Lower.com Field, which opened recently, will host its first World Cup qualifier Oct. 13. (Photo courtesy of Columbus Crew)
U.S. Soccer has selected Columbus as the host of USA-Costa Rica of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign Oct. 13, it was announced Thursday morning.
Lower.com Field, the new home of the Columbus Crew, will be the venue. The match will be broadcast live on the ESPN and Univision family of networks, with kickoff time to be determined.
“One thing you can count on in Columbus is unwavering support for the U.S. team, and that’s going to be critical in helping us get a win against Costa Rica,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “Having coached there for five years and then attending opening day of the new stadium, I know first-hand just how incredible the bond is between the team and the fans. We can’t wait to play there.”
The match in will be a homecoming for Berhalter and the USMNT.
The city has hosted 10 World Cup qualifiers since 2000, with the USA posting a 7-1-2 record during that span, including four legendary dos a cero games against Mexico. This will be the USMNT’s first match at the newly opened Lower.com Field.
Berhalter spent five seasons as the sporting director and head coach of Columbus Crew SC where he led the team to postseason appearances in four of his five years in charge. He guided Columbus to the 2015 MLS Cup Final and nearly returned the club to the league’s title game two years later, falling 1-0 to eventual champions Toronto FC in the 2017 Eastern Conference final.
The match is part of the “triple date” in World Cup qualifying during which the U.S. will play three matches in seven days.
The USMNT will host Jamaica at home Oct. 7 in Austin, Texas, and then travel to Panama to face the Los Canaleros Oct. 10 in Panama City.
Under the new qualifying format, eight teams, increased from six in previous cycles – will compete in the final round, with the top three teams advancing to Qatar ’22. The fourth-place team will participate in an intercontinental playoff for the last spot.
The 10 matches in the final round usually had been played during the course of 18 months. Due to schedule changes related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the new format, each team will play 14 matches in a seven-month period