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USMNT to start 2026 World Cup prep vs. Serbia, Colombia in January

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Who should replace McKennie if he misses the World Cup opener? (1:44)

Herculez Gomez debates who should replace Weston McKennie if his injury keeps him out of the USMNT's World Cup opener. (1:44)

The United States will start preparations for the 2026 World Cup with friendlies against Serbia and Colombia in the Los Angeles area in January.

The U.S. will play Serbia on Jan. 25 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles and meet Colombia three days later in Carson, California, the U.S. Soccer Federation said Wednesday.

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The matches are not on FIFA international dates, which means most Europe-based players will not be available. The U.S. roster will include players from Major League Soccer teams preparing for the season.

Europe-based players will return for CONCACAF Nations League matches at Grenada on March 24 and at home against El Salvador three days later. The biggest event on next year's schedule is the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts June 26 and ends July 16 in Inglewood, California.

After hosting the 1994 World Cup, the U.S. co-hosts the 2026 tournament with Canada and Mexico.

The U.S. open this year's World Cup in Qatar against Wales on Nov. 21, play England in a Black Friday matchup four days later and close group play on Nov. 29 against Iran.