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Exploria Stadium to host USMNT Concacaf League of Nations match against Canada

The team will face off against Canada in November as part of the Group Phase of the Nations League tournament.

United States forward Gyasi Zerdes (9) celebrates as he scores a goal against the Ecuador during an international friendly at Exploria Stadium in March (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The U.S. men’s national team will play Canada in Orlando in November.

Exploria Stadium will host one of the USMNT’s Concacaf Nations League matches on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. ET, U.S. Soccer announced.

The Concacaf Nations League tournament will help to decide the FIFA rankings for the confederation.

For the U.S. and Canada, the result of the Orlando match will be a crucial opportunity to advance in rankings for World Cup qualification. The top six teams in the confederation as of June 2020 will earn a spot in the team’s competition for the three automatic bids into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Canada currently holds the No. 8 slot in the rankings table, sitting just outside the qualification for that World Cup competition. Wins in the group stage – or an advancement to the final round of the Nations League — could push Canada over the edge and into the qualifiers. The U.S., meanwhile, holds the second place in the rankings for the confederation, sitting just behind Mexico which holds the top rank.

“Winning at home is critical in these tournaments, so finding a home-field advantage is important,” U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a news release. “When you talk about great environments, the atmosphere in this stadium is one of the best in the country. Like we’ve seen in previous visits, the fans in Orlando are there when you need them and we look forward to their support.”

All 41 of the teams in the league participated in qualifiers for this tournament throughout the last year, with the U.S. qualifying for the top tier League A. This group includes the six countries that participated in the final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the next top six finishers in the qualifiers for the tournament.

A draw in March selected groups for the opening round-robin Group Phase of play for the tournament, with the U.S. earning a placement in Group A along with Canada and Cuba. The game at Exploria Stadium will serve as the home game for U.S. during its home and away series with Canada in the Group Phase. The team will have previously played Canada at BMO Field in Toronto on Oct. 15.

“It’s an honor every time we have the privilege to host U.S. Soccer at Exploria Stadium, especially in games that have competitive importance like this Concacaf Nations League match,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão said. “We are excited to yet again showcase the incredible soccer supporters we have here in Orlando and put our beautiful stadium on global display. We can’t wait for an exciting battle between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Canada, and to perhaps see some of our Lions out there, as well.”

Canadian head coach Jon Herdman described the team’s October match against the U.S. in Toronto as “a cup final” for his team, adding that “this is the game we have been waiting for, for 10 to 15 years.”

It is the third time Orlando City SC has hosted the men’s national team at Exploria Stadium. Orlando last hosted the U.S. men’s national team in March, when the team played a friendly against Ecuador. The U.S. earned a 1-0 victory in the game in front of a crowd of 17,422.

The stadium also featured a sell-out crowd of 25,303 in 2017 for a World Cup qualifying match against Panama, in which the U.S. earned a 4-0 result.

“We thank the US Soccer Federation for coming back to Orlando,” said Jason Siegel, CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “Being selected to host two USMNT games in the same year helps confirm what we know — that Orlando is a great soccer city. This provides another chance for our community to attend a tremendous international match as we welcome our North American World Cup partners from the North. It’s also a unique opportunity for us to host key leaders in our community as we continue to seek host city status for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

Tickets for the match will go on sale on Friday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. ET on the U.S. Soccer website and on Ticketmaster. Orlando City season ticket holders can also purchase tickets through an exclusive presale, which will begin on Monday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. ET. Visa cardholders can also participate in an advance sale from Thursday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. to Friday, Sept. 27.

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