KENYA BROWN - Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The United States will be in familiar surroundings come November 11 as it was announced that their World Cup Hexagonal game against Mexico will be played at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
The stadium, which home to the Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew SC, has proven to be a good luck charm for the US and kryptonite for El Tri as they have lost there on four occasions by the scoreline of 2-0, which has led to many US fans to unleash the now famous "Dos a Cero" chant anytime these two teams meet.
However, the US winning in Columbus four times (2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013) is not the only reason they have chosen to stage the game there. It has also proven to be a place where they can get the upper hand on fan support compared with much larger stadiums across the country, where it would literally feel like they are the visitors. The 25,000-seat MAPFRE Stadium will most certainly, as with the previous games, be filled with mostly US supporters as officials will try to allocate tickets to Columbus Crew SC season ticket holders and US Soccer members.
There is no doubt this game will receive a lot of hype as the days countdown towards November 11 and US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann knows first hand how special it is to play Mexico in "Fortress Columbus."
"It means a lot to us to play Mexico in Columbus. Columbus is for us what Azteca Stadium is for them. It's a game where emotions will go through the roof, and we need to have our crowd behind us bringing their voice against our biggest rival. We know they will. Columbus will rock," he said on the US Soccer website.
US captain Michael Bradley, also on the website, stressed how important it is for the team to not be complacent against Mexico even though they have had success against them in Columbus on previous occasions.
"There's history. There's an aura in Columbus when we play Mexico. They feel that, we certainly feel that, and we have to continue using that to our advantage," he said.
This will be the United States' first game in the Hex before heading down to Costa Rica for their next game four days later.