Kansas City stated their case during last summer’s Gold Cup, and it seems the powers that be were paying attention.
On Monday, US Soccer announced that Livestrong Sporting Park will host its first World Cup qualifier when the US national team and Guatemala meet on October 16, a match which concludes the semifinal round of CONCACAF qualifying. Kickoff is set for 7 pm ET, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
“We are very excited to play such an important World Cup qualifier in Kansas City,” US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. “They have an amazing new facility in Livestrong Sporting Park, and the fans have really demonstrated incredible support for soccer in the area. We expect it’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere.”
After recording a 1-1-1 record in friendly matches against Scotland, Brazil and Canada, the US will begin qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Friday against Antigua and Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla (7 pm ET, ESPN/ESPN3). Four days later, the US travel to Guatemala City to take on Guatemala at Estadio Mateo Flores at 10 pm ET (live coverage on pay-per-view ustream.tv).
The US are joined by Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala and Jamaica in CONCACAF’s Group A. Each team will play the other twice, home and away, with the top two teams from the region’s three groups advancing to the final round of qualifying. The US are 12-4-5 all-time against Guatemala, and 6-0-4 in World Cup qualifying matches, defeating Los Chapines in both matches of the semifinal round in 2008
Kansas City previously hosted a World Cup qualifier in 2001 when the US defeated Costa Rica 1-0 at Arrowhead Stadium in front of 37,319 fans. In the American’s previous stop at Livestrong Sporting Park in June 2011, the US defeated Guadeloupe 1-0 at LSP as Jozy Altidore scored the game’s lone goal with a drive from distance.