As part of our ongoing Father's Day series, MLSsoccer.com caught up with two long-time supporters. Mark Fishkin, host of the Seeing Red New York Podcast and member of the Empire Supporter's Club, and Brad Youtz, member of the Sons of Ben, each shared their personal stories about how MLS has impacted their relationships with their kids.
Mark Fishkin's 7-year-old son Max, pictured above with dad at Red Bull Arena, learns the beautiful game by watching some of the world's top soccer talent right before his eyes. Mark writes:
My son and I have made MLS and the Red Bulls a large part of our family tradition. Max attended MetroStars matches in utero and even then was a big fan of the ESC drums. Max has been coming to MLS matches with me since he was 2 years old. At first, our MetroStars game experiences involved eating hot dogs and ice cream and running the ramps at Giants Stadium. Our highlight was banging the big drum in Section 101 at halftime.
As he’s grown, though, his awareness of the game has grown with him. He can identify an offside trap and is calling fouls before the ref calls them. His experience watching the Red Bulls has helped him immensely on his U-8 team. He’s become a huge fan of Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo, and is excited to see them not only with RBNY but with the national team as well.
We attend 10-12 matches per season together, and he’s eager to start traveling to away matches with his Dad. For Max, MLS is part of the New York sports landscape, and I’m confident he knows just how unique a RBNY experience can be. On our first trip to Shea Stadium to see the Mets, Max asked me, “Dad, why isn’t anybody here singing?”
for the inside scoop from a Red Bulls supporter.
Brad Youtz and his step-son, Julian, are both active members of the Sons of Ben, and the duo enjoys the quality time they spend together at MLS games. Brad writes:
Soccer is truly a shared experience. A World Cup final on TV or an MLS game-of-the-week with friends and strangers on Twitter are both ways to share soccer in your environment. My favorite kind of shared experience is going to Philadelphia Union games with my teenaged step-son Julian.
We come to PPL Park hours before the game to help set up the tailgate. A truly peaceful place without lots full of cars. The camaraderie we share with the other volunteers is fun, but I also think it’s important for Julian to interact with others outside of school and his circle of friends.
I enjoy watching him take pride in grilling food for tailgate revelers and making sure the gas is completely turned off before we stow it until the next tailgate and we do it all over again.
My youngest isn’t quite there yet. Our shared soccer experience usually consists of him coming into the room, usually around minute 82, where I’m chewing my non-existent nails and hoping the Union can hold on for a result. He knows after the clock goes a bit past 90:00 it’s OK to grab the remote and switch the channel to Phineas & Ferb. That’s fine.
He will come to the stadium one day and learn how to set up a pop tent and work with others to achieve a successful tailgate. His brother will teach him.
Follow @ebradlee10 (Brad)
for the inside scoop from a Union supporter.
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