Otto Greule Jr
Word has been rampant that at least one of Portland or Seattle could host a qualifier, but now it appears they could both the June 11 and 18 games.
We've known for more than a month that Seattle was in the running to host a World Cup qualifier, but now it looks like there could actually be two World Cup qualifiers held in the Pacific Northwest, against Panama (June 11) and Honduras (June 18).
Hearing USSF aiming to play June 11 and 18 WC qualifiers in PacNW (Portland & Seattle). Unconfirmed. Awaiting further details #usmnt— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 6, 2013
This would be a rather dramatic change from recent decisions. The last time the Pacific Northwest hosted a World Cup qualifier was a 1997 game in Portland. The last time the United States national team played any game here was back in 2009, when there was a Gold Cup game at CenturyLink Field. To have two in the span of a week would be unprecedented, to say the least.
There are still reasons to be skeptical, to be sure. For one, this means that the USSF has either softened their stance on playing on artificial turf or has accepted the possibility that they'll be playing two games on temporary grass. The United States has not hosted a World Cup qualifier on anything other than a permanent grass field in quite some time.
As far as scheduling goes, the biggest hurdle appears to be CenturyLink Field hosting the University of Washington's commencement ceremony on June 15. That seems to suggest that the June 11 game would be a more likely date, as temporary grass would have longer to take hold.