There comes a time in every man's life when he must truly accept the things that mean most to him. Of course, I'm talking about supporting that one team, similar to how my family can still support the Redskins even after another losing season. While I have long been a fan of DC United, I was blinded by the bright lights of Europe and could not accept the standard of play here in the States. But oh how things have changed now.
What are the reasons for my sudden change of heart?
Well, even though I will still follow European leagues and my favorite players, I will surely be tuning in and hitting the MLS stadiums harder than ever before.
First, I finally got a car that I can call my own. Not just any car mind you, an awesome 1996 Mercury Villager minivan. I know, I can already see the look on your face. But allow me to explain.
The Villager seats seven people, or six and a bunch of gear. This makes it probably the ultimate road trip vehicle, besides maybe a Greyhound bus. So whenever we feel the itch, we can load up the van and hit the highway.
Second, MLS has reached out to me in a way I never thought I would see: two brand new soccer-specific stadiums within a few hours drive of my home base of College Park, MD. The expansion Philadelphia Union have their new digs in Chester, while the Red Bulls have the new Red Bull Stadium.
Besides the obvious rivalries with my beloved DC United, I'm really excited to see what a real soccer-specific stadium is like. I've never been to an away game before, but I am excited beyond belief to be in the minority of a stadium for once.
Lastly, as soon as I get some money (poor college kid here), I will be joining DC's famous Barra Brava. Ever since I went to my first game at the age of seven, I have always wanted to be on the side of the field with the crazy jumping fans, singing songs about how terrible the other teams were, and just having a great time.
After one of my best friends joined towards the end of last season, I realized the time had come to take my spot and make the RFK bleachers shake.
So fans, I hope everyone here can have a moment like myself, where one realizes the greatness of what we have here in the States and to not yearn for the pastures of the old country. Besides, we can load up the minivan and head wherever we want to go. And that is what makes soccer great.