The first U.S. Soccer staffers begin leaving Tuesday for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw, set for Friday in the Brazilian state of Bahia.
United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann will leave Wednesday, arriving Thursday after the flight of almost 13 hours from California. There he will join up with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and U.S. Soccer’s managing director of administration Tom King.
There will still be plenty of work for the central figures and for support staff once the draw happens on Friday. In fact, in some ways the work is just beginning.
The team already has its resort hotel and training ground (it’s “base camp”) selected in Sao Paolo; that won’t change no matter what venues to which the United States finds itself dispatched on Friday.
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But U.S. officials will go on full site inspections for each of the assigned venues, which means taking a look at hotels and stadiums. (The team will train at its base in Sao Paulo, holding just one training in the venue city, and that one on so-called “match-day minus one” will always take place inside the stadium.)
Members of the U.S. Soccer contingent will also make another walk-through of its base camp facilities.
(MORE: FIFA will reveal details, pots on Tuesday)
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.