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Looking Ahead to Gold Cup

The USA national team is gearing up for a very busy year, what with 10 World Cup qualifiers, meetings with Brazil and Italy at the Confederations Cup in South Africa in June, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.

We know the Gold Cup dates: July 3-26.
We know the host country: USA.
We know the participants: USA, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Cuba, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

All that remains are the venues and groups, which will be unveiled in the next several weeks.

You may have noticed that D.C. United does not have any home games scheduled between June 14 and July 17. Yes, sources tell me, RFK Stadium is under consideration to host Gold Cup group matches. If RFK is selected, who would end up playing here? Well, keep in mind that Washington was El Salvador's home away from home last year and that the other Central American teams would probably draw decent crowds.

In 2007, the venues were Miami, Houston, Carson, Foxborough, Meadowlands and Chicago. The USA's group matches were in Carson and Foxborough and the elimination games in Foxborough and Chicago (twice).

I'm curious: Would you attend Gold Cup games at RFK that do not involve the USA squad?

By Steve Goff  |  February 3, 2009; 10:26 AM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF , U.S. men's national team  
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Yes, but why not have a USA game here? I'll take that over a World Cup qualifier that will come after the USA has already clinched advancement.

Posted by: fischy | February 3, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention that US also plays Egypt who happens to be the champions of Africa. And yes, I would attend a Gold Cup match at RFK that does not involve the US squad.

Posted by: RedskinAddict | February 3, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget the Egypt game, that's going to be a good one. Can't underestimate that team after they won the African Cup of Nations over teams like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tunisia. All of these teams are better than CONCACAF competition.

Posted by: Eugene7 | February 3, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't go unless it was the US playing. With the exception of going to see Jamaica for the "atmosphere" Smoke on the water?

I'd love to go if the US played at RFK even more so if it was vs a team that would also draw big. We can't expect to play every match in "friendly" confines. I think for fans and players alike it would be a great experience.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 3, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Surely the US can use RFK to play Grenada, Guadalupe, and Cuba.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 3, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

As long as there is beer I will go

Posted by: rockotodd | February 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I second the beer motion! :-)

Seriously though, the Guatemala-Salvador friendly I went to last year had a pretty good atmosphere, so yeah, I'd go.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 3, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Gold Cup every 2 years has me wanting to pull my eyes out of my head. With MLS, World Cup Qualifying, and Confederations Cup taking the majority of my prime dollars and viewing habits - a tournament that will see Mexico field young players and should see Bob Bradley field an entirely experimental lineup with everyone else pushing for respect doesn't hold my attention whatsoever. If the US played at RFK - I would go. Someone else, I'll be at home.

CONCACAF needs to make this tournament either only the summer after the World Cup or go head-to-head with the Euros. Only hold it every 4 years. Why on earth is this disjointed excuse for a confederation competition held every 2 years with only one tournament being the ticket to the Confederations Cup.

Get a clue CONCACAF.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 3, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I would probably go to a non US gold cup game. depending on what teams and the price. It would be great to get a US game at RFK, but I am not holding my breath. If RFK gets a US gold cup game you can bet we wont get a WCQ.

Posted by: jjfooty | February 3, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm with VA Blue Blood. The Gold Cup occurs too often and should be every four years. The US has to fill their schedule with enough weak CONCACAF teams as it is, why take up more games with these crap teams.

That being said, I would consider going to a GC game at RFK assuming it was between two competent teams. I would not go to see El Salvador play Cuba, but a Mexico-Costa Rica game would at least warrant consideration. Not that I am interested being around 50K Mexico fans, but at least the game should be of international quality.

Posted by: therealfootball | February 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'd go if tix were under $30...closer to $20, really...but if past is prologue, The Man will charge $40+ for the cheap seats, and I'll watch from my couch.

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 3, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: getanewnumber10 | February 3, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Hate to sound this way, but I wouldn't go see a US game against a few of those teams for any amount of money. Safety first.

That said, some of the Carribean teams would be a blast to see.

Posted by: beach3 | February 3, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Gold Cup game at RFK, minus the U.S.? Depends on the teams playing, the ticket price, the date and time, the weather, and many other factors. A possibility, but not a must-see. Also, I'd rather see a quarterfinal or semifinal than a group game.

D.C. should get a game or two simply to pull in the non-U.S. fans and their dollars.

Posted by: SSMD1 | February 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Ditto SSMD1

Posted by: nyjer1 | February 3, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice to be considered for a Gold Cup match, this city has been in drought from international competition and Im glad we now are in consideration.

if they have an ES game would be a near sell out casue it will be in the summer time and not the winter!!!!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | February 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Yes I would attend.
Why not have a central america clash like Mexico vs El Salvador, that would draw a big crowd and help out DC-RFK.

Still I'll probably attend any USA game @RFK

Posted by: RM27 | February 3, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So, the US is going to send its full team to South Africa and play the Gold Cup with backups and get smushed by Cuba. It's going to be the same dilema the US has with the last Gold Cup and the tournament in South America. So, don't get your hopes up; the best players in the US aren't going to be playing in both tournaments.

Posted by: hacksaw | February 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention: I agree that the Gold Cup should be held only every four years. I think the best year to do so would be the year after the World Cup (same timetable as the Copa America). This would leave a bit more time for the World Cup qualifying games in the following two years leading up to the Cup.

Posted by: SSMD1 | February 3, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

At some point, US Soccer is going to say, RFK is no longer suitable to host an International soccer match. As such, Washington, DC will not be considered as a host city if the US were to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

I doubt that will light any fires, but I'll happen sooner or later.

Posted by: TCompton | February 3, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

They'll take FedEx, then. WWC was there.

Posted by: Reignking | February 3, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If they price the tickets reasonably I would consider going.

Posted by: fedssocr | February 3, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I rather go to WCQs...

Posted by: Barracudas | February 3, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: OWNTF | February 3, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Why not have a central america clash like Mexico vs El Salvador, that would draw a big crowd and help out DC-RFK.

Still I'll probably attend any USA game @RFK

Posted by: RM27 | February 3, 2009 11:47 AM

I wouldn't be able to stay away for a US game myself, but I do think DCU fans should be protesting or drawing attention to the fact that it is wrong for the DCSEC to make money at RFK while DCU continues to be ripped off there and no effort is made by them to provide much more than a 3rd world gameday experience to United loyal fans. People have talked in the past about boycotting I think some steps have to be taken to draw more attention to the situation.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 3, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The only teams I would watch at RFK that are in CONCACAF are the US and Mexico. I won't make the trip for anyone else.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | February 3, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Man I wish that Puerto Rico hadn't run out of cash during the WCQ qualification period. Gold Cup qualification is a lot more realistic goal. It has closed the gap with a lot of the second tier Carribean nations.

Posted by: yankiboy | February 3, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I probable would pass on the RFK GC games that didn't include the US just because of a lack of time and ca$hola.

Between Crystal Palace Baltimore season tickets, catching 7-8 DCU home games, travelling to see Puerto Rico Islanders play as many as 4 games, trying to catch 2-3 Washington Freedom homegames--my discretionary budget for soccer till be tapped out and then some.

Posted by: yankiboy | February 3, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

""Hate to sound this way, but I wouldn't go see a US game against a few of those teams for any amount of money. Safety first.
Posted by: beach3 | February 3, 2009 11:31 AM ""

I've sat in the middle of the opposition's fans virtually every time I've seen an International match at RFK. Aside from some beer thrown by sore losers, I've never felt threatened in the 15 plus years of seeing games there. Something about a Gringo yelling at them in their own language might help . . .

My favorite comeback to Mexicans . .


Then there's the DC Cop that looks like a stand-in for American Gladiator. Befriend him. Buy him a lemonade. He could take on a whole stadium of Hondurans/El Salvadorans.

Posted by: delantero | February 3, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Don't be so fast to dismiss the CONCACAF teams in Gold Cup as being weak and therefore not worth seeing. As we saw at the club level this past year, there is plenty of talent in our region - don't expect a U.S. cakewalk in the hexagonal either. If you like International competition, you will see a different style of play from what we get in MLS. That, at least for me, is attractive enough and worth a look see.

Posted by: sbg1 | February 3, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to go to a Gold Cup game at RFK, even without the USA...but,

What will a ticket cost? If, as usual, the price is higher than a regular DCU game, what justifies such a price?

Why is this tournament happening again already? I'm with the others who have asked that this tourney be reset to once every four years. At least there seems to be no "guest team" from outside the confederation this time.

Lastly, if I did go, it would still gall me that this is one of the most direct ways for my money to end up in the pocket of kickback Jack, and that really sucks.

Bottom line: I'd consider it, but probably not.

Posted by: CDRHoek | February 3, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Hate to sound this way, but I wouldn't go see a US game against a few of those teams for any amount of money. Safety first.
Posted by: beach3 | February 3, 2009 11:31 AM "

I don't know if you were trolling with this one, but just in case you meant what you said, I'll call you out on it. I think you're being silly. Any of these match ups would be perfectly safe at RFK (with the exception of falling pieces of plaster due to poor maintenance by DCSEC, which could happen at any time). When is the last time anyone got hurt at RFK by another fan? And take away the ones who were intentionally picking fights and the number drops to zero. There is no need to be afraid and every reason to go and have a good time. For $30 or under, I would go to any Gold Cup games at RFK, regardless of who is playing.

Posted by: WorldCup | February 3, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

No chance.

Posted by: BKMD | February 3, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dculoyal | February 3, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

i would definitely go to a gc game at rfk. Especially a heated central american encounter. good times. gotta support the footie!

Posted by: gode | February 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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