The US Men’s National Team will get their first taste of action against European opposition in 2021, taking on Northern Ireland in Belfast on March 28. The USMNT will use the March international window to prepare for a 2021 year that includes the Concacaf Nations League final four in June, the Gold Cup in July, and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in the fall.
“This is a good opportunity to work with our full group before the Nations League Final Four in June,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “We’ve been excited about the progress our players continue to make with their clubs, and now we have another chance to strengthen our group ahead of the start of World Cup qualifying later this year. Northern Ireland is a very competitive team and brings a different set of challenges in the way they play. We look forward to a great experience.”
Due to Covid-19, the match will be played under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol, meaning fans will not be in attendance. US Soccer is also working to set up a second match in Europe during the international window.
Northern Ireland will play the friendly in between their first two qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup. They’ll take on Group C top seed Italy on March 25 before playing Bulgaria on March 31.
The match will be the first time the two sides have played in over 70 years. Their last and only meeting was a 5-0 win for Northern Ireland on August 11, 1948.
US Soccer confirmed that their camp will take place in a controlled environment, with players taking multiple Covid-19 tests before travelling, upon arrival, and every two days during camp. Full team training will not begin until all tests return negative.
After the March international window, the USMNT will play Honduras in a Concacaf Nations League semifinal, schedule to take place in the first week of June.
The match will kick off at 11AM central time on Sunday, March 28, and will be broadcast on FOX, UniMás and TUDN.