The U.S. men’s national team officially announced fall friendly matches vs. Brazil, England and Italy on Monday, part of a six-match slate dubbed the “Kickoff Series” that’s intended to prepare the rebuilding squad for the onset of 2022 World Cup qualifying next year.
The series begins Friday, Sept. 7 with USA vs. Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Four days later the USMNT will face neighbors and rivals Mexico at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
In November, the USA will gather in Europe for two exhibition matches, facing England at Wembley Stadium in London on Thursday, Nov. 15. and visiting Italy on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at a venue still to be determined.
“We are at the beginning phase of building our identity,” said new USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart in a federation release. “These games are obviously huge challenges, and for young players it’s an opportunity to see the benchmark of some of the top teams in the world. We can use these experiences to learn about ourselves and take the next steps towards developing into the team we want to become.”
The United States will also play two home matches in October, but those opponents and dates are yet to be finalized. All six of the program's fall matches will take place inside FIFA international windows, meaning that the technical staff will be able to call on their first-choice group of players. Coaching Dave Sarachan remains in charge of the USMNT in a caretaker role, pending the outcome of the search for the next head coach, a process which will be managed by Stewart.
The program's new GM also noted in the release that the quartet of friendlies has been scheduled priority on providing “invaluable” experience for the USMNT’s young players rather than gaining results. With these meetings vs. Brazil, England, Italy and Mexico added to the 1-1 draw with France earlier this month, the U.S. will have faced at least five teams in the top 20 of FIFA’s World Rankings this year.