Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No venue yet for US-Mexico

Since the CONCACAF Hexagonal Draw came out and it was determined that the US would host Mexico in February, speculation has swirled about a possible venue?

Would Columbus play host to the game for the third consecutive time?

How about, as a reader suggested here, Rio Tinto Stadium? It may still draw quite a few green-clad supporters but February in Utah could be downright bitter.

Or maybe some other small, out-of-the-way site like Rentschler Field in Hartford, where the US has already played a World Cup qualifier?

Or how about the Rose Bowl? What about that? It's not small. It's not out-of-the-way. It's not freezing cold. And it's certainly not difficult for thousands of Tri fans to get to.

But it's a huge game, possibly the most important US home game since, what, the Gold Cup final? Or the last US-Mexico qualifier? Regardless, home games against Mexico are huge and when they have added implications they take on even greater significance.

Now, the Rose Bowl idea is not mine. Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes about that as a venue option the US should consider but probably won't. Before you dismiss that as silly - and for the record I don't think it's silly - read the story and hear him out because he brings up some good points.

For starters, history suggests the US will not lose that game. They haven't lost a home qualifier to Mexico since Sept. 10, 1972. Twice in the 80s the US hosted Mexico and Mexico couldn't beat the Americans. Playing before 90,000 anti-US, pro-Mexico fans is nothing new to the Americans. You think that would rattle Landon Donovan? Or Tim Howard? Or Clint Dempsey? These guys have all played in big games against Mexico and have done well.

Anyway, read the rest of the story. And at least try and not dismiss Zeigler as easily as the federation apparently has.


Bonji said...

While we just hosted Guatamala here in Denver, DSG park would be going off for US vs. Mexico. Or, if the US Federation just wanted to kill it at the ticket booth they could move it to Invesco and create Azteca of the north like they did in the early 2000's.

Dylan said...

So the argument is we should give up home-field advantage, because we're going to qualify anyway?

I hate that argument.

Not exactly the same, but this is kind of what Mexico did last round, moving qualifiers out of Azteca because they figured qualification was easy. They got away with it, but if Canada had snuck in one more goal at Chiapas, they wouldn't have.

Anonymous said...

This game better be in Columbus, it's one of the few true home field advantages the US has. La Segunda Guerra Fria must be held in the 614.

j said...

I would love to have the game at the Rose Bowl. It would just be an away game and I would probably be harmed by pissed off Tri supporters. But hey, I could go watch it.