Soccer fans across the Americas once again turn their attention to Columbus, Ohio, as CONCACAF giants United States and Mexico return to square off in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday, Nov. 11. In anticipation of this historic match, FOX Sports pulls out all the stops, providing five hours of coverage across multiple platforms for the Veteran’s Day matchup.
FOX Sports kicks off extended match-day coverage live from MAPFRE Stadium beginning at 6:00 PM ET with a one-hour edition of “FOX Soccer Live” hosted by Rachel Bonnetta on FOX Soccer’s Facebook page. Bonnetta is joined by current and former U.S. National Team players to preview the latest installment in the bitter rivalry.
Coverage then shifts to FS1 at 7:00 PM ET with a 60-minute pregame show leading into the match at 8:00 PM ET. Immediately following the final whistle, FS2 presents analysis and commentary during a special hour-long postgame show.
FS1’s coverage includes an exclusive sit-down interview with American breakout star Christian Pulisic, who has burst onto the international soccer scene with German powerhouse Borussia Dortumund.
Friday’s match is both teams’ first in “The Hex,” the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. The hexagonal event features six teams, each playing each other twice – once home and once away. The top three teams are guaranteed spots in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, with the fourth-place finisher qualifying for a playoff for an additional spot. The USA and Mexico face each other again in Mexico City in June 2017 on FS1.
HERCULEZ GOMEZ REJOINS FOX SPORTS
Seattle Sounders FC forward Herculez Gomez, a U.S. National Team veteran who was also the first American to lead the Mexican league in scoring, rejoins FOX Sports for the November 11 match. Gomez, a mainstay in FOX Sports’ critically acclaimed coverage of last summer’s Copa America Centenario, travels to Columbus to join the studio team during an extended break in MLS playoff action, prior to his team’s Western Conference Championship series against the Colorado Rapids. The Sounders defeated top-seeded FC Dallas on a 4-2 aggregate score after winning the first leg, 3-0, at Century Link Field. Western Conference Championship first-leg coverage begins Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 10:00 PM ET on FS1.
Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and postgame studio coverage live from a field-level set at MAPFRE Stadium, where the United States has dominated the previous four qualifiers against El Tri, all by scores of 2-0, inspiring the rally cry, “Dos a Cero.” Gomez, former U.S. Men’s National Team player Alexi Lalas and Emmy-Award winning broadcaster Fernando Fiore serve as analysts at the studio desk. Once the action begins on the field, play-by-play announcer John Strong, analyst Stu Holden and sideline reporters Jenny Taft and Francisco X. Rivera have the call. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl serves as reporter at-large.
FS1 studio programs THE HERD and SPEAK FOR YOURSELF add to FOX Sports’ extensive coverage of Friday’s match, featuring interviews and special vignettes throughout the week. On the digital side, FOX Soccer’s newest Facebook Live show “The Rec League,” hosted by Bonnetta and Holden streams a special edition Thursday from HOMAGE in Columbus’ Short North.