Soccer….Family Style

Road Trip Report: DSM Menace in Open Cup vs Bavaria Soccer Club
May 18, 2012, 5:49 pm
Filed under: Family Fun, Supporter Culture | Tags: , , ,

There were moments when I thought I may have made a serious error in judgement driving to Milwaukee for Menace Soccer’s Open Cup game. Most of those moments involved storm clouds and unfavorable scoreboards, but ultimately, you can’t go wrong seeking adventure around a soccer pitch. 

The kids and I rolled into Milwaukee about an hour before game time, and seeing some pretty serious storm clouds and not yet having a hotel plan, we pulled into the nearest hotel to check availability….and walked in as the Menace players were walking out. My kids were awestruck, (as were most of the players, seeing visiting supporters) and my stock rose about 20 points, never a bad thing with hungry kids on the road. We checked out the Bavarian Soccer Park and ran into the referees, two of whom were former friends of mine from my serious refereeing days. We got the report that there would be a lightening delay, which was fine with my starving kiddos who did not find anything dinner-worthy at concessions. 

In addition at meeting my long time Twitter friend, Scott Viar (@BackSeatGaffer), we got to meet Karen, ticket taker extraordinaire, and her two kids who were close enough to my kids age to make the game an instant success with Junior Menace fans. I like any game where I get to sit with Menace owner Kyle Krause and GM Todd Meiners and talk about building a soccer stadium in Des Moines, running the Menace, getting to know the players…whatever. Let’s face it, as a soccer geek, it’s always fun to shoot the breeze with other soccer geeks. 

Enter my World Cup travel buddy, @Hoover_Dam, who noticed @PeterWilt1 posting about the Menace coach, and directed him to look for me. Allow me to clarify two things: my soccer geeking is pretty supporter focused, and I have a terrible memory for names. So all I knew about Peter Wilt was his Twitter profile, which states “i launch pro soccer teams and write.” Two of my favorite things! And really, I’m trying to watch a soccer game and keep track of two kids…I’m not going to Google him to find out which soccer teams, if you’re building soccer in America on any level, that’s good enough for me. 

So I ask Kyle if he knows where Peter Wilt is, and he points him out and says “Wonder what he’s doing here.” Now, I could have thought, “Hmm…Kyle Krause knows this guy…and he’s surprised he’s here” but I didn’t, because me goto is to be funny: “He heard I was going to be here on Twitter and wanted to meet me.” Kyle rolled his eyes and said “Yeah, right.”

Which made it so much more epic-ly awesome when Peter walked directly over at half time, hugged me and greeted “Hi Tanya!” Kinda glad I didn’t know that he was the founder of the Chicago Fire, Chicago Red Stars, and a hundred other amazing things, or I might have passed out either then, or certainly when he quoted my blog to me and wanted to meet my famous “yellow team” singing son. Because I get pretty excited when I hear that ANYONE reads this blog.

I got to spend the game shooting the breeze with so many really smart soccer people, I didn’t even mind the two rain delays, a sprinkler delay later, or what had to be a 20 degree temperature drop. Menace walked away with the overtime win. We’re going to need to play better on Tuesday against Minnesota, but for now, I’m pretty stoked about my new friends made and met in Milwaukee. I did finally Google Peter Wilt (when I returned home and my husband saw my Twitter feed and said “Is that THE Peter Wilt?”) And yes, my toes did finally warm up again. 

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