Soccer….Family Style

You Want to Capo in Columbus? Step Up.
August 28, 2013, 10:54 am
Filed under: Supporter Culture, US Soccer

[For an update on this blog and the amazing day it created, follow the story here. Thanks for reading!]

Remember when American Outlaws did their National Capo search? Hardly anyone responded, so they scrapped it. Remember when AO National posted on their leader board four days ago that they were looking for volunteers to capo in Columbus? They got eight people to respond. Yes, two were from Seattle. You know who the first response was from? THIS GIRL. I will be a capo in Columbus, and I’m not from Seattle. I’m not even from an MLS market, but I love US Soccer, and I capo the heck out of my little Des Moines Menace PDL world.

Since you’re not all on the leader board, I’ll share this with you, as your chapter leader should have already discussed with you from 8/24: “Chapter Leaders – If you or any of your members are interested in being a section capo in Columbus, please let me know via email. We need 14 capos for this game. We are looking for people that will be able to lead the section and follow and communicate with the main capo initiating the stand chants.

***Just a reminder if you are selected to be on the section capo stand, you will be following the main capo stand. We are doing this so all of the supporter sections are on the same page with chants.

Deadline for this is on Tuesday [8/27] by 5 pm PT. We will select and get back to you via email.


It’s not all Seattle show in Columbus, and anyone who tells you so is pretty much full of it. I’m not from Seattle, and frankly, I wish they wouldn’t make themselves so hard to like, but I will work with those 2 Seattle capos just like I will work with anyone else who will put themselves up there.

IF YOU WANT TO CAPO IN COLUMBUS, STEP UP. We need six more capos there, according to Brian Hexsel as of a few minutes ago. So stop kvetching about Seattle and volunteer. Unite and Strengthen.  If you can’t play nicely with your brothers and sisters I will send you all to your rooms. Stop making Mama want to drink before lunch.

24 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Do I get all my expenses paid? If so, count me in. I have capo’d many games in DC.

Comment by Chris Pavlakos

That’s up to you. I’ll volunteer to lead the section. If they want to pay me, that’s fine too, but I’ll do it because I love the team.

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

Why do we need capos… when did this become “the model” for AO. There were none in Columbus for the US vs Jamaica game, which was the largest and loudest pro US crowd the stadium has ever seen. There weren’t any in 2001, 2005, or 2009 when we cheered our boys on. If AO support = capos, then I don’t want any of it.

Comment by Devin Cathcart (@ClevelandGooner)

Sorry I neglected to respond to you earlier! Nice chatting with you via Twitter, and thanks for your comment and dialog!

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

we. do. not. need. capos.

in case you havent noticed, columbus has been doing a fantastic job with the USMNT games for over a decade now. why must you try to inject yourselves into a situation that doesnt need you, and try to fix something that is the furthest thing from broken that something could possibly be?

thanks for supporting the national team. if you had been doing so long enough, you would realize that the people over in columbus dont need an ounce of your help. they are doing just fine without you.

(you know, since the national has LITERALLY NEVER LOST IN COLUMBUS EVER, and stuff.)

Comment by Chad Gaven

It’s this kind of attitude that makes people hate Seattle. If *I’ve* been following long enough? Have you read my blog at all? Twenty years isn’t long enough for you? I was in Columbus in 2005, 2009, 2012, singing my heart out (here’s me there last year So if it’s OK with you, I’ll just keep doing what I’ve always done.

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

I would gladly do it. I know you any your passion. Though I’m generally the photographer at these events, I’m willing to put my gear down for the sake of Columbus and the MNT. Period.

Comment by studio79Sam

I’ve been to Columbus three times. Last year, the section was split with a last minute sold section between two AO sections, so the people in the middle had no clue what to chant between two competing sides. Capos would help get one huge section going in the same direction, which in my opinion, sounds better than this side singing one thing, that side singing something else, people in the middle getting confused.

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

Hava, negilah hava, negilah hava…

Comment by Matt

Matthew, when I approved this, I assumed it was for another post. Play nice with the other children. 😉

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

I find it hard to believe Columbus can not come up with enough capos that anybody would have to ask Seattle for help. AO National wtf!?

Comment by Jeff

So what does that mean for someone like me, living in a market that will likely never host a qualifier, but still loves to capo? I should never get to capo, because the host should run everything?

Comment by soccerfamilystyle


Comment by UniteAndAssimilate

It’s not an easy job, but it’s best for those who know songs/chants that most other people would know and adapt easily.

My recent capos experience has been for US-Ecuador in 2011 and Mexico City earlier this yr.

Comment by Brent

AO has been a regional group but it’s starting to have a national presence as more people travel. Regional groups are subgroups of the national organization. The national group is asserting some order to the chaos that has grown for USMNT games. 9000 people. Capos are there for something more than I Believe and USAx3 chants ad naseum.

Comment by Capo in Training

Here’s the thing I worry about with capos. While some (many?) places use them, and they are undoubtedly effective in coordinating supporters, I don’t know that they are _always_ so.

For communities that don’t use them, will they be seen as an imposition, forced and something to be ignored? Based on the reactions I’ve seen over the years (starting years ago in the North End, and continuing through this most recent flareup) it appears that a not-insignificant number of people in Columbus actively _do_not_want_ capos.

That is not to say that they aren’t needed – the size of the supporters section is unprecedented. The people in them will also come from all over the country, with varying degrees of familiarity with songs, chants, and whatnot. Some (many?) will come from places where they are used to feeding off of/looking to capos for coordination/instigation/etc.

This is a pessimistic scenario, but my worry is that the supporters’ presence in Columbus could be at best less-than-coherent (and possibly worse) if the tensions around capos continue to run high. I’ve seen mention of ignoring them, of acting counter to what they do, etc.

Which, again, is not to say that the people volunteering in that role are doing anything wrong. Its just that capos have been a sticking point in Columbus circles. Throw in the internet echo chamber, and pre-existing club rivalries/annoyances toward this or that city, and the potential is there for an in-game experience that falls short of what _everyone_ hopes for.

So, what _should_ be done?

My sincere hope is that everyone A) calms down. Go sit in a dandelion patch or something. B) realize that, whatever any of us wants, we do so because we all want the best possible level of support for US-Mexico. This is the flagship qualifier of every cycle, the game everyone wants to be part of. Let’s not assume the worst intentions on the part of our fellow fans. C) come together, on whatever common ground we can find, to rise above this potential tension. The game hasn’t happened yet, and the atmosphere will be created according to the actions that all of us take. We all have the chance to take a very strong tradition (US-Mexico in Columbus) and put together yet another in a string of epic experiences. Whatever shape that takes, it will be through the actions of all of us.

(You’ll notice that I’m not saying whether or not capos _should_ be used in Columbus. Ultimately, whether there are 20 capos or no capos, the actions of the 9000+ supporters in the stands will determine the atmosphere we all remember. I’m sure that the people on the capo stands, including our host here, will do everything they can to help produce the best atmosphere possible – I’m less concerned with their actions than those of everyone else.)

Comment by Matt

Loved this comment. Nothing to add, beyond “bravo, well said.”

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

[…] article on her quaintly named Soccer Family Style blog took some of the initial steam out of the row, when she at least burst the myth that this was all […]

Pingback by Editorial: Columbus Fans Right to be Annoyed but Put the Team First | Prost Amerika

Great piece, Prost Amerika…but you gotta stop calling me “housewife.” Can’t we agree on something more like “Mother, writer, artist?” “Blogger?” Housewife sounds so 1950s with a martini at the door for my man, and I think we all know that ain’t happenin at this house. 😉 Thanks for the link back!

Comment by soccerfamilystyle

So the AO national organisation is saying, we want to have a bit more organisation with our singing because this will be the largest AO section the stadium has ever seen, they put out a request for people with experience, AOSeattle answers that request, and people are upset? I could care less who capo’s as long as ” I believe that we will win” Is no where near audible on TV. Maybe we can do no capos as per the request above and get USA chanting in one section and I Believe in the other. My TV has mute for just that Reason.

Comment by sacr1f1c3

[…] made clear by anyone – the locals don’t use them.  (Which to me makes this oft-cited independent rebuttal by a volunteer capo sorta beside the point, but that hasn’t prevented it from also being cited as revealed […]

Pingback by Seattle Discovered America; or, If Americans are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will be Americans | Dan Loney Blog | Featured BigSoccer Writer

You are awesome. This is a great post. Give’em hell on Sept. 10th

Comment by Dennis Gonzalez

[…] Seattle takeover, which was a piece with more emotion that whole truth, which prompted me to tell people to step up or go to their rooms. There’s certainly an intelligent discussion to be had about capo vs no capo, in fact, […]

Pingback by The American Outlaws Stereotype | Soccer....Family Style

[…] can’t support everyone. Really? Hundreds of requests from long time chapter leaders who have written in support of you in crisis? Once I reported my negative experience, I was persona non grata with AO, making it painful for me […]

Pingback by Be Classy, Soccer Fans | Soccer....Family Style

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: