The U.S. Men's National Team closes out the annual January camp Friday, Feb. 5 when it faces Canada at StubHub Center, Carson, Calif. The match kicks off at 7:15 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on FS1, UniMas and UDN. Fans can also follow the game live on Facebook, Twitter at @ussoccer and @ussoccer_esp, and Snapchat at ussoccer_mnt.
The MNT is coming off a 3-2 win against Iceland last Sunday at StubHub Center, with goals by Jozy Altidore and Michael Orozco twice bringing the team back from a deficit before Steve Birnbaum headed in the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. Four players made their MNT debuts in the match.
The group – which consists of a mix of senior team players along with nine players eligible for the U-23 MNT – has been training together at the National Training Center since Jan. 11 to get a jump on preparations for a pair of key home-and-home series in March. The MNT will face Guatemala in the semifinal round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, while the U-23 MNT will play Colombia in a playoff series for the final berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
On the senior side, this is the first meeting since the teams played to a scoreless draw in January 2013. However the game will have special significance for the U-23s, as the team's met in the third-place of match of the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship last October to determine which team would face Colombia for the final spot in the Olympic Games in Rio. An 84th minute penalty from Jerome Kiesewetter sealed the 2-0 shutout for the United States.
Here are some additional story lines to follow on Friday:
MNT'S 24-MAN ROSTER: With the release of defenders Brad Evans and Michael Orozco back to the clubs following the Iceland match, USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has a 24-man roster available for the friendly against Canada. Four players made their MNT debuts against Iceland (Acosta, Finlay, Kiesewetter, Tchani), leaving six players in camp still looking for their first cap (Bingham, Miller, Parker, Polster, Shelton, Vincent). A total of nine players are eligible for the U-23 MNT that will look to secure a spot in the Summer Olympics.
USA vs. CANADA: The USA carries a 16-game undefeated streak against its northern neighbor into Friday's match. The last time the teams met on the senior level was Jan. 29, 2013, when theyplayed to a scoreless draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tex. Overall, the USA holds an all-time record of 13-8-11 against Canada. In addition, the USA enters Friday’s match with a 17-game home-unbeaten stretch (8-0-9) - the last home loss coming way back on July 6, 1957 in St. Louis, Mo.
TEAMMATES AND OPPONENTS: With 21 players on the USA roster and 11 on Canada's plying their trade in Major League Soccer, there are six MLS clubs who feature teammates playing on opposite sides on Friday.
- FC Dallas - Kellyn Acosta (USA) and Tesho Akindele (CAN)
- Montreal Impact - Eric Miller (USA) and Maxime Crépeau (CAN), Wandrille Lefèvre (CAN), Kyle Bekker
- New York Red Bulls - Luis Robles (USA) and Karl W. Ouimette (CAN)
- Sporting KC - Matt Besler (USA) and Marcel De Jong (CAN)
- Toronto FC - Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley (USA) and Will Johnson (CAN)
- Vancouver Whitecaps - Tim Parker (USA) and Marco Bustos (CAN), Kianz Froese (CAN)
WE MEET AGAIN: The U-23 sides met in October 2015 in the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship. The USA defeated Canada 3-1 in the group stage on Oct. 1 and then won 2-0 in the third place match on Oct. 13. Jerome Kiesewetter, Jordan Morris, Matt Polster, and Wil Trapp started both games against Canada in Olympic Qualifying, with Morris scoring twice in the group stage and Kiesewetter adding an insurance penalty kick in the third place match. Canada’s Maxime Crepeau and Caleb Clarke also played in both U-23 matches last October.
QUICKLY ON CANADA: Canada is led by head coach Benito Floro, from Spain, who was hired on July 5, 2013. The team currently sits in second place in CONCACAF’s Group 1 of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with four points, two behind Mexico, with El Salvador (1 point) and Honduras (0) sitting in third and fourth. Canada faces Mexico in a home-and-away series during the March window. http://www.concacaf.com/category/world-cup-qualifying-men/schedule-results
Their 23-man roster that will face the USA includes 11 players who play in MLS, four who play in the NASL, two who are unattached, one each from leagues in England, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Malaysia as well as one collegiate player. It also features the last two MLS Rookies of the Year: Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), won the honors in 2014 while Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC) ran away with the award in 2015 after scoring 17 goals in his first professional season.
NGUYEN THE WINNER: In a camp with five World Cup veterans and 10 uncapped players, 29-year-old Lee Nguyen has made quite an impact. The attacking midfielder was handed his first career start against Iceland after coming off the bench in his previous seven appearances with the MNT, and had head coach Jurgen Klinsmann praising his performance to date:
“He was really prepared for this camp,” Klinsmann said of Nguyen. “From day one he set the tone… After three weeks of training, he’s definitely one of the winners of this period.” MORE:
- Evans, Orozco Released Back to Their Clubs
- Acosta Makes the Most of His First Cap
- U-23 MNT to Host Colombia for Olympic Berth in Dallas
- Birnbaum Capitalized on Second Chance with MNT
- Altidore and Bradley Climbing the Record Ranks
- Finlay Adds Another Individual Honor with first Cap
- Photo Gallery: USA Begins 2016 with win vs. Iceland
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Eric Miller (Montreal Impact), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Perry Kitchen (Unattached), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Tony Tchani (Columbus Crew SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Jerome Kiesewetter (VfB Stuttgart), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Khiry Shelton (New York City FC), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
CANADA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1- Maxime Crépeau (Impact Montréal, MLS), 18- Tyson Farago (FC Edmonton, NASL), 22- Callum Irving (University of Kentucky).
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Nik Ledgerwood (FC Edmonton, NASL), 3-Samuel Adekugbe (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, MLS), 4-Doneil Henry (West Ham United, ENG), 5-Adam Straith (Fredrikstad FK, NOR), 12-Wandrille Lefèvre (Impact Montréal, MLS), 15-Steven Vitória (Benfica, POR), 20-Karl W. Ouimette (New York Red Bulls, MLS), 21-Mallan Roberts (FC Edmonton, NASL)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 6- M- Julian de Guzman (Ottawa Fury FC, NASL), 7-Iain Hume (Unattached), 8-Will Johnson (Toronto FC, MLS), 10-Kyle Bekker (Impact Montréal, MLS), 11-Issey Nakajima-Farran (Terengganu FA, MAS), 13-Jamar Dixon (FF Jaro, FIN), 14-Marco Bustos (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, MLS), 16-Kianz Froese (Vancouver Whitecaps FC, MLS), 17-Marcel De Jong (Sporting Kansas City, MLS).
FORWARD (3): 23-Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas, MLS), 19-Caleb Clarke (Unattached), 9-Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC, MLS).