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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 02/24/2011

D.C. United news & notes: RFK Stadium, international friendlies, U.S. Open Cup qualifying

By Steve Goff

*D.C. United would like to set the record straight about when it knew of RFK Stadium's plans to stage a college football game during the MLS season this fall.

"We were aware of it" when the club received the initial list of MLS scheduling blackout dates this winter "but weren't consulted about it beforehand," DCU executive vice president Stephen Zack said. "We are a tenant in the facility and they can schedule other events."

On Wednesday, other United officials claimed they were not told of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority's football plans when the blackout dates were set.

Information gaps aside, the Howard-Morehouse football game will take place Sept. 10 and RFK crews will have 11 days to tidy up the field before United's next home match.

*United is close to finalizing one of the three international friendlies that the club plans to play this year. One match will take place in May and two in July. No word on potential opponents. Last year United defeated AC Milan, El Salvador's national team and Portsmouth, all at RFK.

*United will face the Philadelphia Union in the first round of MLS's U.S. Open Cup qualifying. A coin flip Monday will decide hosting rights. The date has not been set. To reach the tournament proper, United would need to win three qualifiers. DCU has not played an Open Cup-related match on the road since 2007.

By Steve Goff  | February 24, 2011; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, U.S. Open Cup  | Tags:  D.C. United, RFK Stadium  
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There has to be some sort of protective material that could be put down on the football sidelines to protect the turf that's part of the soccer but not football field.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 24, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

It is a single coin flip at a neutral site, a home and home series with aggregate score and away heads count double, or a home and home with an extra flip of a smaller denomination coin if it's tied after regulation? Whatever, I hope they use an impartial coin from the Denver Mint.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 24, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I was wondering about the coin flip, too. Must representatives of each team be physically present? Where does the flip take place? At USSF headquarters, I suppose. Can they do it by teleconference to avoid travel costs?

And isn't the coin flip a change from how it was done in the past where the team that put down the most money got to host? That _IS_ why United hosted so frequently, right?

Posted by: WorldCup | February 24, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The 2007 USOC road match Goff referenced was the loss to Harrisburg at Hempfield High School. Not one of our greatest moments.

Posted by: MartinShatzer | February 24, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I believe DadRyan is a Hempfield High graduate. Reignking, too, I think.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | February 24, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

benonthehill: I think the protective materials you are referring to are the old architectural drawings for the DCU stadium
at Poplar Point.

Posted by: lovinliberty | February 24, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

And I live within sight of the Black Knights light towers!

Posted by: lrg123123 | February 24, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Kind of surreal, looking back on those friendlies. Couldn't get out of the cellar, but we could place exhibitions.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | February 24, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

they could just meet in Baltimore for the coin toss

Posted by: fedssocr | February 24, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Heads RFK, tails not in Philadelphia.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 24, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"Kind of surreal, looking back on those friendlies." - agreed, AC Milan is my fondest DCU memory of 2010.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | February 24, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@WorldCup, as I remember it the coin flips are done over some sort of video conference and they are only used during the play in phase of the tournament. Hosting rights involve money once the tournament is officially underway.

Personally, a trip to Philly and perhaps a slightly cheaper ticket price for an OC play in match is equally if not more attractive than the already scheduled Thursday night regular season match. Either way it's a bit of a PITA in terms of looking to get some fine Chester tailgating on...;)

Posted by: DadRyan | February 24, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I went to the AC Milan game only. Hardly anyone attended that Portsmouth debacle. Frankly, these friendlies can be a nice distraction in the midst of a miserable season, but they're not as welcome during a good season. I've got hopes for this year's side, so I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with any friendly. It would have to be a big side, with players I'd be really interested in seeing. My guess is we get Villa, though.

Posted by: fischy | February 24, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

How 'bout we let one of our players get "hurt" during this game that requires "career ending knee-injury?"

Seems like the city could offer up a nice settlement . . in the form of a contribution to the new stadium?

Posted by: delantero | February 24, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

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