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United States to play Iceland in January friendly, according to sources

The U.S. national team is expected to open its 2016 schedule with a January friendly against Iceland in Carson, California, multiple sources have told ESPNFC.

The Iceland match would take place on Jan. 31, and it would be the first of two games a mostly MLS-based U.S. squad would play near the end of the annual year-opening camp. The second match is slated for early February, also in the western United States. And a source has indicated that Canada is the potential opponent.

Neither game has officially been confirmed. A U.S. Soccer spokesman said Thursday that venues and opponents for the Americans' first two matches of the year still weren't finalized. 

Training camp will open Jan. 4 at the StubHub Center in Carson. With MLS (and potentially a few European-based) players in their offseason, the early focus will be on fitness. 

The U.S. squad will be comprised of about 25 players. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is expected to pick a veteran-heavy side, with several U-23 national teamers also included. The U.S. U-23s will face Colombia in a two-leg playoff in March for a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Aron Johannsson will likely miss the United States' expected friendly against Iceland.

Iceland is ranked No. 36 by FIFA, four spots behind the 32nd-ranked U.S. In September, Iceland became the smallest nation to qualify for the European Championship. The islanders reached Euro 2016 at the expense of the Netherlands, the third-placed team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, that they beat twice en route to France.

Icelandic-American forward Aron Johannsson is not expected to be available to face the nation he represented at youth level. Johannsson is recovering from a hip injury, and Werder Bremen, his German Bundesliga team, begins the second half of its season on Jan. 24.

The U.S. will play a pair of 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala in March before hosting June's Copa America Centenario.


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