Monday, February 11, 2013

Sporting Park to Host US-Jamaica in October?

News is slowly starting to leak out on the rest of the sites that will host the US national team's remaining 4 home qualifiers that have not been announced yet.  Word over the weekend was that Columbus would in fact be the host of US-Mexico, and Seattle was getting one of the two qualifiers at home during the summer.

Then today was this Tweet from Grant Wahl:

Looking at that list, each one makes sense, all 4 sites would give the US a very good chance at a strong home field advantage.  Seattle could easily pull in 60,000 plus for the US.  Salt Lake has done a good job of hosting the US national team, having previously hosted US-El Salvador last cycle.  Honduras is arguably the second best team the US will face this cycle and their fans tend to travel well.

As for US-Mexico, while Robb Heineman and much of the KC soccer community liked to talk up that they were really in the discussion (and I don't doubt that they were), there really wasn't an option other than Columbus.  I've said for a while, until the US loses to Mexico at Columbus, you don't mess with the success that is 3 straight 2-0 wins in qualifying over Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium.

That leaves the final home qualifier in October against Jamaica for Kansas City.  And while Jamaica certainly isn't a glamorous opponent when it comes to qualifying, I'd argue that this match very well could be the biggest home qualifier of this entire cycle.  After the first match day that saw Jamaica get a draw in Mexico City, and Panama and Costa Rica tie in Panama, the US currently sit at the bottom of their qualifying group.  And while there's plenty of time to come back from that, this cycle appears to be one of the tightest in recent memory when it comes to qualifying.  There's no "minnow" that teams can breath a bit against. 

So October 11th against Jamaica could very well be a must win for the US heading into their final qualifier only 4 days later in Panama.  Getting a strong home crowd for this game is going to be an absolute must, and KC has proven over the last 2 years especially that they can bring it support wise for the US as the US beat Guadeloupe and Guatemala.  Even back in 2001 when Arrowhead hosted US-Costa Rica, the US has been well supported here. 

If this report is true, I think it shows the confidence that US Soccer has in Kansas City.  Putting what could be a very big game in KC to help put pressure on the visiting team to give the US that last little push.

1 comment:

Nathan Martin said...

Honduras was precluded by Espinoza. Mexico was precluded by geography. Costa Rica was precluded by away schedule.

Ex situational considerations, KC has made it into the top USMNT circuit.

When deciding between Seattle or KC for the earlier game or the later game, it would appear that climate plays a role. Better to help out the European-based players with Seattle's June climate than KC's.

I'd love to see Mexico or Honduras in SP, but I'd love to see US in the World Cup more.