Soccer….Family Style


LET’S DO THIS!
March 28, 2016, 2:27 pm
Filed under: International Soccer, US Soccer | Tags: , ,

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10 hours. It takes 10 hours to drive from our house to Columbus, Ohio and MAPFRE Stadium, not allowing for stops for the Hat Trick Baby. We did it in December for MLS Cup Final (someday I’ll get that blog posted) and we’re doing it today for USMNT. I’m starting to wish rest stops came equipped with paper bags for hyperventilating.

As a US Soccer lifer, it’s a lot of time to think about this moment in our history. My love of Klinsmann is well documented, but even I am having a crisis of faith. Where are we as a nation of soccer supporters if we can’t score on Guatemala, even away? What is happening if we can’t sell out our home of all homes, Columbus?

I got into a Facebook conversation with my friend Bill about the parallels that can be drawn between Bernie Sanders’ campaign and US Soccer at this moment (I know, don’t talk politics, but bear with me….I’m from Iowa, I promise to keep it civil). Both movements have young followers who want to believe anything and everything is possible. I sense a similarity in these campaigns in the rising sentiment of “if we don’t win, I’m done” and a willingness to profess love on social media, but not make it out to the voting booth/game day.

But support isn’t about the fair weather days. It’s about picking up your team when they are down. I wish politicians were talking about the unfairness in rising tickets prices. I get it. It’s a pretty big leap from $40 being the typical, pre-Hex price for a qualifier in 2013 to $60 for tomorrow’s match. I hope we’re getting another round of collectible scarves at this price, but given how fast Columbus has sold out previously, I’m surprised to see “cheap” seats available the day before the match.

A win tomorrow puts us back into “likely qualifying” percentages. A loss puts us into that 10% range that might even get me reaching for the pitchforks. But that is for another day.

Tomorrow is about getting this effing job done. I drove 10 hours with an 11 month old baby and I want my THREE POINTS. I came to sing. I came to yell. I came to love. I hope you’ll come too. Come out and support our boys on the Road to Russia.

Let’s do this.

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Keep Calm and Qualify
October 12, 2012, 5:09 pm
Filed under: International Soccer, US Soccer | Tags: , , ,

There’s been a whole bunch of panic this week about US Soccer. Players hurt, players sick, questions of who’s been called up and who hasn’t….wrenching of hands and stomachs across the US Soccer family of supporters. I need you all to keep calm out there, because you’re making me feel old.

We’ve been here before. If you’ve watched US Soccer for a few decades, you know, qualifying in CONCACAF is hardly ever fun or easy, but we usually find a way to squeak it out. I know, I know….I had tickets to the Olympic qualifier in KC that never was, but this is not the same thing. We likely need 4 points out of the next 2 games, and that’s achievable. We have good players that are not Donovan or Jozy. I’m excited to see Graham Zusi light it up, Michael Bradley is back in, and I’m fired up to watch Alan Gordon head one past the defensive wall I’m sure Antigua and Barbuda will throw up.

So head out to your nearest American Outlaws, Sam’s Army, or US Soccer bar, grab a beer, and let’s support our boys into the final round of qualifying for Brazil. It takes more than two island nationals to hold us back!



Girl Fight
November 27, 2010, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

1999 was one of those blissful pre-kid, pre-business owner years for me, when I could pick up and go to soccer games whenever I wanted, and I was a newly minted US soccer ultra fan, despite our performance in 1998 France World Cup. I wanted to see as many Women’s World Cup games as I could. My mom had a contact in New Jersey that was able to get us tickets to the opening match, which remains the only game I’ve seen with my mom (and I wasn’t even that rowdy at that game!)

That was all it took. I was hooked on the Women’s World Cup and continued on to games in Chicago and the final in Pasadena. Americans clearly loved soccer, but I remember talking with my travel buddies that night as we relaxed around the hotel pool after the final about how this was quite possibly the pinnacle for the USWNT. We hypothesized that it was only a matter of time until the rest of the world caught up to our skill level, and an unknown whether the US could support a professional women’s soccer league.

So here we are, eleven years later. Women’s professional soccer has sputtered and struggled along over the last decade. And the USWNT had become so dominant, that I think people forgot to support them. I took my daughter to a USWNT World Cup game in 2003, but I haven’t traveled the world for them as I have the Men’s team (there are limits to money and vacation time after all). We assumed that the US Women would qualify for 2011 Germany, and we’d go visit family and see them there.

Then, the unthinkable happened. We didn’t advance. And now we’re playing for our WWC lives today in Chicago. In our family, we’ve decided it’s time to start supporting the Women’s game, and I know we’re not alone. It’s fun to read women’s soccer fans learning about American Outlaws, and awesome to see American Outlaws coming out to support not just the USMNT. It makes me proud, as a soccer fan and a mother to a daughter that America has woken up to the fact that we can’t just assume our domination of the Women’s game anymore. And now that Mia has retired, we still have some amazing women playing for us, and not just Kristine Lilly (the woman I named my daughter after).

So today, while I dedicate myself to running my retail store on Small Business Saturday, my husband is taking the kids to Chicago with a few other American Outlaws to support US Women’s Soccer. I am very much there in spirit, and hope you will join me in paying a little more attention to the Women’s game. Today. Next Summer. At your local soccer games. We have to encourage our girls to stick with soccer, and continue to build our player and referee development programs for girls. We can’t afford to turn our backs on the rest of the world creeping up behind us any longer. And to the women it has been a pleasure to watch for the last 11+ years, you go girls…all the way to Germany.




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