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

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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 will gear up for temperatures near zero degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of around minus-15 degrees.

While athletes can sometimes have more constitution than the average Joe in cold conditions, the frigid temperatures could be dangerous if skin is exposed, meaning it’s unlikely that any players will be in short 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.

The temperature for tonight’s 🇺🇸-🇭🇳 qualifier is projected to be ~4 degrees at kickoff.

Coldest #USMNT games at kickoff since 1999:

❄️ 22: Sun. in Hamilton

❄️ 29: Thu. vs El Salvador

❄️ 29: 2013 SnowClasico

❄️ 29: 2001 Dos A Cero

— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) February 2, 2022

“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.”

Arctic air with dangerously cold wind chills has settled in across the region. Wind chills of -25 to -30 are likely through tomorrow morning. If you have outdoor plans, be sure to dress appropriately as frost bite can occur in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/HpD2wuqY9h

— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) February 2, 2022

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.

Team guidelines in preparing for the cold in St Paul tonight#usmnt v #honduras pic.twitter.com/5xHj329VDg

— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 2, 2022

USMNT spokesperson confirms that players will be able to wear full overhead balaclava coverings and gaiters over their lower face/mouths during the game tonight.

Will probably see quite a few guys looking like this at Allianz Field. pic.twitter.com/OcstvodebH

— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) February 2, 2022

USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner will be allowed to wear this handwarmer during the match, as well.

Spokesperson said that the muff (yes, it’s called a muff) was given to the US by the Minnesota Vikings. pic.twitter.com/klcBWpEHTj

— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) February 2, 2022

Pre game coming up at 7 PM EST ON @FS1 ahead of massive WCQ for @USMNT vs Honduras. Join us!! @AlexiLalas @MauriceEdu @RobStoneONFOX @RodolfoLanderos @JohnStrong pic.twitter.com/JDYC4YXBW6

— Stu Holden (@stuholden) February 2, 2022

Greggg predicted starting line-up:

Winter Soldier

Iceman, Frozone, Wolverine, The Frost Giants from Thor

Wun Wun from Game of Thrones, Polar Boy, Elsa,

Mr. Freeze, Polar Boy, Mumble from Happy Feet 🇺🇸

— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) February 2, 2022

Gregg Berhalter addresses the team during morning walk thru. #USMNT pic.twitter.com/tWx8MlhrLY

— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) February 2, 2022

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

— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) February 2, 2022

The #USMNT players should take the field tonight riding taun tauns.

— Dan Lucas (@WFLADan) February 3, 2022

Fans react to the weather in Minnesota

My beer froze but let’s go pic.twitter.com/WUDTplCNr2

— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) February 3, 2022

Live shot of some early tailgating getting set up before tonight’s big #USMNT qualifier in Minnesota.

Go USA! pic.twitter.com/7k1OtytfCi

— Steve Davis (@SteveDavis90) February 2, 2022

Vamos #USMNT pic.twitter.com/ucRmrvsVVZ

— Mark Fishkin (@MarkFishkin) February 2, 2022

LOL someone in the pregame show crowd was holding up a sign that simply said “BALMY” #USMNT #USAvHON

— Phil West (@philwest) February 3, 2022

A USMNT spokesperson has revealed the team’s updated outfits to accommodate the weather in Minnesota tonight pic.twitter.com/uGuwnar8Et

— Connor Finnegan (@ConnorFinnegan) February 2, 2022

A USMNT spokesperson has revealed the team’s updated outfits to accommodate the weather in Minnesota tonight pic.twitter.com/uGuwnar8Et

— Connor Finnegan (@ConnorFinnegan) February 2, 2022

pic.twitter.com/loUOieqrZe

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2022

For the #USMNT game tonight do I stick these all over like I’m smuggling drugs and cash or just tape directly to my nipples. pic.twitter.com/EAeJT0ONQ7

— Matt VanBenschoten (@mschoten) February 2, 2022

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