USMNT adds friendlies vs. France, Ireland, Paraguay to 2018 schedule
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The 2018 schedule for the U.S. Men’s National Team is taking shape, and marquee friendlies highlight an aggressive campaign that continues the mindset of competing against the top teams in the world.
A meeting against 1998 World Cup champion France headlines a high-profile trip to Europe, which will also include a challenge against Ireland.
The summer series kicks off at the 51,700 seat Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where the USA meets the Boys in Green on June 2. A week later, it’s a trip to Groupama Stadium in Lyon – site of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final – to play No. 9-ranked France.
First up however, the U.S. will host Paraguay on March 27 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. Kickoff for the USA’s first match in North Carolina since 2006 is set for 7 p.m. ET, with broadcast information to be available at a later date.
The match in March will be the eighth time the U.S. and Paraguay meet dating back to 1930. The USMNT holds a record of 3-2-2 against the South American nation. Most recently the teams met in the group stage of the Copa America Centenario in 2016, with the U.S. using a Clint Dempsey goal to win 1-0 and finish atop its group.
Serious about the ambition to field a men’s team considered among the best in the world, U.S. Soccer will continue to seek matches against world-class soccer nations and in world-class venues. More high-profile games are expected to be added for the friendly dates in September, October and November, which will deliver one of the most demanding non-tournament schedules in MNT history.
MNT BACK IN N.C. FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2006
The U.S. Men’s National Team will play at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park for only second time and makes its first visit to North Carolina for a match since 2006. The MNT previously drew Jamaica 1-1 in front of an overflow crowd on April 11, 2006, a game that marked the 100thcareer cap for two-time World Cup veteran goalkeeper Tony Meola. Having trained in Cary prior to the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, the team followed that visit with two training stints in March and June of 2011.
USA, IRELAND, AND FRANCE IN “TRIANGLE TEST” IN JUNE
The United States, Ireland and France will square off in a “triangle test” in Europe. After the two European nations meet on May 28 in Paris, the U.S. will travel to face the Irish on June 2 at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. A week later, the MNT takes on No. 9-ranked France at Groupama Stadium in Lyon, the venue that will host the Women’s World Cup Final in the summer of 2019.