be one of the final tuneup matches before the USMNT begins the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.

What do you think of this development? Like the idea of playing in Cuba? Disappointed the USMNT isn’t facing a tougher opponent?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Agree with all the above.
    I think we need to take advantage of whatever pace we have by using a back 3 with ‘(wing backs)’.


  2. The only reasoning I see behind scheduling this friendly would be about getting younger players intergrated into the senior team, otherwise this is a waste of time. With the veterans having spent the summer together playing in Copa, this would present a great opportunity for the youngins to get a taste of more of the senior level. We’ll see what happens bit nothing within USSF is straightforward haha

  3. It would be nice to see a young line up, kinda like right after the WC a few years. Horvath, yedlin, miazga, Brooks and a lb, then Hyndman, nagbe, kitchen and CP22 arriola and Wood in the middle in a true 4-3-3

  4. I like this game. Not the “greatest” of competition, but it will definitely be an interesting event that serves as training for the younger players. There will be a lot of hype about the (politics of the) game, so it’s good for the guys to be in that type of atmosphere. Hopefully they’ll prepare in Miami, which will add to the hype and atmosphere.

    It’ll be telling if Klinsman opts for preparing elsewhere, which would indicate that he doesn’t want the added hype.

  5. As long as JK uses a number of the younger/fringe players like he did against PR than I don’t have an issue with this. If he calls up and uses all the old guard (Wondo, Beckerman, Jones, Dempsey, Howard, etc….) that this game becomes pointless.
    Since this is an official FIFA Date (Oct. 3rd – 11th) hopefully USSF can schedule another game to go along with this one.
    Hope to see a number of young and/or new players get significant minutes. Players like:
    Nagbe, Hyndman, Rubin, Miazga, Arriola, Villafana, Pulisic, Green, Zelalem, Canouse, etc….
    Give them an opportunity to see how they stack up.

    • The fact that the Cuba game is in the middle of those FIFA dates doesn’t leave me with high hopes that there will be a second friendly in this window. That said, if we could schedule a second away friendly in Honduras, Panama or Costa Rica, then I’d be really happy with things. Klinsmann could even bring the starters if that’s the case. Lord knows the whole team need more experience playing in Central America and the Caribbean.

  6. UEFA, CAF, AFC, COMNEBOL all scheduled in qualifying.. got a better idea?

    Its not great competition but it should be an interesting watch and good away game.

  7. The hyperbolic responses on SBI to anything related to USSF, the USMNT or Klinsmann is becoming intolerable even for the internet.

      • when he calls up the same old players who have played together for years and not young players…. yea its a waste

      • Well, in a meaningless third place game he persisted with the same crew. I’m fine with this as a sign that relationship with Cuba is improving but playing the likes of Cuba and Puerto Rico is pretty pointless from a footballing point of view.

    • Yes. Klinsman schedules these bottom of the barrel teams in order to beef up his winning record with USMNT. The guy is a con. And please, do not bring Antigoal back, the guy is the analogy of a free radical in our team. It was demonstrated how much more cohesive the team plays without the anointed one, at least in the games we win.

    • It likely will have a lot of younger players. But, we need to be careful of our players defecting to Cuba. I’m not sure we can continue if we lose a bunch of our up-and-comers to Cuba.


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