USMNT to take on Ecuador in October friendly at University of Connecticut's Rentschler Field
The US national team will make their World Cup homecoming when they play host to Ecuador on Oct. 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., US Soccer announced on Thursday.
The friendly at the University of Connecticut stadium will be the USMNT’s first stateside appearance since their run to the group stage at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy.
"We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning. The US team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”
The US hold a 2-5-4 record against Ecuador in a series dating back to 1984. Both of the Yanks’ victories came on US soil, including a 1-0 win on March 10, 2002, in Birmingham, Ala., that saw goalkeeper and New Jersey native Tim Howard earn his first cap and first shutout.
Led by Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, Ecuador have qualified for three FIFA World Cups, (2002, 2006 and 2014) and just missed the South American playoff spot during the 2010 qualifying campaign. Drawn into Group E in this summer’s tournament, along with France, Switzerland and Honduras, La Tricolor compiled a 1-1-1 record to finish third in the group.
Rentschler Field has hosted big-time matches for the USMNT, including a World Cup qualifier, two Send-Off Series games and a CONCACAF Gold Cup group-stage match.
Brian McBride scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win on Aug. 17, 2005 against Trinidad & Tobago in final-round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Then, Brek Shea made his first international goal count as the USA defeated Costa Rica 1-0 and won their group on July 16 of last year on the way to capturing the 2013 Gold Cup title. Overall, the United States hold a 3-1-0 record at the venue.
The USMNT will first travel to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, marking the first match for the United States following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They’ll also face Ireland in a Nov. 18 friendly in Dublin.
SI.com reported on Tuesday that another proposed friendly, vs. Colombia on Sept. 9 in San Antonio, fell through.