Posts Tagged ‘ FC Dallas ’

Scarf Collection

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I’ve become a groundhopper, not to the extent of Paul Gerald or Peter Miles or Tony Incenzo, but I take pics, talk to people and write posts about teams, supporters and venues in the United States. But what about swag? As a big kit nerd, the obvious choice would be to get a shirt at each match, but that strategy has a couple of problems: 1) not every team has a merch store or even jerseys for sale; 2) at $55 to $100 a pop, a one stop/one shirt policy could get pricey; and 3) where would I put them all? I don’t have a mancave (yet) and as much as I would love to wear a different jersey every day, society and my workplace frown upon that.

So my solution has been to pick up a scarf at each game I attend. This strategy has paid off in several ways. Scarves are almost always available at games, and if not, readily available on club websites. Plus at $25 to $35 each, this is the better option financially. On top of that, scarves are packable and easy to display.

Here is my current collection:

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Favorite Teams

Manchester United–The club team I have been supporting for 20 years. One day I will make it to Old Trafford. C’mon you Reds!!

US Soccer–I have seen several US games over the years , and I continuing to engage my own country instead of wishing I was Croatian or Dutch or almost anything else.

Atlanta United–MLS club kicking off in 2017. I’m a season ticket holder and can’t wait for the team to launch and play their first game at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

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Groundhops

Seattle Sounders–One of my first trips and had an awesome time.

Chicago Fire–Used to watch them at Soldier Field. Saw the new home out in the middle of nowhere.

Portland TimbersStood with Timbers Army in a very unique environment.

Columbus CrewSaw one of the first games at this Soccer Specific Stadium and have been several times since.

FC DallasAnother facility out in the middle of nowhere but Dallas Beer Guardians more than made up for it.

DC UnitedGot to see DC United at RFK before they move to the new ground.

Houston DynamoAmazing venue and hopefully the team returns it past glory.

Atlanta Silverbacks–Former NASL team playing in NPSL, I have been to many games and worked for the Reserves team.

Charleston Battery–Fantastic USL team with great supporters playing an intimate venue filled with soccer memorabilia.

Lansing United–The club launched the summer before I left Lansing and is doing things right on and off the pitch.

Detroit City FC–My first taste of real supporter culture. It has been wonderful keeping an eye on this team from the first days.

Nashville FC–Vanderbilt Stadium wasn’t the greatest venue but wonderful fans.

Chattanooga FC–Love going up to Chattanooga. Real passion behind a successful NPSL club.

Birmingham Hammers–Met some fired up supporters for the Hammers’ first season. Looking forward to going back.

Georgia Revolution–Under new ownership, this club is providing players a stepping stone to next level.

Knoxville Force (Scruffy City Syndicate)–Growing club with ardent supporters, playing right in downtown Knoxville.

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Miscellaneous

Juventus–Fell in love with Alessandro Del Piero and followed the bianconeri until I decided to focus my soccer supporting efforts.

MSU Spartans–Went to many a game at DeMartin Stadium during my time in Lansing.

World Cup 2022–My wife won this in a raffle. It’s the scarf from the US 2022 World Cup bid.

American Outlaws Atlanta. I love hanging out with these passionate supporters of US Soccer.

Terminus Legion 2015–Joined this Supporter Group at the intersection of Atlanta and Soccer in 2015 after moving to Atlanta in 2014.

Terminus Legion 2016–Re-upped and run the soccer team and host the Terminus Legion podcast.

The General–Special edition summer scarf produced by Terminus Legion to celebrate the history of Atlanta.

Soccer in the Streets–An amazing organization that brings soccer to underserved youth in Atlanta. Just launched Station Soccer, a pitch on top of a transit station.

Castleberry Hill AC–An organization looking to use soccer to improve their community. Currently trying to build Old Trenholm in the shadow of Mercedes Benz Stadium.

 

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Top three scarves I have come across. . .

fire-scarf

I usually buy the team scarf at each match but when I was at the Chicago Fire tailgate, I saw people walking around this scarf and knew that I had to have it. The scarf tweaks the Chicago city flag, using navy blue bands to frame the edges instead of the sky blue and then uses the four red stars through the middle. Great looking piece.

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While standing with Timbers Army, I spotted a Battlestar Portlandia. Having just come out of my Battlestar Galactica geek phase, I really loved the merging of pop culture and sport. Doubt I will ever get my hands but one of these but a really slick design.

dcfc-scarf

A scarf from Detroit City FC’s inaugural season is one of my favorite scarves. All the design elements come together, with of color scheme of rouge and dark yellow, a clean font and the argyle print adding a wonderful touch. DCFC has absolutely crushed it from a brand and merch perspective from day one.

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If you want to see a real scarf collection, visit Kenny’s Football Scarves. He has over 2000 pieces organized by league and region.

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Read more about my groundhops and supporter group interactions at the SoccerNomad blog. Also check out the SoccerNomad podcast, which focuses on Supporter Groups and kit design. Finally follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

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Dallas Til I Cry

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Dallas Til I Cry

As I read the opening chapters I felt I had found a kindred spirit. A lifelong soccer fan, who had fallen in love with a team thousands of miles away while a team plied their trade just miles away, decided to kick the tires on the domestic league.

The author and I have similar takes on the beautiful game and how it fits into the US sports spectrum. Admirers of quality and narrative, the siren song of the EPL drew us in and we would much rather get up at 745 am and watch a game from across the pond than the afternoon MLS Match of the Day. Why watch a game with football lines, in half empty venues, when you could watch some of the great players and teams in footballing history cheered on by thousands of supporters? Why support a league that, at times, couldn’t get out of its own way? But slowly things changed and you have to take notice.

At some point you have to give the local guys a chance. The book is not so much about the ups and downs of the 2013 FCD season as it a desire to embrace something that’s in your own backyard. There are also glimpses into the craziness of family life, coaching nuggets and a lot of analysis about how MLS is faring in the US sports landscape. Plenty of player critiques (this guy does not like Kenny Cooper) as well as a questioning of Coach Schellas and his player selections are on show as the author’s project becomes an interest becomes honest fandom.

Again this book really hit home with me because I have been engaging MLS more and more over the last several years. Nathan jumped right in, bought a season ticket, watched as many away games as he could and followed the league storylines as closely as possible. His account is an easy read with some poignant insights and heartfelt thoughts from a fan trying to support the beautiful game here in America.

Top Ten Posts of 2014

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2014 was a great year for the SoccerNomad blog.  Visitors from all over the world read about kits, memories and more.  Here are the ten most read posts from 2014. Thanks to everyone for visiting, sharing and commenting on the blog and it’s on to 2015.

10   1988/89 English First Division

9     Trip to FC Dallas Game

8     From my Year in Soccer 1974 Series, Johan Cruyff’s impact at FC Barcelona

7     Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit

6     Lansing Kit Nerd (September 2014)

5     World Cup 2014 Kit Preview Part 1

4     Germany Euro 2000 Away shirt

3     2014/15 Kit Preview

2     World Cup 2014 Kit Preview Part 2

1     Going Hollywood (Soccer Player Look-a-likes)

Thanks to everyone for visiting, sharing and commenting on the blog and it’s on to 2015.  Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974 and don’t forget to visit my podcast or subscribe via iTunes.

Texas Adventure

All 5 parts of my wonderful, frustrating, sleep deprived trip to Houston and Dallas.

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Day 1

Day 2 (Houston Dynamo v Sporting KC)

Day 3 (FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids)

Day 4

Day 5

MatchDay Memory–Texas Adventure Day 3 (FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids)

On day 3, I woke up, did some work on my blog, and checked twitter, facebook and email before grabbing a quick bite to eat and then headed to the Greyhound Station.  Because I was unfamiliar with the process, I went to the station early.  No need but got insight into a very disorganized environment.  I caught up on some podcasts and was mildly distracted by the Ann B. Davis Brady Bunch Marathon on TV Land.

The attendant called for the Dallas and there was a mad rush.  Confusion ensued as he told us to get in order from 1 to 40.  While he was trying to herd cats, other customers were asking him about which bus this was, where they needed to be and everything else.  Did not envy him.  We lined up for the bus, already 15 minutes late and pulled out of the station 45 minutes past the proposed departure time.  This of course created anxiety for me because I had to be at the British Beverage Company by 5:15 to catch the FCD Express.  If we only arrived 45 minutes late, I figured I would be ok.

Prepping for the game, I noticed that Dallas was driving the struggle bus heading into this fixture, winless in their last five, managing only two points in that time.  FCD was hanging on to the last playoff spot in the West but had played several more games than San Jose and LA who were right behind them.

When reviewing the roster, I did a double take when I saw the name Adam Moffat.  I saw him play for the Dynamo last year and knew that he was signed by Seattle at the end of the last season in the Sounders’ push for the playoffs.  Turns out he has played for Columbus, Portland, Houston, Seattle and now Dallas.  (Suspended for this match.)

The Rapids entered the game with goals to spare, scoring seven in their last two.  After a draw and two losses, these two wins saw Colorado climb to third in the Western Conference.  I recognized the names Marvell Wynne and Edson Buddle on the Colorado roster but not too many others.  Surprised that more players didn’t stick with me after seeing them in Seattle a couple of years ago.

I didn’t come across any players from either team being picked for the World Cup or any injury news, but one piece of news from the website grabbed my attention.  Colorado signed John Neeskens, who is the son of Dutch great Johan Neeskens.  The younger Neeskens made his MLS debut recently and I was hoping to see him play.  (Didn’t make the bench.)

Back to my bus stress. . .

After our one stop mid-trip I realized I was in trouble.   About 30 minutes outside Dallas I tweeted the FCD account letting them know about my situation.  They responded right away and I told them it would be close.  Then we hit traffic once in the city.  I was fidgeting and trying to figure out how much a cab from Dallas to Frisco would be.  The answer: a helluva lot.

In the end, the bus arrived in Dallas one hour late. So I jumped off the bus, ran the couple of blocks, checked into the hotel, changed clothes (had to rep Mid-Michigan shirt), and called for a cab. The driver zipped through town to the bar and arrived with just minutes to spare. I got my ticket from the FCD representative, slammed an Estrella Damm, got frustrated watching the USMNT for five minutes and hopped on the bus. Success.

The FCD Express not as dynamic as Chicago Party Bus, but I was decompressing so who can say?  Things picked up when the guys next to me streamed the Belmont Stakes.  Another year, another year without a Triple Crown winner.

Our bus was parked out in the boonies so I just headed into the stadium to grab a beer and taco and watch the end of the US game.  I managed to see the Nigeria PK and settled in for the Dallas/Colorado game.

MATCH NOTES

Toyota Stadium is nothing special but the complex is a little city unto itself with apartments and restaurants and medical facilities and tons of soccer fields.  The stands are not covered which I found odd.  Later I talked to a fan and he said it isn’t that big of a deal because most games are at night and you only have to put up with the sun for an hour.  They did have four covered sections, one in each corner which I learned were for sponsors.

I picked up my scarf and headed down to the Beer Garden, which was an excellent choice because my assigned seat was directly in the sun.  The beer was cheap (and easily accessible) and it was in the shade and I was right behind the goal, so I was in a great spot.

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Just before the game started, the club designates someone to put a scarf on a statue of Lamar Hunt, one of main contributors in the history of American soccer.  This is a really nice touch, reminding everyone of Hunt’s legacy and remembering where you came from and where you’re going.

This was my first MLS trip where I did not know anyone, so it took me awhile to settle in.  I had been trading messages with the Dallas Beer Guardians so just watched them to see what happened.  What support.  The section has the FC Drum Corps and between them and capos, there was tons of noise.  Some really good chants helped energize the team and the crowd.  A couple of Colorado fans sat in the Beer Guardian section, which was particularly brave.

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The game was pretty and open and entertaining.  FCD took the game to the Rapids but lacked cutting edge in the final third.  The Rapids soaked up the pressure and Dallas was vulnerable to the counter attack and were eventually punished with a very creative finish from Brown.  The hosts responded when Benitez scored a free kick that took a slight deflection to equalize.  FCD took the lead off another deflected goal. Castillo dribbled at the Colorado rearguard and the ball came back out to Loyd and his low hard shot was deflected, with the goalkeeper not able to keep it out.

Early in the second half, Jose Mari scored from a great header to equalize.  Again FCD asked most of the questions.  Shortly after the equalizer, Colorado subbed in Hairston and it was his poor giveaway in midfield that allowed Castillo to pick up the ball.  His surging run was capped off by a fine finish for the winner.

In the second half, I met a couple that went to the University of Michigan and chatted with them for a minute.  They provided me some of the details about the players and the stadium.  FCD fans were happy with the result, which will hopefully get the club off the slide.  I really enjoyed FCD’s attack, especially the wide players (Castillo and Escobar) but felt that Perez was too isolated in second half. Still can’t get used to these royal blue Colorado kits as I remember the Rapids in green and black at the beginning of the league and then their switch to silver and maroon.

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MLS recap with video highlights

The post game ride home was a blast.  We had the bus driver pull over at a gas station and one guy jumped out and bought a case for the bus.  Once we had our post game refreshment, we settled in for the ride back.  I was invited to play a drinking game which had something to do with the number seven.  Details are fuzzy to say the least.  Then we played “Categories”??  Anyway time flew by and we were back at the bar.  Quick walk through downtown Dallas got me back to the hotel and off to bed.

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