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U.S. Soccer confirms three-game send-off series ahead of 2014 World Cup

Mar 6, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

Jurgen Klinsmann AP

Azerbaijan, Turkey, then Nigeria will face the U.S. Men’s National Team in a three-game send-off series ahead of the 2014 World Cup, U.S. Soccer confirmed on Thursday. The series will begin at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on May 27, move to Red Bull Arena in New Jersey on June 1, and conclude at EverBank Field in Jacksonville on June 7.

The U.S. opens the World Cup against Ghana on June 16 in Natal, Brazil, commencing a three-match group state that will cover 11 days. In announcing its 12-day, three-game send-off series, U.S. Soccer noted the similarity between that run and the 11-day gauntlet that hasthe U.S. face the Black Stars, Portugal, and Germany in Group F.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the schedule we have put together for the Send-Off Series,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in Thursday’s announcement. “We have some fantastic opponents that will help us get prepared for the teams we will meet in the World Cup, and also the opportunity to experience different climates and conditions in the venues … It’s the perfect way to start our journey.”

The series’ opening game will be the Men’s National Team’s first visit to San Francisco since 2006, with the game at Candlestick Park marking the first time the venue has ever hosted a national team game. The stadium is set to be closed at the end of the year.

The match against Turkey on June 1 will be a return engagement of sorts, with the 2002 World Cup semifinalist also participating in 2010’s send-off series. The U.S. won that meeting, 2-1.

Nigeria is the only send-off opponent who has qualified for the 2014 World Cup, with the Super Eagles representing the culmination of a gradual ramping up in competition the U.S. will face over the three-game set. On Wednesday, the reigning African champions drew 0-0 with Mexico at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

That ramping up may also be designed to emulate what the U.S. will face in Brazil. From Ghana to Portugal to Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann’s team will need to increase their level of play throughout June’s group stage, and while that level of play will be much higher than the trio of games the U.S. will face at home, Klinsmann seems intent on putting his team through the same motions they’ll see in Brazil.

  1. talgrath - Mar 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Very cool…I can’t wait for the World Cup, is it June yet?

  2. footballer4ever - Mar 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    That is a bunch of crock from Klinsmann and USSF!! Can someone keep USSF honest out there????
    Either they feel internally that playing England does not benefit them in preparing for WC2014, but don’t forget the lame excuse given just to contradict yourself. I was hoping to attend that match, but now I will go and watch England vs Honduras in the end.

    Per Grant Wahl at SI.com on 1/9/2014, this is what was said why they would not play England at Sunlife Stadium in Miami Florida.

    “U.S. Soccer and England’s FA had discussed arranging a friendly, the source said, but talks broke down in part because of logistics: England wanted the game to take place in Florida or on the East Coast, while the U.S. wanted it to happen on the West Coast (closer to where the U.S.’s pre-World Cup camp is likely to take place).

    U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told SI.com a few months ago that Florida was too humid to be a location for the U.S.’s pre-World Cup camp.”

    Now this is the most recent statements being given for games still being played in the east coast and in Florida:

    “We are absolutely thrilled with the schedule we have put together for the Send-Off Series,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in Thursday’s announcement. “We have some fantastic opponents that will help us get prepared for the teams we will meet in the World Cup, and also the opportunity to experience different climates and conditions in the venues … It’s the perfect way to start our journey.”

    • bear06 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Lol! Hyperbolic overreaction.

  3. tbonus333 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Forget that last comment. The USA-Turkey match in Philly I linked to happened in 2010. Yes – i’m a fool.

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