San Antonio FC closes out a four match road trip in Kansas City Sunday afternoon. The match against Swope Park will mark 7 of the last 10 matches SAFC has played have put the club on the road. But SAFC fandom isn’t something that leaves when you leave San Antonio. One SAFC fan (and friend of our’s here at Pitch Black) and current LA resident took in the match against Los Dos last week and sent in his thoughts. The following was written by Pete Szilagyi, who you can follow on twitter @Pete_Is_Writing. Thanks to Pete for taking the time to send it in. If you want to contribute to Pitch Black feel free to drop us a line on twitter or via email.
Thought I’d give you a few observations from StubHub last night, feel free to use all, some, or none for the website, if you wish. Give you a better sense of the atmosphere – or lack thereof – from last night’s game.
First of all, there is a reason why us soccer fans in LA are excited about LAFC next year… because games down in Carson are an atrocious affair. Don’t get me wrong, they are fine nights out if you have kids and want to give them a fun time that won’t kill you wallet, but in terms of soccer atmosphere and culture, Carson is devoid of everything. This goes for both the main Galaxy team and Los Dos – just boring, corporate, stale environments featuring a stupid mascot, an obnoxious give-away (in this case, free Papa John’s if LAG2 scored 2 goals, which led to more people caring about potential free pizza than the outcome of the game), and one bouncy house short of still reeking of minor league. Now that LAFC has affiliated with OCSC, Carson is now the sole Southern California reminder of how USL used to be.
It’s too bad, because the game was quite interesting to watch! You can always tell things aren’t going to go your way within the first ten minutes of any sports game, and I knew SAFC was in trouble right from the get-go, as Los Dos was clearly the better team. They were penetrating us from the start, driving right towards our box and providing immediate pressure. A goal was inevitable, and I was surprised they didn’t get one in the first half, especially because our best defender – and, arguably, all around player – Sebastien Ibeagha wasn’t playing (he was sitting in the stands a few feet from me, surrounded by friends). We got our heads right towards the end of the first half, but still, Los Dos seemed to want it more.
Second half was better, even though we gave up the first goal. The team seemed more focus and really worked hard to get that equalizer. One reason I think Carson 2 is no good this year is because they are lazy, especially as the game wore on, they would possess the ball and then just kind of casually walk it up the field – the wing players wouldn’t make runs or try to get open, and the team overall seemed not to care too much about maintaining their lead. Their body language was quite poor the whole time. SAFC, on the other hand, got more energized as the game went on, almost willing not to walk away from that game dropping points. It’s also amazing to see the players after the match who you wouldn’t guess had just been running around non-stop for 90 minutes, as most of them barely had any sweat on them (save for Omar Gordon, who was the only one who looked labored at the end). Truly remarkable athletes, even at this level of soccer.
So that’s the long of it – disappointing effort from our guys to start the game, but they redeemed themselves. Awful atmosphere, filled with endless chants of “We want pizza!” instead of “Let’s go Galaxy!” (the same thing happens all the time at Laker games), and a drive home feeling like we should’ve won that game 3 or 4-0 instead of a 1-1 draw. Hopefully this gives ya some insight on what it was like to be there.
Keep up the good work guys.