Among the 10.728 spectators in the stands of RFK Stadium on Sunday were many Dutch fans, among which the Verbeek family from Richmond. Finally, they were able to watch an Ajax match at a normal time.
Father Sipke was there early on Sunday with sons Thom and Mark (both 17) to wait at the doors of the RFK Stadium in Washington. The Dutch natives made the two and a half hour drive happily to see Ajax live in action. The family has been living in Richmond for six years. “We have tickets in the first row, so we can’t get any closer. Hopefully we’ll be able to interact with the players”, says the father hopefully.
Son Mark (right on the photo) is the most fervent Ajax fan in the family. In the US, he watches every Ajax match on his laptop at home. “Because of the time difference, I’m always watching Ajax at 6.30 on Sunday morning. It’s nice now to be able to watch them at a normal time (5p.m. local time).”
Last week Sunday, Mark had some company to watch Ajax win the national championship against FC Twente. “The whole family watched the game on my laptop. It was an amazing event for us at home on Sunday morning. The stream we were watching went over to AT5 afterwards. We could see all of the images of the celebration on Museumplein. We were all cheering in our living room.”
Ajax’s first visit to the U.S. comes at a good time for the Richmond family. Mark: “I never expected that they would come here one week after winning the championship. That’s really special. Last week, I got congratulatory messages on Facebook from Ajax fans in the Netherlands. It’s great to follow Ajax online, but watching a live game is the best. I hope Ajax comes back, because Portland (where Ajax plays its next friendly match) is just too far away to travel to for one night. We’d need to fly five and a half hours. So I’m cherishing this evening with Ajax in Washington.”