The Associated Press reported from Washington that "nearly 1,000 fans swarmed
to National Airport on Monday to greet D.C. United, newly crowned champions
of Major League Soccer."
The report continued:
""... Many in the crowd had not arrived home until 4 a.m. after D.C.'s 3-2
comeback victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday in Foxboro, Mass. And
they nearly overwhelmed airport security at the USAir terminal.
``This just shows you the support we've had all season long,'' United captain
John Harkes said.
Many fans arrived at the USAir gate area an hour before the team was due.
When the drums and chants of ``Ole, Ole'' started 20 minutes before the
team's arrival, police bolstered security.
After the first officer on the scene radioed that the ``crowd was too big too
handle,'' a group of officers ushered fans from the boarding area and down a
level to the terminal's larger baggage claim concourse.
The players, many weary after celebrating the MLS's inaugural title game,
appeared startled by the size of the crowd.
Harkes and the other players were engulfed by a sea of singing fans in the
team's red and black colors as they rode down the escalators to the baggage
``The following we gathered the last half of the season was tremendous and it
motivated the players,'' United coach Bruce Arena said.
Hector and Laura Quintanta of Lake Ridge, Va., were two of the nearly 5,000
fans who traveled to New England to watch Sunday's game, in which the United
squad erased a 2-0 deficit with 17 minutes left.
``I'm a season-ticket holder and I'm glad to see soccer in this country again
on a professional level,'' Carlos said.
Laura, who missed her connecting flight trying to get to Sunday's game,
splurged on a $200 limo ride from JFK Airport in New York City to make the
start of the contest.
``It was definitely worth it,'' she said.
Most of the fans were decked out in United gear and many carried cameras,
minicams, soccer balls, banners, flags and even flowers. There were many
extended families at the airport, and a fair number of kids missed some
David Dominguez, 11, was at the airport with his cousins and his aunt Bianca.
The Dominguez clan, recent immigrants from El Salvador, squeezed 11 people
into the family's van to attend Sunday's game. ...""