Tuesday, July 5, 2011
U.S. makes HDC friendly official
By Scott French
The U.S. national team's friendly at Home Depot Center in September is now official.
U.S. Soccer on Tuesday announced friendlies Sept. 2 against Costa Rica at HDC and Sept. 6 against Belgium in Brussels. Both are FIFA intertational fixture dates, meaning head coach Bob Bradley -- if he's still in charge -- can call in any healthy player from any club on the planet.
What's likely is that he'll use a domestic roster, primarily Major League Soccer players, for the match against the Ticos, then field a team of European-based players against Belgium. The games will be the Yanks' first since falling to Mexico in the June 25 CONCACAF Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl and will serve as preps for the start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Tickets for the HDC game, which will begin at 8 p.m., will be available June 15. Seats start at $20.
The U.S. is 11-11-6 all-time against Costa Rica, which is currently playing as a guest team in Copa America, South America's nations championship, after reaching the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals. The Ticos have a four-game unbeaten streak going against the U.S., although the most recent meeting -- a 2-2 draw in October 2009 in a 2010 World Cup qualifier in D.C., forged on Jonathan Bornstein's stoppage-time goal -- sent Honduras past Costa Rica for the region's final berth in South Africa.
This will be the first friendly between the sides since 1998.