The “World Cup” spirit is coming to Palm Beach County. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is partnering with U.S. Soccer and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to host a marquee international soccer match in Palm Beach County. The Men’s National Teams of Germany and Ecuador, both ranked in the top 10 of the current Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Rankings, will face each other in an international friendly at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton on Wednesday, May 29. Both teams are in the midst of competing for a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and will meet in preparation for their next set of qualifiers in June.
The international contest is set for 2:15 p.m. ET (8:15 p.m. Central European Time) so that the match can be seen live on prime-time television in Germany. The game is also expected to be televised live in Ecuador (1:15 p.m. Ecuador Time). This match represents a two game tour for the German National Team, which will play the United States on June 2 in Washington D.C. The United States is hosting the matches as part of the centennial anniversary celebrations for the US Soccer Federation.
This event represents the first men’s international soccer competition to take place at FAU stadium, and features two of the world’s best men’s soccer teams, Germany ranked second in the current FIFA world rankings and a three-time World and European champion and Ecuador ranked tenth in the world.
Ecuador is one of the surprise teams in FIFA World Cup qualifying in the South American region, where they currently sit in second place out of nine countries with a 6-2-2 record (the top four automatically qualify for Brazil, while the fifth-place team enters a playoff against the fifth-place side from Asia). Ecuador will be using the test against Germany to prepare for its next two qualifiers: June 7 in Peru and at home against South American power Argentina on June 11. Ecuador has appeared twice in the FIFA World Cup (2002 and 2006).
As one of the powerhouses in international soccer, Germany is in the middle of its qualifying run for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and sits comfortably in first place (5-0-1 record) in its six-team group. The Germans are on course to reach their 16th consecutive FIFA World Cup, not having missed a tournament since 1950. Germany’s second place position in the FIFA World Rankings is behind reigning World Cup champion Spain.
The soccer competition between Germany and Ecuador represents the second time in six months that U.S. Soccer has brought an international friendly to FAU Stadium and Palm Beach County. The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a victory over the People’s Republic of China, by a score of 4-1, at FAU Stadium on Dec. 15, 2012. The newly built stadium, with a seating capacity of 30,000, is a $70 million investment that opened in October 2011. FAU Stadium is home to varsity college football and was selected as the site for the Major League Lacrosse All Star Game in June 2012. FAU is home to the only stadium in the United States that offers a picturesque view of the Atlantic Ocean.
In addition to world class soccer, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission expects the event to fill hotel rooms and generate visitor spending for the community. The game will attract soccer enthusiasts from across the state, region, and overseas and will showcase Palm Beach County on a global stage.
Tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com and ussoccer.com.
About Palm Beach County Sports Commission: The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (with a focus on the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. For information, check the website at http://www.palmbeachsports.com/