Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A few comments about supporters culture and USA v. Mexico

USA v. Mexico - Crew Stadium - September 10, 2013

So tonight our brothers and sisters in arms march into Crew Stadium – what has become a horror house for opposing teams, especially Mexico, in large part due to the efforts of said brothers and sisters in arms. Here are a few notes and a request as it relates to tonight's festivities.

It all began in 1994 with Mark Spacone and what became Sam’s Army. That develop through the Major League Soccer supporters groups, survived the debacle that was France ’98, and had continued until the Hexagonal round of the 2002 World Cup qualifying.

La Primera

It was February 28, 2001. The US was playing Mexico in the opening game of the round, at home, with a complete lack of history of a home field advantage against their neighbors to the south.

Once again, the Original House that Uncle Lamar Built stepped to the fore to start a new chapter of US soccer history. After opening in 1999 as the first ever First Division-level soccer specific facility in the US, it now was going to be the USSF’s first effort at a true-blue home-field advantage.

As history showed – and will show again tonight – the answer was a dramatic YES!

Not only did the team win the game in dramatic fashion, but they did it in front of a loud, boisterous fan-base that stood and screamed its support throughout the match despite the freezing temperatures.

Dos A Cero

The 2-0 scoreline became “Dos A Cero” – a chant that was solidified that following World Cup when the US once again beat Mexico, this time on the biggest of stages by the same score. Oddly enough, it continued when once again the US won their home Hexagonal qualifier, against Mexico, in Columbus, by the score of 2-0 not only in 2005, but also in 2009.

That is three games, four years apart, against the same opponent at the same venue.

How can you not predict a 2-0 scoreline again tonight?

Especially when by all appearances, this will be the largest US supporters section to ever see USA-Mexico?

Massive Growth

Spurred by the continued growth of the game (broadcast NBC for the EPL, hello!), MLS and the success of the team, and salvaged by the emergence of a new supporters group, the American Outlaws, support for the US has continued to build geometrically, with some truly fascinating showings of late. The largest in recent times was the Gold Cup match in Seattle where a massively pro-US crowd of 41,000 showed the world that El Norteamericanos were no longer just an emerging supporters culture, but was able to be as strong as any in the world.


So this is your background for tonight’s game. If you are there, soak it in as this is one of those truly unique moments in time, and is automatically historic. As historic as the crazy game against Costa Rica in Denver earlier this year, or the US fans who have traveled to Azteca or the World Cups – especially 2002 and beyond. Make the most of it.

I know many of you there, and wish you the best. Obviously, I wish I could be there with you, but I have one of the newest fans of the US to nurture as he just turned four weeks old…. I am asking you to remember that it is the shirt first, our brothers and sisters second, and nomenclature last. Do whatever is necessary to make sure the boys on the field have no doubt how much love and belief there is for them in the stadium!

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