Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DC United

When it comes to soccer/futbol, J and I sure know how to pick 'em! Consider the last three games we've attended:
  • DC United vs. LA Galaxy: the game was tied by the home team on a controversial penalty kick with no time remaining on the clock
  • USA vs. Algeria: in the final game of group play, the U.S. scores in stoppage time to defeat Algeria and advance to the knockout round of the World Cup
  • USA vs. Slovenia: after falling down 0-2, the U.S. scores twice (and arguably a third time) late in the second half to salvage a tie
Whenever our team in any sport is losing, J's rosy prediction is that they will pull it out in "dramatic fashion." Clearly, in the case of soccer, she couldn't be more right.

We've talked about the United in a previous post, but now that we are World Cup veterans, how does the scene at RFK compare? The answer is, surprisingly well.

Obviously the stakes aren't as high and the level of play is not as sharp, but for a team that is rebuilding and a league that is still growing and establishing itself, Major League Soccer has a lot to offer.

As the United will readily point out, they are four-time MLS champions. Not bad when there have been only 15 MLS Cups awarded. This history of excellence has built a tremendously loyal and dedicated, not to mention vocal, fan base that sets the tone for the entire event. As avid college sports fans, this is something J and I very much appreciate. While we're not yet rabid enough to throw ourselves into the middle of the Screaming Eagles, we are drawn to United games for the energy they bring. It might not be the World Cup, but the commute sure is easier... especially if every game is guaranteed to end in dramatic fashion!

J Says

The Nationals have the flashy new stadium (with Shake Shack! coming soon) and the racing Presidents and Clint. The Caps have leather lunged fans, a central downtown location, and a winning team. The Wizards. . .well the Wizards just suck.

RFK Stadium isn't exactly new or in a hip neighborhood, but the DC United and their passionate fan base make the trip worth your while. When the play on the field is good, you don't need all the amenities to distract you. Soccer is fast-paced and who can resist joining in a rousing rendition of "Deeeeee Ceeeeee United!"

For pre-game dinner options, I recommend checking out the food trucks often parked in Lot 8 (check Twitter before the game) or grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants along Barracks Row (a few Metro stops away from the stadium at Eastern Market). Legend has it that Ben's Chili Bowl has a stand in RFK, but I wasn't able to confirm that on our last visit. If it's true, you can't go wrong with a half smoke.

Enjoy the game, and Let's Go DC!