The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
When the U.S. men’s national soccer team needs a boost, it comes to Colorado. And this month, it could use one: The Americans are sitting fourth in their final qualification round for the 2018 World Cup, and only the top three teams automatically receive a berth to the tournament, which will be held in Russia. That doesn’t mean fans should panic—yet. The national squad has been here before. In 2013, after a slow start to their 2014 World Cup quest, the Yanks eked out a crucial W against Costa Rica, during blizzardlike conditions, in the famous Snow Clasico at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Five years earlier, en route to the 2010 World Cup, the American side took down Guatemala 2-0 at Dick’s in its last match of the semifinal round. Little wonder, then, when it came time for U.S. Soccer organizers to select a location for the June 8 bout against Trinidad and Tobago—home-stadium elevation: 39.7 feet—they tapped the Centennial State and its advantageous geography. (The U.S. team arrived in Denver for training on May 28.) The high-elevation match will also help prepare the team for its meeting with Mexico, three days later, at the 7,503-foot Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. A pair of back-to-back wins would improve the team’s World Cup chances—and allow fans to breathe a little easier, too.