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January 6, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Report: U.S. Soccer aiming to bring World Cup qualifier to Seattle in June

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UPDATE 2:36 p.m. — A series of tweets from Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has made it seem unlikely Portland will be hosting a qualifier. Paulson said they won’t put a temporary grass surface on Jeld-Wen Field and that hosting a Gold Cup game seems more likely than a World Cup qualifier.

Steven Goff of The Washington Post has reported that U.S. Soccer is aiming to bring a pair of FIFA World Cup qualifiers to Seattle and Portland this summer, as you can see in the tweet above.

The U.S. men’s national team hosts Panama on June 11 and Honduras (potentially featuring Seattle midfielder Mario Martinez) on June 18.

We’ve known the Sounders have been in active conversation with the federation to host such a game for about a month now, as team executives Adrian Hanauer and Joe Roth said as much in an end-of-the-year business meeting.

“That is something that we’re working on,” Hanauer said then, “and with a little bit of luck and some hard work, we might have something that we can hopefully hang out hats on in the near future here.”

There are a couple other June events at CenturyLink Field that deserve mention; the stadium will host a Kenny Chesney concert on June 1 and the University of Washington graduation on June 15.

Such activity might make it harder for a temporary grass surface to take root and perform at a quality standard. FIFA guidelines allow for World Cup qualifiers to play on artificial turf, as well, but grass — even temporary sod — if often preferred in these situations.

Lastly, here’s video from a couple weeks ago featuring Grant Wahl, who first mentioned the federation being open to playing a qualifier on temporary grass for the first time since 1997 (around the 1:20 mark in the clip). He also said Seattle and Portland might be in line for those back-to-back June games…

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Video: Wahl on Friedel’s contract extension, Copa America 2016

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