CHICAGO (April 12, 2005) — Tickets for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s June 4 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica in Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium go on sale April 18 at 12 p.m. MT. The fourth of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT and will be televised live on ESPN2.
Following the match between the 2002 World Cup participants, MLS expansion franchise Real Salt Lake hosts FC Dallas in the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m.
Tickets ranging in price levels from $25 to $108 go on sale starting Monday, April 18, at 12 p.m. MT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 801-581-8849 and at the Rice-Eccles Stadium ticket office. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com. Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader.
The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Fans can also follow all of the U.S. national team World Cup qualifying action live at ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to play in Salt Lake City,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena. “Real Salt Lake and the fans will provide the U.S. team with a venue which we can truly call ‘home.’ I look forward to the game on June 4, and hopefully it will be the first of many games for the national team in Utah.”
The U.S. sits in second place in CONCACAF through three of their 10 final round qualifying matches with six points. The U.S. picked up their points with a 2-1 victory in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Feb. 9 in the opening game of the final round, followed most recently by a 2-0 victory against Guatemala in Birmingham, Ala. Mexico, who topped the U.S. 2-1 in Estadio Azteca on March 27, leads the group with seven points after three games. The team will have more than two months without a qualifying match before returning to action on June 4 in Salt Lake City. At stake for the U.S. over the 10-game qualifying schedule this year is a berth to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
This will be the first trip for the U.S. Men’s National Team to both Salt Lake City and Utah. In 2003, the U.S. Women’s National Team topped Ireland 5-0 in preparation for the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup in front of 19,584 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The U.S. is 10-9-4 all-time vs. Costa Rica, with the record going over the .500 mark for the first time in 2003 when the U.S. topped the Ticos by a 3-2 margin in the third-place match of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Bobby Convey scored the game-winner for the U.S. in the 67th minute. One year earlier, Josh Wolff and Jeff Agoos provided the U.S. with a 2-0 victory vs. Costa Rica in the Gold Cup finals, a match that sent the U.S. to the 2003 Confederations Cup in France. Real Salt Lake’s Eddie Pope is one of 20 U.S. players to score a goal against Costa Rica, with his strike coming in a 2-1 win on Feb. 7, 1998 in Oakland, Calif.
In World Cup qualifying, Costa Rica still holds the series edge with a 6-4-2 mark vs. the U.S., although at home the U.S. is 4-1-1 vs. Costa Rica with the only home loss coming in Torrance, Calif., in 1985 in qualifying for the 1986 World Cup. In qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. faced Costa Rica in both the semifinal and final rounds, posting a 1-2-1 overall record. After a 0-0 draw in Columbus, Ohio, at home in the semifinal round, a Josh Wolff goal in Kansas City gave the U.S. a 1-0 win in the final round on April 25, 2001.
The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, will compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 9 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.
U.S. MNT 2005 Schedule
* FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
+ CONCACAF Gold Cup
^ If necessary