Fans turned out in droves on Wednesday night to see DC United play against European giants, Bayern Munich. Certainly, red shirts appeared in abundance at Audi Field. In fact, Bayern supporters vastly outnumbered the local DC United supporters. Much of the atmosphere gave a glimpse into a potential pregame festivities over in Munich.
Prior to entrance, fans had a small tailgating section. There, they could sample German beer and bratwurst. Along with listening and dancing to German folk music, there were standard American acitivities. For example, people played corn hole with each other. Plus, fans had the opportunity to grab a picture with the Bundesliga trophy on display. Bayern Munich has some of those to give away. After all, the Bavarian side won the last nine Bundesliga titles, entering 2022/23 with great odds to make it 10.
Among those in attendance were some fans that actually grew up in Germany. For example, I spoke to a family with kids that are second-generation soccer fans. For one, it was their first time going to Audi Field. So, that in itself is a great experience. Yet, the father of the family followed Bayern Munich during his time growing up in Germany. He and I discussed the club’s new signings, highlighted by former Liverpool star Sadio Mané. Like so many other Bayern supporters, he held some concern over the departure of Robert Lewandowski. Mané is a great talent, but Lewandowski’s goal output is unmatched.
Bayern Munich breaks through in DC
Any concerns over how Mané fits in at Bayern Munich alleviated somewhat after the first five minutes of the game. That is how long it took for the Senegalese to score his first goal in the red and white shirt. Albeit, it was from a penalty.
Matthijs de Ligt also appeared on the scoresheet for Bayern Munich against DC United. The aforementioned family all seemed beyond satisfied with the eventual 6-2 defeat over the MLS side.
Likewise, other supporters left the friendly pleased with how Mané performed in his debut. Even then, one supporter said he was disappointed over not being able to see Robert Lewandowski. See, when he bought his tickets much earlier in the year, the Polish international was the star of the side. His transfer to Barcelona was a disappointing departure. Yet, he left the game pleased seeing Matthijs de Ligt’s debut and Lewandowski’s former strike partner, Thomas Muller, score in extra time.
It may not have been a great outing for a struggling DC United club. Wayne Rooney’s announcement as the new manager of DC United came just last week. Formally, at least, he has not stepped foot on the pitch. However, DC United fans rest assured knowing he was watching and noting areas for improvement. While the side from the capital never truly had a chance to win, few expected a loss as devastating as 6-2.
Fortunately for one side, Bayern Munich supporters went home happy. The Bayern Munich game in DC was a chance to see their stars in person. Traditionally, that privilege requires a trip all the way to Europe.
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