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U.S. to Open 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Campaign on June 15 at The Home Depot Center



CHICAGO (February 4, 2008) — The United States Men’s National Team will begin the road to qualify for its sixth-consecutive FIFA World Cup when they host the first leg of the second round on June 15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s first match of the 2010 qualifying campaign is set for 2 p.m. PT, with broadcast details still to be finalized. The U.S. will face the winner of the first round series between Barbados and Dominica, who will meet on Feb. 6 in Dominica and March 26 in Barbados.

“We are very much looking forward to beginning the process of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “We have been preparing for more than a year, and selecting a venue for the match really gives us a target for everyone to focus on for the next few months. The Home Depot Center has been a great host for the national team, and we are hoping to continue our run of good results there.”

The June 15 match represents the USA’s first World Cup qualifier played in Carson. The U.S. boasts an unbeaten
5-0-1 record at the HDC, including two victories during the group stage of their 2007 Gold Cup championship-winning run last year. In their opening match of 2008, goals by Eddie Robinson and Landon Donovan lifted the USA to a 2-0 win against Sweden. It is also the first World Cup qualifying match that the U.S. MNT has played in Southern California since a 1-1 draw with Trinidad & Tobago on May 13, 1989 in Torrance.

The U.S. has never faced Dominica and only played Barbados twice in the Men’s National Team’s 91-year history.
The only meetings between the U.S. and Barbados took place in the Semifinal Round of 2002 World Cup qualifying in a group that also included Guatemala and Costa Rica. The U.S. dominated both matches, winning 7-0 on Aug. 16, 2000, in Foxborough, Mass., before cruising to a 4-0 victory in the final group match on Nov. 15, a win that booked the USA’s passage to the final phase.

Should the U.S. advance, the Semifinal Round will take place from August to November in 2008, with the teams divided into three groups of four teams each. Playing a six-game round robin format, the top two finishers from each group will advance to the final six-team group that will play in 2009. The U.S. could potentially face Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba should each country advance out of their early-round series.

More than 50,000 tickets have been sold for the USA’s meeting against CONCACAF rival Mexico on Feb. 6 in Houston. Kickoff at Reliant Stadium is set for 8 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, Univision, and the Futbol de Primera Radio Network. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

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