U.S. men schedule March tilts against World Cup winners Argentina, Paraguay

i-e7d96348f4cc0f2a4e2d9257a8288448-messigoldenball.jpgArgentina, and likely Lionel Messi, almost universally acclaimed as the best player in the world at the moment is returning to the U.S. to play (AP Photo).

Not on the West Coast, unfortunately.

The U.S. plays Argentina at 4 p.m. March 26 in East Rutherford, N.J. live on ESPN2 and Univision.

Three days later, Nashville will be the location of the game against Paraguay.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

The matches fall on international fixture dates which allows the teams the ability to select a full complement of players. The meeting against fifth-ranked Argentina marks the ninth match in the last four years for the United States against a team ranked in the top five in the world.

Coach Bob Bradley sounds like he’s anticipating a re-run of the 0-0 draw in New York in 2008 between the U.S. and Argentina, whose lineup that day included one Lionel Messi:

“Argentina continues to be one of the most talented teams in the world, and we are excited to have the opportunity to compete against them. When you talk about the best players around the globe, the Argentines certainly contribute a lot of names to that list.”

“Paraguay showed during the World Cup that they are a creative and organized team capable of being very dangerous in the attack. Both of these matches give us a chance to continue to raise the bar for our team, and it will also be a great part of our preparation for the Gold Cup.”

Here’s the confirmed USMNT schedule in 2011 (so far):

Saturday, Jan. 22 — vs. Chile at Carson
Wednesday, Feb. 9 — vs. Egypt at Cairo
Saturday, March 26 vs. Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J.
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Paraguay at Nashville, Tenn.
June 5-25 — CONCACAF Gold Cup

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