COLUMBUS, Ohio - The U.S. men's national team takes on Jamaica this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Columbus Crew Stadium in its final match of semifinal-round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The game will also be televised nationally on ESPN2 and can be seen on tape delay on Telemundo at 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
Tickets are still available for the match that could potentially knock Jamaica out of World Cup qualifying. Tickets 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 online at ussoccer.com, ticketmaster.com, crewstadium.com and thecrew.com.
The USA has never lost to Jamaica in competitive play, and a U.S victory would end the Reggae Boyz bid for a spot in final round qualifying. While Jamaica holds six points from five matches, Panama is just one point behind Jamaica and host El Salvador is two back heading into their last group game. Jamaica advances with a win, or a tie coupled with a Panama tie or loss. Panama clinches with a win and a Jamaica loss or tie, or a tie and a Jamaica loss. Even El Salvador can sneak in with a win and a loss by Jamaica, meaning Match Day 6 will see the drama that is World Cup qualifying unfold.
The U.S. men have enjoyed great World Cup Qualifying success at Crew Stadium, posting an undefeated 2-0-1 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 match 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.'s undefeated mark in its history with Jamaica is 8-0-6, dating back to 1988. Included in that mark is an impressive 6-0-1 record when the two teams meet on U.S. soil.
The six-team, 10-game final-round qualifying phase will begin in February of 2005.
Group 1 standings
Teams GP W L T GF GA GD Pts. y-USA 5 3 0 2 12 2 +10 11 Jamaica 5 1 1 3 6 4 +2 6 Panama 5 1 2 2 5 11 -6 5 El Salvador 5 1 2 1 2 8 -6 4y - clinched berth in final round qualifying