Soccer in the City at Yankee Stadium

Now, I’m not actually a Paris-Saint-Germain fan. I’ve never been to any of their games. I don’t think I’ve even watched one on TV either. I couldn’t name a single one of the players currently on the roster. But I am from Paris and for all intents and purposes, PSG is my home team. If they cross the Atlantic to play an exhibition match a few hours away from where I live now, you bet I’ll be right there in a spanking PSG(ish)-branded shirt I had a really hard time finding here in the US 😉

Friends for 15 years now, we have the same taste in macaron flavours, but not in football teams
It was a night of firsts… My first time cheering for the Paris-Saint-Germain. My first time at Yankee Stadium. I’m pretty sure my first time in the Bronx too. It was also the new Yankee Stadium’s first time hosting a football match as Les Parisiens met European power house Chelsea FC on Sunday night.  Playing without newly acquired Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Paris pulled a 1-1 draw against the 2012 Champions League winner (who even brought their trophy and Blues mascot Stamford the Lion along for the trip…). This all happened in front of a very honourable crowd of 38,202 soccer fans. If it hadn’t been for the covered up pitcher mound, the well-behaved crowd and the American accents around me, I could have thought I was at London’s Stamford Bridge. I’d estimate some 38,000 people were there to cheer for the British team 😉 Despite the large French community living in New York, barely anyone showed up to cheer for Paris. Perhaps they’re all OM fans. Or are too busy vacationing in the Riviera right now… There was notheless a small pocket of Paris fan behind one of the goal who were thrilled when Nene opened the score at the 30th minute. Paris dominated the first half of the game but Chelsea made some smart changes at half time and finished the game on a higher note, with Piazon equalizing at the 82nd minute. Oh well, no one wins, no one loses.
Yankee Stadium was turned into a soccer field for the occasion
What’s next for the two teams? The MLS World Challenge tournament continues and Chelsea is headed to Philadelphia to meet Frenchie Thierry Henry and Ben Olsen’s MLS All-Stars team. Paris on the other hand is spending a few days practicing its A Rod-like acquisition (who may or may not make his debut with the team here in the U.S.) at Princeton University before heading to…Washington, D.C. Of course, I bought my ticket and planned my whole excursion to New York BEFORE they announced that PSG would replace Juventus in the July 28th friendly against D.C. United at RFK…. Oh well, I guess that just means I get to cheer for Paris twice in one week! How do the commercials go again? Trip to New York: $75. Brand new PSG shirt: $20 (yes, I went cheap). Tickets to the game: $140. Cheering for Paris at Yankee Stadium with one of my oldest friend: priceless (even though she was cheering for Chelsea!) And the best part is I get to do it all over again this weekend!

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