Jacksonville is new soccer hotbed

[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] Jurgen Klinsmann views Jacksonville, Fla., as a soccer hotbed in more ways than one. Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees on Saturday -- Brazil 2014 weather -- when the USA faces Nigeria at EverBank Field for its final tune-up match. And a record friendly crowd for the Southeast is expected.

Temperatures, Wed. Afternoon
88 Jacksonville
86 Manaus
81 Natal
81 Recife
72 *Sao Paulo
*U.S. World Cup base.

As of Wednesday, 41,000 tickets have been sold for the match, putting it on course to eclipse the crowd of 44,428 in Jacksonville for the USA-Scotland friendly in 2012.

More important in terms of World Cup temperatures, the USA is training in weather similar to what it will play in at the World Cup. If anything, it's slightly warmer in Florida.

“It’s definitely a very important piece of the puzzle, coming through Jacksonville and adjusting to a different climate, which is a bit more of what we expect in Brazil,” Klinsmann told reporters on Wednesday. “On the other hand, it’s a place we love to come through because we had a wonderful experience here a couple years ago against Scotland and had wonderful support from the fans.”

The USA crushed Scotland, 5-1, thanks to a hat trick from Landon Donovan.



PRE-WORLD CUP, Wednesday:
June 4 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
England 2 Ecuador 2
June 4 in Verona
Italy 1 Luxembourg 1
June 4 in Amsterdam
Netherlands 2 Wales 0
June 4 in Geneva
Algeria 2 Romania 1
June 4 in Frisco, Texas
Ivory Coast vs. El Salvador
June 4 in La Plata
Argentina vs. Trinidad & Tobago
June 4 in Montevideo
Uruguay vs. Slovenia
June 4 in Valparaiso
Chile vs. Northern Ireland

ALGERIA MATCH HALTED. Even peaceful Geneva could not escape soccer violence. A World Cup warm-up Algeria and Romania was halted in the first half when Algerian fans threw flares and bottles onto the field.

Play was only resumed at the Stade de Geneve  after Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic made an appeal for peace to Fennec fans. Algeria went on to win the game, 2-1.

FRIENDLY RESULT WIPED OUT. FIFA has declared Belgium's 5-1 win over Luxembourg last week a no-contest because Belgium coach Marc Wilmots violated rules that limit teams to six substitutes in friendlies.

Complete World Cup Rosters (Updated)

Wilmots' seven subs mean Romelu Lukaku doesn't get credit for his hat trick and Adnan Januzaj's senior debut for Belgium was wiped off the books.
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