Dick’s Sporting Good Park is perfect for U.S. soccer team

By Jacob Onak

The U.S. Soccer Federation (U.S.S.F.) announced Tuesday that it has chosen Dick’s Sporting Good Park, in Commerce City, Colo., to host the United States’ first home World Cup Qualifier match.

Now, I know many of you have not realized how early a qualifying process the World Cup has, but believe it or not, this is the final round of qualifying for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) region for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The U.S. men’s national team will face off against Costa Rica on March 22 at the home of the MLS’s Colorado Rapids. As the obsessive soccer fan that I am, the venue makes total sense for many reasons.

First off is the altitude. Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be using this training and match not only to bring up the fitness of his squad for the game against Costa Rica but also to prepare the team to play in its next match in Mexico just four days later. The match is most likely to be played at the coveted Azteca Stadium, a stadium that the U.S. has only won once in and a stadium that is in high altitude, as well.

Second is the surface. There was a lot of talk and pull from the Seattle area to have the first qualifier at CenturyLink Field, the same field the both the Seattle Seahawks (NFL) and Seattle Sounders (MLS) play in. However, the major problem is that CenturyLink Field has an artificial grass surface. In Europe, where many of our top Americans play in, turf is rare and almost frowned upon, which means none of the U.S. players would be used to it.

Third is timing. Dick’s Sporting Good Park is the perfect park to hold a well-sized, pro-America type crowd. Sure, it may not be as loud as Livestrong Sporting Park, which is where Sporting Kansas City plays and has one of the highest attendance rates in all of MLS, but I have a feeling the USSF wanted to keep that particular stadium open for a bigger match, like the home match against Mexico.

Dick’s Sporting Good Park should give the U.S. the perfect opportunity to come home and take care of business. The U.S. will need this win because the team is on the road for five out of its first six CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Personally, I can’t wait to see my Yanks gear up for battle and return to the World Cup.