FC Seoul vs. LA Galaxy!

My first sporting event in Korea, and man did it feel good. I forgot how much I missed being in an arena - be it for a concert or sport. This was also my first soccer game ever (and I have to point out, that I actually hate calling it soccer now after being around so many internationals who call it Football).

I found out about the game two weeks ago via the Facebook event page. The LA Galaxy are on an Asian tour and playing the teams in friendly pre-season games. Tickets for FC Seoul during their regular season are 8,000won, but because the Galaxy are an American team sporting the likes of David Beckham on their roster this special game was a nice hefty 30,000W.

They played at the World Cup Stadium in Seoul which was a hike to get to from my neck of the woods (hour bus ride to central Seoul and then a 20 minute cab ride). Tickets are always interesting to come by here in Korea for almost anything:

The language barrier usually poses a problem and you cannot buy anything on line like you can at home. You can reserve spaces and wire the money from an atm, but we didn't do that. Since there's a rather large foreigner contingent here we decided to just try our luck and go in a group and buy game day tickets. We were afraid that the game would sell out, but shortly upon getting there we realized that was almost an impossibility. The stadium holds somewhere around 72,000 people and I think, I THINK, maybe 10,000 showed up.

Either way, the game was a lot of fun in the cold weather, but cheap hot chocolate and beer makes it all worthwhile. FC Seoul was no where near a great team, and neither was the Galaxy, but they seemed equally matched. The Galaxy scored the only gametime goal, but FC Seoul tied it up with a penalty shot, and then when the game went into overtime penalty shots where FC Seoul took home the win.

There were oddities of course that I found as a foreign spectator. First being there are no replays. None. They have giant flat screen tvs with all sorts of bells and whistles,but there are no replays of anything - AND barely any announcements. Although when they did tell you they were subbing someone or something, they were in English - that was impressive. Another odd thing that struck me as an incredibly nice thing Koreans do was the returning of the confiscated goods you aren't allowed t bring in. At home, you're basically supporting the gate guard's drinking habit if they take away whatever you're trying to sneak in. Oh those Koreans... so nice:

Next up... baseball season opening day March 15! Doosan Bears all the way... GO BEARS!!!