Joe West is a diehard FC Cincinnati supporter and longtime season ticket holder. Joe like many of the FCC faithful has many memories of this club’s short history. West attended FCC’s first-ever MLS match versus the Seattle Sounders. He recalls the sobering feeling of leaving as Sounders’ fans jeered him with a “Welcome to MLS” chant. There was also a bar that refused him entry based on his FCC shirt selection. His cold night in the Pacific Northwest wasn’t enough to dissuade him from wearing that Orange and Blue with pride. This season West was able to return that chant to Seattle supporters after a 1-0 win against Seattle back in March.
You won’t believe it at first glance, but he was once kind of a Columbus Crew fan. He had a passion for Major League Soccer since the late 90s. Living in West Virginia, the Columbus Crew was the closest MLS club to him. Fortunately, West saw the light shortly after his move to Cincinnati as the ownership group announced plans to create FCC right in our backyard. He is self-proclaimed the biggest anti-Crew fan there is now. He is planting his flag here in the Cincinnati area as he hopes to become a first-time homeowner.
His West Virginia roots haven’t left him, however. The WVU graduate recalls FCC’s Ray Gaddis playing in Morgantown while he was in school. Gaddis has become one of Joe’s favorite FCC players. He enjoys himself a good shirt tuck as much as the rest of us. West and Gaddis’ Mountaineers had an incredible 2023 season where they made it all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
West has also participated in the 5K runs with FCC supporters and was in attendance for the MLS announcement ceremony where he was able to chum it up with Don Garber and Taylor Twellman.
His FCC matchday routine includes hitting up Washington Park for some pre-match festivities. West is fond of making his way down for a bowl of ramen at Zundo’s on Vine Street. Inside the stadium, he can be found with a Grainworks’ Helles Real or a Taft’s Nellie’s Key Lime Ale. But long gone are the days of wolfing down a tub of popcorn and his now-retired lucky kit. However, if you hear one particularly loud fan up in section 233, rest assured it will always be Joe West. He will be proudly displaying the banner “Gary’s Corner”.
“It’s been a great ride in 2023,” West said. “It is incredible to see where we’ve been and where we are now. It is insane how big of a turn around Chris Albright and Pat Noonan have been able to accomplish in just two seasons. We are supporter’s shield winners. You know it just a matter of time before we win the league with this ownership and leadership. It’s been great to have this city imbrace this team and create an incredible atmosphere at TQL.”