Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Divided Loyalties

Tomorrow is the US Open Cup final, at RFK Stadium in DC. The Open Cup is America's soccer national championship. As in the more well known FA Cup in England, the Open Cup is just that . . . "open," to any club that wants to take a shot at the title, from amateur weekend teams to the professional minor leagues and top Major League Soccer teams. Also, as with the FA Cup, part of the charm of the tournament is watching the minnows try to upset the top-level clubs.

That's why I've got a case of divided loyalties. Tomorrow's final is between my favorite MLS team, DC United, and my favorite minor league team, the Charleston Battery. Yeah, I know, that's the "other Charleston," but (a) they built a soccer specific stadium (complete with a pub!) and (b) have a great locally flavored nickname, so I've adopted them.

So who to root for? DC, on the one hand, could really use some hardware after a couple of semi-lean years. The Battery, on the other, are the prototypical underdogs, to which I'm generally attracted. It's a final, so rooting for a draw is no help. Ack!

I guess I've got until 7:30 pm tomorrow (kick off on Fox Soccer Channel) to figure it out.

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