[DATEBOOK] Florida is no longer represented in MLS, but it remains an important state for international action. The U.S. national team will face Scotland on May
26 in Jacksonville and then return to Florida two weeks later for its World Cup 2014 qualifying opener against Antigua & Barbuda in Tampa. The Scotland game will be the first men's national team
game on NBC Sports Network.
Between the two matches, the USA will face Brazil in Landover, Md., and Canada in Toronto as it prepares for the start of Brazil '14 qualifying.
The Scotland kickoff at EverBank Field is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network in the channel's debut broadcast of a men's national team game, as well as the Univision family of networks.
"Jacksonville has an amazing facility and is the perfect place for us to begin our important summer schedule," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "We are excited to bring the U.S. national team back to a part of the country we haven't visited in many years. It's fantastic that we can continue to give fans in different parts of the country the chance to share in the journey."
The USA will host Antigua & Barbuda on June 8 at Raymond James Stadium, marking the first World Cup qualifier in the state of Florida since the USA defeated Mexico 2-1 on Nov. 23, 1980, in Ft. Lauderdale. The semifinal round opener begins at 7 p.m. ET live on ESPN, ESPN3 and the Univision family of networks.
"Our focus since last summer has been to prepare this team for World Cup qualifying, and we are thrilled that we can start the process in Tampa," said Klinsmann. "It's critical that we start qualifying off on the right foot, so to be in a place where the team has had such great support is a huge positive for us. The players always talk about how great the surface is at Raymond James Stadium, so overall we think it is the ideal venue."