The U.S. men’s soccer team will play a crucial World Cup qualifying match against Honduras at San Jose’s Avaya Stadium in March, the sport’s governing body announced Sunday.
The game, to be played March 24, will mark the first final round qualifier to be played in the Bay Area since 1997, according to U.S. Soccer.
The match will also serve as the debut of new men’s coach Bruce Arena, who takes over a struggling national team that has yet to earn any points, through two games played, in the final round of qualifying.
“This game is very important, and we’ve chosen an outstanding venue in Avaya Stadium,” Arena said, via press release. “We think it’s a place where we will get fantastic support from the U.S. fans in a game that’s critical for our effort to qualify for Russia in 2018.”
The U.S. men face an uphill battle to qualify for the World Cup. They have eight games remaining against CONCACAF opponents to acquire the requisite number of points, including four home matches against Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica.
In its last match, the U. S. suffered an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Costa Rica in November.
U.S. soccer says it will employ a lottery system to distribute tickets for the game, which will kick off at 7:30 p.m. San Jose Earthquakes season ticketholders will be entered into the lottery automatically, the team announced Sunday morning.
For those not attending, the game will be shown on the Univision and FS1 networks.