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Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 06/02/2012

Saturday kickaround: RFK Stadium friendly, U.S.-Canada preparations, World Cup qualifying, Pittsburgh friendly, Bob Bradley & Egypt

*A sellout crowd of around 44,000 will fill RFK Stadium today (4 p.m. ET, pay-per-view) for a friendly between El Salvador and Honduras, bringing the two-game attendance total in Washington this week to 111,000. The U.S.-Brazil match Wednesday at FedEx Field drew more than 67,000.

*The Americans are back at it Sunday in Toronto against Canada (7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network) as part of the Canadian federation’s 100th anniversary. Listen here to D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario talk about Canadian ambitions. The last time the United States played in Canada? In late 1997, outside of Vancouver, where Roy Wegerle inspired a 3-0 victory that secured a World Cup berth. The Americans are 10-0-4 in their last 14 meetings with Canada, which hasn’t beaten its southern rival since April 1985.

Much more.....

*Ticket sales for the U.S. World Cup qualifying opener Friday against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa have reached 12,000, a disappointing figure in the wake of the two home friendlies. The importance not withstanding, this match is a tough sell because of the weak opponent. The selection of Tampa is ripe for criticism, but the playing surface (116 x 74 yards on natural grass), warm climate ahead of the trip to Guatemala a few days later and, presumably, a favorable contract at Raymond James Stadium help explain the decision.

*Looking well ahead, the USSF is in the process of finalizing the venue for the October home qualifier against Guatemala. Rio Tinto Stadium outside of Salt Lake City was making a hard push for either this game and/or one in the final round next year. Awarding it there this fall would make a lot of sense: a medium-sized venue in a cool climate with a pro-USA crowd in a modern facility that hosted a qualifier against El Salvador in September 2009. My hunch is SLC will get this match. An announcement is expected within 10 days. The September home qualifier against Jamaica is set for Columbus — a regular destination for the U.S. team over 10 years.

*The U.S. summer tour schedule for European clubs is almost complete. The latest friendly in the works: AC Milan vs. Newcastle at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on Aug. 3. Talks are in the advanced stages but a deal has not been finalized, one source said. Chelsea played Roma in the Steel City in 2004.

Milan is already set to play Chelsea in Miami and Real Madrid in New York.

*Congratulations to former U.S. World Cup coach Bob Bradley, whose qualifying debut as Egypt’s boss resulted in a 2-0 victory over Mozambique.

“This first win in World Cup qualification was for all the people of Egypt,” Bradley said. “We talked before the game to look into the stands and to see 90 million fans because they were all with us tonight.”

By  |  10:39 AM ET, 06/02/2012

Tags:  U.S. national team, World Cup, Canada, Dwayne De Rosario, RFK Stadium, Bob Bradley

 
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