The United States Men’s National Team was back in action a few weeks ago, as they are in the midst of playing international friendly matches. Most recently on February 8th, the USMNT defeated Panama 2-0 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Over 20,000 people attended the event, as Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey each scored as the US team cruised to victory.
The USMNT have five upcoming friendly matches in March through June against some international soccer powerhouse programs.International ticket reseller Ticketbis offers USMNT tickets for all of the quality matches: March 25th vs Denmark, March 31st vs Switzerland, April 15th vs Mexico, June 5th vs Netherlands and June 10th vs Germany.
According to Ticketbis, Premier League matches were the favorite event that Americans attended last year when they traveled abroad. American fans being able to see and root for American players overseas is great for the sport’s popularity overall. After Premier League, World Cup and La Liga BBVA were the most attended events amongst American travelers.
The rising talent of American soccer players has been well documented in recent years. The USMNT had as much hype as it’s ever had heading into the World Cup this past summer, and performed admirably on the national stage. From this, the MLS has also grown in popularity in the United States. Many US players who went overseas to play for more prestigious teams in European leagues have recently come back home to play in the MLS.
More American soccer players are finding themselves playing in some of the premier soccer leagues around Europe, something that was uncommon not too long ago. As we examine the USMNT roster, we can see what European club teams they played for when they are not suiting up for the national team.
Only two players from the most current USMNT roster are on teams in Europe. Bobby Wood plays for Germany’s Erzgebirge Aue, and Brad Guzan, who is taking over goaltending duties from Tim Howard, plays for the Premier League’s Aston Villa. The aforementioned Howard, who made waves with his play during the most recent World Cup, plays for Everton, an English Premier League club.
Howard is about to play in one of the most important matches of the English Premier League season, as Everton squares off against Arsenal on Sunday, March 1st at Emirates Stadium, London, UK. Arsenal is in third position and Everton is in the 12th position. According to Ticketbis, fans can attend the match for as low as $135.14.
Before returning to the MLS, Michael Bradley played for SC Heerenveen, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany) Aston Villa (England), Chievo, and Roma (Italy). Clint Dempsey played for Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur (England), and is currently on the Seattle Sounds (MLS). Jozy Altidore played for Sunderland (England) before returning to Toronto FC of the MLS. Now a member of the New England Revolution, Jermaine Jones made stops for several German teams including Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04. He also played for Blackburn Rovers (England) and Besiktas (Turkey).
The USMNT aren’t quite ready to challenge the world’s best on the biggest stage. A World Cup championship likely isn’t going to happen in the next few tournaments, but all signs are trending in a positive direction for US soccer in general. Whether it’s the success of the MLS or its players succeeding overseas, US soccer as a program is in the best position it has been.