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MNT to Host Colombia on March 9 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif.

CHICAGO (February 14, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team will face Colombia on Wednesday, March 9 in Fullerton, Calif., at 7:30 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium in an important tune up for the most difficult match of its World Cup qualifying schedule.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $15 to $40 go on sale starting this Thursday, February 17, at 10 a.m. PT through Tickets will also go on sale by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster centers throughout Southern California (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records). Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is coming off an exciting 2-1 victory on Feb. 9 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Goals by Ed Johnson and Eddie Lewis earned the U.S. three valuable points for a win in the first qualifying match of 2005. The next qualifying match for the U.S. sends the team to Mexico City to face rival Mexico on March 27 at Estadio Azteca, the toughest venue in the CONCACAF region for a visiting team to earn points. Mexico also won their qualifying opener vs. Costa Rica on Feb. 9 by a 2-1 margin, to put them tied with the U.S. at the top of the six-team qualifying group. On March 30, the U.S. returns home for its first domestic World Cup qualifier of the year vs. Guatemala in Birmingham, Ala.

"Our focus right now is on preparing as best we can for our next World Cup qualifying games against Mexico and Guatemala," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. "Colombia is consistently one of the best teams in South America, and will provide a great challenge for our team as we get ready for the task of playing two key qualifiers in four days."

This is the first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team in Fullerton, Calif., since late 1994. All seven of the U.S. appearances in Fullerton were during a two-year span from 1993-1994, with the U.S. compiling a 3-0-4 record with six of those matches serving as preparation for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. is 2-8-2 all-time vs. Colombia in a series that dates back to a 2-0 loss for the U.S. in Bogata, Colombia, in 1961. The biggest game of the series was a 2-1 win for the U.S. in the Rose Bowl during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. An Earnie Stewart goal gave the U.S. its first win in a World Cup match since the famed 1950 U.S. team defeated England 1-0. Since 1994, the U.S. has faced Colombia four times with an 0-2-2 record, including falling on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2000 Gold Cup.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, are competing in the 10-game round-robin format through Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.