U.S. men's national team to face New Zealand in D.C. in October friendly
The U.S. men's national team's final friendly before a presumed place in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hexagonal will take place in the nation's capital.
U.S. Soccer announced that the U.S. men will host New Zealand at Washington D.C.'s RFK Stadium on Oct. 11, which will follow an Oct. 7 friendly vs. Cuba in Havana. The two friendlies will be the final games before the final round of qualifying for Russia 2018. The U.S. can qualify for the hex as soon as Sept. 2, when it plays at St. Vincent and The Grenadines. A U.S. win coupled with a Trinidad & Tobago win over Guatemala that same day would punch the Americans' ticket into the final round.
The U.S. and New Zealand will meet for just the third time ever, with the last meeting coming in 2003. The U.S. is 2-0-0, with a pair of 2-1 victories.
For New Zealand, the match will be its second in the USA during the FIFA window, with the Kiwis taking on Mexico three days earlier in Nashville, Tennessee.
With the match set, the USA's schedule for the remainder of 2016 is as follows, presuming qualification to the hex (all times ET):
Sept. 2 - at St. Vincent and The Grenadines, 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 6 - vs. Trinidad & Tobago (EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida), 8 p.m.
Oct. 7 - at Cuba, time TBD
Oct. 11 - vs. New Zealand (RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.), 8 p.m. ET
Nov. 11 - CONCACAF hexagonal opening match (could be at home vs. Mexico)
Nov. 15 - CONCACAF hexgaonal second match