Hundreds of fans are expected to pack Dupont Circle to watch the Women’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Sweden this Friday evening.
Though kickoff starts at 8 p.m., the event, sponsored by the Swedish embassy, officially begins at 5:30 p.m. with a DJ spinning “Swedish-oriented” dance music.
The game will be shown on a large screen in the middle of Dupont Circle. Attendees should plan to bring their own seating.
Dupont Festival co-founder and event organizer Aaron DeNu says the game should be an exciting one.
“The U.S. is ranked number two in the world. Sweden is ranked number five. Two powerhouses,” DeNu says. “It’s a huge game. They’re going to be going all out.”
There’s also a good chance that live shots from the Dupont Circle viewing party could be featured during the national broadcast on Fox.
“At last year’s U.S. vs. Germany World Cup match, [ESPN] was doing live shots of Dupont Circle during the game,” says DeNu. “All indications are that [Fox] will do that this year.”
To celebrate the occasion, local vendors will be handing out free snacks and non-alcoholic beverages to attendees.
Six Dupont-area bars will also coordinate with the event to offer World Cup-themed drink specials throughout the game. The bars are:
“We’re encouraging folks to go to the surrounding Dupont Circle bars before and after the game,” DeNu says.
Photo courtesy of Dupont Festival
From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.
On April 29, NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete in American professional sports. It was a landmark day for the gay community and for professional sports in the United States.
Just under one month later, on May 26, Major League Soccer player Robbie Rogers advanced the cause even further by becoming the first openly gay male athlete to play in an American professional sporting event (Collins is not currently under contract with an NBA team).
Rogers’ journey towards history began back in February when he abruptly retired from professional soccer, and revealed in a touching blog post that he was gay. Only 25, Rogers was in his athletic prime, and despite being released from Leeds United (a professional team in the second tier of English soccer), he could have surely latched on elsewhere and continued his career.
But for Rogers, the weight of carrying a secret for 25 years had taken its toll and he needed to step back and discover himself away from soccer. His announcement and decision were met with enormous support from the soccer community, athletes and entertainers around the country. Rogers was touched by the outpouring of support, but his playing career remained on hold indefinitely.
Thankfully his hiatus did not last long. The Chicago Fire owned the rights to a contract with Robbie Rogers if he decided to return to Major League Soccer. Rogers was interested in returning, but only if he could do so close to his family in California where he felt he would be most comfortable. On May 24th, the Los Angeles Galaxy traded Mike McGee to Chicago and signed Rogers to a contract.
Two days later when the Galaxy took on the Seattle Sounders, Rogers was included on the match day roster and thus was eligible to come off the bench as a substitute. Prior to the game, he was asked what he hoped to contribute. He responded “I’m hoping that I can come on, it’s 4-0, and I can just enjoy myself.” In truly poetic fashion, the Galaxy scored four first half goals and Rogers entered the game to a tremendous standing ovation in the 77th minute.
Interviewed after the game, Rogers said that he understood “this was a historic thing, but for me it was just a soccer game.” It was of course much more than just a soccer game. It was another gigantic step forward in the fight for equality and acceptance throughout all facets of American life and culture. Collins and Rogers might be the first openly gay male athletes in the United States, but they certainly won’t be the last.
If you’d like to show your support for Robbie Rogers in person, the LA Galaxy will be in town to take on DC United on Sunday, September 15th at 5 pm. Tickets are available here.
From Kent Barnes. Follow him on Twitter @KentBarnes, email him at kent[AT]borderstan.com.
Just three and a half months after their disappointing playoff loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, DC United kicks off the 2013 Major League Soccer season this Saturday, March 2, at 8 pm. Olsen’s Army opens the season against the very team that ended their 2012 championship hopes, the Houston Dynamo.
After their surprise 2012 playoff run, the team has brought in a slew of talent that they hope will ensure another successful year at RFK Stadium. This includes exciting young Brazilian forward Rafael Teixeira de Souza, nicknamed Gladiator for his “thumbs down” goal celebration.
Although this weekend’s match against the Dynamo is in Houston, the team will be back in the District next Saturday, March 9th, for the home opener against Real Salt Lake. The match starts at 7 pm, but the party will begin a few hours before kickoff with plenty of tailgating in Lot 8.
There are a variety of ticket options available, but the team is expecting a packed house so you should consider ordering your ticket(s) in advance. If you’d prefer to enjoy the match from a comfortable seated position, tickets range from approximately $30 to $60 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. If you’re looking for a wilder fan experience, consider ordering tickets through one of the team’s 4 main supporters groups: The Screaming Eagles, La Barra Brava, La Norte, or the District Ultras.
2013 promises to be an exciting year for District sports fans and you don’t have to wait for the Nationals to show your DC sports pride outside of the confines of the Verizon Center. Vamos United!
Libations and TVs
This weekend’s season opening match will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network, but if you’d rather surround yourself with fellow fans head to one of these bars:
- Touchdown Sports Bar – 1334 U Street NW. An official bar partner of DC United.
- Lucky Bar – 1221 Connecticut Avenue NW. Lucky Bar will be showing the game on an assortment of big screen televisions and encourages sports fans to enjoy a legendary “Big Ass Burger” along with their beverage of choice (I’m sold).
- The Queen Vic – 1206 H Street NE. If you’re heading out of Borderstan and over to H Street for the evening, you can still catch the match and an authentic British menu at another one of DC United’s official bar partners, The Queen Vic.
Borderstan welcomes new contributor Laetitia Brock. Email her at laetitia[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow her at @FrenchtwistDC and on her own blog French twist DC.
Yes, this weekend is Capital Pride and we’ll all be celebrating the unique heritage and history of the LGBT community here in D.C. but it’s also the first weekend of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Soccer players are quite attractive and fit, so one really doesn’t have to exclude the other.
The Euro is all about a different kind of pride… European national pride. Pride in the beautiful sport. Pride in calling football “football” and not “soccer” and to know you belong to a small, misunderstood sports fans minority here in the U.S.
Every four years, we Europeans take pride in hating one another: all in good spirit, of course. Because of the time difference, most of the matches are shown in the middle of the day. Which is great on weekends when we all want an excuse to start drinking at noon. On weekdays, it’s a little trickier… though you can always sneak out for a “long lunch” and watch the games at the few bars and restaurants that will be showing them in the area.
Veranda. If you’ve made the connection that the exterior of Veranda pretty much matches the Greek flag, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Logan Circle restaurant is throwing its weight behind the troubled Galanolefki. Poor Greece (and I for once I don’t mean bailout poor) has the tricky task of playing Poland, one of the host nations, in the opening game of the tournament. Not fun. So, take a long lunch break (or the afternoon off, I mean it IS Friday, after all) and come watch the match at noon on Veranda’s big HD screens. Then come back the next day, there’ll be a lamb on a spit. And soccer too. Though the football will be done by the time the lamb is ready (6ish).
James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar. The boys in green rarely get to go to international tournaments (sometimes because of a French hand and a bad call from a referee) and this is only their second time ever qualifying for a Euro Cup. They’re in a tough qualifying group that includes reigning world cup champions Spain, four-time world cup winners Italy and Croatia, which is ranked 8th in the world. But who doesn’t love an underdog? And Guinness! Both Irish pubs are showing all tournament matches live but I think the Irish game would be particularly great to watch there, with $4 Heineken and $5 Guinness specials.
Duffy’s Irish Pub. Duffy’s would be a great place to watch the Ireland games too, except they’re only showing the weekend games. They will have $3 Tall Boys of PBR available, but since their kitchen only opens at 5 pm (and the games are either at noon or 2:45) you can actually bring your own food or order delivery from one of the many nearby spots. Potluck anyone?
Barcode. Duffy’s is only showing weekend games? Well, Barcode on the other hand is only showing the weekday matches…
Local 16. Is showing all of the weekend games on their outdoor screens during brunch. Always a great place to enjoy the food and drinks.
Lucky Bar. Lucky Bar is always one of the better spot to watch the beautiful sport. On weekends, and maybe even during the week, it will fill up really quickly, so I recommend you show early, or even call ahead and book a table.
Public Bar. If you can make it up the stairs, Public Bar across the street offers $3 Peronis during the games, which is bound to attract supporters of the Azzurri. Italy-Spain should be a great game (Sunday, June 10 at noon) but be careful with those Peronis. You’ll have to make it down those stairs eventually…
Buffalo Billiards DC . Showing all the games live with $3.50 Heineken drafts and $3.50 Newcastle drafts specials.
Ventnor Sports Cafe. While they ask patrons to kindly leave their vuvuzelas at home, Ventnor will be opening up early for lunch everyday to screen the Euro Cup matches. Most of the games will be aired on ESPN and I’ve found that if you ask nicely and there’s no other big sporting event going on, restaurants with a television are not opposed to switching the channel for you (thanks Commissary and Stoney’s!). Though that doesn’t seem to include Estadio, who told me they only show “classic” soccer matches on their television sets… A final option for die-hard soccer fans is to hop on a plane to the Ukraine. According to this Washington Post article, there are still some tickets left for some of the games.
The UEFA Euro 2012 starts Friday, June 9 at noon and ends July 1. We’ll update the post once the teams have been narrowed down to the eight quater finalists. In the meantime, you can find a complete schedule of matches on the tournament’s website. May the odds ever be in your team’s favor!
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.
If there is one thing I enjoy, it’s being proved wrong (just not all the time). For the most part, I have generally found DC sports fans to be fairly fair-weathered when it comes to general game-day enthusiasm and excitement for their teams. (This may sound overly harsh, but it’s not meant to be). Yes, the Capitals playoff atmosphere for the triple overtime game I attended two weeks ago was amazing, but playoffs are a special occasion. On Wednesday, I attended the D.C. United vs Colorado Rapids professional soccer game at RFK stadium and I was quite impressed.
Now, to be fair, I went to the game with fairly low expectations. Major League Soccer (MLS) is still a growing league and has not taken off as they thought it might when it started. Sure, interest is high during World Cup years, but I would guess most average sports fans couldn’t name five teams in the league. I had only been to one previous MLS game and that was to see NY/NJ Red Bulls play the LA Galaxy in what was David Beckham’s first MLS game in NYC. Giant Stadium packed 66,000 people and it was an exciting game atmosphere (Beckham had 2 and 1 assist, just awesome).
Back to D.C. United. Located at RFK Stadium (which is a bit old), there was a great tailgate atmosphere upon arrival (yes, I’m sure Redskins have this too). Thanks to my girlfriend’s fantastic people skills, we actually had box VIP tickets for the game which made a big difference. As for my first United game, here’s what I thought:
Passion, Passion, and Constant Cheering. The section right next to midfield is filled with the loudest and craziest fans I have seen in D.C. It’s like they took a page right out of England’s soccer hooliganism playbook and though their numbers were small, they NEVER stopped singing/cheering during all 90 minutes of play. It was a multicultural crowd singing in Spanish and English assisted by a team of stadium staff assigned to getting the crowd going. It made a nice soundtrack to watching (they even have their own song to the tune of Yankee-Doodle).
21st Century Concessions. If you have ever sat in expensive/box/floor seats anywhere, you may have experienced waiter service. RFK has a great system which everyone can use, an online menu with free delivery. Within five minutes I was eating nachos and popcorn and I never left my seat. More stadiums need this.
Stadium is too Big. Seeing the entire upper deck empty was a bit depressing. My suggestion: Demolish RFK, put a new stadium for Redskins there, build United their own mini stadium either next to it, or somewhere else in the city. Easier said than done I know.
Because I have serious loyalties to my home teams in the four major sports, I am leaning to becoming a D.C. United fan. If anything, their jerseys with their logo (Screaming Eagle, badass) is pretty cool. Overall, a team worth checking out and I will attend again.
Scratching My Head on This One
Caps make great playoff run, coach quits… hmm.
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- The Nats are good. Maybe we could start thinking post-season. Hope this isn’t a jinx.
- Tim Tebow probably has great lawyers
- College. Football. Playoffs. YES
- Congrats to Borderstan reader/resident John Harms for winning Caps-Rangers series contest!