Lower.com Field, the new home of the Columbus Crew, just opened a little over a month ago, but is already going to be a host to one of the biggest international soccer matches in the region 2021. While it won’t be the U.S. vs. Mexico yet again, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Massive Report that Lower.com Field will host the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier between the United States Men’s National Team and Costa Rica on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Following the team’s run in the Gold Cup, the USMNT will begin its attempt to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Thursday, Sept. 2 in El Salvador. The Americans then return to U.S. soil for a game against Canada at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 5 before traveling to Honduras three days later. The U.S. will host Jamaica on Thursday, Oct. 7 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas before traveling to face Panama on the road. This leads to the game in Columbus against Los Ticos.
The USMNT closes out the first half of qualifying against Mexico at home on Thursday, Nov. 11 at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio it was announced on Wednesday. The Americans then travel to Jamaica on Tuesday, Nov. 16 followed by a home game against El Salvador on Thursday, Jan. 27 at a TBA venue and a game at Canada on Sunday, Jan. 30. The U.S. hosts Honduras on Wednesday, Feb. 2 prior to going to Mexico City on Thursday, March 24. The final two games of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying for the USMNT come on Sunday, March 24 against Panama at home before a final trip to Costa Rica on Wednesday, March 30.
After not qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, an important seven months awaits Gregg Berhalter and his U.S. team. The Americans expect to be on the world’s biggest stage come next November but must earn it through this process, the first for this coaching staff after Berhalter left the Crew to take over the national team.
Columbus has long been known for successfully hosting top USMNT matches over the last two decades. It began in February of 2001, when the Americans defeated Mexico 2-0 at historic Crew Stadium, a match that started a string of same-scored results against the U.S.’s biggest rivals. Historic Crew Stadium hosted four such “Dos a Cero” matches, as they came to be known, before the last international game at the venue, a 2-1 loss to Mexico in November of 2016.
Prior to the Dos a Cero games, however, historic Crew Stadium hosted its first World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica, a 0-0 draw on Oct. 11, 2000. All-time, the Americans were 8-1-3 in international matches at the Crew’s old home, all but two of which were World Cup qualifiers, including an 11-match unbeaten run and a five-game winning streak, both of which were snapped by the loss to Mexico in 2016.
The U.S. will look to start a new streak in Columbus, this time at the state-of-the-art Lower.com Field, which is located in the heart of the city in the Arena District.
The Americans are 17-16-6 all time against Costa Rica, dating back to the first meeting in 1975 in Mexico City, a 3-1 win for Los Ticos. The USMNT holds a 6-11-2 record against Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying. The only meeting between the two nations in Columbus was the 0-0 draw in 2000 that introduced America’s first soccer-specific stadium to the international game. The last World Cup qualifying match between the U.S. and Los Ticos was on Sept. 1, 2017, in Harrison New Jersey, a 2-0 loss for the Americans.
This match could see Crew forward Gyasi Zardes go against Black & Gold winger Luis Diaz. Both players are in the pool for their respective national teams and could be involved in this World Cup Qualifier in their club’s home stadium.
Prior to the start of World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. hopes to lift the Gold Cup trophy for the seventh time. The Americans will take on Qatar in the tournament’s semifinals on Thursday, July 29 from Q2 Stadium. That match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET.