U.S. World Cup tuneup matches update

From the ever reliable Soccer Insider, Stephen Goff:

We know that the U.S. national team will play two friendlies in late May before leaving for the World Cup in South Africa. We know both matches will be played at home, capping two weeks stateside for the 23-man roster.

The latest buzz is that the second game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Memorial Day weekend. Ireland and Turkey, among many others, have been suggested as the possible opponent, but I haven’t heard any specifics recently.

As for the first match, I am told that the USSF is in negotiations to utilize Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., and that the most likely foe is the Czech Republic. The Americans have made two previous visits to the 40,000-seat stadium: a qualifier in 2005 against Trinidad and Tobago and the final tuneup before the ’06 World Cup, against Latvia. The Czechs, who routed the Americans in the ’06 Cup opener, failed to qualify this time, finishing behind Slovakia and Slovenia (a U.S. opponent this summer).

Words of extreme caution: Nothing is official and plans could change, but it does seem the USSF is close to finalizing at least a portion of its pre-Cup plans soon.

My only question is why are they only playing two warm up matches, rather than the usual three? Is there less time between the end of the European season and the World Cup than in previous years?

I was really hoping for a west coast date, but I suppose playing out east makes sense with the long flight to South Africa.

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