Meet the Supporters: Bradley Hieber

This is another installment of our weekly series where we will introduce you to some of the supporters who have joined The Assembly Line. Keep an eye out every Wednesday for a new segment! Please reach out to Westen on Twitter if you are interested in taking part in this. 

Westen Shelton: When did you start watching soccer, and what teams do you support?

Bradley Hieber: I think it was 2009, my superior in the military decided to take to me to the last regular season game of DC United vs Columbus Crew. I remember it being unseasonably cold for October, and we were giving the Crew fans that traveled a real hard time. I currently casually support DC United with hopes that Detroit will get a MLS team in the coming years. In the EPL space, I support Crystal Palace, for no reason other than an online poll I took. I’ve never been a big fan of the monstrosity clubs that people tend to gravitate to.

WS: Thank you for your service! Can you give me a little more background on what branch of the military you were in, and what your main job was there? Also, what are some of your favorite cities you were stationed in?

BH: I joined the army quickly after high school. Basic training was in Columbia South Carolina, and my job training base was in Augusta Georgia. After dealing with some medical issues, I got my first duty station in the DC Metro Area in July 2008. I remember watching the fireworks from my new barracks room on the 4th that year. My job training was IT focused working on basic hardware diagnostics, routing and switching, and more Army-specific tool training.

The DC Area was the only non-training station I had until I left the service from the medical issues in 2011. I visited DC during my 8th grade trip, but at that age, you don’t have as much of an appreciation to stop and read each piece of history and understand the significance. DC is close to everything, M&T Bank Stadium for my first NFL football attendance and multiple seasons supporting DC United at RFK.

WS: What is your favorite live soccer moment ever?

BH: I was at a DCU game in 2015 or 2016 that they scored 6 at home against the Houston Dynamo. The crowd was fantastic and everyone was very excited to hand them such a defeat.

WS: What are you most looking forward to about the Ignite season coming up?

BH: I remember the fans and good times supporting the team through good and bad times. Having that dedicated fan base is crucial to Teams and provides them a source of strength to lean on in the final minutes of a match. It really can be the differentiator.

WS: What are your main hobbies outside of soccer?

BH: I am a complete geek at home. Whether it is working on my home computers, playing video games, or getting cards ready for Magic the Gathering. I also participate in a winter bowling league with my wife and coworkers.

WS: As a gamer as well, I need a little more detail there. What kind of games do you generally play? Have a preferred genre?

BH: I’ve played a large gamut of games. I remember my friends on the west coast and me playing League of Legends for 4+ hours nightly from 2009~2011. After league lost it’s interest, I rejoined playing Eve Online for a long bit during a much discussed Providence/Catch war (research it. Nifty piece of EVE history). Lately, I’ve been on a Disgaea 5 kick playing on the switch. I will always enjoy games on the PC though. Turn based strategy games, and large scale adventure RPG games are my bread and butter. Skyrim has a significant amount of replay value, and I am cautiously optimistic on the recently “announced” Elder Scrolls 6. No significant information has been released about it, but in two years we should have a much better idea. Bethesda has a lot coming to exceed expectations from what they did with Skyrim.

WS: Tell me something you love about the Lansing area.

BH: Having lived on the east coat for almost the entirety of my adult life, coming to Lansing can give the appeal of a big city, without the crowding that you would get. Even my wife, who is native to the east coast, is still amazed at how much room there is between buildings and how open it can feel.

WS: What would you tell anyone who is interested in joining the Assembly Line?

BH: Come to a tailgate and find out how to be one of the first supporters to our team. 90 plus minutes of support sounds like a lot, but when you are among friends yelling chants for a very intense game, there is nothing like it. No commercial breaks either!

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