US men’s soccer to return for Nov. 12 exhibition at Wales

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. men’s soccer team will return to the field for the first time since January for a Nov. 12 exhibition at Wales.

The Americans have not played since a 1-0 win over Costa Rica on Feb. 1 because of the pandemic. In that match at Carson, California, the U.S. used players mostly preparing for the Major League Soccer season.

The match against Wales in Swansea was announced Friday. It will be the first on a FIFA fixture day for the U.S. since a 4-0 win over Cuba in the CONCACAF Nations League last Nov. 19.

Gio Reyna could make his U.S. debut at Wales on the day before his 18th birthday. The son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna has become a regular at Borussia Dortmund in the past year and had been scheduled to be on the roster for two canceled exhibitions — at the Netherlands on March 26 and at Wales four days later.

Players will be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the training camp in Cardiff and then at least every two days.

The U.S. still is attempting to schedule a second match in Europe for the November window. A contemplated game against New Zealand in London fell through when New Zealand decided not to have its players travel.

While the Americans had been scheduled to start World Cup qualifying in September 2020, the schedule was delayed by CONCACAF. No starting date has been set, although there is a possibility of playing three matches in each FIFA window starting in September 2021.

The CONCACAF Nations League semifinal against Honduras last June 4 also was postponed along with the final three days later, which will include Mexico or Costa Rica. June 2021 is viewed as a possible reschedule date for the Nations League final four.

The U.S. also will play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup from July 10-Aug. 1, a tournament most top players are likely to skip. Group stage matches will be against Canada, Martinique and the winner of qualifying matches that include Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The last year with as few as three matches was 1987, when the U.S. played Egypt, South Korea and Thailand at the President’s Cup tournament in South Korea that June, along with unofficial matches.

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