There are a lot of parallels between Washington D.C. and Roma. Both cities are the seat of power for their respective federal governments. Both cities contain stunning monuments. Both cities have been sacked by foreign invaders. Both cities suffer from sweltering heat and oppressive humidity in the summer. And both cities are home to (by and large) disappointing sports franchises, though Washington has experienced some Alex Ovechkin and Max Scherzer-infused success in recent seasons.
Washington D.C., or “The District” as some folks have taken to calling it, is the second stop on our Roma Club Season Review series. Founded in 2014, Roma Club DC, also known as Curva DC, is an official Unione Tifosi Romanisti affiliated fan club and spend their match days sweating out Roma results at Ireland's Four Courts in Arlington, Virginia.
Marco (Club President) and Tad (Club Vice President) were kind enough to give us their thoughts on Roma's fifth place finish.
1. Before we discuss the season, tell us a bit about how your club managed to stay in contact and what your matchday routines were during the pandemic.
Marco: We have an extremely active GroupMe group chat that, for better or worse, has someone contributing around the clock. We have over 60 people connected on there so any info out there (Chiesa Di Totti articles frequently) gets shared and discussed before, during and between games. Recently, we have started to publish the top 5 – 10 in-game quotes on Instagram, and that has been a lot of fun. Additionally, during the games, CurvaDC has sold out and gone full corporate with the Zoom video conference calls. One game, AS Roma set-up a watch party with about a half dozen Roma Club representatives from around the world, including Iran, Iceland and Vancuvour [sic]. One highlight of the Zoom calls was having Richard Wittle, CurvaDC’s spirit animal, watch the Juve game with us and commentate the stoppage time.
2. Roma chased several managers last summer before settling on Paulo Fonseca. What did you make of his first season in charge? Is he the right man going forward?
Tad: Roma management usually likes to act like a giant magnifying glass burning managers like ants when they become displeasing, so with that amount of pressure on the line, I thought he did a serviceable job as the club manager. Finishing in 5th place gives the impression of under achievement to the Lupo loving nation, but with the injuries, a lights-out top 4 and a global pandemic, there are worst things in the world than finishing on 8 unbeaten and a 5th place finish. The change in tactics that made Peres relevant is a feather in his cap that shows he is willing to evolve. I think we should keep him for at least another season to see what we have. He doesn’t seem in over his head like EDF and not a steward like Ranieri and he has Champion’s League experience. And also he just looks like he has a well curated wine cellar. But who knows, there are always the shiny rocks that are Sarri-ball, Pochettino, or the 34th incantation of Spalletti.
3. Who was Roma’s MVP for 2019-2020?
Marco: Tough not to give the Co-MVP to each end of the outfield players in Dzeko and Smalling. Dzeko’s scoring, assists and hold-up seemed as good as ever and is highlighted with the Captain’s armband. Smalling was what the dottore ordered in the back and was really a gem that Petrachi found. I would give an honorable mention to Jordan Veretout. The man is a beast.
4. Who was the club’s best signing this season?
Tad: Definitely Smalling. Without him, we don’t finish 5th. And a CB with a haircut like The Predator make winning Aerial headers look like you need to sign Arnold Schwartzenegger as a striker if you want a chance. He also sent CurvaDC a personalized video message, so we are bros and stuff.
5. Which young player are you most excited about?
Marco: Zaniolo. He looks like he came down from a higher league, Serie A+. I hope to never see him in a Juve shirt, Pirlo be damned.
6. Fast forward a year from now, what are we saying about Roma? Was Roma: Year One more successful than Roma: Year Zero?
Tad: All signs point to Juve, Inter and Milan to be very ambitious in the transfer window. Atalanta could splash some Champs money around, but they could honestly just run it back and would likely finish top 4. OTFR (the other team from Rome) can all get bed bugs next season for all I care. But, we are going to see a very competitive campaign. The main goal has to be Champs and keeping Zani Boy (prob giving him the 10, as well BLASPHEMY!). If we don’t meet those goals, year one will be less than Year Zero. As a Romanisto, I can never be too optimistic.
7. Finally, are there any big plans or initiatives for your club this summer, or maybe even just a message you’d like to give to prospective members?
Marco: All club activities have been suspended due to Covid. Over the past year we donated $1500 to Roma Cares as a club and sent a tip bomb to Curva DC HQ, our pub Ireland’s Four Courts.
A message we would like to send to perspective members is that CurvaDC is a place where all are welcome. It doesn’t matter if you just discovered Roma during a mid-life crisis or you are one of the 2 babies suckling on the wolf, we would like you to be part of what has truly become a family. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Joining us you’ll get comradery, bad Italian, cool gear and banter from people who kind of know what they are talking about. You don’t even need to live in DC, we got that zoom game all up in the paint.
Huge thanks to Marco and Tad for their time and insight. Roma Club DC can be found on Twitter and at Ireland's Four Courts on matchdays...when the world is normal that is.