The United States Men’s National Team was at home last Wednesday in Glendale for a friendly game against their Mexican counterparts, but you wouldn’t have known it counting the amount of green in the stands. It was clear that Mexico’s fan base stretches deep into Arizona.
As it was my first real soccer match I’ve attended in the States, I didn’t know what to expect. My last professional game, a league match in Brazil featuring the famous Flamengo club, involved me walking through a favela to reach Estádio Olímpico. It was quite an experience.
Here, instead of a dodgy neighborhood to navigate, we had Glendale’s Westgate, a bar and restaurant district that features both a Margaritaville and a billboard for cheap funeral services (“586.25!”). I’m not here to pass judgment which experience is better.
There was a lot of Red, White, and Blue out there, though. It reminded me of a 4th of July party in some of the places we visited before the game. Lot’s of shouts of ‘MERICA’ and chants of ‘USA! USA!’ The energy was contagious.
The game itself was exciting enough. The USA took a halftime 2-0 league, but Mexico was able to tie it up by the end of the match, disappointing the American fans used to clear wins and losses in the ‘popular’ sports (me included). Regardless, a fun event right here in Glendale!