Team USA

Although the Olympics are held in London, many of the preliminary football matches are held in different stadiums (stadia? I’ve heard that recently, not sure if that’s correct?) around the country. One of these stadiums happened to be Hampden Park, Glasgow and one of the qualifying groups to play here included the US women’s football team. Now I’m not a football fan at all but I felt like I had to be a good American expat and cheer on my home team. Plus, when again would I get an Olympic event practically in my back yard? Hampden is so close to our flat that when they hold concerts there, we can hear the music with our windows open!

The match kicked off at 5 so we caught the train over to the stadium around 4:15. I was expecting the train to be packed as they usually are on game days, but it wasn’t that busy at all. The hype was much more than the reality. In the week leading up to the Olympics, Glasgow Central had been outfitted with tons of barriers, signs and Olympics volunteers in pink vests. I was expecting the train station to be absolutely overrun with tourists and fans and the compete chaos that the media have been going on about. While there were a lot of police and volunteers from the train station to the stadium it was a lot less busy than an Old Firm game. Out of anyone, Scotland knows how to do busy, crowded and rowdy soccer games!

As soon as we got in line to pick up our tickets I started hearing my first American accents! I almost never hear an American accent in Glasgow so I was kinda excited to be amongst my people again. I’m not sure if the Americans were tourists, living in Glasgow or living in the UK and travelled to be here for the game, but about half of the crowd seemed to be American. Some were really dressed up! I wore a red, white and blue outfit with a star print scarf and got mistaken for a French supporter.

French? Also you know this is a football game in Scotland because of the Irn-Bru truck. Wouldn’t get that at an Olympic event in London!

Anyway, the game! As I’m not the biggest football fan I lost interest about 2 seconds into the match. Danny thought it was a really good game and by the end, I had to agree as we won 3-0. What I did notice is that the game got really physical. Maybe I noticed it more because I wasn’t just watching the game on TV, but there was a lot of shoving, pushing and even an instance where a Colombian player clawed at an American player’s face! Our team played really well though and I can see why they’re world champions.

The weather was okay during the game but got really cold toward the end. We didn’t bring any cash with us and didn’t realize the stadium was cash only with no cash machines. Would have been nice if they advertised that somewhere before entry gates!  Poor Danny was starving and we only had the free tap water to get us through. Immediately after the game we stopped at the nearest takeaway for chicken pakora and a garlic chili chicken pizza. Was amazing! We ate the pakora while waiting out a downpour and ate the pizza while watching the men’s gymnastics at home.

Freezing, ready to get out of there and get something to eat! We could have stayed for the North Korea v France match (I was already dressed for the event) but my football attention span is not that long. I did my bit to support Team USA and now I can say I’ve been to Olympic event!

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