USMNT to face Cuba in D.C. in first match of CONCACAF Nations League

The Chelsea star leads a U.S. team that includes four players searching for their first cap

The U.S. men's national team will host Cuba at D.C. United's Audi Field in the first match of the CONCACAF Nations League, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday.

Washington, D.C. will play host to the inaugural match of the CONCACAF Nations League, North America's answer to UEFA's tournament of the same name that began in 2018.

Teams have been divided into three leagues based on sporting level, with the USMNT drawn into a group with Canada and Cuba. The top league features three other groups, headlined by Group B which features Gold Cup winners Mexico, Panama and Bermuda.

Following the group stage, the competition will continue with the winners of the four groups competing in a knockout tournament in June 2020 to determine a champion while the league also features a promotion and relegation system.

The Nations League will also play a part in CONCACAF's new World Cup qualifying format, which will determine the six teams competing in the Hexagonal Round of World Cup qualifying based on FIFA rankings.

The first of those games will be played in D.C. on October 11, as the USMNT will face Cuba before taking on Canada in Toronto in the team's second match four days later.

“We are excited to be competing in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League where not only is a championship on the line but we are able to play meaningful games in a competitive format," USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter said.

"We have seen how valuable the Nations League has been for Europe, and for this region it’s another important opportunity to raise the level of competition. As a team that represents the United States, there is something incredibly meaningful about playing in the nation’s capital, and we aim to produce not only a good result but a good performance.”

The USMNT is coming off a Gold Cup final loss to Mexico, as Berhalter's squad fell 1-0 to Mexico in the tournament finale.

Prior to the start of the CONCACAF Nations League, the U.S. will have a chance at mild amounts of revenge against El Tri as the two sides will face off in a friendly at New Jersey's Metlife Stadium on September 6.

After that, the U.S. will turn their eyes towards a second friendly in the September window with a match against Uruguay in St. Louis on September 10.

The U.S. will then conclude the year with Nations League matches against Cuba and Canada once again during the November window.