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Jun 11, 2014

Belgium-U.S. scrimmage called off

ESPN FC's Jeremy Schaap and our panel of soccer experts examine the story lines ahead of the United States' first World Cup game against Ghana.

SAO PAULO -- Belgium coach Marc Wilmots didn't want to get caught in one of Sao Paulo's famous traffic jams, so Thursday's scrimmage between the Red Devils and the United States was canceled.

Nani expects strong U.S. side
- Labidou: Ronaldo ready for World Cup
- Palmer: Do the U.S. stand a chance?
- Bradley: Heat, travel doesn't bother U.S.

The closed-door session had been scheduled to take place at the Sao Paulo Futebol Clube, where the U.S. has been training for the World Cup since Monday. Belgium has been working out about 30 miles away in Mogi das Cruzes.

The U.S. Soccer Federation said Wednesday that Wilmots and American coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke and called off the scrimmage.

Sao Paulo is known for traffic congestion, which was made worse by a subway strike that began last Thursday and was suspended Monday. While the strike was halted, the union said it could resume Thursday when Brazil hosts Croatia in the World Cup opener.

Wilmots said that he "will not take the risk to go to Sao Paulo, looking at the possibility of a strike and traffic jams."

"I don't want to sit in a bus for five hours," he added.

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