Thursday, August 02, 2007

USMNT Match Options for 2007

As the match schedule for the USMNT begins to fill up for the remainder of 2007, I figured I would toss out a few ideas on who the USSF should be trying to line up for the final few match dates this year. As FIFA has seven match dates scheduled for the remainder of the year, and the USSF has only scheduled five of those dates for matches. The two outstanding match dates are 9/12 & 11/21.

The US will be facing off against Mexico in Mexico City on 9/9 so it makes sense to have a match scheduled for the 9/12 match date. Considering that our side will have been in Mexico, having a home match would be logical for the second date. The following teams currently do not have anything scheduled and any one of them would be a pretty good test, as they are sides that have shots at making it to the 2010 World Cup.

- South Korea
- Angola
- Bolivia
- Cameroon
- Israel
- Nigeria
- Cote D'Ivoire
- Paraguay
- Uruguay
- Brazil

Having anyone of those teams in the states for a match would be rewarding. The only problem would be logistics. As this is during the European club season, I doubt that several of these sides would want to travel across the Atlantic, to only have their players have to fly right back over. Assuming that one of these teams did sign up for the match, it would most likely have to take place on the East coast to cut down on the travel time. Considering that this falls right in the middle of the NFL season, the match would most likely have to be held in an MLS park, so Crew Stadium or Toyota Park would be the most likely of venues.

As it stands right now, the US does not officially have a match scheduled for the 11/17 match date, but as well have read in several different locations, the Yanks will be making a trip down to South Africa to take on the 2010 World Cup hosts. Following that logic, as the team will already be overseas and will most likely have to fly through Europe to either drop off the European based players or to return to the States, why not try and schedule something in Europe for the 11/21 match date? After a quick scan of the FIFA schedules, I found that these teams do not have matches scheduled for the 21st:

- Belgium
- Portugal
- Czech Republic
- France
- Germany
- Croatia
- Italy
- Hungry
- Spain

Playing anyone of these teams in Europe would be a great match up. Germany, France, Italy, Spain & Portugal are most likely going to get matches scheduled soon, so I figure that our best bets might be to try and schedule matches with Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia & Hungry. Hell, getting a match in Europe, especially after having to deal with the long flight from South Africa would be a good enough test on its own.

I am hopeful that we will see the USSF schedule the two remaining FIFA dates and follow the trend of always scheduling USMNT matches on FIFA dates. I am tired of seeing FIFA match dates go bye without a USMNT match scheduled. If it only meant playing against Canada (which would be one helluva good match now) or playing in Panama, these dates need to be taken advantage of and used.

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