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Boston Weather: 29.0°F | A Few Clouds

Foxboro Tournament Marks Soccer First

Column by Chris Lin

This past weekend the New England area was subject not only to historic stormy weather but also a historic event. For one incredibly rainy and cold Sunday, Foxboro Stadium became the mecca of the soccer world, and only the truly devout made the pilgrimage.

But the 34,000-plus crowd that paid to stand in the cold northeaster witnessed history, as the Washington D.C. United defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy in overtime 32 to become the inaugural champions of Major League Soccer.

Flags of all nations peppered the stands, cheering on players from Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, and even Melrose Place. But alas, Andrew Shue did not play for the Galaxy, because the game was close.

Watching U.S. national stars Cobi Jones and John Harkes play with captain Jorge Campos from Mexico and other international stars was a treat. And as the MIT section I was with watched the ball come right at us, only to be stopped by the net, the game came to an end, and the celebration for D.C. started.

L.A. players - Melrose Billy still in the warmup jacket included - immediately walked off the field. There was no reason to be in the storm any longer.

The celebration began with the national anthem, led by our beloved Alexi Lalas, and didn't stop until we were home taking off our 10 layers, all looking like we had showered in them.

It was a true testament to how soccer is alive in the United States, New England, and MIT. Many of us took a break from problem sets to witness soccer history, bringing signs to cheer and garbage bags to stay dry. And while they might as well have played the game in the Charles River, it was an experience to remember.

Seven months ago I watched the New England Revolution beat the future MLS champions D.C. United in a shootout in the Revolution home opener. I can say soccer has come to stay - only five more months until the Revolution begin their quest for the second MLS championship ever.

Until then , I guess I'll watch Buckeye football and Cincinnati Bearcat Basketball Oh well.