The U.S. men’s national team’s road to the 2022 World Cup will begin in New Jersey.
U.S. Soccer has selected MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., as the site for the USMNT’s Sept. 7 friendly match against Brazil, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports.
The game will be the Americans’ first following the 2018 World Cup. The U.S. failed to qualify for this summer’s tournament in Russia, breaking a streak of seven consecutive World Cup appearances that began in 1990.
After meeting the five- or possibly six-time world champions – Brazil is among the favorites to hoist the trophy in Moscow on July 15 – a few miles west of New York City, the U.S. will head to Nashville, Tennessee, to take on longtime rival Mexico on Sept. 11 at Nissan Stadium.
Both games are expected to be announced officially in the coming days.
The two venues are familiar to the U.S. men. MetLife Stadium has been the top choice for high-profile U.S. exhibitions since it opened eight years ago; Argentina (2011) and Brazil (2010) were the opposition in the two matches played there. The 2016 Copa America Centenario final was also held at the 82,000-seat arena, which is slated to stage the 2026 World Cup final should a joint bid between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to host that event be successful.
In five games at Nissan Stadium since 2006, the Americans have averaged over 35,000 fans. A crowd of 47,622 watched the home team tie Panama in its Gold Cup opener last July. Five months later, MLS awarded Nashville an expansion team that will begin play in 2020.
The USMNT, which meets Bolivia on Monday in an exhibition in suburban Philadelphia before games next month at Ireland and France, has beaten Brazil just once in 18 tries, losing the last 10 meetings.
The squad has been more competitive against Mexico, posting a .500 record since the start of this decade that includes three wins, four draws and three losses.
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