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USMNT to face Jamaica on March 25 in Austria

The U.S. Men’s National Team has finalized its second March friendly opponent, and the Americans have lined up a familiar foe.

The USMNT will take on Jamaica on March 25 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday.

The friendly against Jamaica will take place three days before the Americans take on Northern Ireland in Belfast.

The clash of Concacaf rivals will mark their first meeting since the USMNT defeated Jamaica, 3-1, in the 2019 Gold Cup. The match will the first between the teams in a neutral venue.

The Americans are expected to bring in a full-strength squad for its two March friendlies, including its European-based stars, such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams.

Comments

  1. At this point we just need to play games considering we missed almost more than a year of playing together bc of Covid-19, opponents be damned!

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  2. Well, it’s better than no game at all. Still, I had hoped that we could do better than these 2 teams. Is this really the best we could have gotten? I don’t know what the schedule is like for other European teams or what went on behind the scenes, but I would have hoped that we could have at least gotten a decent second tier European team like Poland for one of the games.

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    • Most European teams have WCQ in that same window, so no, we couldn’t really get any better teams than the ones we got!

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      • Have you looked at the schedules? Northern Ireland is a European team. There are a lot of European teams now with the splitting up of a number of countries. Here are some other possibilities–Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, all the Eastern European countries, Norway, Sweden and even Iceland. Many teams play one qualifier during that period, not two. That’s how we got to play Wales last time in Europe.

    • Last Fall UEFA was completing Nations League so they had 8 match days to complete 6 group matches, WC qualifying does not leave as many friendly dates for friendlies.
      ——————————
      Czech Republic: 3/24 at Estonia 3/27 Belgium 3/30 at Wales
      Slovakia: 3/24 Cyprus 3/27 Malta 3/30 Russia
      Bosnia: 3/24 Finland 3/27 Costa Rica 3/31 France
      Russia: 3/24 Malta 3/27 Slovenia 3/30 Slovakia
      Croatia: 3/24 Slovenia 3/27 Cyprus 3/30 Malta
      Iceland: 3/25 Germany 3/28 Armenia. 3/31 Liechtenstein
      Norway: 3/24 Gibraltar 3/27 Turkey 3/30 Armenia
      Sweden: 3/25 Georgia 3/28 Kosovo 3/31 Estonia (Friendly)
      —————————————
      Most UEFA nations have 3 qualifiers this window with a few like
      Bosnia and Sweden do have a friendly scheduled but Bosnia instead of N Ireland is about equal N Ireland is actually rated higher. That would have left Sweden but I don’t know how long ago that was scheduled. Ending our window the 28th also let’s our players have more recovery before club play and quarantine time if necessary per local guidelines. Nations League competitions across the different federations are forcing us to mostly play Concacaf teams.

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    • Gary Page, the March window is a weeklong window in which FIFA has authorized three matchdates. All UEFA teams in groups of six (Group F-J, so 30 countries) are playing three WC qualifiers in that period and thus are unavailable. The five teams in Group A (Portugal, Serbia, Ireland, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan) have had all their friendly dates tied with Qatar since Qatar isn’t playing Asian qualifiers. Looking at the remaining groups the teams who had an opening for a friendly during the March window are as follows (scheduled friendly and date in parentheses):

      -Sweden (Estonia, 3/31), Greece (Honduras, 3/28), Kosovo (Lithuania, 3/24), Switzerland (Finland, 3/31), Lithuania (Kosovo, 3/24), Finland (Switzerland, 3/31), Bosnia (Costa Rica, 3/27), Kazakhstan (Kyrgyzstan, 3/25), Wales (Mexico, 3/27), Belarus (Honduras, 3/24), Estonia (Sweden, 3/31)

      As you can see no one is available. Not sure how long in advance some of these matchups were made, but outside of Sweden, Switzerland and Finland (who were available on the first or third date), I’m not sure any of those teams are objectively better than Jamaica anyway.

      That left CONCACAF opponents not playing WC 1st round matches, Asian teams (only a few WC qualifiers are happening in March, most were recently PPD to June), but you have to take into account likely travel restrictions and quarantine issues there, the bottom-ranked African teams not participating in the last window of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, and OFC teams (so New Zealand, see reasons against Asian teams above). CONMEBOL has qualifying this window.

      So, as you can see, it was pretty much take what you can get for a second fixture here. *shrugs*

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    • Sorry Gary, DB and I posted at the same time didn’t mean to pile on. Just a different schedule than last fall.

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  3. Pulisic, Reyna, McKennie, Adams, Sargent, Dest, Aaronson, Brooks, Robinson, Miazga, Dike, Musah, Weah, Arriola, Steffan and Horvath should all be available for these games. I suspect no MLS players will be called in due to COVID restrictions and the start of MLS preseason camps.

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