The United States men's national team will face Mexico in a World Cup qualifier at Cincinnati's TQL Stadium on Nov. 12, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday. Per a U.S. Soccer release, the match will air live on the ESPN networks and Univision family of networks, with kickoff time to be determined.
The choice of venue amounts to a break with recent tradition. While the game will mark the sixth consecutive time that the U.S. has hosted Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in Ohio, the previous five such encounters were played at Crew Stadium in Columbus.
The last time the U.S. hosted a World Cup qualifier against Mexico outside of Columbus was back in April of 1997, when the two sides played to a 2-2 draw in Foxborough, Mass.
"We took a hard look at all the venues and I think one thing that was important was, we're going to need every venue that we play in to have an absolute [raucous] crowd," Berhalter said at a news conference ahead of Thursday's Gold Cup semifinal match against Qatar in Austin, Texas.
Berhalter added that having a pro-U.S. crowd was key for the qualifying matches, where CONCACAF opponents often have large numbers of supporters in the stands.
"We feel like we made some mistakes in the last qualifying cycle, particularly in the Costa Rica game [at Red Bull Arena], not having a crowd that was that was 100% U.S. And that's going to be extremely important.
"And when I look at some of the venues we've chosen already and will continue to announce, I think it fits perfectly into what we're what we're talking about. Cincinnati, in particular has, you know, good capacity stadium, brand-new, and I think it's going to be a fantastic venue to compete against Mexico."
Columbus outlet The Massive Report stated that the Crew's new stadium, Lower.com Field, will host the World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 13. The USSF has yet to officially announce the venue for that match.
The match against Mexico will mark the first of two games in the November window, with the U.S. traveling to Jamaica to face the Reggae Boyz four days later. It is the only time during qualifying for the 2022 World Cup that a double fixture window will be used.
Under the new qualifying format, a total of eight teams -- increased from six in previous cycles -- will compete in the final round, with the top three teams advancing to Qatar '22. The fourth-place team will participate in an Intercontinental playoff for the last spot.
Mexico holds the historical edge in the series, winning 36 of the 71 previous encounters along with 15 draws.
But the U.S. has made headway since 2000, amassing a record of 15-9-6 against its longtime rival.
It's record in World Cup qualifiers in that time is 4-4-2. The most recent match came last June when the U.S. claimed a 3-2 extra time victory in the final of the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.
The USSF also announced that due to the anticipated high demand, it will once again be using a weighted random draw for tickets.