US men to face top 5 team in June; World Cup Qualifying host city shortlist released
The current top 5 are Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Germany. Since all three European teams qualified for Euro 2008, which starts on 7 June, it is pretty safe to rule them out, which leaves the two South American powerhouses. The US men just played Brazil in the fall, and although I'm sure a lot of money was made out of it, I have a difficult time seeing the men in yellow back on US soil so soon. Which leaves me to guess the team for early June is Argentina.
As far as where? New York is the obvious choice provided they put down grass, but US Soccer loves Foxborough, which has no national games on the 2008 schedule. DC can also make a case, but US Soccer might be saving RFK for a qualifier. I would think Giants Stadium would land this one (combined with a Red Bulls game), but the Kraft family has a strong gravitational pull on the soccer federation.
Gulati also mentioned the possibility of adding another game in Europe ahead of their 4 June match against Spain (could this mean the training camp will be held in Europe?). After 2006, the federation promised harder tests for the men's team and it looks like they are delivering again on that promise.
The other bit of joy Gulati shared with us is the list of possible Wold Cup Qualifying sites for the semi-final round. RFK Stadium (DC), Pizza Hut Park (Dallas), Home Depot Center (LA), Dick's Sporting Goods Park (Denver), Qwest Field (Seattle), Toyota Park (Chicago) and Crew Stadium (Columbus) are the locations in the running for the three home games the US men will play if they advance to the semifinal round. Likely opposition is Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala and Cuba.
US Men's 2008 schedule:
19 Jan - US 2-0 Sweden
06 Feb - US 2-2 Mexico
26 Mar - US at Poland
04 Jun - US at Spain
08 Jun - vs. someone
15 Jun - vs. Barbados-Dominica winner at LA (8pm ET/5pm PT)
21/22 Jun - at Barbados-Dominica winner
If they beat Barbados-Dominica winner
20 Aug - Away
06 Sep - Away
10 Sep - Home
11 Oct - Home
15 Oct - Home
19 Nov - Away
Looks like a very busy year.