The atmosphere has been electric the entire season at PPL Park.
Come Thursday night, expect the hoopla to be off the charts. That’s because the Union will welcome David Beckham, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan and the rest of the LA Galaxy.
The game is already a sellout and you can bet the Sons of Ben will be ready in The River End.
“This game is obviously something that will be special for the fans,” said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. “It’s an attractive game for many reasons. We want to play well in front of the home fans and do everything we can to win the game. It will be nationally televised and will be something the fans can anticipate. I think our players are all very excited to play in a game of this magnitude.”
Even though the Union have been eliminated from the playoff race, the adrenaline will be pumping.
How can it not?
“This is a game you want to play well in,” said midfielder Shea Salinas. “It’s a high-profile type of game with some high-profile players. It will be exciting for all of us. I know I will be excited and ready to play. I’m sure we will all be excited.”
Union Manager Peter Nowak is taking a basic approach to Thursday’s game.
“The goal is simple: to win the game,” Nowak said.
That has been the goal for the Union since the season-opening game at Seattle. That won’t ever change.
What will be slightly different is this: the added electricity from an opponent like the Galaxy.
“There will be extra buzz,” said forward Nick Zimmerman, who received his first start of the season in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo. “Hey, it’s Beckham, Donovan and all that goes along with it. So, we’ll want to play as well as possible and try to come out with a win. It will be a fun night with the atmosphere surrounding this game.”
It's obvious that Thursday's contest means something to the Union. Pride is likely the motivating factor more than anything else.
“This is a game you want to win badly,” said defender Jordan Harvey. “We’re playing a great opponent. We’re a very confident club, and we’ll come out ready and prepared to play. It’s the kind of game you want to be in. We’re all looking forward to it.”
Every one of them.
“The fans are all talking about it,” said midfielder Kyle Nakazawa. “It’s an exciting game to look ahead to. As players, we’re all excited. You want to play the best. You want to measure up against the best."