Miles Robinson (right): “I think I always felt like I was physically ready when the time came.” © George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC© George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

Let’s face it. It is a ridiculous schedule.

Three games in seven days, traveling to and from Central America to play in varying conditions with an opportunity to solidify a team’s chances of reaching the World Cup.

On Thursday, the U.S. men’s national team faces its second window of that congested schedule against Jamaica in Austiin, Texas. Then its off to Panama to play Oct. 10 before returning home to host Costa Rica in Columbus, Ohio Oct. 13.

Like every team in the Concacaf Octagonal, the USA had to endure similar travel challenges with three matches in September.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA was forced to cancel qualifiers from last year, complicating the process to determine which sides reach Qatar 2022.

In contrast to two games with at least an extra day of rest, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has been forced rotate players. So, he hasn’t been able to start the optimal Starting XI.

As for the players, they say to bring it on.

“The amount of travel that we have to do is tough but, in the end, we’re still at an advantage,” midfielder Cristian Roldan said. “We have a deep enough squad to rotate guys to get guys on the field without a drop off in quality. That’s the most important thing for us. That’s the attitude that we have.

“We got to embrace the challenge. We have to embrace the travel conditions. The short rest and get on with it The important thing for us is to get results. If we embrace the tough environments, and accept that it’s going be tough, you know we’ll be alright.”

Center Miles Robinson seconded that comment.

“It can be tough on your body, but we’ve got a great staff, sports science staff; we’ve got a great medical team to get us mentally and physically ready for the game,” he said. “I think I always felt like I was physically ready when the time came.”