The U.S. Soccer Federation announced its plans for a U.S. men’s national team training camp in early 2020, concluding with a Feb. 1 friendly against Costa Rica at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
The bulk of the training camp will take place in Qatar, the host country for the 2022 World Cup. The U.S. will begin the camp at the Aspire Academy in Doha starting on Jan. 5, and will hold practices and closed-door scrimmages against other teams training in Qatar during the Americans’ three-week stay. Dutch side Ajax will be in the country during the U.S.’s time there but there has been no confirmation that they will be one of the scrimmage opponents.
“Our priority is to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, so it’s certainly a big benefit to get a head start on experiencing the facilities, environment and culture of the tournament hosts,” said U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter.
The U.S. will travel to Los Angeles on Jan. 25 ahead of the match against a Costa Rica side which has an all-time record of 16-16-5 against the Americans. The last meeting between the two teams came in 2019, when both teams fielded alternative sides in a 2-0 U.S. victory. The last competitive match involving the two teams took place in 2017, a 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat for the U.S. team that played a significant part in their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“The chance to play against a likely World Cup qualifying opponent is fantastic,” Berhalter added.
“As we continue to develop, it’s important to challenge our group against a variety of different opponents. At the end of a January camp, we want the players to have a chance to put all the work to the test.”
The Americans will take on Honduras in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League in June, while World Cup qualifying is set to begin in September.
The U.S. will also play a pair of games during the March international window, with a friendly against European power Netherlands scheduled for March 26.
CONCACAF Nations League
June: USA v Honduras