This Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy is D.C. United’s fourth annual United Night Out (UNO). So, it’s only fitting that our Season Ticket Holders of the Month are those involved in making UNO a reality. September’s STHs of the Month are Les Johnson, President of Team DC, Jim Ensor, a board member who helped make UNO official, JC Cummings, an original 96er, Allison Samuels, President of Federal Triangle Soccer Club, and Glenn Auve, another 96er and UNO board member.
Each one of these D.C. United fans work hard to unite the LGBT community and the Black-and-Red community. That’s why United Night Out’s acronym is UNO. “United Night Out; ‘One Game - One Community – UNITED’. The idea is that we reinforce the number 1 / UNO and the idea that we can come together as one,” explained Jim Ensor.
Brining communities together is something DCU prides itself on. Our name pretty much speaks for itself.
“Sixteen years later, there are lots of suburban families in the stands, but also college kids and young adults,” said JC. “The crowds of young kids are nice to see, from all areas of the region. The multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-cultural quality of the sport is reflected in the crowds.”
In addition to unifying differently cultures and geographical areas, D.C. United aims to create an atmosphere where all feel welcome; something Allison Samuels believes is being accomplished.
“As a gay athlete and a sports fan, any event like UNO is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the game with similar fans. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring soccer fans and the LGBT community together,” Allison explained. “[Federal Triangle Soccer Club] does that by creating a safe space to play and D.C. United is a safe space to watch. United Night Out is an enjoyable way to bring people in who otherwise wouldn't have thought about it.”
In addition to Federal Triangle Soccer Club, Team DC plays a large role in UNO. Team DC President Les Johnson says the importance of D.C. United hosting UNO is “two-fold”
“First, by attending, it brings awareness to the other fans that DC United LGBT fans are no different and just like them,” Les said. “And second, it provides us with an opportunity to recruit some potential new fans who may have otherwise been hesitant to attend a DC United game on their own.”
Glenn Auve, a season ticket holder since “before there was a team” says, like his support for his hometown team, support for the LBGT community has always been there.
“Having DCU work with us on this event just helps to cement the support that has been there since day one,” said Glenn. “We’ve always had a lot of folks within our club who have had season tickets or attend a lot of matches. It’s been a great partnership for a long time.”
A long time of many ups and several downs, but the Black-and-Red faithful have been there through it all.
“I think in the midst of a tough season, what keeps the energy up is the people supporting. I never believed in being a fair weather fan. I buy season tickets, because as much as possible I want to be there to cheer, even in the worst of seasons,” said Allison.
D.C. United thanks you five special Season Ticket Holders for all you do and for believing in the Black-and-Red. DCU hopes to continue uniting communities and is glad that, as JC Cummings best put it; D.C. United was a “promise, kept.”