USMNT’s World Cup training base in Qatar as preparation begins

AL RAYYAN, Qatar – At around 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon, a call to prayer came from a loudspeaker somewhere in this neighborhood on the outskirts of Doha at Thani bin Jassim Stadium.

There is nothing special about this humble 20-year-old, 21,000-seat facility, whose seats are decorated in the blue and yellow of seven-time national champions Al Gharafa SC. It is a low, oval bowl with gradually sloping stands, resembling many arenas of this size and type around the world.

But the call to prayer was less familiar to US players who trained indoors and it was a timely reminder that the wait, build-up and anticipation is almost over. After eight years, the USA are in Qatar and back at the World Cup, and Monday’s practice session was the first in which coach Gregg Berhalter had almost his entire squad available. It also comes exactly a week before the Americans play Group B against Wales at a stadium just 13km away.


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