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US to play World Cup qualifier in Columbus

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CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. is sticking with what works when it comes to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Americans will play their second home qualifier Sept. 11 against Jamaica at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. They've never lost in Columbus, going 5-0-3 there since 2000, and have conceded only one goal. That came in the Americans' last game against Jamaica in World Cup qualifying, a 1-1 draw on Nov. 17, 2004.

The Americans are 4-0-2 in World Cup qualifying in Columbus.

"Playing a World Cup qualifier in Columbus makes perfect sense," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Wednesday. "The support of the home crowd for these qualifiers can be a big positive for the team, and the fans in Columbus have shown time and time again how much they appreciate the national team. I have always heard how great a host Columbus is for these games, and I'm looking forward to experiencing it for myself."

The Americans have never lost to Jamaica, compiling a 10-0-8 record against the Reggae Boyz.

The U.S., trying to secure its seventh straight trip to soccer's world championship, opens World Cup qualifying June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla., and plays at Guatemala four days later. After the summer break, the U.S. travels to Jamaica on Sept. 7, then returns home for the game in Columbus four days later. In the final games of the regional semifinals, the Americans are at Antigua on Oct. 12 and close Group A at home against Guatemala on Oct. 16.

The top two teams from each of three groups advance to the 2013 regional finals in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The first three teams will qualify for the 2014 tournament in Brazil, and the fourth-place team goes to a home-and-home playoff against the Oceania champion - likely New Zealand - for another berth.

Group B has Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guyana and Mexico, and Group C includes Canada, Cuba, Honduras and Panama.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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