U.S. to Host Iceland, Canada in Winter Friendlies


The United States men's national team will open its 2016 calendar against Iceland and Canada.

The friendlies, to be played on Jan. 31 and Feb. 5, respectively, will be hosted at the StubHub Centre in Carson, Calif. Jurgen Klinsmann's side will prepare for the games with a training camp that kicks off in the first week of January.

Four weeks of camp will culminate with the two matches, the first coming against 36th-ranked Iceland.

“Iceland is one of the up-and-coming soccer nations in Europe,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “They have been really impressive in qualifying for the European Championship for the first time, and they have earned huge compliments for their youth player development. Their players are now spread across the big leagues in Europe.”

After the Iceland contest, the U.S. will turn its attention to northern neighbor Canada, which enters 2016 on a six-game unbeaten run.

“As we know from our past meetings, Canada is a difficult opponent that is not easy to break down," Klinsmann said. "It’s a good experience to play against them, particularly for some of our younger players. They started off on the right foot in World Cup qualifying, having won at home and picking up a point on the road in El Salvador, so this will be a good challenge.”

Despite Canada's good form, the Americans boast a 35-year unbeaten streak against its northern neighbor. It's a test that the Canadians are looking forward to as they contunie their own preparations ahead of a pair of crucial World Cup qualifiers against Mexico in March.

"Every camp and international match is another opportunity to bring our players together and practice our systems and improve our levels," Canada head coach Benito Floro said. "USA is a strong opponent, so the match will provide good experience for our team."