There are certain advantages to being a ProSoccerTalk regular. Here’s a big one today:
It’s a “heads up.” I am telling each of you right now, get your tickets for Oct. 16 at Livestrong Sporting Park. There aren’t many left. You have been warned.
Yes, it’s a Tuesday, and that makes travel a toughie. I get it. But you don’t want to miss this chance.
Looking at the standings (below) there is almost no scenario in which the United States will walk into its Oct. 16 qualifier against Guatemala, the Americans’ final semifinal round match, with a place in the final round in hand. That means the atmosphere, barring some highly unlikely result in matches four days prior, will be nervous, charged, electric and hectic that night at Livestrong Sporting Park outside Kansas City.
In other words, just like last night – but perhaps even more explosively delightful. Unlike Crew Stadium, Livestrong is blessed with a roof, which holds in the noise. The place will be a cauldron, alight with beautifully nervous energy.
The United States plays at Antigua and Barbuda on Oct. 12, the same night Guatemala faces Jamaica in the other Group A contest. Antigua has been eliminated, leaving the other three competing for two spots in final round World Cup qualifying.
(MORE: Mid-sized MLS venues are the RIGHT choice for World Cup qualifiers)
Let’s assume Jurgen Klinsmann’s team takes care of business in Antigua. Even then, most scenarios leave the United States needing a tie, at very least, in order to join Mexico and four other sides in the final round, the so-called “Hexagonal.”
(If the United States lose or draws in Antigua … well, the Panic Bottom will not be big enough for all of us to push. So, let’s not even talk about that.)
I spoke to Sporting Kansas City officials minutes ago. About 2,000 tickets remain for the Oct. 16 contest.
So, a little helpful stage-setting here: Chill in the Midwest air. A place in final round qualifying at stake (which means the World Cup 2014 dream could die, right there in Kansas City, almost two years away from the actual event). A stadium that knows how to throw a soccer party …
Yes. Give me some of that. Extra helpings, in fact.
At the very, very least, circle that date on the ol’ calendar.
The CONCACAF Group A standings are here: