Why Chelsea? I asked.
“I like Chelsea and Michael Essien.”
Ebenezer Adu Twum, or Ebby, is everything this blog is about. He was born in Ghana, lives in Italy, supports an English club and is currently on a few weeks student exchange in Montreal (so we could meet). I suspect he supports Chelsea primarily because Michael Essien plays there. He is not alone in following a team because a certain player plays for it. It used to be the other way around, one supports a team and, consequently, likes the players wearing the team colours. But footballers became celebrities, and fandom has changed.
This wonderful young man, Ebby, lives in a small town Malnate, in the province of Varese, and plays football for the local FC Aurora Induno juniors team. I had to look it up but Google performed poorly. However, as soon as Ebby mentioned FC Aurora Induno I remembered reading a wonderful book The Miracle of Castel di Sangro by Joe McGinniss. You should read it too.
Why Impact? I asked.
“It’s Montreal, man!”
The spring is back in town, even if temporarily. I took my first long walk today and spotted this young fellow in Montreal Impact, or Impact de Montréal, shirt. His car had a flat tire so he couldn’t run away. It is fitting for my first spring encounter to wear this shirt. Just two days ago the Impact played its first home game in MLS against the Chicago Fire. 58,912 people attended. I was there and Jamie told me he was there too. Born Montrealer, he admitted how he doesn’t know much about soccer and doesn’t follow any European league. But he will be back to watch Impact. This is good, the buzz about the new circus in town attracts young new fans and not only us who came from elsewhere, addicted already, and missed the beautiful game so much.