It is now official. The Columbus Crew has announced that Lower.com Field in Columbus will host the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup Qualifying game against Costa Rica on Oct. 13. Massive Report’s Patrick Murphy reported the game coming to Columbus on Wednesday. The game will be the first international soccer match at the Crew’s new stadium as the Stars and Stripes come to the capital of Ohio.
“We are excited to welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team back to its spiritual home right here in Columbus,” said Crew president and general Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “The American squad has a long history of success in our city and we look forward to hosting the U.S. Men’s National Team at Lower.com Field. Columbus has always created an electric atmosphere for U.S. matches, helping the team earn results for some of its most important matches in history, including the four Dos a Cero matches. We are thankful to U.S. Soccer for the opportunity and look forward to once again showcasing Columbus on a global stage.”
As expected, U.S. Soccer will conduct a weighted lottery draw for tickets due to the high-demand. This is the process for all USMNT World Cup Qualifiers in what we can anticipate will be a sellout for the match at Lower.com Field in October. The stadium is also set to host the Campeones Cup on Sept. 29 between the Crew and Cruz Azul, marking the first international club match just two weeks before the first international game.
October’s Costa Rica match will be the 11th men’s World Cup qualifier hosted by Columbus and the first since 2016. In the previous 10 matches at historic Crew Stadium, the USMNT has won seven games, including four wins against Mexico. The last time Columbus hosted any international soccer game was two years ago when the U.S. Women’s team played Sweden in November 2019.
“We believe Columbus gives the U.S. Men’s National Team the best home field advantage of any city in the country,” Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Logan said in the release. “For two decades, we’ve been the site of historic moments for the USMNT. Hosting World Cup qualifying matches is the essence of our mission to create a world class athlete and fan experience. The energy around Lower.com Field will be unlike anything Columbus has ever seen, and we can’t wait for fans from around the world to see what the Columbus sports experience is all about.”
This is the fourth host city confirmed by U.S. Soccer for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. The first home match for the USMNT will be in Nashville at Nissan Stadium on Sept. 5 against Canada. The Americans will play two home games in October with a meeting on the 7th against Jamaica at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas with the Costa Rica game taking place six days later in Columbus.
Nov. 12 will be the biggest match for the USMNT against Mexico and is set to be played at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati. It’s the first time in nearly two decade the U.S.-Mexico match is not going to be played in Columbus. Hosts have yet to be announced for the three qualifiers in 2022 against El Salvador in January, Honduras in February and Panama in March.
The game in October could feature some Black & Gold representation with Crew striker Gyasi Zardes and winger Luis Diaz part of the national pool for the United States and Costa Rica, respectively. The USMNT will have to finish in the top three of an eight-team CONCACAF group to qualify for its first World Cup since 2014. The game in Columbus could be a big leap forward for the American men’s journey back to the pinnacle of the sport.
The USMNT is set to play Qatar in Austin in the Gold Cup semifinals on Thursday evening for a spot in Sunday’s final in Las Vegas. The Americans begin the journey to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup on Sept. 2 at El Salvador in the CONCACAF Octagonal.