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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

U.S. to play Mexico in Columbus

CHICAGO -- The United States will play its home World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, for the third straight time following victories in 2001 and 2005.

The Feb. 11 match will be the U.S. opener of the final round of World Cup qualifying in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

In what some called the "Guerra Fria (Cold War)" because of a 29-degree game-time temperature, the United States defeated Mexico 2-0 on Feb. 28, 2001, on goals by Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart.

With the weather far warmer, the Americans beat El Tri 2-0 at Columbus on Sept. 3, 2005, as Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley scored, clinching the fifth consecutive World Cup berth for the United States.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced only the site of its home match against Mexico on Tuesday and still must pick venues for its four other home qualifiers. The Americans play at Mexico on Aug. 12.

The United States is 4-0-3 at Columbus Crew Stadium, including 3-0-2 in World Cup qualifiers. The Americans are 8-0-2 at home against Mexico since 2000, outscoring El Tri 17-3.

Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C., were the other finalists for the Mexico match.

The top three nations in the six-team finals qualify for the 2010 tournament in South Africa. The No. 4 team meets the fifth-place team from South America in a home-and-home playoff for another berth.

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