Category Archives: Western Conference

Western Conference

When real life gets in the way…

Official Sporting Kansas City Reporter

By Kirsten Arpin @Kirsten_Hoogs

This was my matchday in a nutshell. As I mentioned in my “About Me” article I am a Graduate Student at the University of Central Missouri (UCM). Part of my job is to run the UCM Pep Band for basketball games. This is normally not an issue and a super fun part of my life, but this time it got in the way. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams, the Mules and the Jennies, were playing in the MIAA Conference Basketball Tournament in KC this weekend, and I had two games on Saturday. The Mules played at Noon, and the Jennies played at…you guessed it…6:00pm, AKA gametime.

Bass Drum courtesy Kirsten Arpin

My husband was lucky enough to get to No Other Pub, our Sporting KC bar in the Power & Light District, to watch the game with members of The Cauldron who didn’t make the trip up to DC. *Side note: Great job to The Cauldron and SKC for having the most traveling fans of any MLS team by far this week! Anyway, my husband was at No Other Pub and kept sending me updates by text, when he remembered. Here is the extent of my gametime commentary:

“Medranda starting as attacking mid, Zus right back”

“Gerso is contributing a lot”

“Melia saved a pen”

and that was it…please note his lack of punctuation. All of these things happened before 17 minutes on the clock. The lack of communication may have been helped out by the $30 unlimited burgers, wings, and beer at the watch party.

So, here are my thoughts from watching the game and highlights, and listening to interviews after the fact.

Seth image courtesy: Kirsten Arpin

Sporting KC’s starting XI has gone through some changes since last year with the retirement of Paulo Nagamura and Brad Davis and Jacob Peterson being signed away by Atlanta United. Last year we also had a crazy defensive rotation that was forced by injuries. Hopefully this season we see a stabilized line up with Captain Matt Besler, a healthy Seth Sinovic and Ike Opara, and utility man Graham Zusi.

One of SKC’s immediate needs was to get Dom Dwyer some help up front. The answer for this first game was the addition of Gerso Fernandes and Jimmy Medranda on the wings with Benny Feilhaber and Roger Espinoza at attacking mid. Gerso has previously played in Portugal, and he made an impact right off the bat. Not only is he fast, but there was a play late in the game where he made a crazy shot from right inside the box. It would have been perfect if he had been another 10-15 yards out.

The player of the game definitely goes to Tim Melia. This may have been the hardest I have seen anyone work for a clean sheet. Shots seemed to come in flurries, and there was no relaxing in goal. Timmy also had some assistance from his teammates with Jimmy and Dom providing huge goal-saving headers in the 66th minute. Tim’s heroics in no way diminish the show put on by DC’s Bill Hamid. Dom, Benny, Gerso, and Jimmy all had some legitimate chances, and Bill was on fire, so props to Bill!

Storm image courtesy: Kirsten Arpin

Though it was freezing out, manager Peter Vermes chose to keep all 11 starters in for the full 90 minutes. I don’t think this was detrimental to the team’s performance though, because the guys were still playing strong at the end of the game. It seemed like DC United was bunkering down in the last ten minutes, and SKC was still making chances literally up until the final whistle.

Some things I’m curious to see coming up this season are how Jimmy and Zus are utilized, Latif Blessing…period, and the return of Soony Saad. Blessing may prove to be one of the fastest players in the MLS, and he was the leading goal scorer in Ghana’s premier league last year. Look for him to get worked into the line-up soon. Soony’s return is also a big point of interest, because him and Dom have had such great chemistry on the front line in the past.

This week is the home opener at Children’s Mercy Park, and there’s supposed to be freezing rain…welcome to Kansas City.

Oh, and by the way, the Jennies lost…

*The Tuesday before the game SKC hosted a preseason kickoff party, and that was the best time! We got to meet a few players, and play drums in the fan march through downtown KC! I was on Dom Dwyer’s insta story, so that was pretty awesome.

Featured image courtesy: Kirsten Arpin

Come chat with me on twitter: @Kirsten_Hoogs

Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. Philadelphia Union

Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Christy Casas @nkstar9

While other outlets are calling the Vancouver Whitecaps’ season opener against the Philadelphia Union snoozefest, I am calling it an opportunity to learn. Coming off an emotional win in the CONCACAF Champions League just 4 days prior, the starting nine was different and so was the momentum.

One big change was seeing the likes of Christian Dean in the starting IX. Dean, was out for the entirety of the 2016 season due to two back-to-back injuries and having his father pass away. Dean’s performance was solid despite not having a start in the MLS in 555 days and perfectly in step with Tim Parker in which together, they kept the Philadelphia Union’s offence at bay.

We also saw Cristian Techera and Erik Hurtado back in action. Though, the middle seemed stifled by the amount of long balls being sent by defensive players. The length of the field wasn’t fully utilized. This excluded the speed and talent of Alphonso Davies.

Davies delighted fans during CONCACAF Champions League, scored the goal to send the Whitecaps to the quarter-final and the first goal to propel the club into the tournament Semi-final. Remember Davies is just 16 years old and seems to be adding a much needed energy to the team.

Last, but not least, I noticed that Brek Shea and Fredy Montero, when subbed-on during the second half, acted as a catalyst to breathe some life into the somewhat flat-footed Whitecaps.

More than ever, it’s time to #riseupraincity

Featured image courtesy: Vancouver Whitecaps FC facebook

Come chat with me on twitter: @nkstar9

A Beautiful Day for The Beautiful Game

Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich @heyambrosia

It was a beautiful day for a home opener in Sandy, Utah, that’s for sure. It was 55 degrees, a home brew festival was going strong ($5 got you an awesome pint glass and the ability to try home brewed beer made by the locals. What a way to start the day.), and even with the chill in the air, the VERY strong wind (that would ultimately affect that first 20 minutes or so of game play while the teams got used to the breeze), and the issues with our new ticketing system, we couldn’t hold still for the life of us. It was match day.

There was an audible buzz from the tailgate lot just north of the stadium, where most supporter groups for Real Salt Lake gather before the game. Section 26, RCB, SCU, La Barra Real, and many other supporters were all smiles and laughs as we waited for the game to start. Everywhere you looked people were hugging each other hello after months of not being in their favorite place: The RioT.

It has been a pretty big upheaval during this offseason. Some of our best players have left to other teams or retired, our backup keeper Jeff Attinella was chosen in the MLS Expansion Draft, and a few other players that we had gotten used to having around weren’t renewed for another year. In their place came a much younger crowd of players, some from RSL’s own academy (we now have 7 homegrown players on our team this year), Brooks Lennon from Liverpool FC, Albert Rusnak from FC Groningen who has done marvelous in the offseason, and we have Jeff Cassar for another year, at least.  A bit of a nerve-wracking start for any RSL fan, but once it was time, we all went in as quickly as we could.

All in all, we came away with a draw, 0-0 against Toronto FC. Possession was right down the middle, 50/50 with a lot of blocked shots by RSL and a penalty kick save in the 30th minute from the Wall of the Wasatch, Nick Rimando, which makes this his 130th shutout. Three players made their RSL debut this game, Albert Rusnak starting off with the team and Ricardo Velasco being subbed in for Jordan Allen at the  87th minute as well as Chad Barrett subbing in for Yura Movsisyan at the 69th minute of play.

Seven yellow cards were given this game, 3 for RSL and 4 for Toronto FC, with ranges from Dissent to Unsporting Behavior. One landed a PK for Sebastian Giovinco who now knows that PK’s aren’t worth breaking a sweat for Nick Rimando.

19,519 were in attendance for this home opener, and I can safely say this was an encouraging performance from RSL. Great job out there, boys. We’ll see you next week against Chicago Fire!

Featured image courtesy: Ambrosia Tonkovich

Come chat with me on twitter: @heyambrosia

Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders Game Recap

Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

“The Seattle Sounders had less than a 3 month offseason”, is the apparent and obvious excuse for the team’s loss Saturday against the Houston Dynamo. The Sounders opened in Houston on Saturday evening. It didn’t go as hoped for the reigning MLS Champions- the team lost 2-1. By the end of the first half it was 2-0 in the Dynamo’s favor. Things weren’t looking good for the Sounders.

The Sounders lined up in a 4-2-3-1 with MLS Cup hero Stefan Frei as goalie, Gustav Svensson as right back and Joevin Jones as left back. The big guys, Roman Torres and Chad Marshall played at center backs.

Ozzie Alonso wore the captain’s armband and started as center mid along with Cristian Roldan. Over the course of the 2016 season, the two developed a dynamic partnership that will hopefully continue, and get stronger, over the course of the 2017 season.

 Alvaro Fernandez and Nico Lodeiro started as right and left mids, respectively, and Clint Dempsey returned to MLS play after being sidelined with an irregular heartbeat last August. He played at attacking mid. Jordan Morris, 2016 rookie of the year, started as forward, like he did much of last season.

Frei had several good saves early but Houston took the lead on a free kick by Erick Torres just outside the box. Torres got the ball up and over the wall and sent it into the back of the net. 1-0. The Dynamo scored their second goal on a beautiful bending shot by Romell Quioto.

The Sounders got one back in the second half on a goal by the one and only Clint Dempsey in the 58th minute. The goal came from Joevin Jones sending in a cross, Jordan Morris tried to hit it in, missed, and caused the ball to come loose in the box. Dempsey reacted quickly and sent the ball into the net.

Houston applied lots of pressure in the first half then their intensity dropped off in the second half.  The Sounders kept control of the ball better in the second half and looked more like their Championship winning team. Jones had several good and dangerous crosses and Morris had a great run in the 77th minute.

Brian Schmetzer said that it was a “good learning tool” for the Sounders. The locker room was quiet; Morris remarked in his post-game interview that no one likes to lose. The Sounders will play again Saturday in Montreal. 5 of their first 7 games are on the road.

Featured image of Clint Dempsey courtesy: @SoundersFC

Chat with me in the comments section

Team. Town. Timbers Army.

Official Portland Timbers Reporter
Official Portland Timbers Reporter

By Sheba Rawson @shebainpdx

It is impossible to sum up the events surrounding this weekend’s opening MLS game – Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United FC, but I’m going to try anyway. Here goes:

Team

Now that it’s in the books, I’ll be honest, I was excited but a little nervous for the season opener. In the leadup, I was worried about our opener turning into a trap game. Pretty much everyone I talked to beforehand expected us to crush the expansion side, MNUFC, like bugs. As a Timbers supporter, of course, I had heard this story before (see, for example, Cal FC and Hollywood United), and had a grim appreciation for a surprise ending. Fortunately, my fears were unfounded.

As it turned out, it was a perfect way to open the season. The Timbers’ 5-1 victory over Minnesota United FC on Friday delivered on the promise of the preseason and then some. New additions David Guzmán & Sebastian Blanco had particularly auspicious MLS debuts. (My new nickname for Guzmán is Tenacious D.) And Blanco–oh my. He runs, everywhere, on both sides of the ball, and fast. I haven’t seen his heat map yet from Friday but it is probably a field-sized red rectangle. He plays smartly, simply, and quickly. And when the offense is moving, he is mentally a step ahead. As soon as Blanco knows that a ball is about to be sent his way, you can almost see him instantly calculating all available options for the next ball, more than ready for the quick one touch and on the run again.

The whole front four was as entertaining as advertised. Diego Valeri made mincemeat of MNUFC’s middle. He started the second half with a graceful header fed by Blanco that included a beautiful buildup by Alvas Powell and Fanendo Adi; and even though John Alvbage guessed correctly on the penalty, he was unable to stop Valeri’s clinical shot slotted to the lower left corner. Adi’s calm footwork up top was not only poetry, it directly led to his bagging two goals in stoppage time.

Darlington Nagbe and Blanco shredded MNUFC’s defense out wide. Nagbe dominated the left side, blowing past defenders without seeming to break a sweat. There were too many moments to love in this beatdown for me to list them all. If the front four plays like this every week, we might be in for a heck of a ride this year. It will be interesting to see how the team handles a challenging defensive line, though; I hardly think that e.g. a Nagbe-Taylor matchup is a fair predictor of our wing play overall this year.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lawrence Olum’s score to open the bank for the Timbers this season. Welcome back, Larry. I genuinely worry about that CB spot, but not only were you not terrible, you hustled. Thanks for holding down the fort until the next new Spinal Tap drummer–er, I mean Timbers starting center back–joins the squad.

Town

One of the things I love about the Timbers Army and its nonprofit arm, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST), is that we take the positive energy directed at supporting our boys on the field and direct it to good work in the community. This Saturday marked the first day of futsal practice for a group of immigrant and refugee teens` sponsored by 107IST. Thanks to 107IST support, these recently arrived teens from countries throughout Africa and South Asia now have a regular, safe place to hold soccer practices.

Timbers Army fans donated preseason tickets to allow thirty IRCO teens and family members to attend. And 107IST member dues have now also paid for the teens’ futsal fees for March and April. A Timbers Army volunteer who works with the teens told me that Saturday’s futsal practice was the first time in a long time he’d seen his immigrant teen mentee smile and just be a happy kid. ❤

Timbers Army

I love our supporters. So many work so hard to make sure that the match day atmosphere is second to none. That Bob Ross tifo? I don’t even know how WE’LL follow that one. And the front stand banners included an Arabic saying of Syrian origin (“When Danger Approaches, Sing To It”) as well as a “Spread The Love” banner in Arabic in the second half. Timbers Army supporters make their love for the more vulnerable among us evident, both in the community and in the stands.

And speaking of supporters, major props to MNUFC supporters, Dark Clouds and True North Elite. At least 150 supporters came out to stand and sing for Minnesota’s first MLS match on Friday, and we tried to treat them right. We invited them to our preseason opening party, including a chant off, on Thursday; and we hosted futsal pickup for both Timbers and MNUFC supporters on Saturday. Our love of beards, microbrews, politeness and bad weather probably binds us together more than we care to admit.

At the end of the afternoon on Saturday, the Africa House teens finished their practice and joined the Portland/Minnesota supporters for a joint scrimmage across two fields. It was absolutely beautiful.

I’ve had my share of soccer weekends, good, bad, and ugly. This one ranks among the best. See you next weekend for the Galaxy match!

*Team, Town, Timbers Army in the title refers to the three things that the nonprofit 107 Independent Supporters Trust (107IST) celebrates and supports when it comes to the city of Portland and the Portland Timbers. For more information about the 107IST, click here or drop me a line.

Featured image courtesy: Sheba Rawson twitter

Come chat with me on twitter: @shebainpdx

More Than Just A Game

Seattle Sounders Key Contributor
Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Kaitlyn O’Rourke

December 10th, 2016. A day that Seattle Sounders fans won’t soon forget. A day that finally brought Seattle an MLS Cup.

For me, it was a day when I lost all of my fingernails. And lost a LOT of tears. This was the story of the Sounders 2016 season. Everyone’s heard it, “from last in the West to MLS Champions.” So I won’t talk about their miracle turnaround, I’ll talk about the emotional rollercoaster of the 2016 Seattle Sounders season.

October 27th, 2016. Sounders vs. Sporting KC. Playoff game number 1. For 88 minutes fans stood in the pouring Seattle rain. And finally, a goal. Even on my TV screen, 2720 miles away, I could see the tears streaming down Nelson Valdez’s face. I could feel the fans yelling. My dog started barking; I had jumped up off the couch screaming and knocked her head off my lap, causing her to fall to the floor. The miracle season had somehow continued.

They played FC Dallas, pulling out another miracle first game and holding on in the second. This brought more tears, I remembered what happened in 2015 against them. How I ran to my room crying the second I saw Jesse Gonzalez save Chad Barrett’s PK. Colorado Rapids vs Sounders, in Colorado. I remember hearing before the game that Jordan Morris was sick. Morris has Type 1 diabetes, something that someone close to me has. I started freaking out; I know how being sick and at altitude affects people’s blood sugar. When he scored in the 56th minute, I jumped up yelling of joy then out of fear, Jordan Morris was down on the field with an injury(he was okay). “You look like mom after a Hillary Clinton speech,” said my little brother as I fought back tears watching them lift the Western Conference Championship trophy.

Flashback to June 1st, the Sounders playing D.C. United in DC. I went with my friend who wore one of my Sounders shirts. To be honest, I almost cried when I heard the BOOM BOOM CLAP from the Sounders fans in the upper left corner of RFK, when I heard them shout the last names of the Sounders players. When they shouted “JORDAN MORRIS” after he scored.

I live 2720 miles away from Seattle. Some of their games I can watch on TV. The others, I listen to on KIRO Radio. I can’t tell you how many nights I stayed up until 12:30 in the morning on Wednesday nights, knowing that I had tests and quizzes the next day at school.

After the Sounders won the MLS Final, I facetimed my friend, the one who had gone to the D.C. United game with me over 6 months ago. She had tears running down her face. She had become attached, she’d listened to me talk about the players for months.

The Sounders are more than a team. Their rivalry with Portland Timbers is more than a rivalry. Every game they play isn’t “just another game.” If they were just a team, if it was “just a game”, then I wouldn’t cry about it, I wouldn’t spend hours making cookies with players names on them. If they were just a team, if it was just a game, it wouldn’t be the same.

My name is Kaitlyn O’Rourke and I am so excited to be a Key Contributor for the Seattle Sounders with MLS Female this season. I’m excited to be writing for a website that celebrates women sports writers. I am so happy that soccer brought me to this place and got me together with all these other women, and I am excited to build friendships that will keep us together.

Chat with me in the comments section 

I Live Soccer

Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter
Official Vancouver Whitecaps Reporter

By Christina Casas @nkstar9

Originally from Southern California, I grew up watching Cobi Jones and the LA Galaxy.  I also attended the 1999 Women’s World Cup final where our USWNT brought back the CUP to the US.

Playing soccer is not simply a hobby. I live soccer, dream about soccer, and the days that I get to play soccer are the best days of the week.

After moving to Vancouver, BC, I quickly found myself rooting for the Vancouver Whitecaps and becoming swept up in the passion of the community built around this soulful team.

Come chat with me on twitter: @nkstar9

Never Looked Back

Official Sporting Kansas City Reporter
Official Sporting Kansas City Reporter

By Kirsten Arpin @Kirsten_Hoogs

Hey Sporting Fans!

My name is Kirsten Arpin, and I’ll be serving as  the 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.

Me and hubby
Me and hubby

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!

Kevin
Kevin

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!

Come chat with me on twitter: @Kirsten_Hoogs

Put Up or Shut Up

Official Portland Timbers Reporter
Official Portland Timbers Reporter

By Sheba Rawson @shebainpdx

Welcome aboard!

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.

Come chat with me on twitter: @shebainpdx

I Love This Game

Official Real Salt Lake Reporter
Official Real Salt Lake Reporter

By Ambrosia Tonkovich @heyambrosia

(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.

Come say 'Hi' if you see me at a game
Come say ‘Hi’ if you see me at a game

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.

Come chat with me on twitter: @heyambrosia