This comes to us from American Outlaws PDX Vice President Robert Cross who asked to respond to Brawley’s Op Ed. What is your opinion? You gotta have one. Share it below in the comments and mad props to Robert for the argument!
They call our sport the beautiful game. It is with good reason. One may root for club. One may root for country. Some choose both. The vast majority of soccer supporters realize there is a common thread no matter what your allegiance. Passion drives us all.
For me it has been a lifelong love affair. I first embraced the sport growing up in NJ watching Cosmos great Giorgio Chinaglia race around manically, waving his arms after finding the back of the net. There was Paolo Rossi’s torrid performance in the 1982 World Cup. A feat I would have never seen if my next door neighbor had not been from Italy. I screamed when Paul Caliguri put USA back in the World Cup in 1990, embraced Giovanni Savaresse of the MetroStars in the early days of MLS, and yelled bloody murder when Torsten Fring’s handball on the line kept the NATS from tying Germany in 2002. Ryan Pore’s “Sunflower Goal” got me stuck in with the Timbers Army after arriving in PDX several years ago now. I won’t talk about Coach Klinsmann’s and the boys recent performance as we head to the Hex for obvious reasons. And so it goes.
I share my passion of the sport I love. I do so as a founding member of American Outlaws Portland. I do so as a member of 107ist. I do so as a “founding member” of the 103rd Ballistic Unit of the Timbers Army. Anyone who knows me, knows my love for soccer. If you want to witness it firsthand, stand near me in 103 during a goal celebration and watch out. Those bruises on my body are real.
My expectations for any USMNT match at JELD-WEN is that we put forward a world class atmosphere. The Timbers Army brings our best to every match, for a full 90, no matter what our record may be, no matter whom we are playing, and no matter that GW is still in. I understand that the team before us would not be wearing the “green and gold” of PTFC. I would expect that TA members, traveling AO nationals, AOPDX, and random supporters, would fill the North End for the match and stand side by side. I would expect that we would sing and chant together. I would expect that everyone would be filled with unbridled passion for the match.
Why would anyone expect anything less? Members of the American Outlaws and Timbers Army share far more in common than one would think. Do tell …
· Both groups aim to bring fans together.
· Both groups desire to put forward the best match day atmosphere.
· Both groups are inclusive and attract all kinds of fans
· Both groups are passionate about whom they support
· Both groups are organized but organic and strive to keep it that way
· Both groups adhere to a code of conduct
I would argue that the only real, tangible differences between the TA and AO are whom we choose to support.
I’m not from Gresham, am pro-Cascadia, and pro-American. I choose to be involved in both American Outlaws and Timbers Army because I love the game and want the sport to grow in this country. My fellow AOPDX members, the vast majority of whom are TA/107ist, feel the same.
Do I want a USMNT match here in 2013? Damn straight. Make sure to get the hell out of the way when we score.