This is Tanisha’s story. You may know her as the T from @DCUnitedWUFC, but she’s also a massive FC Barcelona fan. If she’s not tweeting about soccer or watching it, she’s probably playing FIFA — or answering these questions for me! Let’s meet her.
Q: Tell us about your very first soccer game.
A: My first game playing, I was in the 7th grade and I played for the Fort Meade Cougars, and played as the Sweeper. First game watching, I was randomly watching FC Barcelona in 2008. Lionel Messi officially wearing number 10, scored a golazo, and I fell in love the game all over again. Ever since then he’s been my favorite.
Q: What team(s) do you follow, and what leagues are they in? How did you start following those teams?
A: FC Barcelona in La Liga, Everton in the Premier League, and DC United in MLS. I started following Everton because I like Tim Howard and (when he was there) Tim Cahill. DC United – They’re the home team, and now I feel like RFK is home.
Q: How did you end up an FCB fan?
A: My FCB fandom is legit. I watched the game because I used to work at a before and after school program with elementary students, and this one kid always talked about Messi. Everyday he would tell me I need to watch him play. I looked him up on Youtube and watched a compilation of his tricks. I did that for about a week. Then I watched a game, and Messi is known for traveling through multiple defenders like they weren’t standing there and scoring amazing goals with his left foot. Or cheekily chipping the ball over the keeper. After that, I was hooked. And the 2008-2009 Barcelona team under Pep Guardiola were in their prime (so it was actually a good time to start liking them, haha). Every season I hope that Pep comes back to Barça, but I mean they aren’t doing horrible under Lucho (Luis Enrique). They did just win a treble, so I’m not complaining. The reason that I’m still interested in Barcelona is because they play beautiful football. That’s it. I don’t consider it “Tiki-Taka” anymore, that’s the Pep Guardiola era. That’s over, it’s Lucho’s turn.
Q: What about the game hooked you?
A: The atmosphere, the fans, the players. They try so hard to bring happiness to their fans. Win or lose, you cannot help but cheer.
Q: With whom in your life do you share soccer?
A: In my family, I’m a solo soccer fan. But within my friends, I have a huge soccer community. I have friends from different cultures and background and they support all different teams. I have friends love DC United as much as I do, but cannot stand the fact that I support FC Barcelona. For some strange reason, I believe it makes our friendships stronger.
Q: Have you traveled to any away games for your team? Where did you go and what was the experience like?
A: I haven’t gone to an away game, but I’m hoping to go to one sometime soon.
Q: Do you have any personal soccer-related traditions? What are they?
A: For DC United games, I have to wear my Fabian Espindola jersey. My friends yell at me to make sure I wear it at every game.
Q: What is the impact soccer has had on your life? What has it brought to you that you wouldn’t have had otherwise?
A: Soccer has brought me friends who feel like family. Soccer gives me this joy. I can’t explain it. At the stadium, I’m full of energy and can be seen jumping for 90+ mins. At home, there’s times where I can’t even sit down to watch the game. I have to keep moving. I get anxious and excited watching games. I wish everyone could feel that feeling.
Q: If you could tell everyone in the world one thing about soccer, what would it be?
A: That it’s a great sport, and highly underrated.
Tanisha gets an amazing energy watching soccer games, and I hope you can share some of her energy reading her story or tweets from @DCUnitedWUFC! Her favorite teams are so lucky to have her on the sidelines. I can’t wait to share more of these wonderful women’s stories with you and I can’t wait to hear yours. Tweet me at @starrphishe, tweet at @WUnitedFC, or leave us a note in the contact box below and we would love to share your #WomenLoveSoccer story.