U.S. women’s national team to play World Cup qualifier at Sporting Park in October

07/24/2014 12:02 PM

07/24/2014 12:02 PM

The United States women’s national team’s quest to qualify for the 2015 FIFA World Cup will begin in Kansas City.

Sporting Park will be the host stadium to the opening four matches in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Oct. 15-16, U.S. Soccer announced Thursday.

In addition to the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and four yet-to-be-determined teams will open group play in the tournament with a match at Sporting Park. The full draw for the tournament will be unveiled Sept. 5.

“We look forward to an exciting World Cup qualifying round played in the United States at some of the best stadiums in the world in front of passionate football fans,” CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said in a release.

It will mark the U.S. women’s national team’s sixth appearance in the Kansas City metropolitan area and its second match at Sporting Park. It played to a 1-1 draw against Canada in 2011.

This one, though, carries more meaning as the United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, tries to secure its spot in the World Cup next summer, which will be played in Canada. As the host country, Canada already has qualified for the World Cup and won’t be one of the eight teams playing qualifying matches at Sporting Park.

Five FC Kansas City players were included on the national team’s roster for June matches against France: goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, midfielder Lauren Holiday, defender Becky Sauerbrunn and forwards Sarah Hagen and Amy Rodriguez.

The final four teams in the CONCACAF tournament will be determined at the Caribbean Football Union Women’s Caribbean Cup next month.

“This tournament provides fans with another opportunity to see some of the best women’s soccer players in the world compete on the international level,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in the release.

All matches during the tournament will be televised by FOX Sports stations.

To reach Sam McDowell, send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/SamMcDowell11.

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