My favorite D.C. United playoff memory occurred exactly ten years ago, Thursday – November 6, 2004.
Yes, it was the night United won a thrilling Conference Final victory over Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey (and other favorite opponents to hate, like Jay Heaps) and the New England Revolution. The match included six goals within regulation (NE, to their credit, coming back three times to level the match). The match goes to penalties and Nicky Rimando confirms his spot in United lore by stoping Dempsey on the final spot kick – in front of RFK’s north end – the last time the lower seating bowl would be fully intact. Total crowd was just over 21,000, I recall. The place was electric!
But, my favorite personal memory and connection was the fact that I got married earlier that day to my lovely bride, Lizbet. I was close to folks in the Club’s front office – including serving on the Board of United for D.C.. So, when it became clear that United was not only going to play in the Conference Final, but host it (needed help knocking out higher seeds, like Columbus in order to have RFK host match), I asked my wife-to-be about how we might still attend. Our wedding and reception were planned for earlier in the day…
Well, not only was she supportive, but when I told the Club we still planned to attend after the wedding, they arranged to pick us up from our dowtown hotel, drive us to RFK and host us in the Directors Box for the match.
So, Lizbet and I ended up attending the match – if full wedding attire – and we participated in the ceremonial kick-off, Lizbet doing the honors in her wedding dress - with special, sparkly white tennis shoes.
Showing just how well I had chosen my mate… Lizbet, on the way back to the hotel from the match, turned to me and shared that it was such a perfect day AND that she was sooo glad we didn’t miss the match!
So, it’s time for United to, “regain what is rightfully ours” and win its fifth MLS Cup. Ten years is far too long to wait in between MLS titles for us loyal fans. That said, I’ve been “Winning!” everyday for the last ten years with Lizbet and now our son, Benjamin (yes, our Gaffer is, in part, the inspiration for his name).
Happy 10th Anniversary, Lizbet!
Vamos United and your drive for Five!