The U.S. Men’s National Team’s two November friendlies had been expected to mark the end of a challenging year, but Gregg Berhalter revealed on Sunday that there may still be a chance for yet more game action for the USMNT before 2020 concludes.
Berhalter revealed to reporters on Sunday that U.S. Soccer is working on scheduling a training camp and friendly or friendlies in December, and while he didn’t away too many details, his comments did offer some insight that shed some light on the potential makeup of such a camp.
“It may not be our last game this year, just as a heads up, we may we may play in December,” Berhalter said on Sunday. “We’re trying to play in December. Hopefully that gets done.
“But it will certainly be the last time this group is together this year.”
The current November international window is the last official FIFA window of the year, meaning that clubs would not be obligated to release players for a December training camp and friendly. That said, with the Major League Soccer regular season already completed, and the playoffs set to conclude on December 8, a camp featuring MLS talent would make plenty of sense, especially since MLS players haven’t taken part in a USMNT camp since the January camp and February 1 friendly win against Costa Rica.
Sebastian Lletget was the only MLS player included in the current USMNT camp, and he was a replacement for Josh Sargent, as Berhalter chose to call in a squad made up exclusively of European-based players.
It remains unclear whether a December camp would take place as a replacement for the traditional January camp, or if the USMNT would hold both camps. Berhalter did use the word “perhaps” when he mentioned January as one of the potential periods left for him to call the team together prior to next summer’s very busy schedule.
December also happens to be a month that will see MLS teams compete in the CONCAF Champions League knockout rounds in a standalone tournament in Orlando, Florida. Holding a USMNT camp in the same vicinity as that tournament could make things convenient as players finish that competition and become available. Los Angeles FC, Atlanta United, New York City FC and the Montreal Impact are all set to compete in the Concacaf event, which begins on December 15. That is one week after the MLS Cup final concludes the current MLS season on December 8.