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Report: USMNT to play El Salvador in December friendly

It is looking more and more like the U.S. Men’s National Team will hold a training camp in December, with a friendly against a regional foe reportedly in the works.

The USMNT is set to play fellow Concacaf side El Salvador in an exhibition match on Dec. 9, according to ElSalvador.com. The report does not say where the game would be played, but the news comes one day after USMNT head coach Berhalter told reporters he was hoping the scheduling of a December friendly would get done and on the same day that the Americans beat Panama, 6-2, in a friendly played in Austria.

U.S. Soccer had no comment on the report.

If the match is finalized and a training camp is held, it is very likely that Berhalter would call up only domestic-based players that are out of season and not set to compete in the MLS Cup Final on Dec. 12 or in the resumption of the Concacaf Champions League knockout stages.

Clubs are not required to release players in December since there is no official international window on the FIFA calendar, but inactive MLS teams could opt to let their players go given that Berhalter made the decision not to call up his MLS-based pool for the USMNT’s November friendlies so as to avoid impacting the players’ availability for the start of the league’s upcoming postseason.

With the exception of late roster replacement Sebastian Lletget of the LA Galaxy, Berhalter looked at only European-based players in a camp that included a goal-less draw with Wales in addition to Monday’s lopsided win over Panama.

The USMNT has played El Salvador 22 times to date, winning 16 times, tying five, and losing just once.

Comments

  1. Guessing Lletget was added more because he’s a dual citizen holding a UK passport than because LAG were eliminated from MLS Cup.

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    • why does that matter? 10 years ago there was chatter that he would consider playing for argentina but he wasn’t at that level then…and anyway he is cap-tied from playing in a qualifier for 2018 WC…

      Reply
      • Easier to get him in the country, but it wouldn’t matter NTs have travel restriction waivers because of the testing regimens they have.

    • I wouldn’t assume anything at this point.
      If this does get scheduled it may allow an opportunity for Aaronson to get another Friendly under their belt before transferring to Europe. Depending on some of the other league schedules we might get a couple players from Liga MX or some of the other leagues.
      Not sure how deep into December the MLS playoffs are scheduled to go, but this could end up being a very weak USMNT side.
      Honestly what MLS players are worthy considerations, or able to challenge the guys who were in the November camp? I can only think of a half dozen names at most.

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      • If the concern is about COVID and player safety/health, I understand eliminating these camps.
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        Beyond that…. Whether or not the guys who would be in the camp are currently capable of challenging the European group for senior starting XI spots should not have any bearing on whether or not we hold these kinds of camp(s). We have a full year of WCQ’s, Olympics, Nations League, etc. We will need to draw on a big pool of players to do this. If there is a (safe) opportunity to evaluate the depth of our talent pool, seems prudent to take advantage.

    • Conference finals are Dec 6, MLS Cup Dec 12 so players in final four likely out. If things go according to seed (which they never do) that cuts out Toronto, Union, SKC and Seattle if the Dec 9 date is accurate.

      Reply

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