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U.S. MNT Learns Home and Away Schedule for Semifinal World Cup Qualifying Round

CHICAGO (December 17, 2007) - The U.S. Men’s National Team will be on the road for its first two games of the Semifinal Round of CONCACAF qualifying should it get past their Second Round opponent (either Barbados or Dominica) in June. FIFA announced on Sunday the draw for the three Semifinal Round groups of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

If the U.S. advances past Barbados or Dominica in their home-and-away series, they could face Guatemala and Cuba on the road to start the Semifinal Round before heading back to the U.S. for their first home match against Trinidad & Tobago. Guatemala, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago all would need to advance out of their Second Round matches.

The U.S. would kick off their Semifinal Round campaign away on Aug. 20 and on Sept. 6, which would be the first of a two-game stretch. The U.S. would then return from the United States to play their first home game of the round on Sept. 10, in a site to be determined.

The U.S. would then play at home on Oct. 11 before traveling away for a match on Oct. 15. The team's final match of the Semifinal Round would be at home on Nov. 19.

For the preliminary round, 23 teams were divided into 11 home-and-away series, with St. Vincent and the Grenadines earning a bye to the Second Round. In addition to the United States, the other 11 seeded teams are Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago.

For the Second Round, the 24 remaining teams are paired into 12 home-and-away series, with the winners based on aggregate goals advancing to the Semifinal Round.

Guatemala awaits the winner of Turks and Caicos Islands-St. Lucia in Group 1B, Trinidad & Tobago faces the winner of Bermuda-Cayman Islands in Group 1C, while Cuba meets the winner of the Aruba-Antigua and Barbuda in Group 1D.

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 be played in 2009. Once again played in a round robin format of 10 games, the top three teams from the six-team group will automatically advance to the 2010 World Cup. The fourth-place finisher will meet the fifth-place team from South America in a home-and-away playoff for the final berth in the finals.

Group 1 Master Schedule

SF-Date Match Home Away
Aug. 20 A1 ARU/ATG vs. CUB BER/CAY vs. TRI
Aug. 20 A2 TCA/LCA vs. GUA DMA/BRB vs. USA
Sept. 6 A3 BER/CAY vs. TRI TCA/LCA vs. GUA
Sept. 6 A4 ARU/ATG vs. CUB DMA/BRB vs. USA
Sept. 10 A5 DMA/BRB vs. USA BER/CAY vs. TRI
Sept. 10 A6 TCA/LCA vs. GUA ARU/ATG vs. CUB
Oct. 11 A7 TCA/LCA vs. GUA BER/CAY vs. TRI
Oct. 11 A8 DMA/BRB vs. USA ARU/ATG vs. CUB
Oct. 15 A9 BER/CAY vs. TRI DMA/BRB vs. USA
Oct. 15 A10 ARU/ATG vs. CUB TCA/LCA vs. GUA
Nov. 19 A11 BER/CAY vs. TRI ARU/ATG vs. CUB
Nov. 19 A12 DMA/BRB vs. USA TCA/LCA vs. GUA