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United States national team 2014 friendlies coming into view

Dec 9, 2013, 5:48 PM EDT

Belgium v United States Getty Images

As we reported last week, Tom King’s job last week for U.S. Soccer in Brazil was networking with other federation chiefs and administrators, hoping to arrange the best possible friendlies ahead of next year’s World Cup.

King is U.S. Soccer managing director of administration; he is the point person on arranging these things, ever in close consultation with U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured), who has the final word on these things. “Horse swapping” is how one U.S. Soccer insider termed the exercise last week.

Contracts will need signing before U.S. Soccer will announce any of this officially. But The Guardian in England reported that a United States-England friendly will likely land in Miami. (Previously, this was being talked about for Boston or D.C., but England manager Roy Hodgson wants a little more “hot and sticky” to this one, the better to emulate conditions in Manaus, where his team will meet Italy.)

Meanwhile, reports out of Canada say a U.S.-Canadian exhibition is en route. BMO Field in Toronto seems the most likely destination, as it is bigger than Montreal’s Stade Saputo (and would therefore generate a little more revenue). Vancouver’s BC Place is out, of course, because of its artificial turf surfaces. Same for either of the domes in Montreal or Toronto, even though they have far greater capacities (and therefore greater revenue potential, as well.)

In general, look for the United States to play in Europe  during the March FIFA date, and then to play two or three in the United States in and around May’s pre-World Cup training camp (including that one against England), and one more upon  arrival in Brazil. That one would most likely be near the team’s Sao Paulo base camp to help minimize travel.

  1. dfstell - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Do you think they plan to play someone who is just WAY better than us? It would make sense to play someone who we can bunker/counter against (like we’ve done against Mexico and Italy). I’m not sure what the point of playing Canada is. Is it just because they’re available and it sells more tickets than playing an intra-squad scrimage?

    • talgrath - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Playing Canada is more of an emotional thing, I think; get the players fired up before the World Cup with a little rivalry match while also facing off against a team that will likely help the US build confidence with a win.

      As far as facing a much better team, Germany and Portugal are out for obvious reasons. Pretty much factor out anyone in groups E-H, those teams may wind up playing us before the finals (however unlikely the USMNT reaching them are) and they don’t want to give away any secrets or insights; that leaves Spain, Uruguay, Colombia England and Brazil. Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil will have a lot of people want to play friendlies against them to get prepped for the World Cup conditions, it’s very possible we’ll play either Uruguay or Colombia heading into Brazil (Brazil itself seems unlikely). Spain is a possibility, but it’s unlikely they’ll want to tune up against the USMNT, unless they do something similar to England. Overall, I’d say to expect one match up against a very tough team before the World Cup.

    • bear06 - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:48 AM

      Klinsmann always wants his team to play against the best in the world.

    • px2ug - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      I dont think we are playing Canada. The link is a tweet that Canada is preparing for a pre-World Cup game in Toronto. It says nothing that the US is going to play them.

  2. rphillish - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:51 AM

    Any chance we can squeeze in an African team? Maybe an Ivory Coast, or even Egypt?

    • raingardener01 - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      I agree. I think the team should go up against an African team or perhaps one from South America: Chile, Uruguay or Argentina. In my opinion, playing Canada is useless and England? They’ve played numerous European teams over the past 2 years. And they should be playing in Florida, Roy Hodgson is right about that.

  3. footballer4ever - Dec 10, 2013 at 3:03 AM

    Oh yeah! Bring USA vs England in Miami! We’ll sure paint Sunlife Stadium red , blue and white :)

    • brettparnell - Dec 25, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      I’ll be making the trip down south from Canada if the US is playing England to help keep a section painted with the red and white of St George’s Cross. COME ON ENGLAND. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

      • footballer4ever - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        I hope you do. It will be a great football showdown between USA and England. I’ll be rooting for USA, but It will be great to watch Rooney, Lampard and Co. playing at Sunlife Stadium which will be rocking for sure.

      • footballer4ever - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        Update Alert: It’s been confirmed England will be arriving to Miami to play friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras. They wanted to play USMNT, but Klinnsman declined to play in Miami because it’s too humid and wanted to stay on the west coast. Even though playing the US would have been great FOOTBALL nations propaganda, it will be great event regardless.

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