CHICAGO — The United States will prepare for the World Cup with home exhibition games against Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Nigeria.
The US Soccer Federation says the 13th-ranked Americans will host No. 93 Azerbaijan at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park May 27, then play No. 42 Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., June 1. The US faces No. 47 Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., June 7 before heading to Brazil and the American base camp in Sao Paulo.
Of the three opponents, only Nigeria is headed to the World Cup. The US played Turkey four years ago in its final home game before going to South Africa.
One more game at Candlestick will be a nice surprise for many Bay Area fans with mixed emotions about the farewell of the aging stadium, which opened in 1960.
This will be the final scheduled game at the iconic former home of baseball’s San Francisco Giants and the NFL’s 49ers, who played their final season in the venue last year before moving into $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium. The Giants left for their downtown waterfront ballpark in 2000.
The Americans, led by coach Juergen Klinsmann, have the longest first-round travel schedule of the 32 nations. They open against Ghana June 16 at Recife, face Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal six days later in the Amazon rain forest city of Manaus, and close the group stage against Germany June 26 at Recife. They will return to Sao Paulo between games.