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USMNT postpones January camp in Qatar amid turmoil in Middle East

The U.S. Men’s National team has postponed its planned training camp in Qatar amid security concerns in the Middle East, announcing the decision on Friday evening.

The USMNT was scheduled to hold camp in Doha, Qatar, but the recent killing of Iranian general Qasem Soilemani by a U.S. drone strike has sparked concerns about retaliation aimed at Americans in the Middle East.

“Due to the developing situation in the region, U.S. Soccer has decided to postpone traveling to Qatar for the Men’s National Team’s scheduled January training camp.

In the meantime, we are working on alternative arrangements in preparation for the match against Costa Rica on February 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.”

The USMNT was scheduled to travel to Qatar this weekend, but U.S. Soccer announced late Friday that the team will now begin its January camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida starting on Sunday.

The Americans were scheduled to train at the Aspire Academy in Doha from January 5-25. The USMNT was set to face Red Bull Salzburg in a closed-door scrimmage during that scheduled camp, with the possibility of other scrimmages taking place against teams holding their winter training camps in Doha.

The USMNT hasn’t ruled out attempting to schedule another team trip to Qatar in the future.

“We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar’s world-class facilities and hospitality.”

The USMNT is scheduled to face Costa Rica in a friendly in Carson, California on February 1.


  1. It is regrettable that things are that dicey in the Middle East right now.
    OTOH, it will not hurt the players to miss what would have been 19 to 26 hours each way on commercial flights to get there and back again for the CR game.

    • What hurts is that they’ll miss closed door scrimmages with RBS, Bayern, PSV and perhaps others. A lot of young MLS talent that could have impressed. Not worth safety concerns but it is a missed opportunity.

    • Bayern has wintered there for years with no problems, hardly the federations fault the two governments decided to amp things up this week.

      • “The _two_ governments”?! Even if you meant Trump and Netanyahu, not just Trump, there were undoubtedly military and intelligence professionals in their governments to warn against this move. The safety of US citizens abroad for decades to come was a lower priority than the macho boasts of two individual politicians, who both just happen to be facing corruption charges.
        I do agree that it’s a shame for the US team to miss a chance to practice against good European teams, even if it seems clear that Qatar 2022 was _also_ a bad idea born of corruption.

    • You predicted a missle strike on a top Iranian official causing a cancelation?
      I am going to throw a challenge flag on that.


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