Reports have surfaced in Iran claiming that the United States has approached the Middle Eastern country about possibly participating in a mini-tournament on American soil prior to next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. The U.S. Soccer Federation has yet to either confirm or deny the reports, although U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told a briefing on Monday: "We've always said we were open to direct negotiations and talks with the Iranians, so where a better place than on the soccer field, right?"
Meanwhile, Ali Kafashian, head of Iran’s soccer federation, has been quoted as saying: "We have obtained the approval from the U.S. soccer federation for a football tournament that will involve both national teams." No date or location has been mentioned, although it has been suggested that four teams would compete, with the other two nations being as yet undisclosed.
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe would only confirm that the USSF is considering hosting a tournament for countries that have qualified for Brazil 2014. "We have been actively talking to numerous federations that have qualified for the World Cup about playing in the U.S. in late May and early June," he said. "All of these discussions are preliminary and we do not have any matches set at this point."