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World Cup 2014: Empty stands in Miami for England v Ecuador warm-up match


England are expected to play in front of around just 10,000 fans at the 75,000-capacity Sun Life stadium in Miami on Wednesday in the second of their World Cup warm-up matches, with little interest locally in the game against Ecuador.

Ticket sales have been slow for the match, which kicks off at 3pm local time to give it prime billing at 8pm in the United Kingdom, and so clashes with the working day for many locals. The city does have a football following, as recognised by David Beckham’s decision to establish a MLS franchise here, but this will be one of the rare occasions when England do not play in front of a full house.

The expectation is that there will be up to 40,000 at the stadium, where the NFL’s Miami Dolphins play their home games, for England’s third warm-up match against Honduras on Saturday which kicks off at 4.45pm local time.

The organisers are hoping for better weather in Miami, where hurricane season officially began on Monday. The torrential downpours lasted all day and forced England to abandon their first training session after torrential rains at the Barry University sports complex flooded the pitches and meant the manager, Roy Hodgson, had to take his players inside.

It is not the first time that England have had to train under a cloud, with grey skies dominating during their break in the Algarve last week.