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American team arrives in Brazil

SAO PAULO — The 4,080-mile overnight flight to Sao Paulo was easy for the U.S. World Cup team.

A 4-mile bus ride from its base hotel through the city's perpetually congested streets to the Americans' training camp was another matter.

"We haven't had any problem, other than the traffic. But other than that, not too bad," goalkeeper Tim Howard said Monday after the Americans arrived one week before their tournament opener against Ghana.

The U.S. landed from Miami and reached its hotel about 2 hours, 20 minutes later on a bus with the American flag and the slogan "United by team, driven by passion." Police on motorcycles with the Stars and Stripes sticking out of their wheels led the way, and a helicopter hovered.

Four soldiers in fatigues and about two dozen police in riot gear stood outside the hotel, adjacent to a park on a tree-lined street. Bleary-eyed players were applauded when they entered the lobby.

What on maps appears to be a short ride to the Sao Paulo FC's luxurious Barra Funda training complex took 45 minutes in late-afternoon traffic as a subway strike in its fifth day tightened bottlenecks. At a downtown station, riot police used tear gas against striking workers.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann was due to arrive today. He stayed back in Miami to watch Ghana's 4-0 exhibition win over South Korea. Seven hours after the Americans landed, their initial workout took place under the direction of the rest of the staff.

"That's the norm with the way Jurgen works," Howard said. "I'm surprised we weren't out here earlier."

Attack worries: Analysts say bars, restaurants and other venues in Africa that screen matches will be at risk of terrorist attack during the tournament. Consultants at IHS in London warn that nine African countries including Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya had cities with a heightened risk of attacks during the month-long tournament in Brazil. Cities in Iraq are also at risk.

Sponsors take note: World Cup sponsor Anheuser-Busch says it is counting on FIFA to look into allegations of corruption regarding Qatar's winning bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Adidas and Visa, also sponsors, also expressed concerns.

. Fast facts

World Cup

When: Thursday-July 13

Where: Brazil

TV: Ch. 28, ESPN, ESPN2

Format: 32 teams in eight groups of four; top two in each group advance to single elimination.

U.S. schedule

June 16: Ghana, 6, ESPN

June 22: Portugal, 6, ESPN

June 26: Germany, noon, ESPN

American team arrives in Brazil 06/09/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2014 10:16pm]
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