The U.S. men's soccer team will spend Memorial Day weekend in the Philadelphia region. Talen Energy Stadium will host the United States vs. Bolivia at 6:55 p.m. Monday, May 28.
It will be the men's national team's first trip to Chester since 2015, when they lost the Concacaf Gold Cup third-place game to Panama in a penalty-kick shootout. The Americans' last game in the Philadelphia region was at Lincoln Financial Field last year in the Gold Cup, when they beat El Salvador in the quarterfinals.
Those games feel like they were a long time ago, even though they weren't. The program's struggles since former coach Jurgen Klinsmann's dismissal in December 2016 led to the stunning failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup; the resignation of Klinsmann's successor, Bruce Arena; and the departure of U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati.
Dave Sarachan is now the interim head coach, and will probably stay there until a new head coach is hired after the World Cup ends in mid-July. Carlos Cordeiro is now the president, having been elected to the job in mid-February.
The debates over why all of that happened still rage, and will continue to all the way through the summer. It won't go unnoticed that the U.S.-Bolivia game will be the Americans' last home contest before the World Cup kicks off. (And to compound that, World Cup broadcaster Fox will televise the game on Fox Sports 1. UniMás and Univision Deportes will carry Spanish-language coverage.)
Sarachan will take his team to Europe after the game here to play Ireland in Dublin on June 2 and France in Lyon on June 9.
It's expected that the U.S. roster will be made up of mostly young prospects playing in Europe and Major League Soccer. Perhaps that will give fans a little bit of hope that the national team's doldrums won't last too long. Whether Hershey native Christian Pulisic comes to town won't be known until much closer to the game date.