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Newsy day ahead for United States national team, World Cup

Nov 7, 2012, 8:40 AM EDT

Brasil 2014 mascot

By late into the evening we’ll have a “mostly complete” picture of final round qualifying in the region for World Cup 2014.

The United States learns its World Cup final round qualifying schedule today as officials from FIFA and CONCACAF gather in Miami for final draw of six remaining nations. Those countries are:

  • United States
  • Costa Rica
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Panama

The final round schedule’s skeleton is already set; the teams already know when they will play; the first match is February 6, and scheduling runs through the final day in October.

But right now the arrangement of matches says simply A vs. B, C vs. D, etc., on the assigned dates. Tonight in Miami, teams will be drawn into those slots.

As for the selection of venues to host the matches assigned here: that comes later. Bet the farm on this: U.S. officials are hopeful of an early date against Mexico. The colder the better, you know.

Meanwhile, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann is making final choices for the team that faces Russia at Kuban Stadium in Krasnodar on Nov. 14.

U.S. Soccer has not said when the roster will be released. But if we’re already a week away from the match, I’m sure we won’t know until Monday at the earliest, based on what the federation has done in the past. Klinsmann prefers to let the final weekend of matches play out prior to roster announcement.

We do know Russia’s team, and we know that Andrei Arshavin isn’t on it, which is too bad. Russian manager Fabio Capello elected not to call Arsenal’s underachieving attacker.

(Of course, today could be even more newsy #USMNT-wise, but for this.  Grrrrr!)

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