July Fireworks INSIDE Audi Field
What a day! On Saturday, July 13th, roughly 100 fans piled into the Heineken Club at Audi Field to enjoy
the best show in town: a live crossover of beloved soccer podcasts The Cooligans and Total Soccer Show.
In their first performance in a soccer stadium, Taylor, Daryl, Christian and Alexis entertained the crowd for
over two hours with a combination of interviews, audience-interaction, and stand-up comedy.
There was laughter, tears, and a whole lot of applause for a simply wonderful afternoon!
The afternoon started off featuring an interview with United Coach Ben Olsen, who appeared to enjoy himself despite the stress of the previous evening's match.
In between questions ["You can't get fined here, baby!"] and teasing about what he said in the locker room at halftime to turn around DCU's match against the Revs, Olsen also expressed a heartfelt sentiment during his interview: "I love this club. This club means everything to me." That's good to hear, coach!
Following the interview, attendees were treated to brief comedy routines from Christian Polanco and Alexis Guerreros, who when not hosting The Cooligans, are also stand-up comedians in New York City.
Taylor Rockwell and Daryl Grove from Total Soccer Show used Daryl's thoughtful explainers as part of an exercise to see if they could change the temperature of the room on some controversial issues, such as the idea of using a flat salary cap in MLS. One argument specifically for United fans? "You'd have Wayne Rooney and 10 borderline amateurs."
Next up, The Cooligans sat down for a relaxed chat in Spanish with United MF Junior Moreno, who hails from Venezuela. Junior was extremely gracious, and supporters enjoyed getting to hear from him. Junior reports that the team has embraced him with open arms, and that he feels welcomed into the community.
For those attendees not fluent in Spanish, Alexis and Christian provided on-the-spot translations of their interview. Included were plans to visit Junior's mother's house one of these days - he misses her arepas!
After Junior's departure, the foursome spoke with local soccer journalist Pablo Maurer (@mlsist on Twitter), who writes for The Athletic, and Jason Davis, host of the SiriusXM show "United States of Soccer".
A wide variety of topics were discussed, from Pablo's photography to the pros and cons of Skype interviews (group consensus: audio > audio + video), to former DCU and current Rev's coach Bruce Arena's unprompted sound-off after NE visited Audi Field. According to Pablo, "Bruce Arena is a quote machine." We would have to concur with that sentiment.
The final guest of the day was the goal-scoring hero of Friday night's match, Quincy Amarikwa. First of all, if you still haven't seen his beautiful 86th minute game-tying goal off of a Wayne Rooney free kick, go watch it right now.
Sitting down with our podcast hosts the following day, Quincy described his philosophy as "Adapt or Die". He also discussed his well-known ability to get inside the heads of opposing players, demonstrating multiple techniques on TSS's Daryl, who happened to be seated next to him. When asked if the opposition says anything to him about his unorthodox game, Quincy replied, "Oh yeah, they hate it, which just motivates me more." Well, we love it , Quincy - keep it up!
When our organization's president and vice-president originally conceived of the notion of bringing The Cooligans down to D.C. (after meeting them at last year's annual meeting of the Independent Supporters' Council), it was little more than a dream, but they were determined to make it happen. We were delighted in their interest, and even more thrilled when Total Soccer Show agreed to join the party. It took months of phone calls, emails and text messages, but with the support of D.C. United we were able to make it happen, and we couldn't be happier. We had a blast!
If you or your supporters' club is interested in bringing The Cooligans and/or TSS to your town (and trust us, you want them both at the same time if you can swing it), it can be done! It's worth the effort, we assure you. These four are good people who truly care about growing the game and supporting the soccer community, and if you have food, they will travel!
Some of the legwork will in fact be up to you, so research venue options. Does your team's stadium have a clubhouse or auditorium that could be used? If you're not sure, ask your front office. Find out who at their end needs to talk to the Cooligans and TSS to arrange scheduling. Talk to the front office in advance about player availability for interviews, and be persistent. An event like this promotes the club, the front office, and the sport, while bringing supporters together. Remind them this will bring nothing but good publicity.
Many thanks to D.C. United for helping make it happen, and shouts to all those who bought tickets to the show. And of course, a giant THANK YOU to Taylor, Alexis, Daryl and Christian. Let's do it again sometime!