NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In preparation for its friendly with Guatemala over the holiday weekend the United States Men’s Soccer National Team added a little red and blue favor to Lipscomb’s campus this week as the squad used the turf at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex for its training sessions.
The trip marks the second time Lipscomb has hosted the men’s national team after making a visit in 2011. The U.S. Women’s National Team also made a stop to campus for a training session in 2013.
“We have had an on-going relationship with U.S. Soccer, in that when they do come to Nashville, Lipscomb is a place they look to train if our schedule allows,” Lipscomb men’s soccer head coach Charles Morrow said. “Thankfully this time we had a break in camps and were able to accommodate them.
“Any time that fans get to come out and see the National team here on our field it provides a special opportunity. We hope this helps build fandom not just for us at Lipscomb, but for the sport itself. Any time we can be a part of that it is a good thing for sure.”
The 23-man roster head coach Jürgen Klinsmann brought to Nashville features 17 players from the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad and it will be the same group the U.S. carries to Frisco, Texas next week to begin its Gold Cup title defense in an opening-round match against Honduras.
Star striker Jozy Altidore, making his third trip to the Music City, has had plenty of success in the Volunteer State. In 2009 the then 19-year old scored all three goals for the U.S. in a 3-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago, becoming the youngest player in history to record a hat trick for the National Team.
“I was so young,” Altidore said with a grin. “I feel like it was such a long time ago, but it was an exciting time. I think it was in a lot of ways a turning point for the program when you look back at that time and where we've come to now. We just keep improving year in and year out, and it's really fun to be a part of.
“As a team we’ve had some good times here in Nashville, not only with the National teams but the Olympic teams as well. This match gives us a great opportunity to keep our momentum going and heading into the Gold Cup with a lot of confidence.”
The July 3 match with Guatemala will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a record soccer crowd expected to be in attendance at Nissan Stadium.
In 2011 when the U.S. faced Paraguay at LP Field, a Nashville record 29,059 fans showed up in support. With over 33,000 tickets already purchased this time around, Friday’s match is set to become the largest crowd in Tennessee history to watch a soccer game.
“We are all looking forward to the game on Friday night and with the number of tickets sold, it should be a great atmosphere,” Altidore said.
Friday’s friendly will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1, UniMàs and Univision Deportes Network.