South Florida

Colombia and Venezuela to Square Off at Hard Rock Stadium

Now that the World Cup is over, soccer fans in South Florida will be able to enjoy some FIFA friendly matches right here in their own backyard, as teams begin preparations for the 2019 Copa America and the next World Cup in 2022.

Starting Friday, Sept. 7, the Colombia national football team will go head-to-head with "La Vinotinto" (The Burgundys), or the Venezuela national football team, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens starting at 8 p.m.

Since Tuesday, both teams have been training on location in South Florida -- Colombia at the Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium, and Venezuela inside the Sawgrass Grand Hotel and Sports Complex.

Colombia's soccer federation released their roster via Twitter. Notably absent from the list are stars Yerry Mina, Carlos Sanchez, Abel Aguilar and James Rodriguez who will be missing the team's next two games due to the muscle injury he suffered in Russia.

Another name missing is that of head coach Jose Nestor Pekerman, who on Tuesday announced he will not be returning to coach the team.

The Colombian Federation has yet to appoint a new head coach, but Sub-20 coach Arturo Reyes has been called up to coach in the interim.

The Venezuelan National team also released their roster on Twitter. According to this lineup, it's evident that coach Rafael Dudamel has selected fresh new faces to lead his team in the next two games against Colombia and Panama.

Friday's game at the Hard Rock Stadium marks the 17th time both teams have played a friendly match against each other. The last game was in 2010 when Venezuela beat Colombia 2-0.

Tickets for the Sept. 7 match are still available by visiting the Hard Rock Stadium box office or on Ticketmaster.

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