July 27, 2015
MEET THEM IN ST. LOUIS
U.S. men to play 1st WCQ at Busch Stadium
CHICAGO -- The U.S. national team will play its first home match of 2018 World Cup qualifying at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The match will be played Nov. 13 against the winner of the third round qualifying match between St. Vincent & The Grenadines and Aruba.
The two-legged playoff between St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Aruba is scheduled for Sept. 4 and Sept. 8.
This past weekend, the U.S. was drawn into Group C for the semifinal round for the World Cup in Russia. During the semifinal round, the MNT will play each of its Group C opponents twice, once at home and once away.
The dates of the games are Nov. 13 and 17, March 25 and 29, 2016 and Sept. 2 and 6, 2016.
The opponents for those match days will be determined after the completion of the third round of qualifying.
Group C includes Trinidad & Tobago, and the winners of third round qualifying matches between St. Vincent & the Grenadines/Aruba or Antigua and Barbuda/Guatemala. The Group C winner and runner-up advance to the final round of World Cup qualifying known in CONCACAF countries as the hexagonal.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be playing our first World Cup qualifier towards Russia 2018 in St. Louis," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement. "There is no more appropriate place to start this campaign than a city that has contributed so much to the history and tradition of soccer in the United States. Some of the best players we have ever produced have ties there, and now we look forward to bringing the National Team back home to St. Louis where we know the support will be incredible."
The match marks the MNT's first game in the United States' one-time soccer capital in nearly 20 years, with the side last playing to a 0-0 draw with Paraguay at Busch Conference & Sports Center (now St. Louis Soccer Park) on June 4, 1997. It will be the first World Cup qualifier played in the St. Louis area since the USA's 0-0 tie with El Salvador in 1989, which was also played at Busch Conference & Sports Center.
"This is a historic opportunity for St. Louis as the U.S. Men's Team kicks off its quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at Busch Stadium," said Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals. "We're incredibly excited to be the host for this match and are looking forward to showing that we have some of the best soccer fans in the country."
The MNT is 5-2-1 all time in St. Louis (4-1-1 in WCQ) and is 7-2-2 in Missouri.
In April, the U.S. Women's team played a World Cup tune-up in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, drawing a crowd of 35,817, which ranks as the largest crowd in U.S. history for a standalone Women's National Team friendly match.
Tickets go on sale to the public Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m. CT through ussoccer.com, by phone at 314-345-9000 and at the 8th Street ticket windows at Busch Stadium (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.).
The kickoff time and broadcast information will be provided in the near future.