Roma Desai didn't plan to travel to all eight road matches Austin FC had to start their expansion season. But that’s the way it has played out.
She will complete her own eight-match road trip on Saturday as she drives up to Kansas City to attend Austin’s match against Sporting KC at Children’s Mercy Park. It will be the second time she has traveled to the stadium after Austin played there last month.
“I never set out to have a streak or anything like that,” Desai told AustinFC.com this week. “I think like most people I just want to go to every game possible. With these away games I was just taking it a game at a time and it was like ‘OK, if I can make it I’m going.’”
Desai moved to Austin about five years ago after originally growing up in Scranton, Pa. and has been an avid soccer fan for most of her life. When Austin was officially announced as an MLS team, there was little doubt that she would become a season-ticket holder. She joined Los Verdes last summer and has been an active member of the group since its inception.
“It’s awesome to be able to watch a team from the beginning and grow with the team,” she said. “I think that’s the cool part of this team in general because so many people here are transplants.”
The trip to Los Angeles to see Austin’s first-ever match is still the best one Desai has been on, simply due to the fact that it was the first time she -- like the rest of us -- were able to see the team play.
Some other highlights include running into Jared Stroud’s parents inside Allianz Field in Minnesota and running into Austin FC Majority Owner and CEO Anthony Precourt in the airport before the match against Nashville SC. Precourt even bought a round for Desai and other Austin FC supporters that were hanging out before their flight.
Even with her second trip to KC this weekend, Desai is counting the minutes until she can walk into Q2 Stadium and take in a home Austin FC match.
“I get chills every time because as fun as these away games have been -- and they’ve been amazing -- that atmosphere on June 19 is going to be insane. It’s going to be incredible.”
Desai doesn’t know how many road matches she will travel to for the rest of the season, but there’s little doubt she will make it to a few -- along with the 17 home matches.