CHICAGO, IL (October 16, 2017) – Well, now that the United States Men’s National Team has no World Cup playoff or anything relevant to prepare for in November, they have begun scheduling friendlies. The USMNT face Portugal, the Federation announced today. They will play them on November 14th, in Faro.
USMNT Face Portugal In Faro On November 14th
Portugal are currently third-ranked in FIFA and are the defending 2016 UEFA European Champions. They will play the United States at Estádio Algarve, on the southern tip of the country. The match is scheduled for 7:15 PM local time, 1:15 PM EST time back state side. The broadcasting details are still to be determined.
These two countries have played twice before in a World Cup. Fans will remember their back-and-forth affair in the 2014 World Cup match in Brazil that ended in a 2-2 draw. Their first ever World Cup head-to-head occurred in 2002 in the Korea/Japan joint tournament. The Yanks won that group opener 3-2 to spark a run to the quarter finals.
Bruce Arena stepped down as USMNT coach last week after the Yanks failed to quality for the 2018 World Cup. One would presume that an interim head coach will be appointed for this match and an experimental roster will named. This friendly will come during the MLS Cup playoffs, so it is unlikely that the USMNT starts competing in the playoffs (Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Brad Guzan, etc.) will be called in.
There have been rumors of a second friendly to be played in the Continental United States, but nothing official has been announced at this time.
Portugal will be a tough match up for an experimental roster. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2016. He had an excellent club season last year with Real Madrid as well, wining the UEFA Champions League. The country has qualified for the World Cup next summer, with Ronaldo scoring 15 of the country’s 32 goals in qualification.