US Soccer Federation selects MLS stadiums for remaining four USMNT World Cup qualifiers
The veil of mystery is no more.
On Thursday, the U.S. Soccer Federation released the sites for the four remaining World Cup qualifiers on US soil and MLS fans will be happy: All four venues are home to MLS clubs.
June 11 vs. Panama at CenturyLink Field (Seattle): The Seattle soccer supporter base, which has set MLS attendance records since the Sounders joined the league in 2009, finally gets a World Cup qualifier after plenty of clamor. Seattle hosted Gold Cup matches involving the US in 2005 and and 2009, with a little more than 15,000 in attendance for all three matches.
One story to follow: Will the USSF want grass installed on top of the artificial surface at CenturyLink?
June 18 vs. Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah): Real Salt Lake's home stadium may be less than five years old, but it already has one World Cup qualifier under its belt, a 2-1 win over El Salvador in September 2009 in front of 19,066.
Sept. 10 vs. Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio): As long as the 2-0 wins keep coming for the USMNT, U.S. Soccer seems happy to return to Crew Stadium for the toughest home game of the Hexagonal. For the fourth straight World Cup cycle, Columbus will be host to La Guerra Fría after Feb. 28, 2001, Sept. 3, 2005, and Feb. 11, 2009.
Crew Stadium was the host of another game during this World Cup cycle, a 1-0 win over Jamaica on Sept. 11, 2012.
Oct. 11, vs. Jamaica at Sporting Park (Kansas City, Kan.): Back so soon? Nearly a year to the day that the USMNT clinched passage to the Hexagonal with a 3-1 qualifying win over Guatemala (Oct. 16, 2012), Jurgen Klinsmann's squad will be back at Sporting Park for the final home game of 2014 World Cup qualifying.
The USMNT's Hexagonal home slate kicks off on Friday against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids (10 pm ET, ESPN/UniMas, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).