Fans' View

Fans’ View: Good times on the road

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’m always up for a road trip. Fortunately, I’m also blessed with a family who humors me.

On Memorial Day weekend, the youngest was playing in the Ukrainian National tournament (a perennial favorite due to the tasty Ukrainian beer in the clubhouse), so the eldest and I decided to head up to Boston for a history tour weekend.

After spending hours wandering the Freedom Trail during the day, I asked him if he had any thoughts for our evening hours. After getting that blank teenage stare as a response, I decided I would choose the entertainment.

You get one guess as to my pick.

Yep, off we went to Gillette Stadium to watch an “epic” battle between the first and second place teams in the East. That’s right, fellow Union fans, I have actually seen DC united play three times in the past three weeks. Brutal.

It was the first time I’ve chosen to go to a MLS match that didn’t involve the Union, or a team I cared about, since my engagement party in 1996 at the Cotton Bowl, where we watched the Dallas Burn play.

It was nice to sit back, relax, and not really care who won or lost at Gillette Stadium. I got the result I wanted, a tie, and the best part was we left early to miss the traffic.

A couple of observations about watching a game at Gillette Stadium. First, the obvious: PPL is a palace in comparison. I feel so sorry for fans of teams that are stuck watching soccer in a NFL stadium. Secondly, though the supporter section seemed small, they did have Minutemen who shoot muskets when they score. Not DOOP, but at least its something entertaining.

This past weekend, I threw the youngest in the car and off we went to DC to watch the Union play United. This trip was a little different. For the first time, rather than sit with the traveling support, I was watching a Union match with — gasp! — fans of the opposing team.

And it was a blast!

Granted, they were good friends who are no where near as passionate about DC as I am about the Union, which is probably why we had such a great time. They had never tailgated before, so we got there early, had our hoagies, a few cold beers, and traded Peace Corps stories.

Entering RFK was a time warp. I watched my first soccer game ever in that stadium during the 1994 World Cup. Even though they’re our rivals, I pity the United fans trying to watch a match in that stadium. It’s such a funky shape and many of the seats are far away from the pitch. The player benches look like something my high school football team uses.

My highlights included Le Toux scoring and saluting the SOB section. The fact that somehow, even though I was with United fans, there were an amazing number of Union shirts in my section — including Ray Gaddis’ cousin and Zach Pfeffer’s mom. The tiniest little boy, chanting “DC United – clap-clap-clap-clap-clap” who actually managed to get the entire side of the stadium chanting with him! And even though I had to wait in line forever, I got one of my favorite foods, pupusas (a thick corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and grilled,a Salvadoran treat), which are hard to find in Lansdale.

The scariest moment was after the game walking back to the car with our friends. To get to the lot you go into a tunnel under a road. Of course, the DC fans start chanting “DC United.” And, of course, my child — in true SOB form — yelled “SUCKS.” Thankfully, nobody seemed to notice.

I’ve got plans for meeting up with friends for games in Denver, Chicago, and Orlando.

Think you guys could find me friends in Seattle, Toronto, and LA who would be willing to put up with me and my young child with a big mouth?


  1. Lucky lucky lucky. I have yet to make a road trip. Every year I say I’m doing it, and every year LIFE gets in the way. Haha. One of these days…

  2. alicat215 says:

    DENVER!!!!!!!! That would be a fun trip! Lol! Tell me how my driving is man?…….I think we’re parked dude! When’s the match…..yesterday? Shit!

  3. Jim Presti says:

    Staci, try Joshua’s Pizza off Broad Street in Lansdale. For some odd reason, they have pretty good Central American food. Go figure.

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