As we reported last week, Tom King’s job last week for U.S. Soccer in Brazil was networking with other federation chiefs and administrators, hoping to arrange the best possible friendlies ahead of next year’s World Cup.
King is U.S. Soccer managing director of administration; he is the point person on arranging these things, ever in close consultation with U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured), who has the final word on these things. “Horse swapping” is how one U.S. Soccer insider termed the exercise last week.
Contracts will need signing before U.S. Soccer will announce any of this officially. But The Guardian in England reported that a United States-England friendly will likely land in Miami. (Previously, this was being talked about for Boston or D.C., but England manager Roy Hodgson wants a little more “hot and sticky” to this one, the better to emulate conditions in Manaus, where his team will meet Italy.)
Meanwhile, reports out of Canada say a U.S.-Canadian exhibition is en route. BMO Field in Toronto seems the most likely destination, as it is bigger than Montreal’s Stade Saputo (and would therefore generate a little more revenue). Vancouver’s BC Place is out, of course, because of its artificial turf surfaces. Same for either of the domes in Montreal or Toronto, even though they have far greater capacities (and therefore greater revenue potential, as well.)
In general, look for the United States to play in Europe during the March FIFA date, and then to play two or three in the United States in and around May’s pre-World Cup training camp (including that one against England), and one more upon arrival in Brazil. That one would most likely be near the team’s Sao Paulo base camp to help minimize travel.