Drive one hour west of our nation’s capital and you’ll find yourself amid the rolling hills of Loudoun County, Virginia. Here, nestled between lush green space and suburban development, is the home setting for the USL Championship side Loudoun United.
Loudoun United is the feeder club for DC United and because of its proximity to Washington, DC, boasting a host of professional sports and two major soccer teams of its own, the USL Championship side is not going to break attendance records anytime soon. But what Loudoun United lacks in sellout crowds, it makes up for in charm and intimacy.
As soon as you walk into Segra Field, it immediately feels like a family affair.
Even before entering through the gates, fans are greeted with warm welcomes from the event staff who exemplify southern hospitality. The experience is what you’d expect when attending a local church service or high school football game.
Parents with their young kids arrive early to stand around the entrance and catch up with good friends. Retired couples enter early to grab a drink and find their seats. In some instances, it’s not uncommon to see fans along the rails chatting with players and coaches during warmups.
Venture over to the pop-up beer garden tucked into the east corner of Segra Field and you’ll find a couple dozen members of the Loudoun Stampede supporters group joking around with the front office staff in between cornhole tosses.
The whole gameday environment is intimate and that’s what makes Loudoun United so special.
While USL stadium capacity limits due to COVID-19 certainly hindered the club’s ability to create a louder atmosphere for its 2021 home opener against New York Red Bulls II, in many ways it enhanced the fan experience.
Even when the match began, the intimacy from pre-game remained. So much so that at one point during the May 18 match, a fan sitting at midfield yelled something at one of the opposing players and another fan from the Loudoun Stampede supporter group sitting behind the goal yelled back to the fan and complimented him on the cheer.
Sure, if you’re looking for sellout crowds and 90 minutes of constant noise, Loudoun United is not for you. But this USL Championship side is a hidden gem right outside Washington, DC and is certainly worth a visit.
Like so many of the USL stadiums across the country, Segra Field is built to give its fans a close-up look at their favorite players while providing the perfect level of charm and excitement for rowdy supporters and families alike.