The U.S. men's national team makes its return to North Texas for the first time in more than five years Wednesday night in a Gold Cup soccer semifinal match at Cowboys Stadium.
The U.S. men's soccer team plays Honduras at 6 p.m. and Mexico plays Panama at 9 p.m. Wednesday night's soccer doubleheader is expected to be a sellout and the winners advance to the Gold Cup final this weekend in Chicago.
Cowboys Stadium is no stranger to soccer matches – it annually hosts friendly matches featuring some of the biggest clubs and national teams in the game. But the U.S. men's soccer team hasn't played in North Texas since a March 2007 match at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco.
The playing surface in Cowboys Stadium for Wednesday night's match has been criticized by some members of the media.
In photos on social media, reporters highlighted uneven grass and gaps in the temporary surface laid down for the match. Piles of green sand were also seen and are being used to fill in any gaps on the grass surface.
The U.S. roster does have some Texas connections.
Defender Omar Gonzalez is a Dallas-native and attended DISD's Skyline High School for a few years before he left for a soccer development program run by U.S. Soccer.
"If I get the start [Wednesday night], it's going to be extra special for me," Gonzalez told reporters at a training session inside Cowboys Stadium on Tuesday.
Midfielder Brek Shea was born in Bryan, Texas and spent several years playing for FC Dallas in Major League Soccer. Shea left FCD earlier this year for an English Premier League club, Stoke City.
The USMNT comes into Wednesday night's match on a hot streak. It's undefeated in this year's Gold Cup tournament and has outscored its opponents 16-3 in four matches.
The U.S. beat El Salvador 5-1 on Sunday to advance to Wednesday night's match in Arlington. Honduras beat Costa Rica 1-0 to advance.
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