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Poll: United vs. Real Madrid

Before you cast your ballot, consider:

The teams played to a 1-1 tie on the same date three years ago in Seattle.

The match means a lot more to DCU than Real Madrid.

Real wants to put on a good show to broaden its American appeal, especially with arch nemesis Barcelona also in the States.

The Real superstars are scheduled to play at least a half, but there will be frequent substitutions.

DCU is at full fitness (though missing a few injured regulars) while Real Madrid is finding its form twothree weeks before the La Liga opener.

Okay, your turn.....

By Steve Goff  |  August 3, 2009; 8:55 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Poll , Real Madrid  
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Next: Tuesday Kickaround


As a fan of both teams, I choose not to vote.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 3, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Can I ask where the "Who cares? I want to get into Champions League" option, is?

Posted by: jonfhoffman | August 3, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse


Also, as long as jonfhoffman can ask for one - where's the "I hope we crash out of Champion's League to focus on the playoffs and so we don't have 6 additional games tacked on to our season" button? :P

Posted by: VercengetorixII | August 3, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

i believe in dc united. i believe we can win.

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 3, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"Who cares?"

I kinda do, actually. Not that I really need us to win, but it'd be nice to see Pontius and Wallace, who were playing college ball last year go up against Robben, Ronaldo, etc.

And to see Namoff and Jakovic and Burch try to hold off the superstars will be pretty cool.

Posted by: delantero | August 3, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Where are ticket sales at?

Posted by: Keenan1 | August 3, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: alecw81 | August 3, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'd love to go to this game (even though it doesn't matter, even for bragging rights), but it's just too darn expensive! When you factor in me, my wife, my 3-year-old daughter, and my 20-month-old boy, who may or may not actually need a ticket - does anyone know about that? - I'm easily looking at $200+ for tickets (and neither kid will really appreciate the game although they'd love the spectacle). For the casual fan (not the casual futbol fan, but the casual fan of this particular game), that's too much! I hope that the Screaming Eagles make some $$$ off this game, but I wish the tickets were more reasonably priced.

And RFK is a big enough pain for us (esp. when the Metro is unreliable as it often is these days - thank goodness RFK isn't on the red line), but FedEx field is on another level. Which brings up another point: If DC United gets a new field, please don't put it in the 'burbs out of the reach of easy Metro access! Please, please, get me a new stadium in the city!

And as a last, completely unrelated point, I can't wait for the game U.S.-Mexico game - it would be so very, very incredibly, indescribably sweet if we can pull one out in Azteca.

Posted by: mannewskie | August 3, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Steve, is there any word about any extra buses from New Carrollton to FedEx field? I'm thinking of how it works for Redskin games.

Posted by: gooner71 | August 3, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to be a total hypocrite if I end up scoring a free ticket and going won't I...If I was a full time working man, I'd probably ditch the family and go without thinking twice about it just for the spectacle myself, but as it stands I can't afford spending money I don't have, to watch a game in person that I can watch on TV. (and doesn't have any bearing on making the play offs or Champions League)

Posted by: DadRyan | August 3, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

With "60,000" tix sold...
Im guessing it will be 20k actual DC fans with 40k screaming girls who will probably never go to United game ever again...

So how does DC think this is important? Without feeding back to the Beckham theory and attracting more fans without big name signings?

I mean they played three years ago and DC still has the same amount of people attending games then and now.

I watching through Telefutura, not worth the 60 or 55 through eurosports coupon.

DC est magique!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

This is a very important game which will go along way towards establishing the team's image and appearance before a critical audience!

Unfortunately, Fed Ex field will not be open to the public on Saturday meaning fans will miss important parts of the crucial talent competitions which help determine the winning of awards such as Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic.

The most important thing for all contestants is to make sure their uniforms look good and fit just right, their hair looks perfect, their teeth are at their whitest and to ALWAYS smile at the cameras no matter what adversity they may encounter.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 3, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please add a "focus on Champions League" option.

Although someone on BigSoccer did make a good point that a good crowd at this event may help with the new stadium efforts by raising the sport's visibility among some elected officials who might not care otherwise. So if that's the case, then what needs to be done to get a stadium because that is Priority #1. But otherwise, focus on Champions League.

Posted by: Pedalada | August 3, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Where's the vote for "I don't give a rat's flatulent rear end about meaningless exhibitions"?

Although based on who we're "resting" for this travesty, I fully expect a Pumas-level ass-whupping in El Salvador tomorrow night. And based on the fact that every last promotional dollar has gone to plug Franco's Ninos, I fully expect an overflow crowd of at least 7,000 for the Open Cup final.

But hey, good luck to the Washington Generals on Sunday afternoon. Hope that Globetrotter cash helps the medicine go down.

Posted by: EdTheRed | August 3, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Dear DC United,

As a loyal fan and season ticket holder please read the weekly priority list below:

Champions League 1st

Real Madrid 2nd

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

DCU Season Ticket Holder

Posted by: croftonpost | August 3, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse


DCUnited is not profitable despite being the best team since 1996. If this game brings money to our coffers, we should be happy and support it, even if a large percentage of $ comes from screaming girls that want to see Cristiano Ronaldo and not DCUnited. It also puts DC and DCUnited in the world map, even if it is for a day. It also exposes our young players to scouts and coaches with deep pockets.

Posted by: juanma_carr | August 3, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@juanma_carr oh yeah, right, because nothing makes me want to run out and buy a "Singapore Select XI" shirt like the annual Big Four Cash Grab Asian Exhibitions. Yep. Makes me take the Singapore, Thai, and Hong Kong leagues really, really seriously. Yep.

Posted by: EdTheRed | August 3, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

If anybody gets injured during the Real match I WILL BE PISSSSED!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 3, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I mean I'll be PEEED if United players get injured. I don't really care if Real players get injured. ; )

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 3, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I want to believe. D.C. played an excellent match last time because of leadership from Perkins, Moreno, Gomez, Olsen, Eskandarian--all at their prime or close to it. This year, its hard to find a leader on the team. Wicks looked like a potential candidate, but let the last game against Houston slip away. Moreno is clearly past his prime and should be very close to retiring. Olsen is not the same player he was before his injuries. Gomez is still looking good but again not as good as he did in 06'. Eskandarian was terribly and prematurely traded away. And, Perkins--he has thrived and has moved on to bigger and better things, unfortunately not with United. Wallace and Pontius looked excellent in the first half of the season but have slowly withered into sub-par performances (Wallace with the disastrous hand ball in the box / Pontius missing multiple "wide open" chances to score in the past few games)

Who's going to step up? Madrid has also been struggling in the preseason, so I see this game being a battle of the wills.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 3, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to forget Gros!

Posted by: redskinsux | August 3, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Just watching the highlights from the last match on youtube:

And, I would like to highlight this comment:
"lol, you hate DC?
please tell me im not trying to cause disturbance i am a DC united fan from scotland and i want to know what is wrong with them?
ive done loads of research to pick the right team and all DC united have done is good for american soccer, without DC, american soccer would be at the same level as a under 7's soccer team in austria."

Gives perspective.

Posted by: redskinsux | August 3, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

That Scot must've seen us beat up on Celtic a few years ago

Posted by: carmines757 | August 4, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

"my 20-month-old boy, who may or may not actually need a ticket "

I've been able to stuff a big Five Guys burger and fries in my jacket through security . . you'd probably have room, what's he weigh 22 pounds? Just wait for the Barra/SE drum group to go through the line . . no problem!

Posted by: delantero | August 4, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"That Scot must've seen us beat up on Celtic a few years ago"

Or Newcastle, or Vasco de Gama, or Toluca, or . . . . man where's the DC register of all time games? There used to be a link on MLS net with all the games we've ever played. The fancy website this year erased it . .

Anyways, this is another reason we need to show well in this game . . playing against Real Madrid brings attention to the team and furthers the team's image. It's not just a simple friendly against Celtic. Again, no one expects us to win, but come on . . if we do . . .!!!

Posted by: delantero | August 4, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Even if this game brings awareness to the sport in the city. Local officials are going to still bash DC. They are going to look at the RM game and say "wow..65+K for soccer"...then look at RSL vs DC game and see 20K and say "what happen I thought you said this was a popular sport. I only see 20k I was expecting another 40K or more for this game." and thats how DC will be bashed again...
Lets be honest, Attendance figures is what is going to help DC get a stadium. The officials want to see a full house, repeatedly.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 4, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

20k for DC vs RSL?

Who are you kidding?

We'd be lucky to draw 13k for them.

Oh, your earlier mention of the match with Real Madrid 3 years ago has absolutely nothing to do with our current fan-base, and was never going to increase our fan-base, as it was played in SEATTLE. What a stroke of idiocy that was. I'd have preferred they play that one at the 'Plex with $100+ tickets.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 4, 2009 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget there's a difference between smuggling stuff into RFK and smuggling stuff into FedEx, delantero. I also don't recommend putting babies inside jacket pockets anymore.

Posted by: sitruc | August 4, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

"What a stroke of idiocy that was."

idiocy has nothing to do with it. ReaL Madrid needed the a good team from MLS for a friendly. We were on a West Coast swing and could fit the game into our schedule.

A random blog post from 2006

""The second half was fun to watch as Real had SEVERAL great scoring attempts but Troy Perkins was like a brick wall. He proved why he is the best MLS goalie, hands down. The game ended in a draw but in my world, chalk it up as a win for D.C. and yet another impressive effort from our boys against a European elite side.""

Posted by: delantero | August 4, 2009 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I would much rather see DCU put focus their efforts on winning in CCL then channeling their efforts to doing well in a friendly. I know this is a $ maker and all. But there is simply no way this team should loose to a 2nd place team from El Salvador in a home and away series.

Posted by: degerron | August 4, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I see this game as a pure marketing strategies for both teams. Yet Madrid still will be disappointed because they can't out draw rival Barca. Barca is drawing over 90k in all games while Madrid will attract only 60k. And DC - a team that can't even beat a pre=season low level Firpo I don't see them winning against Madrid so I think they will loose by 3 or more goals.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | August 4, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I ask what has been asked by many others here...

Where is the "who cares" option or better yet the "I wish this game wasn't happeneing because I would rather us advance in CCL" option.

Posted by: beltwayrob | August 4, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Soccer America reports that former DCU player Curt Onalfo is looking for work.

Posted by: universityandpark | August 4, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope DC loses by about 10-0. I'm sick of hearing about it.

Posted by: Senor_Funk | August 4, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

RE: I hope DC loses by about 10-0. I'm sick of hearing about it.

Posted by: Senor_Funk

You are obviously not a DCU fan to begin with if you feel that way. How about showing some class and supporting the team.

Posted by: dcu4life1 | August 4, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

The latest public health initiative (courtesy of Soccer America):

Posted by: universityandpark | August 4, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much money the club actually stands to make from this thing. I'm sure RM is getting a huge appearance fee. Then I expect Danny boy is taking a big cut for the use of the stadium. Although with those giant ticket prices maybe there is plenty left over.

I'll be watching on TV hoping for the best, but I expect a loss by 2 goals at least.

Posted by: fedssocr | August 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Where are ticket sales at?

Posted by: Keenan1 | August 3, 2009 9:46 PM

Is this anything like "Where the white women at?"

Posted by: DrBeaker | August 4, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You are obviously not a DCU fan to begin with if you feel that way. How about showing some class and supporting the team.

Posted by: dcu4life1 | August 4, 2009 8:40 AM

If he's not a DCU fan, why should he support the team? This blog was created by the Washington Post, and as such is totally independent of DCU. To assume that everyone who posts here is, or ought to be, a DCU fan is pretty presumptuous.

Posted by: universityandpark | August 4, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

DCU 4 life: I've been attending DCU games for 10 years, season ticket holder for 8 years. But they aren't getting my money for this waste of time. Reading the half page ad in the WP calling it the soccer event of the year makes me want to puke. Maybe the front office isn't expecting us to make the playoffs...

Posted by: Senor_Funk | August 4, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh, your earlier mention of the match with Real Madrid 3 years ago has absolutely nothing to do with our current fan-base, and was never going to increase our fan-base, as it was played in SEATTLE. What a stroke of idiocy that was. I'd have preferred they play that one at the 'Plex with $100+ tickets.

Posted by: alecw81 | August 4, 2009 1:45 AM

Is alecw81 jumping on my Seattle joke bandwagon? Sweet!

This match would be sold out if it was being played in Seattle, because more United fans live in Seattle than in DC.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 4, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Will C. Ronaldo shave his legs at midfield during halftime?

Posted by: Hoost | August 4, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Is this a DC united blog or a red bull blog? Whatever happened to sticking with the team through good and bad? For you people who can not afford to go to the game, would it not be better for you to keep your mouth --- then to blame United and there fans for these ticket prices? Seriously why should we feel bad because you can't go to the game? If you can't afford it then you can't afford it, but don't knock other people who can.

2nd= DC UNITED should take all there games seriously, even the friedlies. Every game should be a must win. That is the nature of sports, no one should go play a game saying lets lose tonight because that will be lots of fun, or this team is way to good for us. If we lose 5-0 its ok, this is not red bulls futbol. Many Dc fans expect dc players to respect the shirt at all times, if players and the organization start losing respect for the shirt then it will be all down hill from there.

Posted by: Norteno4life | August 4, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I waited long enough to say anything about this game because I couldn't care less at first, but watching the Gals' games against Milan and Barça and seeing how the team had to focus and up their game, it made me think back to the spat of friendlies the USMNT had last summer culminating in one of the best games I've ever seen them play (or ever seen, really) against Argentina. The theory behind those games was that players get better playing against the best - exactly the same reason we're happy when one of our guys gets signed to the EPL, Serie A, La Liga, etc.

These games are GOOD for our team, great even, as long as they're played when we don't have crazy fixture congestion. With more teams having scheduling flexibility, we need to start seeing the beginning of the season loaded with games. Make that the busy time of year, it's not as hot anyway. Then we can have the CCL matches with rested players and work aggressively to bring in more big friendlies (with much lower ticket prices). We could even play them at RFK in order to have the Barra and SE in full swing. Show everyone who shows up the kind of atmosphere they could get used to.

So in the end there are three points made: 1. We want to win trophies beyond all else; these friendlies raise the level our guys can reach by learning from the best, but if they're too tired to finish of the likes of Firpo, the scheduling needs to be looked at. 2. Atmosphere is the reason people get hooked on sports (unless they played it religiously); make sure the newbies who show up see what United fans bring to the table and they will want more. We can't win fans over at FedEx unless we somehow trounce RM and play like Barça in the process. 3. The organization needs to support its fan base; schedule two or three of these a year and keep the prices down, have special deals for season ticket holders, members of the supporters groups, etc. Treat the people who have invested way too much of their money in the team already or they'll become disillusioned, like many of us seem to be now.

I wish the FO guys would read this stuff, it really is a shame that we brainstorm what's best for the team all the time and it falls on deaf ears.

Posted by: TassieTiger | August 4, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I think this poll should be about whether or not United advances to the group stage of the Champions League.

But, if we have to talk about the Madrid game... the weather forecast on NCB4 this morning said this weekend was going to be "Oppressive,"--hot, extremely humid, hazy--Generally, your typical August afternoon in DC. (Reason #1 why I had no intention of going to the game from the beginning).

DC United seems to be incapable of actually winning a game this year, so they're likely to either draw or lose.

Madrid will likely find no interest in playing hard in a meaningless friendly match in such disgusting weather.

DC United, on the other hand will likely play it's best game of the season to earn a 0-0 draw, then subsequently play like crap the remainder of the season like they did the last time these two teams played one another.

Posted by: TCompton | August 4, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I am only going because the Black and Red are playing and I haven't missed any game they play in the DC metro area for 13 years, unless I had to be physically out of the area on family or business reasons. And that's only been about 8-10 times in all those years.

However, I am much more interested the Firpo game tonite. Its about a real competition, no matter how hokie.

I hate RM with an absolute passion and have done so for years. So I want us to win, and I will be glad to yell at the RM rent boys.

Posted by: Liverbird | August 4, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

If DC United appears to take seriously tonight's game at Firpo I will be there Sunday rooting for DC.

If DC United doesn't appear to take tonight's game at Firpo seriously I will be there Sunday. Rooting for Firpo.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 4, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

This is a very important game which will go along way towards establishing the team's image and appearance before a critical audience!

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 3, 2009 10:20 PM

It is true that Real Madrid has fallen on hard times competitively and in image, both in Spain and in Europe. However, I do not see this game as being a big boost to the team. The US audience is not even that critical for them.

Still, DC United might get a little boost to their image -- so, it is worth it.

Posted by: fischy | August 4, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Key missing options, in addition to "Who Cares?":

-Dan Snyder
-Not DCU's Fan Base
-Not Anyone Who Cares About Winning Hardware
-Us, If This Gets Payne and Soehn Fired

Posted by: Landru | August 4, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

If there's one thing DCU does well this season, it's pulling off a tie. I see Real up by 2 at half with a surprise DCU come-back in the final 15.

Will a tie result in PK's? If so, we'll lose -- no way Wicks measures up!

Posted by: -rke- | August 4, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Payne will never be fired.

My feeling is a little like Joel's. I'm suspending my judgement on just what is going on behind the curtain until after tonight's match.
If Tommy puts a full strength side on the field tonight and they give it a go I'll have no complaints. I think there is plenty of time to rest up for Sunday and there should be no excuse for not going for the kill tonight. Unless of course they don't want to advance so they can concentrate on making the playoffs and winning another MLS Cup. I think they've got a better shot at that this year than even advancing to the knock out round of the CCL. Soooo, do your thing DCU. Just don't expect me to be happy if they have a reserve side on the pitch tonight.

Posted by: DadRyan | August 4, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I must say I'm a bit puzzled by all the hand-wringing over the friendly this weekend. United plays a friendly vs. some overseas club every year. Some of those opponents have been high profile clubs -- Real Madrid, Celtic, Chelsea, Boca Jrs., Tottenham. Some others have been admittedly not so high-profile -- Nottingham Forest comes to mind here. In any case, I don't remember reading so much angst about those games as I do this one.

This year we draw Real Madrid in the midst of its major makeover. Meanwhile, DC United is at a crossroads of its own after some mediocre play over the past 1.5 seasons. So I'd say there's some good drama right there, more than enough to make it worth watching.

Perhaps what's really making people crazy about this game is the club's lack of depth? Or maybe its lack of overall intensity? The first of those is not entirely within DC United's control. The second one is, however. Whether it's leadership from the top or professionalism among the players it needs to be fixed.

Both tonight's match in El Salvador and Sunday's match at FedEx represent opportunities for DC United to start getting it right again...before the resumption of league play, which trumps both CCL and friendlies in my opinion.

Posted by: cmjhawk86 | August 4, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

much more interested in CCL/season/open cup than friendly so not going :)

Posted by: SrdanBarra | August 4, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

According the info that came with my tickets...Kids two and under don't need a ticket but get a "lap ticket" upon entering the gate. Three and up need tickets.

Posted by: soccermomto192199 | August 5, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

delantero, thanks for the suggestion re: the boy. But sitruc is probably right - kids tend to squirm when they're crammed in your jacket. Probably wouldn't work, as the least preceptive ticket guy will probably wonder why I look like I'm birthing an alien.

Honestly, I'm not sure he'd even need a ticket. (Does anyone know?) Still, for various reasons (kids - while they're great, don't have them until you're absolutely ready if you can help it - and cost), I won't be going this weekend. Have fun though, everyone else.

Posted by: mannewskie | August 5, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

4 in the back, close game

3 in the back, blowout

Posted by: teo_68 | August 7, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I feel very strange about this game...I have been offered tickets and still might attend, but I am quite torn...I am a longtime season ticket holder for DCU..I also lived a spell in Madrid and saw quite a few games, and have always been partial in La Liga to Franco's team...I am torn because for years after the Dips, I waded through following European soccer waiting for the time when I would have my own team that I could be passionate about. I went to as many of the European exhibitions in the US as I could go to in hopes of seeing the best product possible and demonstrating to the soccer gods that the support is there to have our own team and league...And then DCU came along...Since then, I still somewhat follow European soccer, but am proud to say that MLS and DCU are my first choice now...So seeing this game means almost nothing to me. As much as I am interested in seeing the new Galacticos, I almost feel by not going to the game I am making more of a statement of my love for DC United...Does that make any sense at all? I no longer need the thoughts of European aspirations and passion about a club that is not my own...Nor do I need to show other people that MLS can compete with other European leagues...I think it does that just fine already and will continue to get stronger as time goes on. These European clubs are using us American soccer fans and MLS to eventually try to steal our entertainment dollar away, as they see our domestic product is no longer a joke.

In the end what matters to me is the MLS Cup! But I will be watching this Real MAdrid/DCU game whether I attend or not, and I am optimistic that DC United and its fans will prevail on the day! Vamos United!

Posted by: alan19 | August 7, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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