United States to play Iceland in January friendly, according to sources
The U.S. national team is expected to open its 2016 schedule with a January friendly against Iceland in Carson, California, multiple sources have told ESPNFC.
The Iceland match would take place on Jan. 31, and it would be the first of two games a mostly MLS-based U.S. squad would play near the end of the annual year-opening camp. The second match is slated for early February, also in the western United States. And a source has indicated that Canada is the potential opponent.
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Neither game has officially been confirmed. A U.S. Soccer spokesman said Thursday that venues and opponents for the Americans' first two matches of the year still weren't finalized.
Training camp will open Jan. 4 at the StubHub Center in Carson. With MLS (and potentially a few European-based) players in their offseason, the early focus will be on fitness.
The U.S. squad will be comprised of about 25 players. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is expected to pick a veteran-heavy side, with several U-23 national teamers also included. The U.S. U-23s will face Colombia in a two-leg playoff in March for a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Iceland is ranked No. 36 by FIFA, four spots behind the 32nd-ranked U.S. In September, Iceland became the smallest nation to qualify for the European Championship. The islanders reached Euro 2016 at the expense of the Netherlands, the third-placed team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, that they beat twice en route to France.
Icelandic-American forward Aron Johannsson is not expected to be available to face the nation he represented at youth level. Johannsson is recovering from a hip injury, and Werder Bremen, his German Bundesliga team, begins the second half of its season on Jan. 24.
The U.S. will play a pair of 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala in March before hosting June's Copa America Centenario.