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Sporting ParkSporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., has been chosen to be the host stadium Oct. 11 for the U.S. Men's Team vs. Jamaica match in the FIFA World Cup Qualfier. (File photo by Mary Rupert)
Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., will serve as host to the U.S. Men's National Team on Oct. 11 in the team's final home qualifying match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday.
The United States returns to Sporting Park to play Jamaica, live on the ESPN family, WatchESPN and UniMas. Kickoff time and ticket information will be released at a later date.
"Sporting Park has become a great venue for all fans and the U.S. National Team," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said. "The energy and noise here is unrivaled and the atmosphere for the World Cup Qualifier on October 11th will be incredible. We are honored to be a destination site for U.S. Soccer in their quest for the 2014 World Cup."
"From an energy point of view, it's one of the best venues in the United States," U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "The stadium itself is a piece of art. It's thrilling just to be in that facility."
The state-of-the-art, $200-plus million venue in Kansas City, Kan., will also play host to the 2013 MLS All-Star Game on July 31.
The U.S. Men's Team is part of the six-team Hexagonal along with Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama. The 10-game, round-robin format will continue through Oct. 15 with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-leg playoff against the champion from the Oceania Confederation.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi are currently with the U.S. Men's National Team for a pair of upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. The U.S. will be the host for Costa Rica at 9 p.m. on Friday live on ESPN, WatchESPN, and UniMas. Four days later, the USA takes on Mexico at Estadio Azteca at 9 p.m. CT with coverage on ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision.
U.S. Men's National Team in Kansas City
• The U.S. Men's National Team will make its fifth all-time appearance in Kansas City and third appearance at Sporting Park since the stadium opened in June 2011:
o Nov. 2, 1968: 6-2 W vs. Bermuda (WCQ at Municipal Stadium)
o April 25, 2001: 1-0 W vs Costa Rica (WCQ at Arrowhead Stadium)
o June 9, 2011: 1-0 W vs. Guadeloupe (GC at Sporting Park)
o Oct. 16, 2012: 3-1 W vs. Guatemala (WCQ at Sporting Park)
o Oct. 11, 2013: vs. Jamaica (WCQ at Sporting Park)
• Sporting Park will serve as host to the United States' home finale for the second straight round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. In last year's semifinal round, the U.S. secured a berth in the Hexagonal with a 3-1 victory versus Guatemala at Sporting Park.
• During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. advanced from the group stage with a 1-0 win over Guadeloupe in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting Park was the only soccer-specific stadium to host the U.S. MNT during the regional championship.
• Oct. 16 will mark the fourth FIFA World Cup Qualifier played in Kansas City, dating back to a 6-2 triumph over Bermuda in 1968.
• The U.S. is 11-1-8 all-time against Jamaica and 9-0-3 in home matches in the series.
• The U.S. (13 pts) and Jamaica (10 pts) were the top two finishers in Group A of last year's Semifinal Round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying for the CONCACAF region.
• The United States defeated Jamaica 1-0 in the most recent meeting on Sept. 11, 2011, four days after suffering a 2-1 loss in Kingston, Jamaica.
• The U.S. is No. 33 and Jamaica is No. 54 in FIFA's most recently released rankings.
• In the opening matches of the Hexagonal round on Feb. 6, the U.S. fell 2-1 at Honduras while Jamaica earned a 0-0 draw in Mexico.
U.S. Men's National Team in World Cup Qualifying
• The U.S. has qualified for six consecutive FIFA World Cup tournaments, dating back to the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
• The United States has an overall record of 63-35-31 in World Cup Qualifying and is40-6-12 all-time in World Cup Qualifiers played on American soil.
• The USA has qualified for the FIFA World Cup on Matchday 9 in three of the past four World Cup qualifying campaigns (1997, 2001, 2009). This year's Matchday 9 fixture will come at Sporting Park on Oct. 11, four days before the finale in Panama.
International events at Sporting Park
• Sporting Park was the site for the U.S. Women's National Team's first match after the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in a 1-1 draw against Canada on Sept. 17, 2011.
• The 2012 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals and championship matches were played at Sporting Park, featuring the under-23 national teams from Mexico, Honduras, Canada and El Salvador.
• Sporting Park has been host to clubs from around the world for Sporting KC friendlies against the EPL's Stoke City and Newcastle United as well as Montpellier (France) and CD Guadalajara (Mexico).
• Major League Soccer selected Sporting Park as the venue for the 2013 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, to be played on July 31 against a marquee international opponent.
U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
On playing the final home qualifying game at Sporting Park...
Having chosen Kansas City for our last qualifying game against Jamaica means a lot to us because it could go down to the wire. The whole qualifying process, it can become a real nail-biter. You need to make sure that your last home game you have everything you need to get the three points. And this is the feeling we have when we go to Kansas City.
On the support in Kansas City...
We had that sense that there's a whole city behind us. There's a crowd behind us that is patient, that knows when there is a difficult moment throughout the game because it won't only go the easy way. When you maybe struggle, when the team kind of has a couple minutes where they don't find the passing rhythm, there's a crowd in Kansas City that understands that. They're very, very knowledgeable. They understand, 'Now they need our support. They need us to push them, to help them, to give them energy.' From an energy point of view, it's one of the best venues in the United States.
On the facility and its atmosphere...
The stadium itself is a piece of art. It's thrilling just to be in that facility. What they've done there is outstanding and I know a lot of stadiums around the world. They deserve a big compliment for that. It is mainly because the crowd gives us the feeling that we're going to take care of Jamaica in that very last home qualifier and that's what we need.