RFK Stadium front-runner for U.S.-Germany

Barring late complications, the U.S. men’s national team friendly against Germany on June 2 will take place at Washington’s RFK Stadium, the Insider has learned.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has also been considering FedEx Field in Landover, Md., and, in case a deal couldn’t be reached with the D.C. area venues, M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

The match is tied to the USSF’s centennial celebration and would cap the federation’s annual general meeting, May 31-June 2 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.

Although a deal has not been finalized and an announcement may still be several weeks away, RFK has emerged as the clear front-runner, according to one source. The stadium’s soccer history and location inside the city worked to its advantage. Capacity of about 45,000 is also more in line with ticket-selling expectations than FedEx Field’s 79,000.

The USSF staged a U.S.-Brazil friendly at FedEx last summer.

[In a poll posted in January, Insider readers voted overwhelmingly in favor of RFK over FedEx for the U.S.-Germany match.]

Per a long-standing policy, the USSF will not comment on the proposed game until a contract is signed. However, the German federation (DFB) has already listed a U.S. tour, featuring friendlies against Ecuador on May 29 in Miami and the United States on June 2 in Washington.

The U.S. game would pit Germany against one of its favorite sons, Juergen Klinsmann, the American coach.

In preparation for three World Cup qualifiers in June, the United States is also reportedly planning to play Belgium at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium in late May.

With the Americans all but set to visit Washington, the Insider looks at the five most memorable U.S. performances at RFK Stadium:

5. Oct. 8, 1995: USA 4, Saudi Arabia 3. The Americans fell behind 3-0 in the first half of the friendly before rallying for four goals in a 30-minute span to execute what is believed to be the greatest comeback in program history. Alexi Lalas and Joe-Max Moore started the uprising before Roy Lassiter both assisted on Tab Ramos‘s equalizer and scored the go-ahead goal in a four-minute span midway through the second half.

4. May 30, 1992: USA 3, Ireland 1. With passports approved, German-born Thomas Dooley and Englishman-South African Roy Wegerle made their debuts for Bora Milutinovic on a stormy night in the team’s second match of the U.S. Cup tournament. Ramos, Marcelo Balboa and John Harkes scored in the comeback. Mick McCarthy had put Ireland ahead in front of 35,696.

3. June 13, 1999: USA 1, Argentina 0. Kasey Keller stopped Gustavo Lopez‘s penalty kick late in the first half of the friendly and Moore scored on an booming one-timer in the 88th minute, set-up by Stewart’s back-heel pass, in front of more than 40,119. The Argentine lineup include Javier Zanetti, Roberto Ayala and Diego Simeone.

2. June 18, 1995: USA 4, Mexico 0. Claudio Reyna, age 22, bedeviled El Tri in recording a goal and two assists in the Americans’ largest margin of victory over their arch nemesis. Wegerle, Dooley and Harkes scored in the first 36 minutes of a U.S. Cup match played before 38,615.

1. Oct. 14, 2009: USA 2, Costa Rica 2. Although the Americans had already secured a World Cup berth, this match was wrapped in emotion following Charlie Davies‘ car accident. Fans honored the badly injured forward by holding up “9″ signs in the ninth minute. Trailing by a goal and down a man after Oguchi Onyewu tore a knee tendon in the late stages, Jonathan Bornstein headed in Robbie Rogers‘ corner kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time — a draw that left the Americans atop the final hexagonal standings and clinched an automatic berth for Honduras.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff · March 4, 2013

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