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D.C. United to face Real Madrid in August

D.C. United - JPEGReal Madrid Logo


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.


  1. DC fans,

    Out of curiousity……with the problems wiht the stadium and the rumors of the team moving to St. Louis, would you guys become Philly Union fans, or just stop following MLS?

    Posted by: The Athority | May 29, 2009 at 09:28 AM

    Nay. I would become a temporary St. Louis United fan, and wait for a return similar to that of the Earthquakes in ’08.

  2. I think following the int’l schedule would be a terrible move. But, there should be blocks of time when there are no league contests. That would mean a lot more weekday games which, in the short term, would cut revenue. But, in the long run, people know that when they buy a ticket, they’ll see the best selection possible.

  3. DCU season ticket holder. I really don’t care about friendlies, esp. right in the middle of our season. I’ll probably go anyway, but only because I have lots of friends who want to go.

  4. I too am a DC United season ticket holder, and I probably will NOT go to this game…I am so over the whole “Euro Soccer” worship…We finally have a decent product on our own here in the US, and I am not that stargazed by the European teams as I once was back in the 80’s (post Dips) and early 90’s…

    Now if DC United signs Raul, that might be a different story for me..

  5. Yeah, MLS should conform to the international schedule!!!!

    How cool would it be to see NY vs. NE on December 15th, in -5 degree temperature?

    The best part would be the attendednce. They would literally draw less than 100 fans.

    Great plan guys!

  6. Shteve Town,

    You are exactly right. We now have several weeks where any MLS player good enough for USMNT duty will be absent. And dollars to doughnuts the league will play games during the 2010 WC.

  7. MLS needs to take its own competition more seriously.

    Last year, TFC played a game while missing nine regulars to international duty. The league refused to re-arrange an important game (TFC was still in the playoff hunt), yet for meaningless friendlies in mid-season they are willing to re-arrange two games (TFC vs. NYRB and DC vs. KC). In the case of TFC v. NYRB they are only giving two weeks notice of the change.

    What other league would re-arrange their schedule to accommodate a friendly in the middle of their season? How can anyone take the MLS competition seriously when MLS will drop everything for the chance of a little cash.

    This is not the way to grow the league with non-believers. It just reinforces what they already think – it’s a two-bit league.

  8. As a United fan, I can say it is nice to have another crack at Real Madrid.

    As for the team moving to St.Louis, not happening. Chang took over ownership of the team, meaning he is going to look-out for the team first. McFarlane was a joke with worrying about his investments not actually building a stadium.

  9. Metro101,

    Every team we face is a BIG team the way we’re playing. That includes Toronto.

    DC fans,

    Out of curiousity……with the problems wiht the stadium and the rumors of the team moving to St. Louis, would you guys become Philly Union fans, or just stop following MLS?

  10. Wow, I am sure glad that Real Salt Lake became partners with Real Madrid so that they could come play us on a regular basis. That has only happened once.

  11. As a non-local DCU fan, I’m pretty freakin’ pissed that this game is only being shown on Telefutura. I have no problem watching a game in Spanish if I have to, but I don’t even get Telefutura with DirecTV. Can’t negotiate for the rights or something? Or FSC?

    Very annoying. Hopefully I can find a free webstream.

  12. Chelsea Score was 2-1. for DCU–Jaime picked Drogba. Duff great first touch powerful goal and Crespro on pass from Robben for the winner. Fantastic, fun game. Real Madrid game second half defensive effort by DCU was incredible. Just exhibition games but great effort and excitement. Go if you can and take a young player with you if you have one.

  13. DC United season ticket holder.

    I am bitter it is being played at Snyder World-wide domination Inc. Field, but I am grasping to the possibility Dan Snyder will take an interest in soccer, especially DC United. I don’t want him as an owner, he is the worst owner, but a buzz on the most successful team in the DC metro area would be nice for a change.

    I’m waiting on my email to see how much my tickets would be for this game, but I am absolutely positively going. EXTREMELY upset it’s not at RFK though. The atmosphere won’t be the same at FedEx Field.

    For those thinking they won’t bring a decent team over, here is their starting XI from 3 years ago in Seattle:
    Casillas; Salgado, Woodgate, Ramos, Roberto Carlos; Emerson, de la Red, Beckham, Raul; Cassano, Van Nistelrooy.

    If Ronaldo AND Kaka sign with Madrid, the game will sell-out.

  14. It would be nice of one of these big name teams would play in the midwest. Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and none of them will be in the midwest. I’m disappointed

  15. I’m psyched for it. Some DC United season ticket holders are upset because we used to get about 1 Euro friendly every season with one of the “special tickets” in the season ticket package. This season those tickets have gone towards US Open Cup play-in games that have featured many reserve players.

    But Chelsea at Fed Ex 4 years ago was, I’m pretty sure, outside any season ticket package.

    I don’t know if Real Madrid has played in the DC area in recent years, if so, it definitely was not against DC United.

  16. I’m a madrid fan and was really disappointed with their showing this year, but anyway i really wish they would play new york, we still haven’t booked our big name club match yet and i’m getting a little tired of all the barcelona games (not that their not good or anything).

  17. Oh, by the way Ives, effin’ great blog. After Goff you’re the soccer blog I check most. Thanks for keeping us all up with what’s happening around the futbol world. It’s nice to go to one place for all the major highlights.

    Hope the new enterprise is serving you well. Best of luck to you in these difficult economic times. Given the product you put out I have little doubt we’ll see you for many years to come. Really like your ESPN pieces, as well.

    Best to you

    PS- Only bone I’ve ever had to pick with you is over the term mafia. I know it’s glamorized in movies but what a mafia does in the real world is prey upon other (weaker) people. Society would be better off without them, but not without you. How about picking another affiliation?

  18. As a Barça/Fire fan, I can safely say two things.

    1) I wouldn’t be caught dead at that game.
    2) ¡Madrid! ¡Cabron! ¡Salud el campeon!

    Cheers from Barcelona!

  19. DCU season ticket holder here, too. Already rounding up friends to purchase tix – ahead of everyone else and at a $20 discount price being a season tix holder.

    What do I think about Madrid coming here? Well, they ain’t Betico but they’re certainly worth seeing. Okay, clearly I have a bias. 🙂

    Kaka maybe, Ronaldo I don’t see happening.

    Happy to seen a European power facing an MLS team? That’s like asking if like sex, or soccer. I don’t see how anyone could not like seeing a respectable MLS side face a world class club.

    Ives, lemme know if you need any restaurant tips for DC. We ain’t got the Portuguese food like you do up there but we’ve got a whole lot of other ethnicities well covered. 😉

  20. I live in DC and I feel compelled to go, especially if Madrid fields a few stars. But what kind of ticket prices are we talking here? I think DCU’s ticket prices are generally too much already. I doubt I’ll be there if I have to pay more than $50.

  21. DCU season ticket holder here. I will be out of town for that match, but even if I were in town, I would not go. Afternoon meaningless game in August, astronomically high ticket prices, and the chance that Daniel Snyder will get some of my money, is enough to keep me away.

    Now if DCU were playing a quality side like AS Roma, I’d be there. Let the snarky Roma comments begin.


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