The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the potential sites for the Open Cup Final today. And it's exactly what we expected.
From D.C. United's press release:
Should United defeat Columbus in the first semifinal, the Black-and-Red would either host Chivas USA at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at RFK Stadium, or travel to Qwest Field to face Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 11 p.m. ET. The final will be televised live by Fox Soccer Channel.
This is something I predicted over two months ago. The Seattle Sounders realized they messed up last year. They put together a shoddy bid presentation for the Final in 2009, forcing USSF to rightfully award the Cup Final to D.C. They weren't going to let that happen again, and unsurprisingly outbid the competition this year.
But I'm okay with that. Remember - D.C. United is undefeated all-time at Qwest Field. They're 1-0-1 in Seattle against the Sounders, and even beat Real Madrid at Qwest in 2006. On the other hand, the Sounders are 3-0-0 at RFK Stadium.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've still got a match to win on Wednesday against the Columbus Crew. And we learned today that the team will have to do it without Branko Boskovic, who has been called in to play with his native Montenegro in Euro 2012 qualifying next week. He'll be flying out directly after our match Saturday night against Chivas USA, further complicating Ben Olsen's lineup decisions for the next three matches.
Do we stick with the diamond 4-4-2 and move Santino Quaranta, Chris Pontius, or Andy Najar into the middle? Or go back to the flatter 4-4-2 with Stephen King joining Clyde Simms in central midfield?
One thing United does have in their favor though is that both the Sounders and Crew have pretty packed schedules already. They're in the middle of the CONCACAF Champions' League group stage.
Here's what jumps out at me though: If the Final is at Qwest, it will be on a Tuesday. What, are the Sounders afraid of our Wednesday record?