The US Soccer Federation has announced the first of two friendlies for late May/early June on Thursday. The US Men’s National team will host Belgium on May 29 at Cleveland’s FirstEngery Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
The US is also expected (rumored) to play Germany on June 3 in Washington D.C. as part of the Centennial celebration for the USSF.
These are two good tests for the US just before the June World Cup qualifiers. I am a bit wary of a repeat of last year’s summer qualifiers that saw the US struggle a little bit after three quick friendlies just prior to WC qualifiers.
The previous four meetings against Belgium have been on foreign soil. Playing in its first World Cup match ever, the US collected a 3-0 victory against Belgium on July 13, 1930, in Montevideo, Uruguay. That would mark the US’s only win against the Belgians.
The other three encounters took place in Belgium, where the U.S. has failed to score. Overall, the Belgians hold a 3-1-0 advantage in the series. In the last meeting, a disallowed goal by Maurice Edu in the 86th minute left the U.S. with a 1-0 loss in rainy conditions on Sept. 6, 2011, in the third match coached by Jurgen Klinsmann.
Cleveland last hosted the US National team back in 2006, during the Send Off series before the 2006 FIFA World Cup.