The FCD fan’s guide to hatewatching the MLS Cup Final

I’m Dustin “El Jefe” Christmann and I am an FC Dallas fanatic from Day One of the Dallas Burn. I’m also a hater. I used to yell mean, hateful things from the stands at the Cotton Bowl and Toyota Stadium, but now, I’m sharing my id with you to help guide you, my fellow FCD fans, in your enjoyment of Major League Soccer on TV.

Last week

Thank God. We got the least odious winners of the conference finals. Sure, Philadelphia over East Coast Chivas USA was a no-brainer, but the Western Conference Final was a bit tougher since you didn’t really want either team to win.

It was one of those restaurants — probably in England — where everything on the menu is revolting. You can’t walk out because your dinner companions mysteriously think the place is great, so ultimately, you aim for something that you can choke down most easily without it ever touching your tongue.

That’s what rooting for LAFC was. As odious as it was to root for the Galaxy’s annoying little brothers, the alternative was worse. And although it’s fun to contemplate the hilariousness of an MLS Cup victory parade through The Domain, that possibility was quickly and ruthlessly snuffed out by a team who seemed genuinely annoyed that they had lost to Store-Brand Portland Timbers twice this season.

My condolences to the members of the Domain FC fanbase who used to be FCD fans. Suburban stadium, playoff frustration… it’s like you never left. At least you don’t have to drive four hours anymore, even if you do get to root for the answer to the question “What if Elon Musk were a professional soccer team?”

Union mascot Phang with Philadelphia’s most beloved citizen


MLS Cup Final: West #1 LAFC vs. East #1 Philadelphia (Fox, 2:00)

Yeah, baby. This is honestly the best MLS Cup Final matchup that a neutral could’ve hoped for. (We FCD fans would’ve hoped for a different representative from the West, but we also understand our lot in life.)

These teams were the best in the league in 2022. They finished with an identical number of points with one beating the other for the Supporters Shield on the tiebreaker.

But as a fan of one of the three teams that just completed their 27th season without lifting up MLS Cup, it remains annoying to me when teams who have been around for 10 minutes win MLS Cup. How dare their fans not suffer for an entire generation, as we have? It really gets some pure uncut hate going.

So let’s get this out of the way quickly. Go Philly. #DOOP and all that shit.

First, there’s the aforementioned odiousness of Sons of Chivas USA. Second, it’s gonna be played at Banc of California Stadium and there are no better crowd shots than those of the Surrender Cobra:

Bonus points if we get to see Will Ferrell in this pose

Third, while Philly fans are not long-suffering as the Red Bulls or Revolution or FCD fans, they’ve been around a while and they’ve seen some shit. Their team missed the playoffs seven straight years from 2012 to 2018!

Finally and most importantly, just imagine the comedy when a team that has made every single “win now” move does not actually win.

Yes, you signed Gareth Bale, Giorgio Chiellini, and Denis Bouanga. You traded for Maxime Crépeau, Kellyn Acosta, and Ryan Hollingshead. You did not have a single dadgummed SuperDraft pick because you traded them for GarberBucks and, um, Cal Jennings. And you ended up losing the championship to the team with the second-lowest payroll in the league.

It might make Alexi Lalas, who overuses the words “super club” like a Kardashian overuses plastic surgery, cry right there on the air. From my keyboard to God’s ears, eh?

One last bit of levity for this MLS season. I like to call LAFC “Sons of Chivas USA,” and in addition to being a SAVAGE BURN, there are also occasionally reminders that it is not just a SAVAGE BURN. This week we got one such reminder.

To be fair, Lincoln Riley is better paid than Gareth Bale

That’s right, just like their forebears, LAFC is a second-class citizen in its home stadium. Steve Cherundolo probably lost his parking spot at Banc of California Stadium to some bigwig USC booster who’s going to the football game next door at the Coliseum.

Look on the bright side, LAFC. You haven’t been kicked out for a Bad Bunny concert yet.

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