With the U.S. national team's schedule for the Hexagonal now set, the federation has moved onto the next order of business: determining locations for the team's five home matches.
“We will start that process now," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said following Wednesday's draw. "We can time through our very busy 2013 schedule with the World Cup qualifiers, our 100th anniversary at U.S. Soccer and the Gold Cup. Now, we can get the locations sorted out.”
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati explained there are many factors which go into determining the host sites.
"For us, as opposed to all of our opponents there are more factors that come into play," Gulati said. "Time zones, venues, television start times – all of those things – weather matters, travel distance from Europe, travel distance between games, artificial surface issues, there’s a lot of variables."
The annoucement of the locations is likely to be staggered, not all at the same time, so fans should learn the destination of the first set of games in the near future.
"We met at length today and a lot of work has gone into figuring out what venues we’re going to play in," Gulati said. "Now over the next couple days we’ll probably send out the first couple.
"There’s probably a group of 10-12 venues that will be in the mix," Gulati confirmed. "In a few cases, weather might prohibit you from playing at a particular site if you wanted to play a certain opponent, that’s really what we needed to wait for today.”
The U.S. federation must select venues for the following five home matches: March 22 vs. Costa Rica, June 11 vs. Panama, June 18 vs. Honduras, Sept. 10 vs. Mexico, and Oct. 11 vs. Jamaica.
For his part, Columbus Crew general manager Mark McCullers feels that Crew Stadium should host the coveted USA - Mexico match, just as it has in the last three qualifying cycles.
"For me certainly, Crew Stadium is the obvious choice [for USA versus Mexico]," McCullers said to the Crew's official website.
"We've hosted USA versus Mexico since the stadium has opened. We've done a fantastic job with it. We had an unbelievable experience with USA versus Jamaica here in September. I fully expect we're going to host USA versus Mexico on Sept. 10."
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