USA soccer vs Czech fotbal

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I don't know the game of football (translation: soccer) from the steps to the merengue; it's totally lost on me. But when the USA comes to town to play The Czech Republic only two tram stops from work, you bet I'll get my patriotic drive in gear and go cheer them on. A kind colleague arranged tickets for staff, so we had a big group to watch with.

BW and I could hear the national anthem being played as we approached Generali Arena, and it made my core flutter - surprisingly endearing.

A French photobomb

Finding our way to our seats was a touch chaotic. We moved in a pressurized sort of ameoba-like mass through the gates.

No lines; every man for himself

Once inside, the view was perfect. I thought the enormous Czech crowd was chanting "Těší!", which means "We are pleased," but I was wrong; they were yelling "Čechy!", which means "Go, Czechs, go!" (They sound similar to my untrained ear.)

Czechs are in red; Americans are in white
Zooming in on the action - and the Czech goalie's blaze-orange outfit
How exciting!
And then it was 1-0, USA
The Spaniard seemed happy
My, what big lights you have
 The game started to drag in the second half, as either a player was down every 10 seconds or the ball spent inordinate times out-of-bounds. And the poor Czech team missed capitalizing on goal opportunities repeatedly. Really, they should have beat us 3-1.

A man down
Caught the librarian yawning!
Outside of the game, I was fascinated by the arena's facilities. Here, we have a concession stand serving grilled sausages, mustard and bread:

The sausages smelled really good
And these were the bathrooms. During intermission, people were twenty deep waiting to get in them. Remember - this stadium holds about 19.5 thousand people and is the home of hugely popular professional Sparta team and usually the Czech National team.

They did not smell good
We rode a crammed train a couple of stops and then walked through the pretty Letna area to the metro.

Mám rád český fotbal!


  1. Oh man that last photo is gorgeous! There is nothing that makes you more patriotic than being across the world and going for a sports match ha! :)

  2. The US football team playing here in Prague certainly gave you a very good reason to go to a football match, Em. And going with a group of colleagues is always great fun. Sounds as though overall, you enjoyed it. The current US national football team is actually very good and I do hope more & more Americans will become fans of 'the beautiful game'.

  3. I'm definitely more interested in the sport now; I actually watched the Netherlands-Czech game on TV! I know you've written about attending a couple of games, so you must be a big fan. I'm amazed at how reasonable tickets are compared with pro sports back home.

  4. I guess it's a good place to meet other expats from your country if you're looking for them! Yes, it was a bit odd seeing so many Americans in one place.

  5. I'm amazed too, with regard to ticket prices. As little as 10% of what you might pay in the UK as I remark here Glad to know you've got more interested in football, (or 'soccer' if you must :-) ).


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