Saturday, July 24, 2010

Apparently There's a Big Game Tomorrow

So apparently out at Arrowhead tomorrow there's this pretty big game going on involving the Wizards and some team from England that's apparently really popular, Manchester United. The team arrived in KC today. The game tomorrow in KC is going to be the biggest soccer game here at least since the 2001 World Cup qualifier between the US and Costa Rica, if not ever. I lean more towards the later, because while the qualifier back in 2001 had more importance to it, the game of soccer wasn't at the level it is at now in this country. Bringing Manchester United here is a big accomplishment for the Wizards and Kansas City as a whole. These are the types of teams that usually only play on the coasts and occasionally Chicago, so to get them into KC is a big deal. This is only the 5th club friendly involving a foreign team here in KC since MLS started. The first was back in 1996 when the Wizards played Veracruz at Arrowhead in September of 1997. The second was a game back in 2005 when the Columbus Crew played a friendly against Santos Laguna at Arrowhead Stadium as part of a double header with a Wizards league game. I was one of a couple hundred fans in the stands for that game. Then there was the game against sister club, Atlas in the Wizards first year at CAB. The fourth occurred last year, also at Arrowhead, when the Wizards, OnGoal, and SUM hosted a match up between Chivas Gualajara and Club America. This is easily the biggest one of the 5, and it certainly has the biggest club out of all those as well. Should make for a fun time at Arrowhead tomorrow.

With this being a friendly, I expect to see a lot of substitutions made by the Wizards and by Manchester United. Already we've heard that Sunil Chhetri will get time on the field, and I'm sure other reserves will get a run out as well. I expect close to a starting lineup to at least start the game against Manchester United tomorrow and the subs to start to come in at half time. It'll be a good chance for the Wizards stars to impress in front of one of the best clubs in the world. While for the reserves, it gives them a chance to impress and attempt to work their way into the lineup for league games. This will be the biggest "friendly" reserve game for the reserves that they've ever played in. Getting time for guys like Chhetri, Jamar Beasley, Santiago Hirsig, and others who don't regularly make the bench will get the chance to show what they can do.

With all the changes I'm expecting during the game tomorrow I'm not posting a prediction on the lineup, key match up, or prediction. Overall, I'm just looking to have a good time, enjoy seeing my two favorite clubs in the world play each other. I'll be in the Cauldron cheering for the Wizards in the group that will more than likely be the minority group of supporters in the stadium. But then again most of the United fans at the game tomorrow are likely the "plastic" kind that have never even been to Old Trafford. So I guess I can take solace in that point.

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