Rogue Raccoon Delights Fans at Major League Soccer Game

'SIGN HIM NOW!' was MLS' response in Philly
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2024 7:55 AM CDT

"We need to find him a ball because he's moving very well in the center of midfield." Those were a commentator's words during a Major League Soccer matchup this week between the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC, though the description wasn't about one of the human competitors. NBC News reports that a raccoon became the unexpected star of the show on Wednesday, stopping game play at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, for a few minutes as the rogue raccoon sprinted around the field and "showed impressive footwork to evade the lumbering stadium staff," per AFP.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything quite as bizarre as this, particularly given the amount of time he's remained on the field," Apple TV commentator Callum Williams noted as the raccoon tried to get away from men on the field chasing after it, including one poor soul attempting to capture it in a large trash can, per NBC. "This is entertainment of its own kind, isn't it," Williams added as the trash can-bearing man failed to corner the creature. The crowd cheered loudly at one point as the raccoon got perilously close to the inside of one of the goals.

"He's goin' in!" another commentator joked. More staffers with trash cans finally descended on the field, until one finally managed to trap the raccoon underneath. The Philadelphia Union later released a statement noting that a local pest-control company took custody of the animal and released it back into the wild. "Unofficially, Raquinho the Raccoon spent 161 seconds on the field tonight, which was the most by a raccoon in @MLS history," the league tweeted. It added in a separate post: "SIGN HIM NOW!" (More raccoons stories.)

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