The United States Men’s National Team will be heading to a familiar location to close out the home slate of World Cup qualifying. Today, U.S. Soccer announced that Exploria Stadium in Orlando will be the site of the final home World Cup qualifier for the USMNT when they host Panama on March 27th.
The USMNT has played Panama in Orlando before in do-or-die World Cup qualifiers. In the 2017 qualifying cycle, Exploria Stadium was also the site of the Panama match, where it was a huge 4-0 victory for the United States. Unfortunately, that match came 4 days before the USMNT crashed out of World Cup qualifying with a final matchday loss to Trinidad & Tobago.
This time around, the USMNT are in a position where Orlando could serve as a potential World Cup-clinching location for the team, as they currently sit in 2nd place in the Octagonal standings with 6 matches to play. The USMNT have never lost at Exploria Stadium, and they hope the 25,500-seat stadium could serve as a coronation of a successful World Cup qualifying campaign that ends with a confirmed place in the 2022 World Cup.
“We are excited to be back at Exploria Stadium,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer. “This city and these fans have been a huge advantage to us throughout the years. In our last home game of the Octagonal we look forward to another special night of soccer.”
The final home qualifier sits in the middle of a 3-match window that sees the USMNT travel first to Estadio Azteca to face Mexico on March 24th before heading to Orlando. After the Panama match, the team plays its final qualifier on the road as they travel to face Costa Rica on March 30th.
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