Six Atlanta United players will represent their countries during the international window during late January and early February:
- Miles Robinson - U.S. men’s national team
- Brooks Lennon – U.S. men’s national team (Returned due to injury on Jan. 29)
- Josef Martínez - Venezuela men’s national team
- Ronald Hernández - Venezuela men’s national team
- Machop Chol - South Sudan men’s national team
- Caleb Wiley - U.S. U-20 men's national team
Continue below to read more details about their upcoming competitions and how to watch:
Teams in CONCACAF like the U.S. play three matches in this window. These matches are part of 14 total in the last stage of World Cup qualification that ultimately determines which nations will compete in Qatar later this year. The U.S. needs to finish in third place or better at the end of those 14 matches to earn an automatic berth in the 2022 World Cup. (A fourth-place finish would send them into a playoff.)
The U.S. has played eight of the 14 matches so far and is in strong contention to qualify. The national team enters January in second place in the CONCACAF group of FIFA World Cup Qualifying with a 4-3-1 record. If the U.S. wins all three of their matches in this window, and either Mexico or Panama also lose all three, then the U.S. will qualify for the World Cup.
This year, the CONCACAF final round of qualifying consists of eight teams – known as The Octagonal. In the past, only six teams competed in the final round. In this round, one point is awarded for a draw at the end of regulation (no penalty shootouts) and teams can swap players from game to game (there is no set or final roster). Additionally, although VAR was previously not used this round, it will be moving forward.
Here's everything you need to know about the USMNT’s upcoming matches and how to watch:
Thursday, January 27 – 7:00 p.m. ET
USA vs. El Salvador
- Lennon could make his World Cup qualifying debut if he sees the pitch on Thursday. The Atlanta United defender made the World Cup qualifying roster for the first time this cycle after debuting with the senior team in December.
Sunday, January 30 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Canada vs. USA
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
- The United States travels north to face the first-place team in the table, Canada. The anticipated matchup between the two teams at the top of the CONCACAF table is getting a lot of buzz, and tickets to Tim Hortons Field where the match will take place have already sold out.
Wednesday, February 2 – 7:30 p.m. ET
USA vs. Honduras
St. Paul, Minnesota
- The United States closes this FIFA window with a meeting at home against Honduras. The nation currently sits in last place in the CONCACAF table. In the last matchup in September, the U.S. beat Honduras 4-1.
While the U.S. is competing for a spot in the World Cup in CONCACAF, Venezuela is competing in CONMEBOL or the South American section. Teams in this grouping include two of world’s top FIFA ranked teams: Brazil (No. 2) and Argentina (No. 6).
Venezuela has only won once in the past eight qualifying matches and is currently ranked last in the group. With just seven points in the CONMEBOL table, it’ll be an uphill task for Venezuela to qualify.
Here's everything you need to know about Venezuela’s upcoming matches and how to watch:
Friday, January 28 – 5:00 p.m. ET
Venezuela vs. Bolivia
- Martínez is returning to the Venezuela national team after sitting out the last couple of international windows in order to rest his body during the MLS season. This will also be the debut for Venezuela’s new manager José Néstor Pekerman, who was handed the reins in late November. Pekerman previously coached the Argentina and Colombia men’s national teams.
Tuesday, February 1 – 6:00 p.m. ET
Uruguay vs. Venezuela
- Venezuela faces an Uruguay side that is 4-4-6 in World Cup qualifiers. This is a little underwhelming for a nation that boasts Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, two world-class strikers who both play in Europe. Uruguay’s new coach Diego Alonso will have a lot to prove against Venezuela and the final matches of the qualifiers.
Chol will join the Bright Stars in Dubai for two friendly matches in January. The Atlanta United Homegrown player has made nine MLS appearances and four starts during the 2021 season and tallied one assist. This is the 22-year-old's second national team call-up for South Sudan.
Friday, January 28 – 12:00 a.m. ET
South Sudan vs. Uzbekistan
Monday, January 31– 12:00 a.m. ET
South Sudan vs. Jordan
Homegrown defender and new first-team signee Wiley was called up to the U.S. U-20 men’s national team for training camp. The U-20s will be training at IMG Academy in Bradenton from Jan. 24-Feb. 2 as the team continues preparation for the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship this summer, a competition that will serve as qualification to the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.