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USMNT vs. Belgium closed door scrimmage canceled

The U.S. won't get any more match-like reps before the World Cup.


The United States was scheduled to play Belgium in a closed door scrimmage tomorrow, but it has been canceled. Belgium was concerned about the traffic in Sao Paulo turning the 40 mile drive into a multi-hour trip and called it off.

Scheduling Belgium for a closed door scrimmage was a little odd because of the possibility the two teams will meet in the round of 16 at the World Cup. If Belgium tops their group, which they are expected to do, and the U.S. advances as the second place team in their group, the most likely scenario if they advance, then they will play each other in the knockout rounds. Normally, teams that are in the same group of have any likelihood of playing in the knockout stages won't play each other in pre-World Cup friendlies or training sessions, but the U.S. and Belgium were apparently okay with meeting.

The U.S. has played three friendlies in the last two weeks, all wins as they topped Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria. With that kind of momentum and quality of play, especially against Nigeria, they don't really need another tune-up. That said, Jurgen Klinsmann obviously wanted it so it would have been nice to have.

Instead of the scrimmage, the U.S. will now have two training sessions tomorrow. Their first World Cup match is on Monday against Ghana in Natal.