Have you ever wondered what it’s like to travel with a MLS soccer team?
Well aside from fans snapping photos on the plane, and a lot of Louis Vuitton carry-ons, the most interesting part was playing a newspaper crossword puzzle with Michael Parkhurst and Greg Garza. Yes, you read that correctly, Parkhurst and Garza bond over the challenge of finding an eight letter word for Danish Ancestor. And I had the pleasure of taking part in the tradition on our trip to Montreal. I may have only figured out a word or two, but the experience itself was worth the thoughtful challenge.
Once we landed in Montreal it was time to settle in and check out the city; or at least a place to eat. Poutine was the recommended dish to try and a local spot called Firegrill was within walking distance. A group of co-workers and I decided to try the Canadian dish and were pleasantly surprised! It is always nice when you are traveling for less than 48 hours to try and experience a meal in the city you visit. But the food wasn’t the only intriguing aspect of the trip, Montreal’s soccer fans were pretty serious!
Saturday afternoon we headed to Saputo Stadium for the match between Atlanta United and the Impact. A day which had been forecasted with rain and thunderstorms ended up being 68 and sunny!! One of the more historical venues in MLS, the atmosphere felt quaint at times, but once the fans filled the stadium it was electrifying. A beautiful afternoon for soccer without a cloud in the sky and Montreal’s fans welcomed the challenge from Atlanta United with open arms.
A dueling match from start to finish ended in a win for the home side—but that didn’t disappoint the fans who made the trip from Atlanta. As we exited the stadium following the match, a group of people wearing Atlanta United jerseys waited for the team by the buses and all were in awe that supporters traveled so far! This moment was probably one of the best of the trip.
This weekend we head to Salt Lake City to wrap up a four-match road stretch, while we know the altitude will be the main obstacle, we are looking for three points before heading home to Bobby Dodd on April 30th!