The U.S. Soccer Federation announced three men's friendlies on Monday. The Americans will play host to Paraguay on March 27 in Cary, N.J., then will oppose the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on June 2 before facing France in Lyon on June 9.
While the U.S., Paraguay and Ireland teams will all be at home when the World Cup kicks off in mid-June, France will be among the favorites to take home the championship in Russia.
A star-studded roster featuring Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Hugo Lloris has the French team at No. 9 in the FIFA world rankings. However, bookmakers have France as the No. 3 choice for the World Cup title behind only Germany, the defending champion, and Brazil.
The American team is still picking up the pieces from its failure to qualify for the World Cup out of a weak CONCACAF region. Coach Bruce Arena stepped down shortly after a loss at Trinidad and Tobago knocked out the U.S. team last fall, and U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati declined to run for re-election.
Newly elected USSF president Carlos Cordeiro plans to hire a general manager to oversee the men's national team before a new head coach is selected. It is unclear if either appointment will occur before the World Cup.
Dave Sarachan remains the interim head coach, having led the squad to a 1-1 draw against Portugal in November and a 0-0 draw against Bosnia and Herzegovina in January.
The U.S. team is 3-2-2 against Paraguay, with the Americans earning a 1-0 victory in the 2016 Copa America Centenario on a Clint Dempsey goal.
Ireland owns an unbeaten record against the United States in six matches played on the Emerald Isle. France is 3-0-0 with a 10-0 goal-scoring edge in all-time matchups with Team USA.
--Field Level Media