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U.S. to Face Czech Republic and Turkey in Send-Off Series for 2010 FIFA World Cup


USA to Meet 2002 World Cup Third-Place Finishers Turkey on May 29 in Philadelphia
MNT Will Face Czech Republic on May 25 at a Location to Be Determined
Send-Off Series Marks Final Home Matches Before Team Departs for 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

CHICAGO (Feb. 17, 2010) — The U.S. Men's National Team will face two of the traditionally stronger teams from Europe in the Czech Republic and Turkey in the Send-Off Series prior to departing for South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The USA will meet the Czech Republic on May 25 at a site to be determined before playing its final home tune-up match against Turkey on May 29 in Philadelphia. Kickoff at Lincoln Financial Field is set for 2 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Galavision. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and at twitter.com/ussoccer.

Tickets for the May 29 match in Philadelphia starting at $25 go on sale to the public Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Delaware Valley (including Macy’s, FYE and Boscov’s), and the Lincoln Financial Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages which include a premium ticket, a custom made official U.S. national team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

“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.”

The match against Turkey marks the USA’s first meeting against the 2002 FIFA World Cup third-place finishers on home soil. The U.S. National Team will return to Philadelphia – one of 18 cities included in the USA's bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 – for only the second time since 1992. Most recently, 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.

The U.S. holds a 0-1-1 record against Turkey, who made a memorable run to the semifinals of the 2008 European Championship. 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 game in Pennsylvania's largest city concludes a journey more than three years in the making with matches spanning four continents. Since the start of Bradley’s tenure in 2007, the U.S. men have compiled a 24-3-5 record at home.

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.

Following the Send-Off Game in Philadelphia, the U.S. will travel to South Africa to prepare for its first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The USA opens the tournament on June 12 against England in Rustenburg, before continuing Group C action against Slovenia in Johannesburg on June 18. The U.S. rounds out group play against Algeria on June 23 in Tshwane/Pretoria.
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