McCullers bullish on hosting USMNT vs. Mexico clash
CONCACAF, the organizing body of U.S. Soccer's FIFA region, held its draw for the upcoming Hexagonal round of 2014 World Cup Qualifying on Wednesday night. The U.S. Men's National Team will host five matches in the final round in 2013, including Costa Rica on March 22, Panama on June 11, Honduras on June 18, Mexico on September 10 and Jamaica on October 11.
Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers is confident Crew Stadium will host the United States' clash against regional heavyweight and rival Mexico on September 10.
"I feel the same way I did before the draw," McCullers said on Thursday morning. "We've hosted USA versus Mexico since the stadium has opened. We've done a fantastic job with it. We had an unbelievable experience with USA versus Jamaica here in September. I fully expect we're going to host USA versus Mexico on September 10."
Crew Stadium has hosted three previous World Cup Qualifiers between the U.S. and Mexico, all 2-0 results in favor of the Stars and Stripes. Overall, the United States is 6-0-3 in Columbus following the National Team's 1-0 win over Jamaica on September 11.
Despite the National Team's success in Ohio, McCullers isn't taking Crew Stadium's ability to be a fortress for the U.S. Men's National Team for granted.
"For me certainly, Crew Stadium is the obvious choice [for USA versus Mexico]," McCullers explained. "But we don't take anything for granted. We never have. We've been partners with U.S. Soccer for a long, long time. I've worked with [U.S. Soccer Director of Events] Paul Marstaller and [U.S. Soccer Chief Executive Officer] Dan Flynn for 25 years, back to the World Cup in '94."
McCullers continued, "I think we're extremely well-positioned, but we're going to make sure we don't take it for granted. Where we can freshen the experience and make it even better for U.S. Soccer, for the athletes, for the fans -- we're always looking to see where we can improve. That's the approach we're taking."
The United States Soccer Federation is expected to make a decision on hosting sites in the coming months.