Fans' View

Fans’ View: To be a Union fan

Photo: 215pix

To be a Union fan is to expect heartbreak and a little bit of magic.

I should know this. I am a twelve-year-old Philadelphia Union super fan who has supported the Union for as long as I can remember.

First, the heartbreak.

They seem to give up and make crucial mistakes. For example, when they played the Montreal Impact last season, they had a three-nil lead going into halftime, only to concede a goal right before the half and give up two late goals at the end of the game. Not to mention, they were at home, where they had home field advantage and fans cheering them on – including me.

The atmosphere was great, but you could hear a pin drop after Montreal tied the game. When I left the game, I felt disappointed and started criticizing them on all their flaws hoping this would be the last time. During the recent Suncoast Invitational Tournament, the Union faced D.C. United in Florida. Once again, they showed their old self by losing, even though they could have won or at the very least tied. Again, even though it was a preseason game, I couldn’t help but feel let down.

It is hard to completely blame the players. The coaching staff at times has also come up short. Poorly timed substitutions, limited formations, and lack of sideline emotion can result in upsetting outcomes.

But then there is the magic.

Sometimes the Union is the best team to support. They can win big. When they played Orlando City in the last game of last season, they came out sharp and focused and pounced on the mistakes Orlando made. Watching it from our seats, I was thrilled with their performance. I only wish they had done it earlier that season.

Another reason I can’t stop supporting the Union is their accessibility. I have had many opportunities to meet the Union players over the years. My dad, sister, and I go to the Meet the Team event each year to get the Union players’ autographs. When I did a Union camp, we got to explore Talen Energy Stadium, go on the field and into the locker room, and play with three of the players. At the last game of last season, we were able to go on the field and meet the players. I also had the opportunity to play on the field at half-time. Most recently, my dad and I went to the airport to welcome the newest member of the boys in blue, “King David,” David Accam. My mom even told me how to say welcome in Twi (a Ghanaian language). All of this makes me feel like a true supporter.

As the new season is about to start, I can’t wait to walk through the outdoor activities, into the Union shop (to get the newest “Doop Hoops” jersey), and up to our regular seats. I want to eat my cheese curds and feel the buzz of excitements when the Union players walk onto the field. I want to go to more away games and root for my team in enemy territory.

Although the underdog Union can let me down, and I cannot help but criticize them from time to time, I cannot stop supporting them through the good times and the bad. That is what it means to me to be a true fan.

Let’s hope that this season we doop more than droop!


  1. Wow…I wish I could write this well. Incredibly real and a great way to bring the view of the side that many of us here don’t always know. Reading this truly made me feel optimistic this Friday morning. Kudos to you.

  2. Do your thing, Brecher. This is good stuff!

  3. Well done Sir. Well done. For all those who mock the younger generations, this gentle soul, and those kids in Florida, are here to throw it back in your face. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  4. Great article, Benjamin! Hope you get to Doop a lot this year with the new Union!!

  5. Good read, Benjamin. I definitely sympathize with everything you said

  6. Vagabond Ben says:

    Well done, Benjamin!

  7. yeah I think this pretty much sums it up

  8. Excellent job Benjamin!! Two nice surprises in a week!! The on field youth movement,now the PSP youth movement! Keep up the fine work! Hope to read more from you in the future!!

  9. el Pachyderm says:

    Carry on. You have my attention. Excellent.

  10. Zizouisgod says:

    Very well done, Benjamin. Let’s hope that this year is when our collective faith is finally rewarded.

  11. Michael Brecher says:

    As grandparents, we think you are the greatest but we give you kudos with your article.
    Way to go Benjamin!!

  12. david shobin says:

    Out of the mouth of babes? Hardly. Ben writes as if he’s prepping for masters-level journalism courses.

  13. Spot on, Benjamin. Great article!

  14. Phil Narozanick says:

    Way to go Ben, never give up and never lose faith!

  15. OneManWolfpack says:

    Good stuff Ben!! Keep the faith! More doop than droop… I like that.

  16. “But then there is the magic.”
    That’s what keeps us coming back for more!!
    Great write-up Ben!

  17. Ben, dude absolute gem here, I think you may have already found your career. I hope I can read more soon keep up the good work.

  18. David Byala aka PA says:

    B-man, You are a natural writer like your mother and father. Keep up the good work and the soccer. You will go far and P and I are really proud of you.

  19. Not too many 12-year-olds write this well, my man. You have summed up both the beauty and the agony of Union fanhood in a most lovely fashion, and very succinctly too. Excellent work!

  20. David Maeir Epstein says:

    Dear Benjamin,

    The Good Neighbors Project of Abu Tor in Jerusalem is excited to know that we will be your partner in advancing co-existance between Israelis and Palestinians playing soccer on the same teams. We’ll be reading your blog, rooting for the Philadelphia Union and looking forward to your visit in December!

  21. I know that this is a late entry, but I had to respond. I wondered why there is a random picture of the singing of the national anthem at the beginning of your article, but I let it go. I’m guessing that you are one of the kids in the picture, Benjamin. Makes sense now. Then, as I read your article, I honestly thought that it was meant to be a nostalgia piece, as if you were writing as a 12-year-old. I finished your article, saw the picture, and, nope…twelve years old. Unbelievable. You are an excellent writer and summed up what many of us feel about the Union better than I ever could. Please keep writing. You are very talented.

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