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Friday, January 27, 2023

US Soccer Hosts A World Cup Qualifier

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U.S Soccer has chosen Austin as the host for the 2022 World Cup qualifier second home match for the U.S National team where they will play against Jamaica. The match will be held on Oct. 7 with Q2 Stadium serving as the venue. Provided the high demand among soccer fans for the game, U.S. Soccer has decided that a random ticket distribution would be applied.

Austin was selected as the host for the qualifier match for a good reason. The city has made a huge progress in embracing sport and the atmosphere the fans can create is sure to drive the national team to victory. The sports facilities that have come to life in the recent years make Austin the perfect location for holding such important international events as the World Cup qualifiers.

Head to head record with Jamaica

The U.S.A. and Jamaica have gone a long way of world cup qualifiers matches. The two teams have met head to head for 14 times during the qualifying campaign, this one in Austin being the 15th encounter. It’s a history of more than 30 years of direct battles that is set to continue on Oct. 7 with another intense match where each of the teams will try to secure one of the top-three positions which gives the ticket to the World Cup. This will be the fourth match for the squads in the final round of the current qualifying campaign which means the competition will have already gained momentum and the teams will have been warmed up enough and ready to play at their best. Before Jamaica, the U.S.A. have two away matches with El Salvador and Honduras and a home match against Canada held in Nashville.

Out of 15 world cup qualifying matches played between the two nations, the U.S.A. have come out the winner in 7 encounters, one ended up in a draw, while the rest games saw Jamaica triumphant. Oct. 7 match has a special significance for the U.S. soccer history, as in the same day 20 years ago the national team has secured their qualification for the 2002 World Cup where they have reached the quarterfinals. This was the first quarterfinal after 72 years of reaching no further than the round of 16. The game against Jamaica held on Oct. 7 2001 was the first major sports event a team represented the country after the September 11 events. Two goals by Joe-Max Moore secured the victory for the United States and gave them the ticket to the World Cup which ended up in a historic result.

First match in the triple date marathon

The match with Jamaica will the the first of the so called triple date for US 2021 World Cup Qualifier. Triple date features three matches that a nation has to play in one week. After the home battle with Jamaica, the U.S. team will take a trip to Panama to face them on Oct. 10. After it, the US squad comes back home to host Costa Rica in Columbus.

The new format comes with some changes comparing to the previous qualifying campaigns. Now, not six, but eight teams advance to the final round and the three best qualify for Qatar 2022. Also, the team that finishes fourth has the chance to claim a World Cup ticket in an intercontinental playoff. Another change has to do with the duration of the final round which got shortened due to the new pandemic-adjusted format. In previous qualifying campaigns, each team played 10 matches in 18 months. Now, they will have to complete 14 matches in seven months.

Motivation to qualify

This campaign may be a turning point for the U.S. soccer team. It can be a second in a row fail to reach the World Cup or a glorious comeback of the leader of the North American soccer to prove that the 2017 disaster was a mistake and an accident. In the last qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the United States have lost to Trinidad and Tobago which deprived them the right to be in the final competition. This loss puts additional effort on the national team for the 2021 qualifiers, but at the same time it is a great motivation to prove that the U.S.A still have a heavy say in the North American and global soccer.

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