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Fuel Soccer Talk: Washington DC hosting U.S. vs. Cuba; Concacaf Nations League primer; Sky Blue sets attendance record

Audi Field to host inaugural match of the Concacaf Nations League match with Cuba

The U.S. Soccer Federation has selected Audi Field to host the inaugural match of the Concacaf Nations League for the U.S. Men’s National Team when they face Cuba on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C. Kickoff in the nation’s capital is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on FS1 (coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. ET) and Univision Networks.

With the participants for the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be determined based on FIFA rankings at the conclusion of this tournament, Nations League’s matches have added significance for their impact on the rankings.

“We are excited to be competing in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League where not only is a championship on the line but we are able to play meaningful games in a competitive format. We have seen how valuable the Nations League has been for Europe, and for this region it’s another important opportunity to raise the level of competition,” U.S. MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “As a team that represents the United States, there is something incredibly meaningful about playing in the nation’s capital, and we aim to produce not only a good result but a good performance.”

Tickets

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com and atticketmaster.com. [Note: Tickets are not sold at Audi Field except on the day of the event.] Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com starting on Monday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. ET. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.

What you need to know about inaugural Concacaf Nations League

Later this year, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take part in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League. Here are five things to know about the new competition:

Similar to the recently launched UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version was created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of the confederation’s 41 Member Associations.

A four-game qualifying tournament for the Concacaf Nations League began last September and just concluded during the March FIFA international window.

While all 41 Member Associations are part of the competition, the qualifying tournament was used to help place teams in their respective leagues for the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League: League A, League B and League C.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sky Blue FC sets team’s record attendance during special day at Red Bull Arena

On the scoreboard, Sky Blue FC didn’t get a win against Reign FC on Sunday afternoon, playing to a 1-1 draw.  The day, however, can be chalked up as a victory for the club.

Playing at Red Bull Arena, Sky Blue set their club attendance record as 9,415 fans watched the matinee in Harrison, N.J.

“It’s really special,” said Sky Blue midfielder and New Jersey native Carli Lloyd after the game. “This is one of my favorite stadiums to play in, not just because it’s in New Jersey, I think it’s an awesome and intimate feeling.”

Cloud 9, the Sky Blue supporters’ group, as well as the entire stadium was loud and into the game from the moment it kicked off.

“It was nice, it was awesome,” Sky Blue defender Estelle Johnson said. “The fans really showed up for us. As long as we can keep this going, we’ll be happy. They were amazing and we were happy we could put on a great show.”

The game against Reign FC was even more special for Johnson, who was honored for recently reaching the 100 NWSL games played plateau. Teammate and Sky Blue captain Sarah Killion reached the mark on Sunday also.

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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