Insider: Orlando City, Red Bulls stadiums to host USMNT's last two Hex home matches
Orlando’s new soccer stadium has been friendly to Orlando City, which is 5-0-0 there, and now Orlando will host a big U.S. World Cup qualifier later this year.
SI.com has learned that Orlando is set to host USA-Panama in October, which could be a huge game to see if the U.S. will make it to Russia 2018. SI.com has also learned that the U.S.’s September home World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica is set to take place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
Getting three points at home in every World Cup qualifier is even more important after the U.S.’s slow start in the CONCACAF Hexagonal. The Americans started the comeback trail in March, thrashing Honduras 6-0 at the San Jose Earthquakes' Avaya Stadium before picking up a road point at Panama to vault from sixth to fourth in the Hex standings.
The next two matches take place in June. Bruce Arena's squad plays at home against Trinidad & Tobago at the Colorado Rapids' Dick's Sporting Goods Park before heading to Mexico's Estadio Azteca to take on El Tri on June 8 and 11, respectively.
The final two home game decisions mean MLS venues will host all five home Hex matches for a second straight World Cup cycle.
Elsewhere in U.S. Soccer news:
U.S. Soccer begins talks over building new national training center with big surplus
U.S. Soccer made a $46 million net profit off the Copa América Centenario last year and now has a surplus in excess of $100 million. So what is the federation going to do with some of that money?
Talks have begun at U.S. Soccer about building a new dedicated national training center that would be like the one France has at Clairefontaine and Italy has at Coverciano, though it is too early in the discussions to identify a location. StubHub Center in the Los Angeles area has been the national training center since it opened in 2003, but that facility has become crowded with the arrival of the NFL’s Chargers.
A new national training center would be a massive construction project and investment in the future of American soccer. It would come on the heels of the new National Training and Coaching Development Center being built by Sporting Kansas City, which is due to open in December and become an epicenter for the future of coaching education in the country while also boasting brand new training facilities.