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Thursday, February 7, 2013 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
U.S. men's team likely to play World Cup qualifier at CenturyLink Field
By Joshua Mayers
Seattle Times staff reporter
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati gave strong indications Wednesday that Seattle will host the U.S. men's national team in a FIFA World Cup qualifier later this year.
This came in an interview with reporters before the U.S. lost, 2-1, to host Honduras — the first of six games in the final round of qualifying for countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
"Based on Gulati press event, seems likely that soccer-mad Seattle will finally host a US World Cup qualifier this year," said Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl in a tweet.
"Seems as if it will happen," added Steven Goff of The Washington Post.
The Sounders said in early December that they have been working to bring a qualifier here. Gulati said a formal announcement could be coming "soon."
Seattle hasn't hosted a stand-alone USMNT game since 2003, and many believe a June 18 qualifier against Honduras at CenturyLink Field is the most likely option among the federation's remaining home games.
The five home qualifiers this year will be held in five MLS venues, four in soccer-specific stadiums, according to Gulati. CenturyLink Field would be the exception in that group.
A location for only one of the five games has been announced: Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., will host a March 22 qualifier against Costa Rica.
Sounders in international action
Sounders FC midfielder Mario Martinez played 90 minutes for Honduras in the 2-1 win. Seattle forward Eddie Johnson played 58 minutes for the USMNT, and midfielder Brad Evans was an unused substitute.
Elsewhere, Sounders defender Adam Johansson played 30 minutes for Sweden in a 3-2 exhibition loss to Argentina.
• A preseason friendly between Sounders FC and Veracruz of the Mexican second division could be finalized this week, according to reports out of Mexico. The exhibition would take place in Tucson later this month — Feb. 22 according to elgolfo.info — and serve as preparation for Seattle's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Mexico's Tigres UANL.
• Dylan Tucker Gangnes, a Bainbridge Island native and product of the University of Washington, signed Wednesday with the Portland Timbers.
• The Sounders returned from Tucson on Tuesday and are scheduled to practice locally Friday and Saturday. They will head back to Tucson on Monday and participate in the Desert Diamond Cup, a preseason tournament, from Feb. 13-23.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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