ONU’s World Student Organization (WSO) and Muslim Student Association (MSA) teamed up for a trip to a Columbus Crew soccer game on Sat. Sept. 20, and those who went boasted a great time.
The Columbus Crew is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio that competes in Major League Soccer. It is one of 10 charter clubs in the league, and WSO has organized trips to their games for the past few years.
According to WSO President Aaron Salwan, the purpose of the event (as with all of WSO’s events) was to give international students a chance to interact with domestic students in a fun and social environment.
Aaron believes that soccer is arguably the world’s favorite sport, and so it was a great opportunity for students to not only become better friends through a mutual love of soccer, but to also experience what soccer is really like in the U.S. Although, he said, the Brazilian students felt that the game only afforded a fraction of the excitement and talent of Brazilian games.
Despite this flaw, the game was very competitive and the crowd was extremely riled up to see the home team score a 1-0 victory, Aaron said.
This was WSO’s fourth trip to a Columbus Crew game, and Aaron feels that the excursions keep getting better and better. “Nothing is better at bringing students together than a great soccer game, crazy fans, and passion,” said Aaron. “The fact that college kids from all over the world can come together to create a friendly, almost family-like atmosphere, and simply enjoy the diversity–that’s what WSO is all about.”
JinYoung Cindy Kim, a multimedia journalism exchange student from South Korea, felt that the event was a great opportunity for her to experience an authentic American soccer match.
“Although our sports are similar in Korea, the American sports market is big so there are more fans. I think American [soccer] is a special sport which we can see only in USA.”
From what he saw, Aaron had no doubt that everyone had a great time. Those in attendance commented on the passion of the fans, and even helped to start a chant that got the whole crowd participating and pumped up for the game.
“The atmosphere was amazing we were on our feet for 90 minutes doing chant after chant,” he said. “The chant went something like, ‘I…I believe…I believe that…I believe that we will…I believe that we will win!’”
Cindy said that participating in the chant was one of her favorite parts of the experience because it allowed them to be so much more involved in the game.
“It was fun that we could cheer…Everyone was excited so I felt good!” she said.