England Will Prepare for World Cup with Two Matches in Miami
England boss Roy Hodgson will be 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, Florida. England players will have to go through extensive preparation in order to adapt to the unforgiving climate.
England will be facing both Honduras and Ecuador in these friendly matches. Even though it is yet to be confirmed, the agreement has been made and the official announcement will likely be next week. Both teams make sense because they are similar to teams that England will be facing at the World Cup in Brazil.
Ecuador is a tough hard-nosed team that relies heavily on Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia. They are a perfect team to face because they are similar to Uruguay, whom England faces in their second game at the cup. Uruguay is arguably better than Ecuador and has several superstar players, such as Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan, but the friendly will give Hodgson a good idea about what he will be up against when his team battles Uruguay. Ecuador is also a team that, like Uruguay, is used to playing in the harsher weather conditions that Brazil will offer. This will give England the chance to better prepare for Uruguay.
The second friendly is supposedly going to feature Honduras, a team from CONCACAF that is similar to fellow CONCACAF powerhouse Costa Rica. England is scheduled to face Costa Rica in their third and final first round match, which could very well decide their fate. Honduras is similar to Costa Rica in the sense that they rely on one or two superstars and try to be as defensively sound as possible.
The FA has done a great job finding two suitable opponents for England to prepare for the World Cup. Miami will be a good place to acclimatize, but it may not be enough for Hodgson´s men come June.