The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off in just over three months, and the U.S. men’s national team has announced the steps it will take en route to Brazil.
On Thursday, the U.S. Soccer federation unveiled its World Cup “Send-Off Series.” The national team will face Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria before flying to its World Cup base in Sao Paulo.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the schedule we have put together for the Send-Off Series,” national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. “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. There has been amazing support from our fans these last years on our path to Brazil, and we know there will be awesome atmospheres in each of the stadiums. It’s the perfect way to start our journey.”
Klinsmann will announce a provisional World Cup squad in mid-May. He will then hold a training camp before the “Send-Off Series” begins.
The U.S. will then play Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif., on May 27. Next it will play Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on June 1. The series will conclude on June 7 when the U.S. plays Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
All three games will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas.
The U.S. has been drawn into Group G of the World Cup — the dreaded “Group of Death” — against Ghana, Portugal and Germany. The Americans’ World Cup journey begins on June 16 against Ghana.