I acknowledge the fact that this post is a week late but things came up unexpectedly. The Premier League has started as I publish this, however, I think is a bit early for me to give an opinion on the top four teams. The following lines will cover my experience at Yankee Stadium last weekend as I attended the NYC derby, all because of a missed opportunity and social media once again.
Everything started two weeks ago; I was planning on attending to an NYCFC team meet and greet session but the condition to attend was my dilemma. In order to get in you had to make a $75 purchase of team merchandise but was it worth it? I would get the chance to meet Pirlo and David Villa, two world champions nonetheless. The pros and cons were many, in the end, I was too late and missed out on the chance to attend the event. My suffering continued as I saw the team meet and greet through Instagram and twitter. It was there was my choice came through, buy the shirt and get the autograph since these opportunities often never happen again. One week would go by and there weren’t moments where I didn’t regret my lack of choice making, all of that would change on a Thursday. The Adidas store was the event took place contacted me via Twitter and were kind enough to give me two tickets to the upcoming NYCFC game against none other than the city rivals Red Bulls.
I was in disbelief since I went from missing out on the chance to meet Pirlo to attending a derby game for the first time ever. The seats looked a bit too far out when I saw them online but I’m glad that wasn’t the case. Sunday arrived and the moment of truth came, I won’t lie but I had my doubts about the atmosphere around the game. The Yankee Stadium has been the home for NYCFC for about two years now and I never really saw a sold out game. I used to think that the stadium wasn’t fit for a soccer culture because baseball was a more popular choice for fans in the NY area. In my case, it was the first time visiting such a famous ground and I couldn’t ask for a better combination to it than a soccer game. It was game time and the day was full of many unexpected surprises.
The only soccer game I had previously attended was when Ecuador and Chile played in City field a few years back. My surprises began as soon as I got there; the stadium was filled with supporters coming from all sides of the stadium. The fact that the official team band arrived on a bus just like back in Ecuador was shocking to me since I would have never expected to see so much loyalty for a team in NY. The stadium was as stunning as I would expect so I’m glad I brought my father along for such an occasion, right before the game we decided to get team gear just to blend in with the crowd. I managed to get a David Villa shirt but traded it for the one with Pirlo’s name; little did I know that Villa would end up being the hero of the day. The game itself was dramatic, both teams were not tactically organized but David Villa managed to score 3 times to give NYCFC the victory. The atmosphere was great throughout the 90 minutes, however, I will never forget the two little boys that sat a few rows ahead of me. Both of them lived the game with a passion that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid myself, jumping cheering and complaining about every bad decision against the team. They were both die-hard fans, to say the least.
I would like to conclude this blog post by saying thank you to the Adidas store in a 5th avenue for the tickets. It was a wonderful experience, we didn’t only see NYCFC win but we witnessed David Villa’s first ever hat trick in the MLS and his first Hat trick since 2012, simply historic. The only downside is the fact that I didn’t get a chance to see Pirlo play. Hopefully, I manage to return to another game in the future for what it looks like to be Pirlo’s last season. When it comes to the general aspect of things I see that NY is more than ready for soccer regardless of the players that arrive. Who knows maybe NYCFC will manage to eclipse the Red Bulls and actually say that NY IS BLUE.