Life goes on. So will the U.S. men’s national team.
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On Monday, less than a week after their 2018 World Cup dream was ended in shocking fashion, U.S. Soccer announced that the USMNT will play reigning European champions Portugal in an international friendly next month.
After Bruce Arena resigned following the USA’s shock defeat to Trinidad and Tobago which left them fifth in the CONCACAF Hex standings and out of the 2018 World Cup, no replacement or even an interim boss has been announced by U.S. Soccer.
But they have a game.
The friendly vs. Portugal will take place at the Estadio Algarve, just outside Faro, and will be on November 14 during the next scheduled international window.
U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said last week that he was unsure if the U.S. would have another game in Europe as part of the upcoming international break or just one with a training camp.
Portugal is currently ranked third in the world and Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. qualified for automatically for the 2018 World Cup after winning their final group game against Switzerland to finish top of their qualifying group ahead of the Swiss.
U.S. Soccer said the following about the match and did not confirm who would be in charge of the team after Arena’s resignation.
The match falls on an international fixture date, which makes all players available for selection. U.S. Soccer will determine in the coming days who will coach the squad for this friendly.
The last time the U.S. played Portugal was at the 2014 World Cup in the group stage as they drew 2-2 in Manaus in a thriller.
With the U.S. managerless and several veterans unlikely to play (both in this game and in the future), you can bet on it being a youthful USMNT roster for this friendly, while Portugal boss Fernando Santos may not play all of his star men as he prepares for the World Cup next June.
Still, it should be a tasty friendly in a very cool region of Portugal to visit for U.S. fans.