Noob's guide to a Union game
The Union are back home tomorrow against Toronto at 7:30pm.
- Since I went to my first Union game a few weeks ago, I put together a quick stadium guide for the uninitiated.
Why it matters: The Union made last year’s MLS Cup but could use all the support they can get after a rough start to the season.
- And the games are freakin' fun.
🥁 The atmosphere: Before the match, the Union roll out a massive drum and have a bigwig like the Phillie Phanatic bang on it to rile up the crowd.
- Fans turn their backs to the visiting team during pregame intros, and you’ll hear the roar of “sucks” when each opposing player is announced.
- Phang, the team snake, looks more like Spyro the Dragon.
Southern discomfort: The Sons of Ben rival the rabid soccer fan clubs in Europe. They make the "River End" — the south side of the stadium — an intimidating den for opponents, banging on drums, chanting “Union” and singing throughout the match.
- Plus, visiting team colors — and red (the color of rival New York Red Bulls) — are banned here. And you've gotta stand the entire game (minus halftime).
Yes, but: We still felt that energy sitting on the north end underneath the jumbotron.
The food: Chickie and Pete's, PJ Whelihan’s, the Pretzel Factory, Nonna's Pizza, Philip’s Steaks and Hot Dog Nation — greasy fare, in other words.
- Scoops 'N' Smiles has a bunch of ice cream flavors, including Almond Joy and caramel apple.
💭 Isaac’s thought bubble: The BBQ pulled pork sandwich at Cheryl’s Southern Style is top-notch, and their loaded chili has generous chunks of brisket. I overdid it.
👉 Pro tip: Scoring tickets to the Sons of Ben section is like surviving the Hunger Games, so plan ahead.
The bottom line: After every win, they play The Turtles’ “Happy Together.” The Sons of Ben hold up fatheads from the player of the match. And that player rings in one last ear-shattering round of drum strikes.
Be smart: You can still grab tickets for Saturday’s game on StubHub.
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