Report: USMNT to take on Colombia in friendly in San Antonio in September
The US national team’s first game on American soil since the World Cup will reportedly take place somewhere they’ve never been before: San Antonio.
The San Antonio Express-News reported on Wednesday that the United States will take on South American powerhouse Colombia at the Alamodome on Sept. 9, a huge boost for a city looking to increase its profile in the North American soccer community.
The San Antonio match will come after the US take on the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, a match confirmed in March.
A US Soccer spokesman declined to comment on the most recent report when reached by MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday.
Colombia were one of the most electrifying teams in the World Cup, winning all three games in the group stage before knocking off Uruguay in the Round of 16. They eventually lost to Brazil in quarterfinals, and were ranked No. 4 in the latest FIFA World Rankings, released on July 17.
Star striker James Rodriguez (above) won the Golden Boot as the tournament's leading scorer with six goals, and he was named to the all-tournament team before recently moving to reigning European champions Real Madrid in the the biggest move of the offseason.
Colombia have dominated the all-time series between the two sides (9-3-4), although they played to a scoreless draw in their most recent meeting in Oct. 2010 at PPL Park outside Philadelphia (right).
One of the most iconic venues in Texas, the 65,000-seat Alamodome is currently used primarily for non-sports related events – the next event planned there is a trade show for the Texas Trophy Hunters Association – but it has also played host to NCAA college football and basketball, high school football, Major League Baseball and the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.
It will also host the US women’s national team against Australia on Oct. 20.
The Alamodome’s playing surface is artificial turf, which would mark a break from tradition for the USMNT playing in the United States. The Americans rarely play on turf in the US – the last time came against Belize in Portland’s Providence Park during the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year – and it’s unclear if a temporary grass surface will be used in San Antonio the way it was at both Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in April and at CenturyLink Field in Seattle in June 2013.
San Antonio, meanwhile, is one of the markets currently lobbying for a future Major League Expansion franchise, and MLS officials have confirmed their discussions with San Antonio leaders about the possibility of placing the league’s 24th team there before 2020.
The NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions currently play in the 8,000-seat Toyota Stadium, and club owner Gordon Hartman told the Express-News earlier this week that there are “formidable” leading parties interested in investing in the club and eventually leading it to MLS.
“I'm not really shocked, but I'm impressed that, in a short period of time, the level of interest has grown as strong as it has, and the caliber of people who are coming forward to discuss this,” Hartman told the newspaper. “I'm appreciative because it bodes well ... for San Antonio to be explored with the opportunity of bringing another major league to the city.”
The USMNT will reportedly play Ecuador on Oct. 14 at a site yet to be announced, and have also been linked to a matchup against Ireland in Dublin on Nov. 11.