U.S. Soccer has officially announced that the planned January Camp trip to Qatar for the United States Men’s National Team has been cancelled.
.@ussoccer statement on the #USMNT's 2020 January Camp: pic.twitter.com/zl15icyzex— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 4, 2020
The USMNT was set to leave this weekend to train in a month-long camp in Doha, Qatar as part of their annual January Camp in place of the usual site in Southern California. January Camp, which does not sit on an official FIFA international window, usually has served as an opportunity for players largely based in MLS to break into the national team during their offseason while the players in most of Europe are still with their clubs. This year’s camp roster had many excited, with a number of promising young players featured. The unusual location served as an opportunity to logistically prepare for the 2022 World Cup while still training against opposition like Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga. After the camp, the team has a scheduled game on February 1 in Carson, California against Costa Rica. However, based on this statement, it appears that USSF has deemed the current political situation too risky and has cancelled the trip.
The relationship between Iran and the United States has deteriorated rapidly after the United States killed a major Iranian military commander in a drone striker in Iraq yesterday. While Qatar is normally a very safe nation for foreign visitors, the proximity of the nation to Iran and Iraq potentially puts any Americans in the area in danger.
U.S. Soccer quickly followed up with an announcement on an alternate camp location here in the United States.
UPDATE: The #USMNT will now open its annual January Camp on Jan. 6 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 4, 2020
After training in Florida, the team will report to Carson for the friendly against Costa Rica on February 1st.