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Big Salvadoran crowd expected for U.S. game
July 18th, 2013 12:15AM

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[GOLD CUP: Quarterfinals] Attention turns Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium, where the USA faces El Salvador Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader that also pits Honduras against Costa Rica. Thanks to the presence of El Salvador and Honduras, both countries with a high concentration of immigrants on the East Coast, organizers are hoping the doubleheader will sell out the 71,000-seat stadium that is the home of the NFL Ravens, which could mean a partisan El Salvador crowd for La Selecta's match against the USA.

Concacaf general secretary Enrique Sanz told the Baltimore Sun that 26,000 tickets had been sold prior to Tuesday's final group matches, and Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported late Wednesday that ticket sales had reached 43,000

Until then, the quarterfinal matchups were not determined. El Salvador qualified as one of the two third-place teams on Monday night, but La Selecta appeared to headed to Atlanta to face Panama until Cuba beat Belize, 4-0, and overtook Martinique for the second third-place spot. That meant El Salvador moved to Baltimore to face the USA and Cuba went to Atlanta. If the second third-place team had been Martinique, the USA would have played Les Matinino in Baltimore.

"All the games throughout the Gold Cup have been increasing [in ticket sales] from the first game, and we expect that for the quarterfinals," Sanz said Wednesday. "Overnight and into today, we are seeing a lot of tickets being sold. … It would not be a surprise to have a sellout in Baltimore knowing the market. Anything can happen."

Baker Koppelman, vice president of ticket sales and operations for the Ravens, said the presence of the three Central American teams will boot ticket sales.

"We are crossing our fingers that maybe we do sell this thing out before the weekend … it's trending that way," Koppelman told the Sun. "The volume has increased dramatically since last night. Now it's just a matter of at what point does that hit the wall, if at all."


3 comments
  1. Miguel Dedo
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 10:06 a.m.
    I attended the US-Honduras World Cup qualifier in Washington, DC, in 2001, where the US lost 3-2. Many Honduras fans attended. At a before the match breakfast with DC United season ticket holders, Bruce Arena complained about having to play “away” games in the US. He was quite negative about the crowd, though by the colors it appeared to be about 50-50 Honduras-USA, the Honduras fans being mostly in the upper deck. The Honduras team came out first, waved enthusiastically to their crowd, received a grand ovation. The US team came with their heads down, apparently warned by Bruce Arena of the “hostile atmosphere” in the stadium. Those relative attitudes pervaded the match. The Honduras people turned out to be great people, were happy in the parking area after, enthusiastic about the US qualifying as well as Honduras. It seemed to me that if Bruce Arena had prepared his team to enjoy the crowd, appeal to their supporters as the Honduras team appealed to theirs, they might have enjoyed the match and even come out victor. Let us hope than Jürgen Klinsmann brings out our team with a better attitude toward the crowd, that will include a lot of Salvadorians, than Bruce Arena brought out our team in 2001.
  1. JAY TEWS
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 11:17 a.m.
    All teams should be going out to any match with the attitude that hard work and excellent soccer will win over any crowd, any place. Obviously some venues are tougher than others, but great soccer will win over some fans, regardless of home field and patriotism....Remember the Mexico match...
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: July 18, 2013 at 2:06 p.m.
    Let's hope times have changed forever regarding your story Miguel, in all aspects! I hope my American Outlaw brothers provide the needed rousing of the troops to lift the US Nats to a resounding victory Sunday!

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