RFK Stadium History
Though originally built in 1961 to house Washington, D.C.’s National Football League and Major League Baseball teams, RFK Stadium has become a cathedral of sorts for soccer in the United States.
Having served as a host venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1996 Summer Olympics, 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups, RFK has been a center piece of international soccer in the United States for more than two decades.
Outside those competitions, the U.S. MNT has its own storied history at the venue that dates back to a 1-1 draw with China on Oct. 6, 1977. The 22 Men’s National Team matches hosted at the old ground are more than any other stadium, and along the way some very memorable MNT moments have been made.
Here’s a few:
- Former captain Claudio Reyna’s standout arrival on the international scene in a 4-0 win over Mexico at the 1995 U.S. Cup.
- Joe-Max Moore’s late blast in a 1-0 upset over Argentina in 1999.
- Important World Cup qualifying victories against Guatemala in 1996 and 2000.
- Jonathan Bornstein’s dramatic stoppage time equalizer to eliminate Costa Rica from World Cup qualifying in 2009.
- And most recently, the team’s 4-3 win over then No. 2-ranked Germany in U.S. Soccer’s 2013 Centennial Celebration match.
Check out some of the best moments throughout the years at RFK Stadium.
#OTD 1995: U.S. Stuns Argentina to win the Copa America Group
As we take a short break between the group and knockout stages of the 2015 Gold Cup, we go back 20 years to an historic U.S. win that occurred not in the Gold Cup but in CONMEBOL’s Copa America held in Uruguay.
Making their second appearance in the tournament, the U.S. MNT opened up with a 2-1 win against Chile before falling 1-0 to Bolivia. Still in a decent spot to advance, the team faced the daunting task of a final group match with Argentina, knowing they would likely need a draw and some help to make it through as one of the tournament’s best third place teams.
In what was Paul Caligiuri’s 100th international appearance, the U.S. didn’t leave things to chance, opening the scoring in the 20th minute when Cobi Jones took down a cross and traversed the top of the area before leaving for Frank Klopas, who fired through traffic for the 1-0 lead.
The lead doubled in the 31st minute when Jones beat his man to the end line and sent a low cross for Alexi Lalas who deflected it home at the near post, sending the U.S. into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Looking good to advance as the second place team in Group C, Eric Wynalda remembered, “Somebody said it in the locker room – I think it might have been Tab [Ramos], ‘You guys do realize that if we win 3-0, we win the group and it was the perfect thing to say in that moment, because we went out on the field determined to make sure we kept the clean sheet and got one more goal.”
That third goal would come just before the hour mark as Wynalda played Joe-Max Moore into the box on the right. Moore drove to the end line and took advantage of some lax defending from Roberto Ayala as he centered a ball for Wynalda. Argentina ‘keeper Carlos Bossio was wrong-footed by the play, leaving Wynalda an open net to poke home the third goal in the 58th minute. The score stood up over the next half hour, giving the U.S. one of its most historic victories to date.
Kasey Keller; Alexi Lalas, Marcelo Balboa (Mike Burns, 15’), Paul Caligiuri; Cobi Jones, Earnie Stewart, Thomas Dooley, John Harkes, Frank Klopas (Tab Ramos, 45); Joe-Max Moore, Eric Wynalda
#OTD 1993: U.S. Comes Back to Defeat Panama 2-1 in Gold Cup Group Stage
Following a 1-0 victory over Jamaica to open the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. fell behind 1-0 to Panama when Percival Piggott beat Tony Meola in the 33rd minute.
The U.S. response would come in the space of five minutes, when goals from Wynalda (69’) and Thomas Dooley (74’) stood up to give the team a 2-1 win and clinch a place in the tournament semifinals.
Tony Meola; Desmond Armstrong, Cle Kooiman, Alexi Lalas, Fernando Clavijo; Cobi Jones, Tab Ramos, Thomas Dooley, Chris Henderson; Peter Vermes (Roy Wegerle, 46’, Dominic Kinnear 77’), Eric Wynalda
#OTD 2003: McBride Brace Pushes U.S. Past Martinique
Having already beaten El Salvador 2-0 in the first group match, the U.S. faced Martinique two days later, receiving two goals from Brian McBride in four minutes.
The first came on an excellent one-two combination down the right between Richard Mulrooney and Steve Ralson which saw the latter player cross for McBride whose glancing header outside the six-yard box gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute.
McBride would grab his third goal in two matches when Ralston chased down a cross from the right and centered again for the U.S. striker, who first-timed his effort home in the 43rdminute.
Kasey Keller; Frankie Hejdu, Carlos Bocanegra, Danny Califf, Greg Vanney; Earnie Stewart (Steve Ralston, 71’), Pablo Mastroeni, Claudio Reyna (Clint Mathis, 60’), Eddie Lewis (Bobby Convey, 83’); Landon Donvoan, Brian McBride
Date of Birth
Feb 23, 1971