It is indeed a huge week for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team,and it all begins tonight in East Hartford, Connecticut, where U.S. Head Coach Bob Bradley and his squad play an international friendly against the Czech Republic.
This game, along with Saturdays friendly in Philadelphia against Turkey, are part of the teams send off tour before heading to South Africa to begin preparation for next month’s World Cup Soccer Tournament.
Tournament rules require that the final 23-man roster be submitted by June 1 to FIFA. A preliminary list of 30 players had to be submitted by May 11 by all 32 teams. According to a new regulation, the 23 players on the final roster must come from the original preliminary roster.
Once the rosters are finalized, a team may replace an injured player up to 24 hours prior to their first match of the tournament. In this case, the replacement player does not have to be selected from the 30-man preliminary list.
With that said, Bob Bradley is set to reveal his final 23-man FIFA World Cup roster tomorrow, May 26, during a live broadcast of ESPN’s daytime Sports Center. All the players selected for the tournament in South Africa will be on the ESPN campus for the announcement that will take place during the 1 p.m. ET hour of the show
Not only does this announcement make sense, but is very convenient given the fact that the ESPN campus in Bristol, CT, is a short ride on interstate 84 west from the site of tonight’s game in East Hartford
So for many U.S. players, tonight’s game against the Czech Republic will be their last opportunity to play before that World Cup roster is decided.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. ET touch live on ESPN and Galavision. ESPN will have a 30-minute pregame show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow online via ussoccer.com’s Match Tracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.
The U.S. is slated to begin first round World Cup play in Group C and open play against England on June 12 in Rustenburg, with matches to follow on June 18 against Slovenia in Johannesburg and Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.