Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Even before the U.S. Men’s National Team arrives in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the start of the World Cup, they’ll be racking up the air miles.
U.S. Soccer is currently planning a three-match World Cup sendoff tour that will see the USMNT begin with a game at Stanford Stadium, then a cross-country flight for a game at Red Bull Arena, before finishing in Florida, according to a report from ESPNFC.
The report adds that U.S. Soccer is in talks with Serbia, Sweden, and Turkey for them to be one of the match opponents for either the first or second game of the series, with Nigeria being the final match opponent. SI.com reported that the final game of the series will take place on Jun. 7, with the USMNT traveling to Brazil the following day.
“We’re still in discussions with venues and opponents, and at this time none of our send-off matches have been finalized,” U.S. Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe told ESPNFC.com. “We hope to have an announcement in the near future.”
Prior to the start of the World Cup send-off, the USMNT will convene at a training camp in Northern California. FIFA has set May 26 as the official release date for players on a nation’s World Cup squad.
Multiple sources also told ESPNFC that Jacksonville’s Everbank Field is a likely venue for the final match. The USMNT most recently played there in May 2012, defeating Scotland, 5-1, in a friendly match.
In 2010, the USMNT faced the Czech Republic in East Hartford, Conn. and Turkey in Philadelphia before traveling to South Africa for the World Cup. In 2006, the USMNT played matches against Morocco (Nashville), Venezuela (Cleveland), and Latvia (East Hartford) before heading to the World Cup in Germany.
Finally, the report states that the USMNT will likely play a friendly match in April against Mexico. As the match won’t be on a FIFA date, it’s likely that only MLS and Liga MX-based players will be selected from both teams.
The USMNT begins their World Cup program on June 16 in Natal against Ghana.
What do you think of this report? Would you like to see the USMNT play any of those opponents? Do you plan on traveling to see them play in California, New Jersey, or Florida?
Share your thoughts below.