I waited my entire life for 90 minutes. Ninety short minutes. Ninety exhilarating minutes.
When the International Champions Cup schedule was announced, I felt a sense of anticipation and excitement. Borussia Dortmund was slated to make a trip to the United States and their first stop was Chicago.
To make things even better, they would be playing English Premier League champion Manchester City. As avid follower of Dortmund and a lifelong supporter of City, it was the perfect combination.
After a couple hours, the tickets were booked and I was set to see my two favorite teams meet in Chicago.
The biggest dilemma was figuring out what to wear. I went with a Dortmund shirt and City hat with a newly-purchased split commemorative scarf.
I was one of the first inside Soldier Field when gates opened. I made my way to my seat and waited to see the teams emerge from the tunnel. Dortmund, led by new keeper Marwin Hitz, came out to the melody of “Heja BVB” as fans eagerly began pointing out the players.
The walkout was the most emotional moment for me as a fan of both sides. When you’ve grown up watching your heroes play across the world, there was always that dream to see them play. A dream that would take a special moment to be realized.
And that childhood dream, that lifelong dream, came true as the players took the fateful walk across the field. It’s like you got a golden ticket and finally got to see what was inside the chocolate factory.
Dortmund dressed and played many of its primary players, including the future of American soccer, Christian Pulisic. And let me tell you, he lived up to the hype. He is something truly special, as were many of Dortmund’s young players and new signings.
For a first game in a new system under a first-year coach, Dortmund showed reason to be optimistic about what’s to come. And it was such an amazing experience to see it first-hand.
I’ll never forget the evening of July 20, 2018 in Chicago: the night dreams became reality. Next time I see Dortmund in person, I hope to be among the crowd in the Yellow Wall. But for now, one dream is enough.