Milwaukee residents arrived at the Uihlein Soccer Complex Saturday night for the inaugural Brew City Legends FC home game against the Chicago Mustangs. The nation’s first Black-owned professional indoor team won their first home game 8-6.
The Brew City Legends scored their first two goals within the first eight minutes of the game. With three minutes left in the first half the score stood 2-to-1 against the Chicago Mustangs. The crowd rooted for their favorite players in black and gold as small children played a game of their own in the adjacent field.
“I’m very proud of my guys, excited for the new franchise. It’s something new for Milwaukee,” Owner/ Coach Denzel Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew, born and raised in Milwaukee, came back to help further interest in the sport in the city while giving something back to the community he came from.
Some fans came to see their relative or friend play while others spectated for the sheer love of the sport. Fans surrounded the field or watched the epic game between the Legends and the Mustangs from above under the bright florescent lights of the sports complex.
“Soccer is a beautiful game when it’s played correctly,” Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew describes himself as a “defensive guy.” He said he prefers a possession style of play as opposed to a fast attacking style. He attributed this strategy to helping the Brew City Legends secure a win Saturday night. Pettigrew also said his intention is for fans to have some fun.
“The plan is to win the league,” he said. “This is a great atmosphere.”
The crowd brought energy and excitement to the match as coaches from both players’ boxes shouted directions to players on the field. Pettigrew stood in the box wearing a black button up, black slacks and a gold tie alongside other members of the team.
“I wanted to keep the team local, from Milwaukee,” Pettigrew said.
Most of the players are from Milwaukee while two hail from Minnesota. Pettigrew said he wanted to emphasize the development of players from the city to improve the sport.
“I wanted to focus on that raw talent,” he said.
At halftime, the kids were given the chance to play a game on the same turf as the professionals while the Legends remained ahead of the Mustangs by two points, both teams scoring another point at the beginning of the second halfing making the score 5-3.
The Brew City Legends scored another goal with about 20 seconds left in the third period solidifying their victory against the Mustangs at 7-to-4. The intensity increased in the last minute of the fourth period with the game ending with a final score of 8-6, a win for the Legends.
“Baby, I love you!” a fan shouted to their favorite Legend.
“Soccer is a politics sport,” Pettigrew said. “I’m hoping to bridge the gap between the leagues.”
The Brew City Legends compete in the Premier Arena Soccer League, while the long-established Milwaukee Wave play in the Major Arena Soccer League.
He said he wants more locals to come out and support the Brew City Legends and enjoy some family fun. He also said he wants to do what he can to diversify interest in the game among fans and prospective players looking to play professionally, particularly among the African-American community.
The next home game will be Jan. 12 against the Cincinnati Swerve in the Uihlein Soccer Complex beginning at 7 p.m. Ticket sales will begin at 6 p.m. Pettigrew and the 2 Legendary Sports crew encourages people to bring their families to enjoy the sport.