For the fourth straight qualifying cycle, Crew Stadium will host the U.S.-Mexico World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 10. This is huge news.
Some context: The World Cup happens every four years, and the next one is coming up in 2014. The year before a World Cup, regions around the world host their final round of qualifying. The U.S. and Mexico are the two perennial powers in CONCACAF, short for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. In a qualifying round known as the Hexagonal, the last six CONCACAF teams face each other in home-and-home series throughout 2013.
Even on American soil, the U.S. always had trouble securing a home field advantage against Mexico because the stadiums in coastal regions and major metro areas would tend to fill up with Mexican immigrants. So when the U.S.-Mexico matchup in 2001 was scheduled for February, U.S. Soccer opted to locate the match at the then-new Crew Stadium. The plan to freeze out the Mexicans worked — the Yanks came away with a 2-0 victory — so Columbus has hosted the game against Mexico ever since. The result has always been the same, literally, with 2-0 wins for the U.S. in 2005 and 2009.
So you'd think a 2013 rematch in Columbus would be a given, especially after Columbus proved such a vociferous host for last year's qualifier vs. Jamaica. But this is the biggest event on the U.S. Soccer calendar, and it only comes around every four years, so there's a lot of lobbying from other stadiums around the country. Sporting Park in Kansas City seemed like a legitimate contender, a shiny new stadium just as distant from the borders if not more. So Columbus fans shouldn't take this awesome opportunity for granted.
Ticket info isn't available yet, but Crew season ticket holders will have the first crack at it. More info is available at the Crew's website.