The USA will play both its home games this slate in the bitter cold of Columbus, Ohio — a familiar fortress with plenty of history — and St. Paul, Minn. — a potential new polar stronghold.
“We expect to embrace the conditions, enjoy the conditions, and really be able to take it to our opponents in the big picture of this window,” said USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter during his press conference following last week’s roster announcement.
While the air above may dip into the single digits, the field below the players feet should be in great shape thanks to the well-seasoned grounds crews at Lower.com Field in Ohio and Allianz Field in Minnesota. Their extensive efforts will make these chilly contests possible as they maintain a quality surface in the face of potential inclement winter weather.
“For Thursday’s match against El Salvador, you can expect a uniform surface when it comes to playability, especially during winter in Ohio,” said Ben Jackson, Director of Grounds for Columbus Crew. “The field will not look as aesthetically pleasing this time of year. However, the pitch and subsurface should have good lateral and vertical strength as a result of the heating system. Air temperature shouldn’t have a significant effect on the field quality.”