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Guest report: experiencing Sky Blue’s big Red Bull Arena game as a 9-year-old

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A guest report from our 9-year-old intrepid field reporter.

Benfica v Juventus - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

It flew across the field, and in! I screamed and clapped as Elizabeth Eddy’s goal reached the net, grabbing my phone to film a TikTok of the replay. Cloud Nine, Sky Blue FC’s official supporter group, began singing “I Feel Good”, their goal song.

My name is Mirabelle Megdal and this is how a nine-year-old experienced the first NWSL game ever played at Red Bull Arena.

My dad is a sportswriter, and he took me to cover this game. From a nine-year-old’s point of view, this was very exciting -- to be covering a soccer game that is probably going to be in a soccer history book because it is the first NWSL game ever played at Red Bull Arena!

We both had credentials, but sat in the stands. So after we found our seats, we watched the first half while we were taking videos, pictures and jotting down notes for our stories.

Something that I liked about the game was that Carli Lloyd was one of the starters, because she is my favorite player on Sky Blue FC. I remember when she scored a hat trick in the 2015 World Cup. I was snuggling with my dad, watching on TV. Now I got to see her in person! I noticed that when Sky Blue FC scored a goal, Lloyd seemed very satisfied with herself and her teammates.

There was one injury. Lloyd collided with Shea Groom. Groom had to be put on a stretcher and get carried into the locker room to get checked out because she hurt something. Lloyd on the other hand, was fine, luckily.

During the second half, we visited Cloud Nine’s section up close (after we bought a pretzel). When we got there, it was so loud, but as my dad calls it, it was: “fun-loud.” I chewed my salty pretzel and listened to Cloud 9 chanting: “When you were born you made my life so wonderful…”

After a few “Fun-Loud” minutes, we went back to our regular seats. We jotted down some more notes, took some more videos and pictures and watched the game for specific details. While we were watching the game, I told my dad, “I think there is going to be another goal scored.” But unfortunately, it did not happen, though Carli Lloyd came close.

The game was very interesting even though there were no more goals scored. I got very good seats so I was able to see the players’ facial expressions. At the end of the game, we walked down to the mixed zone just inside the tunnel the players used to leave the field. The mixed zone is where media people and players go after the game. I remember looking at the cool wallpaper with all of the Red Bulls players with a background of dark red.

While we were waiting with all the other media people, I heard Cloud Nine cheering their most famous chant, For You. “For you, For you, we’ll be singing a song and when we win we’ll be singing it strong…”

While I was waiting, I was thinking of what to ask her. Finally, I thought of a question; how do you feel about the tie?

When Lloyd walked over to us, about 5 people asked her questions. Then the lady who was helping her said, “One more question.” I felt a slight hesitation and so someone else asked the last question. When he was done, someone else said another question, so I felt brave enough to ask mine.

“It’s always good to get a point,” Lloyd said, looking right at me with a serious but friendly face. “We would have liked to get 3 but I think despite the weather, and this very busy hectic schedule that we have had, we have had mid-week games, weekend games, I think we are proud to come away with the point.”, “That’s on the positive and now we just have to get ready for Houston next week.”

I felt so proud that I was brave enough to ask her a question on my own. I thought seeing her play in person was amazing, but seeing her just two feet from me, talking to me, was even cooler!

After my dad talked to some other players, and we spoke to Sky Blue FC general manager Alyse LaHue, who asked me if I had a good time. Then my dad took me for some Italian hoagies and then ice cream!

As we were driving home, I thought about my day, and remembered the big poster Cloud 9 put up right at the start of the game: “Sky Blue Will Make History.” They sure made history in my mind.