After defeating Mexico by a 2-0 scoreline in World Cup qualifiers at Crew Stadium in 2001, 2005 and 2009, U.S. Soccer has selected the MLS venue as its host site for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier on September 10 -- almost a year to the day that Columbus hosted a semifinal round qualifier between the USA and Jamaica.
"When the draw came out and we had to discuss all of the venues for our home games, we thought immediately: Columbus is the place for Mexico," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a Columbus Crew press release. "Because of the past, because of the amazing fans in Columbus that give us such a big hand in such a crucial game.
"There’s already history built in Columbus with that Mexico rivalry and the success gives the team confidence knowing we go into Columbus and this is the place to beat Mexico. The crowd is amazing. The support throughout the city, you just feel it. It really is a big decision for us going to Columbus for this specific game against Mexico because we know we’re going to be at home."
U.S. Soccer announced the remaining four host sites for the CONCACAF hexagonal on Thursday, a day before the Americans play their first home game of the round against Costa Rica at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. They opened the round with a 2-1 loss at Honduras last month.
The next home game after Friday's bout, June 11 against Panama, will be played at Seattle's CenturyLink Field followed by a June 18 tilt against Honduras at Salt Lake City's Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Mexico match in Columbus will be followed by an Oct. 11 home finale against Jamaica at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., and the Americans will finish their qualifying run on the road four days later in Panama. The USA also closed the semifinal qualifying round at Sporting Park, defeating Guatemala 3-1 to seal their place in the hexagonal.
"Sporting Park has become a great venue for all fans and the U.S. national team," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said in a club statement. "The energy and noise here is unrivaled and the atmosphere for the World Cup qualifier on October 11th will be incredible. We are honored to be a destination site for U.S. Soccer in their quest for the 2014 World Cup."