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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

December 16, 2008
HELLO COLUMBUS
U.S. to host WCQ vs. Mexico in Ohio again


U.S. coach Bob Bradley is looking forward to playing Mexico in Columbus.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley is looking forward to playing Mexico in Columbus.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CHICAGO---For the third consecutive time in final round qualifying for the World Cup, U.S. Soccer has selected Columbus Crew Stadium to host the home leg between the United States and Mexico. The U.S.’s most anticipated match of the final round will be played Wednesday, Feb. 11, with kickoff times and broadcast information to be announced at a later date.

The match in Columbus is the first of five qualifiers in the final round to be played in the United States.

“We are very excited about returning to Columbus,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley, who guided the U.S. to a 7-1-0 record through the first two rounds of qualifying. “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.”

The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the sixth World Cup qualifier hosted by the nine-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 3-0-2 record in qualifying and an unbeaten 4-0-3 all-time record in the stadium. In the first meeting on Feb. 28, 2001 – dubbed the “Guerra Fria (‘Cold War’)” because the game-time temperature topped out at 29 degrees - goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart paced the U.S. to a 2-0 victory. Four years later on Sept. 3, 2005, goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley earned the United States another 2-0 win and officially booked their place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

“Our first priority is to give our team the best chance to be successful and achieve the goal of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and Columbus Crew Stadium has always been a great venue for the national team," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “We carefully considered our options, and ultimately we felt that playing in Columbus is the right fit for this match.”
   
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