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January 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

U.S. to play March 22 qualifier in Colorado

dsg.JPGDiehard U.S. men’s national team fans have been waiting a while for this venue announcement, but now it’s official:

The team’s World Cup qualifier on March 22 against Costa Rica will be played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., outside of Denver. You may also know the stadium as the home of the Colorado Rapids.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. PT and ESPN is carrying the broadcast. Ticket information will be announced soon, and here’s a schedule of all the U.S. qualifiers (home games in bold, away games in italics):

Feb. 6 — at Honduras

March 22 — vs. Costa Rica (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.)

March 26 — at Mexico

June 7 — at Jamaica

June 11 — vs. Panama (TBD)

June 18 — vs. Honduras (TBD)

Sept. 6 — at Costa Rica

Sept. 10 — vs. Mexico (TBD)

Oct. 11 — vs. Jamaica (TBD)

Oct. 15 — at Panama

Location — or more specifically, altitude — clearly played a big role in Colorado’s selection. The U.S. play a road qualifier in Mexico on March 26 (7,000+ feet), four days after playing near the Mile High City (5,000+ feet).

You have to think Kansas City’s Livestrong Sporting Park and Columbus’s Crew Stadium will be on a shortlist to host some of the remaining home qualifiers. Real Salt Lake’s president recently said Rio Tinto Stadium is also in the discussion.

We also know by now that Seattle has been in the mix, as well, even despite potential scheduling conflicts in June. The Washington Post, one of the leading sources on these matters, wonders maybe if that Oct. 11 might be CenturyLink Field’s last holdout (though the NFL season might make things difficult, particularly if temporary grass is required).

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