Philly Sports Live

USMNT to Play Canada in January Friendly

Kevin McKenna; Herculez Gomez

It appears that players called to Jurgen Klinsmann’s January camp will have their strudel topped with maple syrup.  The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) announced today that they have agreed to a friendly pitting the Tophats against their neighbors to the south January 29th at BBVA Compass stadium in Houston.  The match falls in the midst of two separate USMNT camps and only nine days before the Yanks kick off the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying.  Canada did not qualify for the Hex.

The match will mark the third time the two North American rivals have met in the last two years, with the US beating the Tophats 2-1 in the opening match of the 2011 Gold Cup at Detroit’s Ford Field, and the two sides drawing this past summer at BMO Field in Toronto in a friendly celebrating the centennial of Canadian Soccer.

The match is expected to be the capstone for the Americans’ annual January camp, popularly known as Camp Cupcake or Camp Strudel.  Held at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, the camp features younger and liminal USMNT players primarily from MLS and the Scandinavian leagues, which are in their off-season.  The camp, formerly Camp Cupcake, can serve as a springboard to the first team; last year’s edition was an introduction to now-mainstays Graham Zusi & Geoff Cameron.  Philadelphia Union centerback Jeff Parke also received his first national team call-up to last year’s camp.  The US roster should be announced the first week of January.

While the end of camp friendly has traditionally been held in Carson, Klinsmann moved one match to Panama City last year.  This year’s match has been moved to Houston due to the unavailability of the HDC, and to better prepare the team for the humidity of Honduras.

Broadcast information for the match has not yet been released.

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