Action from the last match between the USA and visiting Canada (white jersey) on January 29, 2013, in Houston. (Photo: Canada Soccer)
CHICAGO – The United States will launch a busy 2016 schedule with a pair of friendlies against Iceland and Canada, it was announced Tuesday.
The Americans first welcome Iceland on January 31, followed by a February 5 meeting with Canada. Both matches will be played at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
This will be the first game between the U.S. and Iceland in more than 20 years, with each team registering two wins in six all-time encounters dating back to 1955. The island nation made history when it qualified for the 2016 European Championship by finishing second in Group A, earning two win over the Netherlands, which captured third place in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“Iceland is one of the up-and-coming soccer nations in Europe,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They have been really impressive in qualifying for the European Championship for the first time, and they have earned huge compliments for their youth player development. Their players are now spread across the big leagues in Europe.”
The U.S. hasn’t lost to Canada for the last 35 years, a run that includes eight wins and 13 shutouts. Their last confrontation was on January 29, 2013, a 0-0 draw in Houston.
“As we know from our past meetings, Canada is a difficult opponent that is not easy to break down,” Klinsmann remarked. “It’s a good experience to play against them, particularly for some of our younger players. They started off on the right foot in World Cup qualifying, having won at home and picking up a point on the road in El Salvador, so this will be a good challenge.”
In addition to the season opening friendlies, the U.S. will play in a minimum of four World Cup qualifiers and three Copa American Centenario games next year.