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U.S. national team to train for World Cup at Stanford

When the United States was hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Stanford Stadium hosted six soccer matches between some of the best teams in the world.

Stanford Stadium will host the U.S. men's national team in May as it prepares for the World Cup. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

Stanford Stadium will host the U.S. men’s national team in May as it prepares for the World Cup. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

The venue has shrunk in the 20 years since then, and this summer’s World Cup will be held in Brazil — but it was announced on Thursday that the Farm will still host some of the festivities.

The United States men’s national team will train at Stanford starting on May 14, just over a month before its World Cup opener against Ghana on June 16. The squad will likely spend about two weeks on campus as it prepares for an exhibition against Azerbaijan at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on May 27, a game that had originally been rumored would take place at Stanford Stadium.

Practices are closed to the public.

“Going to Stanford, and obviously one of the best schools in the country, with the facilities they have, is just [amazing],” said the team’s coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, in an interview released by the U.S. Soccer Federation. “I was totally amazed when I saw it the first time.”

The squad will train in both Stanford Stadium and its soccer counterpart, the neighboring Cagan Stadium. According to Klinsmann, it will also use Stanford’s gyms, locker rooms and “restaurants.”

“This is going to be the foundation of the World Cup, so it’s huge,” he said. “It will be a lot of fun, it will be a lot of work in a positive environment, in a great energy environment such as a college campus.”

Klinsmann also singled out Stanford’s climate, which will mimic that of Brazil, as a reason for training on the Farm. The team used Princeton’s campus to prepare for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where the temperature for the final was 57 degrees.

Though there are no Stanford men’s soccer products on the current national team roster, the Cardinal women’s squad has a close connection with U.S. soccer, as three Stanford alumna — Rachel Buehler ’07, Nicole Barnhart ’04 and Kelley O’Hara ’10 — played for the United States in the 2011 World Cup in Germany and in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

What’s more, the Farm has become somewhat of a hotspot for high-profile soccer teams in recent years. The MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes have played a game in Stanford Stadium three years running, and the Italian club Juventus F.C. trained at Stanford in advance of a game at AT&T Park last summer.

Contact Joseph Beyda at jbeyda ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Joseph Beyda

Joseph Beyda is the executive editor of The Stanford Daily. Previously he has worked as the football editor, a sports desk editor, the paper's summer managing editor and a beat reporter for football, baseball and women's soccer. He co-authored The Daily's recent football book, "Rags to Roses," and covered the soccer team's national title run for the New York Times. Joseph is a junior from Cupertino, Calif. majoring in Electrical Engineering. To contact him, please email jbeyda "at" stanford.edu.
  • Sergei

    Would I at least be able to get an autograph after they are done?

  • jatson

    not sure Klinsman is correct when he, according to this article, singled out Stanford’s climate which mimics that of Brazil. this couldn’t be further from the truth. Stanford in May is relatively cool and low humidity compared to Natal, Manaus, in the tropical zone of brasil. during the month of June, these locations are hot, muggy and extreme humidity. but then, this entire region has only one season, summer. always hot and humid. it is like july/august in south miami or houston tx. if Klinsmann think Stanford would “climatize” the players..we really need to be “good luck”…if i am to choose, i will train in Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore, which shares the climate to tropical brasil and have great soccer infrastructure. this coming from a Klinsmann fan.

  • Candid One

    Last year, June was Stanford’s heat wave. Weather is not climate. Klinsmann knows that after his worldwide travels. While high humidity is not a threat at Stanford, it’s heat has occasionally been world class. In general, California heat is dry, but it can get hot.

  • Yellow Star

    Are the practices open to the public?

  • dt

    Article states that practices are closed to the public, which is a major bum!