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Soares: Man U game lived up to hype

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  July 14, 2011 01:47 PM

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AJ Soares (right) squared off against Dimitar Berbatov in last night's game, and later exchanged jerseys with him, a soccer tradition for international matches

ajsoaresheadshot.jpgHello. I am sitting in my rat-ridden studio looking at the Manchester United jersey I traded for after last nightís game at Gillette Stadium. The red top is perfectly tailored for a footballer and the velvet feel of the name and numbers on the back speaks class. I swapped shirts with Dimitar Berbatov, co-winner of the Golden Boot in last yearís English Premier League. Surely he does not care much for the Soares jersey, but at least I went one on one against him and did not look stupid.

I previously mentioned my two perspectives going into the game, and the game blew away my expectations. As a fan, I knew that I would be excited to see the superstars enter the field for warm-ups and I had to fight the urge to cheer when they finally arrived. Seeing Ryan Giggs, Michael Owen, and Wayne Rooney among the others was unbelievable. The way that they play and entertain all in the stadium affirms why they are paid the way they are, and why Old Trafford sells out on a regular basis. The club has an aura that shadows everything around. The amount of superstar players would compare to Oceanís Eleven times three.

The game also lived up to all of my personal hype from a player perspective. The first thing that I noticed when across the field during warm-ups was the size of the players. Many of them were tall and even the short ones were very fit and strong. Maybe it was the design of the fitted Nike shirts, but every player looked like they had come fresh from the gym and been on the Patriots weightlifting routine. The style of play was great to experience as well. They allowed us to pass the ball and keep some possession, but when they got it, they kept it. I noticed that the Manchester United players always chose the best pass and executed it in the best way. That is why they are the best in the world, save for a few Spaniards. Finally, the finishing touch in the box is second to none when it comes to the English champions. When there is any opportunity, there is a goal.

After the lights and what feels like a hangover this morning from the excitement of the game, I am thrilled to have been a part of such a great event. I have to give a special shout-out to the fans from the game. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of Revolution fans and the way that they cheered for us all game. As always, the die-hards did their excellent part and I thank them for that. The experience was once in a lifetime for all of us at Gillette Stadium and let us all take the energy from the event and roll right into the second half of the MLS season. Go Revs! New England Revolution defenseman AJ Soares is a guest contributor to Corner Kicks.
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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