New Jersey native Tim Howard could have an opportunity to play a World Cup qualifier in Red Bull Arena Sept. 1. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre is hopeful that Red Bull Arena will host a World Cup qualifying game Sept. 1.
De Grandpre told the Schwartz on Sports podcast Friday that the Major League Soccer club is “working on it” and that it hopes to have an announcement soon.
The United States, which is preparing to host Trinidad & Tobago June 8 and play at Mexico June 11 in qualifiers, is scheduled to host Costa Rica Sept. 1.
“It would be obviously very exciting for our fans, the local community and an honor for us to host the U.S. men’s national team here,” de Grandpre said. “I know there’s been some chatter out there on-line. We’re working on it and we hope to have an announcement at some point in the near future. Hopefully we can get that done. It would be great for our venue and great for soccer in the metro area.”
Sports Illustrated writer and FOX journalist Grant Wahl reported Tuesday that U.S. Soccer is making plans for the Harrison, N.J. stadium to play host to a qualifier.
Incredible it may sound, no venue in the metropolitan area has played host to a World Cup qualifying match since the process began in 1934.
The area has welcomed the U.S. national team 25 times for full internationals.
That includes 18 games in New Jersey at Giants Stadium (East Rutherford), MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford), Rutgers Stadium (Piscataway) and RBA.
That also includes seven matches in New York at Ebbets Field (Brooklyn), Hofstra Stadium (Hempstead), Downing Stadium (New York City) and Yankee Stadium (Bronx).
While the American side has never played in the metro area, head coach Bruce Arena had the U.S. train in his old stomping rounds at the N.Y. Hota/Bavarians field in Franklin Square, N.Y. on Long Island prior to a 2004 WCQ in Grenada. Arena played a year for the Hota Under-19 boys teams back in the day.
To listen to de Grandpre’s comments and the entire podcast by Peter Schwartz, visit: