December 15, 2015
OPENING THE CAMPAIGN
USMNT to host Iceland, Canada in Carson
CHICAGO - The U.S. men's national team will kick off 2016 with friendlies against Iceland and Canada at the StubHub Center.
The U.S. welcomes Iceland on Jan. 31 (3:45 p.m. ET kickoff), followed by its northern neighbors on Feb. 5 (10:15 p.m. ET kickoff). Both matches will be played at the Carson, Calif. venue, which has become the traditional host of the opening games of the year for the Americans.
"Iceland is one of the up-and-coming soccer nations in Europe," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. "They have been really impressive in qualifying for the European Championship for the first time, and they have earned huge compliments for their youth player development. Their players are now spread across the big leagues in Europe."
"As we know from our past meetings, Canada is a difficult opponent that is not easy to break down. It's a good experience to play against them, particularly for some of our younger players. They started off on the right foot in World Cup qualifying, having won at home and picking up a point on the road in El Salvador, so this will be a good challenge."
This will be the first meeting between the United States and Iceland in more than 20 years, the teams splitting the series with a 2-2-2 record dating back to 1955. The tiny island nation made history when it qualified for the 2016 European Championship, twice defeating 2014 World Cup bronze medalists Netherlands in the process. It finished second in its group and advanced to a major tournament for the first time.
The U.S. and Canada are no strangers, having played 32 times since 1925. The MNT is unbeaten against its northern neighbors for the last 35 years, a run that includes eight wins and 13 shutouts.
The MNT has opened home campaigns with wins at StubHub Center each of the last two years, defeating Korea, 2-0, on Feb. 1, 2014, and Panama, 2-0, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Tickets for both games go sale to the public Friday at 1 p.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, noon to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can order through ussoccer.com. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.