November 18, 2007

The Prelude

MLS Cup is almost upon us. It's been a fun weekend here in DC. While MLS isn't rivaling Super Bowl Week anytime soon, there's been a number of fun things to do connected with the game.

The league has been deeply connected with The Soccer Event, a trade show held for soccer retailers for the last three years in connection with MLS Cup. It's a great way for the league to reach out to the people who sell their merchandise, to drive home the point that MLS success will help everyone connected with the game in this country.

The Commissioner's Reception was held at The Park at 14th, a great venue in DC. Nice to see players, fans, execs, and bigwigs schmoozing together at an event. And I have to disagree with Luis Arroyave, it wasn't all dudes at the party. Well, it was a lot of dudes, but there was some variety. Well, most of that variety was provided by the club's staff, but it was variety nonetheless.

The supporters got busy with their events on Saturday. The Screaming Eagles hosted a Street-Cup soccer tournament in the parking lot at RFK in the morning. The American Outlaws, a very cool new national team supporters' group, hosted a viewing party for the US-South Africa game in conjunction with it. It was really cold, but a few teams came out for a fun event. The Houston team might not have won, but they pulled off the transfer coup of the weekend. They were somehow able to convince Chris Armas to pull on a Dynamo jersey and play with them for a while. Sadly, it didn't help much as they came in last.

From there, it was off to the Supporters' Summit at the Babylon Futbol Cafe. Excellent venue, even if it's the polar opposite of the Brewhouse back in the ATL. Babylon seems like your brother's nice living room, while the Brewhouse seems like the basement. I'm not sure which I prefer. Anyway, the Summit itself was interesting, even if nothing groundbreaking came out of it. It's a shame the equipment was knocked over seconds before it was about to start, it knocked out some of the speakers and made things quite difficult to hear.

The Capitol Soccer Ball followed the Summit, and was an interesting experience. I still never saw a Kansas City fan, but all the other teams were represented. Some sweet throwback San Jose Clash and Dallas Burn jerseys were in attendance, along with a Portland Timbers fan. Toronto was definitely the star of the party, with their infamous streamers making an appearance. The Screaming Eagles have done a great job organizing everything for the supporters this weekend and are to be commended.

Speaking of which, it's about time to do some commending at the pregame tailgate. Off to RFK, then back down South. Enjoy the game...

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