If you watch football in the United States, you probably expect to see a pigskin flying through the air or hear crowds shout out chants like "Go, Big Red!" or "Who'dat beat them Saints?!" In Salt Late City, the Young Professional Advisory Board (YPAB) did something different. While staying in the Marriott downtown, we couldn't help but notice during breakfast that FC Dallas football players populated the buffet line.
Please understand that when I say football, I mean what the world knows as football (i.e., soccer), not American football. We approached the team and suggested they should comp tickets for the MLS playoff game that was to be played in Salt Lake City that weekend. Sure enough, a team representative (Barry Gorman) agreed, and the YPAB promoted a contest to make the event successful. YPAB decided to pose a quiz during the opening ceremony of the student conference. The quiz consisted of two questions: 1) Name a founding member of AIChE (and the year) and 2) what Colorado Rapids player that was traded to Houston last year, did Cory Jensen train with during his time with the Colorado State University Men's Club Soccer team? My phone was electric with text responses during the next four hours as responses were submitted. FC Dallas put up 5 tickets for the winners and members of YPAB to attend the game, including: Ian (Michigan State), Monica & Mike (Penn State), alongside of the YPAB vice-chair Dr. Robin Ng (Ohio State) and myself (Colorado School of Mines).
(L to R: Cory, Monica, Mike, Ian, Robin)
The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing. Streamers continually streaked the field and smoke bombs were set off, causing the game to be periodically delayed. Vuvuzelas were relatively sparse but a "rambling wreck" of what I would term as a trash can orchestra infused the crowd with a sense of play on the world stage.
The game was fast and furious with Salt Lake City attacking often since they were behind in the aggregate at start of this, the second game. The students that we accompanied to the game said they didn't expect to have such an opportunity and had a great time! I was glad that we were able to mix it up, and my thanks goes to FC Dallas!