It’s fun watching Los Angeles Football Club on TV and following the team through various outlets, but if you get the chance, you should definitely go to a game.
I chose to attend the game on Saturday night, LAFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes. I was not disappointed, as LAFC went down, took the lead, went behind again, seemingly for good, only to roar back and win at the last second.
Pregame I went out to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a beverage or two in downtown San Jose.
There was a good presence of LAFC fans in downtown San Jose, and it boded well for the turn out at the actual game. (Note, for any LAFC fans looking to make the trip to San Jose for a game in the future, if you are looking for a good pregame hangout spot, go to San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. It has a series of good bars and restaurants, and it’s a short shuttle or Lyft ride from there to the stadium).
I then made my way to the stadium, to watch warmups and just sort of take in the atmosphere.
After lingering at the bar for a while I was about to make my way to my seat, but I was confused, I had seen a fair number of LAFC fans, but I had not encountered much of The 3252, who I was assuming would make the trip up from LA. Just then, walking past the bar I did find them.
For those unfamiliar with Avaya stadium, behind the goal near the main entrance of the stadium is the TC 4k Bar, the largest outdoor bar in North America. Behind that facing the street is the fanzone, a grass field with games and food trucks and a place for fans to hang out pregame.
It was in a corner of the fan zone where The 3252 had set up, chanting and drumming and get themselves psyched up for the game.
There were a few police officers around The 3252, to diffuse any potential tensions, as one of their chants was not complimentary of the Earthquakes or San Jose in general.
But for the 10 minutes or so that I was watching them, there never was much, if any, tension between the passing Earthquakes fans and The 3252. The most common reaction by Quakes fans that I saw was curiosity, and many stopped to take pictures or videos of The 3252’s pregame hype session.
Finally, it was time for the game to start. I was sitting on the opposite side of the stadium from the away section, but it was full and rowdy. I couldn’t hear most of the chants, though at times I could make out the “LA! FC!” chant. But it was clear they were fully engaged, and went back and forth in songs and insults with the San Jose Ultras, the main Earthquakes supporters group.
I’m sure most of you have seen the game, or read a recap of it, so I won’t go over that again here.
What was striking, which might not have been fully visible on TV, was the reaction at the final whistle. For the LAFC players and coaches, it was one of jubilation. They were running around jumping and hugging each other, celebrating as if that was the Champions League final.
This was a huge road win for LAFC, to snap a losing streak away from home in the most dramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, most of the Earthquakes players dropped to their knees, heads in their hands. They saw their chances of possibly resurrecting their season go up in smoke in a span of about five minutes.
The LAFC fans stayed a long while after in the away section, celebrating the victory, and the players came over and applauded the fans for making the trip up north.
In closing, the game was a lot of fun, and I encourage anyone who has not yet been to a game this year to go to one. The in game experience is just different to watching on TV, and all reports are that the in game experience at Banc of California Stadium is one of the best.
And, if you are planning an away trip for an LAFC game, you could hardly go wrong in choosing San Jose.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!