March 14, 2013
WORLD CUP WARMUP
USA men to host Belgium in Cleveland on May 29
CHICAGO---As a warmup for its World Cup qualifying games in June, the U.S. National Team will host Belgium for the first time when the teams meet at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio on May 29.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
"Belgium is definitely a team on the rise," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. "If you look at their roster, they have quality players from top to bottom who are on some of the biggest clubs in Europe. It's a big opportunity for us and a great way to start the summer as we prepare for the World Cup qualifiers."
The previous four meetings against Belgium have been on foreign soil. Playing in its first World Cup match, the U.S. recorded a 3-0 win over Belgium on July 13, 1930, in Montevideo, Uruguay. The other three encounters took place in Belgium, where the U.S. has failed to score. The Belgians hold a 3-1-0 advantage in the series. In the last meeting, a disallowed goal by Maurice Edu in the 86th minute left the U.S. with a 1-0 loss in rainy conditions on Sept. 6, 2011, in the third match coached by Klinsmann.
Ranked No. 19 in the FIFA World Rankings, the Belgians are in first place in Group A of UEFA qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Red Devils boast an array of talent plying their trade in top teams across Europe, including Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini (club teammate of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard), Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany and Chelsea striker Eden Hazard.