SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Back with the San Jose Earthquakes after their nearly monthlong stint on the U.S. national team and training in Sao Paulo, Clarence Goodson and Chris Wondolowski believe Brazil will be ready for the World Cup stage come June.
The U.S. held a training camp in Sao Paulo for almost two weeks last month, giving the Americans a feeling of already being acclimated to the culture and an idea of what to expect during this summer’s tournament.
Goodson and Wondolowski hope they will return to Brazil in June as part of the Americans’ 23-man World Cup roster. They were impressed with their setup in Brazil, which has less than four months to complete venues and finish all other details in some of the 12 cities across the country set to host games.
The Americans will be based out of Sao Paulo FC.
“It was very nice where we were,” Goodson said after Tuesday’s Earthquakes training. “I know there’s been a lot publicized about them not being ready, but everything that we did with the U.S., all the facilities we were at and the hotels, they were all top notch and ready to go. I didn’t experience the other part. Certainly everything with the U.S. was top class.”
Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez, a member of the Honduran World Cup team, isn’t worried about Brazil meeting its deadline and ultimately being prepared.
Bernardez and Honduras are set to face Ecuador at Arena da Baixada — one of the delayed stadiums that could be dropped from competition — on June 30.
“It’s not a problem with that,” Bernardez said during an interview in Spanish. “I think everything will be fine. We’ll be there in June to compete and I think they’ll be ready. We’re confident it will be a beautiful World Cup.”
Brazil promised to finish all 12 World Cup stadiums by the end of last year as planned by FIFA, but five remained under construction as of last week.
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann took his players to Brazil for 12 days in January as part of its “dry run” preparations.
“It was hot down there, but it was a great experience and one of those you’ll always remember,” Wondolowski said. “There’s always speculation (about the conditions), but I think when it comes down to it, it will be great.”
Bernardez’s Honduras team will play four friendlies leading up to the World Cup. First, it will host Tunisia on March 5, then face Colombia on May 31 in either New York or Chicago. Coach Luis Fernando Suarez also is scheduled to lead his team against Ivory Coast at a to-be-determined location June 4 before facing England in its final tuneup three days later at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.