Tag Archives: david blair

Central Florida Top 5’s David Visits Peru: Futbol or Soccer, It’s All Beautiful!

While in Peru, I was able to take in the Copa Libertadores match between Sporting Cristal (Peru) and Huracan (Argentina). The match was great! even though it was not my beloved Lions on the pitch, I still loved taking it all in. As a supporter, your passion for the game runs very deep. It’s this love for the game that allows you appreciate the simple yet complex sport that is world football, regardless of who is on the pitch.

Even when it’s not your team playing, the energy and excitement from the thousands of supporters is unmatched anywhere in the sporting world. It’s an escape from the everyday grind. For 90 plus minutes, you find yourself consumed by the game and part of something bigger than you and you just allow it to take over.

A few days after the Copa Libertadores match, I was able to attend another match for one of the biggest clubs in all of Peru, Universitario de Deportes or “La U” as the locals call it.  I attended with a couple of my wife’s uncles.  They have been La U supporters since they were born, a tradition passed on to them by their father.  I have found that this is common across Europe and South America when it comes to which football club people support.  You don’t just choose a club, you are born into it and you follow it until the day you die.

However, there are a few defectors among the ranks of my wife’s family. A handful of them support Alianza Lima, the other big club in Peru. I am not sure how this happened, but if I had to guess, a couple of the Iberico (my wife’s family surname) ladies married Alianza supporters, and their kids were raised to support Alianza Lima.  These are the two most decorated clubs in all of Peruvian football.  It’s been said that 65% of all Peruvians support one of these two clubs. In a country of over 30 million, and a league with 16 clubs, that is a lot of supporters for just two clubs!

David Peru

This is ‘relaxed’ security in Peru

One thing I noticed when entering the stadium for the match is the relaxed security.  At first I thought, this was going to be a very thorough and intimidating affair, but it wasn’t.  The cops are dressed in riot gear throughout the stadium, and you get the feeling something is about to pop off! But when all was said and done, there was no pat down, and all I had to do was show my passport. It was much different than what goes down at the Citrus Bowl on match day.  At the same time, our security is not walking around with riot shields, helmets, and batons.

There is no alcohol allowed in the stadium. I was a little shocked by this… Maybe this is how it is everywhere else in the world, but I am used to being able to have a few beers in the stadium when I watch a match. The only options I had here were Pepsi, juice, or water.  All three are served with no ice, in tiny cups. So for me, drinking warm Pepsi out of an 8 ounce paper cup was a little strange. I did however have a delicious chorizo on a roll while I was there.

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Hablas… ‘Chorizo!’

You get the feeling there is no “official” concession company running the show inside the stadium.  In all honestly it seems like a bunch of random people just selling whatever they were able to get into the stadium.  Which is cool because no two matches are the same and the variety of snacks is all over the place, depending on what made it into the stadium.

The supporters were different at both matches as well. For the Copa Libertadores match, Sporting Cristal had three different supporter sections in the stadium. One behind each goal on the north and south ends of the stadium, and one of the second level right at midfield.  It was a bit strange because all three sections did their own things during the match.  All three sections were loud and non stop for the full 90 minutes, but none of the chants were in sync.  The only thing that was done in unison, was the balloon release at the beginning of the match. A side from that, it was three separate shows from three separate locations in the stands. Before the match started, there were a couple of drummers down near the pitch playing in front of the supporters at the north end. But after the match started, the drums were silent.

David Peru

Tio Manuco, Me, Tio Henry at La U match

The match for Universitario de Deportes (La U) was similar to what I am accustomed too.  There was one section behind goal with about 5,000 supporters called La Norte, or The North.  They did not have drums, but they did chant for the full 90 minutes and it sounded amazing.  It seriously made me miss being in The Wall.  One thing they did that was a bit different was a card display tifo right before the second half.  In all there were about 35,000 in the stadium for the match, and all of them knew the chants whenever La U would score a goal.  The place would erupt into one very loud, very passionate, celebratory chant.  It was awesome! Hopefully we will have that same response when Orlando City scores a goal in the coming seasons.

I have to say my trip to Peru did not disappoint.  The food was great, the people were great, and the futbol was equally great! This past Sunday was my first Orlando City match of the season, and it was amazing!

Orlando is where reigning MLS Cup Champions come to be humbled.  Last year it was LA Galaxy getting beat up on 4-0, and this year Portland Timbers ate a big piece of humble pie, going down 4-1.  I was able to watch the first three matches when I was in Peru, but I have to admit I was a little homesick when I had to watch the lads play on TV from 3,000 miles away.

David in Peru Orlando City

Top 5’s David shows Orlando City love from 2,600 miles away!

I had a taste of what I was missing and now I can’t wait for April 17th, when the Lions take on New England here in the Citrus Bowl. Good seats are still available for this match up.  Visit orlandocitysc.com/tickets for more info!

Vamos Orlando!

 

 

Think You’ve Got What It Takes To Be An Orlando City Supporter?

Here’s a little taste of what life is like in the South End

So you want to be a supporter? We would love to have you, but do you completely understand what you are about to sign up for?

For starters, we do not sit. In fact, we are not even sure why the seat is there. I mean sure it’s nice to stand on if the person in front of you is super tall, but that’s about it. Thankfully our new downtown stadium will have a standing supporters section, the only one of it’s kind in MLS!

Another thing you will need to do is lose your voice. Sound weird? Well consider this… from the march to the final whistle, we do not stop chanting and singing. Once we start, there is no turning back. We are in this for Orlando City and we refuse to be silenced.

OCSC Carolina Challenge field

Smoke, it’s in our DNA.

Supporters without smoke is like a tailgate without beer. The two go hand in hand and should never be separated. You never know when the smoke is going to pop off, so make sure you have your bandana. A true supporter has their bandana on them at all times. There is nothing more beautiful than flags and scarves high in the air, surrounded by a cloud of purple smoke.

You have to understand that soccer is the only sport in the world with a true supporter culture. It is the supporters that create the atmosphere for everyone in the stadium. It is something you will not find in any other major sport. Just try popping off smoke or waving a flag at an NFL or MLB game. If you do the only thing you will be seeing is the exit.

David & The Ruckus

Vamos Orlando and Vamos The Ruckus!

 

Being a supporter is not passive. We live and breathe for Orlando City. It’s in our hearts and in our souls. We bleed purple for the club that we love. We are, The Wall!

If you are interested in becoming a supporter there are two recognized supporter groups, The Ruckus and the Iron Lion Firm. You can click on the link below to join or stop by the tailgate to see what we are all about. The official supporter tailgate is in lot 11. Hope to see everyone at Orlando Citrus Bowl on March 8th!

More info:

http://www.orlandocitysc.com/fans

For tickets please visit: http://orlandocitysc.com/tickets

Orlando City Soccer: Forever My City!

Introducing our newest writer, David!

My name is David Blair. I was born and raised right here in Orlando. My first introduction to the beautiful game of soccer was on a trip to England when I was 19 years old.

Prior to this trip, soccer was never part of my life. Growing up I played baseball with SAY and Pine Castle Little League. I had one friend that lived around the block and he was the only one that played soccer. I always thought it was weird he didn’t play baseball or football like the rest of us kids in the neighborhood. What I know now is that he and his parents were ahead of their time.

Fast forward 18 years and here I am writing a blog dedicated to being a supporter of Orlando City Soccer Club. In 2010, when it was first announced that Orlando was getting professional soccer, I was pumped! The first home match in 2011 was against FC New York. I remember being there with my wife, sister in-law, mother in-law, and my friend Kevin. It was around my birthday so they bought me a t-shirt and a scarf at that match. Since then, I have been City Til I Die!

David B & Kaka

David and Orlando City’s Kaka!

 

For most of the first season we sat near midfield. Then a buddy of mine named Pablo suggested that we sit behind the goal in the supporter section, so we did. My life was never the same. I know it sounds silly, but it’s the truth. There is a passion and sense of unity among supporters that you cannot find with any other sports fans. It’s just something you have to experience for yourself to understand what I am talking about. My suggestion to you… DO IT! Come to a match and sit with the supporters. If you hate it, I’ll buy you a beer. If you love it, I’ll buy you a beer. It’s a win/win!

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See? He wasn’t kidding!

 

This weekend I will be attending the Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston with my fellow supporters from The Wall. We open up the tournament against New York City FC this Saturday evening. The Houston Dynamo and Charleston Battery are also participating in the week-long tournament. All matches will be streaming live on the Charleston Battery YouTube Channel. Here is the link for your viewing pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheCHSBattery

I will be sure to keep you posted on the trip to Charleston and the rest of the Carolina Challenge Cup for Orlando City.

Orlando City Soccer #FillTheBowl

This is Orlando!