Rise and shine. It’s match day. Not just any match day; it’s the one where anticipation is at its highest. Where you believe anything is possible, from running the table undefeated to your dreams of your team hoisting the most important trophies in the land.

It’s Opening Day.

Hope is at its highest point with the dawn of a new season, and this season is no different for D.C. United fans. The 2022 season was one to forget so that only heightens the anticipation and the hope that fans can throw behind the team as the 2023 season begins tonight at Audi Field when the team takes the field against Toronto FC.

The night before the opening match of the season is similar to that of Christmas Eve, especially when that opener is at home. Last night, you probably went through your closet to get your outfit together. You pulled out your new D.C. United cherry blossom jersey or a tried and true jersey that you know brings the team good luck. You probably got out your jacket and other cold gear as well to prepare for an evening in the 30s.

There are so many new faces to this year’s team, 8 to be exact. Many of them will be featured in the starting XI, prompting you to grab a program as you enter Audi Field tonight. There are some familiar faces still present, including our captain, Steve Birnbaum. We have a plethora of Homegrown Players that should get heavy minutes as our team trends younger. And, we await with anticipation who can be the goalkeeper that does his best to fill the void left by a club legend.

They share our dreams, our goals, and our ambitions. They look to the new murals on the walls, and the trophies around the stadium, and they aspire to add more for fans to enjoy. And all of them will arrive tomorrow with blank slates, their 2023 story unwritten.

That unwritten story will be in the stands as well, as friends greet each other and the smells of pupusas, hot dogs, and beer fill the evening sky. The drum beats form the rhythm, and the chants and cheers create the heartbeat as a noisy din circulates the stadium. It may be a cold one, but our excitement is all the warmth we need. A new hope is our guide as the team takes the field, the national anthems are sung, and the ball is kicked to begin the season. The first chapter will be written, and the goal is that it’s a story of redemption as the team aims high after 2022, stuck at the bottom.

Our deferred dreams take flight once again. Enjoy the show. It’s Opening Day!

ByDonald Wine II

Donald Wine has been a soccer fan since he first kicked a ball as a kid. He moved to DC in 2007 and quickly joined the soccer scene, helping to establish the DC chapter of the American Outlaws and serving as one of the capos and drummers for over a decade. He is currently the manager of Stars & Stripes FC, but this community is where he got his start, and he continues to contribute to anything DC soccer related for this site because he enjoys it so much.

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