The semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, always a dicey one, is now over and the U.S. Men’s National Team has won its group. Last night’s 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago earns them a tough start to the Hex, as November’s first two games in the ten game competition will be at home vs. Mexico and away to Costa Rica. These are historically two of the toughest games in this round.
However, there are also some benefits to winning the group as opposed to finishing second behind Trinidad and Tobago. Every one of the U.S. home games in the Hex will be the first of the set of two games that will be played on these international windows. That means the squad will report to the U.S., train for a few days, play a match, then travel for an away game. That schedule is much easier to deal with than when the players meet up in the U.S., then play on the road first.
In addition, Friday night games generally draw more fans than Tuesdays. Jacksonville’s sub-20,000 crowd last night is a prime example.
Now, where will the U.S. host their five home matches in the Hex? Mexico in November has been confirmed for Columbus, which is no surprise. The remaining four games are:
- March 24 vs. Honduras
- June 7 or 8 vs. Trinidad and Tobago
- September 1 vs. Costa Rica
- October 6 vs. Panama
Could Atlanta be in the mix for one of the last three games? It’s possible, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to be completed by then. Typically, brand new stadiums see some big events. Rich McKay said in the past that an Atlanta United game might not be the inaugural event in the stadium. Could it be the June game with Trinidad and Tobago?
Atlanta has hosted one World Cup qualifier, a 1-0 win over Canada in 1968 at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Coming off a NASL championship with the Chiefs, Phil Woosnam was asked to take the reigns of the U.S. squad for that game and he got the win. Could Atlanta bring more good luck to the USMNT?
Great team goal from the U.S. in their 4-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago:
Kljestan credits Jesse Marsch as his return to the USMNT goes extremely well (MLS)
Most telling quote of night for me in my piece: Bradley "Sacha and I have had a lot of big days. Was nice to have that lifelong trust again"— Neil W. Blackmon (@nwblackmon) September 7, 2016
Get ready Columbus, USMNT vs. Mexico is coming your way in November to open the final round of World Cup qualifying (Stars and Stripes FC)
Jill Ellis said that Hope Solo’s suspension was for the “sum total of actions” (FOX Sports)
Inbox: Don Garber will be in Montreal on Wednesday. I wonder if he might have some news to share...— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) September 6, 2016
Back at it in MLS, Orlando faces a big match against Montreal (The Mane Land)
RSL signs Ricardo Velazco as a Homegrown Player (RSL Soapbox)
Albuquerque looking at the feasibility of a soccer stadium (KRQE)
Deep study of why the Portland Thorns have been successful (Sports & Ideas)
New wave of American soccer players in Europe bucking trends (New York Times)
Canada wins, but it’s not enough as they are eliminated from World Cup qualifying (Yahoo)
Argentina rescues a draw against Venezuela (SB Nation)
The Premier League comes back in a big way on Saturday with the Manchester derby (The Busby Babe)
Georgia Military College wins 3-0 over USC Salkehatchie.