Top Stories

USMNT to open 2020 with friendly versus Costa Rica

The U.S. Men’s National Team will begin 2020 training on the other side of the world, but will play its first match of the new year in a familiar locale against a familiar opponent.

The USMNT will take on Costa Rica on February 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The friendly will take place after the USMNT finishes its January camp in Doha, Qatar, where the team will hold camp from January 5-25 at the Aspire Academy before returning to Los Angeles ahead of the Costa Rica friendly.

“The chance to play against a likely World Cup qualifying opponent is fantastic,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “As we continue to develop, it’s important to challenge our group against a variety of different opponents. At the end of a January Camp, we want the players to have a chance to put all the work to the test.”

Playing the opening match of the year at the stadium formerly known as StubHub Center and Home Depot Center is nothing new for the USMNT, but holding training camp in Qatar is a break from tradition.

“Our priority is to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, so it’s certainly a big benefit to get a head start on experiencing the facilities, environment and culture of the tournament hosts,” Berhalter said.

The USMNT has a very busy year ahead in 2020, with Concacaf Nations League resuming in June before World Cup qualifying kicks off in the fall. The Americans will also gather their full-strength team for the first time in March, when they play friendlies in Europe, the first of which will be against the Netherlands on March 26.


  1. I am not a fan of the travel. They will be Qatar long enough to get acclimated to the time there, then travel back. It takes about a day per hour of time change to acclimate; the 8 hour difference is not really enough for peak physical performance. I have made many trips to China and Korea from the East coast of the US. The time it took to acclimate after the return was always longer, and I was hardly trying to push my peak performance.

  2. Makes no sense to me. What’s the point of going to Doha this year, almost 3 years before the WC? We have a bunch of youngster in the group who may have little chance of being on the team that goes in 2022. It would be better to go there in 2021 and best in 2022 since the actual WC is November of 2022. Then we will have a better idea of who will be on the team. Then to fly all the way back to LA (Florida isn’t good enough?) which adds about another 6 hours to the trip is ill advised at best. Who makes these stupid decisions? Even if it’s Berhalter, it would have to be okayed by Stewart. Another reason to have serious doubts about this leadership team.

    • This feels like an above Stewart and 3G decision. Wouldn’t be surprised if Qatar is paying for it. When it was first talked about they mentioned working out with clubs that are in Winter Break training there but don’t know if that actually got worked in. I believe Bayern will be there not sure who else.

      • Yup agree w JR. This almost certainly comes from up top, and I suspect Qatar is footing the bill. I think it’s a silly idea, and perhaps even regrettable as Qatar is likely trying to legitimize their bs by showing that the US is willing to train there despite the body count.

  3. They have a week to recover from their jet lag. I’m assuming it’s a charter flight that’s nothing. There are very few national teams available because it’s not a window whether camp was in Cali the whole time or not. When this Qatar was first announced their was talk of closed door scrimmages with some of the clubs that are training there.

  4. So have a training camp in Qatar then travel back to play pointless friendlies makes sense to who. Earnie Stewart can’t buy this Sh!t for to much longer. GGG is a joke

    • I fail to understand why this is pointless. CR finished 8th in 2014 WC, almost made the final four. Lost in PKs if I remember right.
      Qualified for 2018 lost a close one and tied so they didn’t get out of group stage.

      • Bro you going back 5 years ago. That Cost Rica had Campbell and Ruiz playing in good teams in Europe and were at their peak. I know Arsenal was loaning Campbell out but his form was great in La Liga and Greek league. He also explained to you why it is pointless. That traveling is hard on players and makes them jet lagged and tired.

Leave a Comment