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US men's national team to face Wales on November 12; first USMNT match in 9 months

Finally! The US men's national team will play their first match in over nine months when they will face Wales on Nov. 12 at Liberty Stadium in Swansea (2:45 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMás and TUDN).

It will mark the first international match for the USMNT since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last time the USMNT was in action came in a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in February. 

The U.S. Soccer Federation also revealed that it is working on scheduling a second match during their European trip. Australia were reportedly a candidate for that second match before the Australian Federation shelved travel plans.

Since the match falls in the November FIFA international window, head coach Gregg Berhalter will have the opportunity to call up players based in MLS and abroad. 

Matchup vs. Wales

The Nov. 12 match will mark the second-ever meeting with Wales and the first time that the U.S. will play on Welsh soil. The only other game played between the two nations was a 2-0 U.S. win on May 26, 2003, at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. with Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis getting the goals.

Wales, nicknamed the Dragons, are currently ranked No. 20 in the world by FIFA, two spots ahead of the Americans.

The Welsh team is coached by former Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and it's led by Tottenham star Gareth Bale and Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Wales will use the Nov. 12 match as a tune-up for UEFA Nations League group matches against the Republic of Ireland (Nov. 15) and Finland (Nov. 18). They currently lead their Nations League group standings, one point ahead of Finland. Wales are also one of 24 finalists in the European Championship which will take place in the summer of 2021. 

According to a release by the USSF, the match in Wales will be "conducted under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol and be played without fans in the stadium" and the full camp will be "will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols": 

The U.S. team and staff will operate inside a controlled environment in a hotel near Cardiff. Everyone entering the controlled environment will undergo multiple COVID-19 tests in advance of traveling, and then will be tested upon arrival and at least every two days during camp. There will be no full team training until the results of all arrival tests are confirmed.

The trip to Europe will be the first for the U.S. national team since a 1-0 loss to Italy in November 2018.

USMNT with eye on 2021

The US men's national team is preparing for what will be a busy 2021 calendar year featuring a series of official competitions:

  • Concacaf Nations League (June): The USMNT will face Honduras in a semifinal and will hope to advance to face either Mexico or Costa Rica in the final;
  • Concacaf Gold Cup (July): The Americans were drawn in Group B with Canada, Martinique and a third team to be determined during a qualifying stage involving Haiti, Bermuda, Barbados or St. Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • Concacaf World Cup Qualifying (September): The USMNT will start its road to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup as part of an 8-team round robin expected to kick off in September 2021. The top three finishers earn a direct ticket to the World Cup. The fourth-placed team will play an international playoff.

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