WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States men’s national team kicks off its play in the new Concacaf Nations League Friday, Oct. 11, at Audi Field against Cuba, U.S. Soccer announced Monday.
This will be the second U.S. international game at Audi Field and the first that counts for something. The US took the stage at the Major League Soccer stadium for the first time earlier this year, falling 1-0 to Jamaica in a tune-up game leading into the 2019 Gold Cup. The USMNT has lost only once in 12 meetings with Cuba dating back to 1947, with an overall record of 10-1-1.
The newest Concacaf tournament launches this fall with four groups in three leagues (A, B, C). Because the US was one of the six teams that participated in the hexagonal round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying, it was automatically placed in League A. The Americans will play in Group A with Canada and Cuba.
Group winners from League A advance to the semifinals and potentially the final in the June 2020 FIFA international window.
The Nations League’s value increased this summer when Concacaf announced the hexagonal round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup will be played between the top six ranked Concacaf member associations based on the FIFA ranking published after June 2020. The tournament provides crucial FIFA-recognized matches that are considered in the rankings.
“We are excited to be competing in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League where not only is a championship on the line but we are able to play meaningful games in a competitive format,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “As a team that represents the United States, there is something incredibly meaningful about playing in the nation’s capital, and we aim to produce not only a good result but a good performance.”
Back to the capital! 🏛🇺🇸⚽️
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) August 19, 2019