Five Things to Know about Oman

The USMNT plays its second game in the September international window hosting Oman at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8:30 p.m. (TNT, Telemundo, Universo, Peacock, FDP Radio)
By: Michael Lewis

In the second and final match of the September international window, the United States Men’s National Team will welcome Oman to Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8:30 p.m. (TNT, Telemundo, Universo, Peacock, FDP Radio).

In head coach Gregg Berhalter's first match of his second tenure as head coach, the Americans recorded a 3-0 win against Uzbekistan in St. Louis on Saturday night, Sept. 9. Tim Weah, Ricardo Pepi and Christian Pulisic each found the back of the net.

The Americans again will use Tuesday's contest as preparation for their important Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal against an undetermined opponent in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 16. The winner of that contest will qualify for 2024 Copa America, which will be hosted by the United States next summer.

Oman next will host Chinese Taipei or Timor-Leste in qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2027 Asian Cup on Nov. 16, and visit Kyrgyzstan on Nov. 21. In January, Al-Ahmar will take on Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Kyrgyzstan in the group stage of the Asian Cup in Qatar.

After Tuesday night's match, the USMNT will host Germany in friendly in East Hartford, Conn. on Oct. 14 and then Ghana in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 17.


The Oman Football Association was founded in 1978.  The Reds have reached the Asian Cup four times (2004, 2007, 2015, 2019), reaching the Round of 16 in the 2019 tourney.

Oman also participated in the Arabian Gulf Cup on four occasions, capturing the crown twice (2009, 2017).

After reaching the final two consecutive times, the Omanis finally won the 2009 competition. They won their group with a 2-0-1 record, tying Kuwait in the opener before rolling to a 4-0 victory over Iraq and a 2-0 triumph past Bahrain. They blanked Qatar in the semifinals, 1-0, before defeating host Saudi Arabia in a shootout, 6-5, after playing to a scoreless draw. The Reds did not concede a goal in the tournament.

In 2017 in Kuwait, Oman started off on the wrong foot with a 1-0 loss to the United Arab Emirates but bounced back with a 1-0 win over Kuwait and a 2-0 decision past Saudi Arabia in the group stage. The team won the semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Bahrain on an own goal. In the final, Oman turned the table on the UAE, winning the shootout 5-4, after playing to another scoreless tie. Ahmed Mubarak Kano was named the tournament MVP.

The team was runners-up in the 2023 competition.


This will be their first meeting in international competition.


Since dropping a 3-0 decision to host Uzbekistan in the CAFA Nations Cup on June 11, Oman is unbeaten in four consecutive matches (3-0-1).

Three days after the June 11 loss, the Reds started their streak with a 1-1 draw against Tajikistan in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

They continued it with a 2-0 win over Turkmenistan at the same venue on June 17.

In the third-place match of the competition on June 20, Oman recorded a 1-0 over Kyrgyzstan.

In its most recent encounter on Sept. 6, the Asian side overcame an early one-goal deficit to register a 2-1 victory in Muscat, Oman. Abdullah Fawaz equalized in the 22nd minute before Muhsen Al-Ghassani tallied the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 39th minute.


Branko Ivankovic is a former Croatian player who took over the coaching reigns on Jan. 19, 2020, after Erwin Koeman was fired. He has directed The Reds to a 20-11-8 record.

Ivankovic, who at 69 is one of the oldest national team coaches today, has managed club teams since 1991. That included guiding IR Iran into the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which the squad finished at 0-2-1 mark. He also was the assistant coach for the Croatian team, which finished in third place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

Besides coaching such teams as Dinamo Zagreb in his native country, Ivankovic also has led teams in Germany (Hannover 96), China (Shandong Luneng), Saudi Arabia (Ettifaq and Al-Ahli), United Arab Emirates (Al Wahda) and Iran (Persepolis).

He played as an attacking midfielder for Varazdin in Croatia, scoring 83 goals in 269 league appearances for 11 years.


Branko Ivankovic has brought a 24-man roster to the USA in which every player but one plays for a club in the Oman Professional League.

Forward Jameel Al-Yahmadi currently is not with a team.

The team is primarily stocked with 19 players from three Omani league teams – defending champion Al-Seeb and second-place Al-Nahda, with seven players apiece, and ninth-place Al-Suwaig, with five.

Captain and midfielder Harib Al-Saadi, 33, who performs for Al-Nahda, is one of the most experienced field players on the squad with 56 caps. Goalkeeper Faiz Al-Rushaidi, the oldest player at 35, leads the way with 62 international appearances.

Forwards Issam Al-Sabhi (Al-Suwaiq) and Muhsen Al-Ghassani (Al-Seeb) are the leading scorers with eight goals each on this squad.

Four players are seeking their first caps - midfielders Tamim Al-Balushi (Al-Seeb) and Ali Al-Hinai (Al-Nahda) and forwards Ahmed Al-Adawi (Al-Rustaq) and Abdulrahman Al-Mushaifri (Al-Seeb).


GOALKEEPERS (3): Ahmed-Al- (Al-Seeb; 5/0), Faiz Al-Rushaidi (Al-Suwaiq; 62/0), Ibrahim Al-Mukhaini (Al-Nahda; 20/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Mahmood Al-Mushaifri (Al-Suwaiql 25/0), Ahmed Al-Kaabi (Al-Nahda; 26/0), Khalid Al-Braiki (Al-Suwaiq; 27/0), Ahmed Al-Khamisi (Al-Seeb; 27/0), Ahmed Al-Matrooshi (Al-Nahda; 2/0), Fahmi Durbin (Al-Nasr; 23/0), Juma Al-Habsi (Ibri; 27/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Mataz Saleh (Dhofar; 15/1), Musab Al-Mamari (Al-Nasr; 10/1), Tamim Al-Balushi (Al-Seeb; 0/0), Harib Al-Saadi (Al-Nahda; 56/1), Ali Al-Hinai (Al-Nahda; 0/0), Abdullah Fawaz (Al-Nahda; 24/5), Omar Al-Malki (Al-Nahda; 7/2)

FORWARDS (7): Ahmed Al-Adawi (Al-Rustaq; 0/0), Salaah Al-Yahyaei (Al-Seeb; 37/6), Issam Al-Sabhi (Al-Suwaiq; 27/8), Abdulrahman Al-Mushaifri (Al-Seeb; 0/0), Jameel Al-Yahmadi (unattached; 40/2), Muhsen Al-Ghassani (Al-Seeb; 41/8), Zahir Al-Aghbari (Al-Seeb; 28/0)

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