The choice of venue amounts to a break with recent tradition. While the game will mark the sixth consecutive time that the U.S. has hosted Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in Ohio, the previous five such encounters were played at Crew Stadium in Columbus.
The last time the U.S. hosted a World Cup qualifier against Mexico outside of Columbus was back in April of 1997, when the two sides played to a 2-2 draw in Foxborough, Mass.
The USSF also announced that due to the anticipated high demand, it will once again be using a weighted random draw for tickets.
“When you talk about great rivalries in our sport, USA-Mexico is one of the best,” U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter said. “We are fortunate to have so many great venue options in this country, and for this match Cincinnati ticks all the boxes. This is a special game that requires a special atmosphere, and we know it’s one that Cincinnati will provide.”
The match will mark the first of two games in the November window, with the U.S. traveling to Jamaica to face the Reggae Boyz four days later. It is the only time during qualifying for the 2022 World Cup that a double fixture window will be used.
Under the new qualifying format, a total of eight teams – increased from six in previous cycles – will compete in the final round, with the top three teams advancing to Qatar ’22. The fourth-place team will participate in an Intercontinental playoff for the last spot.
Mexico holds the historical edge in the series, winning 36 of the 71 previous encounters along with 15 draws.
But the U.S. has made headway since 2000, amassing a record of 15-9-6 against its longtime rival.
It’s record in World Cup qualifiers in that time is 4-4-2. The most recent match came last June when the U.S. claimed a 3-2 extra time victory in the final of the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League.