USMNT to play first WCQ at Dick's Sporting Goods Park
The US men's national team is heading to Colorado. The US Soccer Federation (USSF) announced Tuesday that Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. – home of the Colorado Rapids – will host the team's first home World Cup qualifier of the hexagonal round on March 22 against Costa Rica.
"We are really excited to play our first home qualifying match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park," head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. "Winning games at home in World Cup qualifying is crucial, and we really are expecting the fans in Colorado to bring us a huge home-field advantage."
In addition to the fans, the altitude and potentially chilly March weather in Colorado could give the USMNT a further advantage against a talented Ticos side, as well as prepared them for a trip to Azteca just days later.
The game is set to kick off at 10 pm ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN and the Univision family of networks.
The match against Costa Rica is the first in a double-fixture date, with the US facing a formidable trip to Mexico City four days later. The team will open qualifying on the road when they face Honduras on Feb. 6.
In addition to Costa Rica, Mexico and Honduras, the US will battle Jamaica and Panama for a berth in the 2014 World Cup. The top three teams in the group of six qualify, while the fourth-placed team will face the winner of the Oceania qualifying competition for a place in Brazil.
Klinsmann is currently running the rule over 25 potential players for the qualifying roster at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. prior to a Jan. 29 friendly against Canada in Houston.