Sunday, February 26, 2006

Half the country down, half to go...

With the announcement of a May 23 friendly in Tennessee, the Volunteer state becomes the 25th out of 50 to host an official US national team match.

1 New York 11/8/1925 Canada
2 California 4/28/1957 Mexico
3 Missouri 7/6/1957 Canada
4 Pennsylvania 6/25/1968 Israel
5 Georgia 10/27/1968 Canada
6 Maryland 8/29/1972 Canada
7 Illinois 8/3/1973 Poland
8 Connecticut 8/12/1973 Poland
9 Texas 6/8/1974 Mexico
10 Washington 6/24/1975 Poland
11 D.C. 10/6/1977 China
12 New Jersey 5/2/1979 France
13 Florida 10/25/1980 Canada
14 Oregon 4/4/1985 Canada
15 New Mexico 6/7/1988 Ecuador
16 Wisconsin 7/28/1990 E.Germany
17 North Carolina 9/15/1990 Trinidad
18 Colorado 5/5/1991 Uruguay
19 Massachusetts 6/1/1991 Ireland
20 Michigan 2/2/1992 C.I.S.
21 Arizona 1/30/1993 Denmark
22 Virginia 11/10/1996 Trinidad
23 Alabama 3/12/2000 Tunisia
24 Ohio 10/11/2000 Costa Rica
25 Utah 6/3/2005 Costa Rica
26 Tennessee 5/23/2006 ???

I find it interesting that a state of Ohio's population didn't host a game until Crew Stadium was built. Also, why did Georgia get a game so early? You'll notice that the last six states are all red states (aka Republican) who voted for Bush in the previous two elections.

Out of the 25 states on the list, only four don't rank in the top 25 population wise (Oregon-28, Connecticut-29, Utah-34, New Mexico-36). Tennessee was the second highest without a game until last week's announcement. The most populous state that hasn't hosted a game is Indiana, followed by Minnesota, Louisiana, and Kentucky. The following states are the ones who haven't hosted a game with population rank.

Indiana 14
Minnesota 21
Louisiana 22
Kentucky 25
South Carolina 26
Oklahoma 27
Iowa 30
Mississippi 31
Kansas 32
Arkansas 33
Nevada 35
West Virginia 37
Nebraska 38
Idaho 39
Maine 40
New Hampshire 41
Hawaii 42
Rhode Island 43
Montana 44
Delaware 45
South Dakota 46
North Dakota 47
Alaska 48
Vermont 49
Wyoming 50

It will probably be a long time before we can cross off some of these states. But for others, it should happen in the next ten or twenty years. The quality of stadiums is an important factor as well as population. None of the states remaining have an MLS team, so future expansion to one of them would probably lead to a USA game. Minnesota and Oklahoma could fit that description.

Hawaii should get a game eventually. The DC-LA friendly there got a decent number of fans IIRC, and it would be a nice post-MLS season friendly (probably against Japan). As the southern states start to get more into soccer, they could come into play because they have the population and infrastructure.

The New England states are screwed because Foxborough gets all the games, so ME/NH/RI/VT all get left out.

I would love to see a game in Alaska just to screw the opposition in World Cup qualifying, but we're actually getting to the point where we're too good to have to worry about it.

Comments on "Half the country down, half to go..."


Anonymous Eric B said ... (9:03 PM, February 26, 2006) : 

While it wasn't an official match, we did face Bayern Munich in Cleveland right before WC '94. It could also explain why Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two states that were big soccer areas in the first half of the century didn't have matches until after WW2


Anonymous Jason said ... (1:36 PM, February 27, 2006) : 

Re: Atlanta's game in '68

Likely, it was the impact of Phil Woosnam at the time who brought that game to Atlanta. He was in the process of saving the NASL and running it out of an office at the old Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium. I think that was the one and only USMNT game here in Georgia. There just isn't anywhere to play now.


Anonymous ERic said ... (1:16 PM, February 28, 2006) : 

I would expect Vegas to get a game at some point, which would take Nevada off the list.

...and which side of the river is that county on that's talking about a Wizards stadium?


Blogger scaryice said ... (10:59 PM, February 28, 2006) : 

I should mention that Morocco will be the opponent in Nashville, and also for the Michigan 1992 game, C.I.S. was the former Soviet Union team.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:15 PM, April 06, 2007) : 

love your stuff, but unfortunately for no one but them, DC is not a state and would therefore make this a list of 51 and not 50


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