We are in Baltimore as you know and, after a week of rain and being only about an hour from Washington DC by car (it’s 3 days by boat), Gordon arraigned for us to have a car for a couple days and I arraigned for us to go to a WPS soccer game. Andie has a good friend, with whom she played soccer while at Clemson, who is still playing. Only now3 she’s a professional and we thought we’d go see her play.
Nancy Augustyniak Goffi, (longest name on a soccer jersey ever) plays for the Boston Breakers of the WPS and they were in town to play the Washington Freedom. Nancy and her twin Julie used to play for the Atlanta Beat, in WUSA, before that league folded.
As most of you know, I really enjoy watching soccer and knowing a player makes it that much more fun. I asked Andie to let Nancy know that we would be attending the game and that we would love to see her again. Done and done! Nancy got back with Andie and offered us tickets J and we accepted!! We spent the better part of the day picking up the usual groceries, dog food, and boat supplies before heading off to DC.
On one of our earlier stops that day, we finally broke down and bought a Garmin GPS. It has already paid for its self just getting us to the soccer field. Also, if Gordon doesn’t have a magenta line (line on the boats chart plotter) to follow he can get lost!!
The Freedom actually play in Boyds, Maryland, at a county sports and soccer complex. There are nineteen natural grass fields, three artificial fields, and eight indoor courts. Two miniature golf courses, a driving range, a swim center; and of course the Stadium completes the facility. It is really a faboulous set up and is excellent for tournaments; eat your heart out Troy!! We arrived about an hour before the game, in hopes of talking to Nancy, but were only able to get pictures of her and the teams warming up.
Now time for me to complain…TWO things that really tick me off are: ONE, people not standing, removing hats, and paying attention for the national anthem. It is a sad situation when foreign players will stand erect, facing the flag at attention and Americam players bend, stretch, and talk to one another during the Anthem. Most of these players are the ages of my children and I would knock them upside their heads if any of them had ever been that disrespectful. Ungrateful *&@?*$#^ !!!
And TWO, a person that doesn’t know the propper way the anthem is to be sung, (I know it is a difficult tune), and can’t maintain the beat acapella. If you don’t know how to sing it, DON”T SING IT!!! This woman was all up and down the scale and sung it like it was a prayer. It had to be the slowest rendition I have ever heard. Thus, otherwise, you give the players and spectators reason to bend, stretch and talk!! We should all realize that freedoms we have are being taken from us because of this indifference and lack of respect. Nuff said!
The game started out slowly, but at the 5 minute mark, the referee issued a red card on Alex Scott, a Brit, and one of the cleanists players playing. She committed to the ball and due to wet conditions, went through a Freedom player, who crumbled and began rolling about on the field, and was able to jump up and play imediately with no medical attention!! It was certainly a foul, possibly a caution, but ejection???…NO. The Breakers continued the rest of the game a player down. (Side note, Freedom has played the Breakers 3 tines with no wins!!) Tonight they would get a win in the 73rd minute off a lone goal by Abby Wambach. Nancy played most of the second half at defense and made a spectacular run across the field taking away a goal scoring opportunity.
The game ended 1-0 and we made our way around the field and were able to get more pictures and an Abby Wambach autograph on a commerative “100 goals” placard. A really cool moment was when Kristine Lilly came to the corner and her 18 month old daughter ran out to her. Kristine was on her knees and fell back on her back in a giant hug with her.(sorry no picture) This is something you don’t see in men’s professional sports. We did meet up with Nancy and were able to talk a bit, before the rain started and she had to board the bus. THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU again!!!
Today was a one of the great days in life and marks one more thing I can check off my “bucket list!!”