CHICAGO (June 4, 2012) – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play a World Cup qualifier at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park for the first time when it hosts Guatemala on Oct. 16 in the final match of Semifinal Round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Kickoff in Kansas City is set for 6 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer. Ticket information will be available at a later date.
“We are very excited to play such an important World Cup qualifier in Kansas City,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “They have an amazing new facility in LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, and the fans have really demonstrated incredible support for soccer in the area. We expect it’s going to be a fantastic atmosphere.”
The United States will begin their World Cup qualifying campaign this Friday, June 8, against Antigua & Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Semifinal Round opener kicks off at 7 p.m. ET, with live coverage on ESPN, ESPN3 and Galavision (TICKETS). The U.S. then faces Guatemala in World Cup qualifying at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 23, at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City, with live coverage on pay-per-view ustream.tv.
U.S. MNT in Kansas City:
The U.S. is making its second appearance in the state of Kansas and second at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.
The team played the first international in the newly minted stadium during the 2011 Gold Cup, with the U.S. winning 1-0 against Guadeloupe on June 14, 2011.
The U.S. has played once in Kansas City, Mo. – a FIFA World Cup qualifying win against Costa Rica on April 25, 2001, when Josh Wolff scored the lone goal before a crowd of 37,319 fans.
The U.S. is 12-4-5 lifetime against Guatemala and is currently riding an eight-match shutout streak against the Chapines.
The teams have met 10 times overall in World Cup qualifying play, with the U.S. holding an unbeaten 6-0-4 mark in the series.
The U.S. faced off against Guatemala in the last cycle of World Cup qualifying in the Semifinal Round, the U.S. winning the home-and-home series on a 3-0 aggregate.
The first match was a 1-0 win in Guatemala City, with Carlos Bocanegra sealing the victory in the second half. Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu both scored in the domestic leg.
Guatemala joins Antigua & Barbuda, Jamaica and the United States in Group A. Each opponent will meet twice, once at home and once away, in round robin play. The top two teams from each of three groups will advance to the Final Round of qualifying, which will take place in 2013. Three teams will automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth place team will play in a two-leg playoff against the winner of the Oceania region.