US explores pre-World Cup tournament with Italy, Chile and other absentees
By IANS | Published: 15th November 2017 06:11 PM |
WASHINGTON: The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is looking into the possibility of hosting a pre-World Cup international event featuring the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Ghana and Chile.
According to ESPN and the Washington Post, the USSF is exploring the idea with Soccer United Marketing, the marketing company for Major League Soccer (MLS).
The USSF indicated that talks were in the exploratory stage, so it is unclear at the moment if an actual tournament will be held involving the above-mentioned teams or just a series of friendlies, reports Xinhua news agency.
For every team involved, such an event could ease the fans' pain of a long-time waiting before the 2022 World Cup, especially Italy, who missed the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
The US failed to qualify for the first time since 1986, while one has to go back to 2002 to find the last time Ghana or the Netherlands were eliminated from qualification. Chile are also a shock absentee from Russia.
North America is also seen as a perfect destination for tuneup friendlies for some of the teams that have already qualified for Russia, especially teams from Central and South America, before they make their way to Russia.