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Biden and huge crowd at Union opener
Philadelphia Inquirer, April 12th, 2010 3:18AM

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TAGS:  mls, philadelphia union


A crowd of 34,870 and Vice President Joe Biden, who took part in the pregame ceremonies, watched MLS expansion club Philadelphia Union play its first home game, a 3-2 win over D.C. United. The game took place at Lincoln Financial Field, the Union's temporary home until it moves into 18,500-seat PPL Park.

Writes Jeff Gammage, "Judging by the activity in the lots outside the Linc, it could have been an Eagles game, with fans cooking on grills and plucking metallic tubes of their favorite beverages from icy coolers. But the fans were wearing blue and gold, not green, and it was the loose soccer ball that dribbled free. ... Plainly, there had been a run on Union gear in recent weeks, as loads of fans wore team jerseys with the distinctive wide gold stripe down the front."

It was the first pro soccer match played here by a hometown, major-league team in 30 years. In 1980 the NASL's Philadelphia Fury moved north and became the Montreal Manic. The second Union game, May 15 against FC Dallas, is likely to be a better test of attendance, lacking the event status that surrounds a new club's inaugural home game.

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