After opening the final round of qualifying against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, on February 28, and traveling to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on March 28, the United States will play its third of ten qualifying matches at Arrowhead Stadium. The top three finishers from the six-team group, which also includes Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, will advance to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.
The United States finished first in its semifinal qualifying group, ahead of last-place Barbados and both Guatemala and Costa Rica, who finished tied with 10 points each. A playoff game will be played in Miami, Florida on January 6, 2001 to determine which team will advance to the final qualifying round.
The April 25 match will be the USA's first appearance in Kansas City since November 2, 1968, when Peter Millar's three goals led the USA to a 6-2 win over Bermuda in a World Cup qualifier. The test against Guatemala or Costa Rica will be the Men's National Team's first match at Arrowhead Stadium, which serves as the home field for Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards, who captured their first MLS Cup in 2000.
"We're thrilled to go to the home of the MLS champions," head coach Bruce Arena commented. "Arrowhead is a terrific facility, and I think the supporters in Kansas City will help give us the boost we need to accomplish our goal of taking every possible point from our home matches."
The United States has won seven of 14 all-time games played against Guatemala, having lost four matches and tied three others. The two last met at RFK Stadium in September, when Brian McBride's 72nd minute goal gave the USA a 1-0 victory in a World Cup qualifying match.
Costa Rica has proved to be one of the USA's most difficult qualifying opponents since the two first met on the road to the 1986 World Cup. The United States has lost only five qualifying matches since 1984, all to Costa Rica, and trails the Central American nation in the all-time series seven wins to eight, with four ties.
The U.S. Men concluded the semifinal round of regional qualifying for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan by defeating Barbados in November, capturing the top spot in Group E and ending the year with five consecutive shutouts and a 9-2-6 record.
As U.S. Soccer has done in the past, advance tickets will be made available to the U.S. Soccer family of supporters through a direct mailing. Further ticket details will be announced by U.S. Soccer in the near future.