US, Canada to square off in Jan. 29 friendly in Houston
The US and Canadian men's national teams will square off in a friendly on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, the federations of both countries announced on Monday.
The match marks the culmination of the US national team's annual January camp, as well as the winter camp of their Canadian counterparts. The Canucks will be facing Denmark in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 26.
Both teams are competing in next summer's Gold Cup — which may well see US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann field a "B" team similar to the one he will summon to January camp. The US are also participating in the final Hexagonal round of 2014 World Cup qualifying, which kicks off eight days after the Canada friendly at Honduras.
"The match against Canada will come at the end of an important training camp as we get players ready for the World Cup qualifier against Honduras, and also get a good look at some up-and-coming players in the national team pool," Klinsmann said in a statement.
Next month's match will mark the third time the North American rivals have squared off over the past three years. The US beat the Canadians 2-0 in their opening match of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Detroit, and the teams played to a 0-0 draw this past June at Toronto's BMO Field in a match that was part of the Canadian Soccer Association's 100th anniversary.
US Soccer is celebrating its own centennial in 2013, and this Canada match will be its first event.
"Obviously we have a great history with Canada, and they were unlucky not to qualify for the final round [of World Cup qualifying]," Klinsmann continued. "The stadium in Houston is awesome and the fans have been incredibly supportive there, so for us it's a great way to start off the centennial year of US Soccer."
This marks the USMNT's first-ever match at BBVA Compass Stadium, although the team has played three previous times in Houston: two draws with Mexico and a 1-0 win over Panama in the semifinals of the 2011 Gold Cup.
The US are riding a 15-game unbeaten streak against their neighbors to the north and have a 13-8-10 all-time record against Canada, including a 10-1-8 record on home soil. The last US loss to Canada came in April of 1985.