Women’s Pro Soccer: Chicago Red Stars vs. Atlanta Beat

* F I N A L   S C O R E *
Chicago Red Stars0
Atlanta Beat0

So yesterday, I ventured out to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL to see the Chicago Red Stars take on the Atlanta Beat. It’s kind of weird that this was my first Red Stars game because, well, I purchased Red Stars season tix last year. For some reason, I never actually used any of those tix. Actually, I know the exact reason. First of all, I can only go to games on Sundays. That eliminates a majority of the games becasue they usually play on Saturdays. Secondly, the few Sunday games where I was amped and ready to go, it would start POURING rain just before the game. I actually drove about halfway to Toyota Park twice last year, only to turn around when the torrential down pour began.

Anyway, rain, sleet or shine, I was determined to go to the game yesterday. The day started off nice…kinda overcast with a cool breeze. As I was leaving work @ 3 o’clock to head to the game it started poring rain! I was like “c’mon! …this is ridiculous!” But whatever, I decided to ignore the rain this time around and just continue on to the game. I had my raincoat (umbrellas aren’t allowed in the stadium) so I was prepared.

The drive to Toyota Park wasn’t too bad. I was coming from work (…which is right near Allstate Arena) so it was much closer than if I was leaving from home (…which is about 25 minutes further north). I decided not to take the expressway (…which probably would have been quicker), instead opting to take River Road south to 171. Of course, once I got in the vicinity of the stadium, I got hopelessly lost. I never did find Harlem Avenue, but I found some other random round-a-bout way of getting to the arena off of 171.

I got to the stadium at about 4:30pm for a 5pm game. Parking was kinda expensive at $15. That definitely makes me appreciate the $11 parking at Allstate, the $12 parking at UIC and the FREE parking at NU Wildcats games. I hate paying big money for parking, but hey, ya gotta do it, right?

Toyota Park is really nice. The Red Stars only use one side of the stadium so a lot of the pictures that I took look like there is nobody there. In actuality, there was a really nice sized crowd. Announced attendance was about 4,200.

Oh, I should probably mention that the rain stopped on my way to the game. During the game, there was a nice cool breeze, but no rain. Thank goodness!

I wandered around the concourse for a little bit before finding my seat. Obviously, the concourses are outside so there’s a real laid-back chill vibe going on there. There was variety of concessions available but only one of the big concession stands was open. The lines were really long and I didn’t feel like waiting, so I didn’t get any food (…found out later that you could order food from your seat too!).

After exploring the concourse, I finally made it to my seats. They were great seats! Center field, about 10 or so rows back. $45.

Ok, Sky fans, the Red Stars have a really awesome chant called “When the Stars go Running In” that they do at the beginning of the game as the players are walking onto the field for introductions. We totally need a chant, a catchy song…something! I loved this!

Another thing that I really loved was that Red Stars fans showed a lot of team spirit. Practically everyone was wearing Red Stars gear. Some people were so over-the-top with hats, scarves, flags…ect. It was cool. We definitely need more of that at Allstate for the Sky.

Red Stars also have drums…but they definitely ain’t no drumline! I have no idea whether they just allow fans to bring drums in and start banging away or if that group was part of the organization…either way, it was cool.

At halftime, a bunch of youth soccer teams played brief soccer games on the field…at least I think it was soccer. They were playing some game where you could catch the ball, run with it, dribble it (with your hands like in basketball) and kick it. I don’t know if this was a completely different game of if this is how youth soccer is being played these days. All I know is — when I was a kid playing youth soccer, this oddness didn’t exist lol 🙂

Regarding the actual soccer…it was fun. This was my first time at a professional soccer game and I really don’t know much about the actual rules and whatnot of soccer. I tried to figure it out as I went along (…and my buddy Gary — who is a Sky and Red Stars STH — was cool about explaining a lot of things to me).

I’ve come to the conclusion that soccer is a weird game. In some ways, its a more physical game than basketball (…lots things that they allow in soccer would get you ejected and suspended real quick in basketball) but, at the same time, it’s a lot less physical. Also, the game was fun, but it wasn’t exciting. There were a few exciting moments (…like when someone had a breakaway or got a shot on goal), but those were kind of few and far between. Basketball keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire game, while soccer is more laid back and chill until something exciting happens and then everyone goes “ooooooh aaaaaaaah!” Lots of action, lots of fun…but not much excitement.

Not to mention, basketball is a much more controlled and precise game than soccer. In basketball, (most) passes get where they’re supposed to go. Also, in basketball, when you run a play well…you score. In soccer, everything seems like a crapshoot. Sometimes the passes get where they’re supposed to go, but often times they don’t (…but at the same time, the footwork is extremely precise and detailed). Since the game ended in a zero-zero tie, that means that 100% of the plays that each team ran were unsuccessful. 100%! As a basketball fan, that is something that is really difficult to fathom. Sure, the Red Stars got a lot of really nice shots on goal, but, uh, who cares how many field goal attempts you get if you never find the bottom (back) of the net?!?

Obviously there are really good reasons for these discrepancies. First of all, basketball is played in a climate-controlled arena. Soccer is played in an open-air stadium that is susceptible to the whims of mother nature. Yesterday was very windy day and I’m sure that had a big effect on the accuracy of the passes and shots. Not to mention, controlling a ball with your feet is a whole heckuva lot harder than controlling a ball with your hands. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the game, I’m just saying…it’s different (…and a little weird).

Overall, the Red Stars definitely played better than the Beat. I know this because most of the action took place at the Beat’s end of the field and the Red Stars had numerous shots on goal while the Beat only had maybe one or two. Hmmm…do they have box scores or anything in soccer? I should go try to find one just to see what kind of stats they keep track of…

Anyway, overall, I had a good time. The game was fun and the stadium was nice. It’s just so unsettling to sit thru a 2-hour sporting event only to leave without there having been a winner. I can’t reconcile that in my head!

Lastly, here are some pics I took at the game…

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on June 7, 2010.

11 Responses to “Women’s Pro Soccer: Chicago Red Stars vs. Atlanta Beat”

  1. you probably too 171 (Archer) to Roberts Road and then turned left on 71st St. if you had stayed on Roberts another 2 miles or so, you’d have driven right past my house.

    • dang, I probably did drive by your house!

      First I ended up going too far down 171 and ended up turning around at a fire station. Then I spun around at a funeral home. Then I went too far back north on 171 (still never saw a Harlem Ave!) and ended up spinning around at a tattoo place. Thank goodness for the “Toyota Park” sign with the arrow! …and yeah, I think that was Roberts Rd as you said. If not for that sign, I’d prob still be driving around looking for Harlem Ave…

  2. i love the chicagooo shitt thingy! SOOOO GOO CHICAGOO BABEBYYHH

  3. WOMENS SOCEER RULES I THINK IN MY OPINIONNN….THOU ATLANTA HMMMMMMMM NOT SOO GOOD:D

  4. WOW I CANT BELIEVE I WENT TO C THIZ GAME IT WAS SOO WIKEDD AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! I WENT TO C IT WITH MY SEXYY MANNN.WEDIDSEX!

  5. THOSEGURLSSWERE HHHOOOTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!JK

  6. OMG I LOVE SOCCER<33 BTW CHICAGOOO ROKSS!!!

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