On Friday night, Gino Boscia achieved his three week dream of holding a game ball after it was sent into the stands. He didn’t get to keep the memento, but he did leave with a deeper love for the Philadelphia Union.
Far from a life-long fan, Boscia’s first in-person Union game came on Aug. 18 after he received free tickets from the organization. He’s attended every game since, finding himself enthralled by the atmosphere.
The pandemonium he’s come to love was on full display during the dying minutes of Friday’s game between the Union and the New England Revolution.
Emotions were high as the Revs held a one-goal advantage despite being down a man. Both teams were showcasing their aggression in hopes of gaining an edge. The Revolution were also willing to use time-wasting tactics to see out the game.
In a play that has become infamous in MLS circles, Henry Kessler booted the ball out of bounds before hurling the extra one found on the sidelines. It’s a moment to behold.
The ball was caught by a fan, who quickly handed it to Boscia’s brother. Boscia took the ball as fans continued “yelling and shouting some profanities I can’t say” towards Kessler and the Revs.
Boscia almost missed this moment, as he was exiting in order to beat the traffic. He’s glad he didn’t since he was able to see how much Union fans love their team.
“They knew it was intentional and that was probably the last decent attack,” Boscia explained. “Things were already getting heated so I think the fans were trying to support their team as much as possible. I loved the passion and energy from all the players and fans.”
Boscia isn’t sure if Union fans are ready to say there’s a true rivalry between their team and the Revs, but he fully expects that “there will be some grudges still held if they meet again soon, especially at Subaru Park.”
And when they do meet, Boscia will almost surely be there, not in small part because of what he experienced during the final moments of Friday’s game.
“I will definitely be attending more games in the future,” he said. “The stadium and atmosphere itself is awesome.”