The Great Columbus Road Trip of 2012

In mid-September, we packed up my car and headed south into The Worst State Ever to see the U.S. Men’s National Team take on Jamaica in a World Cup qualifying match.Image

Yes, we like soccer so much that we will travel into Ohio to see a game. (Just kidding, Ohio.) (Sort of.)

I purchased our tickets a few months out. No tricks to it: I just bought them via Ticketmaster the minute that they went on sale. Our tickets were at the top of the 100 level at midfield: nothing to complain about.

I used one of my absolute favorite methods of booking a hotel: Priceline! I thoroughly enjoy the thrill of bidding on a hotel room, getting a ridiculously reasonable rate and being surprised by what hotel we end up at. It’s a fun game. You should try it.

The drive from Detroit to Columbus is a mere four hours and one stop at Tim Horton’s. It is rather painless as far as road trips go. Especially when you get someone else to drive. Which I did. (Special shout out to Lauren for taking the wheel.)

We left just before 10:00 am and arrived at 2:00 pm. After checking in to our hotel and grabbing lunch and drinks, we outfitted ourselves in egregious amounts of red, white and blue.

ImageI haven’t mentioned that Team Fantastic (that’s me and Lauren) added a third member for the Great Columbus Road Trip of 2012. Our friend Randy joined us for 28 hours of glory and I don’t think that I’m exaggerating when I say that the trip changed his life. We do that to people.

The atmosphere at Columbus Crew stadium was electric, amazing, astounding, awesome. Whatever your choice of adjective, that’s what it was. We stood the whole match. WE STOOD THE WHOLE MATCH. The crowd was manically behind the home team, which was a change from the USMNT games that we’ve seen in Chicago (very pro-Poland) and in Detroit (which was supporting the Americans but largely indifferent — no passion).

The match was, without question, the best match that we’ve seen on American soil. Not only did we see a win for the Americans, but we saw crazy awesome fan support.Image

As much as it pains my maize and blue heart to admit it: Columbus brought it. Columbus Crew stadium was filled with enthusiastic, passionate fans. It was incredible. The other USMNT games we’ve seen in the United States haven’t come close to comparing to the atmosphere that was in Crew Stadium.

U.S. Soccer would be insane not to stage more USMNT games in Columbus.

And after our phenomenal road trip, we would be crazy not to attend.

The final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is a double round-robin competition known as the Hexagonal. The Hex. Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica and the United States qualified.

The USMNT will host five home games during the last round of World Cup qualifiers:

  • 3/22/13 vs Costa Rica
  • 6/11/13 vs Panama
  • 6/18/13 vs Honduras
  • 9/10/13 vs Mexico
  • 10/11/13 vs Jamaica

Here’s the thing about USMNT games: they could be held virtually anywhere. Unlike some countries where their national teams play home games at at set stadium, the U.S. Men’s National Team can basically play anywhere in the country. And there are all sorts of factors that come into play when determining where they’ll get the best home field advantage: the stadium, the fan base, the playing field, the likelihood that 20,000 Mexican fans will travel there and essentially squash home field advantage, etc.

Columbus will more than likely host a match. That match will more than likely be against Mexico; the USMNT has pulled off a handful of really big wins over Mexico at Crew Stadium.

Which means that we will likely be spending Tuesday, 9/10/2013 in Columbus, Ohio.

It could be worse.

Other than the Columbus part.

(The Columbus part gives me hives. But there is no denying that it’s a great place to watch American futbol.)

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2 responses to “The Great Columbus Road Trip of 2012

  1. Pingback: Here We Go Again | Barging In On The Beautiful Game

  2. Pingback: Columbus: September 10, 2013 | Barging In On The Beautiful Game

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