Thursday, July 22, 2010

Philadelphia Union vs Manchester United

They’ll score while you pee!

- Young woman at the soccer game last night convincing a friend to postpone a bathroom run

On Wednesday night the Philadelphia Union played a friendly against Manchester United.  It was the first time I attended a soccer match and it was such an enjoyable time that I can’t wait to make it out to another one.  Philly is a football town, definitely not a futbol town, but there was enough interest to hold the game at Lincoln Financial Field, the stadium our Eagles call home.
Some observation from the night and suggestions:
1. Americans need to work on their cheers.  The two chants Union fans consistently raised up were “U.S.A.” and “Phi-la-delphia, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap.”  Then one fan was hit with a burst of creativity and offered up, “Man U Sucks!”  The Man Utd fans managed to come up with full songs!  Who cares if you couldn’t understand a word, you have to admire that commitment.  My suggestion to the Philadelphia Union organization and support groups is to take the music and beat from the Fresh Prince of Belair theme song  and revamp the lyrics.  It would be EPIC!  If you pay me some cash monies I would be willing to take a stab at it.
2. Shoot free stuff into the crowd.  People love free stuff.
3. It was really encouraging to see a diverse crowd enjoying the game.  I’ve been to hockey games and I certainly … stick out.  I get plenty of stares, though not unkind.  It’s just that it is rare to spot some caramel or chocolate in the sea of vanilla ice cream that is a hockey stadium.  At hockey games I feel very distinct, much like a unicorn must feel.  However at the match last night, there was so much color, and I’m not talking only about the jerseys.  I love, truly LOVE, when an event brings out people of various ethnic, socio-economic, age, and language backgrounds. 
Balding, wrinkled grandpops enjoying the game with their pimply, sullen grandchildren - simply a thing of beauty.  The loud Latino Manchester United fan with their arm around the loud white Philadelphia Union fan - how can you not smile at that?  Preppies and urbanites, Chinese and Dominican, people rich enough to buy water at the stadium and those that snuck their own in…I only wish more events created an environment where so many different kinds of people interacted.

4. Though they lost, I was impressed by the play of the Philadelphia Union, enough to make me want to attend additional games. I expected the score to be more lopsided, but losing 1-0 is respectable when facing a giant in the sport. And at least we can say our navy kits were much more attractive than the red and white they were rocking.

So if you’re looking for a reasonably affordable sporting event and want to support a local team from its infancy, check out a Philadelphia Union game. You'll have fun watching the game. You'll have fun watching the crowd.



ELM.K. said...

I wish I could have been there with you!!! It sounds like a blast. My favorite part was when you compared yourself to a unicorn. I love you, and your blog posts. They always make me smile!

Susan said...

Soccer crowds are such a fun sociological study. I bet you at a soccer game would be awesome.

I can't wait to hear about Uruguay. That is where Anthony Bourdain was traveling on the last episode of No Reservations and it reminded me of you.

Anonymous said...

lol, susan! You know Jon Tannennwald works with me, right? ha!


Susan said...

I forgot that you are Miss Philly sports! You should have seen Sheryl at the game. I was honestly worried she would run onto the pitch.