Part of the sales pitch for communities building soccer-specific stadia was the attraction of World Cup Qualifiers to the small, intimate venues. Columbus Crew Stadium has been the US site of choice when taking on Mexico ('01 and '05), Grenada ('04) and Jamaica ('04). The Toolbox in Carson, CA will see its first US quallie in June when the Yanks take on mighty Barbados. Now it seems that MLS/SUM and US Soccer will make good on its promise as Chicago's Toyota Park will be set to host one of the three home CONCACAF Semifinal-round qualifiers this fall. If the US is serious about rewarding communities that have built stadia for their MLS teams, expect to see Frisco, TX's Pizza Hut Park, Commerce City, CO's DSG Park, and even Sandy, UT's unnamed RSL stadium named hosts these vital matches.
With more and more support for our boys as the US Soccer movement grows, however, one wonders if US Soccer would do better by opening up big parks like RFK and Soldier Field for the right opponents.
Regardless, the lucky US fans who have the resources and time to travel to the small venues (especially for midweek qualifiers) will certainly be a part of great pro-US fan experiences.