After much wringing of hands (and many false reports that the match would end up in Salt Lake City), official word came down yesterday that Crew Stadium would host the U.S. Men's soccer team's Feb. 11 World Cup qualifier against Mexico. This returns the border rivalry to Columbus for the third straight qualifying cycle. The U.S. beat Mexico 2-0 in Crew Stadium in on February 28, 2001 and by the same score on Sept. 3, 2005.
This contest, which opens the final round of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, is an exciting development for anybody who is already eagerly anticipating the Crew's return to action on March 21. Now we get a high-stakes soccer game in town more than a month early to satiate our thirst for The Beautiful Game.
This meeting should offer a reprise of the original Columbus clash in 2001, which was scheduled here specifically to chill the Mexicans to the bone and to ensure a pro-American crowd. Here are some highlights from the 2001 match, known as "La Guerra Fria" (The Cold War). Good times!