The World Cup

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa is over and now we can turn our attention to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. We will cover everything from the qualifying games to the World Cup Final.

RoadToBrazilIf Brazil is the event of the summer then the USA is the prematch entertainment as 13 of the countries competing in this summer’s World Cup will play their final warm-up games in the USA before heading to Brazil.

For the first time since probably the 1994 World Cup, the current European, Asian and African champions will be playing in the USA.

Many of the countries will be taking part in what is called the Road To Brazil, which will kick off at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. where Turkey will play Honduras. It will end nine days later on June 7 in Landover, Md. where Spain will play El Salvador at FedEx Field. The Spain game is part of a double header along with an MLS regular season match between D.C. United and the Columbus Crew.

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landon US Soccer has announced that Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will play friendlies against Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria as part of their preparations for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The three games will be played over a 12 day period, giving the players time to adjust to the same timeline they will see in Brazil.

The U.S. begins preparations against Azerbaijan May 27 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif., and will then travel to the East Coast for the next two matches. In the second match, the U.S. faces Turkey on June 1 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., before ending June 7 against Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

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Spanish Soccer FansThe only weakness that defending World and European champions Spain might have is the lack of a world class number nine. But that is about to change as Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been named in Vicente del Bosque’s 22-man squad for the friendly at home to Italy on 5 March.

The Brazilian born Costa, became a Spanish citizen last year and after scoring 27 times in all competitions for Atleti this season, he is fearsome acquisition to an already loaded squad. The arrival of Costa has to worry fellow strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres who have been dropped by del Bosque for this match.

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Mexican-Coach-Victor-VucetichAs Mexico prepares for the World Cup in Brazil this summer, El Tri has lined up a series of friendlies in the U.S.

Mexico will play Bosnia-Herzegovina at Chicago‘s Soldier Field on June 3 and three days later take on Portugal at Gillette Stadium in Boston.

Mexico has previously announced a May 31 match against Ecuador at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Mexico Friendlies
March 5: Mexico v Nigeria in Atlanta - Buy Mexico v Nigeria Tickets
April 2: USA v Mexico in Glendale, Ariz. – Buy USA v Mexico Tickets
May 31: Mexico v Ecuador in DallasBuy Mexico v Ecuador Tickets
June 3: Mexico v Bosnia-Herzegovina at Chicago’s Soldier Field – Buy Mexico v Bosnia Tickets
June 6: Mexico v Portugal at Gillette Stadium in Boston – Buy Mexico v Portugal Tickets

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DWEnglandfansEngland have announced that they will play two friendlies in Miami as part of their preparations for this summers’ World Cup.

England will then play Ecuador on 4 June and Honduras on 7 June at Sunlife Stadium. It had been rumored that England would play the US, but the draw changed the type of sides that England boss Roy Hodgson wanted to play against.

England were paired with Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D at the World Cup draw held in Rio last December.

“I’m delighted with the games we have been able to secure and the programme running up to the World Cup in general” said Hodgson.

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Gianluigi BuffonItaly have been drawn in Group D for next summer’s World Cup, alongside Uruguay, Costa Rica and England.

The Azzurri will kick off their campaign in Manaus on June 15 against England with kick off at 02.00 GMT.
Cesare Prandelli’s men then travel to Recife to face Costa Rica on June 20 before ending the group stages in Natal with a match versus Uruguay on June 24.

All three games will be in northern cities which are known for their heat and humidity at that time of year.

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Golden Teamgeist & World CupThe 2014 World Cup Draw was held in Brazil on Friday and neither USA boss Jurgen Klinsmann or England boss Roy Hodgson could have been happy with the draw.

The US were drawn in Group G against Germany, Portugal and Ghana. The USA’s first match will be June 16 in Natal against Ghana, which eliminated the Americans at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

The U.S. meets Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo six days later in the Amazon rain forest city Manaus, before playing Germany in Recife on June 26. In all the American players and fans will travel about 9,000-miles around Brazil, just for these games.

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world cup 2014The opening games of the World Cup playoffs on Wednesday were massively disappointing as Mexico and Uruguay thrashed New Zealand and Jordan respectively.

I understand FIFA’s idea of giving more teams from different parts of the world the ability to qualify for the World Cup Final, but what we learned on Wednesday was that there is a huge variation on competitiveness between the different federations.

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MON and Roy KeaneTwo of the most passionate Irishmen in world football have agreed to take over the reigns for the Republic of Ireland, a move that will either inspire a nation or lead to a lot of spilled Guinness.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have confirmed that Martin O’Neill will become the new manager of the Republic of Ireland, replacing the departed Giovanni Trapattoni while former Ireland captain Roy Keane will be his assistant.

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When Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the USA against Panama in the Gold Cup Final in July we all thought that his World Cup dream was over.

But Holden is making a faster recovery than expected and believes he could be back in action by February – in time to win a place in the squad for Brazil.

‘I’m doing some great work rehab-wise,’ said Holden is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying.

‘The plan is, by December, I’m looking to be back out on the field in terms of doing some ball work, stepping up my fitness and getting that core fitness back.

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