By DAN KARELL
For only the third time ever, the U.S. Men’s National Team could be taking on Iran in an international friendly match.
According to a report in Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport, the two nation’s soccer associations have agreed to take part in a four team tournament, that will reportedly also involve a country from Europe and from South America. The time and date of the tournament has yet to be determined.
U.S. Soccer has yet to make an official announcement on the friendly match.
“We received approval from the (U.S. Soccer Federation) for a tournament that will involve both national teams,” Iranian FA president Ali Kafashian said to Gazzetta.
While the USA and Iran continued to be locked in long-term political tensions since the overthrow of the U.S. supported Shah in 1979 and the hostage crisis that followed, the two countries’ soccer teams have met on the field twice previously. Iran triumphed over the USA in the 1998 World Cup by a score of 2-1, and the teams drew, 1-1, in a rematch two years later at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Back in 2009, U.S. Soccer reportedly tried to set up a friendly match against Iran in the capital Tehran ahead of the 2010 World Cup, but was unsuccessful.
Both Iran and the USA have already secured qualification to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Nothing has been announced officially on the reported friendly.
What do you think of this report? Do you see this match happening? Would you be interested in playing Iran or should the USSF avoid the match due to the political implications?
Share your thoughts below.