The team site has issued a list of five best "away days" in 2018. It's a fine list, but unfortunately it seems to be based more on general match-up intrigue rather than actual feasibility of making an away trip out of it. So here is a list of our top five away days based on your ability to say "fuck it let's go" and make a weekend out of it without it being a proper long haul of a trip, both when it comes to budget and time.
A couple notes:
- As derby days in the Bronx don't require any intercity travel and you get to sleep in your own bed afterwards, they're in a different category and won't be on the list. We're ranking the desirability of folding in an away day into a weekend excursion.
- Long distance flights are generally disqualifying. A 1.5 hour flight to Toronto? Sure (although trekking through airports and TSA does detract from the quick-weekend trip vibe). But a round trip six-hour flight to San Jose or Seattle is not really quite on the same level.
1) Saturday, September 1 at Montreal Impact
Montreal is a lovely city, but unfortunately the last couple of times we've played there on a weekend it's been early in the season, when they are still in the midst of their terrible winter and playing in the Big O. Not so this year, as a Labor Day weekend match date offers an opportunity to both not freeze and to use Sunday to shake off that hangover with poutine and Monday morning to travel back. Our only gripe is that due to a too-curvy rail alignment and a long stop over at the border, the Amtrak up here is not as feasible as one would like, so borrowing a car for the weekend remains the best move.
2) Sunday, September 16 at DC United
Our first game is at Audi Field is in July, but that is on a Wednesday -- so fuck that. Hats off to you if you're one of the devoted who treks four hours each way on a work day for a regular season game, but unless you take Thursday and Friday off as well, a weekend trip is out of the question. And honestly, would you want to be in DC all the way from Wednesday to Sunday? No, a weekend is just the right amount. Dia de Independencia is calling you in DC. And it's still early enough that springing for an Amtrak "saver" ticket could be worth avoiding the indignity of the MegaBus.
3) Saturday, March 31 at Orlando City
Here we agree with the team site -- the Sacha/Rivas/Redding reunion will be exciting even if both teams get out to a slow start, and by all accounts Orlando's stadium seems worth seeing in person. Now seems as good a time as ever. This is the first flight on our list, as the two-ish hours to Florida aren't that bad and Disneyworld's presence helps depress flight prices. We will (hopefully) be at the death of winter by this point, so why not go reward yourself with some actual sun. And then go to Epcot for a day or some shit, I don't know.
4) Sunday, October 21 at Philadelphia Union
Not gonna lie -- we like Philly a lot. (The city, obviously fuck its teams.) And this is the easiest and best bus trip you can do with a supporters group. We still have fond memories of SWP's assist to BWP to put away the Union in the City of Brotherly Love. While the bus trip is great, this time we're tempted to try our hand at the surprisingly expansive SEPTA regional rail system to trek down to Chester as we might if we actually lived in Philly. And of course, this will be Decision Day as well. Being in the stands on a hopefully crisp fall afternoon sounds nice.
5) Sunday, July 1 at Toronto FC
Going more out on a limb on this one -- we've never been to Toronto, so cannot vouch for the city itself (although we hear vaguely good things?). But with BMO field now in its fully-built stage, TFC and Metro seemingly building some bad blood, and a summer match date that won't freeze you next to the lake, seems like a good time to check out the place where we all live according to the movies.