by Devon Rowcliffe

When you overhear a soccer fan reminisce about the sport, there is a high probability their most enchanting memories originate from stimuli other than the actual games. Experiences such as basking in the first sunshine of late spring, jostling through a buzzing concourse, or seeing the generations-old façade of a stadium gradually ascend and dominate the horizon while travelling to a match. These ephemeral moments of joy, despite being peripheral to the game, often remain the most vivid and indelible of recollections for fans.

But such visceral memories are by no means limited to games held at large stadiums of recent construction. Whether modest venues festooned with decades of character and gradually made inimitable over time, or even fields in public parks seamlessly ensconced into their natural surroundings, smaller soccer grounds can be just as fetching as the more lustrous stadiums found in Major League Soccer.