Sources out of Mexico have confirmed what many rumors had already foreshadowed: The U.S. national team is trading the friendly confines of Crew Stadium in Ohio for a new venue vs. its regional rivals, moving to Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah.
The games against Mexico are often the most hotly contested in the entire CONCACAF qualifying campaign. While Mexico has for years hosted its matches in the altitude-amplified fortress of Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the U.S. has lately countered with the chilly assist of Crew Stadium to cool down the Mexican attack.
The temperatures at Rio Tinto aren't expected to be welcoming to the southern neighbors of the U.S., either. The average for February is chilly.
Rio Tinto is the newest soccer stadium in the States and the home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake.
Both U.S. coach Bob Bradley and Mexico's coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson, have indicated that the opening match of the final qualifying round is a crucial one for setting the tone.
Mexico has yet to beat the U.S. on American soil in this century. Similarly, the Americans have yet to defeat Mexico in that country.