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February 17, 2010
MNT to host Czech Republic, Turkey in World Cup Send-Off Series

Tim Howard and the U.S. National Team could be playing in Connecticut prior to the World Cup.
Tim Howard and the U.S. National Team could be playing in Connecticut prior to the World Cup.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The U.S. Men’s National Team will complete their domestic World Cup tune-up schedule by facing the Czech Republic on May 25 (site TBD) and Turkey on May 29 at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

One possible site that has been mentioned for the game against the Czech Republic is Rentschler Field in East Hartford, which served as the location for a U.S. qualifier for the 2006 World Cup against Trinidad & Tobago and also as the pre- World Cup send off point with a match against Latvia.

Kickoff for the Philadelphia match, which will be televised live on ESPN 2 and Galavision, is 2:00 pm. Tickets start at $25 and go on sale to the general public on February 24 through U.S. Soccer, Ticketmaster and the stadium box office. An advance sale for Visa cardholders begins February 23 at 10:00 am.

The U.S. men are 0-1-1 all-time against Turkey, and have never faced them on home soil. The two sides' most recent meeting came during the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, with the Turks collecting a 2-1 victory in Lyon, France.

The farewell match also will be only the second MNT visit to Philadelphia since 1992. Last July, the USA captured a 2-1 overtime victory against Panama in the quarterfinals of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Buoyed by a boisterous crowd of 32,000, the USA came from behind to defeat their Central American rivals in the only Men's National Team game to date at Lincoln Financial Field.

Before concluding its U.S.-based World Cup preparations in Philadelphia, Bradley's team will meet the Czech Republic on May 25. The location of the game will be determined in the near future.

The USA has faced the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) on two occasions, both coming in World Cups. Four years ago the U.S. fell 3-0 to the Czechs, then ranked No. 2 in the world, in Gelsenkirchen to open the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany before bouncing back five days later to draw 1-1 with eventual World Champions Italy. Czechoslovakia handed a young U.S. team a 5-1 loss on June 10, 1990, in Italy in the Americans first match in a World Cup in 40 years.

“We are very pleased to get two quality opponents in the Czech Republic and Turkey in preparation for the World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “These games will provide a great opportunity to fine tune our plans for the matches in South Africa and test ourselves against some of the better teams in Europe.

“We are particularly excited about playing our final match in the United States prior to the World Cup in Philadelphia, a city rich in soccer tradition. Lincoln Financial Field has proven to be an excellent venue for international soccer, and the fans have shown tremendous support for the sport. We anticipate a fantastic environment in our last game before heading to South Africa.”

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