World Cup: USMNT to play Belgium in closed-door scrimmage in Sao Paulo on June 12
The US national team's already jam-packed schedule before the World Cup just got a little busier.
FIFA announced on Friday that the US and Belgium will square off in a closed-door scrimmage in São Paulo on June 12, the day the World Cup kicks off, to finalize their preparations for the tournament. The match could offer a preview of a Round of 16 showdown if both the US and Belgium get out of their respective groups, and will mark the third time the two nations have squared off since Jurgen Klinsmann was appointed head coach of the US team in July 2011.
The Americans last played the talented Belgians in May 2013, suffering a 4-2 loss in Cleveland. Prior to that match, the US traveled to Brussels in September 2011, enduring a 1-0 defeat in Klinsmann's third match in charge of the program.
The US – who begin their pre-World Cup camp next week – open the tournament on June 16 vs. long-time nemeses Ghana. The Americans then take on Portugal and Germany to close out group play (see full World Cup schedule).
Before heading to Brazil for the tournament, the US will play three home friendlies. The Americans take on Azerbaijan on May 27 in San Francisco before heading to Harrison, N.J., to battle Turkey. Klinsmann's squad plays its final match on US soil in Jacksonville, Fla., on June 7 against Nigeria.