USMNT could play Iraq within 6 months

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by nyrmetros, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004

    "United States soccer officials have been enlisted by FIFA and the State Department to help get the sport back on its feet in Iraq — an effort that could include a match against a United States national team within six months.

    "The major priority is getting their Olympic team ready," Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia, president of the United States Soccer Federation, said in a telephone interview. "I was in Doha, Qatar, last week for the FIFA meetings and we did talk about a game, probably to be played in a third country. Soccer is really the only common language in the world; there is no ideology on the field."

    The headquarters of Iraq's soccer association, which had been run in brutal fashion by Uday Hussein, one of Saddam Hussein's sons, was destroyed during the war. The senior national team, under the direction of Bernd Stange, who once coached East Germany, qualified last week for the 2004 Asian Cup in China by winning its four-nation group.

    Iraq is currently ranked No. 75 in the world by FIFA, down 22 places since December 2002. Iraq last played in the World Cup in 1986.

    The United States federation and the United States Soccer Foundation have donated 60,000 soccer balls to Iraq, where soccer is the most popular sport. In addition, FIFA has agreed to donate $700,000 to the Iraqi federation to support the domestic game.

    "A game would appeal to me because the more we can do to build good will, the better off we and the world will be," Contiguglia said."
  2. Tmagic77

    Tmagic77 Member+

    Feb 10, 2003
    Chicago Fire
    I'm good with that as long as it's play nowhere near Iraq. I'm pretty sure nobody's that stupid though.
  3. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    Think they might play the game somewhere in Europe?
  4. roarksown1

    roarksown1 Member

    Mar 30, 2001
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Hamburger SV
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How about Tehran or Jakarta instead?

    This to me is a no-win situation. If we beat them handily, we're just displaying to the world our might and humiliating them. But since we're not Brazil and usually play matches we should win very tightly, a tie would be best. Of course, a loss and we'd never hear the end of it, and the world of war-sympathizers would get quite a kick out of it and I for one can't listen to that anymore...
  5. elephantstone

    elephantstone Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Whatever team they manage to put together in half a year obviously wouldn't be a match for our Nats, but be serious. I really don't think Bruce would run up the score on them.
  6. fidlerre

    fidlerre Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    would be fun...why not...
  7. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    The Bruce might use this game is a training camp session to introduce new players to the National Team ....
  8. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Neither is exactly a neutral site. You certainly wouldn't play the game in Iran, for fear of offending the Iraqis with that offer, and I certainly wouldn't want to play the game anywhere in Indonesia, after the Bali tragedy and the threat of more terrorism there lingering.

    If anything, the game's going to take place somewhere in central or southern Europe or in the U.S., IMO.

    Gotta agree with you on that, in principle.

    However, at some point, you have to play these games for the friendly spirit in which they're intended. And whatever the result, people will just have to accept it.

    And yeah, it would be a fun game. And if the proceeds go towards helping to rebuild Iraq in whatever way, shape or form, then it's for a just cause as well.

    Why not, play the game!
  9. jamison

    jamison Member

    Sep 25, 2000
    In SoCal (LA/SD) there are Iraqi and Iranian ex-pat populations. Security better be friggin tight, though, any game against them in the US would be a target...

    I don't want to play it outside the US. Europe bothers me security- wise for a game like this, especially places like Germany, England and France.

    Switzerland, maybe, but that's it.
  10. Scoey

    Scoey Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    Something about this just doesn't sit right with me. It's not logical. It's nothing I can articulate. I just have a bad feeling about it. Just doesn't seem like a good idea. For no reason other than the gut. I'm glad I'm not USSF brass, being put to a decision about whether to do this.
  11. ojsgillt

    ojsgillt Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lee's Summit MO
    Play the game in Swizterland. that is about a neutral site as the come.

    Other than that, South Korea or Japan would be my best bet.
  12. sch2383

    sch2383 New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    The upside here is that this game would get massive media coverage in the US, but yeah, this gives off a bad vibe.
  13. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bad idea, but that's just my gut talkin'. Haven't really thought it thru.
  14. Kevin in Louisiana

    Kevin in Louisiana New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Metairie, LA
    Maybe it wouldn't be the best soccer move. But it'd still be good to have a friendly match (note the term. Not "exhibition," but "friendly") and help out the Iraqi FA.

    That said, their national team isn't bad at all compared to the other countries in their region.
  15. michael greene

    Oct 31, 2002
    This is just a ploy to try and trick Saddam into coming out of hiding. He's a big fan.
  16. Cleveland Steamer

    Cleveland Steamer New Member

    Jan 10, 2001
    Nice to see that the USSF has its priorities straight. One the one hand, declining an invite to the Copa America for reasons I cannot begin to understand. On the other, letting the US State Department dictate that we will play a match that is so meaningless in terms of preparing for the 2006 World Cup that even the USSF could not have dreamt it up on their own.....
  17. babytiger2001

    babytiger2001 New Member

    Dec 29, 2000
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Very true, despite the fact that they haven't qualified for a World Cup finals since 1986 or 1990, IIRC.

    Look at any of the various Asian cups and competitions, and they're almost always contending.
  18. ursula

    ursula Member

    Feb 21, 1999
    Republic of Cascadia
    Put me down in the group that thinks that this is a bad idea. I really hope this doesn't come off.
  19. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Unless this game is played in Iraq or the USA, nobody's going to go. Most people in other countries think we playing ugly, boring soccer and you can only imagine what they'd say about Iraq. It would be a a politcal curiosity at best. Maybe we could play it in Canada though since they haven't had a home game in several years...that way, at least a few Americans could cross the border for the match. Or maybe play it in Australia or New Zealand.
  20. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    I don;t think it is a bad idea at all. The Bruce could use this game to scout some fresh meat for the Nats....

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