Update 7:40 p.m. While the USA picked up a 9th minute goal from Weston McKennie, these are some of the adjustments happening in these below frigid conditions.
Update 7:07 p.m. Here are some of the precautions the USA are taking ahead of tonight’s match. Also it looks like both teams are warming up with leggings on, which should make trapping the ball quite an adventure.
USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner will be allowed to wear this handwarmer during the match, as well.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) February 2, 2022
Spokesperson said that the muff (yes, it's called a muff) was given to the US by the Minnesota Vikings. pic.twitter.com/klcBWpEHTj
Update 5:50 p.m. Somehow it’s actually going to be colder than originally projected in St. Paul tonight. Yeesh. Have fun out there, American Outlaws! We hope you enjoy
chattering cheering the USMNT to an expected three points.
Concacaf World Cup Qualifying is down to the last four match days in this unusual cycle, and the United States is in second place, tied on 18 points with Mexico after ten games played.
But the USA should have their easiest match of the octagonal tonight at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota against Honduras, who have a record of zero wins and three ties through ten matches. They’re already mathematically eliminated from a spot in Qatar 2022, and Wednesday’s game is meaningless for them.
But are they going to play the match? Should they?
It’s expected to be 3° Fahrenheit at kickoff, with a wind chill of -13°. Yikes.
The worldwide football players union FIFPRO, to which the American players are members, “recommends that training and matches be cancelled and rescheduled when the air temperature is less than -15 degrees Centigrade and when the Wind Chill Temperature is less than -27 degrees Centigrade.”
-15 Centigrade is a balmy 5 degrees Fahrenheit, a threshold the pitch won’t be at when the whistle blows, and it’s only going to get colder as the match continues.
Technically the match official, Oshane Nation of Jamaica, has the right to cancel the proceedings if he feels conditions are unsafe. But US Soccer put this match in Allianz Field in the middle of a Minnesota winter on purpose, and the reason was to make things as uncomfortable as possible for their guests.
And with literally nothing to play for, I’m sure the Central American side is thrilled to be competing in temperatures it’s likely most of the squad have never experienced in their lives.
We’ll see if the match goes forward, and it should make for interesting theatre if you’re home and warm in your living room. But anything less than three points tonight for the USA and manager Gregg Berhalter would be a disaster.
The United States are a -650 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with a tie sitting at +650. Honduras enter the match as +1300 underdogs to win outright.