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U.S. set for 71,000 sell out vs. El Salvador, but how many will cheer on the Yanks?

Jul 19, 2013, 11:43 AM EDT

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This afternoon, tickets for Sunday’s Gold Cup quarterfinal double-header in Baltimore are close to selling out.

Quite a remarkable show of support from the people of Maryland.

But don’t expect fans of the U.S. national team to have it all their own way when Sunday rolls around.

Oh, no.

Fans of El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica are said to be snapping up tickets for the two games as the Central American nations have plenty of supporters in and around the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

So will the American Outlaws and other USMNT supporters groups have their work cut out to make plenty of noise?

You’d think the large majority of the crowd in Baltimore would be supporting Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. But on Tuesday tickets sales were approaching 25,000… now it’s almost sold out. Stunning. Does that mean MLS has a future in Baltimore? That’s an entirely different issue, but with past talks of D.C. United relocating there, maybe….

Anyway, there will be a good indicator as to the level of support for the U.S. after their game at 4pm ET, as you’ll see how many fans stay behind for the Honduras vs. Costa Rica quarterfinal at 7pm ET. But with crowds of just over 25,000 in Hartford and less than that in Utah, has the USA’s attendance levels in the Gold Cup been a disappointment? Consider MLS is still going on, no.

Soccer fans will have made special plans to follow the USA but after the recent World Cup qualifiers, many won’t be traveling too far in order to support Klinsmann’s men in the Gold Cup.

As for Klinsmann, he’s slightly worried that it will be more like an away game at the home of the Baltimore Ravens.

However pro-American the crowd are during the Gold Cup quarterfinal on Sunday, it’s sure to be an incredible atmosphere. After the USA’s opener in Portland amongst much fanfare, the Gold Cup tournament will come back to life in Baltimore this weekend.

A crowd of over 70,000 will make themselves heard. But have a listen out for which supporters are the loudest, my gut feeling tells me the U.S. fans may have to take a back seat in their own nation.

  1. bigdinla - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Well hopefully most of the non-US fans will be Honduran. They hate El Slavador even more than the US.

    • sdbeisbol - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Why is that?

      • talgrath - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        The Football War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War

      • DJ MC - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_war

  2. sdisesa - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    I don’t see what MLS has to do with this.

    • charliej11 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      MLS is the biggest US soccer league and the US Nat teams plays soccer.
      The best player so far this Gold Cup plays in MLS and

      but other than that….almost every team has players in MLS on it.
      but other than that….Baltimore was rumored to be getting and MLS team
      but other than that….nothing

      • sdisesa - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Well of course I understand how MLS relates to the Gold Cup. I was referring to the two specific mentions in the article.

        MLS going on means less fans at the USMNT games? Maybe, but doubtful. The Gold Cup games aren’t going on at the same time and in the same place as MLS matches.

        Baltimore selling out means MLS to Baltimore is a possibility? Well, if the tickets are being sold mostly to the Central Americans who live in the area, that doesn’t necessarily mean that MLS games in Baltimore would sell out.

  3. bulldogslc - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    I have a few other explanations for the attendance here in Utah. One is that we had two USMNT matches within weeks of each other…and actually our attendance was never gonna hit 25k when our stadium only holds 20k. I don’t think our attendance was disappointing. The MLS season had nothing to do with it

    • randomhookup - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I might have said “with an ongoing MLS season AND all the USMNT games in recent months.”

      On the whole, it’s just competition for the fan’s wallet. We’ve had a ton of big name soccer activity across the US in recent months (and still have some of the big name Euro teams to come) that people have to make choices and a Gold Cup quarterfinal against El Salvador isn’t it (for some). If you are a diehard ES fan and you couldn’t make the 1st round and you live close … this is worth it to you.

  4. hildezero - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    @bigdinla

    Honduras don’t hate the US. They actually like US Soccer, because that’s their second nation. I’m positive that there will be a pro American stadium on Sunday and with a lot of Hondurans rootin for the US.

  5. geojock - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Last gold cup in Houston Mexico was in one Semi, US in the other. Most of the Mexicans cheered for both. A good amount had both jerseys or creative half/half shirts.

    One things for sure… there will be plenty of red, white, and powder blue.

  6. capsfan19 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Im gonna be there sunday! Woohoo! As a native of maryland there are extremely large pockets of central american peoples south of baltimore (mostly a city of african americans and whites). Id be willing to bet a majority of them will be coming up from the annapolis, dc metro, and northern virginia areas. And it will make for a great atmosphere.
    I heard on the local news they put down sod in preparation for the game as well!
    But soccer in the baltimore dc area is certainly heating up but football, as in american football, is what people eat and breathe in bmore. Itd be VERY, VERRRYY tough to introduce a mls team in that city. Especially now that the orioles are doing well… Sheesh!
    There are plenty of well established youth programs however. And with university of md college park becoming a soccer power in the college ranks it puts maryland moreso on the map. But i doubt bmore readiness for a successful mls team (if that was even an idea for the league to begin with)

    • schmutzdeck - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Danny Califf, Goodson, Zusi, Mo Edu, Robbie Rogers, AJ De La Garza. Gonzo, etc., etc.quite a few former Terps have played for the USMNT.

  7. jbq2 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    The U.S. has always been the United Fruit Company to nations in South America. Obama is more of the same. We are dictating our decadent society to the rest of the world with our radical thespian leadership. I will be one of those rooting for El Salvador as being of Irish immigrant stock. Sadly, the 82nd Airborne is going into Syria and many boys will die (as a Navy vet) to force this same decadence on the Middle East. The American squad has become nothing more than representing radical Marxism.

    • talgrath - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      I’m not sure if you’re a troll or high as a kite; maybe both?

      • bigmo2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

        lol!

    • schmutzdeck - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Could you define your vision of radical Marxism?

  8. footballer4ever - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    @ bigdinla said :

    “Well hopefully most of the non-US fans will be Honduran. They hate El Slavador even more than the US.”

    You can bet the Hondurans will be rooting for the U.S. just as the Salvadorians might do the same if Honduras was playing against the US instead. It’s just that simple. It’s called supporting the nationl team where one was borb/raised from and support for the national team we live in. The only thing i hate about US Soccer is that football is referred as soccer. Otherwise, USA, all the say!

  9. bigmo2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    I’ll be there in section 552. Hopefully the heat wave breaks otherwise I will be roasting

  10. talgrath - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    For those confused as to why Hondurans don’t like El Salvador, they went to war a few decades back, it was called The Football War (no joke). The real cause of concern regarding the conflict had more to do with issues of immigratoin, wealth and power, but the funny name stuck because the conflict started shortly after the two countries played each other in World Cup Qualifying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_War

  11. metalmessiah466 - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Baltimore usually supports the bigger international friendlies, Chelsea -AC Milan was near sellout,
    Manchester City-Inter Milan only drew about 40K but that was world cup year and all the major stars
    were missing. Liverpool-Tottenham had good crowd in miserable heat last year. So this is no surprise.
    As far as MLS not holding my breath…we had Crystal Palace Baltimore here a few yrs and could barely draw 150 people, didn’t help owner was $h!t and one season had games at 5 different locales. Now have the Bohs,but they are developmental team with all college players.

    • DJ MC - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      I was at both Chelsea-AC and Man City-Inter matches. I had a lot of fun at both.

      The problem with soccer in Baltimore is that it doesn’t receive any promotion. No one ever talked about Crystal Palace Baltimore, it didn’t get any play in local media, and you never knew where they were going to play (and even then it was probably at a local high school or college field that wouldn’t be that easy to find). The Bohs have much of the same problem. An MLS club, or even a well-funded and -promoted lower-division club with a real home stadium, wouldn’t have those problems.

      I should point out that all of that only applies to outdoor soccer. Indoor soccer, through the Baltimore Blast, has a long and established history in the city. They regularly draw 6,000 to a terrible arena for bastardized soccer, and get a fair amount of coverage and promotion locally. That gives me hope that an outdoor club, with similar ownership and media coverage, would be a success.

    • charliej11 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      It didn’t help that the team name was Crystal Palace. Just when you think the copying of foreign names can’t get any dumber….

  12. footballer4ever - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    @talgrath

    I am not sure whose your “troll comment” was for, but you might want to clarify that in the future.

    In case that was directed to my comment, haven’t you been “told” you sound better when you keep quiet instead? LoL

  13. nodindenver - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    These guys have an eight game winning streak, the WC is getting closer, it is the quarter finals of the Gold Cup, soccer is starting to become more popular in the US, and there is no other sports at this tweener time of the year. Lots of reasons for 70k other than support of Central American countries. Column writers crack me up sometimes!

    • schmutzdeck - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      If I’m JK I’m very happy for the 70+ K attendance.

      If they are mostly pro US well great.

      If they are mostly pro El Salvador then it’s a great experience for a mostly inexperienced squad, internationally speaking.

      Complete win-win.

  14. footballer4ever - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    @schmutzdeck

    Well said! 70K for a football match is a win situation for all including the Concacaf organizers. I got to go to the GoldCup game at Sunlife Stadium last friday in which only 28K+ attended, but the constant passion and emotions from the crowd made it rock throughout the second match.

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