If you're new to D.C. United, a fan from afar or if you're a longtime fan who is eyeing the schedule, you've perhaps looked at the calendar and considered about ways to travel to an away game to support D.C. We have some ideas on this that we'll get to in a moment but two things to consider:
First, this is a pretty easy and, for the most part, comfortable process. Tickets to away games can be bought through the Barra Brava, Screaming Eagles or District Ultras supporters groups if you want to stand and cheer with your Black and Red brethren. If you'd like to get seats on your own you can do so, but really, what's the fun in that when you can be part of a group with one voice?
Second, if you're looking for a way to dip your toe into the pool, any game against the New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union or New York City FC are a good way to go. Rivalries aside, the supporters' groups plan on buses for these occasions, you can watch TV, sleep, or...hydrate, and get your throat ready for the 90 minutes of yelling you plan to do. Buses and game tickets are generally an easy and affordable option. If you like those trips, then on occasion, buses to Columbus Crew SC or the New England Revolution are an intriguing option, because those involve an overnight stay at a hotel. Sharing a room with someone is likely (new friends! fun times!) but requests can be made if desired.
So let's get to planning suggestions, in no particular order:
March 6, LA Galaxy
I know, it's on a Sunday night, and who wants to do that when you work the next day, right? Well it's the first game of the season, and there is a surprising number of folks going out for it, plus it's the first game of the year, so what ELSE were you going to do? The fans in LA (some of whom I know and are friends with) are a jovial group, tailgating options abound, it's California in March, so you get to avoid the weather shenanigans in your area.
Two caveats to this game; one is that both teams will be coming off 2nd leg midweek CONCACAF Champions League games (D.C. at home with Queretaro, LA will be on the road to Santos Laguna), so there's the chance this may be a reserve game of sorts, or it may be a pseudo dead-legged affair similar to D.C.'s win over the Montreal Impact to start 2015. Second, D.C. has never done well against LA on the road, with their last win being in 2005. Not saying it's difficult, just not impossible.
May 27, Sporting Kansas City (@blazindw)
Friday night game, but can't miss a chance to see probably the best stadium in MLS, and spend Memorial Day weekend doing the BBQ circuit, hanging out at the Power & Light District, and touring the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as well as the American Jazz Museum.
(@Ryan) Another item to note, in between this game and the following midweek game at home against the Seattle Sounders, D.C. could very well see an SKC team without Matt Besler and Graham Zusi and a Sounders team without Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Jordan Morris and Nelson Valdez, all due to Copa America Centenario duty. So there are a couple of games that can get got.
August 24, Montreal Impact (@blazindw)
One of the great cities in North America, Montreal has lots of history, tons of great beer and smoked meat and poutine. It's an easy trip and one of the best road trips in the Eastern Conference.
(@Ryan) It's a fairly feasible one, either flying in directly or flying in to Burlington, Vermont and making the couple hours drive, which I have done and can vouch for how great it is. It's a nice stadium, the Montreal Ultras (& 127 Montreal) are in consistently good form, this may be the last time to catch Didier Drogba before he goes back to Chelsea for real.
In the midst of a fairly busy August, this game is the fourth of a five game in 21 day stretch, and with the secondary transfer window likely closed by this point, there may be a summer signing to check out, even if he's playing on part of a B squad.
May 20, Philadelphia Union (@Ryan)
For all the reasons I said before, a trip to PPL Park (now Talen Energy Stadium) is a good jump off point for those curious about attending a road game and not sure if they want to do it. These trips generally have good representation, you ride comfortably on the bus (or can drive if you want), the vistas are good, plus they serve Dogfish freely in stadium, so yeehaw to that.
For more sentimental reasons, this will be the competitive game where longtime D.C. player Chris Pontius sees his old mates. Pontius should be raring to go and, seeing a whole bunch of black and red in the stands may make him the tiniest bit nostalgic while the Union get steamrolled in the second (of three) consecutive Friday night game D.C. plays during this run.
June 15ish, Random US Open Cup game (@ChestRockwell)
If United is on the road for the Open Cup, it'll be a game in the mid-Atlantic region. I highly recommend making the drive and just living with a rough morning at work the next day. You will probably see me in the stands or, if you're on our staff, in at a highway rest stop eating Burger King after 11pm.
So what are you planning to do?