WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Saturday Erica and I went to our first DC United match. It was a fun experience, despite the poor showing of the home side. They lost to the L.A. Galaxy, 5-2.
Not only was this my first MLS match, it was the first team I had ever been to see organized soccer, other than a few trips to see family members play in the 1980s. I never played it either, which puts me in the 0.00001th percentile of Northern Virginia kids. I went in completely ignorant of just about all aspects of the game umother than each squad tries to score by getting the ball in into the other team’s goal.
We arrived a little late, I did not take into account Metro taking a little longer since it was the weekend, the fellow in front of me buying over $600 worth of tickets or the surly ticket taker. The upshot of all this is when we got to our seats in 427 L.A. had already taken a 1-0 lead. DC stormed back and tied it and appeared to be playing hard. However, that was short-lived with L.A. getting another goal. It seemed to take the wind of United’s sails. The second half was pretty brutal for the home team — I think the fifth goal by L.A. reminded me of an empty-netter in hockey given how late it was in the match. Nevertheless, it was fun though I am still a blank canvas when it comes to soccer and next season I want to go with a knowledgeable fan sometime who can spoon-feed me the sport.
Some other observations:
- Great atmosphere — the crowd was into it and loud well into the second half even when it was becoming apparent that it was not DC’s night. I like all the cheers and chants, though I want to sit in a different section next time because the bass drum in the corner was a bit much after a while. I’m not saying I don’t respect it, but given that I was exhausted from biking and swimming, I was not in the optimal mood for it. One HUGE plus was the absence of music piped in over the speakers.
- L.A.’s Landon Donovan is really easy to hate. He’s arrogant and enjoys the villain role. Of course, if he were on my team, I’d probably love him.
- Apparently, Donovan WAS on my team — US Soccer in the World Cup and was shutout.
- It was not as weird seeing RFK reconfigured as I thought it would be.
- I don’t know if it is a typical occurrence, but seeing two players taken off the field on stretchers made me respect the sport more. It was so old-school.
- The gameplay was faster than I thought it would be, for some reason I thought the pace would be slower.
- I don’t like the two-tone nets.
- It was quite nice to see the stands bouncing, it has been a long time since that happened at a Nats game.
- United needs to wear black shoes.
- I liked sitting behind the goal.
I’m interested in going to another match next season, and actually learning more about the sport.