The U.S. men’s national team will meet Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria in its send-off series of friendlies right before the World Cup, SI.com has learned.
The Azerbaijan game is set to take place at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on May 27. The Turkey game will happen in Harrison, N.J., at Red Bull Arena on June 1, and the Nigeria game will take place in Jacksonville, Fla., at EverBank Field on June 7. The USA is slated to depart for Sao Paulo, where it will be based in Brazil for the World Cup, the following day.
Nigeria is the only one of those three teams that has qualified for World Cup 2014. Turkey, a World Cup 2002 semifinalist, finished fourth in its UEFA qualifying group behind the Netherlands, Romania and Hungary. It was also the final opponent the USA played before departing for South Africa in 2010 (the Americans scrimmaged Australia in a friendly in South Africa prior to the World Cup group stage). Azerbaijan finished fourth in its UEFA group behind Russia, Portugal and Israel. Azerbaijan, ranked 93rd in the world, defeated U.S. Hall of Famer Thomas Dooley-coached Philippines 1-0 as part of Wednesday's FIFA friendly slate.