An American in Leeds: My Leeds United experience

Liam Bridcutt takes on Huddersfield Town's Aaron Mooy. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Liam Bridcutt takes on Huddersfield Town's Aaron Mooy. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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For my latest ‘what should the American do in Leeds’ experience, I decided to take the advice of many and watch a Leeds United game.

I went down to Elland Road to watch the Whites take on Huddersfield Town, and it was quite the experience.

Being a football fan and understanding the game pretty well, I found myself frustrated with the way that Leeds played. I didn’t think that they had the communication or coordination skills to work as a cohesive unit. Shots that should have been easy, like corner kicks or penalty kicks, were nowhere close, which was really just disappointing.

After sitting through 90 minutes of watching them struggle to control the ball, I was not at all surprised that they did not win.

However, I was incredibly impressed and inspired by the way that Leeds fans stayed engaged and somewhat positive until the end of the game. It wasn’t until the last 10-15 minutes of playing time that we started to see fans start to really frustrated.

The atmosphere of the Leeds United game was unlike any other sport I’ve been to since coming across the pond. It’s clear just from walking onto the stadium grounds that people were excited to watch their team play and cheer them on.

When I do tell people that I went to the football game, they usually say something along the lines of being disappointed about the team losing another game, but they also nearly always apologise for the colourful language that I most likely heard at the game.

While it’s true that I did hear some very colourful language (some of it was even quite creative), it’s not too different from what you might hear at a variety of American sporting events, particularly American Football.

If anything, the colourful language just added to the experience. Someone that has that much to say, and that little control over the words that come out of their mouth, must feel really passionately about their team.

Though I wish I’d gone to a winning game at Elland Road, in general it was a really good experience, and one I’d recommend to anyone coming to spend time in this city.

* Abigail Miller is from North Carolina and in the middle of a three month work placement with the YEP.

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