The U.S. Men’s National Team is about to do something it hasn’t done in nearly 40 years – play a soccer match in Atlanta.
The squad is returning to the A-T-L for the first time since Oct. 10, 1977, when it hosted China for a friendly at Fulton County Stadium, according to a team release. The Yanks won 1-0 in that contest.
In fact, the U.S. are 2-0 all-time in Atlanta, also recording a 1-0 win against Canada on Oct. 27, 1968, also at Fulton County Stadium.
This is a good omen for the Americans as they prepare to take on Jamaica Wednesday night in the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is the tournament held every two years to determine the best soccer team among North America, Central America and the Caribbean. In the other semifinal game, also played in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome, Mexico will take on Panama.
It’s likely that this tournament is destined for a USA-Mexico final Sunday in Philadelphia, as we saw in 2009 and 2011. But Panama made a deep run and finished runner-up in the 2013 tournament, which was won by the U.S.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl tweeted that more than 68,000 tickets have been sold for the pair of games Wednesday night, and in all likelihood, most of those tickets were purchased by fans of Mexico. Tickets are still available on the secondhand market, but be warned – Mexico’s soccer fans are as intense as any sports fans on the planet.
The USMNT will play at 6 p.m. Wednesday night, and the Mexico-Panama tilt will start at 9 p.m.
Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky