06 April 2008

Vamos United!

Sure it was an unevenly matched contest due to Toronto's early red-card, and with United being a superior team overall, but hell...

The match was seriously lacking in tension but screw tension: we needed bloody redemption.

Head Coach Tom Soehn and several players had commented that it'll take a while for the new mix of players to find their groove. The season opener and first CONCACAF leg against Pachuca both yielded disappointing losses for United. All valid excuses.

Thus, all eyes were on Gallardo and his mates for last night's home opener. And they delivered, bless 'em. It was looking like it would be a total shutout, but TFC slipped one in towards the end and a 4-1 victory for United sent the folks home with something to talk about.

In my recent post on Prince of Petworth, I mentioned the hassles of getting around town with a spouse on crutches. But here we finally got a bit of return on karma: An easy switch to the handicapped seats. A great view, and obviously, plenty of leg room. We got there early (hence all the empty seats in the pic above) and enjoyed the gathering mania.

Anyway. For true game details, the DC United recap is here. For my part, just a few weak photos with annotations:

(above) Sometime in the first half, after the first two United goals, it looked like several members of Barra Brava had spontaneously combusted... now THERE'S an enthusiastic support club.

(above) Speaking of Barra Brava, they went typically insane during the halftime break, roaring over the concession stands, deflating beers and pulverizing hotdogs with their mighty noise. All shouts and drums and flags and bodies flying in the corridors...

51 minutes in, the Toronto goalkeeper's mind is shattered when United scores for the third time. Throughout the game, his gestures and body-language made his disappointment very clear. He was all waving fists and woe-is-me... And that's fair enough. His team seemed strangely absent for much of the match.

...and the home fans rejoice...

Watching Barra Brava and the other support clubs was almost as much fun as watching the slaughter on the pitch. I'd prefer a closer match, but for this, a slaughter will do nicely.

This was my first home-match attendance, and the spirit of the fans was inspiring. I think of the Orioles fans at Camden Yards, and laugh... The baseball crowd in Baltimore is like a damned funeral scene compared to this joyful madness.

But wait: I'd heard there was one lonely Guinness vendor at RFK. So where the hell was he? I circled the place a few times and couldn't find that heavenly elixir anywhere. And I'm sorry mates, "Miller Lite" is not an option. I'd rather drink the blood of Canadians. And we did.

AND, in the process, I may have made a new DCU fan out of the missus. Will wonders never cease?!?


Goose said...

Glad you enjoyed your first home game. Especially glad you enjoyed the atmosphere.

Apparently the Guinness stand has been MIA since the Nationals left, a lot of people are pissed about it. Not me though, I do all my drinking at the barra tailgate before I go in. :) You should come by and have a few next time.

IntangibleArts said...

Thanks for confirming my fears, Goose: no Guinness to be had in there; eh....

I'm sure I'll find you guys at Thursday's match v.Columbus. We're sitting on your side this time. Gotta show The Faithful out in ESPN2-land what's what!