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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 02/15/2012

U.S. national soccer team sets venues for friendly vs. Scotland and World Cup qualifier against Antigua

The U.S. men’s national soccer team will play a May 26 friendly against Scotland at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., and its 2014 World Cup qualifying opener June 8 against Antigua & Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The announcement of the venues by the U.S. Soccer Federation on Wednesday completed the calendar of matches for the Americans in late May and early June:

May 26: Scotland friendly in Jacksonville, 8 p.m. (NBC Sports Network, Spanish outlet to be determined).

May 30: Brazil friendly at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., 8 p.m. (ESPN2, Univision, ESPN3.com)

June 3: Canada friendly at BMO Field in Toronto, 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network).

June 8: Antigua qualifier in Tampa, 7 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN3.com, Spanish outlet to be determined).

June 12: Guatemala qualifier in Guatemala City (time, TV tba).

The U.S. squad will gather for the start of training camp around May 15 at a site to be announced. Juergen Klinsmann is expected to name the strongest roster since being named U.S. coach last summer.

Scotland, which failed to qualify for this summer’s European Championship, is preparing for the World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in September in Group A with Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales.

EverBank Field is home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time the U.S. team played there was Feb. 6, 1999 — a 3-0 victory over Germany on goals by Claudio Reyna, Tony Sanneh and Jovan Kirovski. in front of 17,259 observers.

Raymond James Stadium is home to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Americans have played there each of the previous two years: a 2-1 win over El Salvador in 2010 (21,737) and a 2-1 Gold Cup loss to Panama (27,731) last summer.

The selection of a large NFL stadium seems odd for such an opponent like Antigua, especially with several medium-sized MLS venues available. But the USSF said it wanted a warm-weather site for easier acclimation ahead of a qualifier in Guatemala four days later. It also eases the travel demands getting to Central America.

By  |  11:17 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Tags:  U.S. national team, Scotland, World Cup qualifying

 
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