COLUMBUS, Ohio - Tickets for the U.S. vs. Mexico World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 3, sold out minutes after they went on sale today to the general public.
Anticipating the biggest international soccer event in Crew Stadium since the U.S. faced Mexico on Feb. 28, 2001, fans snapped up tickets during a week-long presale for select members of the U.S. Soccer community, including registered ussoccerfan.com members and Crew season ticket holders. The remaining tickets sold out today in just 20 minutes.
"Columbus has consistently given tremendous support to the national team, and we are excited about the chance to play in front of a sold-out crowd at Crew Stadium," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. "While every World Cup qualifier is important, winning your matches at home is critical, and we anticipate that the fans in Columbus will provide a big boost to our team."
The Labor Day weekend tilt in Crew Stadium, presented by Budweiser, will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, and fans are also able to follow the match live at ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics
"As expected, soccer fans in Columbus, the State of Ohio and around the nation have shown why Crew Stadium and the City of Columbus are chosen to host these events," said Crew General Manager Mark McCullers. "With the enthusiasm of the fans who bought tickets, we look forward to again cheering the U.S. to victory over Mexico as we did four years ago in this venue."
The U.S. is currently in second place in the final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with 12 points and a 4-1-0 record, while Mexico has 13 points and a 4-0-1 record. Both teams will again be in action on August 17 as the U.S. hosts Trinidad & Tobago in East Hartford, Conn. (at 8 p.m. ET live on ESPN2), and Mexico hosts Costa Rica in Mexico City.
The Crew Stadium match will be the fifth World Cup qualifier hosted by the six-year old venue. The U.S. has a 2-0-2 record in qualifying and a 3-0-3 all-time record there. In 2004, the U.S. defeated Grenada on June 13 by a 3-0 score in a second round qualifying match before tying Jamaica 1-1 in the final match of the semifinal round on November 17.
The U.S. has just 11 wins in 50 matches against Mexico in a series that dates to 1934, but the U.S. has a 9-6-8 advantage in home matches since 1957. In the last nine meetings, the U.S. has won six games by shutout and tied another meeting 0-0 in 2003. Additionally, since the rivalry between these two teams began in earnest in 1990, the sides have played 23 times, with the U.S. holding a 9-7-7 advantage. The last two U.S. losses were in Mexico City in final round qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, including a 2-1 defeat on March 27 of this year.
Under Arena, the U.S. has a 6-4-1 record vs. their border rivals including a 13-6 advantage in goal differential. The biggest of those six wins was a 2-0 victory for the U.S. on June 17, 2002, that sent Mexico home from Korea while the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. In World Cup qualifying, the U.S. has a 3-14-5 record vs. Mexico, including a 2-0 victory in Columbus Crew Stadium in the last U.S. final round qualifier vs. the Tricolores at home. In that match on Feb. 28, 2001, Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart scored for the U.S. before a sold-out crowd of 24,624 fans who braved freezing temperatures.
The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format tournament from Feb. 9 through Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.