Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
USA-Mexico, Act III in Columbus
by Ridge Mahoney, December 17th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Contrary to reports from ESPN Deportes and several other sources, the U.S. quadrennial qualifying bash against Mexico is headed back to Columbus Crew Stadium.


The North American neighbors renew their rivalry on Feb. 11 with the kickoff time to be decided, depending on television arrangements and availability of snowcats and other bad weather equipment.

Salt Lake City and Seattle were cited as possible venues last week, though the odds that U.S. Soccer would risk playing a qualifier against Mexico on grass laid over FieldTurf at Qwest Field in a venue that drew a crowd of 56,000 for a Mexico-China friendly last year defied logic.

The Utah venue made more sense if U.S. Soccer again wished to "ice" the Mexican team, which worked well in a 2-0 qualifying win at Crew Stadium in February 2001. The USA. beat Mexico by the same score during the 2005 Hexagonal in the same venue and in much more temperate setting. The victory on Sept. 3 of that year clinched qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

"Our first priority is to give our team the best chance to be successful and achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and Columbus Crew Stadium has always been a great venue for the national team," said U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in a press release. "We carefully considered our options, and ultimately we felt that playing in Columbus is the right fit for this match."

Prior to the announcement, Coach Bob Bradley noted he would prefer not to play on a temporary grass field, and that the desire to play on a surface conducive to decent soccer had to be balanced with maximizing the home-field advantage.

"We all know how important it is to win your home games, no matter who the opposition is," he said.  "We certainly don't want to play with a foot of snow on the ground or have conditions so bad we can't play the game. But at the end of the day we want to give our team the best chance to win and that's what we base our decisions on."

Seattle and Salt Lake City are in the mix as venues for the Gold Cup to be played next July. Possibly a dozen venues, including some with FieldTurf, could be utilized in that tournament, according to a source.

Television conflicts may force the USA-Mexico qualifier in Columbus onto one of the network's lesser lights, as both ESPN and ESPN2 are frozen solid with college basketball on mid-winter Wednesday nights.

As per current schedules, both networks are full-court pressed on Feb. 11 until 11 p.m. Eastern, which is why a Western venue made some sense; an 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. kickoff would translate to 11 p.m. on the Right Coast, and of course, practically ensure that whichever basketball game preceding Guerra Fria would run well into overtime and trigger the dreaded Curse of JIP (joined-in-progress).

Ticket announcements are pending.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Antonio Conte    
"What else should he have done? In a few years' time players will be elbowing each ...
What They're Saying: Josh Williams    
"I'm pretty sure he thinks I work at the hotel..." -- New York City FC defender ...
MLS players seek choice from 'league of choice'    
On a scale of 1-10 in terms of the free agency, the free-agency rights MLS players ...
A dream come true    
Taylor Leach, a two-time first-team All-SEC defender at the University of South Carolina, will continue her ...
Klinsmann trims U.S. squad, adds Yedlin for Chile trip    
U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named a 23-player roster for the friendlies against Chile ...
What They're Saying: Tally Hall    
"The league is looking to invest in itself. That's why the DPs are coming in, and ...
MLS Trade Central: RSL lands Jamaican Phillips    
Real Salt Lake signed Jamaican defender Demar Phillips, who will be in line to take over ...
2015 MLS Preseason Schedule    
MLS clubs opened camp on Friday. Most of the week will be spent working in-house and ...
Herzog takes reins of U.S. U-23s     
Austrian Andreas Herzog, who has been Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant for the last three years, has been ...
Video Pick: Red Bull Cahill hits golazo in Asian Cup     
Tim Cahill may be coming off a frustrating season with the New York Red Bulls, but ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives