Dooping On Our Affiliate: A View From An Illegitimate SOB
It is the day after the Union played their “affiliate” the Reading United in a “friendly.” The words affiliate and friendly are in quotations because neither was true last night. I will get to the reasons for that later on, but let me start at the beginning. Last night’s game was a first for me; it was the first game I went to by myself. You might say that’s not a big deal, but for me it was. I am pretty shy and quiet. I did not buy a ticket before hand and I was worried so I drove up after work. I arrived at the stadium around four and there was already Sons of Ben tailgating. The box office and doors opened at five, and after purchasing my ticket I went in. I was wearing my SOB Illegitimates shirt since I wore it at the Rochester game and we won, so it’s my game day attire til we lose. I actually had some compliments on the shirt. While I was waiting for the other Sons of Ben to come in I bought a Reading United scarf to add to my collection.
When the Sons of Ben came in we headed to the side of the stadium where nobody was sitting and set up the tifos. There was a chain link fence between the field and the stands. The SOBs just lined up along the fence only a few feet from the out of bounds line. The Unions starting lineup had Chris Konapka in goal, backline of Ray Gaddis, Greg Jordan, Amobi Okugo and Captain Gabriel Farfan. Playing in the middle were Zach Pfeffer, Michael Farfan, Cristhian Hernandez, and Jimmy McLaughlin. The two up top were, Chandler Hoffman and Antoinne Hoppenot. ReadingUnited having played the night before did not play all of it’s usual starters. I was told this by some SOBs who are also members of The Locos aka the Reading United supporters group. I know this game was called a friendly, but there was nothing friendly about. Reading was playing very physical soccer and they were out for blood. I think they wanted to stand out to the coaches like Gaddis did last year and get a call up to the big team.
The game started with the Union getting on the board first in the eighth minute with a strike from Chandler Hoffman. The SOBs went crazy and they actually played DOOP over the loudspeaker which surprised us. A couple of minutes later Garfan went down clutching his back. I did not see what happened to Garfan, but he was taken out of the game and was replaced with Roger Torres. I think that Roger looked rusty but he still played well. His passing was a thing of beauty. The one thing that he did do wrong was that he missed on a penalty kick. The keeper for Reading guessed right and made a diving save to the corner. Reading tied up the game on a penalty shot after a handball in the box. The first half ended with the Union and Reading 1-1.
The second half began with Jack McInerney and Jouse Martinez coming on for Ray Gaddis and Marfan. It looked like Reading changed their entire lineup. I think that Hoppenot, McInerney, Martinez, and Hoffman played very well together. Jouse has the speed that puts defenders on their heels, and Jack,and Antoine and Chandler were able to crash the net and cause problems for defenders trying to cover them. Jack Mac got on the board with an awesome free kick that got by the goalie for Reading. The Union then took a 3-1 lead on an own goal by a United defender trying to clear the ball. They did not play doop for us so we DOOPed on our own.
This is when things started to get ugly. I think both teams forgot that it was a friendly and were making rough challenges that were capped off by Roger Torres being pushed out of bounds and into the chain link fence surrounding the field right in front of the Sons of Ben. I thought some of the Sons of Ben and other Union fans were going to jump the fence. Reading did score one to pull back to one down on a nice shot that Konakpa did not have a chance on. The final whistle blew with the Union on top 3-2. After the game was over the players led by Hoffman, came over along the fence and walked down the line and gave hugs and high fives. This why being a supporter of the Union is so special. The interaction between the players and the fans is something you don’t get in other sports. This game had the young guns out on the field for the Union and if last night’s game is any indicator the future looks bright. This game ranks up there as one of my favorite Union moments.
Philadelphia Union v. Reading United AC – Highlights (@barbcvphilly)
It was hard to understand the PA announcer on our side sometimes so the Sons of Ben were having fun with the announcer
The mascot for ReadingUnited is a red bull named Toro. We let him know that WE ALL HATE RED BULL.
There was a 50/50 drawing and a member of the Sons of Ben won an autographed Reading United Ball. We DOOPed for the WINNER.
Roger Torres at one point went up for a header against the tallest player on Reading United. It was quite comical. It was not even close.