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U.S. men to host Jamaica in October WC qual

The United States men’s national team announced on Thursday that the Oct. 7 World Cup qualifier against Jamaica will take place at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.

The match will take place in the second window of World Cup qualifiers, following the start of the “Octagonal” in September. The window is also a triple date in which the U.S. will play three matches in seven days. Due to the anticipated high demand, U.S. Soccer will utilize a weighted random draw for tickets.

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Q2 Stadium, the home of MLS side Austin FC, opened on June 16, when the U.S. women’s national team played a friendly against Nigeria and prevailed 2-0. Austin FC played its first match there three days later, drawing 0-0 with the San Jose Earthquakes.

“What’s been happening in Austin the last couple years is extraordinary,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “It’s amazing the way the city has embraced the sport, the world-class facilities they have developed, and most importantly for us the atmosphere the fans create in the stadium. That’s precisely the type of environment we need for our home World Cup Qualifiers, and I know it’s something our players value and appreciate.”

Following the game in Austin, the USMNT travels to face Panama on Oct. 10 in Panama City. Three days later, the Americans will host Costa Rica at a site to be determined.

The September window will see the U.S. open away to El Salvador on Sept. 2, host Canada at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium three days later, followed by a match at Honduras on Sept. 8.

The eight-team final round of qualifying is an increase from previous cycles, which saw six teams take part. The top three teams will advance to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fourth-place team will participate in an Intercontinental playoff for the last spot. The 10 matches in the final round had typically been played during the course of 18 months. Due to schedule changes related to the COVID pandemic and the new format, each team will play 14 matches in a seven-month period.

The U.S. has a 7-1-6 record all-time against the Reggae Boyz in World Cup qualifying, and a record of 17-3-8 overall. The two sides are squaring off in the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The October meeting falls on the 20th anniversary of the historic win against the Reggae Boyz that sent the United States to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, in which they reached the quarterfinals. Playing on Oct. 7, 2001, and as the first team to represent the United States following the September 11 attacks, the U.S. won 2-1 on a pair of goals by Joe-Max Moore.

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