The USA, which has never played a home match outdoors at a cold-weather venue in January, will host El Salvador Jan. 27 at Lower.com Field in Columbus to open the three-game winter window in World Cup 2022 qualifying.
After a match against Canada on Jan. 30 in Hamilton, Ontario, the USA will close out the window against Honduras on Feb. 2 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
U.S. Soccer's decision on its home qualifiers was dependent on the Canadian Soccer Association's choice for the Jan. 30 match. If Canada had chosen Vancouver, the USA would have probably played its two home qualifiers on the West Coast to minimize travel.
Flight times from Columbus to Hamilton are about an hour, and it's about two hours from Hamilton to Minneapolis.
The average temperatures in Columbus and St. Paul on the same dates in 2021 were 31 degrees and 21 degrees.
The El Salvador match will be the USA's second game in Columbus in the Octagonal, marking the first time since 2001 it will have played two matches in the same venue during the final round of qualifying. The USA rallied to beat Costa Rica, 2-1, in front of a sell-out crowd of 20,165 fans at the new Lower.com Field to close out the October window.
The USA will make its second visit to St. Paul after opening the Gold Cup against Guyana in 2019, two months after Allianz Field opened.