Soccer….Family Style


Real Salt Lake….Game 1 of #MLSRoadtrip
July 28, 2012, 3:01 am
Filed under: Family Fun, Major League Soccer, Supporter Culture | Tags:

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We rolled into Salt Lake City later than we wanted, only to find out the game was an hour later than I thought (yay time zone change!) We got the info on the tailgate from Twitter via @RSLRoyalArmy and got waved into parking by the attendant impressed that we’d driven from Iowa for the game. We ended up parking next to a group of supporters that were having “LDS Singles Night” which entailed green jello shots (complete with carrot shreds!) and funeral potatoes with braiding each other’s hair replacing the usual kick around.

The tailgate ranged from that group, to Royal Army members, some Salt City Outlaws, to Salt City United, a group of tattooed group of supporters that seemed less than excited to talk with a not tattooed mom of two innocent looking blond children (little did they know…but more on that in another post). We found tickets, joined the Royal Army (because the answer to do you want a scarf for $25, or a scarf, patch, and RA membership for $25 is heck yes I’ll join the Army).

We went into the stadium, and the supporters section was divided up with the stage for Neil Diamond’s concert the next day. We started out sitting to the left of the stage with a group of season ticket holders that seemed nice…..too nice for us. As game time approached, we heard drums and trumpets from the other side of the stage, which was the only invitation my son needed to march on over and join La Barra, the Latino supporters.

The kids loved the atmosphere at Real Salt Lake. Between the two levels in the supporters section, there’s a terrace where kids from all over could run around and play. Both my kids found children to chase around or make confetti with, in between dancing to the constant music from Barra and spinning through the smoke bombs.

While the kids were excited to participate in the festivities, I was excited to have two USMNT players on the pitch, Jay DeMerit for Whitecaps and Kyle Beckerman for Real, or as the kids know them, “that guy from the movie (Rise and Shine)” and “the Jewish player.” I do appreciate having players for the kids to look up to, and since they live in a smaller city soccer-wise and they’re Jewish, we couldn’t have picked a better match to kick off the MLS Roadtrip, role model wise. Cap off the night with a 2-1 win for the home squad and I would call this an entirely successful trip.

The only downside is in order to make Portland in time for the next day game, we had to drive on right after the match. If there’s one thing we’ve learned at this point in the road trip, it’s that we could spend way more time than we have meeting up with all the great soccer fans along the road. Next up: Portland (or bust).

 

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