The United States has been reluctant to play World Cup qualifiers on turf or temporary grass laid over turf in the past, but now they are willing to play on the fake or semi-dead stuff. That opens the door for Portland or Seattle to host a World Cup qualifier, but might they both host qualifiers? Steve Goff is reporting that the Pacific Northwest may get the two June qualifiers against Panama and Honduras.
Hearing USSF aiming to play June 11 and 18 WC qualifiers in PacNW (Portland & Seattle). Unconfirmed. Awaiting further details #usmnt— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) January 6, 2013
Not only will the Pacific Northwest get an elusive qualifier, or two, but it would be a rare qualifier for the entire west coast. Because of the travel from Europe to the west coast for the European-based players, the U.S. hasn't played a final round qualifier west of Salt Lake City since September 7, 1997. The schedule gave the U.S. a chance to go west this time around, though, with two home June qualifiers that fall outside of the club season, and it appears as if the Americans will take advantage.
If CenturyLink Field and JELD-WEN Field host the two matches, there would be grass laid over the turf, which isn't exactly ideal. In fact, a lot of players prefer turf to temporary grass, but the USSF is insisting on the temporary grass.