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United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, both verbally and non-verbally, confirmed that Seattle is being seriously considered — on the verge of being announced, even — as a host for a World Cup qualifier on the road to Brazil 2014.
Finally, Seattle soccer fans might see their national team play a meaningful game in person.
Speaking to reporters gathered in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for the United States’ opener in the Hexagonal today against Mario Martinez’s Honduras, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati addressed the topic of Seattle hosting in as straightforward a manner as possible:
Based on Gulati press event, seems likely that soccer-mad Seattle will finally host a US World Cup qualifier this year.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) February 6, 2013
Gulati coy about Seattle as a WCQ venue. Sly smile. Seems as if it will happen. We'll know soon— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) February 6, 2013
Gulati on Seattle hosting WC Hex game."There is the possibility of an announcement." Soon?"Yes, Soon"— roger bennett (@rogbennett) February 6, 2013
General consensus seems to be that the return leg against Honduras, scheduled for June 18, is the best bet for a Seattle-hosted match. The other home matches for the U.S. are March 22 against Costa Rica, June 11 against Panama, Sept. 10 against Mexico and Oct. 11 against Jamaica.
Colorado's Dick's Sporting Goods Park has been awarded the March 22 game. Columbus is the likely venue for the Mexico match because of past success against El Tri at Crew Stadium. The June matches are at a time when European clubs will be out of season, making it more possible that the U.S. team will stray from the East Coast a bit.
Gulati said trend in Hex home games is moving away from I-95, Tex, Calif. Want to focus on venues where USMNT has had past WCQ success.— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) February 6, 2013
The U.S. men's national team is undefeated in Seattle, with a 4-0 record in the building that is now CenturyLink Field and a plus-11 goal difference. The Kingdome was the first Seattle venue to host the team, in a 1-1 tie against Russia in 1994 when Alexi Lalas scored.
The one match the team played at SAFECO Field, March 2, 2002, was against Honduras — a 4-0 win in front of 38,534 fans.