US Soccer announced a pair of fall friendlies for the USMNT as they begin their long road to hosting the 2026 World Cup, with repeat World Cup foes Germany and Ghana visiting in mid-October.
While the press release from US Soccer officially billed these games as “preparation for its quarterfinal matches in the CONCACAF Nations League”, the quality of the two visitors will far surpass the comparable regional minnows that they will face over two legs several weeks later.
The team, who are aiming to have hired the next long-term head coach well before the October window, will first host Germany on October 14 at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut.
The team last played in that venue five years prior, when they drew 1-1 against Peru in front of a crowd of nearly 25,000.
Then three days later, they will travel to Nashville’s GEODIS Park, home of MLS club Nashville SC, where occasional USMNT captain Walker Zimmerman plays, to host Ghana, who they have played multiple times in highly memorable competitive and friendly games over the last 20 years.
In both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, the Black Stars dealt the knockout blow to the Americans, in the latter instance, in overtime in the Round of 16. More recently, the USMNT got their revenge by defeating the African team in their first group game of the 2014 World Cup, with John Brooks scoring the late winner.
The Americans’ history against Germany in the World Cup is still lacking its happy ending, with the 2002 quarterfinal loss still a sore spot for many fans, and the 2014 group-stage defeat a fair, but still disappointing result.
More recently, both visiting teams had poor showings in the 2022 edition in Qatar. The Germans were uncharacteristically knocked out after group play, losing to Japan in their opener and only managing to beat Costa Rica thanks to a late flurry.
The Black Stars fared no better, finishing last in their group, with their only points coming from a win over South Korea.