This is really not a post about the Cosmos or even NY metro area soccer - unless one uses a very broad definition of metro area. This is a post about a historic and one of the truly coolest soccer venues in America.
This evening I went to my first USL PDL game and it was at Lusitano Stadium between the home town Western Mass Pioneers and visiting AC Connecticut and you need to know about this venue if you don't already.
Lusitano Stadium claims to be the only soccer specific stadium in New England and was built in 1918. Amazing right? I haven't been able to find anything that disputes this claim! All of New England, no other soccer specific stadium - now, this is not including New York which some descriptions of the region will include. Lusitano is located in Ludlow, Mass., just east of Springfield, home of the Basketball Hall of Fame - another cool reason to visit the area.
The place is truly amazing for being such a lovely stadium that blends into its community where it is located in the heart of Ludlow. It is next to a Catholic Church and across the street from a Portuguese cultural center and everything else around it is small private homes. It is a beacon of activity in the middle of this seemingly quite, sleepy neighborhood. The stadium seats 3,000 people, has evening lights for night games, its own bar/restaurant area complete with seating to watch the game right by the field, and did I mention it is the only soccer specific stadium in all of New England (Mass, Conn., RI, Maine, NH, and Vermont)!
As stated, the stadium sits across from a Portuguese cultural center and seems to be an extension of the Portuguese community in the area - serving Portuguese dishes in the stadium and there is even a touching memorial outside the stadium dedicated to Portuguese-American veterans.
I wanted to bring this place to your attention because it isn't far from New York and if the opportunity ever presents itself please take advantage to make a short trip to see a piece of American soccer history - and the only soccer specific stadium in all of New England, can you believe it? Well worth the trip. Oh yeah, the game ended in a 2-2 draw with a couple of nice goals for both sides, really good game.
As always, appreciate any comments, especially if you have any stories about the place from personal experiences. Thanks in advance!