In preparation for their match against Honduras in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. Men’s National Team conducted their lone training session inside Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula earlier today.
A familiar venue to several current players that were involved in World Cup Qualifying matches in 2009 and 2013, the stadium holds almost 40,000 and was built just 20 years ago in 1997 (that’s right, it’s only just older than Christian Pulisic).
In advance of that 2009 match, former Studio 90 host Aaron Heifetz provided fans with a video tour of the stadium. WATCH THE TOUR
To see how much – if anything – has changed eight years later, U.S. Soccer asked team photographer John Dorton to take his own tour during training and take photos of the unique items that caught his eye.
Check out Dorton’s photographic tour:
As we pulled up to the stadium in our bus, this was the first picture I took from the street. I was here in 2009 and the memories of that day came rushing back (we won 3-2 and qualified for the 2010 World Cup). While the stadium is a little worn down, the blue and white stands out to me.
If you walk in the center gate, this is the view on the side of the stadium. Pretty cool branding of the stadium as the “H” is used as their secondary logo and is even on their jersey.
This is the tunnel both teams will walk through on the way to the field and it’s one of the tightest you’ll find. Our guys will be almost literally touching shoulders as they wait to walk out to start the game.
This is the hallway under the stadium the players will walk to get to the locker room. Our guys might not notice it in the moment, but the light that breaks through the patterned brick to light up the dark walkway creates a cool look.
The locker room is totally different compared to 2009. At some point in the past eight years they did a renovation, putting in individual seats and lockers, a carpet and it’s even air conditioned!
Here’s a quick look at what it looked like in 2009.
Back to 2017...
The emptiness of the press conference room is always a unique shot to me. So ordinary, until it’s packed to the brim with reporters, videographers and photographers, all capturing the emotion of both coaches right after the game.
I didn’t get the exact story about this statue that sits right out front of the main entrance to the stadium.
The panoramic shots from the top of the stadium are always my favorite. Similar to outside, the blue and white is a focus throughout the inside, and I love how it connects with the blue sky and white clouds.
The police officers around the team the past few days have been incredibly friendly and helpful to us. We know inside they’re cheering for the homeland, but definitely appreciate their professionalism.