Wednesday, July 12, 2006

D.C. United vs. Celtic FC

Tonight D.C. United will take on Celtic FC in a friendly at RFK Stadium. The match pits two perennial league champions against each other for the first time. D.C. United have won 4 league championships in the ten year existance of Major League Soccer (1996, 97, 99, 2004) and two Supporter's Shields in 1997 and 1999. Celtic have won 40 championships in the Scottish Premier League, with the earliest being in 1896 and the most recent in 2006.

Celtic is the team of choice for Catholics in Scotland, with their arch-rivals Rangers FC representing the Protestant community. This sectarian split has caused Celtic to be the most popular team in Ireland, which I learned first hand when I studied abroad there. The majority of Irish football fans consider Celtic to be their World Class club football team. The Bhoys will also play Chivas de Guadalajara and New England Revolution while touring the United States in preparation for the start of the SPL.

The 2006 D.C. United are off to one of the best starts in MLS history. They have a record of 12-1-5 and are 17 points ahead of the second place team in the East. The Black-and-Red have the most wins, fewest losses, most goals and fewest goals against, as they've completely dominated MLS competition. Hopefully, a top-flight European opponent will test how good D.C. United can be and prepare them for the second half of the season.

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