Wait No More: Union Fans Ready for Opener
After years of meetings, press conferences and countdowns, the big day is inching closer.
For a while, April 10, 2010 was just a date on a calendar. Now, it’s as real as the summer-like weather spreading throughout the Delaware Valley.
It’s almost game day.
Almost time for Philadelphia Union’s home opener on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. against D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field. The wait will be worth it. No question.
You’ll be able to feel the buzz on Saturday, the emotion of a fan base that has been starved for a team to call their own for years. Really, how often in life do you wait years for something? Think about that.
“Oh my gosh, I have been looking forward to this game for years, YEARS!,” said Philadelphia Union fan Joanna Tapadoca of Newark, NJ. “I’m from Philly, and I don’t like the Red Bulls. I’m a huge Union fan. I’m Philly through and through. I love soccer and can’t wait for Saturday. What a tailgate it’s going to be. What a great day it’s going to be!”
“You can bet we’re going to be loud and crazy,” said Connor Worley of Stamford, CT, who was raised in South Jersey and is a major Philadelphia Union fan. “I have several Union jerseys already and I plan on coming to as many games as possible. Let’s ring ‘em up. Let’s go! I can’t wait!”
This raucous fan base got a taste of their club in MLS with the season opener at Seattle on March 25. Though the Union fell 2-0, the fans were stoked on the home front nonetheless. And it’s only going to get better.
“Just wait until our guys play together for a while with the amazing technical staff we have led by Peter Nowak,” said John Tinsburg of Allentown. “Our players are going to improve every day. We’re going to be great! The sky is the limit for this team.”
The club certainly understands the support they’re receiving. They’re grateful for it.
“The first fan event I was at when I got here, you could tell the fans were excited,” said Philadelphia Union defender Jordan Harvey. “They’re ready for soccer. We want to give them everything we’ve got. We’re going to give them everything we’ve got.”
Just like the home-field advantage Seattle Sounders FC had at Qwest Field, Philadelphia Union should expect to have a similar atmosphere come Saturday.
“Philadelphia Union's home opener on April 10 is a chance to see the birth of Philly's only competitive international pro team,” said rabid Philadelphia fan Eddie Gonzalez. “We will be able to say World Champions and it will mean World Champions. Sure, I know I'm getting way ahead of what’s possible for now, and I know the job is to at least make the MLS Cup within the next three years.”
It’s easy to get ahead of oneself with this type of excitement in the air. In fact, it’s hard not to.