England boss Roy Hodgson is planning on taking his players to Miami in order to prepare for their first match against Italy in Brazil´s worst climate: Manaus.
Manaus´ climate is semi-equatorial and it is incredibly hot and humid, very similar to Miami, Fla. England players will have to go through extensive preparation in order to adapt to the unforgiving climate.
Hodgson has said that his preferred destination to prepare for Manaus is Miami, where it is said they would play two friendly matches. In their first match, they are scheduled to play the USMNT and they are looking into playing either Mexico or Ecuador in their second match. The game against Jurgen Klinsmann´s men has already been confirmed, but the date and venue are yet to be decided. It would seem like Miami would be the ideal venue because the USMNT also play in Manaus against Cristiano Ronaldo´s Portugal.
Speculation has started to grow that Manaus may be deleted from the FIFA World Cup 2014 venue list because the stadium’s construction is behind schedule and has been deemed an unsafe work place. Just last week, a stadium worker fell to his death; this has further halted construction and caused Brazilian authorities to take a second look at this controversial venue. The “Arena de Amazonia,” as it is now called, has also caused the death of another worker and may well be removed from the equation sooner rather than later.
I believe that the coolest part of the World Cup is that teams not only have to battle each other, but they have to battle climates and conditions they are not used to. For England and Italy, this particular climate will be a daunting opponent and will definitely put them to the test. FIFA is set to allow teams to re-hydrate every 15-to-20 minutes in order to fight off the nasty weather. Miami will be a good place to acclimatize, but it may not be enough for Hodgson’s men come June.