Team USA is playing today in the soccer World Cup in Brazil. Do you have any funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?
While I don’t care much that the United States is taking on Portugal later today, I am a fan of soccer and have been attentively following the World Cup (for instance, does Ronaldo play and risk his career?).
And sure it’s true I wish that Canada was playing in the group stage instead of watching on TV like me. It’s important to note I take refuge in knowing that the Whitecaps FC are back in action this week.
So it makes sense my favourite soccer-related memory is their friendly against Manchester City FC a few seasons back.
In their inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season, the Whitecaps FC found themselves playing in a temporary stadium against much tougher sides and suffice to say, losses were more plentiful than wins. Whether or not this played into their decision-making process, the organization announced early on they had arranged a friendly against the touring Manchester City FC and suffice to say I was coloured purple. Or pink. Or whatever excited people are coloured.
You see, prior to this match I’d only seen a handful of CONCACAF qualifying matches live and never had I been exposed to the stellar play of a side from the premiership. Sure I’d seen solid play on TV, but there is something lost when you’re at home and on the couch.
The match also provided me the opportunity to take my future (and now) father-in-law. Being from the old country, and a Liverpool supporter to boot, he viewed this as an opportunity to see a high quality side play some quality soccer and quite possibly lose – like heck a supporter of The Reds would look for a win from City. And me looking for a way to further connect with him, it gave us a chance to talk about the sport we both grew up with.
While the ‘Caps fell 2-1 to City, the energy in the stadium was electric. Whether this was due to the number of City supporters, or the belief the ‘Caps could pull out a win, the match was hard-fought and well-played (pitiful, soggy and temporary grass field aside). Yes,
Camilo he who shall not be named scored a deflected goal early to give the home side and the fans confidence. But even after City fought back to take a lead, no fan was found not to be urging the Whitecaps on.
What a wonderful experience. It’s been a shame the ‘Caps have not been successful at attracting another touring side in since.
It would be nice to have another memory or two.