I've been to events at LP Field four times (simply called "The Coliseum" the first time I visited), every time for a soccer game. The first time was for an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the UAG Tecos from Mexico. The second time was for a World Cup warm-up match in 2006 between the United States and Morocco where the US fell 1-0 due to an extremely stupid defensive error. The third time was for a "winner takes all" game between the USA and Canada in 2008 for a berth into the Beijing Olympics (the US won.) The game I'm going to cover though is the 3-0 thrashing the USA put on Trinidad & Tobago in a World Cup Qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup roughly one year ago:
I know there are a lot of soccer haters on this blog, but oh well, there are a bunch of soccer lovers here too and you better get ready for more soccer talk because the World Cup is a mere 10 weeks away. For those of you that have never been, let me tell you that World Cup qualifying matches are incredibly fun events. There are drums and horns and people painted head to toe and people in costume and the air is festive and full of hope. This was a mid-week game, which accounts for the low(ish) attendance.
Five of us piled in our friend Luis' SUV and hit the road from Birmingham for this important game. Unlike some of the past road trips I've posted about, this one (miraculously) went off without a hitch. The skies were clear and sunny, the temperature was just right. It was a beautiful day for sport. We tailgated in the parking lot with friends that had flown in from Chicago, DC, New York and other places. It was one of our friend's first soccer game ever and she was pretty much instantly hooked.
The sight lines at LP Field were clearly designed for football. Since soccer fields are much wider than football fields you end up literally not being able to see some action in the corners if your seats are too low. That wasn't really a problem for us at this game, but at the game against Morocco a few years ago I remember it being quite a problem. That being said, LP Field is on the official list of host venues for the United States' 2018/2022 World Cup hosting bid. Considering the nearest World Cup host city was about 600 miles away from Birmingham in 1994, I'd be happy to put up with a little difficulty seeing things in the corner if I had to sit close to the field.
That gripe aside, LP Field is a great venue to see a sporting event. It's clean, food and restroom facilities are ample, tailgating was a breeze and security seemed to not care about people carrying beers around openly during the tailgate, etc. It is kind of generic looking, but it'd still be a fine stadium to call your own. It's impressive that Nashville managed to build a nice, new stadium that's basically in the middle of the city seeing as most new stadiums are built out in the suburbs or on the fringes of cities these days.
This game was an absolute track meet. Trinidad & Tobago only managed one shot on goal. US striker Jozy Altidore (a mere 19 years old at the time) had three goals (all off of assists from Landon Donovan) and Altidore could very well have had five goals, but he missed a few easy opportunities. Though the US dominated the entire game, it was hard to relax because Altidore's second goal didn't come until the 71st minute. Up 2-0 at home with 19 minutes left against the likes of Trindidad and Tobago and we could finally breathe easily. He put in his third in the 89th minute to put icing on the cake.
Here are the highlights en espagnol: