USMNT Face Tough Tests in 2015 Friendlies


US Soccer announced the USMNT friendlies for the first-half of the 2015 season. 2015 will be the beginning of an important year as the USMNT competes in the 2015 Gold Cup in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Confederations Cup. In case you forgot, the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup.

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Overall, the friendlies currently scheduled will be a challenge. That is a good thing. It’s worthwhile to play tough and better sides in friendlies so the team can grow and improve as a unit. Winning is nice, but that is not the primary purpose of friendlies. On the other hand, scheduling friendlies against less quality sides allow for easier wins, but what does the USMNT really get out of it?

The friendlies that take place in the first-half of 2015 will provide a challenge to the US Men’s National Team. However, it will prepare them for the 2015 Gold Cup, which takes place in July, as well. If the USMNT wins the 2015 Gold Cup, they qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup. This is due to them also being the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup. Should another team win the 2015 Gold Cup, the USMNT and the 2015 Gold Winner will face-off to see who advances to the Confederations Cup.

USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann had this to say about the friendlies in the press release.

"“We want to consistently benchmark ourselves against the top teams in the world, and to give new and different challenges to our players. Competition gives your team an opportunity to grow, and this schedule allows us to do that,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “At the same time, our most important goal for the senior team in 2015 is to win the Gold Cup and qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017, and these games will be excellent preparation.”"

US Soccer Federation will announce further friendlies for the rest of 2015 at a future date. Yet, the announced 2015 friendlies provide many opportunities to face some of the best international sides, while working on improving themselves. The entire list of the announced friendlies with location and television information is listed below.

Jan. 28ChileAway (TBD)FOX Sports 2, UniMas, UDN
Feb. 8PanamaStubHub Center; Carson, CaliforniaESPN Network, UniMas, UDN
March 25DenmarkAway (TBD)ESPN Network, UniMas, UDN
March 31SwitzerlandStadion Letzigrund; Zurich, SwitzerlandFOX Sports 1, UniMas, UDN
April 15MexicoHome (TBD)FOX Sports 1, UniMas, UDN
June 5NetherlandsAway (TBD)ESPN Network, UniMas, UDN
June 10GermanyRhein Energie Stadion; Cologne, GermanyFOX Sports 1, UniMas, UDN

What do you think of the schedule? Too ambitious? A good challenge? You tell us in the comments section below.

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