Although spurned by Saudi Arabia's soccer team, Catonsville Community College may still be in the World Cup picture as a training site.
"We may get a second-round team in the June 26 to July 2 slot," said Brian Farrell, Catonsville's assistant athletic director in charge of camps and special projects. "It would be good exposure for the college."
After more than six months of planning and negotiations, Saudi Arabia was scheduled to began training at Catonsville this week. But the Saudis backed out, and will train Thursday and Friday at Georgetown University in Washington in preparation for their first-round game Monday against the Netherlands.
"They like the city atmosphere and proximity to RFK Stadium, where some World Cup games will be played," Farrell said. "Georgetown has a different field layout and enclosure and different grass than ours.
"They indicated some displeasure with our field. However, we had very few communications with the Saudis to learn what they did want. Most of what we got was through World Cup interpreters."
Farrell said the school spent $4,000 to get the facilities ready and to plan security.
CCC expects to recover all of that expense through what Farrell calls a "binding rental agreement with the World Cup" that is in effect even if no team uses the facility.