[WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFYING]Two new venues and an old standby are destined to host the three U.S. home matches in the semifinal phase of 2010 World Cup qualifying.
Assuming the USA gets by Barbados in its two-leg preliminary series next month, it will play at Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.) on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.) Oct. 11 at 4 p.m., and Dick's Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.) Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. (all times local).
In order, the opponents for the three games will be the winners of these preliminary series, which has unofficially been designated as the Ampersand Sub-Group; Trinidad & Tobago-Bermuda; Cuba-Antigua & Barbuda; and Guatemala-St. Lucia.
All of the home games will be broadcast in English on either ESPN2 or ESPN Classic, and in Spanish by Galavision. The semifinal round kicks off Aug. 20 with the first of three away games. The top two teams in the four-team group advance to the six-team final round, the Hexagonal, to be played in 2009.
The USA has played 17 matches at RFK, the most games it has played in any venue, but will be making its debut at the homes of the Chicago Fire and Colorado Rapids, respectively, in the other two matches. It is 10-3-4 overall at RFK and 3-1-1 in World Cup qualifying.
It has played eight games in Chicago at Soldier Field (4-2-2), but this is the first qualifier played in the home city of U.S. Soccer. The Nov. 19 match is the first qualifier to be staged in the state of Colorado, where the USA is 2-1-0 in friendlies.
Head coach Bob Bradley will name his roster early next week for matches against England May 28 in London, Spain Sept. 4 in Santander, and Argentina June 8 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.. More than 45,000 tickets have been sold for the Argentina game.