COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Tuesday, January 15, 2013) – U.S. Soccer announced today that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, will be the site of the U.S. Men's National Team’s first home match of the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on March 22, 2013. Kickoff for the match, the second-ever World Cup Qualifier at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, is set for 8 p.m. MT, with ticket information to be announced in the near future.
“We are really excited to play our first home qualifying match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “Winning games at home in World Cup Qualifying is crucial, and we really are expecting the fans in Colorado to bring us a huge home-field advantage.”
“Everyone at the Rapids, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is eager to welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team back to Colorado for such an important match,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “We’re thrilled that our fans will have the opportunity to attend this game, and similarly excited for the U.S. to play in front of such passionate and dedicated supporters.”
The match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN and on the Univision family of networks. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer. It is the second major U.S. Soccer match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in recent months, as the stadium hosted a standing-room only crowd of 18,589 for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 6-2 friendly win over Australia on September 19, 2012.
The match against Costa Rica just outside the “Mile High” city comes as part of a double-fixture date. Four days later, the U.S. travels to face regional rival Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. This will be the first meeting between the teams since the USA’s historic 1-0 win in that stadium last summer.
This is the second World Cup Qualifier hosted at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. In 2008, the U.S. gave six players their first cap in qualifying while cruising to a 2-0 win against Guatemala to secure the top spot in its group in the Semifinal Round.
The U.S. MNT, with newly-acquired Rapids forward Edson Buddle, is currently training at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., in preparation for the first match of 2013, a friendly against Canada on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The U.S. opens the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Feb. 6 against Honduras in San Pedro Sula. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on beIN SPORT. Fans can also follow the match live online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer.
Along with Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico, the U.S. is joined by Jamaica and Panama as the final six teams set to compete in the 10-game round-robin format from Feb. 6-Oct. 15. The top three teams in the Hexagonal automatically advance to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, while the fourth-place finisher will contest a two-game playoff against the winner of the Oceania region.
The Colorado Rapids are entering their 18th season in Major League Soccer and their seventh year at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The team will kick off the season on March 2 in Dallas before the home opener on March 9 against the Philadelphia Union. To purchase season tickets for the Rapids’ 2013 campaign, call 303-825-GOAL or CLICK HERE for more information.