“You’re dead to me now, Wingert!”
That’s just one of several sentiments I had the pleasure of hearing being shouted into the night air from behind me as I sat in section 206 of Yankee Stadium last week.
My brother Mike and I were able to make the long trip out to New York City for one night to attend the game when RSL handily defeated NYCFC by a score of 3-2.
Unfortunately, our seats weren’t with the RSL away supporters section (which, from our angle, seemed to be a good 25-30 people strong), but we were one of the several people in RSL jerseys scattered throughout the rest of the stadium that night.
Naturally, we were given mostly glaring looks all night around the city as we were decked out in our RSL gear. On the subway, walking up to the stadium, walking around before the game started, and then especially after the game was over making our way back to our hotel.
For the game, we were smack dab in the middle of section 206, surrounded by plenty (but not a ton) of passionate NYCFC fans who watched as their team took an early lead, but then gave up three straight to fall to our boys in claret and cobalt.
At first, the NYC fans around us were super friendly and seemed genuinely happy to see away supporters making the long trip. That didn’t last long.
As RSL started knocking in goal after goal and we were the only ones in our section jumping up and screaming at the top of our lungs, a chorus of boos rung out from behind us as the home fans got more and more frustrated while watching their team yet again give up another valuable three points at home.
Amidst our elation, the NYC supporters around us took it upon themselves to point out where our designated away supporters section was, and would let us know how little they appreciated our enthusiasm for the scoreline that was unfolding before their eyes.
It didn’t bother us a bit, and we were of course incredibly happy and proud to be there, no matter where our seats were. While they were chanting “chicken bucket” all around us for some inexplicable reason, we were cheering on our boys as we took the full three points out of their hands.
The fans weren’t all grumpy toward us, of course. We met plenty of NYC fans who were cordial and friendly even after the result was finalized. I even saw at least a handful of blue Chris Wingert jerseys from his NYCFC days around the stadium, and I’m sure it was a treat for fans to welcome him back to the city for a moment, regardless of the game’s result.
Then of course, there were the RSL fans. I was surprised and happy to see so many RSL supporters make the trip out there for the game. As I mentioned before, there was a pretty strong showing in the designated away supporters section, as well as plenty of other red shirts and jerseys scattered throughout the stands. We even ran into a group of five other RSL fans who came out from Utah on the subway leaving the game.
Even aside from the game itself, it was a great experience to make my first visit to the legendary Yankee Stadium. The whole trip was more than worth the time and funds spent, and I’m already looking forward to heading out there again in two years when RSL visits NYCFC again. Although, to be honest, I’m even more excited about getting back to Rio Tinto Stadium after a six week break from home games, as I'm sure all of us are.
Oh yeah, and we made a new friend on the flight home, which seemed like a pretty good way to end what was already an amazing trip.