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March 21, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Seattle will host USMNT’s June 11 World Cup qualifier against Panama

US Centennial shield-01-1.jpgAfter months of reports, rumors and indications, it is finally official:

Seattle will host the U.S. men’s national team’s June 11 World Cup qualifier against Panama. Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is set for 6:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale on April 2 and 10 a.m. and are available through Ticketmaster.com, calling 800-745-3000 and the CenturyLink Field Box Office.

“Going to Seattle for a World Cup Qualifier was very high on our list because of the fantastic atmosphere,” said USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a news release.

“It was a no brainer. We knew we had to go to Seattle and the sooner the better because it will hopefully give us an advantage in our game.”

Stadium capacity will be capped at 42,000 since there is also a Mariners game on June 11. The game will be played on a temporary grass surface that will be installed after a June 1 concert and in place for a rivalry game against Vancouver on June 8.

Sounders ownership said back in December that they were in active conversation with the federation to bring a World Cup qualifier here. Reports persisted in January and February that Seattle was on the radar to host one of five home qualifiers in 2013.

The first home qualifier is set for Friday in Colorado and the other four host cities were revealed Thursday:

June 11 vs. Panama — Seattle (CenturyLink Field)
June 18 vs. Honduras — Sandy, Utah (Rio Tinto Stadium)
Sept. 10 vs. Mexico — Columbus (Crew Stadium)
Oct. 11 vs. Jamaica — Kansas City (Sporting Park)

This will mark the first standalone USMNT game in Seattle (e.g. not a part of a Gold Cup doubleheader) since March 29, 2003. The U.S. has only played one other World Cup qualifier here, a 2-0 win over Canada on Oct. 20, 1976 at the Kingdome in front of 17,675.

The USMNT has a 6-2-1 record in Washington and has won five straight (with a goal differential of 16-1 in that span).

Seattle, as you may remember, will also host Gold Cup games — not the U.S., though — on July 11. Tickets for those games, Panama/Martinique and Mexico/Canada, went on sale Thursday morning.

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