The saga of the exploding inflatable MLS Cup trophy, as told by a volunteer on the field – The Athletic

When Caroline Segovia was offered the opportunity to take part in the field festivities at Providence Park leading up to the 2021 MLS Cup, she hoped above all else for a fun and unforgettable experience. And it certainly was – not in the way I expected.

We spoke on the phone earlier this week after I posted Twitter thread Detailed her experience that afternoon. Feeling the worth of a behind-the-scenes tick-tock-style story is your first hint that everything wasn’t planned.

The story of the explosive MLS Cup begins early last week, when the Timbers submitted a harmless request for volunteers. Priority has been given to season ticket holders who have been there since the club’s MLS season opened, and although that designation doesn’t actually apply to Segovia, she and her husband split their seats with him.

“My husband and I were like, ‘What the hell, let’s see,'” Segovia said, adding that there weren’t many details of what they were actually going to do. “Really they originally described it as just a fluttering banner.”

The main draw for most of the volunteers was guaranteed tickets for the championship match. For Segovia, an added benefit was getting an up close look at what exactly promises to be the show.

“I thought it would be very cool, to be on the pitch for the biggest game in the league,” Segovia said. “I knew the atmosphere was going to be very charged, just to get a different perspective on that.”

Volunteers were required to attend rehearsals on Thursday and Friday before kick-off on Saturday afternoon. On those first nights, they split into groups and divided responsibilities.


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