My name is Kirsten Arpin, and I’ll be serving asthe MLSFemale Official Reporter for Sporting KC this season!
For the past year, I have been a full-time graduate student at the University of Central Missouri (Go Mules!) pursuing my Masters of Music in Wind Band Conducting, which could be jokingly described as ‘professional stick waving’. I received my bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Kansas, and I am a lifelong Jayhawks fan. I also like to play roller derby when I can.
My husband and I are both huge Sporting KC fans, and since he’s a Kansas State Wildcats fan, SKC is one of the teams we agree on! One of our favorite dates was the Wizards vs Manchester United games in Arrowhead Stadium in 2010. Once we moved to Kansas City from Manhattan, KS we attended as many Sporting games as possible, and at that point we were hooked.
After attending games where we could be seen sitting in seats all around the stadium, we decided to try out The Cauldron. That was the end of it – We joined The Cauldron immediately, and have never looked back. We’ve even gotten our dog Kevin in on the action, and now he goes by the aliases Dog Dwyer and Mutt Besler!
Sporting KC is an amazing team and organization. They have not only united the city to become the Soccer Capital of America, they also initiated The Victory Project, which works to help children who are fighting cancer or other health issues, socio-economic issues, or development issues. Sporting KC is not only a phenomenal club, but they are an inspiration to Kansas City and the people who call it home.
I am very excited to spend this season with you and to share all that is great about Sporting KC!
Hi there! My name is Robyn Saghini and I am an MLSFemale Official Reporter for Atlanta United FC. My love for soccer is in my blood. My dad grew up in Argentina and passed his love for the sport to me and my brother. I was on a team for one season when I was six years old, but I wasn’t very interested in playing. My brother started playing when he was four and never looked back, which meant I got dragged to games and tournaments all the time.
I grew up in New Jersey, so we were MetroStars (and later NYRB) fans. When we moved to Atlanta, my dad and I would get together on weekends and watch NYRB games when they were televised. For the last three years, I’ve been slowly backing away from NYRB and finally ended that relationship for good last October.
In 2011, Dad and I attended a pre-season MLS tournament just outside Atlanta. As we walked out of the stadium after the game, we were asked to sign a petition to bring an MLS team to Atlanta, which of course we did. A few years later, I saw a post about an MLS Cup Final watch party from the ATL Wants MLS Facebook page. Turns out the guy who started the petition was starting a supporters group for the new Atlanta MLS team he had heard some whispers about. I signed on immediately and became a co-founder of Terminus Legion, the first and largest supporters group for Atlanta United.
Over the last three and a half years, I’ve been working with TL and the Atlanta United front office to help spread the word about the team. I’ve spent hours on social media trying to convince whoever will listen that Atlanta is a soccer city.
With less than two weeks until the first regular season game for ATLUTD, there are almost 30,000 season tickets sold. Over 40,000 tickets have been sold for the home opener and it’s on track to be a sold out game. Once the tickets for the home opener at Mercedes Benz Stadium go on sale, I have no doubt they’ll sell out the entire stadium (over 70k seats).
Atlanta IS a soccer city. Atlanta United is our team. This is our time. #UniteAndConquer
My name is Sheba Rawson, and I’ll be writing about the Portland Timbers for MLSFemale this season. I’m a mom, an educator, and a member of the Timbers Army.
I’ve always loved sports. As a child growing up in the Bay Area, I attended pretty much every Stanford home football game until I graduated from high school; and I followed local pro football, baseball, and basketball teams. And as a young adult, I was lucky enough to participate in competitive sports myself, from track in high school to collegiate and women’s open ultimate. But I only really discovered soccer a little later in the game.
Back in 2004-5, my oldest son started playing club soccer. Besides the usual soccer mom learning curve (“explain offside to me one more time, please”), I was introduced to professional soccer. Bernie Fagan, who ran my son’s soccer club, used to play for the Portland Timbers back in NASL days in the early 80s. Bernie wisely gave all of his club’s players season tickets to the (USL) Timbers, knowing full well that we wouldn’t just drop off our ten-year-olds at the stadium. So we bought tickets for the whole family and started coming to games.
I was hooked almost immediately. In addition to the fast pace and excitement of the game, the Timbers had a VERY passionate group of supporters in the north end of the stadium. Even when the action on the field was disappointing, the action in the stands more than made up the difference. The Timbers Army chanted and sang nonstop, from before the game began until well after the game was over. Some crazy guy with a chainsaw was there, too: Timber Jim could sometimes be found dangling from the rafters on a rope line or climbing to the top of a REALLY tall spar pole in the south end in the middle of the match.
There was plenty of action on the field, of course. Scot Thompson was a stalwart on defense. Byron Alvarez was an electric forward. And Bryan Jordan, who was *maybe* 5’7” in his cleats, inspired my height-challenged son to believe that on the soccer field anything was possible, even for the not-so-tall among us.
As the Timbers made the move to MLS, I became more involved with the Timbers Army. Eventually I became a board member on the 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST), the nonprofit engine that fuels the Timbers Army. I’ll be happy to share more about that as we go along, if you’re interested. After family and work, it really is my second (third?) life and love.
I’ve been through some incredible ups and downs with the Timbers, from their USL days through their first six MLS seasons. And I look forward to sharing their seventh MLS year with you. I love the team and the game, and I’ll share the joys and sorrows of the season with you all. If you’re looking for keen insight into individual player roles and deep tactical analysis, I’m likely to disappoint you. But if you’re wanting to talk Timbers with a passionate fan with a little knowledge of the basics and a big love of the team and the game, I’m here for you.
Lastly, I want to offer a special welcome to female MLS fans who want to talk Timbers. As a woman who loves sports, I have tried–and usually failed–to find sports radio or TV that welcomes me to the conversation. One of the reasons I answered the call to write here is my constant complaint that very little room is made in sports media for female fans. I don’t think it’s on purpose, usually; but pro sports talk in this country most definitely has a male audience in mind most of the time. When this opportunity presented itself, I realized that if I wanted room in the sports world for female fans to be heard, I really should put up or shut up myself.
So, here I am, embarking on a new adventure with all of you. I have no idea where it will take us. But I’m looking forward to the ride.
(February 7) – I’m sitting in my front room trying to put into words how it felt to go to my first game. How it felt to get into this sport for the first time.
As an American, obviously the sport wasn’t a primary sport like football or baseball was expected to be in my life. Let me paint you a picture of me, right this very second, as I write this.
I am a (late) 20-something female, sitting in front of my computer. A wall of Real Salt Lake scarves (8 to be exact) covers the wall to my left, a RSL tank top draped over me, and in front of me, various RSL memorabilia. Nick Rimando and Javier Morales (sigh) bobble heads, past season ticket holder gifts decorating bookshelves from previous years, and me with a tab open hoping that I get the RSL 2017 kit reveal soon.
I think I may be a little obsessed. Like a weird crush you can’t quite shake that texts you ‘what are you doing’ 7 times a day.
I’m the fan that talks about the team as “we”. “We” just acquired Brooks Lennon. I hope “we” are going to have a better year. “Our” season is almost here. I am part of the team at this point.
Of course I don’t play. No way I could, I am NOT that active, or talented. But I sweat and bleed Claret and Cobalt at this point. I go to the games on Saturday nights and watch them live, get in the car on the way home and watch the highlights, and Sunday morning I rack the game back up again and replay it again to see what I missed.
I love this game.
There is a reason they call this the beautiful game. This is a magical place to be. The people I have met here, the fellow fans, including ones from other teams… the passion that we all share; it has been incredible. So how do I portray how I feel about this game?
I can’t. You have to show up to a game. You have to watch the fans faces when we score, or when we miss a goal (see how I say “we” again?). You have to see the feeling of completion or heartbreak or devastation. You have to feel how magic it is.
It’s what makes me have a huge grin on my face as I type this with less than 3 weeks away before opening day. I can’t wait.