The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now over, and the 2026 cycle is officially underway.
Argentina emerged victorious in Qatar with the United States getting eliminated in the round of 16, but it won’t be long until the Stars and Stripes are back in action.
The United States men’s national soccer team announced before the World Cup that it will play international friendlies against Serbia and Colombia in January 2023.
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Both friendlies will be played in Los Angeles, home of two Major League Soccer franchises. The Serbia game will be played at Banc of California Stadium, home of LAFC, and the Colombia fixture will occur at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy.
The fixtures are slated for Jan. 25 and Jan. 28, respectively, which comes a little over a month after the World Cup final.
However, most European-based players are not expected to participate in these fixtures since they are not listed on FIFA international dates, meaning it’s not an official international break and most European players will still have to stick to their respective clubs’ schedules.
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MLS players will likely comprise the majority of the USMNT squad for these matches to prepare for the 2023 regular season beginning in late February.
The U.S. has played Serbia three times in history, posting a 0-2-1 win-draw-loss record. Serbia competed in Group G in Qatar alongside Brazil, Switzerland and Cameroon but finished in last place as one of the most disappointing teams of the tournament.
The USMNT has a 3-3-14 record against Colombia, with their last win coming in 2005. Colombia did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With the U.S. co-hosting the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada, these friendlies will kickstart the next cycle to increase exposure as Los Angeles is one of the host cities.
The USMNT finished second in Group B behind England at the 2022 World Cup. It drew against Wales and the Three Lions in the first two group games before beating Iran in the finale to secure a spot in the round of 16. However, the U.S. lost to the Netherlands 3-1.