Congratulations to Philadelphia Union fan Jeff Neumann, the winner of the inaugural SBI Philadelphia Union Ticket Contest.
Jeff posted what we felt was the entry most reflective of what Philadelphia-area soccer fans are experiencing with their new team.
Jeff will receive two club seat tickets for Saturday's match between the Philly Union and D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field. SBI will be holding contests throughout the year for SBI readers interested in attending Union home games (and no, it won't always be Union fans winning).
Here is Jeff's contest entry:
Why the Philadelphia Union means so much to me
By JEFF NEUMANN
The Philadelphia Union mean so much to me because they will be the continuation of a long family tradition of spending time together through soccer.
My earliest memories include going to Veterans Stadium and then the benches of Franklin Field to watch the Philadelphia Atoms from about 1974-76 (from what I remember the last season they fielded a mostly Mexican team but I still got a chance to watch the likes of American icons like Bobby Rigby and Bobby Smith).
Then it was back to Veterans Stadium to watch the Philadelphia Fury and to run around (unsupervised) in a 99%-empty stadium with my brother.
In fact, the worst years in Metroland at Giants Stadium don’t compare to the crowds for the Fury which I remember being announced at 5-7,000 (except when the Cosmos came to town) but were closer to between 200-2,000—we got to know most of them on a first name basis. One of the highlights was winning forward Pat Fidelia’s jersey at a team dinner through a raffle–nobody knew who he was, but I was a proud 8 year-old.
While my family and I have spent the last 14 seasons driving entirely too far to be Metro-Red Bull supporters, we are elated to be back home in Philly (ok, it’s Chester but what the hell). This first season we will have 3 generations of family attending games and reviving our home-town tradition.