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The altitude of the Wasatch Front will play a role in the U.S. men's national team's prep for another trip to the Estadio Azteca.
On Friday, ESPNFC reported that Rio Tinto Stadium will host a friendly on Saturday, June 3, against Venezuela five days before the U.S. plays Trinidad and Tobago in a World Cup qualifier on June 8 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
Head coach Bruce Arena and the U.S. then face arch rival Mexico in Mexico City on June 11. The elevation of the Estadio Azteca is 7,400 feet above sea level. The Americans will slowly get acclimatized to back-to-back high-elevation World Cup qualifiers by starting out in Salt Lake, where the valley sits at over 4,220 feet above sea level.
The site of the June 3 friendly against Venezuela was first reported by The Washington Post.
Rio Tinto Stadium last hosted the U.S. men's national team in 2013 for a World Cup qualifying match against Honduras that June. Real Salt Lake's home stadium also hosted CONCACAF Gold Cup matches that same summer. Rio Tinto was the site of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers in October 2015.
According to the ESPN report, the U.S. and Venezuela last met in a friendly in 2012 a 1-0 win for the Americans in Glendale, Ariz. Venezuela, which has been eliminated from contention for next summer's 2018 World Cup in Russia, were quarterfinalists in last summer's Copa America Centenario held in the U.S.
The report also stated that the U.S. will host Ghana on July 1 in a Gold Cup tune-up match in East Hartford, Conn., before starting group play against Panama, Martinique and Nicaragua.