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May 24, 2012

Soccer Subjectively tours American Soccer - Summer 2012

This summer I'll be traveling the luxurious East Coast for two weeks. I'll journey from Jacksonville, FL to Toronto and then back down to Tampa. The plan is to attend four USMNT games and hopefully catch a couple of other surprises.

Tentative Schedule

USL Professional Division :: US Open Cup :: USMNT Training Session
International Friendly :: World Cup Qualifier

May 26th - USMNT vs. Scotland - Jacksonville, FL
May 28th - USMNT training session - College Park, University of Maryland
May 29th - Rochester Rhinos at Philadelphia Union - Chester, PA
May 30th - USMNT vs. Brazil - Washington DC
May 31st - Charleston Battery at Pittsburgh Riverhounds - Pittsburgh, PA
June 2nd - USMNT training session?
June 3rd - USMNT at Canada - Toronto, Canada
June 5th - US Open - 4th Round?
June 7th - USMNT training session?
June 8th - USMNT vs. Antigua and Barbuda - Tampa, FL

A lot of things up there. The gist:
- Three USMNT friendlies + their first WC Qualifier
- Before each USMNT game they sometimes have an open training session to the public
- The US Open Cup is going on right now. (You can view the US Open Cup bracket here.)
- Despite no promotion/relegation, there is still a pyramid of leagues in America

The third tier is the USL Pro Division, which houses the Rochester Rhinos, Charleston Battery, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The Rochester Rhinos defeated the Brooklyn Italians 3-0 in the second round of the US Open Cup. Unfortunately the two clubs with the coolest names ever could not both advance to face Philadelphia in the third round. I saw the Philadelphia Union tie FC Dallas 1-1 in Frisco and am positive there's a chance for an upset as the Union are not very good. The Union were missing MacMath and Adu but I'm hopeful Philadelphia will continue it's city's poor sports history.

The Charleston Battery are another formidable force in the USL Pro. They sit third in the league, behind Rochester (standings here). Both Charleston and Rochester advanced in the Cup last year. Rochester fell to the Chicago Fire 1-0 in the third round and Charleston lost to Orlando City SC, currently in first place in the USLPD, in the second round.

I might get lucky and sneak into some other games but who knows with traveling. Either way I'll try to write often but I think we all know how blogs go.

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