COLUMBUS, Ohio - U.S. Soccer and Columbus Crew Stadium announced Tuesday that single-game tickets for the U.S. men's national team's final match of semifinal-round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, slated for Wednesday, Nov. 17, will go on sale to the public on Friday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m. (ET). The U.S. will take on Jamaica at Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (ET). The public sale is available after a special week-long private sale that was exclusive to Crew season ticket holders.
Tickets for the crucial match, which could decide whether the U.S. advances to the final round of qualifying for Germany 2006, are priced from $35 (endlines) to $85 (VIP club seats). Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets (including all Kroger's stores) in Ohio and the surrounding states and by phone at 614-431-3600. Tickets are also available at the Crew Stadium box office (open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), and on-line at ussoccer.com, ticketmaster.com, crewstadium.com and thecrew.com.
"Crew Stadium is known for the tremendous pro-American crowds that migrate here to support our national teams," said Crew interim general manager Mark McCullers. "World Cup qualifying is a very difficult task and we need all central Ohio soccer fans to come out, wear their red and help create an electric atmosphere that the men's national team can feed upon. We also are always glad to see Brian McBride back in Crew Stadium."
The U.S. men's national team opened the semifinal round of qualifying with a dramatic 1-1 draw against Jamaica that saw forward Brian Ching score the equalizer in the 89th minute to steal an important point on the road in Kingston, Jamaica.
In its first home match on Sept. 4, the U.S. dominated El Salvador and pulled out a decisive 2-0 victory on goals by Ching and Landon Donovan at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
The U.S. pulled out another improbable finish in its third match against Panama, overcoming a shaky second half to tie the match 1-1 in the 92nd minute on an unusual goal from Cobi Jones. The tie in Panama City gave the U.S. another key point on the road and helped them remain in first place in Group 1 with five points on a 1-0-2 record. The victory also extended the USA's record unbeaten streak to 10 games (6-0-4), while increasing their 2004 mark to 6-1-5.
The U.S. next heads down to El Salvador on Oct. 9 before having the luxury of consecutive home games on Oct. 13 against Panama in Washington, D.C., and Nov. 17 in Columbus to close out the semifinal round. The top two teams in the group will advance to the final round of qualifying that begins next year. Crew Stadium will host free viewing parties for the Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 qualifiers.
The U.S. men have enjoyed great success at Crew Stadium, posting an undefeated 3-0-2 mark in the home of the Black & Gold, dating back to a 0-0 tie with Costa Rica in the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. That important sell-out was followed by perhaps the most important match in stadium history on February 28, 2001, when the U.S. started the final round of 2002 qualifying with a decisive 2-0 win over Mexico in frigid conditions that the was dubbed "La Guerra Fria" (the Cold War). The U.S. played a third qualifier in Columbus earlier this year, downing Grenada 3-0 in the first of a two-game, home-and-home preliminary round series.
The U.S. is also undefeated in its history with Jamaica, holding an 8-0-6 edge over the Reggae Boyz dating back to 1988. Included in that mark is an impressive 6-0-1 record when the two teams meet on U.S. soil.
Group 1 in the CONCACAF semifinal qualifying (top 2 advance to final round qualifying)
Group 1 schedule
USA vs. El Salvador; Cuscatlan Stadium; San Salvador, El Salvador, 7:30 p.m. MT
Panama v Jamaica; Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama; TBD
USA vs. Panama; RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.; 7:30 p.m. ET
Jamaica vs. El Salvador; National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica; TBD
USA vs. Jamaica; Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio; 7:30 p.m. ET
Panama vs El Salvador; Fernandez Stadium; Panama City, Panama; TBD