Hey Goal.com readers,
Hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. The Vancouver Whitecaps and I were in San Jose to take on the Earthquakes. A lot of people underestimate San Jose's small Buckshaw Stadium because it houses under 11,000 fans, but I disagree. The close setting creates a solid atmosphere and it's better than being a half-filled stadium. It made me think about all of the stadiums I've played in.
In terms of atmosphere, nothing beats the Stadio Azteca during World Cup qualifying. There's about 105,000 people in there, all of whom don't really like you. It creates a feeling of tension and excitement that is unforgettable. I relish those games because for me that's where's the fun is at.
If I had to pick my favorite Major League Soccer stadium, it would have to be a tie between the Seattle Sounders' CenturyLink Field and the Portland Timbers' Jeld-Wen Field. The energy of those two crowds is top notch. I also have to put my home at B.C. Place is right up there.
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B.C. Place is a brand-new stadium that's high-tech. I love walking on to the field. It's almost like a work of art. It's a very cool-looking stadium. All of those things make it an interesting place to play. I would say any of the Pacific Northwest stadiums are great to play in because of the atmospheres. I think those teams also benefit from the rivalries between all three teams.
I'm also looking forward to playing in Houston's new stadium this season.
The worst stadium in the league?
D.C. United's crumbling RFK Stadium.
I always like to start on a positive so I will say the one thing I do like about it - it's so old that when the fans bounce around, you can see the bleachers bowing and rattling. In a way, that's cool but I will admit, it's also kind of scary. That should tell everyone that D.C. NEEDS a new stadium.
Reviewing the fan base chants and traditions, I really like Seattle's slow clap and I enjoy when Portland does the zig-zag bounce.
Hopefully those two will be surpassed by the Whitecaps wave that we are trying to create. Give it some time and the Whitecaps wave will be better than all of those. I know I might be self-promoting a bit but that's the only way it'll catch on. I'm confident.
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I have to say I don't know too many other chants or waves in MLS. I think that says a lot about MLS fans. There aren't a lot of fan bases that have traditions that are synonymous with their teams. I would like to think that would be something that more people would like to try.
One thing I can't understand at all is Philly's obsession with the #DOOP hashtag. What is up with the DOOP thing Philadelphia? I've asked like three or four Union fans what it means, and none of them could it explain it. I'm just saying....
So yeah, I'm going to shout to the fans of the remaining 16 teams in the league: You need to be more creative. I want to see more of that stuff. Having passionate fans will only help MLS grow.