‘Big win no matter what’: DC United fans gear up for first game with fans since start of pandemic

The Barra Brava DC United Supporters group cheering on the team at a previous game. (Courtesy Oscar Zambrana)

Fans of DC United are ready to celebrate their team in person for the first time since the pandemic started.

D.C. is allowing Audi Field to have 25% in-person capacity for Saturday night’s D.C. United game and avid fans are ready to go.

“It’s going to be a big win no matter what,” said Oscar Zambrana, founder of the Barra-Brava DC United supporters group.

He said they’ve lost two of their group’s members to the coronavirus so they understand the limits on the number of fans for the game, but they’re ready to cheer on their team.

“I can’t describe it. Because, you know, I’ve been in the stands, you know, for every single game since that league started,” Zambrana said.

James Lambert, president of the Screaming Eagles supporter group said he’s not only excited about being able to cheer on DC United in person for the first time in a year, but also to see the work of the team’s new coach and general manager in action.

Lambert said the limited capacity means will be between 4,500 and 5,000 fans in the stands for the 8 p.m. game against the New York City Football Club on Saturday night and they’ll all be in small pods socially distant from each other.

“It’s just pure energy, pure excitement. It’s knowing that they’ve missed us, and knowing how much we can, you know, help them with their play on the field by bringing the energy in the stands,” Lambert said.

Douglas Reyes-Ceron, co-founder of the supporter group the Rose Room Collective says he’s excited to see the energy from the fans and see how the new coach and general manager make their debuts.

“Everyone’s kind of waiting on bated breath to see how it all comes together, and I think that’s incredibly exciting,” Reyes-Ceron said.

He said he wants to wait to go in-person when he’s fully vaccinated, but he thinks the energy of the fans will help the team and that he’s excited to see fans in the stands

“I’m very, very excited for them. It’s a very surreal feeling after the year we’ve had with the pandemic, and everything else that finally we get to have a game day again, with fans. It’s incredibly exciting,” Reyes-Ceron said.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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