With the 2018 World Cup officially in the rearview mirror, the US men's national team continues their march toward 2022 World Cup qualification, setting themselves up for another good test this fall: A newly-scheduled friendly against Colombia, on Thursday, Oct. 11, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The match is added to this fall's Kickoff Series, intended to prepare the US for the next cycle of World Cup qualifiers with matches against teams in the Top 20 of FIFA's World Rankings. Colombia, knocked out of the 2018 World Cup by England in the Round of 16, was ranked 16th in the latest rankings, released the week before the tournament started.
The match in Tampa will add Colombia to a list of opponents including Brazil, Mexico, England and Italy between September and November. Continuing to challenge themselves against the world's elite, USA already played France to a 1-1 draw in June — a tune-up to France's Cup winning run in which the Americans impressed.
“As we continue to build into the next cycle, this will be another important experience for the development of this group,” USMNT coach Dave Sarachan said in a statement. “When you talk about exciting, technical and experienced opponents, Colombia ticks all the boxes. With players at some of the top clubs around the world, they are fast, physical and skillful. Tampa has been a great host to our national teams, and I know they will come out and show their support in October.”
The series will commence against Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Friday, Sept. 7 before USA faces Mexico at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Tuesday, Sept. 11. USA will also play England at Wembley Stadium in London on Thursday, Nov. 15. before visiting Italy on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at a venue still to be determined.
All friendlies will take place during FIFA international windows, meaning that the technical staff could call upon their first-choice group of players.
U.S. Soccer will add an additional friendly to the team's schedule in October.