As I drove into Chester last night, and parked at PPL Park, I was excited. I’d been itching to get back to work since finishing my last day at Team USA on Friday, so I was ready to start my first day of my fall internship with the Philadelphia Union. I walked into the stadium for the first time, and saw the pitch for the first time, with the huge UNION letters spelled out on the seats. And I was ready to start my first day with Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.
Immediately, I was greeted by the staff who put me to work setting up the Plaza, a children’s play area outside the stadium. Afterwards, I ate a quick pregame meal in the visitors’ locker room, and tried to catch snippets on Twitter of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony happening simultaneously in London. Later, I was positioned in front of the media gate to hand out credentials, and even got to see Carli Lloyd, Team USA’s gold medal soccer player, who is from the Philadelphia area and was being honored at the game. It was awesome to be able to see another Olympian outside of the OTC! Team USA is everywhere!
While stationed at the media gate, I got to see my uncle and cousin, who are season ticket holders, the first extended family I’d seen since being home from Colorado. It was definitely a highlight of the night, seeing them and getting big hugs. Definitely needed after a long few days back at school. After the media had all been accounted for, I was sent up to the press box to run halftime stats, which was a chaotic few minutes. I was able to watch the second half of the game from the stat box before being whisked down to the press conference to gather coaches’ quotes. I then had to transcribe the quotes, and was one of the last people to leave the stadium after midnight.
It was an exhausting evening, and the Union lost, but it was definitely a great start to my internship! They threw me in headfirst and I’m excited to see how the rest of the season goes, and I’m especially looking forward to a home match in late October against the New York Red Bulls, and my favorite footballer, Thierry Henry.
But for now, I’m looking forward to watching the Paralympics Opening Ceremony replay on my laptop tonight, checking out all of Connor’s pics on the @USParalympics Instagram account, and seeing how all my fellow Paralympian OTC residents do at the Games! Not to mention the first Temple football game of the year against Villanova is tomorrow night at Lincoln Financial Field! It’s certainly been a busy first week back in Philly!