Time: 8:25 p.m. EDT
Venue: PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
TV: ESPN2 (Adrian Healey, John Harkes and Julie Foudy in the stadium; Max Bretos, Alexi Lalas and Juan Pablo Ángel in the Bristol studio) and Galavision (Jorge Otatti and Fernando Clavijo); both broadcasts start at 8:00 p.m.
You can read a transcript of quotes from Bob Bradley's press conference yesterday here.
As Kerith Gabriel noted in this morning's Daily News, only around 7,000 tickets have been sold for tonight's game. Short of a ridiculously large walk-up crowd, there's nothing that can be done now to avoid there being a lot of empty seats when the TV cameras cast their gaze upon PPL Park.
We've already discussed the reasons for the low sales number on here: the expensive ticket prices, the relatively late kickoff on a school night, the glut of soccer games in the region over the last few weeks, and so on.
Here's another factor to discuss. It was pointed out to me by a friend last night that the U.S. Soccer Federation hasn't done much marketing and promotion of the game. I've since been told by sources that the amount of attention that the Phillies, Eagles and Flyers are currently commanding has been a factor in that, and that the USSF didn't want to waste too many resources if it didn't think there would be a great return on the investment.
With all due respect, I find that a weak argument. None of the three aforementioned teams are playing tonight, and we've known that would be the case for a while. The 76ers have a preseason home game against Boston, but for as small a crowd as will be at PPL Park tonight I suspect there wil be even fewer people at the Wachovia Center.
Obviously, most of the local attention right now is on the Phillies, who played Game 1 of their Division Series on the same night the U.S. women played at PPL Park. But we've known for a few weeks now that the Phillies' schedule had them off tonight no matter how the series played out. So it's been clear for a while that there would be a window for attention, even if it is a small one.
I would like to think that any national team game is an important occasion. Even if the U.S. Soccer Federation itself doesn't make all of its international matches seem like big deals, they are nonetheless are pretty rare compared to the rest of our sports landscape.
Speaking of windows, it should be noted that the U.S. game will be the only live sporting event broadcast on any of the Worldwide Leader's channels tonight. The main network has a 30 for 30 movie and the World Series of Poker, while ESPNU has college football analysis and ESPN Classic has a college basketball replay from last season.
Okay, that's enough ranting from me. It's not my job to be a cheerleader for the U.S. Soccer Federation or any of its teams, but I do feel that the lack of ticket sales for this game is a subject that needs to be discussed.
If you are going tonight, or if you're on the fence, you'll be happy to know that there will be a shuttle service from the Chester Transportation Center as there has been for Union games throughout the year. You'll find the train schedule at the bottom of the post.
Whether you'll be at PPL Park or not, I hope you'll join my live chat tonight. If you're on a mobile device, you can follow along and share your thoughts here. It would be great to hear from fans in the stands during the game.
From Center City
|Market East||Suburban||30th Street||Chester|
|4:04 p.m.||4:09 p.m.||4:13 p.m.||4:44 p.m.|
|4:22 p.m..||4:27 p.m.||4:31 p.m.||5:00 p.m.|
|4:45 p.m.||4:50 p.m.||4:54 p.m.||5:23 p.m.|
|5:04 p.m.||5:09 p.m.||5:14 p.m.||5:34 p.m.*|
|5:09 p.m.||5:14 p.m.||5:18 p.m.||5:47 p.m.|
|5:33 p.m.||5:38 p.m.||5:42 p.m.||6:13 p.m.|
|6:03 p.m.||6:08 p.m.||6:12 p.m.||6:41 p.m.|
|6:28 p.m.||6:33 p.m.||6:37 p.m.||7:03 p.m.|
|7:32 p.m.||7:37 p.m.||7:41 p.m.||8:07 p.m.|
*- Express train.
From Newark, Wilmington, Marcus Hook and Chester
|-----------||4:44 p.m.||4:56 p.m.||5:02 p.m.|
|4:46 p.m.||5:06 p.m.||5:18 p.m.||5:24 p.m.|
|-----------||5:50 p.m.||6:02 p.m.||6:08 p.m.|
|5:43 p.m.||6:02 p.m.||6:14 p.m.||6:20 p.m.|
|-----------||-----------||7:02 p.m.||7:08 p.m.|
|7:23 p.m.||7:39 p.m.||7:51 p.m.||7:57 p.m.|
To Center City
|Chester||30th Street||Suburban||Market East|
|11:06 p.m.||11:33 p.m.||11:38 p.m.||11:43 p.m.|
|11:45 p.m.||12:10 a.m.||12:14 a.m.||12:18 a.m.|
To Marcus Hook, Wilmington and Newark
|11:03 p.m.||11:09 p.m.||11:28 p.m.||-----------|
|12:03 a.m.||12:09 a.m.||-----------||-----------|