Soccer in the City: Et un, et deux, et trois (et quatre) ze-ro!

The big stories coming out of day 3 of World Cup are: 

(1) Germany is looking good! As a Frenchie, of course, I cannot possibly admit that Germany looks good at anything. So I’m going to spin this one a bit and say that the Socceroos suckeroos looked really bad. Ghana is probably pretty excited to have them as their next opponent.

(2) Yesterday, it wasn’t easy being Green. Today, it wasn’t easy being Faouzi! It seems when the teams are having a hard time scoring, goalkeepers can be a great help in opening the score. Following on Green’s footsteps, Algerian keeper Chaouchi Faouzi did his part to allow Slovenia to move up to the top of Group C. Let’s hope the Mexican goaltender takes note of that ahead of Thursday’s game 😉 

(3) According to the U.S. mainstream media, a 1-1 tie for with England equals a 1-1 win for the U.S. That’s definitely the story I’ve been hearing all day. As such, I am now choosing to look at the outcome of last Thursday’s game as a 0-0 win for France!! 

(4) Everyone hates vuvuzelas! The captain of the French team was overhead complaining that his players can’t sleep because of the constant buzzing from vuvuzelas. To which Ireland answered: actually, that’s not the vuvuzelas, it’s the sound of your conscience keeping you up at night (ta da dam!). But I think we can all agree the stadium horns are getting annoying. 

We win trophies!

When was the last time the Redskins won a trophy? Yeah, I can’t remember either… Unlike that other football team in town, D.C. United has won an impressive 12 trophies, the last one in 2004. They’ve won more trophies than any other team in the MLS and they want to make sure you know about it! Which is why, starting August 12th, D.C. United is taking its trophies on a month-long pub crawl of soccer friendly bars during the We Win Trophies tour.

The We Win Trophies Tour will make the following stops:
Wed, Aug. 12 3-6PM Union Jacks, Summers, Molly Malone’s, Pour House & Lucky Bar.
Mon, Aug. 17 7-9PM The Pug
Tues, Aug. 18 5-7PM Fado
Wed, Aug. 19 6:30-8:30PM Ventnor’s Sports Cafe (2008 Open Cup Trophy)& Rock Bottom Brewery (2004 MLS Cup Trophy)
Thu, Aug. 20 6-8PM Mackey’s
Fri, Aug. 21 5-7PM The Irish Channel
Mon, Aug. 24 6:30-8:30PM Cornerstone
Tues, Aug. 25 7-9PM Buffalo Billiards
Thu, Aug. 27 6-8PM Hawk n Dove
Fri, Aug. 28 6-8PM Hamilton’s
Mon, Aug. 31 6-8PM Porter’s
Tue, Sept. 1 5:30-7:30PM The Green Turtle

Of course, there’s a little bit more to the tour than just parading their trophies around. D.C. won the rights to host the upcoming U.S. Open Cup at RFK Stadium and the We Win Trophies tour is also meant as a way to rally up support for the team before they take on the Seattle Sounders FC to defend the title from a year ago. Fans have been encouraged to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter to promote the Sept. 2 match.

All of this comes after the Sounders suggested RFK was not the appropriate place to host the U.S. Open Cup because Seattle, playing its first season at Qwest Field, has drawn nearly 30,000 fans per game, about twice the attendance of D.C. United. I hope some of you will consider coming to RFK on Sept. 2nd to show Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer that not only can we pack a stadium, but we can win trophies too.

Et un ! Et deux ! Et trois – zé-ro !

The Redskins’ first home-game isn’t scheduled until August 22nd. So why did 72,000 football fans descend on FedEx Field yesterday? They were treated to a great match as D.C.’s other football team, D.C. United, took on the mighty Real Madrid C.F. and its roaster of international soccergodsstars. Yes! Finally, some real football at Landover!

Sunday’s encounter was a far cry from a typical D.C. United game. The crowd, huge by D.C. soccer standards, was a few thousand spectators shy of what Los Galácticos average for a regular match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The game was very much a soccer version David vs. Goliath. It was amazing seeing over 72,000 spectators brave the 95 degree heat to see D.C. United play. Though they weren’t here to cheer for the home team 😉 I’d estimate that at probably some 70,000 of them were wearing white and cheering for Los Blancos. Real’s lineup, labeled the best team money can buy, includes the past two world players of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, whose combined salaries this year is more than D.C. United players have made (together) in the 13 years history of the team. Nonetheless, for the first 55 minutes, none of this seemed to matter as United goalkeeper Josh Wicks (whose annual salary of $42,000 is probably what Ronaldo spends during one night out on the town) held his own and rebuffed all of Real’s attacks. And then Arjen Robben scored not one but two goals in a row for Real and well, to make a short story short, D.C. United lost 3-0.

Despite the final score, the game was anything but a loss for D.C. United. The exhibition match was a great exposure for Tom Soehn’s men and for the sport as a whole in the United States. The next home game pits D.C. United against L.A. Galaxy on August 22nd. I hope some of the Real fans who came to FedEx yesterday will consider coming to RFK to give the Black-and-Red some much needed love. And if some want to come to cheer on David Beckham… well… that’s fine too I guess…