CHICAGO (Dec. 30, 2019) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will open its 2020 schedule with a friendly against Concacaf rival Costa Rica on Feb. 1 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Coverage of the USA’s first match of 2020 begins at 12:55 p.m. PT on ESPNews, UniMas and TUDN. Fans will be able to follow the match via Facebook, Twitter @USMNT and Instagram @USMNT.
The match will serve as an important preparation opportunity for the rest of the year as the USMNT will compete in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal in June and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which kicks off in September.
“The chance to play against a likely World Cup qualifying opponent is fantastic,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “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.”
Tickets for the match go on sale to the public Friday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m. PT at ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-888-929-7849. Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com.
Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.
Coaches Circle and Presidents Circle members supporting the U.S. Soccer Development Fund can receive individual customer support and concierge services for their ticketing needs. Click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As the official payment technology sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® has made special arrangements for Visa cardholders to participate in an advance sale of tickets for this match prior to sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Thursday, Jan. 2 at 10 a.m. PT until Friday, Jan. 3 at 8 a.m. PT through the purchase link at ussoccer.com. As the preferred card of U.S. Soccer, Visa will be the only payment method accepted during the Visa presale. Terms and conditions apply.
TIED AGAINST THE TICOS
Heading into this contest, Costa Rica and the USMNT are an even 16-16-5 through a rich history of 37 matches played since 1975.
There have been numerous legendary moments in that time, with 29 of the encounters taking place across three different competitions: FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the Concacaf Gold Cup and Copa America Centenario. Perhaps the most memorable is the Snowclasico, a 1-0 win in snowy conditions during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup that reignited a sometimes-fiery rivalry. MLS has also served as a breeding ground of familiarity for these opponents, as more than 50 Costa Ricans have played in the league.
Dignity Health Sports Park is a frequent host of matches at this time of year, the USA-Costa Rica game marking the 13th occasion. Since its debut at the venue in 2004, the USMNT holds an 11-2-3 record scoring a total of 35 goals and posting nine shutouts.
DOING THEIR PREP WORK
The USMNT will open its annual January Camp with training and closed-door scrimmages from Jan. 5-25 at the Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar, before returning to Los Angeles ahead of the Costa Rica friendly.
With the confidence and anticipation of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the USMNT will take a first opportunity to experience the football facilities, customs, weather, and other logistical and performance considerations in the host nation. Utilizing similar opportunities prior to the World Cups in South Africa and Brazil proved extremely beneficial in the team’s planning and preparations.
“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,” Berhalter said.