Visit to Van City – Sounders away match and more

The Sounders rivalry with the Whitecaps reaches back to 1974 when they both joined the NASL, and through the years they have faced each other on and off through many other leagues as soccer struggled to establish itself in North America. Well, we are now into year 4 of the Sounders FC, and the second year of the Whitecaps joining the MLS.

Yesterday proved that both northwest teams are no longer struggling for relevance, but for dominance in the top heavy Western Conference.

On this trip, Crystal and I were joined by my good friends Dan and Dan (aka Dlee, as he was the second of the two Dans I met) in the Sounders away section. We stood with the ECS which had a very strong showing at 800 strong (not including those who made their way into other sections of the stadium wearing rave green).

The conclusion of our 3 hour car ride north had us at Pivo Public House just a few blocks from BC Place. Our plan was to arrive before 11:45am to watch the Chelsea v. Bayern Munich Champions League Final. We spent the first half at the pub enjoying the food. I suggest the triple fries and the chicken sliders.
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At half time we made our way to the stadium to take our seats, as the stadium was also showing the final. We watched the end of regular time on the gigantic screens hanging over the field, but unfortunately didn’t get to see the conclusion as it ran into the start of the game.
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Our 800 strong in the corner of the stadium.

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The game ended in a dramatic 2-2 draw, with Fredy Montero scoring in the final minute of regular time on a curling effort past the flat footed keeper. From our angle in the corner on the opposite side of the stadium we couldn’t actually tell if the ball went it right away, so there was a half second delay between the goal and the supporters erupting in celebration. The way the keeper stood there staring at the ball without even trying for it had me convinced that the ball went wide and had hit the outside of the side net. What a way to end a game against your local rivals.

As it was only a day trip, we explored a few nearby neighborhoods and ended up in Chinatown. I’ve never been able to make it there in the past, so it was a pretty cool experience. We first went to a little bakery which had both Chinese and Filipino pastries and bought ourselves a few snacks. Then we went to a nearby park to enjoy our sweets.
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Crystal showing off her almond cookie.
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We also stopped by a macaroon shop to visit with Dlee’s cousin. She hooked us up with the goods.
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The drive back involved lengthy conversation about politics, religon, The Avengers, comics, my hatred for Avatar, and other lovely things while Crystal tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep.

All in all, a very successful trip and successful Saturday. Something to look forward to is another trip as there is another away game to Vancouver in September….

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