For the US Men’s National Soccer Team, the road to Brazil World Cup triumph will be an arduous one. The American athletes will have to beat the most fearsome world-class teams in the competition. They will also need to deal with some fierce sub-tropical climate and demanding travel itinerary. A look at that dreaded USMNT schedule.
June 9: Bem-Vindo ao Brasil
Jacksonville –São Paulo: 4,400 miles
Klinsmann and his boys landed in São Paulo this Monday and rallied their luxurious base for the tournament: the Tivoli São Paulo Mofarrej hotel. From their 5-star retreat, they prepared the upcoming matches in absolute serenity, away from the local uprising and mainly the countless distractions in the biggest and most busy city of Brazil. São Paulo is a high-profile cultural hub and a dream destination for all gastronomes. The astonishing skyline, the Ibirapuera Park, the Pico de Jaragua; There is always something to do in this tourist haven.
June 16: Off to the Dunes
São Paulo – Natal (round trip): 2,880 miles
The USMNT’s first game in the 2014 World Cup will be against the Ayew brothers’ side. Despite the presence of Germany and Portugal in the group, Ghana might just be the team Americans should fear the most as they lost to the Black Stars in the two last editions. Regardless of the outcome of this game, fans will be able to discover the wonders of the “City of the Sun”, from the gorgeous beach of Ponta Negra to famous elevated dune of Morro do Careca, or the colorful nature reserve of Parque das Dunas.
June 22: Enter the Amazon
São Paulo – Manaus: 3346 miles Sure, we all expect Cristiano Ronaldo to be in the limelight of the confrontation against Portugal. But everyone, travelers, players and viewers alike, will be charmed by the grandiose of this metropolis and its brand new infrastructures, and by the harmony between the city and its surroundings.
June 26: Pinnacle in Paradise
São Paulo – Recife: 2652 miles I’m sure even for the non-soccer reader, Germany needs no presentation. Their reputation on and off the pitch precedes them. The Nationalmannschaft is among the favorites of the competition but the USMNT have proven time and time again to be a match for the three-time FIFA World Cup winners. Nonetheless, as the last match of the group G, it will be crucial. Could there be a more appropriate setting for it than Recife? The “Brazilian Venice” is renowned for its many bridges arching over the Jordão, Capibaribe, and Beberibe Rivers. Visitors won’t be disappointed by the variety of things to do: relaxing on the picturesque beaches, go to the many theaters and museums or enjoying the city’s festive events such as the festival de São João, which happens to be held in…. June.
Given that the USMNT passes the group phase, they will add to their mileage between 2,407 and 3,865 which will take them in more breath-taking host cities such as Porto Alegre, Brazilia, Salvador and Rio. If they step onto the Stadium of Maracana on July 13th, it will be with more than 15,685 miles behind them. One can only hope they chose an airline company with a good mileage program.
Stay tuned for in-depth profiles of each of these cities, their history, culture and the best venues, attractions, must-dos for tourists. Meanwhile, celebrate Brazil 2014 with us and shout your support to your favorite team in the comment section, on social media using #Travefan or by homing pigeon. We will be waiting.