wherein DF travels to Deutschland for the 2006 world cup to follow the US men's national soccer team

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Props to Nashville

Sometimes it's great to be wrong. I thought this game would be an attendance disaster: midweek date in a mid-size town not known for its love for soccer at the same time as some country music awards. But despite that, over 26k showed up, filling the lower bowl, and most importantly represented big-time for the US with a loud, boisterous, and colorful atmosphere. (By contrast, the first SOS game in 2002 was in DC on a Sunday afternoon and drew about 30k, most of whom supported Uruguay.) I only wish the team had rewarded the fans for their great presence with a better result.

This makes me rethink my original criticism of the Send-Off Series locations. If it turns out that Cleveland and Hartford get as much of a draw as Nashville, then perhaps it's better to spread these games around the country to let everyone get a chance to see the team. At the end of the day, what I'm rooting for is for US soccer to grow as much as possible, so if that means I can't attend a game but on-balance it's good for the team to get visibility in the southeast or the rust belt, then so be it. We'll see how many people show for the game against Valenzuela on Friday night.


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