On this painfully frigid day in Philadelphia, local soccer fans have another reason to look forward to this summer. It was anounced Friday morning that PPL Park will host a major international friendly featuring two teams headed to the World Cup.
Greece and Nigeria will meet in Chester on Tuesday, June 3. The game is part of a series of World Cup tune-ups organized by Major League Soccer’s commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing.
It will be a rematch of a game from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when Greece won 2-1.
The kickoff time and TV broadcast information (if there is any, and hopefully there is) have not been confirmed. We do know, though, that tickets will go on sale March 17 via Major League Soccer’s website.
SUM has assembled a series of seven games between May 29 and June 7 involving teams headed to the World Cup, plus a few others. Given the warm summer climate in the U.S. and our proximity to Brazil, it makes plenty of sense for MLS to capitalize on the opportunity to host some big teams.
The series intentionally does not involve the United States. That’s in part because the U.S. Soccer Federation is handling the Americans’ sendoff games, but also because the goal here was to bring other national teams to America for their World Cup preparations.
Word is, though, that Nigeria will play the United States while the Super Eagles are over here. That game is reportedly scheduled for Saturday, June 7 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
The U.S. is also expected to play Ecuador on Sunday, June 1 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.; and a team to be determined on Tuesday, May 27 at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
Here is the full schedule of games in the SUM Road to Brazil series:
Thursday, May 29: Turkey vs. Honduras at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Friday, June 30: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Ivory Coast, venue TBA (St. Louis, perhaps?)
Sunday, June 1: Honduras vs. Israel at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Tuesday, June 3: Greece vs. Nigeria at PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
Wednesday, June 4: Ivory Coast vs. El Salvador at Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Texas
Friday, June 6: Greece vs. Bolivia at Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Saturday, June 7: Spain vs. El Salvador at FedEx Field, Landover, Md.