Tuesday, May 23, 2006

US World Cup soccer team in Nashville tonight

The national U.S. men's soccer team will play Morocco in an exhibition game in Nashville tonight before heading to Germany in June to play in the prestigious World Cup.

The U.S. team is ranked in the top five in the world, which is the best the U.S. team has ever been, according to this article in the Nashville City Paper, which warned that a low turnout would be a significant missed opportunity for Nashville, considering the high-calibre level of the team and their imminent appearance in the World Cup. A low turnout would also hurt Nashville's hopes of becoming a World Cup qualifier city in 2010. Recent crowd estimates are hovering around 20,000, thanks in part to the support of enthusiastic local soccer clubs, according to this article in the Nashville City Paper.

"The game has already outdrawn previous soccer exhibitions held at the Coliseum. In 2004, an exhibition game between Tecos of the Mexican Soccer League and the Los Angeles Galaxy from Major League Soccer drew 11,198 fans. The U.S. Women’s National Team’s exhibition with Canada drew 10,432 fans."

"Last summer, an exhibition featuring two teams from the Mexican league failed miserably, drawing somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 fans."

Today's papers preview the match, including this story in the Tennessean and this story in the Nashville City Paper. This second article in the Nashville City Paper says that the starting lineup is still under wraps.

Play will begin shortly after 6:00 p.m. Tickets are still available for between $18 (behind goal) and $125 (Club Level), plus $10 for parking at the Coliseum. The match will also be broadcast on ESPN2.

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