England To Face Off Against US Men's National Team on May 28 in Chicago in First Visit Since 1993
LONDON (AP)- England's national soccer team will play in the United States for the first time since 1993 facing the Americans on May 28 at Soldier Field in Chicago and Colombia on May 31 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford N.J.
The United States likely to have most of its top players available will be preparing for World Cup qualifiers on June 4 against Costa Rica in Salt Lake City and June 8 at Panama.
"The trip will be an excellent learning experience as well as a unique chance to increase interest in English football among the American public England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said Friday.
England captain David Beckham and forward Michael Owen who play for Real Madrid are likely to miss the exhibition games. Real Madrid is scheduled to play its final Spanish League game of the season on May 30 at Real Zaragoza.
Other top English players could miss the tour if Liverpool or Chelsea reach the final of the European Champions Cup scheduled for May 25 in Istanbul Turkey. England's top midfielder Steven Gerrard plays for Liverpool. Defender John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard are with Chelsea.
Following the U.S. tour the English play World Cup qualifiers at Denmark on Aug. 17 and Wales on Sept. 3.
England and the United States reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. England lost to eventual champion Brazil and the Americans were eliminated by Germany.
"It is a very good opportunity for me to be with the players for a week and to take a closer look at some of the newer members of the squad in a different environment Eriksson said.
"Playing the USA in their own country is a big test. They are an excellent team who have made enormous progress over the last ten years or so and were very unlucky not to make the semifinals at the last World Cup. They have some very good young players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley and we have also seen in the Premiership that they have a choice of top-class goalkeepers."
Americans Brad Friedel (Blackburn) and Tim Howard (Manchester United) were voted the top goalkeepers in the English Premier League in the past two seasons and Kasey Keller started for Tottenham before transferring this year to Borussia Moenchengladbach in Germany.
The game at Giants Stadium is part of a doubleheader that includes a Major League Soccer match between the MetroStars and Chicago Fire.
In their last U.S. tour in 1993 England lost to the United States 2-0 at Foxboro Mass. tied Brazil 1-1 in Washington D.C. and lost to Germany 2-1 at Pontiac Mich.