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USMNT to host Mexico in World Cup qualifying outside of Columbus for first time since 1997

Changing it up.

United States v Mexico: Championship - CONCACAF Nations League Finals Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

For the first time since 1997, the United States will play host to Mexico in Men’s Concacaf World Cup qualifying in a venue that doesn’t reside in Columbus, Ohio. U.S. Soccer announced that November’s much-anticipated home qualifying match against bitter rivals El Tri will be hosted at the brand new TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.

USA playing Mexico in World Cup qualifying in Columbus had become a tradition over the last two decades with the Americans holding a massive homefield advantage until the most recent cycle. It’s unclear if Mexico’s 2-1 win in Columbus in 2016 had anything to do with the decision, but it certainly didn’t help. There’s also the matter of Columbus having a brand new stadium of their own and Historic Crew Stadium no longer being used for major sporting events.

Despite the change in venues, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter is happy with the federation’s choice.

“When you talk about great rivalries in our sport, USA-Mexico is one of the best,” U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “We are fortunate to have so many great venue options in this country, and for this match Cincinnati ticks all the boxes.”

“This is a special game that requires a special atmosphere, and we know it’s one that Cincinnati will provide.”

U.S. Soccer will hold a draw for tickets for this match, due to demand.

Due to the anticipated high demand, U.S. Soccer will once again be utilizing a weighted random draw for tickets. Information on the ticket allocation process is available here.