Some MNT fans wrote in and let us know how their experience was during the first two Gold Cup matches at The Home Depot Center.
I got to the game a little late, as there was tons of traffic. When we got there about five minutes in, we found that our seats were almost completely surrounded by Guatemalan fans on the opposite side of the stadium Sam's Army was on. So, after dealing with it for a while, we decided that moving to Sam's Army would be more enjoyable. Just as I was entering that section, Dempsey slotted home the eventual game winner, and I just missed it. That's what replays are for, though, right? Looking forward to the Trinidad game. I'm glad I got to see that first goal for them though, right before I left the stadium: what a bomb! Hopefully we won't see any of that against us, though. :)
Attended the Gold Cup match at the Home Depot Center. (I'm a 21-year old female college grad, and I brought my 50-year old mother to the game.) First time ever at the HDC - what a fabulous facility! And well-run, too. We split a pizza and had two beers each. Bought a US bumper sticker and key chain, as well as a Nike hat. Spent about $80 total on beer, food, and souvenirs.
Our seats were in section 109 right in the front row. Great for watching the US team warm up, but our view of the other half of the field was obstructed by the benches. Not many US fans around us, or at least not many loud ones (kind of disappointing). Plenty of Guatemala fans, and they were wonderful! Stuck around for the first half of the second game and loved the atmosphere. Glad to be able to see a tournament of national teams, I don't get to many games but will jump at any chance to see the U.S. National Teams play (this was my first time seeing the men). Good experience overall, glad we went. But for it to have been great, we would have wanted a lot more (vocal!) U.S. fans and a better showing from the US team.
-- Jessica Malone
My friend and I were on the east side, mid-field, right by a large group of teenagers wearing yellow wigs and shirts that real "Seccsion Amarillo". We asked one of them what "Seccsion Amarillo" was and he responded that he had no idea. He played in a tournament and they gave him the stuff to wear to the game.
As for US support, we had a few yanks to the left and right of us, a couple in front and in back, everyone else was either Guatemalan or Salvadoran support. We've been going to U.S. matches in Southern California for a long time so this was not a surprise to us. Although, after having been in Germany for the
06' World Cup, it’s sad to say that we had better support there than in our own country.
Deuce's goal was celebrated with much screaming, exchanging of high fives with the local support and twirling of the scarf.
Watched 2/3rds of the 2nd match. T&T looked much better than anticipated, especially their #12. Looking forward to Saturday's match to which I'm brining my seven year old and my friend is brining his wife.
We need to get all the US fans out there to "bring a friend". That would double our support right there.
-- Jeremy Faith
Another away game for USA in Southern California. That basically sums up my experience at the Home Depot Center. I arrived at the HDC and noticed right away that there USA fans were outnumbered considerably by fans of Guatemala and El Salvador. Every time I saw a fan of the USA decked out in a jersey or in red I was happy, because it meant I wasn't the only one that came to root for our boys! The Guatemalan fans were loud and brought tons of flags which definitely made it obvious the boys would be playing an "away" game.
Our tickets were in section 118 and we tried to get into the same section as Sam's Army, but stadium personnel wouldn't allow us. So we ended up in our section with about 15 percent of the fans rooting for the USA. I support our boys 110% and I'm positive the Guatemalan fans knew. When Dempsey scored, I was jumpin' up and down and showing my USA scarf to all the Guatemalan fans just in case they forgot who they were playing against, all in good fun of course.
Within the final five minutes of the game or so, the USA was stringing together multiple passes, in which our section would respond with a shout of "OLE" for every completed pass. It was great and a lot of fun. At the end of the game, we shook hands with a couple Guatemalan fans and were surprised to realize there was a second game to be played (I had no clue it was a double header). So to compound the great night, there was another game of live soccer to watch! My friend and I stayed to watch the game, participated in the wave that circled the stadium, and had a great night of viewing some international soccer. The boys got the win, and I went home with no voice and a big smile on my face.
-- Brice Ambrecht
P.S. During halftime of the El Salvador vs. T&T game, we got to witness 15 minutes of a bat hunting down bugs above us. It was actually pretty entertaining, didn't realize bats were so fast and nimble. Definitely didn't aspect that type of entertainment at the Home Depot Center. Anyone else witness anything like that at the HDC?
Flew down from San Jose to see the USMNT. Got to HDC early to check things out. The ***Opposing U.S. Sponsor Beer*** Girls at the NW entrance were certainly a highlight. (editor’s note: We must also mention this OTHER beer company’s girls are not even close to as good looking at the Bud Girls).
Dismayed by the large number of Guatemala fans and the scarcity of USA fans, having attend the World Cup 2006 - I thought we had a mobilized fan base ... too bad. Enjoyed the pre-game activities on the south side of HDC with various soccer challenges for fans were underway.
Sat on the East side next to a couple of USA fans in a sea of light blue. Cheered for our guys but was largely drowned out - though the Guatemala fans were of good cheer. We gave a standing ovation to Dempsey's goal and a series of moans as we failed to finish a number of other chances in the first half. We kind of stunk the place up in the second half.
Stayed for the T&T v. El Salvador to root on the Soca warriors - but their team was missing a bunch of players due to their pay stand-off. All the goals in the second game were great quality, though.
Will be there again on Saturday and planning to see the finals in Chicago at the end of the month. I'm a US soccer nut. Thanks for the blog - it's great!