The United States announced that they would play a friendly on October 11 versus Ecuador a couple weeks ago, but a location had yet to be determined. There were reports of the match being at Rentschler Field in Hartford, CT, but those were untrue. Now there is a home for the match with the U.S. Soccer Federation announcing that the Yanks will square off against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, the first time that the U.S. will play at what is considering by many to be the finest soccer stadium in the country.
"We want to expose the team to as many styles as possible, and we know the quality of Ecuador," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We are also excited for the opportunity to play in Red Bull Arena. The stadium is one of the best soccer-specific venues in the United States and we are looking forward to playing our first ever national team match in Harrison."
Red Bulla Arena opened last year to smashing reviews. At an estimated $200 million, it was the most expensive soccer-specific stadium in the United States when it opened. The U.S. has played in New Jersey twice since the stadium opened, but both of those were at the 82,000 seat MetLife Stadium. This will be the first time that the U.S. has gone to the smaller, more intimate Red Bull Arena in what could be a test run for the stadium ahead of World Cup qualifiers, which are set to begin in June.
The last time the U.S. and Ecuador played was in 2007 when Landon Donovan scored a hat trick to lead the Yanks to a 3-1 win in Tampa Bay, FL. While the U.S. is struggled right now with a 0-2-1 record since Klinsmann took over in August, this is a match that the U.S. should have a good chance in. They will be coming off of a October 8 friendly against Honduras in Miami, but Ecuador will be making the long flight up from Ecuador where they will play a taxing 2014 World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on October 7.