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ASN Morning Read: It's Game Day In The Bay

The Send-Off Series gets underway with a friendly against Azerbaijan in San Francisco tonight; Azerbaijan coach/Klinsmann advisor Berti Vogts has his work cut out for him; Juan Agudelo's saga continues.
BY Jesse Yomtov Posted
May 27, 2014
8:20 AM
  • The last time the U.S. played at Candlestick Park was a 4-1 loss to the Soviet Union in 1979, while the last match the U.S. played in San Francisco was a 3-2 win over Japan in 2006 at AT&T Park. Tonight's game is at 10 p.m. ET (ugh) on ESPN2.

    Ranked No. 85 in the world, Azerbaijan performed admirably in World Cup qualifying, going 1-6-3 in a group with Russia and Portugal. Though the team lost both games against Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score.

  • Who do you think should be starting tonight? Make your own Starting XI.

  • After tonight’s match, Azerbaijan coach (and U.S. adviser) Berti Vogts has an insane travel schedule over the next few weeks. He’ll head back to Germany, then drive to Rotterdam to watch Ghana face the Netherlands on Saturday. On Sunday, it’s back to Germany to watch Germany against Cameroon. After that, Vogts will come back to the U.S. and scout Portugal’s match vs. Mexico in Boston on June 6. The next day, he meets up the team for the friendly against Nigeria in Jacksonville. Two days later, Vogts will watch Ghana take on South Korea in Miami.

  • Klinsmann talked about Jozy Altidore's growing confidence in camp.

  • Few notes from yesterday via Jeff Carlisle:
  • In non-World Cup news, Stoke City CEO Tony Scholes is still frustrated by Juan Agudelo's work permit saga and expects Agudelo will become a star, just not in the UK right now. Agudelo becomes a free agent July 1 and after a loan stint with FC Utrecht, will likely sign with a club on the European mainland.

    "We are disappointed by the saga, but you must multiply that frustration by 10 for the player, who will now probably play for a decent team in Europe somewhere. The irony is that he will probably be a success there, and in a few years a Premier League club will be prepared to pay a few million pounds for him.

    "English top flight clubs are always being criticised about high transfer fees. We are told the Germans are better, and the Spanish and the Italians. Well, Juan Agudelo can go and play in any of those three countries now because he'd get a work permit there.

    "Clubs over here may have to wait until he's proven himself in Spain and then pay £10m for him."

  • Great story by Jon Arnold on Stanford as a backdrop for U.S. World Cup training.

  • U.S. players talked to ussoccer.com about who they first told about making the World Cup roster. Matt Besler says his wife “wasn’t as excited” as he thought she’d be, but concedes she was at work and probably had to hold it in:

  • The Big Lead has an entertaining, arbitrary list of the best U.S. World Cup goals.

  • Scouting Ghana’s Andre Ayew.

  • As modeled by Nick Rimando, FIFA has some great bandages for after drug testing. No word on who the World Cup’s official orange juice and/or cookie sponsors are:
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