Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
After a lengthy wait to find out just where the U.S. Men’s National Team would play the first home qualifier of the CONCACAF Hexagonal, it now appears we will find out this week just where that March 22nd match against Costa Rica will be played.
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl is reporting that U.S. Soccer has settled on three finalists to host the Costa Rica home qualifier. Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Denver are the remaining candidates to host the match, with the final choice expected to be made this week.
Sources have told SBI that Denver remains the front-runner for the match, though all three contenders have their benefits and draw backs. Here is a closer look at all three:
DENVER: Playing at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, and training in the area, would provide the altitude Jurgen Klinsmann is looking for ahead of the March 26th qualifier in Mexico City against Mexico, but there are concerns about just how the turnout would be for a qualifier there.
KANSAS CITY: Memories of the great crowd for the qualifying win vs. Guatemala in October are fresh, and a real home-field advantage would be felt, but KC wouldn’t offer the altitude edge.
SALT LAKE CITY: Rio Tinto Stadium boasts the altitude factor, and RSL has a strong fan base, but the altitude training options in Colorado are better than they are in Utah. In terms of combining altitude with a good chance for a strong home crowd, Rio Tinto Stadium is arguably the best option of the three, but some sources suggest it is the third choice in this race.
What do you think of this development? Which venue would you like to see be chosen to host the Costa Rica qualifier on March 22nd?
Share your thoughts below.