As you probably know, D.C. United do not play this weekend. Well, they don't play a real match this weekend. But they'll still be in action. The Black-and-Red will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. on Saturday to face Fulham of the English Championship (a/k/a the second tier of their pyramid). The match will be the opening act of an evening that includes the unveiling of new massive jumbotrons and an endzone hot tub lounge (or something?) as well as a Carrie Underwood concert. The synergy is that the Jacksonville Jaguars, primary tenant of EverBank Field, share an owner with Fulham in Shahid Khan, and one assumes that he wrote a nice check to United to get them to agree to the match.
Anyway, to this post! Saturday will not be the first time that los Capitalinos have gone to some god-forsaken corner of the country to play a friendly. And I'm not even talking about FedEx Field! Back in 2006, United flew to Seattle to join Real Madrid in inventing the phenomenon that is "soccer in Seattle." That's right, folks, it's all our fault - well, us and David Beckham.
United started off tenuously against the Galacticos, relying on Troy Perkins (in the midst of what would be his MLS Goalkeeper of the Year season) to make several spectacular saves. Madrid inevitably broke through, but then Alecko Eskandarian - always a man to rise for the big moments - scored to draw it level. And that's where it stayed.
There is something to be said for these friendlies, but for every "DC beats Milan" moment there's at least one "LA 0, Man U 7" to go with it. And, more to the point for this weekend's game, Fulham is no AC Milan or Manchester United. Beating Fulham won't win any glory, and the game won't draw fans of European soccer to the American game. It's really just a cash-checking exercise - which, at this point in United's history - may be something, whether we like it or not.
At any rate, enjoy the video of that time D.C. United didn't lose to Real Madrid in Seattle.