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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2009

Soccer: Organizers hope U.S. win boosts World Cup ticket sales


CHRIS LEHOURITES
AP Sports Writer

JOHANNESBURG South African organizers of the 2010 World Cup hope the United States' upset victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup will boost American ticket sales for next year's tournament.

Danny Jordaan, head of the organizers, said last month that 93,300 tickets for the World Cup had already been sold to U.S. residents. That's the most overall tickets sold to any nation other than the host.

The Americans were eliminated in the first round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. And after losing to world champion Italy and South American champion Brazil in the Confederations Cup, an eight-nation World Cup warmup, they were on the verge of being knocked out.

But they beat Egypt 3-0 to reach the semifinals, beating out Italy on the second tiebreaker, then shocked European champion Spain 2-0 Wednesday to reach the final. Spain had won a record 15 consecutive games and had tied the record with a 35-match unbeaten streak.

"That's also going to be a major boost, I'm sure, for ticketing sales for next year," organizing committee spokesman Jermaine Craig said Thursday

The United States, trying to reach its sixth straight World Cup, is second in the North and Central American and Caribbean region halfway through the final round of qualifying, which resumes Aug. 12. The top three teams in the six-nation group qualify, and the No. 4 team goes to a playoff.

"Let's say for the U.S. and for football in the U.S., probably this result can impact on the development of soccer football in the United States," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said. "Soccer has been developing in the U.S. for years and years, and probably a result like last night can only help. If it will have an impact on ticketing for 2010, it's probably a bit too soon to anticipate on that."