Sept. 28, 2012
By Charles Cuttone
One of the oldest and most famous rivalries in all of sports will see itself in a different setting this weekend, when Army and Navy's futbol teams face each other at PPL Park.
The Army-Navy football game is a rivalry that dates back more than 100 years, with more than 80 of those games, traditionally the final regular season college game of the season, played in Philadelphia. But this Sunday's game, hosted at the home of the Union, is the first ever at a neutral site for the soccer arm of the rivalry.
Make no mistake about it, even though the interest in the game doesn’t approach the level of its gridiron cousin, it is a big deal for the two schools.
"As an athlete, I didn’t experience it, because I didn't go to school here," said Army coach Russell Payne. "But as a member of the coaching staff, dealing with the athletes, what it feels like when you are not football, is like one of those local derbies that you get in any sport, but there is just a stronger tradition to it. There is more meaning to it.
"Regardless of whether or not its football, you still care more about this game," said Payne, who played his college ball at Maryland and is now in his third year coaching the Black Knights after a pro career in both Europe and MLS.
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