Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

We're got an all-Major League Soccer line up this week for our brew list as we anxiously await the beginning of another domestic soccer season in America (especially since our Liverpool is dropping a big one in England). We're looking to honor the passion and drive that the league and fans are driving to support soccer in America.

1) Houston Dynamo Fans

New stadiums are popping up all over the United States, but sadly not yet for the Dynamo of Houston. The fourth largest city in the country recently elected a new mayor and not the guy who favored building the two-time MLS champions their new casa.

Despite this obvious set back, Dynamo fans rallied last week to highlight their cause to move out of their college digs, Robertson Stadium. A bit of fan activism that shows that American soccer is trying to flex its collective muscle and add another soccer-specific-stadium to the league.

Playing soccer in a college (and probably a throw-ball) stadium is exactly like living in a college place. For a while it's nice just to have a place to play/live; you don't mind the fact that your roommates are slobs or their are football lines on the field and the sidelines look like a bulldozer ran down them. Sure, you really like the "quaint-ness" of sharing a bathroom with four other guys and, sometimes, their girlfriends or sharing with a NFL franchise that cares nothing for soccer (I'm looking at you Krafts and Patriots).

But its time to graduate and get a real place. Time to take down the Bob Marley posters and stop eating only Jack's frozen pizzas for dinner. Time to stop sharing gate and concession revenue and have some space to put up your championship banners not hidden in a corner.

Time to take action. Here's to the Texian Army and Houston Dynamo fans fighting the good fight!

2) Kansas City Wizards

And see what hard work will get ya? The Wiz broke ground for their new stadium this past week. Great news for the soccer-specific stadium movement in America. While the stadium won't be completed until the 2012 season it just highlights how important for the sport to grow in the U.S. it is to have great facilities for our teams.

That can only happen if we, as soccer fans, invest our time and money in these local clubs. If you are an soccer fan in American you have an unique opportunity to be a "financial founding father" of this sport. Our hard-earned dollars, put to good use in American soccer clubs, proves to the powers-that-be that it is worth the time and money investment for them to build stadiums, develop quality players, and serve their fans as best that can.

Clubs like Toronto, Seattle, and this year's expansion team, Philadelphia have proven that fan activism is THE key to successful club growth in American soccer.

3) Sons of Ben

The FBM just got done reading this month's issue of Soccer America that featured an article about the new Major League Soccer franchise in Philly. With their inaugural season about to kick off this spring its important to think about just how important the supporter's group, the "Sons of Ben" were to bringing soccer to the "City of Brotherly Love".

The SOBs (nice abbreviation!) began in 2007 on the 301st anniversary of their namesake Benjamin Franklin's birthday and quickly grew to be a supporter's group numbering in the thousands despite the fact that Philadelphia had no MLS team. With a rumored franchise on the way the group formed a strong backbone to the city's MLS bid creating a season ticker drive that in 2007 that netted 2,800 requests!

With their team's first season on the horizon nearly 9,000 of the allotted 12,000 season tickets have already been snatched up by Union supporters. The SOBs efforts have allowed the league to post another public relations triumph even before kickoff of their 15th season.

Fan-led efforts are creating momentum for soccer all across the United States. While the Free Beer Movement is small-fries now this is the wave we're trying to ride as well. When we're in Philly we'll be sure to stop by McGillin's Old Ale House and buy them a round.

1 comment:

  1. I think Charlie Davies needs to be added to this list given his phenomenal recovery, and potential for starting for Sochaux again in 2 or 3 months time.


"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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