The United States national team will host Chile for their annual January friendly, the US Soccer Federation announced on Monday. The 2010 World Cup participants will visit the Home Depot Center on Jan. 22 at the end of the US squad's three-week winter training camp.
"We’re excited to play a team of Chile’s caliber to start the year," US head coach Bob Bradley said in a statement. "We are focused on getting ready for the CONCACAF Gold Cup next summer, and this game provides a good start for our preparations as we assess the pool for 2011 and beyond."
The Americans last played La Roja in 2000, winning 2-1 in Coquimbo, Chile. They won by the same score in 1999 and 1995, the latter match coming during the Copa América, but fell 2-0 in 1994. The US boast a 3-4-1 record all-time vs. the Chileans.
Chile, who reached the Round of 16 this past summer in South Africa before falling to Brazil, will present a stern test to Bradley's roster of younger players. The South American team plays a style similar to what the US will see during the Gold Cup.
Chile aren't without controversy. Manager Marcelo Biesla recently resigned after Jorge Segovia defeated incumbent Harold Mayne-Nicholls in an election for chairman of the country's National Football Association. Under Biesla's tenure, Chile finished second in CONMEBOL's 2010 World Cup qualifying. Supporters of the Argentinean coach started a website urging his return and some players hope he will come back as well.
The US are 8-1-1 all-time at Home Depot Center. Chile are the first South American team they'll face in their annual January friendly in Carson, Calif.
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis