The Bordello is the affectionate name given to Section 302 of Sun Devil Soccer Stadium by its denizens, La Furia Roja, the supporters’ group for the Phoenix FC soccer team.
Wait, we have a professional soccer team?
Why, yes, we do. Phoenix FC plays in the United States League, or USL, which technically is the third tier of American soccer behind Major League Soccer and the North American Soccer League, though in reality there’s almost no difference between NASL and USL.
Why haven’t we heard about them?
Thankfully, there is La Furia Roja.
LFR was created a year ago, not for Phoenix FC but for the incredibly short-lived Phoenix Monsoon.
Don’t worry about it. They played on high school pitches and didn’t last long. Anyway, LFR preceded Phoenix FC but quickly adopted PFC because the ultimate dream of the members is to see top-tier soccer played here in the Valley. (A long shot, admittedly, but we all can dream.)
Personally, I purchased season tickets in the main grandstand because my spouse isn’t a fan of standing and singing through the match. But with temperatures now in the triple digits at kickoff, she’s comfortably at home while I have moved down to The Bordello where I can stand, sing and shvitz.
It’s a little odd to be doing this when my 44th birthday is only a couple of weeks away; I truly wish the American Outlaws (the US National team’s supporters group) and LFR had been around 15 to 20 years ago. Except 15 to 20 years ago, almost no one gave a damn about soccer. Let’s face it … outside of the ubiquitous “U-S-A” chant, American fans are fairly boring compared to their worldwide brethren.
(Let’s leave the hooligans and rioters out of this part of the discussion, okay?)
Even on a warm night with a relatively small crowd – about 1,500 in attendance – LFR was in full voice throughout the evening. And I may or may not have personally started a chant discussing the size of Dayton’s goaltenders’ derriere. The drum corps provided a steady back beat (without overwhelming the songs, unlike a pseudo supporters group that also came to a few games), flags were waving and chants were chanted.
Not all of the chants are meant for young ears, if I’m honest, so you may not want to bring the young ones into The Bordello.
Fortunately, there are seats available on both sides of the pitch for most matches. Frankly, it’s one hell of a wonderful way to spend two hours.
And, best of all, the players truly appreciate the fans’ efforts. Forget the silly lip service you hear from most professional athletes who talk about the fans but have next to no interest in interacting with any of them. Phoenix FC players ran down the fence line after the game, giving high fives and hugs and thanking everyone for the support. Some even came across to the Devil’s Advocate afterward to talk so more with the fans.
Look, I can keep talking … but just take a look below. Sound good?