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On a whim, I drove to Kansas City on Saturday to help the Cauldron paint tifo for the opening game at LiveSTRONG Sporting Park this Thursday. I was subsequently invited to watch the USMNT vs. Spain game at Johnny’s Tavern with KC supporters and the KC chapter of American Outlaws. And then I was carried along in the wake to go watch Sporting‘s last road-trip game vs Toronto F.C.  at the Members Club in the new stadium. Talk about an eventful day!

I can’t really discuss, much less show pictures of, the tifo. But suffice it to say, it’s big and it’s beautiful. Since I missed out on seats in the Supporters Section for Thursday’s game, I won’t be participating in the display, but I hope to get some good photos from my spot across the field.

I can, however, show some of my photos of the stadium. As I was being towed along by some gracious supporters whom I had never met before, I didn’t stop to take as many pictures as I might have on my own. But I got enough to prove I was really there, and to show the stadium in it’s waiting phase… empty but ready for the big show on Thursday.

The supporters I met were super nice and welcoming, once we got past the awkwardness of knowing each other by screenname (holla holla BigSoccer.com). I was pleasantly surprised at how easily they all just accepted me into the fold. I managed not to act like too big of a dork, I guess, and I think I’ll be welcomed back if I show up for a tailgate in the future.

If you get the chance, watch Sporting KC take on Chicago Fire on their brand new home turf on Thursday at 9pm on ESPN2 or ESPN3.com. You’ll get to see the tifo I helped paint (hint: I worked on the “t” in City). And you’ll get to see the crazy Cauldron guys do their thing. Unfortunately, I’ll be in the South Stand (opposite the Supporters Stand). But I think there will be enough supporters around for us to sing back at the Cauldron and keep the stadium rockin while Sporting brings in a much-needed victory.

Wiz on the Fire!