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Qualifier at RFK?

The Insider has learned that Washington's RFK Stadium is under strong consideration to host the USA's World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 14, the last match on the Americans' 10-game, final-round schedule. Of course, there is a good chance the USA will have wrapped up a World Cup berth by then, but an international match is an international match, right?

RFK was the site of the semifinal-round qualifier between the USA and Cuba last October, the Americans' first visit here since 2004. Their record in D.C. since 1996 is 8-1-2.

That one loss was the Honduras qualifying fiasco in 2001, so any chance of RFK hosting the Catrachos in June is nil. You can also scratch the El Salvador qualifier in early September, for Washington has become the Salvadoran national team's home away from home.

And since we already know the Feb. 11 match against Mexico will be played in the Columbus Sub-Zero freezer, the only remaining possibilities are the April 1 game against Trinidad and Tobago and the Costa Rica visit.

My understanding is that the site of the T&T game -- which could really be assigned anywhere because there are no fan issues -- will be finalized as early as next week. Washington, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles are not in the running. My sense is that SLC might get the El Salvador game in September.

T&T in Chicago or Hartford? Hmmm.....

Where would you like to see the home matches staged?

By Steve Goff  |  January 23, 2009; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Posted by: beergorila | January 23, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Man, that would be awesome!!!!

Posted by: Matte | January 23, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

T&T will be in whatever city Jack Warner would like to vacation in...

Posted by: Reignking | January 23, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Seattle should get a game considering the Sounders first MLS season. Maybe St. Louis to test out the soccer-base I keep hearing about.

Posted by: nico78 | January 23, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Red Bull Arena is not under consideration for Costa Rica. Their fans would attend there or RFK, but RBA will be so much nicer. Concerns about it getting finished in time?

Posted by: Kev29 | January 23, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Seattle should get a game considering the Sounders first MLS season. Maybe St. Louis to test out the soccer-base I keep hearing about.

Posted by: nico78 | January 23, 2009 5:03 PM

Neither has a stadium with natural grass. US Soccer, to their credit, prefers it (and not temporarily laid in).

Posted by: Kev29 | January 23, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Qualifier at RFK? OK, how about "old."

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 23, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

If they want to give RFK a qualifier, it really should be the April T&T match, while the October Costa Rica match ought to go to the Cow Palace in Jersey (unless there really is doubt it will be ready by then).

The Honduras and El Salvador matches could be played in Western sites, or Chicago.

Posted by: fischy | January 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

What fischy said.

I wanted T&T at RFK, I'd go to any others I could, but it sure would be nice to go to a match with something at stake. Otherwise I might just be saving my money for South Africa at that point... (crossing fingers)

Posted by: DadRyan | January 23, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Red Bull Park was supposed to have been the choice, but it's been pushed back to 2010.

Believe that US Soccer sees this group as easy as vanquished by Round 8.

As long as the Mexibamas have Sven as head coach, we got nothing to worry about.

Posted by: bs2004 | January 23, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

UGH! T and T would have been quality! Prem players and all!

Posted by: arswift24 | January 23, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Where would I like to see the home matches staged? Poplar Point.

Posted by: DWE4 | January 23, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Are there really no home field disadvantage issues with Costa Ricans in DC? If DC's getting one of T&T and CR and Hartford/Chicago the other, I'd have guessed DC would get T&T.

I don't know how many CRs there are in DC, but I'd think the last thing you want is a potentially pivotal home qualifier with a hostile crowd.

Posted by: benonthehill | January 23, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

PS Chicago just had T and T during the semis.

Posted by: arswift24 | January 23, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Costa Rica is another one of those opponents you can put pretty much anywhere...not a lot of Costa Rican ex-pats in the US, so about 5000 or so Ticos will show up no matter the venue...

At least, that was the case in Kansas City (2001) and Salt Lake City (2005), and I was at both...

Posted by: JimRoberts1 | January 23, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Qualifying Fiasco?!? Ok, it was a sea of blue and white Hondurans, but it was a thrilling match despite the loss. The team and USSF should still recognize that Americans can enjoy and win in that environment.

The top level US talent understands the reality of play in DC and should be able to overcome it against ALL of CONCACAF . . and they should be able to put Mexico there. An El Salvadoran, probably most Central Americans would easily cheer for the U.S.---as they appreciate talent and good futbol---and don't like Mexico either.

Don't deny DC and it long time soccer fans of a true World Cup experience because it's seeking a 100% US Crowd. That's life, deal with it.

Posted by: delantero | January 23, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't the Honduras match the one played at 10:00 am on the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, when most of the youth world was busy playing tournaments? The fiasco was with USSF and their scheduling.

Posted by: Verrazzano | January 23, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I was just reading and saw that DC United reached a 1 year deal with a Brazilian Roger from the club Fluminense. True??

Posted by: VirginiaFan | January 23, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Great! Another chance to kick La Norte out of their section, in favor of folks who aren't there to support the national team. Cant wait to pay for another ticket!

Posted by: VamosUnited1 | January 23, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I was surprised at the number of Saprissa fans at RFK during the CCL. I would assume the vast majority of them are Costa Ricans, and it's probably also fair to guess that not every Costa Rican ex-pat is a Saprissa fan. So, while I don't think it would be like hosting El Salvador or Mexico, I do think there would be more Costa Ricans than many posting here would imagine.

I'd prefer the T&T game. However, any qualifier here would be nice.


The reason I came by is basically to pose the question asked by VirginiaFan. The AP is saying it's a done deal and that he's flying in for a physical. I'm perplexed as to why we would need another left back (unless the idea is Burch becoming a center back full-time, which I think would be reason to begin sharpening our gallows humor).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 23, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the Honduras fiasco was more to do with the general seating of the Honduran crowd versus the US crowd. Same priced ticketing were split top and bottom level. In a way saying, if you were from Honduras you were given top level while US fans were given lower level seats. A lot of people complained calling out foul treatment. The Hondurans payed good money but were seated at the top while hoping to sit near the field.

And who wouldn't mind seeing the what 15-20 people called La Norte lose their seating to non-US supporters. La Norte should just join La Barra.

I agree with Central Americans routing for US when they play Mex. TWICE has MEX screwed out a Central American team from making the World Cup.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | January 23, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | January 24, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

delanteroDon't deny DC and it long time soccer fans of a true World Cup experience because it's seeking a 100% US Crowd. That's life, deal with it.

Posted by: delantero | January 23, 2009 8:22pm


Posted by: DadRyan | January 24, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

First, as bs2004 mentioned, Red Bull Park's opening has been hamstrung by New Jersey politics, and as a result it will not open until the spring of 2010. Here's the link:

Second, two scary phrases from the SI article linked by Anthony: "I want to end my career in the US" and "Roger has not played in an official match in three months because of a back injury. He was released by Fluminense late last year." Haven't we learned a recent and very harsh lesson about signing injury prone players who are not just over the hill, but coasting down it and gaining speed???

Finally, I would love to see another qualifier in DC, but just to throw out a thought: Given the grinder the DC government has put United through, is it really wise of the USSF to reward the Stadium Authority with another high profile game when they can even serve a decent hot dog or get toilet paper in the bathrooms? If this were the NFL or MLB, the Authority would have already been told, "You'll get another big game when United's new stadium is ready. Otherwise don't call us, we'll call you." Perhaps it's a bit simplistic (USSF/DC United don't have nearly the leverage of the other two groups), but maybe a proverbial whack over the head might jog Fenty's memory of past promises a little...

Posted by: throwin | January 24, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

"is it really wise of the USSF to reward the Stadium Authority with another high profile game when they can even serve a decent hot dog or get toilet paper in the bathrooms?"

Oops, my bad. It should read "can't even serve..."

Posted by: throwin | January 24, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Everyone from SI to Yahoo to is reporting that we signed Roger. If this is true then my initial take is that its a 34 yr old injury prone Center back who is probably a step slower than he needs to be, but all in all he probably becomes the best defender currently on our roster and has a wealth of experience... sounds like a slower, more reliable Gonzalo Martinez... we'll see what Goff has to say before taking it with more than a grain of salt

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 24, 2009 4:21 AM | Report abuse

The only US game I'd want to see at RFK would be vs El Salvador. Hostile crowds are a big part of the game and the USSF shouldn't back away from the experience.

Posted by: oz4dcu | January 24, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse


Yeah, it's been done recently, but why mess with a proven formula?

Posted by: Modibo | January 24, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Honduras in SLC in June!!!!!

Posted by: timoteo1 | January 24, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

us should play both honduras and el salvador at rfk. bring it on.

Posted by: scarlett3 | January 24, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Don't want the October game in Hartford. Rentschler Field will have football lines for UConn then.

Posted by: jb75 | January 24, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I hope they play T&T in Hartford!

Posted by: tfoisie | January 25, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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