At the start of the year, the clearest goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team was to lock up a spot at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The road to Russia now has one final hurdle, and it’s a mouth-watering matchup with its biggest rival.
On Oct. 10, the United States and Mexico will meet in a do-or-die, one-match playoff at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, with the winner taking CONCACAF’s spot at the World Cup warm-up competition.
While the U.S. has largely been successful against Mexico on home soil in the last 20 years, the task of facing a charged Mexican side at a giant venue like The Rose Bowl will serve up a new challenge. Four of the six largest crowds ever to watch the MNT play have watched a USA-Mexico match in southern California, and often with a heavy pro-Mexico tilt. That tide has turned in other venues – most notably Columbus Crew Stadium – and now the opportunity exists to make the Rose Bowl another example of the growing legion of U.S. supporters. After experiencing strong fan turnout during domestic matches throughout 2015, U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann stressed the importance of making sure American fans turn up for the team at the imperative playoff match.