By TRAVIS CLARK
In what will be a rematch of a 1-1 draw exactly three years to the day, D.C. United will host Real Madrid on Sunday, August 9 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. The occasion marks United’s highest profile friendly since the two sides met at Qwest Field in 2006, drawing a crowd of 66,830.
D.C.’s last glamour friendly at FedEx Field was a 3-2 loss to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea on July 28, 2005. Attendance that day was 31,473 in a stadium with a capacity of 90,000+. Given the sore state of the economy and the high ticket prices, the allure of a large club like Madrid will be relied upon to bring in higher numbers.
For a few members of United’s current roster, it will be a second crack at the former La Liga champions. Current players like Ben Olsen, Bryan Namoff, Christian Gomez, Jaime Moreno and Clyde Simms all saw time in Seattle and will be out to be sure that this time it doesn’t end in a draw.
Adding greater allure to the friendly is the rumors swirling around Real Madrid. The club is in a state of transition, going through elections for a new president and facing an offseason of uncertainty. With the European transfer window opening shortly, the usual suspects are being linked to a move to the Bernabeu – including Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. If both of those players are in the lineup for Madrid that day, the star power of those two alone ought to bring in a big crowd – and provide quite the sideshow.
What do you think about Real Madrid playing in the D.C. area again? Will you be attending the match? Are you buying any of the Kaka and Ronaldo rumors, or do you think it's just hype? Happy to seen a European power facing an MLS team?
Share your thoughts below.