U.S. National Team vs. Nigeria
Saturday, June 7; 3 p.m. PT; EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
The U.S. National Team is 90 minutes away from departing for Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and it will finish off the Send-Off Series with its toughest test out of the three matches against Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida.
The U.S. has won both of the previous matches in the series, winning 2-0 over Azerbaijan and 2-1 over Turkey. Dating back to a 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2, the U.S. has had six different players score its six goals, spreading the scoring out as the World Cup draws near.
Saturday will be the last test in front of a big crowd before the team leaves for Brazil, where it will open play in Group G against Ghana on June 16.
It can be expected that Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann will iron out the details of his starting lineup in the match against Nigeria after he made two changes to his initial lineup between the matches against Azerbaijan and Turkey. The positions in question have run up the left side, where Klinsmann is choosing between Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley at left back and Brad Davis and Alejandro Bedoya on the left side of his diamond midfield.
Those decisions, as well as the level of success of the midfield and forward Jozy Altidore, will be the major points of contention in the final match.
Nigeria, too, is heading to the World Cup, where it is a darkhorse to get out of the Group Stage. Set in Group F with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina and Iran, it will be tough for the Super Eagles to advance. However, Nigeria has plenty of World Cup tradition, making five of the last six tournaments and advancing to the Round of 16 twice in that time.
Now ranked 45th in the world, Nigeria is coming off of two draws in its most recent friendlies – a 2-2 tie with Scotland and a scoreless draw with Greece.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 pm PT on ESPN2.