Fans From 43 U.S. States, Canada and Mexico Will Make Up Sold-Out Crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium
CHICAGO (Feb. 10, 2009) — Soccer fans from across North America will be converging on Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, Feb. 11, for the most anticipated match on U.S. soil in four years when the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium. The match will mark the 55th meeting between the two long-time rivals, and kicks off the final round of 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Fans from 43 states, and the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico have purchased tickets to the match. More than 2,400 tickets were also sold to U.S. Organized Supporters, providing the largest-ever U.S. supporters’ section for a Men’s National Team match.
The match, which sold out within 90 minutes of going on public sale, will mark the third straight time that Columbus Crew Stadium has hosted the home leg of the final round World Cup qualifying series between the United States and Mexico. The game will be broadcast live at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN2HD and Univision, as well as on the airwaves via Futbol de Primera. Fans can also follow along via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the sixth World Cup qualifier hosted by the nine-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 3-0-2 record in qualifying and an unbeaten 4-0-3 all-time record in the stadium. In the first meeting on Feb. 28, 2001 – dubbed the “Guerra Fria (‘Cold War’)” because the game-time temperature topped out at 29 degrees – goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart paced the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Four years later on Sept. 3, 2005, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley earned the United States another 2-0 win and officially booked their place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
The U.S. has dominated the series of late, collecting an 8-0-2 home record against Mexico since 2000. During that span, the USA has netted 17 goals, while the Mexicans have scored only three on American soil in this decade.
U.S. head coach Bob Bradley named a 20-player roster for the match earlier this week, 18 of which participated in the first two rounds of World Cup qualifying last year. Under Bradley, the U.S. has a 2-0-1 record against their border rivals, including a 2-1 victory in the 2007 Gold Cup final in Chicago that delivered the U.S. its second-consecutive regional championship and a place in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where they will play current World Champion Italy, Brazil and Egypt.
The U.S., along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 14, 2009, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 14/18 against the fifth-place finisher in South American qualifying.