Aug 15, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT
The Union came up just short of three points yesterday, once again blazing the pitch late in the game and during extra time of a tied game. They were hungry for a victory, and could smell one in a sagging Colorado Rapids' half of the field. We'd switched up our vantage at PPL for the first time since it opened, leaving the comforts of the River End to explore a little at halftime. Oddly enough, in all these games, we'd yet to do a full lap around the stadium.
There was a promotion for founding members announced at the break saying we could get a free drink sample in the Captain Morgan roof deck, which is plenty reason to climb some steps if you ask me. Shockingly, we saw none other than Enrico (whom we hadn't made any plans to meet) in line at the bar. I bring all this up for two reasons.
First, I don't remember the last time I've been able to buy mixed drinks at a sporting event aside from in the Cadillac Grill at the WFC. I'm sure there are places you can do it, I just never end up in them. A Johnny Black on the rocks and a Tanqueray and tonic was just $18. May sound like a lot, and it is, but that's only $2 more than two Victory's there. The second reason I bring up our location is that we had a great view of the Union's final efforts toward a win, which, in my completely unbiased opinion, were thwarted by the refs. OK so maybe I'm biased. But these next few pictures aren't.
How this sequence didn't result in a foul call on Colorado, I'll never know.
No call. In person, it looked like a foul in the box, and we were ready for another Le Toux PK winner. But in seeing these frames, it looks the action started just outside, so it would have been just a close free kick. Doesn't matter as it wasn't whistled at all. [Photos c/o the Union's Facebook page]
Moments later, the Union would score what looked like the winner, sending smoke throughout the River End. Only it wasn't to be, as the ref's assistant whistled it offside. The offside call was totally legit (we couldn't see a replay from where we were, so we were irate, but watching replays at home, there were two Union players off). Still, the combination of these two late ref actions was just a brutal end to the match, even if they were dead on with the offsides call and not heinously egregious in the non-call on Le Toux.
In any case it was a great day at the park. Finally some appropriate weather for tailgating and standing and shouting outdoors. It was also cool to see what the River End looks and sounds like from across the field, where it was a constant undulation of motion and sound. Also encouraging was how loud some of the fans in other sections are, which is hard to pick up from our usual seats. Plus we had a great view of Le Toux and Danny Mwanga connecting for yet another Union goal. [Full video highlights here]
After the game, we stuck around for a while and played with these kids and their dad and uncle.
They were great, really comfortable with the ball and tenacious as hell. Another reminder that the future is bright for the sport here.
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