El Salvador will take the field against the defending World Cup Champions of Spain on Jun. 7 at FedEx Field in Washington D.C. The pre-World Cup friendly will be only part of a doubleheader that will also include an Major League Soccer match between D.C. United and The Columbus Crew.
Regarding accommodations for defending champions Spain, as well as the schedule for the day, The Washington Post reports that: “Spain will practice at an undisclosed location in the Washington area for several days before facing the Salvadorans in the opening match at the Redskins’ stadium in Landover. Kickoff times have not been finalized, but in order to accommodate European TV, the Spain game will begin in the afternoon. (U.S. television coverage of both matches is also pending.)”
Several other World Cup qualifiers will play tune-up games in the U.S. due to being in the same time zone as the host country Brazil, as well as having state of the art training facilities in many of the cities that the exhibitions will take place. The Miami Herald has listed as other friendlies taking place: “Honduras plays Israel on June 1 at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium, and Greece and Nigeria meet June 3 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. Ivory Coast faces El Salvador on June 4 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and Greece plays Bolivia on June 6 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.”
.According to the International Business Times, Spain was recently ranked as one the top contenders to win the tournament this year by Las Vegas odds makers at 7/1 odds. Las Vegas has the host country of Brazil as the favorite at 3/1 followed by Argentina at 9/2, and Germany at 5/1. The site goes on to state regarding the Las Vegas favorites:
“Germany (5/1) and Spain (7/1) are also considered among the top contenders in the tournament. The Germans have placed no worse than third in the last three World Cups, and it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise is Spain were to repeat as champions.” “However, it could be an uphill battle for Germany and Spain, despite star-studded rosters. Both Brazil and Argentina have easier group opponents than the European giants, and most of the players on the rosters of Germany and Spain have limited experience playing in South America.”
El Salvador was chosen as the opponent for Spain due to a large number of Salvadoran expatriates that live in or near the nation’s capital and have showed up in numbers to previous friendly matches at RFK stadium in Washington. The team, which has never won a World Cup game, failed to qualify for the tournament this year and has failed to do so since 1982. El Salvador had several players banned from the sport for life in Sept. 2013 for allegedly losing matches on purpose for monetary rewards.