Where: Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL
When: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 7:00 PM
What: 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Semifinal Round
Prediction: I expect the U.S. to win this game comfortably 2-0
The U.S. kicks the home section of the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying with a game with Trinidad and Tobago in Chicago. The U.S. is in an interesting group with Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala. The teams play a round-robin schedule with the top two teams advancing to next year’s regional finals, which will produce three World Cup qualifiers and fourth team that goes to a playoff against the No. 5 nation in South America for another berth.
While the U.S. will be favorites to take the top spot in the group it will not be easy with trough road trips to Cuba (first time in 61 years), a date at Guatemala’s intimidating Estadio Mateo Flores on August 20th and a test in Port of Spain against a resurgent Trinidad and Tobago. With such difficult road games it is essential that the U.S. get maximum points from all its home games.
This World Cup game is perfectly timed for the U.S. as the European season will be underway, and the MLS season is still in full swing. That means all the U.S. players who play in Europe will be available for selection including Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley and Freddy Adu. In exhibition games this earlier this summer against England, Spain and Argentina, it was very apparent that the U.S. was lacking a quality goal scorer. Whether Brian Ching or Kenny Cooper can step up and fill that role will determine how far the U.S. gets in South Africa in 2010.
The Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago are trying to recapture the kind of form that saw them reach their first FIFA World Cup finals two years ago in Germany. T&T hopes took a big hit in the summer when Kenwyne Jones of Sunderland was injured against England and he will miss this game. T&T is led by Stern John of Southampton who is the country’s all-time top scorer and finished only two strikes behind Mexico’s Jared Borgetti in the race for CONCACAF’s top marksman honors in the qualifiers for Germany. Other Trinidad start expected to be in the squad for this game are Gary Glasgow, Densil Theobald, Avery John and Carlos Edwards and Marvin Andrews.
7000 S. Harlem Avenue
Bridgeview, IL 60455
Parking Fees: Cars $15; Limos $30; Buses/RVs $30
Toyota Park is centrally located approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Chicago in Bridgeview, Ill. The stadium is easily accessible from the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and is approximately 5 minutes from Midway Airport.
Use I-55 South and exit to Harlem Avenue. Turn left at Harlem Avenue, and continue south 2.5 miles to the stadium entrance.
Take I-294 East to I-55 North and exit to LaGrange Road south. Merge left onto Archer Avenue, continue east on Archer Avenue 2.5 miles, and turn right onto Roberts Road. Follow Roberts Road south to 71st Street, turn left, and proceed east to the stadium.
Take I-55 North and exit to LaGrange Road south. Merge left onto Archer Avenue, continue east on Archer Avenue 2.5 miles, and turn right onto Roberts Road. Follow Roberts Road south to 71st Street, turn left, and proceed east to the stadium.
Use 79th, 87th or 95th Street to access Harlem Avenue. Turn right onto Harlem Avenue. Continue north on Harlem Avenue to parking lot entrances at 70th and Harlem.
Use I-294 West and exit to 95th Street. Turn left at 95th Street, continue west to Roberts Road, and turn right. Follow Roberts Road north 3 miles to 71st Street and turn right. Proceed east on 71st Street to the stadium.
From Southwest Suburbs:
Use LaGrange Rd. or Harlem Avenue. to 95th Street. From Harlem Avenue, go west to Roberts Road and turn right. Follow Roberts Road north 3 miles to 71st Street and turn right. Proceed east on 71st Street to the stadium
From 95th St. and LaGrange Road go east to Roberts Road and turn left. Follow Roberts Road north 3 miles to 71st Street and turn right. Proceed east on 71st Street to the stadium.
CTA – Orange Line
Fans may take the CTA Orange line to Midway. At Midway, you can connect to the “TOYOTA PARK Express” PACE BUS. The bus will drop you off at TOYOTA PARK and will also be available to bring you back to the Midway stop after the conclusion of the game.