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Columbus to host USA-Mexico qualifier

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After a week of rumors that it would not be the venue, Columbus has emerged yet again as the choice to host the U.S. men's national team's biggest rivalry.

The opening match of the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying between the United States and Mexico will be played at Crew Stadium on Feb. 11, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday night.

That's right, for the third straight World Cup qualifying cycle Columbus will host this intense rivalry. The U.S. national team has won both preview qualifiers at Crew Stadium, in 2001 and 2005, by identical 2-0 scorelines.

“We are very excited about returning to Columbus,” U.S. head coach Bob Bradley said. “The national team has enjoyed a great history there, and the team has always appreciated the fantastic support from the fans. We are looking forward to an incredible atmosphere as we continue the difficult task of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”

What do you think of the news? Happy it's back in Columbus? Disappointed that it didn't head West as some rumors suggested? Think the Americans can keep their home winning streak against the Mexicans going?

Share your thoughts below (And here's a great video preview to get you in the mood for this big match):


  1. Nebraska?! HA. All of south Omaha is Mexican, also the restaurants there are AMAZING!

    RFK would have been a better choice because it would have provided a better big game atmosphere, limited Mexican population, and if they can get a vocal crowd of 23,000 for fricking Cuba… think of the USA MEX crowd!

  2. We wan’t to have a true U.S. fan base and the cold weather to our advantage, I say we play the game at historic Lambeau Field. Seriously though, the only reason I don’t like the game at Crew Stadium is because it is a big game that should be held at a better venue. Not saying Crew Stadiums atmosphere isn’t awesome, but the actual stadium is garbage. Like someone stated earlier, it is nothing more than a glorified high school stadium. For as important and big as this game is I see it being held at a better venue. Why not Lincoln Financial Field (where the Philadelphia Eagles play), or Clevelnad Browns Stadium? Both are natural grass fields, both would get huge pro-USA crowds, both will have the weather advantage, and both have a much higher seating capacity (40k + more seats).

  3. good. I hope it is five degrees and freezing rain, ideally with a 40 mph north wind. let’s use all the gimmickry we can. after all, we can’t beat Mexico otherwise, right?

  4. FIFA Club World Cup Spoiler Alert …..

    Nice free kick. Was Pachuca’s wall set up well? I know they came from 2-0 down to win in their last game but this will be a tougher hill to climb.

  5. At end of video it said: La Guerra Fria II, Feb. 11, 2008. It should be La Guerra Fria III, Feb. 11, 2009. Maybe I’m just sleepy.

  6. FIFA Club World Cup spoiler alert ….

    What a weak start by the Pachuca defense. They’ve started to play better but dug themselves into a hole 1-0.

  7. They should put terraces on the stage for Sam’s Army. I’m sure you could errect temporary ones for really cheap, and it would give a real boost to the atmosphere- not to mention increased ticket sale revenue

  8. The entire stadium was most certainly not standing in 2005. I know this because I stood in row 4 of the Crew season ticket holders section and had people bitch at me for the entire game because I refused to sit down.

  9. I personally feel like this is the wrong decision. The fan base is weak, and the stadium is completely inferior to the other two choices.

    You guys also keep cracking me up with this “tradition” non-sense. Two years does not make a tradition, nor does three years. I also think that it is completely moronic to only share this game with one portion of the U.S. fan base.

    If the USSF is truely interested in attracting more fans then these are the types of games that are going to do it. And to only have this game in one venue is not to the best of their interest.

    Consider me one disgruntled, west coast USA fan.

  10. First, Seattle wasn’t an option. It’s turf, not grass. And bringing in grass the week before the match–lots of seams, places where it may not take well. Better to go someplace with grass.

    Second, SLC I’m positive will host a match soon. The fan base is too strong in terms of NT support, the stadium is too great. But in my mind, there’s one very compelling reason why USA-Mexico is the WRONG match for Rio Tinto. And that reason is altitude. The Mexicans (other than Marquez and a few others) have lots of experience at altitude, they play at altitude regularly. Azteca is at altitude. Even if we spend a week training in SLC, we still won’t have the lungs that the Mexicans will have. So playing them in SLC actually gives a partial edge to the Tri’s. No, let’s play someone else (like Honduras) in SLC.

  11. I’m pumped for this game, La Guerra Fria is back in it’s rightful home. Fort Columbus is one of the few true home fields the US has and I’m glad to see that they made the right choice. I know I’ll be skipping Class and making the hour and a half drive up from OU for this one!

    As for people who were ragging on Crew fans, I think the site you’re looking for is MLStumors, not here. Out of context quotes and slanderous lies are their thing not ives’.

  12. That sucks. Seattle would have been spectacular and fitting given how well the Sounders FC FO is setting up the opening season. Nothing against Columbus, they have been the only US-friendly site for years. But I am confident that an amazing pro-US crowd would have showed up in Seattle.

  13. Sorry some of the cbus fans have been on edge about whether we’d land the match or not yet. Don’t know how some of these guys are still so high strung after how well the season went.

    Anyway, Columbus Brigade looks forward to hosting all the US Supporters coming to town for the match. See you in February.

  14. Best decision.

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    However, Sven still worries me. I think he can outcoach BB in Columbus, SLC, Seattle, DC, Azteca, or on Mars.

    Hopefully, SLC will get another game, say Costa Rica or possibly Honduras.

  15. The 2005 US Mexico was the best game I have ever been to, the atmosphere was great and the stadium was packed. I am confident the Columbus faithful and Sam’s army will come out in full support again.

  16. I don’t know if they have undersoil heating. I believe that last time they installed a covering about 3 feet over the top of the field in early January. Essentially a tent over the field. I think they pumped in heat and simulated spring whether and the grass came back and was very playable.

    I’m not sure what the plan is this time.

  17. Chrös:

    I was there for both. I sat at the top of Sam’s Army in 2001. Tremendous atmosphere but I can’t speak much to the rest of the stadium as I couldn’t tell whether it was good or not.

    In 2005, I was at about the top of the 18 and was amazed by the fact that the entire stadium was standing and in the game for all 90 minutes. I never sat down and was never asked to which is unheard of.

  18. I’m glad it is going back to Columbus solely for the tradition. I also think it is cool since Crew Stadium was the first of its kind in this country.

    What I’m wondering though, what was the fan support like in the past two meetings there? I only ask because the Crew only sold out one game I think — against the Galaxy — and even though this is Mexico, some other U.S. qualifiers have had terrible attendance this time around. Hopefully it will not only be full, but it will be crazy too.

  19. Chris, please don’t speak for anyone but yourself. I’m in SLC and am very disappointed the game went to a glorified high school stadium vs. a brand new, state-of-the-art one. The demographics are not in play here, either; with such small stadia it would have been easy to control access to tickets.

    Oh well. Flights to Columbus: $267. Flight to Mexico City $350.

    See you in Mexico, at least there’s more to do there.

    Nevertheless, go US!

  20. I have to say, it’s probably the best option for that match.

    That being said, they whining by some fans from Columbus when speculation was going on that the game might not be there was just ridiculous.

  21. I think I speak for all Salt Lake natives when I say that this is the correct decision, but we hope that Rio Tinto gets a game against TnT or the Central American squads.

  22. When the US is beating on Mexico on Feb. 11, I will completely ignore the columbus fans because they are a bunch of idiot (I hope they will just shut their mouths and don’t cheer at all.) Better yet I hope they don’t even show up.

  23. Ives,

    Any idea what’s going on with Felix Garcia? He wasn’t on your ’09 GA list, he’s not on the list Buzz received from his friend ( Buzz writes that he doubts Garcia will go GA. If not GA, then how will Garcia be selected for a team? Does/could FCD have a discovery claim on him? Will he go through a special lottery as a US U-20 player? Why would or wouldn’t he go through the draft? My concern is largely because as a Red Bulls fan, I want my team to have a shot at him and generally I want him to go through a fair process rather than being quietly snagged by FCD or any other team.

  24. I wonder if all those turncoats (Columbus fans) who said they’d root for Mexico if the game wasn’t held there are happy now.

    I’m sure they’re jumping for joy like the 2 year olds they are.

  25. Ditto Brian. Let’s give a less-important game to Salt Lake City or other places. But home field advantage is too important to risk under these circumstances.

  26. Of course it’s the right move. We have won the last two there and both games were memorable because of the atmosphere at the stadium.

    US Soccer doesn’t have many traditions, but US vs. Mexico in Columbus is good one. It should continue.


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