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Northern Options

Because of RFK Stadium scheduling conflicts in August, D.C. United has once again turned to Baltimore as an option to stage a SuperLiga semifinal match...if United advances that far. Their semi would be Aug. 14 or 15, when the Nationals host the Phillies. DCU officials have discussed the issue with both Camden Yards and Ravens Stadium. There have been no talks about moving a regular season match there.

Last year United proposed Baltimore as a possible option for their Real Madrid exhibition, but as you know, the match ended up in Seattle. And this year, United contacted B'more officials about the DCU-Houston SuperLiga first-round game (another RFK conflict), but MLS decided to move the match to Houston.

United would need to finish first or second in its SuperLiga group (D.C., Houston, Club America, Morelia) to reach the semifinals. The other group includes L.A., Dallas, Chivas and Pachuca.

The Orioles are on the road Aug. 13-19, while the Ravens have home preseason games on Aug. 13 and 19.

DCU is also weighing other options.

By Steve Goff  |  April 18, 2007; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Bradley-Nowak Euro Adventure


Why wouldn't they just play at Byrd Stadium in College Park? That would make the most sense or even FedEx Field?

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 18, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Too narrow. Also, Ralph Friedgen apparently does not want any soccer on his holy football grounds.

Posted by: Goff | April 18, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait until next year, when the Nats will have their own gorgeous new stadium, and DCU will once again have complete run of creaky old RFK.

Posted by: Juan-John | April 18, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

That doesn't make sense of Byrd Stadium. UMD's Lacrosse games are played there. I love the Fridge, but he is full of it.

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 18, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

this is off topic, but any chance that DC United trades a defensive midfielder and something else to Toronto for Marvell Wynne?

Posted by: Marc | April 18, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse


Incongruent comment here, but, as one who's often surprised and always impressed by how often you're right, I'm a bit embarrassed to realize how eager I am to hear you eat crow about saying, just yesterday, that NYRB would never trade Wynne.

I don't really even rate the kid - at least not as the Nats' great hope at right back - and I'm shocked that NY has given up on him so early and for so little.


Posted by: mike | April 18, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

For the third and final time, I meant to say that NY would never trade Wynne to DCU. My mistake at the time. How many times do we need to go over it?

And please guys, stay on topic. This thread is about Baltimore. The earlier posting about Euro was also littered with DCU/MLS questions.

Thank you.

Posted by: Goff | April 18, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What about Philly?

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 18, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Off topic again on Wynne. My guess is that Arena didn't think he was all that bright a prospect as a soccer player. He's got good speed and athleticism, but that's a far cry from being a good player. To take a 2nd round draft pick for last year's top pick is basically throwing him away. As to why Toronto, Mo drafted him and Arena was just returning his lost baggage. Either way, are you wanting to bolster DCU's shaky defense this year with someone so unproven? I'd rather have a little more mature player that is a proven defender. We don't need any more experiments than we already have with McTavish, unless you ditch Wilson for him. Even then, that doesn't help the starting 11.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | April 18, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the off topic Steve. I started typing before you posted again.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | April 18, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I would also support Fedex. The Chelsea match was still one my favorites and what a great venue for soccer.

Posted by: Southeasterner | April 18, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

From what I understand, the expense to use FedEx is enormous.

Posted by: Goff | April 18, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Charm city doesn't screw this up and miss out on the opportunity to host the match.

If that doesn't work, how about a trial run in a southern expansion target - Charlotte/NC, Atlanta?

I would still rather it be within a reasonable proximity of most DC supporters, though.

Posted by: Andrew - Baltimore | April 18, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Please refrain from using B'more. We all know it is Ballmer.
As for the stadium issues - How wide is Ravens field? Did not find it on their website, but the field is Sportexe Momentum Turf. Not sure anyone wants to play on that. Would DCU pay for a quick change to grass?
I suppose the soccerplax would be too small. What about other college campuses? Is Richmond viable? Are G'town (better use of apostrophe here) or GW facilities big enough to handle what could be large Mexican crowds?
And do the O's really want us tearing up their immaculate field for a one-time deal? I don't see it.

Posted by: dc in tenn | April 18, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Tell the Nationals, to go play in Puerto Rico, or some other god for saken place. FYI, majority of Washingtonians don't care about the sorry excuse for a baseball team, that they call the Nationals. DC is more of a soccer town than a baseball town. United should be given priority. It is that simple.

Posted by: DC United Fan | April 18, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I think Baltimore would be a great choice. In fact, I think United should play one home game there every year (similar to how Green Bay Packers play in Milwaukee). It would be a great way to help expand the fanbase.

Posted by: lawrenceterp | April 18, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope they pick the Raven's stadium (aren't all the new NFL stadiums being built w/Int'l footy in mind these days). There should be plenty of sideline room there to expand the current field's dimensions.

Camden Yards, with a shoe-horned pitch, would have horrible sightlines.

Also, I am not sure why every hate's on the synthetic turf these days. The new stuff they have is just amazing... I play on a field-turf field all the time, and it's a heck of alot more consistent than grass...

Posted by: swwj | April 18, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

MD SoccerPlex, Richmond, Mason Stadium are all smaller than 10k. SO is SAS soccer plex down in NC. Would imagine the crowds to be MUCH bigger at a semi-final were we to reach it. Would love to see arematch against Chivas in August.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | April 18, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Maryland Stadium Authority is very eager to host soccer matches, MLS or international. And with Orioles attendance way down, they could use another revenue event. Not sure how they would configure a soccer field at Camden Yards in the middle of MLB season, though.

Posted by: Goff | April 18, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I suspect that, similar to the Byrd Stadium issues, the Navy stadium in Annapolis is also out of the question. What about George Mason - doesn't the former Columbus coach run the show down there now? Needless to say, living in downtown Baltimore, I'd much prefer the Ravens/Orioles options.

Posted by: BaltMLSfan | April 18, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

How about Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis? It seats 35k+ and Crystal Palace FC USL team is playing there.

Posted by: DCU Fan | April 18, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

DC United Fan,

Please check your facts before you make a statement. DC and the metro area do care about the Nationals very much. That is why they are here and not somewhere else.

Soccer fans will probably be happier when the Nationals move to the new stadium and the field is back to pre-baseball condition. I know I will. I support both, but United was here first. You have to admit, that RFK is much nicer with the Nats owners sprucing up RFK. Better food and drink too. United never did that or had the money to do so....

Posted by: toddinho | April 18, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

What about Annapolis? Crystal Palace F.C. USA has now based itself there. I think there are playing their matches out of the Naval Academy stadium until their own complex in complete.

Coach Freedge is a dumbass. They let lax destroy their hallowed field but not some "soccer" (uttered in Jim Rome tone) players? Whatever. At least Terps soccer team is nationally ranked. Suck it, Freedge.

Posted by: Erick | April 18, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse


Do you think we could have the Poplar Point stadium complete by August? Worth a shot huh?

Oh and nice job as blog enforcer re: staying on topic. Although it did follow a slightly annoyed sounding "what I meant to say...." ;)

Posted by: Dan | April 18, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Annapolis, my memory may be fading on me, but wasn't at least one 1994 World Cup game played there?

Posted by: alan | April 18, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

A couple '84 Olympics games were in Annapolis, but no WC.

Posted by: srf | April 18, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like decent capacity at Annapolis...

Maybe work with promoters for a double header of some sort?

This is beside to point, but I was disappointed to see the full season schedule and that the two "special" games this season were against Morelia and America of Mexico. Booooooo! Some will disagree, but after recent years of getting to use my Special Event A and B tix for the likes of Chelsea, Celtic, or even Nottingham Forrest, it seems like a step down to go see Morelia. Sorry, I am not big into teams sponsored by Bimbo... there is more adventure in bringing a team from Europe...

Posted by: Erick | April 18, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

anyone with me in thinking this is a moot argument because United won't make the semis?

Posted by: de | April 18, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Roger that!

All would be more easily decided - and with less bloodshed - if we just elect Salvatore as our team's champion to battle Houston's champion in a fussball battle royale cage match.

Posted by: Erick | April 18, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The WC was at RFK. But Navy just did a $40 million upgrade and from what I can tell, it should fit a 120x70. It is a beautiful stadium and has great parking lots for tailgating. :) See:

Posted by: DCU Fan | April 18, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Erick, but I'd rather see a meaningful match against anyone over a meaningless preseason friendly against a big-name team.

Morelia, America, etc. will be excellent matches.

Posted by: MattM | April 18, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse


The only potential saving grace is that the Morelia and America matches are SuperLiga and (keep our fingers crossed) are competitive. It could be a toss up. Let's hope they get everything sorted by then.

And I totally disagree on friendlies being meaningless. I doubt anyone on the field for DCU against Chelsea was taking it lightly. For them it is their chance to show against high-level talent. Professionals relish those types of challenges. I wonder if Boswell thinks less of his header (or his own goal) in that match? Likewise against Real Madrid. The match might have meant little to the Chelski or Real, but for DCU, it was a chance to test against major talent (and in front of big time scouts and press). Olsen got a chance to play against his former English employer in Forest. Remember the buzz afterward that Chelsea was after Boswell or and/or scouting Adu?

Posted by: Erick | April 18, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Folks, this isn't a matter of DCU just picking and choosing where to play. Baltimore has expressed strong interest; Navy apparently has not. Besides, it's much more important for DCU to build a fan base in populous Baltimore and its suburbs than Annapolis.

Posted by: Goff | April 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse


Bobby did not have an own goal in the Chelsea match! Sorry to, family, friends, and defenders everywhere.

Posted by: Erick | April 18, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. I think the field would be on the small side at M&T Bank Stadium but would fit fine on the outfield at Camden Yards. Atmosphere would actually be better at Camden Yards, even with the odd configuration because it is smaller and the crowd probably wouldn't fill the lower bowl at M&T Bank.

There are overhangs at Camden Yards that, with the added benefit of the warehouse, would bounce the sound back down onto the field.

Posted by: Eric | April 18, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

...and yes, in the Chelsea friendly, Boswell got our goal, but then Duff equalized with a screamer before Crespo finished us off on the break in the second half.

Posted by: Eric | April 18, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Of course, we're all assuming United makes it to the semi-final stage.

i'm just sayin'.......

Posted by: A Rickey | April 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Annapolis would be a great venue for the Super Liga match, particularly a double header to highlight Crystal Palace, etc, for all the reasons listed.

Make it so.

Posted by: delan | April 18, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

GTown - very small bleacher facility.
GW - no stands per se, just a seat in the woods - very quaint. Less seating the RFK aux.
Navy Soccer field - would require a 1/2 to 1 mile walk from the gate (Civilians can't drive on the base). *cough* Navy Shepherd and UMBC round-robin tourney on Sat with nightcap MD vs Navy *cough* sorry for being OT).
B'more would be terrific if it could work out.

Posted by: JSF | April 18, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Could always play it again in Seattle. Good way to expand the DCU brand, with a real meaningful match.

Posted by: hey | April 18, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Goff, I resent that Annapolis comment. I live in Annapolis ;)

Posted by: Kevin | April 18, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Also, I have serious doubts that most people in Baltimore City or Baltimore County will care about a soccer match in the city (most of the kids in Baltimore County play baseball or lacrosse).

If I had to guess, I'd say most of the soccer support in Maryland comes from Montgomery County, considering that when I was a kid, almost all the Maryland youth teams competing in the same national events my teams were playing in came from Montgomery County.

Posted by: Kevin | April 18, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

That's because you have to be rich to play in those prestigious club soccer tournaments. It's the same reason soccer is still viewed as a whitebread sport in this country. But that's a discussion for another blog.

Also, you would your "serious doubts" be based on? The number generalizations in your post are quite astounding.

FYI, there is a long history of football in Baltimore, certainly much longer than in Washington and it's surroundings. Having strong immigrant communities in the past and currently will do that for you. The fastest growing demographic in Baltimore City is the Latin American community. Of course, the way US Soccer operates, that doesn't count.

Posted by: Eyes Rolling in Baltimore | April 18, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

many, many apologies for straying from topic and for drudging up issues that had already been dealt with.

As for Baltimore, it'd be great to further the club's image there. For my money, the field turf in Ravens stadium should rank it as an option somewhere below the last resort. But I don't really see Angelos letting DCU on the field and 3000 miles is clearly too far from friendly fans for a non-friendly game. So maybe the Ravens' stadium is the best shot.

Posted by: mike | April 18, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I was on welfare as a child, actually. And while my team had it's fair share of rich white kids, there were several kids on my team as poor as me.

And my doubts are based on teaching in Baltimore County.

I suppose what I should have said is that I have serious doubts about D.C. United making in roads in the Baltimore and Baltimore County community because they play a game in the city. I have no doubt that the Latin American community will come out to see the Mexican side play.

Posted by: Kevin | April 18, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"But I don't really see Angelos letting DCU on the field "

I think Angelos would do anything for money.

Posted by: Goose | April 18, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Except, I mean, field a winning baseball team.

Posted by: Goose | April 18, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

That sounds dirty.... I'll show you my stadium if you show me your money ;-)

Posted by: Peter Angelos | April 18, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

There was an article in yesterday's Daily Record that stated that United had toured both stadiums in Baltimore, but had yet to submit a request to the MD Stadium Authority. They have been coordinating with the Baltimore Blast.

Posted by: Eric | April 18, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Why is all the focus on going north? Forget Baltimore! They're still too fucused on when the Colts are gonna come back to care about United. Everybody down South is a United fan, whether you knew it or not. Charlotte, Atlanta - big United fanbases with all the DC expats. If you don't feel like that big of a road trip, why not Richmond?

Posted by: grotus | April 19, 2007 7:24 AM | Report abuse

How 'bout Charleston? The Battery didn't get to see DC this year, they're probably feeling neglected. :)

Posted by: Ash | April 19, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

DCU sees the SuperLiga semi as a big event, which probably eliminates any stadium with less than 20,000 capacity.

Posted by: Goff | April 19, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"What about Philly?" (per Logan Circle)

I second that. Philadelphia has often been mentioned as a prime candidate for an MLS expansion franchise. The level of interest that such a match would generate would provide a lot of information to Garber and Co., potential team owners (or investor/operators or whatever they're called), etc.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | April 19, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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