Liverpool FC Friendly Against AS Roma Draws 37,160 Fans To Boston's Fenway Park
A "sea of fans" wearing red jerseys last night filled Fenway Park -- all the way "from the bleachers to the top of the Green Monster" to see EPL club Liverpool FC take on Serie A club AS Roma, according to Mark Daniels of the BOSTON HERALD. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said that playing at Fenway Park "is something his team will always remember, and the old park looked great." Daniels writes the 37,169 fans "were in high spirits." Prior to the match, as the teams "walked out of the Red Sox dugout, fans stood on their feet singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical 'Carousel'" -- a song that serves as Liverpool's anthem. Rodgers said, "It was incredible. I said to the players before the game, ‘When you’re 50 you’ll be able to tell your kids that you played football in Fenway Park.’ That's something that will stay with them" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/26). In Boston, Alex Prewitt wrote ever since Fenway Sports Group co-Chairs John Henry and Tom Werner "purchased the team in 2010, the locals have waited for this day." Prior to the exhibition, "roughly" 650 Liverpool supporters gathered at local bar An Tua Nua in Kenmore Square. An Tua Nua Owner Joe McCabe said, "I’ve never seen anything like this, not even around the World Series. It’s all about Liverpool coming to the United States. Some of these kids will never get a chance to see soccer at this level again" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/26).
MIDSUMMER CLASSIC?: In N.Y., George Vecsey noted summer exhibition matches in the U.S. featuring European football clubs are "fast becoming a midsummer ritual." It is "hard to take a midsummer soccer match seriously when the lads have just come back from those brief vacations from a sport that grinds bodies and minds down to nubs." But data from SeatGeek indicated that tickets "were going for an average of $110, with seats atop the scoreboard going for more than $400 and standing room at $70." U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati "speaks about 'signals' of soccer's incremental rise." It is "all a work in progress," but the summer tour "is here to stay" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/26).