Soccer….Family Style

USMNT vs Canada, and The Keg Stand Reaction
January 30, 2013, 1:12 am
Filed under: Supporter Culture, US Soccer

AODSMKegstandI know I should be upset, because we looked like crap, but honestly, I’m stoked. I’m looking forward to the Hex. I have what is (G-d I hope) not an over-rated confidence in Klinsmann. And tonight, as chapter leader for American Outlaws Des Moines, I helped move our chapter bar to The Keg Stand.

After several great years at Victor’s, it was time for us to find a bigger home for AO DSM, a place that we could settle into before the 2014 World Cup. Victor’s has been good to us (including this week, as they have been referring people to our new bar….super classy) but it was too small for our 2010 World Cup crowd.  The Keg Stand has capacity for 600, offers more beers than you could hope to try in one game (one of our new guys said he’d had three different IPA that were all awesome). It has a soccer-friendly management, and it has a back room that in one game already feels like the AO DSM clubhouse. So yes, the play sucked, but I feel giddy that we found a new place that feels like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

But if you really can’t stand all the hearts and flowers, go read my AO brother Ryan Rosenblatt’s blog. He’s being silly tonight. Made me smile. And next time, join me at the Keg Stand with the rest of AO Des Moines. They made even THIS game not suck. And rest assured, Klinsmann knows what he’s doing. It’s all good people.


500 Days to 2014 World Cup in Brazil!
January 28, 2013, 11:23 pm
Filed under: FIFA, International Soccer, US Soccer | Tags:


FoxSoccer’s Facebook page posted this image with the announcement that the 2014 World Cup is 500 days away. Let’s just say we were more excited about this than the kids’ 100th day of school Friday. 500 DAYS!!

Isn’t That Cute? @USSoccer Tweets a tease! #USAvCRC #USMNT
January 15, 2013, 10:43 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Oh US Soccer, trying to be all coy and charming with their tweet “We’ll be announcing the location for the first #USMNT home World Cup Qualifier today. #USAvCRC on March 22. Where do you want it played?” Are you effing kidding me?

I know US Soccer likes to drag these announcements out until airfare is insane and fans are tied up in knots, but now they’re really pissing me off. My gateway drug to soccer was as a USSF referee, and I at one point was a State level referee, considering making an attempt at becoming a National referee, so while it’s been a while since I was a “career” referee, I do remember my endless hours of training from the very organization jerking us around today. You know what we’re trained as referees?

1. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If you say, “We’ll be announcing this week.” to Grant Wahl, then make the announcement when you said you would.

2. Be predictable. Referees had so many sayings like “a good referee is never surprised” and in turn, doesn’t surprise their players and coaches. Nobody likes being led on, on the field or trying to make plans to get to it.

3. Be humble and show your genuine personality. We fans have been waiting to here this announcement for WEEKS, if not months. Posting a cheeky “I know something you don’t know” tweet at this point is just douchie. Apologize for the on again, off again announcement, and just tell us where we are going already.

C’mon US Soccer. I’m only asking you to stand by what you taught me. Is it KC, SLC, or Denver? Or some totally other idea. Just get on with it already.

Portland, Don’t Make Me Cut You
January 8, 2013, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Supporter Culture, US Soccer | Tags: , ,

I’ve been pretty clear that I’m only 100% confident when I’m chanting “US Til I Die.” I am pretty passionate about soccer in general, and I’ll stand with almost any supporters section, typically with me US Soccer buddies from around the USA. But, as previously reported, I’ve had a special place in my heart for the Portland Timbers for the past eight years, and purchased several Rose City Til I Die items without a hitch of hesitation. Timbers were the centerpiece of last Summer’s MLS Road Trip, and it makes me happy to think of Timbers Army and the friends we made there, as it made me happy to read Grant Wahl’s tweets about Portland perhaps getting to host a World Cup Qualifier next Summer.

Then I read Andrew Brawley’s Op Ed on Timber’s hosting, and I can honestly say that I’m disappointed for the first time by a Timbers Army experience. He whines about the recent USWNT games held in Portland as being over-run by pre-teen and teen girls, and complains about AO’s chants being stale, and implies that they are below the awesome that is Timbers Army. In addition, he feels that Timbers Army is only qualified to bring it to Timbers games, which was as close as he came to making sense and sounding informed.

First of all, for those of us who’ve experienced USWNT and USMNT games, I think we can say that the two don’t look at all alike. Are the USWNT games drawing better atmosphere at meteoric rates….yes, absolutely. But it’s not the same as a USMNT match, and a USMNT match isn’t the same as a USMNT qualifier. Many of us who travel and bring the noise (and the giant flag) to US Soccer have to pick and choose our games. I dream of the day I can make every men’s game and every women’s  game, but that’s just not practical, as I’m sure Andrew could understand, since he admits not even dropping the coin to see USWNT in his own back yard, a concept that’s insane to those of us for whom EVERY US Soccer and/or MLS game is a road game.

Second, nice to brag about being a “torch bearer among American Supporters groups,” but fold your hand before it’s been dealt in taking it to the next level of supporting American soccer. Does AO sing U-S-A more than I’d like? Yes. Is it a reasonable thing that happens in a new supporters group …particularly one that doesn’t play an annual regular season where we can meet up and practice an arsenal of song and chants? YES. I capo US Soccer games, and we sing a variety of songs and typically have new chants made up for that particular opponent. You might not hear them on the broadcast, but it’s there in the stadium. It makes me wonder if Andrew’s ever experienced a USMNT match in person? I certainly have, and I’ll say this about American Outlaws: we tifo stadiums, despite the fact that our members carry all that stuff in, paying airline check fees and not having the luxury of leaving it in a stadium storage locker. We sing songs and chants over multiple sections, with variety and unison that hasn’t happened before AO started. And we do it all without any local bar or HQ where we all get to meet up and organize week after week. Show some respect, son.

Third, I know you’re better than this Timbers Army. I blog as a soccer mama, so please picture my disapproving glare when I say “you’ve really disappointed me, I expect more from you.”  When I came in for Timbers vs Chivas, I had the good fortune to meet Phyllis Hayes, and not Andrew, who probably would have freaked out that my pre-teen daughter might ruin his night. Phyllis showed my kids how to do some Timbers traditions, and made us feel welcome by running to the office to copy off the song sheet as well as the sheet of songs that were new to the Army that night. I’ve SEEN YOU INTRODUCE NEW SONGS!! I know Timber’s are capable of hosting USMNT and maybe, just maybe, teaching American Outlaws a few things, but that won’t happen with an attitude expressed in Andrew Brawley’s Op Ed.

I hope Timber’s Army and Portland do get to host a USMNT World Cup Qualifier this year. It is a great town with a great soccer culture. And American Outlaws are better than you give them credit for, as we were fully capable of singing along with Sporting KC Fans, because you know what? We all DO love bar-be-que! I’m sure we would be just as accepting of what Portland has to offer, even if “we all don’t love locally sourced gluten free” isn’t quite as catchy…I’m sure you have something we can sing. As for the AO songs you clearly haven’t heard, don’t worry Andrew, my five year old will show you how it’s done.

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