[USA MEN] For Jurgen Klinsmann, one of the benefits of clinching a berth at the World Cup with two games to spare is to get a headstart on making preparations for the finals. That includes the crucial matter of making decisions on who to take to Brazil. If he's going to look at anyone new, that will have to take place quickly.
2013. Two double fixture dates remain in 2013: Oct. 11 and Oct. 15 for the final two days of the Hexagonal and Nov. 15 and Nov. 19 for teams
qualified for the World Cup like the USA to arrange friendlies or for the teams still involved in qualifying to play off for the 11 berths that will remain up for grabs in November.
MLS games will be played during the October fixture dates, but the MLS playoff has been cleared the weekend of Nov. 16-17 so Klinsmann will be able to bring in players from MLS clubs still involved in
the playoffs, if he chooses to do so, for the two friendlies expected to be played in Europe.
2014. As a compromise to clubs to clear the
international calendar, there be only one international fixture date in 2014 -- on March 5 -- before teams must submit their provisional World Cup rosters to FIFA.
In addition, FIFA
designated May 19-25 as an official rest period. It had a similar rest period built into the 2010 pre-tournament schedule, but many teams began preparations immediately after the end of their league
The USA would be expected to play two or three home games in May before heading to Brazil. With its location as a stopping off point for teams headed from Europe to South
America, the USA shouldn't lack for quality sparring partners.
Probably the most important issue to address is the length and scope of a winter camp. With as many as 8-10 MLS players in
contention to make the final 23-player roster -- as opposed to just four in 2010 -- Klinsmann will want to gather them in January.
Oct. 11 -- World Cup qualifier vs. Jamaica in Kansas City, Kan.
Oct. 15 -- World Cup
qualifier at Panama.
Nov. 15 -- friendly date.
Nov. 19 -- friendly date.
Dec. 6 -- World Cup draw.
March 5 -- friendly date.
May 18 -- end of European league
May 19-25 -- rest period.
May 26-June 11 -- pre-World Cup friendly dates.
June 12 -- start of the World Cup.