Monday, June 6, 2011

The Great Jersey Question. Buy American.

This is how is should look.
At Saturday's shambolic U.S. National Team game the goal was the fill the stadium with red.

Nike had earlier debut their red national team strip and helped outfit the American's unofficial supporters group, the American Outlaws, with a cool Shepard Fairey designed "Indivisble" collaboration to add to the already red 2011 AO members shirt.

The result? A "Red All Over" supporters section to rival any other behind the goal.

The rest of the stadium, from crowd shots and close ups revealed a similar red wave, but fueled less U.S. fans, but the brighter red of the Spanish National Team and red and blue Spanish side Barcelona's jersey.

Sigh. Here we go again.

In the United States, a nation of immigrants and one of the most diverse countries in the world, American soccer fans are no longer surprised to be outnumbered within their own stadiums. Its one of the reasons the American Outlaws and the Free Beer Movement were founded; to grow the sport here and grow our presence each game day. It's readily conceded that for matches against teams like Mexico and other nearby Central American nations the visitors will turn out in force.

On Saturday, however, the USMNT was betrayed by its own. Americans in Spain jerseys. Americans with Messi's name splashed across the back. Americans in Manchester United jerseys!

Let's play a game. How many DIFFERENT jerseys can you spot?
For high profile matches this is also not uncommon. But it is infuriating. Americans who seem to go out of their way NOT to support their country of birth.

Were many of those people from Spain living in the United States? Yes. Completely acceptable.

Were many of those people of Spanish-decent honoring their heritage? Yes. Also totally fine.

Were many of those people Americans of little connection to Spain or Spanish teams sporting the colors of World Cup, European Cup, and Champion's League winners? Yes. Not OK.

The beauty of the Spanish National Team was on full display on Saturday and the dominance of Barcelona a week earlier at Wembley against Manchester United in the Champion's League Final and we can appreciate the fact that both of these teams are probably the best example of the greatest of soccer in our day and, for many, represent what has brought them to the sport of soccer and created their connect to it.

If this is what soccer IS for you... super. If this is what you want to treat people to for the Free Beer Movement... go for it.

But we just cannot condone wearing those teams to our National Team games.

It isn't something jingoistic or Tea Party-fueled nationalism, but a enduring and deep love for this nation and the desire to see AMERICAN soccer succeed so we don't replicate Saturday's result again and again.

We own loads of soccer jerseys. Many different clubs from around the world. Many different National Teams as well. One from Honduras where we once lived. Another from the Netherlands, our ethnic roots, and even one from Hong Kong where a sister once visited. They are worn with regularity, but NEVER on a U.S. game day.

We get it. America likes winners. Spain and Barca are winners. Here's Sporting News' Brian Straus, post-game in the media zone:


As someone said to us on Twitter, "That kid, if alive in 1980 would have worn a USSR hockey jersey at Lake Placid."

That's the mentality for many soccer fans in America, "Maybe if the U.S. wins a few more games."

Sure this Spain game was a set up, but what else does the National Team have to do for some people?

Isn't qualifying for six straight World Cups good enough?

Paul Caligiuri's 1989 "Shot Heard Round the World" (to qualify the U.S. for its first World Cup in 40 years) didn't get ya?

Didn't our magical run to the 2002 quarterfinals and oh-so-close knock out to eventual finalist Germany grab you?

What about Landon Donovan's stoppage time game winner against Algeria last summer? Really? That didn't do it?

What will do it? Maybe the goal posts (for lack of a better term) keep moving for some soccer fans in America.
__________________________________________________

What is comes down to is really a choice. A choice where, today, right now, we can make an investment in American soccer and not just soccer in America. We've got an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of building American soccer and soccer in America. To invest, to spread, to share, to love through ourselves and through others and to others.

It's not perfect, but it is ours. It still has a long way to go, but as the Preamble of the Constitution states, "In order to form a more perfect union". We're working on it.

Spain and Barcelona and Liverpool and AC Milan are going to be just fine, but Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team need your support because if American soccer fails.... soccer in America fails.

No more high-profile international friendlies. No more World Football Challenge. No more World Cups in the United States. It all dies.

We're not being dramatic. If Americans can't prove they're hungry for soccer (and watching loads of English Premier League on Fox Soccer doesn't count) then the clubs take their business elsewhere. They chase the China yuan or friendlies in Qatar.

The Free Beer Movement wants everyone to become fans and everyone's path to becoming a soccer fan is different. In the end, though, we want you to become American soccer fans. Even for us our first experience with soccer was Michael Owen and Liverpool, but more crucial to our development was the 1998 Men's World Cup and the 1999 Women's World Cup. Locked. Us. In.

That the natural evolution we're going for. Get into soccer. Get into American soccer. (And, of yeah, do it with beer!)

When the United States National Teams rolls into your town, fold up your other jerseys, and put on the red, white, and blue.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

60 comments:

  1. Were, not "We're many of those people..."

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  2. "Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team need your support because if American soccer fails.... soccer in America fails."

    This is absolutely the truth. People need to have Civic pride in their own teams rather than glom onto attractive or winning teams in Europe. It's all well and good to support a European team, but your team should be your home team even if they are in the NASL or the USL Development Leagues.

    To you Eurosnob American's, should everyone in Madrid only Follow Real? Is there room for Atletico fans as well even though they haven't been in the La Liga frame for 15 years? Support your team whether it is the Charleston Battery, the Kitsap Pumas or the Columbus Crew. They are your team.

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  3. hmm, can't seem to take advice from a person who cannot spell right the word "Were" in his native language ... joker

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  4. Anon. #2 and #4... Corrected... thanks for the editing help. We're working on it!

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  5. Couldn't agree more. Bandwagon fans and people who root against the home team are infuriating, especially when we're trying to prove that we DO have a team and a league worthy of following. There's no loyalty anymore, no authenticity... just hipster excuses for "fans" that want to appear knowledgeable about the sport by wearing Spain/Barca/ManU jerseys. The quality of the game domestically will only rise when the SUPPORT (and subsequently, the money) is there. Buying a Spain jersey and sayng "I'll support the US when they win" is counterproductive.

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  6. The PC age is partially to blame here. When we self-identify as "African-American" "Irish-American" "Mexican-American", we're putting the other nationality in front of what's really important, that we're all Americans.

    I'm hispanic. That is my race. But my nationality? I'm American.

    We're so focused on this melting pot, hippie garbage that we're forgetting that we're American. Together, we have to stand as one, or die as one. Economically, socially, and on the soccer field.

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  7. Although, in fairness, even misguided fans were supporting US soccer. Gate receipts and consession $ went somewhere, did it not? Perhaps to Mr Blazer's stripper expense account.

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  8. Bravo, FBM! I kindly chastised a neighbor of mine last night who didn't know the US v Spain match happened. When I gave her a synopsis, she was happy Spain won.

    I asked her if she or anyone in her family was Spanish. "No".

    I asked if she or anyone in her family was of Spanish decent. "No".

    I asked if she was American. "Yes".

    I asked if she supported the US in other competitions (Olympics for instance). "Yes".

    Then why the *#!@ wouldn't you support the US in international soccer? I'm an avid US fan. I'm also an avid Scotland fan due to my heritage and my wife being from Glasgow. I will ALWAYS support Scotland (yeah, it's been a rough road for 13 years). What happens if US v. Scotland occurs? I'm going with the red, white and blue of the US National team.

    For those who disregard FBM's arguement based on a typo that displayed "We're" instead of the appropriate "Were", is that the totality of your argument? It's like saying your point is valid "because". Come back with something else.

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  9. Excellent article that makes all the right points, especially in regards to the importance of the US National Team (and support thereof) to the growth of soccer in the US.

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  10. It isn't just MLS and the National team that needs support. Supporting lower level soccer is just as important. I support my local team (Charleston Battery) and by doing so have had some of my best soccer memories; Seeing Carlos Valderamma sitting in the stands. Talking to John Harkes after a couple beers in a bathroom. candid converstaions with big name players. Get out and watch a PDL, USL-Pro, NASL match! even your local college teams.

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  11. @Kevin... I don't believe that this has very much to do with the "PC" age, because if that were the case then people would be identifying with the Spanish purely because they wanted to be Spanish.

    Instead those Americans wearing Spain jerseys will cite "they win" or "they play better" or "they have better players" or "Iniesta/Torres/Xavi/whoeverisonthebackofmykit plays for my European team".

    Those aren't PC or Nationalistic vibes, but bandwagon and front-running fans. More specifically in soccer, we are so used to the discussion from the press (usually the mainstream) being that Americans can only support the best teams (I'm looking at you Bill Simmons amongst others) that some people can't just support our local team or our National Team without feeling that we are missing out on the "great action or players" that Spain/England/Italy provides. This idea is wrong, pigheaded and complete bandwagon/front runner ideology.

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  12. Well said Mikey. Support your national team and support your home town club.

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  13. When we can fill a stadium with mote supporters than the team we are playing. We can then bully anyone we want into wearing the right clothes.

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  14. while sitting in the AO section, the rest of the stadium looked to be all Spain, and while that got my brothers and me to be even louder (backs against the wall kind of thing), it was in a way depressing to say the least. were you born in Spain? yes? ok go ahead and wear the Spain jersey/flag, were you born in America? then support your fecking country! saying you support Spain because your great great great grandfather was from Spain, that sure as shit doesnt fly. My ancestors are from Scotland and Walsh, when they play someone yes i support them, but if they came and played the US, there is no way i support anyone other than my country, the beautiful US of A. as far as i think we have come over the last 10 years for US soccer that game in foxboro, showed me how far we still have to go, on the pitch, on the sidelines, and in the stands...

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  15. Anon. comment above. If that's what you're taking away from this column then you're reading it wrong. The point isn't to "bully" anyone in to do anything, but to implore them to make a better effort to support their country's National Team.

    Through education and investment in US soccer we can help others make the right decision to support their home country rather than whoever's "hot" at the moment.

    Bullying is absolutely the wrong way. The FBM is all about the enjoyment of soccer and spread of the love of the American game.

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  16. I'll start by saying that I'm a die-hard fan of the US national team (although I'm of Mexican descent and constantly battle with my family/friends as to my choice).

    But, I think the problem of Americans rooting for foreign teams is a product of the American spirit. We are taught that winning is everything! More importantly, we are so used to winning at most everything we do (outside of sports as well). (Which is why most non-soccer fans hate the thought of a tie game.) The US national team doesn't win the major tournaments (Gold Cup excluded) so Americans get on the bandwagon of whatever the hottest teams are (I seem to remember a lot of Brazil fans in the late '90s early '00s who are now Spain/Messi fans.

    It's my opinion that if as Americans, we need to understand that it's ok to not win as long as there's progress. You can lose 4-0 to the best national side (minus Xavi) there is and find some smaller victory within it. But our collective ego doesn't allow for that. Instead we call it an embarrassment, and quite frankly, who wants to be a part of an embarrassment?

    The old addage "winning cures all" is definitely an American one, and as it stands now, may be the only way to get more Americans actually rooting for their own national team.

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  17. Article still smells of socialism. Really don't think if one kid wearing a Spain or Messi jersey or whatever would have helped the score on Saturday. Sadly if we would have pulled out a win this post probably would not have been written. Support the game and the fans will come and if they don't want to wear red white & blue who are we to say they are no more American than me or you. I buy a beer for anyone watching any game with me not just our squad.

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  18. "Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are publicly or commonly owned and controlled co-operatively, or a political philosophy advocating such a system."

    Nope, you are wrong.

    Socialism is getting to be like "irony" in the pantheon of words used completely incorrectly by people looking to make an asinine point.

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  19. Above Anon.
    Socialism? Really? You're going to write that? I we on the Fox News comments section now?

    It's not just one kid wearing on Spain jersey. It was a symptom of a larger problem. And even if it was just one kid don't we all, for the sake of the future of American soccer, want him to grow up to be an American fan?

    I can promise you that this column would'be been written regardless as its been festering since the Argentina game.

    Certainly no one said anything about being "more American" than anyone else. Never implied that it was the case (please find a line in there that says that), but that soccer fans in America should become American soccer fans.

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  20. its sad people need to equate this to a type of governing like socilism or whatever ism. this isnt about that what so ever, this is about, having a backbone and supporting your country even if you knwo you are going to lose. you know who didnt support his country when he though he was gonna lose, Benidict Arnold...is that who the generations of kids growing up should try and be like? f no, stand behind your country! not the goverment, the poilitics, but the people that make this country great, its simple really yet so damn complicated for some

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  21. I say let anyone wear what they want. Its nice to be American and have the choice.

    I am with the little kid from Spain win more and they will come.

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  22. Benedict Arnold getting compared to 12 year old
    kid wearing a Messi jersey. Someone get that man a free beer.

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  23. The choice is there, people! We've got loads of jerseys. Just make the right one that helps build American soccer on US game days!

    However... calling a kid BA might be a bridge too far.

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  24. Ignoring the kid factor... wearing a Messi kit to a USA v Spain match is unbelievably stupid no matter which country you support.

    BECAUSE

    #1 He is Argentinian
    #2 Spain's national team is made up of Real Madrid, Barca, Villareal, Ossasuna, Chelsea etc.. players
    #3 Barca is Catalan identified first, Spanish second.

    So if you wear a Messi Barcelona kit to a USA v Spain game AS AN ADULT you indicate that you have absolutely no clue as to the game in general or you have nowhere else to wear your soccer gear and you wanted to break it out.

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  25. I'm not bold enough (or drunk enough?) to call the post Socialist...

    but I will say that the one point that you're missing is that there were enough fans at the match to make it a record attendance (64,121) for a US national team match (not ever though? maybe for that stadium).

    In any case, to me that is a sign that the sport is growing here in the US, regardless of which jersey was most prevalent in the stadium. If kids are liking soccer, then they'll hopefully grow up to play/watch soccer.

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  26. Ha I knew the BA reference would get some attention!! although BA probably said the same thing to the patriots that were defending his country, win more and maybe i'll support you. it was shocking though how many people supported Spain over the US at Foxboro

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  27. I agree with TonyM for the most part here though, i was just happy to see so many people in the stands...64k is a good pull for a friendly, not matter what the teams

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  28. I'm never more proud than when I get a compliment on my US jersey. Of all the years of Liverpool home and away,s, andHouston Dynamo's none have the emotional attachment than does my 2010 (I usually also mention to people that it's almost a copy of 1950's) WC US jersey.

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  29. it was shocking to see that amount of support for a European nation, here in the US. I get it, really I do, I'm an Arsenal supporter...but I'm also a Houston Dynamo supporter...but I was born in Philly, so the USofA will be the only national side I support....through the ups and downs

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  30. No doubt "TonyM". That's a good point to remember in all of this hullabaloo. Despite the frustrations of the jersey issue is that it's still a big draw and from this comes loads of other potential positives.

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  31. Good read Dan. An editorial that needed to be written.

    One issue: You wrote it after U$$F schedule a game against the best nation in the world and choose to put a part-time starter for Columbus on the field.

    You reap what you sow.

    Why shouldn't American fans where a winner's jersey in a situation like Saturday? Where Spain at least put 3/4 of their starting midfield on the pitch.

    I totally railroaded and tangentialized (new word?) your post. My bad.

    That said, you have a case after Argentina and any other game where the US decides to respect the privilege of playing their opponent.

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  32. Buy American? isn't the jersey made in Taiwan by children? Really nothing American about it other than color..

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  33. Hilarious Article

    Yanks had there asses handed to them with or with out more support. Still got years to go mates.

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  34. Matthew... a great point and it doesn't take anything away from, I think, the main point of the column (Hope not at least!).

    When US Soccer (or Bradley) schedules this game or puts out the squad they do and the result came down as it did... then it's not hard to see people run away from the USMNT.

    Maybe that's part of the problem that US Soccer sacrifices the long-term prospects of fandom in the short term, financial interests of the federation.

    I can't necessary fault someone for wanting to support a winner... the US CAN be good. Sat. (as we linked to "Yanks Are Coming" piece) was a set up. US loses poorly and it just re-enforces casual fan, Spain wearing shirt soccer supporters.

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  35. Anon 1 (@3:38)... The only thing you took away from the whole column was to read the headline in the most literal sense?

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  36. Anon 2 (@3:38)... Of course we have years to go, but with more support (and not having to battle/convince soccer fans in America to support American soccer) the journey is more fruitful.

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  37. Just came across this an must say a whole lot to do over nothing. It was a friendly Save your gear for the Gold Cup
    I was there and there was a mix of supporters where I was sitting.

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  38. I would never go to a match to root for America. That isn't to say I don't want the US to win, of course I do. Simply, I go because I enjoy the game, be it any sport. Going just to root for your country's sports team is actually dumber than an American wearing a Spain jersey to a Spain vs. USA game.

    People are wearing those Spain jerseys because they have achieved a transcendent status within the game. They are that good, they are admired and respected by many.

    Uncle Sam's Army, The Free Beer Movement, and The American Outlaws. They don't like soccer. They don't appreciate the game. They like getting together and cheering for something.

    Sadly the MLS is crap, the National team is lost in a meandering sea, and the growth of US soccer seems to be stuck. We need youth academies here, we need to get rid of college teams being a source of talent, and we need some international coaches to get all of America to play a uniform style of European play. Then we can compete and everyone will be familiar with the play when they get called up to the USMNT. US Soccer needs to have more games on the West Coast. Every fucking game is played on the East Coast. How do they expect those of us on the West Coast to ever become the fans they expect us to? And Fox Soccer Channel really needs to step up their game and adopt a strategy to get soccer into more homes. ESPN can do that no problem.

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  39. Anon (@ 4:36).... Phew... First off the level of personal attacks as a writer for the FBM and a member of AO is shocking. I think that if you took anytime taking to a member of Sam's or AO you would think much differently about their level of commitment to the sport.

    I'm sorry you feel the way you do about the state of soccer in the US.

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  40. Well said at Anon 4:36

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  41. I feel buying the ticket and cheering on the US is perfectly fine. Shouldn't matter what my kids or I have on. Maybe down close the players could see but couldn't from where we were. They could here us cheering though. I have to agree it dumb to wear the team you are cheering against but I have seen weirder.. I'm happy that 65,000 people come out to watch our game. If someone wants to come to our game and be patriotic to whatever country more power to them. Just cheer on the US Team!

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  42. I moved to Austin Tx in July 09 and in may 2010 I was I member of the Austin AO.I wear my AO shirt proudly because . I made my home here in US and I just love football and there nothing better getting to watch a game with friends and beer in hand. I support the US and wear the shirt with proud.

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  43. Well put. Great post. Even better discussion. Keep up the good work, With the help of folks like you and fellow FBM members, we'll get there. I'm currently working on the next generation with my son and daughter.

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  44. These are the same people that still have the tags on their Heat jerseys and have been lifelong Red Sox fans since 2004. I have no respect for this behavior because it reveals a serious character flaw that loyalty doesn't mean anything to you.

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  45. Okay, I get what you're saying and I appreciate your earnestness in this post. HOWEVER, at what point is somebody not dressing like a real American at these games? Because I didn't pay $15 to get a bandana and wear it around my face? You can't force people to be the fan you want them to be, even if they want to wear a Messi kit to a US game.

    I like FBM and I like the guy I met at the US/Poland game in Chicago this summer (sorry, I can't remember your name!) but there is a certain sanctimonious attitude that comes along with these supporters groups that if you're not with them, you're not trying hard enough. It's obnoxious and it's hard to be around. It's cool if it's your thing and I certainly like partying with the AO/Sam's Army dudes, but it feels a bit contrived.

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  46. Not trying to hate, but until I see the same level of support for the WNT WROLD CUP as the MNT FRIENDLY, this uber-patriotism seems kind of hypocritical.

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  47. Anon @ 3:38 *"their," not "there." Idiot troll.

    Anon @ 4:36 Your post is 85% BS. People like you are why American soccer is not growing as fast as it might be. Your eurosnob, America-bashing attitude might be cool among all your other fanboi friends, but it adds NOTHING to the growth of the sport here. Judging from your comments it is clear that you have never actually been to an AO function, either. If they just wanted to cheer for something, why not be a bandwagon loser like you and cheer for a winner? Doesn't make sense. But then neither did most of the rest of your post.

    I'm sorry to shatter your fragile fanboi ego, but it had to be said.

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  48. Robyn -

    Definitely not trying to imply that one has to join a supporters group in order to be a proper US fan. I know exactly what type of people you're talking about an the FBM will not endorse that viewpoint that you're either an all-knowing fan or you're nothing. The whole point of the FBM is to create new fans by kindly introducing them and educating them not belittling them.

    And in response to your inquiry about our passion of the USWNT. We're the proud author of this intro to the USWNT on "The Shin Guardian" (http://theshinguardian.com/2010/10/26/the-abcs-of-the-uswnt/) for women's newbies and later this month we have a post on "Yanks Are Coming" about the role of the WNT in the development of "the guy you met in Chicago"'s life as a soccer fan.

    Lastly, as a brother to two soccer playing sisters and a ladies' soccer coach at my school I'm definitely on board with the women's game. Our patriotism for American soccer has no gender bias!

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  49. My wife and I were at the match. We're both Americans. I wore a Liverpool jersey with my name on the back. I rooted for Spain from section 337. And I fully understand that I'm one of the people that this post is referring to. But I have to say, it was a great experience being amongst the football gods on Saturday. I'm still on cloud nine.

    Iniesta. Torres. Pique. Busquets. Villa. Silva. Ramos. It's like seeing the 1992 Dream Team at the Olympics. Aside from Barca, this is the greatest team on the planet, with an huge emphasis on "the greatest team on the planet". Their approach to the game (pass, pass, pass) is absolutely mesmerizing to watch. And that Torres goal was incredible to see unfold.

    I disagree with the assessment that the American game will die if people support a FIFA World Cup winning side over Bob Bradley's B-list USMNT players (Dempsey and Bradley should have started, and Donovan should have played).

    But I do feel that Americans need a greater appreciation and understanding of the world's game, and witnessing greatness firsthand helps to foster that appreciation. Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Beckham, and Henry have all influenced the American game a great deal. It's only a matter of time before players like Agudelo use that influence to crush teams at the international level.

    On a side note, I noticed a lot of racism in both the parking lot and in the stands. This absolutely should not be tolerated by USMNT fans. This cannot be a Free Beer Movement unless it accepts everyone. Anger and hate has no place at a football match.

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  50. great post. You said what lots of people were thinking. Eventually we will dominate the fan base of these games; however, this is the current nature of our country. Things are changing though- your blog is part of this change. High five!

    Robyn- I dont think the AO or Sams army are sanctimonious or obnoxious. Ask any athlete what atmosphere he/she prefers to play in. AO and Sams Army are right on and represent a growing group of fans who are inspired by the rising quality of our teams, have a love for their country and want to provide their team with a top notch and supportive atmosphere.

    Anon 4:36- you seem grumpy. Barca is the team that achieved this transcendent status you speak of. Spain isnt quite there yet. Also, MLS is not crap, we've had brits come over to coach our youth since the 80's(I can strike a mean long ball) and the college game doesn't get our best players. Go to a top youth tournament and watch the top academies/ clubs play(plenty to choose from on the West Coast). Go back 1 year later and watch the same age group- they will be a little bit better. Its been like this for the last 20 years. Slowly but surely we will arrive. Barca today is a product of Cruyff 30 years ago. We will have some damn good players 10 years from now who were inspired by donavon, dempsey and even Chicharito!

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  51. I like where you're going with this, but the timing of the match didn't help things. Barcelona won the Champions League very recently; for many, that match, or the World Cup final last summer, was their first major exposure to the game. Additionally, the match's proximity to the Gold Cup meant that the US, already at a disadvantage against the #1 team in the world, would field an understrength side. Not everybody can be a hardcore fan, so it makes sense that a casual fan would be into Barcelona and Spain when they're winning everything, sort of like how "Yankees nation" expands every time they win a World Series. It sucks, but this is how people approach sports, music, and culture in general nowadays: when it's good, they're into it. People like having good taste, which is how those teams are perceived.

    I can see how all the Spain supporters at a US friendly would be discouraging, but keep this in mind: that record crowd for Foxboro also probably had more hardcore US supporters than before, and I definitely recall a lot of US-loving during the World Cup and at the US-Brazil friendly last summer, even in the Brazil section. Basically, cheer up, American soccer IS growing, even if it's not as quick as we'd like.

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  52. @Danny - I certainly wasn't trying to imply that all chapters/supporters feel this way. It's just SOME of those people who drive me nuts. While my local AO chapter declined an invite to a WNT WCQ game, there was another group there, beating on drums and singing the entire time.

    I did read the ABC's of the USWNT, which was fantastic, but that's essentially the only press I've seen from any grassroots supporters group. I'm hoping it heats up as the tournament approaches, and I'm really happy to hear you guys (and gal) are giving the topic some play. Can't wait to read it.

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  53. @Anon @ 9:36 - I fully support cheering and creating atmosphere for your side. What I do have beef with is that if you're not dressed like Washington crossing the Delaware, or going ballistic at all moments of the game, you're somehow not a "real fan". I'm not trying to dispute anybody's love for the team and the game - it's obvious there's a lot of passion there. I just don't think there needs to be a dress code.

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  54. QUOTE FROM (anon 4:36) "I would never go to a match to root for America. That isn't to say I don't want the US to win, of course I do. Simply, I go because I enjoy the game, be it any sport. Going just to root for your country's sports team is actually dumber than an American wearing a Spain jersey to a Spain vs. USA game.""""


    Here's the deal... this sport has been around much longer than your morals and convictions (no matter how ridiculous they are) This is a sport, it is competitive.. It is human nature to show allegiance to one side.. this isnt a passive commune where people go just to "be" there.-----
    People like you undermine real fans and disrespect the game itself. If you want to wear an erroneous shirt and not partake in showing pride... then microwave a hot pocket and watch it on you tv... cuz your not welcome in any house of football.
    Football is not interested in your alternative thoughts of spectating... it drew a line in the sand years ago... either you accept it, or watch nascar.

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  55. I do kind of take offense to the MUFC jersey part. If US Soccer would sell me a Tim Howard USMNT jersey, I'd stop wearing my MUFC Tim Howard jersey.

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  56. @Anonymous 10:43pm I saw someone last night wearing a Dempsey USMNT jersey. So I have a hard time believing that you can't buy a Tim Howard USMNT jersey. But maybe I'm just clueless. It's been known to happen.

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  57. So what, I can't wear my Arsenal jersey around if the Houston Dynamo are playing? I understand the point you are trying to make, when it's time to support America, support USMNT and America. But I love a lot of teams, so if Arsenal (the first true team that got me into soccer) play a friendly vs the Dynamo, I'm honor bound to wear orange because that's the team I root for cuz they are closest to me? Sorry, I'll give the Dynamo my cash and my heart when they aren't playing my first love. USMNT > all other teams, however.

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