FOX Soccer MVP: Washington D.C.
Avi Creditor offers his insights from FOX Soccer's Mobile Viewing Party at the nation's capital:
It figures that in Washington, D.C., America's mixing bowl of international diversity, that both Euro 2012 hosts would be represented on FOX Soccer's Mobile Viewing Party drive through the nation's capital.
Friends Tom Popiolek, a 26-year-old son to Polish parents, and Greg Hubyk, a 25-year-old third-generation Ukrainian, carried the flag for the tournament hosts as part of the dozens aboard the MVP tour bus who watched the Czech Republic eliminate Poland from the European Championship.
Popiolek, in town visiting Hubyk from Connecticut, initially had plans to go to a baseball game. Instead, his plans changed when offered the opportunity to experience the FOX Soccer MVP firsthand Saturday afternoon.
"Once I found that out, there was no way I was going to the Yankees-Nationals game," said Popiolek, draped in a Poland scarf.
Friday's D.C. trip, which was made all that more memorable by England's wild victory over Sweden, included former D.C. United standout Santino Quaranta.
"It was a wonderful experience that was about the fans," Quaranta said. I think they really enjoyed themselves, and that's the most important part. I've definitely never experienced a game like this before."
Now retired, Quaranta, operates a youth club organization he helped found in the Baltimore area where he grew up. Between his ties to the region as a youth and a professional, the 27-year-old knows quite well the fervent passion D.C. fans have for the beautiful game across all levels.
"Early on, D.C. was one of the original pioneers of the soccer movement in our country," Quaranta said. "This region has always supported the sport, from the NASL all the way through D.C. United on a local level, and obviously you're seeing people's interest in the international game here."
FOX Soccer's Mobile Viewing Party resumes on Monday, June 18. Here's the full match schedule:
JUNE 18: Portland GM: Croatia v Spain
JUNE 22: Los Angeles Winners Group B play Runner-Up Group A
JUNE 24: San Diego Winners Group B play Runner-Up Group A
JUNE 26: Los Angeles Winner QF2 v Winners QF4
JULY 1: San Francisco Winner SF1 v Winner SF2