The U.S. national team’s preparation for World Cup 2014 will take Jurgen Klinsmann and his men through Ukraine, the federation announced today. The match against the former Soviet republic is set for March 5 in Eastern Europe.
It’s an important date for one very big reason: it’s the only one between now and the May training camp (the May pre-World Cup training camp, that is) that Klinsmann will have his top team together.
The U.S. team is currently in Sao Paulo, getting players and staff familiar this summer’s training site, hotel, general surroundings, etc. It’s part of a month-long training camp that culminates with a friendly against South Korea on Feb. 1 at the StubHub Center outside Los Angeles.
But the full team isn’t in Brazil; perhaps only a dozen players who will make up the final 23-man World Cup roster are with the team presently.
By comparison, expect the roster for the March 5 match to look quite a bit like the final roster.
Because the match is in Europe, and because it is an official FIFA fixture date, Klinsmann will have access to all the European-based players. As Major League Soccer will not yet have begun, he should have all of those guys (an increasingly large contingent, one that now includes Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey) making the trans-Atlantic trip as well.
Expect announcements ahead on three matches for the United States in May ahead of departure for its World Cup base in Sao Paulo.