CHICAGO (Aug. 31, 2021) – As part of the “Countdown to World Cup Qualifying,” U.S. Soccer will debut an exclusive highlight video featuring “New Day,” an unreleased song by American pop/rock singer-songwriter Ben Rector that captures the spirit of the U.S. Men’s National Team as it begins its journey to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
In two days, the USMNT will kick off its 14-game World Cup Qualifying campaign when it takes on El Salvador on Sept. 2 in San Salvador, El Salvador, before returning stateside to face Canada in Nashville and finishing up its ‘triple date’ in this international window against Honduras on Sept. 8 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Based in Nashville, Rector will headline a free concert during U.S. Soccer’s FanHQ event in advance of USMNT vs. Canada, presented by Volkswagen, on Sunday, Sept. 5. Country artist Lindsay Ell will open the show at 4:15 p.m. and Rector will take the stage at 5:15 p.m. prior to the match at Nissan Stadium.
“I'm genuinely excited to be a part of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup Qualifying campaign,” said Rector. “It makes it even more special to have a game in my hometown of Nashville.”
The match against Canada kicks off at 7 p.m. ET and fans can watch live on FS1, UniMas and TUDN. The concert will take place on the South Plaza between Gates 8 and 9 at Nissan Stadium. Gates will open at 3 p.m. alongside U.S. Soccer’s official FanHQ event, a pregame fan activation created to extend the fan experience beyond the 90 minutes on the pitch. The event will include music, games, food and more.
This is the first of seven home games the U.S. will play during the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying from now until March of 2022. Under the new qualifying format, a total of eight teams – increased from six in previous cycles – will compete in the Final Round, with the top three teams advancing to Qatar ’22. The fourth-place team will participate in an Intercontinental playoff for the last spot.
The 10 matches in the Final Round had typically been played during the course of 18 months. Due to schedule changes related to the global pandemic and the new format, each team will play 14 matched in seven-month period.
Last week, U.S. Soccer launched the USMNT’s “Only Forward / Solo Pa’lante” campaign, which is a rallying cry for a young, diverse and global-minded team that is humble yet resilient—as it looks to tackle the challenge of World Cup Qualifying during the next eight months. After an action-packed summer in which the deep U.S. player pool responded to adversity on and off the field and proved itself with two regional championship trophies, the USMNT is ready to show that they are prepared to change the way the world views American soccer.