Fans' View

Fans’ View: My new opening day

Photo: Earl Gardner

Author’s Note: I’m once again writing from Dallas, though I really did come home after the Iber Cup. This also means I missed my fourth straight home game this week.


I’ve been away for a little while, both from Fans’ View and equally as important, from Talen Energy Stadium. A work trip is costing me my fourth straight home game, and while I’m not happy about this scenario, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that our Union have now taken on the look of world beaters while I’ve been removed. The good news is I’ll be back to tailgate, support, and catch all of the action this coming Saturday against Colorado. If something goes horribly wrong on the field that night, I’ll really be facing an internal struggle – it’s not lost on me that this new found form kicked off while I had other commitments!

There was plenty of negativity surrounding this team during the first month and half or so of the season, and now that we’re moving up in the power rankings and will even end the week with an above “.500” record including the match against D.C., I’m mostly thinking about things I’m looking forward to for my new opening day on Saturday. Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Tailgating – A gimme. No matter what form the team is in, this is always a happy place. Give me friends, family, cornhole, and a few cold ones, and we’re off to a good start.
  •  Food trucks – A great addition to the game day experience, as it’s a known rule that food trucks make virtually everything better.
  •  The Black Bethlehem Steel Throwback jerseys – I’ve always had and enjoyed whatever the navy blue home jersey of the moment has been, but those black jerseys are the best. Glad to see them come back, no matter how long they stick around.
  • Medunjanin – I get that he’s not the classic #6 destroyer type, though he did show much more defensive mettle against D.C. United. One of the most beautiful things to watch in soccer is a guy who can perfectly thread a pass to a teammate in space or pick out a well-timed switch to relieve pressure and send the team up on the attack. I appreciate hard work and energy, but I want to be wowed by creativity, vision, and skill. This man brings it. And he serves up a sweetly dangerous free kick. More please.
  • C.J. Sapong – How can you not route for this player? He’s a beast with a larger than life personality and a tank full of energy. It’s great to see him in such good form, despite taking a ridiculous pounding (Union record for most times fouled in a game? Check.) every single game.
  • Veteran Leadership Returning? – This seemed like a big question mark to start the season. It might have an answer now. I admire Bedoya’s fire and candidness, and I suspect that he’s stepping into the role more and more. Making sure Sapong was the penalty kick taker against Red Bulls is a solid, even if slightly obvious, example of stepping in and leading. I imagine now that he’s settled into a role that suits him and he’s playing well, that leadership becomes much easier to take on with this team. I was thrilled to see Oguchi Onyewu’s quotes last week after scoring his first MLS goal. I imagine that as he continues to integrate himself into the team, that he’s another source of leadership.
  • Winning – That winless streak was soul sucking. Losing begets losing. It feels good to be back on the right side of things, even if I’ve only experienced it on TV lately. I’m very hopeful that we’ll be dooping again on Saturday (I’ve missed a lot of Doops between the Montreal game and the Red Bulls), and if this doesn’t work out as planned, I recognize I may be taking another four game hiatus to make things right.

C’mon the U!


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    No article shall go unread.
    I did my Opening Day yesterday after almost 18 months since a game: keepy-uppy, grill, sausage, peppers onions, good german mustard, familiar faces from the past, emerging friendships in the present… did I mention Coca Cola……everything is better with a Coca Cola on ice in a 90 degree day. SOLID.
    Nothing like seeing the whole field. Every other professional game is either linear or on a space small enough to see nearly all the participants. Footy…. footy needs live viewing to see the dimensions of space and movement away from the action to totally appreciate. Love watching it live.
    Welcome back… here’s hoping for a point or three to take the heat off you.

    • I agree! Can’t wait to get back in there live.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I’ll disagree with part of your statement. Hockey suffers some of the same issues with significant things that happen off screen from the TV broadcast.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Fair…. my point lies mainly with having no idea where the defenders are when your team is in possession upfield.

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