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USMNT won’t play in October, but “making progress” toward November return


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.


  1. Wikipedia cat fishes me and stands me up again. Smh S Korea and Japan would have been good opponent, but we are missing Pulisic. Miazga most likely wont get playing time unless its a low level EFL or FA cup minnow team.

    • The thing that never made sense with that on Wikipedia was playing in Japan and Korea that would have been terrible travel for both US and Euro based players even in normal times throw in risk of transmission on an airplane and it seemed out there.

  2. Kind of between a rock and a hard place. MLS is focused on getting in their shortened season and the October window almost certainly would have been exclusively domestic, and at best they probably would have played a half-interested Panama or Costa Rica squad. Best to let MLS do its thing. At least in November you can do a Euro-based squad and get matches against teams that haven’t scheduled a friendly for that window (sounds like Wales is still in the plans…also teams that lose the Euro playoff semi in October will be available as well).


    This whole situational is suboptimal because this group needs matches together badly. Might be headed into WCQ with precious little chemistry among players and staff alike… 🙁

      • bears noting it is currently a top 5 cause of death in the country ahead of most things but heart attacks and the like. we live in an industrialized country. most causes of death kill tiny percentages annually or we don’t live to 70. but when this is killing far more than guns or protests or fires or flu or terrorism or most wars or about anything short of the most deadly annual causes, you’d assume thinking people would take notice and do something. how do you minimze anything that kills 200,000 in any country in less than a year? that’s like tsunami numbers. no one said the tsunami was fake or exaggerated. c’mon dude.

      • Last, my experience as a HS and college athlete was I was sick periodically. Pushing yourself to the edge for 90 or even 120 minutes drains you. I get they are physically fit but they also run themselves into the ground for games. This is a common discussion in endurance sports, like cross country skiing, balancing fitness with overtraining. You feel like you are trading in the naive quasi fascist notion they just get fitter and fitter and run no health risks running around like pros do. It’s a much more delicate balance than you suggest.

      • This pandemic is about to go over 1 million deaths world-wide.

        That will put it in the top ten WORST pandemics in recorded history.

        I think it’s now safe to say that it is stronger than the normal flu.

      • One of the side effects of COVID19 is myocarditis. Do not diminish its lasting effects.

        I had myocarditis when I was 34 after running Boston in 2:36 in 80° temps. Fast forward 40 years and I now have a heart transplant. The intervening 40 years were filled with slowly diminishing heart function, only the last few years was I unable to run or play soccer. Four months after transplant I am now jogging very slowly.

        One of the early symptoms of myocarditis is someone finds you dead. I was lucky.

    • look up myocarditis. or what the lung scans look like on the supposed asymptomatic. or what the immune responses are if you don’t get very sick. beyond the disproven Trumpian nonsense — almost willful ignorance in service of “returning to normal” — that he even gave up on to woodward — what you miss is we have horrifying numbers and are on a long list of countries’ “can’t come here” lists. Canada. EU. nor do they want a game so bad they will risk coming to covid central. and the last point is as with schools, this is not an activity solely conducted by 20 year olds. a coaching staff, masseuse, fitness coach, equipment staff, hotels, transport, gameday workers. necessary to carry a game out. few of them meet your theorized quasi fascist standard of being among the physically chosen and trained.

      • The only way it might have worked is if Canada fielded a team of all MLS based players since they’re all in the US until the end of the season. I’m guessing MLS wasn’t keen on losing US/Can players for a week during their final part of the season.

    • Imperative has given a good response, but it bears considering that half as many Americans have died from the coronavirus in 5 or 6 months as died in almost 4 years in WWII. It’s also more than died in any other US war except for the Civil War, and all in no more than 6 months. To ignore it or to consider it exaggerated is both stupid and delusional.

      • we should be real, at least part of the reason we have no game is how would it get done. Canada and the EU wouldn’t even let us cross the border. conversely, they aren’t going to be excited to come here where the virus is worse. and most other countries are taking this far more seriously. it basically became a political football here. most countries would not be playing even closed door games with our caseload. so the reality is we probably got a mix of “no” or “not even allowed to try.” i am going to be curious when this gets restarted as a practical matter, and whether we are involved.

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