For those USMNT fans like me who try to schedule their personal and professional lives around match schedules, today's blog entry is for you!
The USMNT's 2012 campaign will be highlighted by the semifinal round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualification. The US is in Group A along with Antigua & Barbuda, Guatemala, and Jamaica. Group B consists of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guyana, and Mexico, while Group C includes Canada, Cuba, Honduras, and Panama. The winner and runner-up from each group advance to the Final Round of qualifying in 2013. The top three teams from that Final Round earn spots in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the team that finishes fourth enters a two-team playoff to try and make it into the world's most popular tournament.
Here is the 2012 USMNT schedule as of today (more friendlies will likely be scheduled between January and June, but those have yet to be announced):
January 21 - Friendly vs Venezuela (venue tba, but likely in the US according to Venezuela's soccer federation)
January 25 - Friendly at Panama
June 8 - World Cup Qualifier vs Antigua & Barbuda
June 12 - World Cup Qualifier at Guatemala
September 7 - World Cup Qualifier at Jamaica
September 11 - World Cup Qualifier vs Jamaica
October 12 - World Cup Qualifier at Antigua & Barbuda
October 16 - World Cup Qualifier vs Guatemala
*NOTE: The Under-23 US team will attempt to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics as well. Qualification for that takes place in March and April, with the Olympic Soccer Tournament hosted by London this summer. USMNT regulars such as Brek Shea, Timmy Chandler, Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo and Jozy Altidore are eligible. It will be interesting to see which of these young talents make it on the final Olympic roster.