USMNT Daily Update: Projecting the venues for the five home HEX qualifiers

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Now that the U.S. Men’s National Team knows the schedule for the Hexagonal Round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in 2013, it is time to start thinking about where the U.S. team’s five home qualifiers will be played.

It will be a while before we find out which five lucky venues will be selected, especially since there is only one home qualifier being played before June, but it isn’t too early to think about which venues make the most sense to host those five qualifiers.

Two venues seem like locks to host matches. Crew Stadium in Columbus and LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas both were outstanding hosts for qualifiers in 2012, and both are safe bets to be called on again for the Hexagonal.

That leaves three slots for three lucky venues. When considering the potential home qualifying sites, you have to consider not only the potential for drawing strong home crowds, but also fitting in logistically with things like travel and proximity to sites of subsequent road qualifiers.

With all that in mind, here are the five venues we see hosting 2013 home World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT, and the matches they would host:

March 22nd- vs. Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy Utah

So why Rio Tinto? With a likely trip to Mexico City to face Mexico four days later, the U.S. can set up shop in Utah and play at altitude to get them prepared for that match. It would only be about a three-hour flight to Mexico City, and Rio Tinto could offer some good home-field advantage. RSL fans would also get the chance to see Alvaro Saborio, not that it would factor into the decision to pick Rio Tinto.

June 11th vs. Panama at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

With a June 7th visit to Jamaica beforehand, it is safe to bet that the U.S. will play on the East coast four days later. If you project at least three qualifiers being played in smaller soccer-specific stadiums, you would have to imagine that at least one or two matches will be played at larger venues. Lincoln Financial Field has drawn good crowds for USMNT games in recent years, and would allow the national team to tap into the New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. markets.

The other alternative here is southern markets like Nashville and Jacksonville. They would be a short distance from Jamaica, and would tap into an underserved region of the country. A southern venue would also free up Lincoln Financial Field for the Honduras home qualifier.

June 18th vs. Honduras  at CenturyLink Field, Seattle

In a perfect world, the USMNT flies a few extra hours to Seattle, to play this game at CenturyLink Field. With no games after it, and with European-based players set for vacations, it would be a perfect chance to play a game in a market with a large and fervent soccer fan base.  Throw in the fact this game would be played in mid-June and you could have a scenario where the Seattle Sounders install a quality grass surface that wouldn’t interfere with the Seahawks.

So what stands in the way of this? U.S. Soccer has to decide whether playing on a temporary grass field is acceptable, and Jurgen Klinsmann has to decide whether it is worth traveling a few extra hours to tap into Seattle’s fan base. If the decision is that Seattle is simply not viable, then U.S. Soccer could make Lincoln Financial Field the home for this qualifier, with a market like Jacksonville or Nashville serving as the market for the Panama home qualifier. That is unless U.S. Soccer decides to play a game at RFK Stadium or Soldier Field, two venues where Honduran fans have outnumbered U.S. fans in World Cup qualifying in the past. Somehow, I don’t see Klinsmann going for that.

Sept. 10th vs. Mexico at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

There is too much tradition in having USA-Mexico in Columbus to not project it as the pick, but you definitely should not rule out LiveStrong Sporting Park as a viable alternative. If it isn’t in Columbus, this one will be in Kansas City.

Oct. 11th vs. Jamaica, at LiveStrong Sporting Park, Kansas City, Kansas

If Kansas City doesn’t succeed in prying away the Mexico home qualifier from Columbus, then there would be no better venue to have the final home qualifier than LiveStrong Sporting Park. When you consider that this could be the match that clinches the U.S. team’s place in the 2014 World Cup, and you remember the crowd at the Hex-clinching Guatemala qualifier in October, you can see why this makes too much sense.

———–

It should be noted that the Hex home qualifiers aren’t the only game in town in 2013. The Gold Cup will also be played next summer, meaning U.S. fans will have even more chances to see the national team play. And it also means that those venues that miss out on the five HEX home qualifiers will still have the chance to host meaningful matches.

What do you think about these selections? Which do you love? Which, if any, do you hate? What venue not on our list would you like to see a HEX qualifier played at?

Share your thoughts below.

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149 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: Projecting the venues for the five home HEX qualifiers

  1. Pete O says:

    I doubt June 11th will be at the Linc in Philly, They just announced Kenny Chesney June 8th and that would not leave much time for turnaround and to get the field in shape. June 18th Honduras makes more sense,

    • drew11 says:

      Panama looks like a good fit for Jacksonville. 40k or so US supporters (based on Scotland game attendance) + 10-20k Panama fans = USSF jackpot. My only issue is the weather would be favorable for Panama.

      • Rory says:

        Nashville. They played Trinidad and Tobago there last go around and got a good crowd (30k +). It’s East Coast but not too far North if they’re on their way back from the Caribbean and not too ethnically diverse that you get a huge opposition crowd.

        • drew11 says:

          There are 2 near certain games in the midwest. KC & CLB. 3 games in that area and with only 1 projected in the NE makes no sense at all.

          Nashville really doesn’t bring anything special except a big stadium they won’t fill. USSF will go elsewhere.

    • Josh D says:

      Can’t stand the soccer games I’ve been to at Linc. Let’s hope RFK gets one. I loved it there for the Costa game and there was a huge crowd.

      • Eric R says:

        With all due respect to the DC market, which is a great soccer-going market, RFK should be demolished tomorrow. There is nothing good to say about RFK, at all.

        • Stephen says:

          Truer words have not been spoken on this day.

        • Ian says:

          Except it’s location, capacity, and great field. That’s not important though. It’s an old stadium and you hate it, so it should go.

          • Not a Dumbass says:

            Nothing wrong with RFK… there are much older stadiums that teams still play in…no clause says the stadium itself has to be brand-new. It’s a US team, they oughta play 1 game in the capital

  2. THomas says:

    I think the Jamaica game could be in Chicago with a big pro US crowd and Kansas City could be used for a tougher opponent Panama or Honduras.

    • Andy says:

      Jamaica is a tougher opponent.

    • Shawn says:

      Livestrong won’t see Honduras, IMHO. The KC area is home to a large Honduran community, enough to make for a mixed atmosphere, even with a strong pre-sale to the fan base. Jamaica seems likely, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Costa Rica, given the tightness of the matches between the two sides in the past, and the fact it would be nice to throw a strong home advantage at a team that has done that so many times to us.

  3. JkR~ says:

    I can’t imagine having the big draw, Mexico, in the small field, and the poor draw, Panama, in the big field.

    Also, can’t imagine playing a WCQ on either turf or temporary grass.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      you can’t see USA-Mexico in Columbus? Really? It could lose out to KC for that game, but to suggest it wouldn’t be a good venue is pretty silly considering past results there. As for Panama being a poor draw, the draw is the USMNT, and a World Cup qualifier in Philly will draw well. Period.

      • JkR~ says:

        Yep. It’s not 2000, and it won’t be snowy. Just my feeling, especially having been to US Panama before.

        • bryan says:

          you’re wrong. sorry. USA/Mexico will be in Ohio.

        • Shawn says:

          If the US/Mexico home match had been in the winter, as the past 2 cycles, then I would’ve said Columbus for sure. But given it being in September, the “Cold War” renewal is out. That said, I’d rather this match was played someplace that did NOT have a large Hispanic community ready to turn it into a Mex home game.

      • Jake says:

        I agree. A big draw game with Mexico just means more Mexico fans… Not Good!

        • bruce says:

          I have been to the last two WC qualifiers against Mexico in Columbus. It is one of the few stadiums in the country that assures us actually having home field advantage. Each of those games were probably 2 to 1 in favor of US fans.

  4. Ryan Nanez says:

    off topic but do we know when the roster will be announced for russia?

    • 2tone says:

      Sunday.

    • Luetchy says:

      Was announced by Capello today. All from domestic league except Cheryshev. No Arshavin, Pogrebnyak, Zhirkov, or Pavlyuchenko.

      GOALKEEPERS: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow), Alexander Belenov (Kuban Krasnodar), Vladimir Gabulov (Anzhi Makhachkala)

      DEFENDERS: Alexander Anyukov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Renat Yanbayev (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexei Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Vasily Berezutsky (CSKA Moscow), Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow), Andrei Yeshchenko (Lokomotiv Moscow), Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow)

      MIDFIELDERS: Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Spartak Moscow), Dmitry Kombarov (Spartak Moscow), Vladimir Bystrov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Igor Denisov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Viktor Faizulin (Zenit St. Petersburg), Roman Shirokov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Denis Glushakov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow), Maxim Grigoriev (Lokomotiv Moscow), Magomed Ozdoyev (Lokomotiv Moscow), Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow), Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid)

      FORWARDS: Artem Dzyuba (Spartak Moscow), Alexander Kerzhakov (Zenit St. Petersburg), Alexander Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow), Fyodor Smolov (Anzhi Makhachkala)

      • MJC-DC says:

        Wow. Strong lineup, should be a fun game. Not as familiar with the Russian defenders, that attack could be quite a test for us.

        • Rory says:

          A LOT of familar names… from FIFA where I raid the Russian leagues for good young and cheaper players!

        • David M says:

          Their central defenders are big but not too mobile. Quick and speedy attackers could present a problem for them. That’s where Donovan will be missed.

  5. Sarasota says:

    We need a game in Jacksonville! What a great,supportive US fan base. But there are too many Honduras fans in FL. Jamaica in Jacksonville and Honduras at Livestrong?

    • Ian Garrett says:

      Costa Rica in Jacksonville! March 22 would be a good time to have a game here!

    • sly says:

      Jamaica in Florida would draw more Jamaicans than Americans. As a jamaican I would fly in from New York for that one.

      Put Jamaica on the West Coast not that manay Jamaicans on that side of the country.

      • RY RY APPLE PIE KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM CRY says:

        There are 400,000 Jamaicans on the west coast

        • mike says:

          and what? 5 times that number back east? let Jamaica try their luck out west….but i’d rather see that game in Portland.

          • Derek says:

            Over Seattle? Because portland would cover the cost of bringing in grass or why?

            • Luke says:

              FIFA does allow field turf to be used for tournaments, but it has to be up to their specifications. The stadium in Portland has such a surface. Seattle does not. I’m hopeful that Portland will get a game but would love to be able to go up to Seattle as well. It’d be a crime not to throw the NW a bone.

              • Randy says:

                I’m sorry, but that’s just not true. Both Seattle and Portland’s artificial surfaces have been given a FIFA 2-star rating. Regardless, the quality of the turf is irrelevant if the USMNT is unwilling to play on an artificial surface. It makes no difference if you put temporary grass on top of the turf. The only difference is that Portland has a smaller pitch than Seattle and Seattle seats 45k more than Portland.

      • Duneman says:

        We have plenty of Americans on the East Coast and plenty of Americans in FL and Jax in particular ;-) Even with traveling Jamaicans we will have no issues making it a home field. If you want to fly a few hrs to catch a game on the East, I bet you could fly from NY to Kingston for the same price as Jax so why not enjoy some good food back home and save your money for a nice return to the island ;-)…of course if you want to make it down for the US match in FL you are more than welcome…it will be nice to have a few people in yellow to chant against plus if you tale gate I dont mind trading a Bud for a Red Stripe ;-)

        • sly says:

          You can keep the bud. Though similar redstripe is a might better.

          I go to Jamaica my family would insist i spend every waking minute with me. So yeah jacksonville is as close as I’ll want to be especially if the main idea is a game with world cup implications.

          Just to be smart hold the game away from a large Jamaican population. Let those who wish to fly fly. but the US should use every advantage.

          At this point Im aiming for New Zealand in the qualifier for the 4th spot. No matter where Id go watch that.

  6. 2tone says:

    Personally I don’t think any NFL stadium should be used unless it’s Seattle.

    • Tony says:

      At this point, SKC and HDC would be the only venues w/o using football stadiums. Possibly New Houston stadium, problem with Houston, nothing against Latinos, however we want a home game for USA not Mexico

      • ed houston says:

        houston will not bode well for the NATs, not even against Jamaica and especially the other 4 countries.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Agreed… crappy turnout for GC semifinals at Reliant and would basically be an away game against any team but Jamaica.

      • Mark says:

        Can’t we limit the number of tickets for the away team supporters? Sort of like what MLS does for fans that come to support their team at an away game? Put them way up in the corner or something?

        Ok, ok, I know I’m daydreaming, but I am still thinking it!…..

        • Derek says:

          When half the fans are in a USA jersey and half are in a Panama jersey, they’re still almost all Americans. They just have different soccer loyalties.

    • krolpolski says:

      I have seen USA vs. Brazil, USA vs Poland and Fire versus the World’s Greatest Team as Soldier Field.

      This is a great venue to watch a match. Chicago is the center of the country making travel not too difficult for everyone and there is a solid supply of hotel rooms.

      The only draw back is that the USSF officials won’t be able to pad their expense accounts if the game was held in the city of their headquarters.

  7. biff says:

    I hate the idea of a USMNT WCQ match on a temporary grass field, but the argument for rewarding Seattle’s fan base is solid. And the team flight for that game will originate from the USMNT’s camp, so flight time cannot be used as an argument against.

    As for the Mexico game, I am starting think that the USMNT playing at home is not really so much of an overwhelming advantage anymore against a very strong and seasoned Mexico team. An advantage? Yes. Overwhelming advantage? Maybe, but maybe not. It is possible that Mexico no longer are going to be all shook up by the loud and boisterous fans in Crew Stadium. Mexico have played there now and done that, so the effect of Crew Stadium might be less now than in the past. Don’t know. Just wondering.

    It is possible that the Seattle fans whining for a WCQ game could make a strong argument that CenturyLink Field full to the brim with 67,000 rabid screaming fans would be much more intimidating for Mexico than Crew Stadium or LiveStrong Sporting Park. (It would certainly be a big money maker, although we know US Soccer is not so interested in a big payday, right?) But, as noted, I think this Mexico team is overflowing with confidence and swagger and is less likely to be intimidated than in the past.

    • Shane says:

      I dont think it is a matter of shaking up Mexico at Crew stadium but more a matter of giving a boost to the US team by not having their fans outnumbered. I was at the last WCQ against Mexico in Crew stadium and the fan ratio was still probably 2/3 USA fans to 1/3 Mexico fans. It is just plain hard to get an overwhelming advantage in fan support anywhere in this country when we play Mexico. The other thing about the Mexican fans at Crew stadium at all the WCQ held there is that they are good sports and good natured. There was none of the throwing things, booing, fights, etc that you hear about when the USA plays Mexico in Calif.

    • mike says:

      it aint about Mexico being intimidated…its about the USA not being intimidated on its own turf.

    • Knuckles says:

      When Mexico played China here a few years back, Qwest was at least 3/4 Mexico fans. There’s plenty of Mexicans within WA/OR to fill up the stadium. Jamaica would be a much safer bet for Seattle, and Crew Stadium just makes sense for Mexico.

  8. Weston John says:

    Why not have the US v. Mexico game in Miami at SunLife Stadium? The crowd would be HUGE (possibly similar to the barcelona v. chivas friendly).

    I know I am biased because I want the USMNT in south Florida, but it would be a rocking crowd.

    • Michael R. says:

      A rocking pro-Mexico crowd. No bueno.

    • Adam says:

      Yes, Mexico should definitely host a home game in south Florida. The USMNT, however, should not.

    • Travis says:

      The USWNT is playing a game in FAU next month. Hopefully the men will play here soon too. Though, I don’t think any of the Hex match-ups would be good. Maybe the Gold Cup though.

  9. biff says:

    My initial impression of the Hex schedule is that the September 6 game in Costa Rica has the potential to be the absolute key game of the whole Hex for the USMNT. If we are not near the top of the standings going into that game, then pressure will be on with the home match against Mexico just four days later on September 10.

  10. DCP says:

    I don’t know if this would be a positive or a negative for Rio Tinto in March, but my experience from working in Utah for a few years is that the weather could still be very cold in late March including the potential for snow storms.

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      Yep. I remember those wet, blustery spring storms. It would be a positive against Costa Rica, I would imagine.

    • Mingjai says:

      March in Utah really follows the “in like lion, out like a lamb.” By late March, Utah should be quite pleasant. For the whole month, the average high is in the 50s and the average low is in the 30s, though at that latitude and elevation, anything’s possible.

    • Eurosnob says:

      The key behind choosing Rio Tinto is to get used to the altitude before going to even higher altitude at Mexico.

      • DCP says:

        I get that this would be about training at altitude and that Utah could be enjoying nice spring weather by then, but there is also a possibility that a game scheduled on this date would take place in the middle of a miserable snow storm.

    • Taylor says:

      The USWNT played a friendly against Mexico at Rio Tinto on March 31, 2010 in a driving snowstorm.

      link to ussoccer.com

  11. Peter says:

    How do I go about getting tickets for the game in AZTECA? I need to go to this game! Its on my bucket list!!

  12. Ned_Smitty says:

    We just ligalized pot up here in Washington, but you’re the one that’s high if you think they’ll come to Seattle.

  13. Jason says:

    What about LP Field in Nashville. Just moved to Huntsville from up North. Watched Klinsi’s first game in Philly and would love to see the team again.

  14. Duneman says:

    1- I have always thought that a game at altitude or training before (Colorado?) like SLC would make sense given altitude is the one thing always mentioned before Mex.
    2- I like Jax (or something in FL) for the June for a SE location and to help boost soccer in FL if MLS is looking at options here like Orlando at some point. Also, if they play in Jax and US Soccer does some military appreciation thing for lower prices, they should have no trouble with a big Navy or military turn out which should look great on TV and help boost the numbers. Plus the new locker room for the Jags this year now rivals even Livestrong’s.
    3- Seattle will continue to be mentioned as will the issue with playing on carpet BUT when talking about an option at some point in the PNW….would playing on carpet against any of these teams provide us with more of an advantage vs others? Field quality and field width etc have been mentioned as Pro/Con in other games….while carpet has all kinds of issues, especially for tiered legs and quick turn around….just curios if it was to have a game which team might do better or worse on the turf? The age of our better players might be an issue/concern if all of the other teams are younger with better knees, etc….but just curious.

    • Jason says:

      Like your idea about military support, but i don’t like the idea about using WCQ for support building. Plenty of other opportunities for that.

      • Ian Garrett says:

        Actually, there really isn’t any need for support building here in Jacksonville. The support is already here. We were number three in attendance for home games this year and that was just for the friendly against Scotland. The stands were NOT filled with very many Scottish fans. A couple thousand at most. That stadium was loud and in full support of the US side. Give us a chance for a meaningful game and watch what we can do. I would predict 60,000+.

        • THomas says:

          I don’t disagree but if you schedule a central American team there, a major city, they will clock to it. So ya, you’ll get 60,000+ and over half of them will be for Mehico, Honduras, Panama, or Costa Rica.

          • drew11 says:

            That is why Jacksonville is a good compromise. It is close to major markets but does not have huge local immigrant populations who can roll out of bed and get to the match.

            You are not going to get 50,000 Panamanians driving 5-7 hours to get there. So if you have a 67,000 seat stadium in JAX and get 40,000 US supporters and 10-20k visiting supporters the financials work out pretty good I think.

            Nashville, OTOH, is much more isolated for everybody, US & visiting supporters.

    • Gary Page says:

      I have been saying the same thing about altitude. If Rio Tinto is good, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is better. I think the US should train there often to get better prepared for Azteca. Colorado fans are always supportive and the cooler temps plus the altitude will give the US a great advantage over the teams from Central America. I’m from Southern California so it wouldn’t benefit me personally, but I think the Colorado venue should be used often for qualifiers. After that, a stadium in Seattle might be best because of large crowds. I believe the stadium at U of Washington has natural grass. The venue there isn’t as important as the large boisterous crowds.

      • Luetchy says:

        Husky Field has fieldturf and is undergoing renovations through Sept 2013.

        • Big Chil says:

          And it also has a track around the field.

          • Travis says:

            the new Husky Stadium will not have a track.. but it will still be fieldturf.
            Safeco Field is the only major stadium in the PNW that is grass. Every other stadium that seats over 40k is fieldturf (UW, WSU, UO, OSU, BSU, UI, CLink, J-W).

            • Luetchy says:

              +1 Thanks, Travis.
              Safeco Field being a baseball field. We really want to reward the PNW with an important game, but they’re not making it easy on us!

          • agtk says:

            It will not when the renovations are complete.

      • Hogatroge says:

        From what I hear, last USMNT game at DSGP underwhelmed in attendance tremendously.

        • beto says:

          it did! i was one of the 5,500 that showed up. About half of the crowd was for Guatemala too.. Denver is my home but also a piss poor sports town.

          • Gary Page says:

            I don’t know how you can say Denver is a poor sports town. The Broncos always sell out, the Rockies used to have great crowds–haven’t paid attention recently, and the Nuggets draw well.

  15. Adam says:

    Jacksonville had an amazing record-breaking crowd for the Scotland match, and we’re 6 hours from Hispanic-filled Miami. Why not let us host a match? Jamaica could work.

    • drew11 says:

      JAX is also 2 hours from Mouseland, 4 from Tampa and 6/7 from Atlanta. That is a huge base to draw from to fill out a 60,000 seat stadium. Locals will be predominately backing the US since there are not huge immigrant populations in Northeast FL.

      I don’t know if it will work for this Hex cycle but I can definitely see USSF putting a qualy there soon.

    • Ian Garrett says:

      Costa Rica, March 22nd. Not too hot in Jax yet at that time. I think it would be perfect. Can you imagine how many people we would get for a meaningful game? 44,438 for a friendly… 60,000+ for a real game!

  16. Ian Garrett says:

    I would like to see the March 22nd game played in Jacksonville, FL. Jacksonville turned out the third largest crowd for home games in 2012 with 44,438 in attendance. That was for a friendly match against Scotland. The northwest would already be represented with a game in Seattle. March is the best time to play in Florida and there is no better location to represent the southeastern United States. It is easy for all in Florida to attend as well as people from Atlanta and the Carolina’s. We have proven that we can host a friendly, now give us the chance to host a meaningful game!

    • THomas says:

      We know…you’ve said it about 100 times already. Problem is, so would every Mexican/Honduran/Costa Rican/Panamanian/Jamaican.

  17. JSmiley says:

    Mexico plays Honduras immediately preceding both of the US-Mexico matches, including @ Honduras on 3/22 prior to Mex-US on 3/26. US plays Costa Rica in the games preceding Mexico. This works out better for the US, I think, since Honduras is generally tougher than the Ticos. Maybe Honduras will rough up El Tri for us.

    Also, the US-Mexico matches are each on the second leg of the two-game set, meaning that the US won’t have a quick turnaround after the two biggest matches.

    Interesting: Jamaica-Mexico match will be on June 4, three days before the Jamaica-US match. Reggae Boyz got enough legs for that? Mexico plays at Jamaica June 4, then at Panama June 7, home to CR on the 11th.

  18. Dinho says:

    What about the HDC for the Jamaica match? Please! :)

  19. Mike says:

    I think all five games should be played at Buck Shaw I hear Garber loves the place.

  20. Eddie says:

    I hope Lincoln Field in Philadelphia does not host a match. No offense to Philly, a city I adore, but the width of the field is too narrow. Nashville is probably better–great support at the WCQ against T&T last cycle.

    • drew11 says:

      27,000 for that qually in Nashville = “Great support” ???? .

      • Eddie says:

        For a Wednesday night against an opponent without a large following, yes. T&T only drew 11,452 in the Chicago (home of US Soccer) in the semifinal round and 25,000 in Hartford in 2005, both on Wednesday nights in areas with much larger populations and soccer history than Nashville.

        The popularity of the MNT has grown substantially in the last four years, so I think Nashville would be great for the match against Panama. Plus it’s a lot of fun to visit.

        • drew11 says:

          This is not 2002. 27k for a WQC in an NFL stadium in an area that rarely gets USMNT games is not acceptable. How about the attendance in Nashville for the Olympic tournament? My recollection is that it was terrible but please correct me if I am wrong.

        • Rory says:

          Facts? Stats? Who needs facts and stats? I’m sure city X could get 80,000 fans on a weeknight to see the mighty world-beaters of Tinidad AND Tobago (that’s like two teams in one, right?). You get to see three teams for the price of two!

  21. 2tone says:

    Here is my projected Roster for the game against Honduras:

    GK: Rimando, Guzan, Howard
    Defense: Dolo, Fabian, Chandler, Castillo, Cameron, Boca, Brooks, Gonzo
    CM’s: Williams, Bradley, Jones, O’Brien
    AM’s: Donovan, Zusi, Pontius, Gatt
    FWDS: EJ, Gomez, Boyd, Altidore, Deuce
    This team has the strength, skill, speed, and size to beat Honduras in Honduras.

    Now that the first game is settled look for Klinsmann to hold the January camp in late January for MLS and Scandinavian players leaing up to the three day camp before the Honduras game. Here are the players I think will be called into that late January camp:
    Donovan, Shea, Pontius, Gatt, Zusi, Diskerud, O’Brien, Goodson, Bedoya, Rimando, Sean Johnson, Bill Hamid, EJ, Will Bruin, CJ Sapong, Gonzo, Besler, Beitashour, DeLeon, Beckerman, Brad Evans,

    • fan of football says:

      …as much as I would also love for John O’Brien circa 2002 WC to come back and dominate the midfield for us in the hex, I reluctantly think it is time to give up on that dream…

  22. Tony says:

    I would be shocked to not see a game in the metropolitan area (NY DC PHL). Im from Philly so I am bias here, however I would be happy at New Meadow Lands, The Linc, or FedEx Field.

  23. mike says:

    hey Ives, you mentioned it would be awhile before the list is set in stone. any even general ideas when…December, Janu…etc.?

  24. Barbara says:

    I saw USMNT play Turkey before the 2010 WC at the Linc. It was awesome. I also saw them play Argentina at MetLife and the experience was horrible. I don’t know how that place handles the crowds for the Jets/Giants game but they did not know how to deal with the hordes leaving the stadium. The Lincoln would be great for a northern east coast game because it is centrally located and Septa has the brains to add a serious number of trains to get people to and from the stadium. If they wanted to go further south, M&T Bank stadium did a ok job with the Liverpool/Spurs match. Could have used better announcers though… They had some trouble keeping up with all the subs.

  25. Barbara says:

    I saw USMNT play Turkey before the 2010 WC at the Linc. It was awesome. I also saw them play Argentina at MetLife and the experience was horrible. I don’t know how that place handles the crowds for the Jets/Giants game but they did not know how to deal with the hordes leaving the stadium. The Lincoln would be great for a northern east coast game because it is centrally located and Septa has the brains to add a serious number of trains to get people to and from the stadium. If they wanted to go further south, M&T Bank stadium did a ok job with the Liverpool/Spurs match. Could have used better announcers though… They had some trouble keeping up with all the subs.

  26. Crazy Jon says:

    Until seattle or any turf’d stadium goes grass… they should not get a qualifier

    • Kejsare says:

      FIFA will allow a World Cup Final there, but opinions are the only thing stopping it from happening. Like yours.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Technically they will allow it, but it would never happen.

      • beto says:

        who cares that is passes FIFA’s lowly standards USSF has the choice of playing where they want to. I really want Seattle to host the Honduras game but they need to replace the rug. If not USSF can just host the game in one of the hundreds of other top notch grass pitches in this country.

  27. Big Chil says:

    Good point on playing the first home game v. Costa Rica at altitude. I think I like Denver better as a market, than Sandy, Utah. Denver also offers the option to play at Mile High Stadium (68k) and is an easy travel hub to Mexico City.

    For those wondering about national team support in Denver, the USWNT’s friendly v. Australia this summer sold out in a matter of hours in the pre-and public sale, and was standing room only, and they even added field level seats. Oh, and yes, it was a rocking, full-on pro-American crowd ;)

  28. Big Chil says:

    The tricky thing about playing Honduras is that their fans have proven they will travel to support their team. Remember Soldier Field, Chicago, 2009? 45,000 Hondurans flooded Soldier Field, making it look like an away game, in a market that only has 5k Hondurans (2010 Census). Honduras might be a team we want to schedule in one of our smaller MLS venues so we can ensure a pro-American crowd. Honduras are an awfully good team, and in any large football stadium anywhere, we’re probably looking at a 50/50 split.

    • Big Chil says:

      Also, I say no to the turf or temporary grass at Century Link, unless they put it in place at the beginning of the MLS season. Turf and temporary sod cause too many injuries. Sorry, Seattle.

      • Kejsare says:

        Studies on current generation artificial turf show no increased injuries, only increased abrasions.

        Get with it, the turf has gotten better and you’re stuck on old info.

      • beto says:

        agreed. turf does not make for a good game and can cause injuries, but sod over turf is even worse. There are plenty of NFL stadiums with real grass Idk why CLink field can’t…

  29. Big Chil says:

    1. Denver v. Costa Rica — altitude game before Mexico City, good training facilities at DSGP.
    (Alternatively — RFK, play one in our nation’s capitol–direct from Jamaica)
    2. Philadelphia v. Panama — Panamanian population is not that big (42k in NY Metro), time to get a game up NE and use a bigger stadium.
    3. Kansas City v. Honduras — use one of our lockdown SSS to get a pro-American crowd in what’s likely to be a crucial point in the qualifiers. Any large stadium is going to be at least 50% or worse Honduran.
    4. Columbus v. Mexico
    5. Home Depot Center v. Jamaica — national team training grounds, direct flight to Panama afterwards, West Coast game, not a huge Jamaican population.

  30. Eric R says:

    Can the Linc be used for World Cup qualifiers due to its non-regulation width? Unless CONCACAF has exceptions I am not aware of.

    The Linc would be too big for a Panama game. You would be lucky to get 25k. At that size, we are better off with PPL at 18.5k.

  31. Jeremy says:

    What about FC Dallas stadium? It’s in for good weather, decent size, and a large fan base. It’s also centrally located between the Central American teams and that of the US

    • peterjh says:

      “It’s also centrally located between the Central American teams and that of the US”

      I think that’s actually an argument against holding it at FC Dallas stadium. These are supposed to be our home games! Make it as difficult for our opponents as possible. Give them cold weather and a long trip.

    • Hogatroge says:

      It’s also centrally located between the actual city of Dallas and the TX-OK border…

  32. Between the WCQ and the Gold Cup, I’m hoping for at least one game close to me, or close to a stadium where either of our son’s family lives (can combine a visit and a soccer game – Ok remember I’m a mom)

  33. soccernut says:

    I selfishly second Jamaica at Home Depot.

    Or even at Rose Bowl. Could we fill it? That would be awesome.

  34. BamaMan says:

    All MLS Stadiums, I believe.

    Here is a repost of my comment in the other blog.

    First, we will not play in the Pacific Northwest. Great support, great venues in Portland and Seattle but no way in heck Klinsmann or Gulati want our guys to play on turf or temporary grass. Just not going to happen or it would have already. That said, in terms of leveraging our advantage, here our my predictions:

    3/22 – vs. Costa Rica @ PPL Park – Chester, PA

    All of our matches ought to be at soccer-specific stadia in my opinion. Control the crowd, create a strong pro-US environment. Here, leverage the weather advantage (and the relative lack of Costa Ricans in Philly compared with some other potential home field sites) for us. Great venue, cold weather.

    6/11 – vs. Panama @ Livestrong Sporting Park – Kansas City, KS

    Looked great against Guatemala. Should be a great US crowd. Panama is, I believe, the strongest team in our group outside Mexico and we need to play them in the venue that gives us the best chance to win. Livestrong fits the bill.

    6/18 – vs. Honduras @ Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, UT

    This is one that could go several places. I think the USSF will stick to SSS so long as qualification is in question and Sandy hosted last time; it’s relatively close to Kansas so the US won’t have far to travel (I’m assuming the US will stick together and have a camp between the Panama and Honduras games with only 7 days separating them).

    9/10 vs. Mexico @ Columbus Crew Stadium – Columbus, OH

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With the US Supporters Club and a decent season ticket base now fully in place, I expect a stronger pro-US crowd than last time.

    10/11 vs. Jamaica @ BBVA Stadium – Houston, TX

    The only game Houston has a shot at hosting and I think the USSF is going to want to reward Houston for building such a great venue. While it would be nice to take advantage of the colder weather up north, stadiums in Hartford or the New York area would be within driving distance of HUGE Jamaican diaspora populations (and NYRB’s season ticket base would likely not do as well as Houston’s in bringing in pro-US fans).

    If the US has qualification sewn up by the time we play Mexico and/or Jamaica, I would expect the game to be played at Cowboys Stadium (Mexico) and MetLife Stadium (Jamaica) for the money grab.

  35. bryan says:

    i think from a logistics stand point, Ives’ lineup makes the most sense. and i hope that’s exactly what happens.

  36. Kevin says:

    USA-Mexico has to be Colombus. No doubt about it.

    I would personally like to see Red Bull Arena or The New Meadowlands get one…I think it’d be great for that area after their nightmare last few weeks.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if they returned to Jacksonville. US Soccer seemed to really like there trip for the friendly v. Scotland.

    I love your thoughts on Rio Tinto…makes sense to me.

    So I’d have it as:

    March 22nd- vs. Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah

    June 11th vs. Panama at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey

    June 18th vs. Honduras at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida

    Sept. 10th vs. Mexico at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

    Oct. 11th vs. Jamaica, at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas

    I think this will be East-Coast heavy, but in return, the Gold Cup will be West Coast heavy.

  37. cairo says:

    Do whatever it takes to hold a qualifier in Seattle. It would be super loud (if you’ve ever been there for a football game, you know what I mean–loudest stadium in NFL) and a pro-American crowd against anybody. Mexican fans would come (there are many in the Northwest) but the Sounders fans would turn out in droves to see the USMNT. Must be a way to get a field installed during summer and then removed again when football season starts, no??

  38. Jack says:

    No one take this the wrong way and i am not trying to be racist, but shouldn’t we play the games in cities with the least percentage of the opponent’s ethnicity in that area. I went to the USA vs Mexico friendly at Lincoln Financial and the crowd was about 50/50 maybe even more Mexico. I am happy we are the country that gives everyone an opportunity at freedom, but they are home games and it would be nice if the majority 85-90% are American. Please no one take that the wrong way.

  39. Raymon says:

    Selfishly, any of these games, except for MX can be played in Dallas or Houston. Between those two cities and others nearby (OKC, Tulsa, San Antone, Austin, etc) there’s plenty of fans to support MNT. CRC in March or JAM in Oct will ensure bearable, even nice temperatures. Texas is a 2 hr flight from the D.F. in Mexico, so CRC might make sense.

  40. JJ says:

    The 5 home sites from the 2010 Hex were: Columbus (v Mexico), Nashville (v T&T), Chicago (v Honduras), Salt Lake City (v El Salvador) & DC (Costa Rica). Definite mix of big and small stadiums.

    Here are some possibilities:

    The Dick, Colorado (v Costa Rica). High altitude prep for Mexico and cold (avg. low is 25 degrees March) Soldier Field, Chicago (v Panama). The $ grab game
    Livestrong Park, KS (v Honduras). Short trip from Chicago
    Crew Stadium, OH (v Mexico). Dos a cero.
    Rio Tinto, Utah (v Jamaica). Might be a bit cold there in October (avg. low is 40 degrees at night in October)

  41. beto says:

    @SBI we had almost identical schedules!!! I basically had KC and Philly switched but now I think yours is better.

    I hope Seattle can put in some real grass for the entire MLS season, plus a qualifier and/or Gold Cup game. But if they can’t do that I wouldn’t mind seeing Jacksonville or Nashville picking up a game.

    I think Rio Tinto is perfect for the first game, but I would love to see Denver or Phoenix steal that game!

  42. Nick a says:

    Please give New England one..we packed Gillett for US vs Spain and Revs vs Manchester United in friendlies..they probs won’t tho cuz Gilletts turf and idk of another stadium big enough around here..
    Oh and if they did we’d draw from all of New England, New York and maybe even Philly

    • Rob says:

      Rentschler Field in Hartford. Holds 40,000 with natural grass and was a near sell-out for US/Czech in the 2010 Send-Off Series.

  43. g? says:

    PDX or not, kejsare is right on.
    Portugal played Russia on turf in a WC qualifier, and no one said anything. :O

    It’d be fine, and it could be arranged to give sounders season ticket holders priority.

  44. Llorona says:

    My predictions
    1. USA will lose to Panama with a margin larger than the Panama Canal.
    2. Just like Jamaican sprinters smoke Americans on the track they will on the soccer field aswell.
    3. Costa Rica will continue to be the achilles tendon for American, and will win comfortably.
    4. Honduras will replicate the trashing of Canada with the USA in San Pedro Sula.
    5. Mexico will beat the USA easy, and break the record for biggest win with a 14-0.
    6 USA last on the HEX.