USMNT vs. Honduras to be played in frigid cold: Reactions to Minnesota weather conditions for soccer World Cup qualifier

USMNT vs. Honduras to be played in frigid cold: Reactions to Minnesota weather conditions for soccer World Cup qualifier

The United States has received plenty of criticism for its decision to play a CONCACAF World Cup qualification home game in St. Paul, Minn., in early February.

With Honduras coming to town for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff (6:30 p.m. local time), the USMNT geared up an official kickoff temperature of 3 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of around minus-10 to minus-15 degrees.

While athletes can sometimes have more fortitude than the average Joe in cold conditions, these frigid temperatures are dangerous if skin is exposed, meaning all players are in long sleeves or leave any cold-weather gear on the sidelines. The National Weather Service says that at these temperatures, exposed skin can develop frostbite in as little as 10 to 20 minutes.

MORE: USMNT vs. Honduras live score, updates, highlights

The temperature at kickoff for this match will shatter the record for the lowest for a USMNT match, which was set Sunday in the game against Canada. The temperature at kickoff in Hamilton, Ont., for the Americans’ 2-0 loss was 22 degrees Farenheit. These records go back to 1999 when kickoff temperature was first officially recorded.

“Obviously it’s going to be cold,” midfielder Weston McKennie said before the match. “It’s just something we have to adapt to and play just like in any other game. Obviously, with the weather we’ll take the right gear and wear what we have to wear, but we don’t want to focus too much on the weather. We just have to go out there and get the job done.”

USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner had a quarterback hand warmer wrapped around his waist to start the match, which had been approved by CONCACAF before the game according to reports, but the referee made him take it off moments into the match. 

The ball can harden in cold weather, but apparently that hasn’t bothered Weston McKennie who headed home the opening goal for the United States.

Media reacts to the weather in Minnesota

The United States announced that the team will provide players on both teams with proper equipment to wear in the conditions, and players will be allowed to don gear such as thermal head coverings that just leave the area around their eyes unprotected. Turns out, the gear comes directly from the Minnesota Vikings, who have experience playing in these conditions.

A thing that wasn’t on our To Do list while in Minnesota weather: dipping a shirt in water and watching it freeze.

Fans react to the weather in Minnesota

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.