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USMNT Jul 29, 2021

U.S. Soccer selects Columbus as host of USA-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier

CHICAGO – For the U.S. Men’s National Team’s third home match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign, U.S. Soccer has selected Columbus as the host of USA-Costa Rica.

On Oct. 13, Lower.com Field will be the site as Columbus hosts a World Cup Qualifier for the sixth-straight World Cup cycle. The match will be broadcast live on the ESPN and Univision family of networks, with kickoff time to be determined.

“One thing you can count on in Columbus is unwavering support for the U.S. team, and that’s going to be critical in helping us get a win against Costa Rica,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Having coached there for five years and then attending opening day of the new stadium, I know first-hand just how incredible the bond is between the team and the fans. We can’t wait to play there.”

BACK TO C-BUS

The match in Columbus will be a homecoming for the USMNT and its current head coach.

The city has hosted 10 World Cup Qualifiers since 2000, with the USA posting a 7-1-2 record during that span. This will be the USMNT’s first match at the newly opened Lower.com Field.

Berhalter spent five seasons as the sporting director and head coach of Columbus Crew SC where he led the team to postseason appearances in four of his five years in charge. He guided Columbus to the 2015 MLS Cup Final and nearly returned the club to the league’s title game two years later, falling 1-0 to eventual champions Toronto FC in the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

AGAINST COSTA RICA

The USMNT have a narrow 18-16-6 edge in the series with Costa Rica through a rich history of 40 matches played since 1975. However, in World Cup Qualifying the Ticos hold a distinct advantage, including an 11-5-2 record and wins in three of the last four matches.

There have been numerous legendary moments in the series history, with 29 of the encounters taking place across three different competitions: FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the Concacaf Gold Cup and Copa America. Perhaps the most memorable meeting was in the Snowclasico, a 1-0 win in snowy conditions during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup that reignited a sometimes-fiery rivalry. MLS has also served as a breeding ground of familiarity for these opponents, as more than 50 Costa Ricans have played in the league.

OCTOBER TRIPLE DATE

The match against Costa Rica is part of the ‘triple date’ in World Cup Qualifying during which the U.S. will play three matches in seven days.

In advance of the game in Columbus, the USMNT will play Jamaica at home on Oct. 7 in Austin, Texas, and then travel to Panama to face the Los Canaleros on Oct. 10 in Panama City.

Under the new qualifying format, a total of eight teams –increased from six in previous cycles -will compete in the Final Round, with the top three teams advancing to Qatar ’22. The fourth-place team will participate in an Intercontinental playoff for the last spot.

The 10 matches in the Final Round had typically been played during the course of 18 months. Due to schedule changes related to the global pandemic and the new format, each team will play 14 matched in seven-month period.

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