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February 05, 2013

US Soccer Launches New Apps Ahead of World Cup Qualifier

by VOA News

The U.S. Soccer Federation has launched new Digital Magazine and Facebook apps as the men's team prepares to begin final regional qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Americans will take on host Honduras in San Pedro Sula Wednesday.

U.S. soccer's governing body is providing fans with exclusive content that they can download on iPads or iPhones, and says an Android version is coming soon.

The first issue of the Digital Magazine app, called "Anthem," is free and includes many features, like an inside look at the U.S. roster for the Honduras match, a gallery of photos and an interactive hexagonal schedule featuring the six regional CONCACAF teams that are in the final round of home and away qualifiers this year.

On Facebook, there is a Supporters XI (11) app, where fans can even pick who they would like to see in the starting lineup for the Honduras match.  Fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker   or on Twitter @ussoccer.

The other two CONCACAF regional qualifying matches Wednesday are Jamaica at Mexico and Costa Rica at Panama.  The second set of group games is scheduled for March 22, when the U.S. Soccer team will host Costa Rica in suburban Denver, Colorado.

Each team will play 10 matches in the final qualifying round which runs through mid-October.  The top three automatically advance to next year's World Cup.  The fourth place team will go to an intercontinental home and away playoff in November against the first place team from the Oceania Football Confederation.  The winner of that two-game series will also gain a World Cup berth.