US to Play Centennial Match Against Germany in DC
- Updated: November 15, 2012
The US Soccer Federation will mark its 100th anniversary next year with a match against Germany, according to reports out of Europe. The match would likely be held on June 2nd in Washington, DC, to coincide with the Federations annual meetings. Germany would also play a second match against an unknown opponent on the east coast of the United States on May 29th. New York and Boston are viewed as the probable venues for that match, according to the same reports. Requests for comment by the USSF & the Deutscher Fussball Bund by PSL have not been returned.
Germany and the US have played some notable games over the years, most memorably the 2002 World Cup Semi-final match marked by an uncalled handball on the goal line by Torsten Frings, which prevented the US from equalizing and knocked the Americans out of the tournament.
The match could be fraught with emotional charge on many levels, as it would see the first contest between US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the side he starred on for years and managed at the 2006 World Cup. Klinsmann’s assistant at that tournament, Joachim Low, now manages Die Mannshaft, and there has been much talk that Klinsmann’s success while in charge of the German side was due more to Low’s tactical acumen than Klinsmann’s own skill. Many of the German-American players featuring on the US roster came up in the German youth system. Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson & Timmy Chandler were all passed over by Low, and are certain to feel some resentment.
PSL has received independent confirmation from a source with DC United that negotiations to host the match at RFK stadium are ongoing, although no agreement has been reached. Built in 1961, RFK has been home to many notable matches, hosting World Cup and Olympic events and several MLS Cup Finals. It has hosted the USMNT 21 times, more than any other extant venue, most recently the 2011 Gold Cup Quarterfinals tilt against Jamaica that saw Freddy Adu’s return to prominence. Hosting the Federation’s centennial match against a top European power would likely be the stadium’s swan song with the Yanks.
FedEx field, an inconvenient vision of hell in the DC suburbs where the US hosted Brazil this past summer is also a potential venue for the match.
The timing of such a friendly against a top European power just before the resumption of summer World Cup Qualifying and the start of the Gold Cup follows a pattern set by US Soccer, who hosted European & World Champions Spain just days before the start of the 2011 Gold Cup, to disastrous effect. Spain crushed the US 4-0, and the reeling Americans fell to Panama in their second Gold Cup match just days later. Tim Ream has still not fully recovered.
The announcement of this match in the German media, while it is still unconfirmed by Soccer House, follows an ongoing trend. Another all but official upcoming friendly against Thailand on June 4th, most likely a tuneup for the Gold Cup squad, was announced by both the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and the US Ambassador to Thailand’s office, but has yet to be commented on by the USSF. In recent years, matches against Argentina, Spain, Russia and two matches against Brazil have all been announced by their respective federations well before the USSF issued even a press release.
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