Philadelphia Union 3-2 D.C. United

Post game-winning goal

Post game-winning goal

Pre game-winning goal

Pre game-winning goal

Corner

Corner

Outlet

Outlet

Just got back from the Philly Union’s home debut. Great time. Great scene.
Well, I should change that: Great scene once I got inside the stadium onaccounta the greasy, dirty hipstery scum that not only made bike messengers seem like the cream of the cleanly crop, but got mouthy because a parking lot attendant had the audacity to make them clear out the empty spot they were communing in so, y’know, a car could park there.

One of them — a blonde skank — said something to the extent of, “Are you proud of yourself?” Probably didn’t think I could hear her through my rolled up window. But I could. So I asked, “Are you proud of yourself for talking smack to someone just trying to park?” She didn’t have much more to say after that, other than acknowledging her brain-bustin’ pal who noted that I didn’t car pool. Marvelous observation.

I bitch about all that to explain how it took me a little while to comfortably settle in on press row, worried that they were dousing thee old Corolla with patchouli and tofu. (They didn’t.)

Once I got comfortable, though, it was a great, great scene. It took till about 25 minutes in for the bottom bowl of the Linc to fill in. (I heard rumblings of long lines because Joe Biden did some pre-kick-off ceremony-ing with the guy who got the assist on Joe Gaetjens’ goal leading the U.S. to victory over England in the 1950 World Cup.)

So anyway, neither team had scored a goal this season before tonight (Union played one prior; D.C., two.) That changed with the quickness. The Union’s Sebastien Le Toux headed a cross from (I think) Alejandro Moreno into the right side of the goal 3:13 into the game. He followed up another stellar shot at 39:29. (I know, I know, but I line the minute:second construct.) Second-half momentum veered toward D.C. United as they scored in the 63rd and 70th minute, the latter, a horrendous turnover.

Having grown tired of not being able to get the feel for the crowd in a windowed-off press box, I ambled down to the midfield seats with about 10 minutes left. Lo and behold, the minute I did, somebody from D.C. got sent off. Direct kick from about 19. And lo and behold (again), Le Toux got the goal that sent fireworks exploding in the South Philly post-dusk.

I’m watching Barca now, so I’ll wrap this up: Great debut. Le Toux’s goals were fundamentally comparable to those I see from mid-range Eurogames. And the Sons of Ben section, a raucous gaggle of light-blue funatics, was refreshing. The whole thing had a different feel than a Birds game, and not just because of the empty upper level.

Here’s hoping it carries down to Chester. And, here’s hoping people learn to play like adults and not hipster scum in the parking lot when you’re going to a family-friendly soccer game.

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