Clevelandmo wrote: SoCalJoe wrote:
Have a great time Mo! One of the favorite items on the old site were the Witch Reports by the one and only White Witch aka the Godfather's Mother-in-Law. Isn't it time for this type of article to appear here? I for one would like to read about your day out in Columbus (hint, hint
I will give it a try Joe as long as those Serbs at the tailgate dont force me to do any of those slivovitz (or whateva it is) shots. Hopefully the festivities will be restrained to just beer, sausages, and some soccer tennis. I loved those witch reports too. I cant equal them but I suspect Sat. will be a special day so I will do my best to do it justice. Soccer in the USA baby. I think we can say it is here to stay.
In our preparations for the trek to Columbus, I forgot to DVR the match. I didnt have to regret that for long though because the Crew put the premier league game results on the scoreboard. Now I'm happy that I have an excuse not to watch a 4 -0 Fulham drubbing.
Joe, I know I promised to attempt a whitewitch-type report about the trip to the Columbus - Vancouver match, but I'm having second thoughts. It's seems a little off topic and I'm too lazy to post it on another thread where I'd have to lay the background as to why anyone should be interested.
We did have a great day out though. My older son was able to get out of his track meet so we could leave early and arrive for all the tailgate festivities outside Crew Stadium. For those of you who read my soccer people thread, perhaps that makes him qualified to be a "soccer person" after all. We were also fortunate in that all the forecasted rain fell during our 2 1/2 hr drive to Columbus rather than during the tailgate or game. It was still a chilly 40 degrees but at least not a wet one as well.
By the time we arrived, the tailgate was already 25 or so people strong with a DJ from Cleveland Kiss FM and grills smokin' with the smell of cevapi. I actually tried making my own cevapi sausages because the online recipe reviews raved about how authentic the recipe was. I thought I did pretty well until I tasted the ones the Serbian tailgaters were cooking up. In comparison mine were dry with not near as much flavor, despite all the pepper, garlic, and spices I threw in. Apparently none of them make their own because they cant replicate the flavor of the cevapi from the local butcher. I guess this butcher has some secret ingredients that he wont reveal. In case you're interested this is what they look like. Yum.
By the time the tailgate was in full swing there were probably 300 people in the area the Crew had reserved for our group. There was soccer playing, cornhole, line dancing, ethnic dancing, good conversation, and of course drinking. The slivovitz was flowing but luckily no one tried to push it on me so I was happy drinking my new beer of choice - UFO Hefeweizen. The Whitecaps media crew stopped by to interview people and film the hundreds that showed up to support the 'caps and Michael Nanchoff, their young and excellent midfielder. Most of us either had a Whitecaps jersey or a navy blue TeamNanchoff shirt on so it made for good propaganda back in the pacific northwest. Both this season and last season, the Vancouver media seems quite taken by the amount of support Michael receives from his fellow Clevelanders. The tailgate ended with a raffle of Crew and Vancouver gear supplied courtesy of each team - we won a Crew baseball cap and a Vancouver Southsiders (their supporters group) t-shirt. My husband is happy to have a bright yellow cap to match his Crew beer cups.
Then it was into the stadium for the match.
Besides the Everton 4 -0 Fulham scoreline that I saw during the game, I did have one other Fulham moment. When I entered the entrance to our section of seats, the first thing I saw was a big sign on the opposite side of the stadium that read "McBride 1996 - 2004". It was framed by the tunnel of stands on either side so that it was the only thing visible. I certainly felt a tinge of pride for the man and personally it was a very fitting way to begin viewing this match. After all I was there to support a player, a family, and the founders of the Internationals Soccer Club whom I respect as much as I do McBride.
As far as the match, I thought Columbus dominated but Vancouver won 0-1 on a lucky free kick from Korean legend Y.P. Lee. Columbus had two goals called back, one for offsides and one for a foul. They also had a bicycle kick attempt denied by the cross bar. Suffice it to say Vancouver were lucky.
All during the game we sang for Michael, hoping Martin Rennie would put him in and we would be the audience for his season debut. He had a great preseason but injured his heel just before the start of the regular season and only started training again in the last two weeks. The vancouver film crew filmed Michael as he warmed up on the sidelines and they were in the stands filming our group as we sang and held up Vancouver Southsider flags. I'm sure they were hoping this would all be a good lead-in to our reaction once Michael entered the match, but unfortunately that never happened. Rennie only made one MF substitution and he opted for veteran John Thorrington over Michael. We were disappointed but it was at least better than last year when Michael didnt even make the trip due to injury.
After the match Michael came over and threw his jersey into the stands. The Vancouver players and coach clapped for us and some of them came over. Eric Hassli came over to give a thumbs up to the guys who were wearing, and previously gave him, a teamHassli t-shirt for reasons I'm not at liberty to discusss. My son got Michael to autograph the 8 x 10 glossy of Michael and him taken last December at his soccer camp. It will now hang in our rec room next to his autographed picture of Clint Dempsey, damn good company I think. Other consolations were the new boy from Korea on my son's team got to meet homeland hero Y.P. Lee. He and his family are currently shown in a video being featured on the whitecaps website.
And finally, the Columbus player who had a good corner kick goal called back for an unrelated foul and the who had a fantastic bicycle kick denied by the woodwork, is an Internationals alum and childhood friend of Michael and several of the guys in our group. His name is Josh Williams and he did the Internationals proud. It would be nice if he and the other alums from our soccer club that play in MLS got the type of support Michael does, but Michael's family has a special legacy in the area that cant be matched.