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What’s next for the U.S. soccer team after World Cup loss to Belgium?

Despite Tim Howard flying all over the place, the United States bowed out of the World Cup on Tuesday with a 2-1 extra-time loss to Belgium in the round of 16.

So what’s next for the Americans? For starters, the team’s 10 MLS players will fly back to the States to rejoin their professional clubs over the next few days (midfielder Mix Diskerud also will rejoin Rosenborg in Norway’s professional league, which follows roughly the same schedule as MLS). Defender DaMarcus Beasley, who plays in Mexico, and the team’s European-based players will get a little bit of time off before their seasons begin.

For the national team, the only match on the immediate schedule is a Sept. 3 friendly against the Czech Republic in Prague. The match will serve more as a warmup for the Czechs, who kick off their Euro 2016 qualification schedule against the Netherlands six days later. Sept. 1-9, Oct. 6-14 and Nov. 10-18 are FIFA international dates, meaning national teams can schedule friendlies, but the Americans have nothing on their slate as of yet, other than the match against the Czechs.

The first window for international matches in 2015 is March 23-31.

The next major tournament for the U.S. men is the CONCACAF Gold Cup, July 7-26, 2015. The winner will play the United States — the 2013 Gold Cup winner — for the right to play in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. If the United States wins the 2015 Gold Cup, it automatically clinches the right to play in the Confederations Cup, the eight-team tournament that is considered a rehearsal for the next World Cup. Expect a U.S. roster filled with mostly untested players at the Gold Cup.

The United States will host the 2016 Copa America Centenario, the annual South American tournament that also will feature six CONCACAF teams. This will be a pretty big deal. Then there’s the 2016 Olympics, also in Brazil, assuming the group of younger American players qualifies.

Soon after the Copa America ends in June 2016, the Americans will begin two-stage qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

More on the World Cup:

Fans of both the U.S. and the Belgium national soccer team gathered to watch the game at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. The U.S. was defeated by Belgium 2-1 in the World Cup Round of 16. (Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)

At end of U.S.’s World Cup, it’s Howard, heartache and hope

Live blog: Revisit all the action from Tuesday’s games

Argentina outlasts Switzerland for spot in quarterfinals

‘I believe that we will win’ started with Navy football

Knockout-round bracket | Individual stats leaders

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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Matt Bonesteel · July 2, 2014

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