From the staff and security that keep things running smoothly to the dedicated supporters that keep the team going and more, the D.C. United experience is made up of more than the players. Beyond the Sidelines looks at the most colorful characters, the stories that stood out and the most vibrant voices that lend to a memorable atmosphere at RFK Stadium.
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REPORTING & VIDEO Arielle Amegashie, Alexandra Cruz, Nicole Dei, Joseph Franco, Alexandra Givan, Ricky Lasser, Miles Moore, Chloe Pavlech, Karen Tang, Tong Wu
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT Brittany Cheng
It takes more than
the players to make a D.C. United game happen.
Here are the people who bring Major League Soccer to life in Washington.
Click an image to watch a video.
What happens behind the scenes before every D.C. United game? Jeffrey Hunter talks about how he and his crew transform a football field into a soccer pitch.
Alexandra Cruz is a senior broadcast journalism major and Italian minor at the University of Maryland. In Spring 2015, she was a multimedia journalist for Capital News Service. Alex has interned with Rockville 11 and worked for Big Ten Network and Her Campus. Alex has a passion for storytelling in all mediums and hopes to work as a multimedia journalist upon graduating.
Culinary master and D.C. United super fan David Ivey-Soto has been spicing up tailgates for more than 20 seasons. From Philadelphia cheesesteaks and New England clam chowder to Chicago deep-dish pizza and traditional quesadillas, this "Weekend Warrior" serves his creations to whoever stops by -- even opposing fans.
Alexandra Givan is senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland with an interest in digital media, broadcasting and corporate communications. She has had the opportunity to develop her craft while interning with NBC Washington, The National Cable and Telecommunications Association and currently at Comcast-NBCUniversal. The New York native is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves to spend her free time trying restaurants in D.C.
The United States Special Operations Command, SOCOM, dropped into the D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew game earlier this year in a parachute demonstration, led by Lt. Col. Keith Walters and M. Sgt. Kyle Margelofsky. The ParaCommandos have performed thousands of times at sporting events around the country.
Ricky Lasser is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Maryland with a passion for post-production and visual storytelling. Studying in Rome has unleashed his itch to document travel and adventure -- especially when food is involved. This sports enthusiast is now an intern with NBC Washington sports and previously worked with WTOP sports, WUSA9 online, the Big Ten Network and ESPN.
Karen Tang is a multiplatform graduate student at the University of Maryland with an eye for visual storytelling. In summer 2015, Karen was a sports intern with WUSA9 and is now a reporter for Capital News Service. She has a passion for photography and was a sports photographer for The Diamondback. As a former gymnast, she can be found doing splits and flips in her spare time.
A security guard known as "Mr. Ron" at RFK Stadium has been working D.C. United games for almost eight years. Here's his story.
Nicole Dei is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland. She has a passion for television production, and she has made it a mission to get her foot in the door with some of her favorite media companies. After interning at NBC Washington, CNN and the TODAY Show, she realized just how much fun work can be.
The District Ultras, a D.C. United supporters group, bring boundless, bouncing, boisterous energy to RFK Stadium. Despite not being the oldest or the largest group supporting the team, their unique mix of camaraderie and crowd noise helps provide the team with a loud stadium environment.
Joseph Franco is a senior broadcast journalism student and rhetoric and leadership studies minor at the University of Maryland. Looking to find his niche in the world of communications, Joe has served as a technical writer for a government contractor, hosted a talk radio show with WMUC Sports, and served on the executive leadership team for The Odyssey. He hopes to parlay his passion for writing, shooting, and editing into a career covering the arts, entertainment and urban development.
When D.C United plays at home, the team gives a local youth soccer club the chance to take part in the opening ceremony by walking the players onto the field.
Arielle Amegashie is a broadcast graduate student at the University of Maryland, with a passion for writing and visual storytelling. In summer 2015 Arielle was a digital media intern for WBAL and is now a producer for Capital News Service. When she isn’t writing, reporting or shooting video, Arielle loves to travel. She studied abroad last winter in the Dominican Republic.
Tong Wu is a senior broadcast journalism major at the University of Maryland, specializing in videography, photography and post-production. Her experience as an alumna of Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, student videographer for The Diamondback and former intern at Rockville 11 have broadened her multimedia storytelling skills. She is also interested in data analysis and visualization.