The U.S. Men’s National Team has only played one match in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 and it looks like the wait for its next match will continue late into the Fall.
U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday that the USMNT has chosen to forgo playing matches during the FIFA window in October. Travel restrictions remain struct both within the United States and throughout the world, making it tough for the team to schedule matches at this time.
“After extensive conversations about holding a Men’s National Team camp in October, we ultimately determined the unique challenges created by COVID-19 as it relates to hosting international opponents and getting our players together wouldn’t allow us to move forward,” U.S. Men’s National Team General Manager Brian McBride said. “We appreciate the incredible amount of work our staff did and the discussions we had with Major League Soccer to try and address concerns and find solutions. While we won’t have the team together in this upcoming window, we are making considerable progress for November.”
In addition, MLS regular season play will continue through the Fall while European domestic seasons have begun abroad, seeing many eligible players in action for their clubs. The USMNT’s only match this year came on Feb. 1st in a 1-0 friendly win over Concacaf rivals Costa Rica in Carson, California.
Gregg Berhalter’s side also saw a pair of scheduled March friendlies against Wales and The Netherlands postponed due to the pandemic while the Final Four of the Concacaf Nations League (scheduled for June) and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (scheduled to begin in September) were also moved to 2021.
“Both players and staff are disappointed not to be able to get back on the field for the National Team and continue the progress we have made as a group,” Berhalter said. “While COVID-19 continues to create challenges for us, we are confident we can find a way forward in the near future that will provide an opportunity to play matches in preparation for the important competitions next year.”
The USMNT’s next opportunity to play matches could come as early as November if they choose to do so. 2021 will see several competitions take place with the Nations League, Concacaf Gold Cup, Tokyo Olympics, and World Cup Qualifying all scheduled to take place, pending any further changes.