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What lies next on road to Brazil
by Paul Kennedy, September 12th, 2013 12:58AM
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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014

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[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.

Seven 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 spring seasons.

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.

International Calendar:
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 season.
May 19-25 -- rest period.
May 26-June 11 --
pre-World Cup friendly dates.
June 12 -- start of the World Cup.


1 comment
  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: September 12, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.
    Clinching a berth at the WC should allow JK to take a few minutes to work on his "other " job!!!! I have felt from the beginning that JK had 2 objectives from Gulati: one was obviously to make it to the WC; the second is to upgrade the US style of play and ensure that future player pools are skillful enough to execute the new style of play. For me, JK has done an exceptional job in both areas, even though execution of the attacking, passing game has had its ups and downs -- first half in Columbus being a notable "down". Even though the "win now" crowd will be apopleptic, I hope that JK gives more than a second thought over the next few months to the players destined to take us to WC2018. For me that will really be JK's world cup.

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