Turkey-Czech Republic to play at Red Bull Arena

Red Bull Arena has scheduled its first game involving national


Turkey will play the Czech Republic in an exhibition on May

22, the start of a tour that will see both teams play the World

Cup-bound United States.

The Czechs meet the Americans on May 25, and the Turks face

the U.S. on May 29 at Philadelphia. The site for the Czech-US game

has not been finalized, but the U.S. Soccer Federation has

discussed holding it in East Hartford, Conn.

Turkey, a 2002 World Cup semifinalist, eliminated the Czechs

in the first round of the 2008 European Championship. Both nations

failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Czech manager Vladimir Smicer said he expects Chelsea

goalkeeper Petr Cech, Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky and

Galatasaray forward Milan Baros to be on his roster. However, a

player would miss the exhibition if his club advances to the

European Champions League final, which is the same day in Madrid.

The $200 million, 25,000-seat stadium hosts its first match

March 13, when the U.S. Under-17 team plays the New York Red Bulls’

Under-18 academy team. The stadium formally opens when the Red

Bulls play Brazil’s Santos in an exhibition on March 20. Barring a

Major League Soccer work stoppage, New York hosts its first league

game there against the Chicago Fire on March 27.