Ever since I started following International soccer, after the 1994 World Cup, I’ve found myself diving years into curious groups. The year following a world cup is usually a rebuilding and coach-hiriing year for squads. Two years after is "half-way to the next cup" and a chance to read like tea lieaves the other quadrennial tournaments for signs of teams on the rise, old stars on their way out, and young emerging players. Three years after is one year before, do-or-die time for teams still in the hunt to qualify from their regions for THE Big Dance. Then we come full-circle to another World Cup year.
Thanks to the prospect of baseball at RFK next year, its unlikely that a qualifier will be played in Washington. If I want to see any of the games, I’ll have to travel.