CHICAGO / SANDY, UT – U.S. Soccer revealed that Sandy, Utah venue Rio Tinto Stadium will host a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match on Tuesday, June 18 against CONCACAF foe Honduras. The announcement from manager Jurgen Klinsmann was live on ESPN SportsCenter earlier today.
“Choosing Salt Lake for a very important game in the qualifying process is an easy choice,” said Klinsmann. “We think the crowd will give us huge support, loud, noisy, pushing us forward and giving us a lot of energy for 90 minutes. Every point in a World Cup qualifier is crucial, and we need to have game in venues like Salt Lake where we know opponents not only have to deal with us, they will also have to deal with the crowd.”
“When we ask the question ‘where is the biggest support for us throughout the country?,’ Salt Lake always comes up in that discussion. It has been proven in the past that this is another venue where we can ‘rock the boat’ and get a lot of excitement in the city around the game.”
The U.S. kicks off its homestand in World Cup Qualifying Friday night against Costa Rica at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, Colo., a game which could feature several Real Salt Lake players – GK Nick Rimando, MF Kyle Beckerman and DF Tony Beltran for the United States, along with Costa Rican FW Alvaro Saborio. After this weekend’s match in suburban Denver, the U.S. will host the other four Final Round “Hexagonal” opponents in following venues:
- June 11 against Panama at CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Wash.)
- June 18 against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
- Sept. 10 against Mexico at Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)
- Oct. 11 against Jamaica at Sporting Park (Kansas City, Kan.).
Real Salt Lake PRIDE Season Ticket Holders will have an exclusive pre-sale window for the June 18 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. MT via www.RioTintoStadium.com, where one can also find details regarding local sales windows.
Tickets for Rio Tinto Stadium’s June 18 date will go on sale to the public on Tuesday, April 2, at 10 a.m. MT via www.ussoccer.com. (sales limited to eight tickets per household). Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) will also be available for each game exclusively through ussoccer.com.
As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for the June 18 U.S. v Honduras match prior to general public availability. The Visa advance sale occurs on Friday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. MT at www.ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.
“Events such as this prestigious World Cup qualifier and the previously announced 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup bring economic impact and international exposure to Utah and continue to position it as the ‘State of Sport’,” said Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins. “The arrival of these two extraordinarily high-profile international soccer events – just inside four weeks apart – would not be possible without a world-class soccer specific venue such as Rio Tinto Stadium, and is a continuing testament to the international sporting culture developed by the great fans of Real Salt Lake.”
Tickets to Rio Tinto Stadium’s July 13 Gold Cup doubleheader – U.S. v Cuba (1:30p MT) and Costa Rica v Belize – are now available to the general public at www.RioTintoStadium.com.
On June 18, the U.S. faces Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake. The only previous U.S. MNT game at the five-year old venue was the team’s 2-1 victory against El Salvador on Sept. 5, 2009, in World Cup qualifying. RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman entered as a substitute and played the final 11 minutes of that victory, with goals by current U.S. players Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.
The U.S. is 2-0-0 in the state of Utah, with the other victory being a 3-0 win against Costa Rica on June 4, 2005, in World Cup qualifying at Rice-Eccles Stadium, an event that prompted former manager Bruce Arena and Los Angeles Galaxy FW Landon Donovan to comment on the outstanding home-field advantage Utah fans gave the United States.
Kickoff times and broadcast information for many of the games has been determined and includes ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can follow all U.S. MNT games via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.