WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2011 - In preparation for crucial World Cup qualifying games later in the year in 2012, the U.S. team will play exhibition games against Venezuela at Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 21, and Panama in Panama City four days later. The games are not on FIFA fixture dates and the rosters will likely be made up of mainly of home-based players from Major League Soccer.
According to reports, the team also has a tentative game against Italy on the road on Feb. 29, where most of the U.S. team’s overseas players would likely be on the roster. That game is on a FIFA international date.
“It’s very important that we start the year off in the right way with a good training camp and two challenging games,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “…Venezuela has done well to start World Cup qualifying and they earned a big victory against Argentina. Panama is a team the players know well from the Gold Cup, and we think traveling to Central America before qualifying is important to give them a taste of what the environment will be like there.”
The U.S. team has a 2-4-1 record since Klinsmann took over from Bob Bradley. The Americans have been drawn into Group A of CONCACAF semifinal round qualifying for the World Cup and will play Anigua and Barbuda, Guatemala and Jamaica. The top two nations advance to the six-team regional finals in 2013. Below is the team’s 2012 schedule.
2012 U.S. team schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 21 – vs. Venezuela at Glendale, Ariz., 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 25 – vs. Panama at Panama City, TBA
Wednesday, Feb. 29 – at Italy (tentative)
a-Friday, June 8 – vs. Antigua and Barbuda at U.S. site TBA
a-Tuesday, June 12 – at Guatemala
a-Friday, Sept. 7 – at Jamaica
a-Tuesday, Sept. 11 – vs. Jamaica at U.S. site TBA
a-Friday, Oct. 12 – at Antigua and Barbuda
a-Tuesday, Oct. 16 – vs. Guatemala at U.S. site TBA
*a-World Cup qualifier
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