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USMNT to face Brazil, Mexico and England as autumn friendlies are announced

7:52 PM WAT 25/06/2018
Christian Pulisic USA 2018
The U.S. national team returns to action in September with high-profile friendlies against Brazil and Mexico.

The U.S. national team still doesn't have a coach, but whoever is ultimately chosen to guide the team into the next World Cup qualifying cycle will begin against a tough string of opponents.

The USMNT will face Brazil, Mexico, England and Italy this fall, in a quartet of friendlies announced by U.S. Soccer on Monday.

The United States will return to action on Sept. 7 against Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey before traveling to Nashville, Tenn. to take on Mexico on September 11. That match will be the first between the CONCACAF rivals since they played to a 1-1 draw in World Cup qualifying in June 2017.

In November, the Americans will head to Europe for friendlies against England — on Nov. 15 at Wembley Stadium in London — and Italy on Nov. 20 at a site yet to be determined.

The United States is also in the process of finalizing a pair of October home friendlies as well, with Argentina and Colombia as the likely opponents. Those friendlies are expected to be played in Chicago and Miami.

“We are at the beginning phase of building our identity,” USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart said in a statement issued by U.S. Soccer. “These games are obviously huge challenges, and for young players it’s an opportunity to see the benchmark of some of the top teams in the world. We can use these experiences to learn about ourselves and take the next steps towards developing into the team we want to become.”

The Americans last took the field in their June 9 friendly against France in Lyon, a match that saw the United States impress in a 1-1 draw against the star-studded French squad. Prior to that, the United States suffered a 2-1 friendly loss to Ireland in Dublin on June 2.

The announcement of the autumn friendlies comes as the United States is still searching for a new coach. Stewart isn't formally scheduled to begin his GM role until Aug. 1, but U.S. Soccer has already begun the process of searching for candidates.

Current Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio, Iran coach Carlos Quieroz, Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter, New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch and U.S. Under-20 coach Tab Ramos are some of the names who have been mentioned as potential candidates. Caretaker coach Dave Sarachan, who has led the United States since Bruce Arena stepped down after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup, is not expected to be considered for the position.

The U.S. won't play an official match until the Gold Cup next summer, but with the program having made the shift to a younger generation of talent — including the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams — the lineup of strong opponents in the fall is a clear step toward trying to help that young group gain experience against top competition heading into the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup.