CHICAGO - The United States plans to play its home games in the semifinals of World Cup qualifying in Washington and suburban Chicago and Denver.
The Americans, who had a first-round bye, meet Barbados in the second round, playing the total-goals series in Carson, Calif., on June 15 and at the Caribbean nation seven days later.
If the United States advances, it would open the semifinals Aug. 20 at Guatemala or St. Lucia, then play at Cuba or Antigua and Barbuda on Sept. 6. The Americans’ first home match would be Sept. 10 at Bridgeview, Ill., against Trinidad and Tobago or Bermuda.
The U.S. team would host the Cuba-Antigua and Barbuda winner Oct. 11 at Washington, then play at the T&T-Bermuda winner on Oct. 15. The home game against the Guatemala-St. Lucia winner would be Nov. 19 at Commerce City, Colo.
The top two teams in the group advance to the six-nation finals of the North and Central American and Caribbean region. Three teams from the finals qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and the No. 4 team goes to a playoff against the No. 5 team from South America.
To prepare for the start of qualifying, the U.S. team has exhibition games at England (May 28), at Spain (June 4) and against Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J. (June 8).