Feb 2, 2022 - Sports

Frigid temps expected for St. Paul's World Cup qualifier game

Illustration of a soccer ball emoji mixed with a cold emoji chattering its teeth.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The road to the World Cup runs through a very chilly St. Paul Wednesday.

What's happening: The U.S. men's national soccer team faces Honduras at Allianz Field at 6:30pm.

Why it matters: The outcome of the match, which comes days after the United States' surprising 2-0 loss to Canada, could determine whether we secure a spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this year.

State of the (outdoor) pitch: Cold. Very cold. With the forecast showing temperatures and wind chill values dipping below zero, tonight's weather might actually meet U.S. soccer's criteria for recommended cancellation due to "extreme conditions."

Yes, but: Players (and fans) should be prepared to brave the elements — officials insist the match will go on.

  • "As far as I'm concerned, the field is good and it's a green light," U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said this week.

What they're doing: An underground heating system at Allianz keeps the field warm and free of snow and ice.

What they're saying: "I think our Brew Hall is going to be a huge hit when it comes to (providing warm areas)," Allianz Field general manager Justin Borrell told the paper.

Between the lines: The frigid conditions could give the U.S. an advantage since more of its players are used to playing in cold conditions, Axios Sports' Kendall Baker notes.

  • Many opposing players in the qualifiers are from equatorial countries.

Flashback: This isn't the first time subzero temps collided with a high-profile professional sports event here in the Twin Cities.

The bottom line: It's February in Minnesota. What did you expect?


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