The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The last time we checked in with Alisha and Josh Weiss they were running a Liverpool supporters gear shop online out of Poulsbo, Washington.
Times change and the family now resides in California. However, their shop is still going strong and their love of The ‘Pool is expressed in the journal of their recent trip to Boston, posted below.
—by Alisha Weiss—
It’s Monday night and we’re headed to Boston. Taking the red eye across the country with a 6-month old wasn’t really part of the plan, but with Liverpool FC playing AS Roma at Fenway Park on a Wednesday, we’re making it happen. My name is Alisha and along with my husband Josh we own the Anfield Shop in Monterey, California. We are an independent Liverpool FC supporter’s store that’s been around since November 2010. We started with basically a dream and a passion for the Reds and it’s hard to believe we’re headed to Fenway a couple years later. This past May we partnered up with Warrior and are now an Official Warrior Sports dealer, selling Liverpool jerseys and training wear, in addition to the over 400 other Liverpool FC products in the shop.
Five hours later, the flight is over and we are in Boston. Immediately, Josh feels like he is in heaven after spotting a Dunkin’ Doughnuts (something missing here on the West Coast). We head in to catch some sleep. By noon, we are refreshed and on a train go head into downtown Boston. First stop is meeting with Mike Lepic, head of Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation. He’s in town for the match and a great friend. He hands us a bag of signed Carragher merchandise for us to sell and raise money for the charity. Our customers have help us raise thousands of dollars for the Foundation and we are excited to offer the signed memorabilia. We spend the next couple hours catching up and then it’s off to Fenway to catch Liverpool FC train at Fenway.
Once inside, it’s hard to get a little starstruck. There’s Stevie G kicking around with Carra, Skrtel, Carroll, and the rest of the Reds first team. Drills are intense but the players seem relaxed. Fenway has been transformed into a bona fide football pitch. Fans cheer to get the player’s attention and most wave back. I’ve been absolutely delighted on reading all of the fans’ posts on Facebook and Twitter about getting players’ autographs and photos. It seems like Liverpool FC is providing brilliant access to players and letting everyone meet their heroes. Stories abound of players like Stevie and Daniel Agger signing every autograph asked of them, staying up to an hour after training sessions at nearby Harvard University.
Then the phone call comes. We’ve been invited to a reception put on by Warrior Sports but the dress code is business casual. In this heat we are very casually dressed. So we get in a cab in the height of rush hour traffic to head back to the hotel and change. We put our son, Miles, in his Warrior kit and head back to, of all places, Fenway.
Once inside it’s a Liverpool fans dream. Players are sitting at little tables and signing autographs and posing for pictures. I asked Andy Carroll how his holiday was. Jonjo Shelvey asked how old Miles was. The polite conversations put enormous smiles on our faces and we are reminded how fantastic this team is and how lucky we are to be here. Then I look to my right and sitting there are two LFC legends: Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard. There are quite a few folks hanging by their table so we patiently wait our turn. I introduced myself to Jamie and talked briefly about working alongside his Foundation. I should also mention at this time that Miles was passed out asleep. I nudge to Josh (my husband) that he needs to wake up. Even though Miles won’t remember this moment, I was hoping he would show some of his legendary smiles and put the players at ease around a baby.
We get to Steven Gerrard and he’s brilliant. Josh asked him to sign Miles’ jersey, and he happily obliges. Captain Fantastic. We head home happy and still a bit shocked that we were able to meet the players.
The next day is match-day. We tweet out to our FaceBook and Twitter followers where we are in hopes of meeting as many people as possible. We have fantastic customers that helped us get to where we are and we love meeting them and chatting with them about the upcoming season. Speculation is rife about which players are coming and going…and who’s to blame over last year’s disappointing finish.
We head to the match and everything becomes official once “You’ll Never Walk Alone” comes on the loudspeaker. The squad is a mixture of young and old. Jamie Carragher leads the back-line while the front is led by youngster Adam Morgan. Throughout the match it’s a round robin of players that I recognize and some I don’t. If you’ve read the scoreline, you know the result. 2-1 to Roma. A disappointing result, but it is only pre-season. The England National Team players do not feature, so my dream of seeing Steven Gerrard play has to wait until another match. Liverpool fans seemed to outnumber AS Roma fans 10-1. Fenway is truly a sea of red.
We head back to the hotel to sleep off the last couple of days. The next day, it’s back home. Orders are waiting to be filled. Customers are waiting to receive their next round of Liverpool merchandise. Did we get a glimpse of the future LFC superstars? Which new players will arrive after this match? The speculation continues. Regardless, it was the best 72 hours in Boston, also known as Fenway West, that we could have ever imagined.