Mar 20, 2014, 8:29 AM EDT
“Everyone wants to avoid Manaus.”
Those were the words of Jurgen Klinsmann prior to last December’s World Cup draw. And now, three months after having been selected to play their second Group Stage game – a June 22nd contest against Portugal – in that precise venue, the U.S. coach’s words continue to reverberate.
Thursday reports from The Guardian detail the Amazonian venue in a state of disarray ahead of this summer’s tournament. To prepare the field massive amounts of fertilizer was laid to promote growth in the notoriously steamy region where average highs approach 90 degrees with humidity levels at 80 percent. The move proved excessive and backfired leaving large portions of the surface dried out and two sections of the penalty areas nearly devoid of grass.
The Amazônia Arena now faces a race against time to be ready for the opening match between England and Italy on June 14th. Jerocilio Silva, the state official for the stadium, has recalled the São Paolo-based grass company to restore the damaged areas of the pitch and “green crystal chemicals” are now being used to alleviate the problem.
How, exactly, the “green crystal chemicals” are any different from the previous fertilizer that allegedly triggered the problem is unclear. But Silva appears convinced that he has figured out how to deal with the acidic, sandy local soil claiming that this is “the treatment for it to blossom again.”
For the U.S. Men’s National Team, poor field conditions is just one of a number of things Klinsmann has prepared his side to expect in Brazil. During the USMNT’s training in São Paulo last January, Klinsmann visited Manaus and noted that while it’s “absolutely gorgeous” it’s also “a different face of Brazil.”
“‘Listen guys, it’s not going to be all perfect,'” he told his players. “‘We have to be very tolerant and we have to be patient with things. But if we know that in advance you adjust to it right away mentally, it’s no big deal. It’s no problem at all.'”
In addition to England v. Italy and the United States v. Portugal, Manaus will host two other Group Stage matches: Cameroon v. Croatia on June 18th and Honduras v. Switzerland on June 25th.
Sep 22, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 8:32 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 7:53 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 12:37 AM EDT
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Sep 22, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 9:07 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 8:27 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 7:02 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT
Alessandro Florenzi hugged and kissed his grandmother in the Stade Olimpico stands following his goal in AS Roma’s 2-0 victory over Cagliari.
Sep 21, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT
Everton manager Roberto Martinez laments loss to Crystal Palace, saying that his squad lost its drive for victory.
Sep 21, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
One England international paid respects to another as a legend scored an emotional goal for his new team against his old.
Sep 21, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 12:57 PM EDT
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Sep 21, 2014, 12:55 PM EDT
Everton started early and saw much of the ball but Crystal Palace got a few breaks and took advantage to pick up their first win of the season.
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