USMNT: 6 Venues That Deserve to Host Matches in Hexagonal Round
In the past five years, soccer venues in the United States have grown with the development of soccer-specific stadiums for many MLS clubs.
With the development of new stadiums comes the opportunity to host a United States men's national team match.
Depending on the year, the United States plays up to 10 matches on home soil.
The venues for those matches are chosen carefully by U.S. Soccer, and as we saw on Tuesday with the crowd at Livestrong Sporting Park, the crowd at that stadium could play a huge impact on a specific match.
Here are six venues that are deserving of hosting the five home matches during the hexagonal round of qualifying next year.
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No matter if football or soccer is played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, it is a dangerous atmosphere for opponents to enter.
Ever since the Seattle Sounders entered MLS in 2009, CenturyLink Field has become known for its loud, raucous atmosphere and its constant sellouts.
Even with its rowdy reputation, U.S. Soccer has failed to make Seattle a permanent venue on the schedule each season.
Only one match has been played at CenturyLink Field since the Sounders entered MLS, and that came in 2009 against Grenada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
If U.S. Soccer were smart, they would schedule at least one match a year at CenturyLink Field, which has potential to become a fortress just like Azteca has for Mexico.
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Staying within the Pacific Northwest, the current home of the Portland Timbers in the MLS is also deserving of a United States match.
This region of the country has been neglected by U.S. Soccer and has not given some of the best soccer fans in America a chance to cheer on their national team in person.
Jeld-Wen Field is an older stadium and does only have a capacity of 22,000 people, but that is no excuse for American soccer's governing body to ignore the venue.
U.S. Soccer has chosen smaller stadiums to host qualifiers, like Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City in the recent future, so the size factor should be an issue.
If U.S. Soccer is smart, they would bring some lesser opponents into the Pacific Northwest and intimidate them with the crowd, like the one in Portland.
Lincoln Financial Field
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In three of the past four years, Philadelphia has hosted a United States men's soccer match.
The exception to that streak came in 2012 when U.S. Soccer turned to newer venues to host matches.
Although it is not a MLS stadium, Lincoln Financial Field has proved to be a loyal venue to U.S. Soccer, and that loyalty has been rewarded with the stadium being involved in the past two Gold Cups.
Everyone knows how passionate Philadelphia fans are, and that will be no different during a World Cup qualifying match.
The Linc could be in the running as the venue to host Mexico, which will be the biggest home match in the hexagonal round.
Fears of being unable to pack a NFL stadium with soccer fans is something that U.S. Soccer should not be worried about as the Linc saw over 55,000 fans for a friendly against Turkey in 2010.
Imagine what that number would be like if Mexico came to town.
BBVA Compass Stadium
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The newest soccer-specific stadium in America has been getting plenty of good reviews from those around MLS.
BBVA Compass Stadium is the new home of the Houston Dynamo, and it could be the next MLS stadium to receive a United States home match.
Houston has been a favorite city of U.S. Soccer with Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, hosting a match in two of the last five years.
With U.S. Soccer showing a trend towards showcasing the newer stadiums across the country, BBVA Compass Stadium would be a perfect fit for one of the five hexagonal matches.
Home Depot Center
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One venue that is almost always selected by U.S. Soccer to host a national team match is the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The Home Depot Center has hosted matches in four of the past five years and is seen as the closest thing to a home stadium to the national team.
The stadium hosts both the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA in the MLS and has hosted four MLS Cup matches, the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup Final and the 2003 MLS All-Star Game.
Raymond James Stadium
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Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., is slowly becoming a regular stadium in the discussion to host United States matches.
With no MLS clubs in the Southeast region of the country, the only chance soccer fans in that region have to see a top-notch competitive soccer match is when the national team comes to town.
The United States has played two matches in the Southeast region in each of the past two years, with Tampa being one of the venues used twice.
With the drive to bring the 20th MLS club to the Southeast continuing, U.S. Soccer will have no problem driving interest in the national team in the Southeast by scheduling one of their qualifying matches in Tampa.