American Outlaws Respond

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.

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23 Responses to American Outlaws Respond

  1. Curran O'Brien says:

    There is a vocal contingent of TA that shares Robert’s view on this, and that would support this event with the same passion and energy as a Cascadia derby. We would welcome supporters from rival clubs, but not rival countries. We would make this day as memorable as any Timbers match, for those who choose to participate.

    For those who are not excited about a possible MNT match, that is completely acceptable. Stay home – it’s not like they are making it part of your season ticket package. But, you can be excited for those of us who stand shoulder to shoulder with you at Timbers matches, to have an opportunity to support our country in a meaningful way. I would hope that members of the TA will recognize the win-win situation. Rather than constantly criticizing anything different than “sitting in 107 during a match in 2003,” perhaps it is time that we start to appreciate everyone & everything within our rapidly growing supporters group.

    Indeed, if those that identify with Cascadia also identify with being judgmental and exclusionary, than it reinforces my passion for the United States and our national soccer team. (And yes, that even includes Gresham…)

  2. Jay says:

    That was perfect. Magnanimity wins out, I hope.

  3. Andrew Buswell says:

    Ha ha, “I’m not from Gresham”…love it :P

  4. Richard Miller says:

    Preach it, Reverend Cross!
    My sentiments (and bruises) exactly.

  5. Nels Hesseldahl says:

    I would expect my first USMNT match to be similar to my first match as a Timbers fan… find some fun loud people in the North End, listen to their songs and chants and join in as soon as I am able. If enough of us do that the atmosphere will be there.

  6. Corey says:

    I agree, But I hae to ask the question If the MLS brought in another team to Portland in place of the Timbers three years ago would you all not support them because they were not the Timbers.

  7. Gary says:

    “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, too. But I think you miss the point, like many of the dissenting comments to Brawley’s piece. There will be many a TA member there giving it our al, myself included. TA members, not the Timbers Army (as an organization). I don’t understand what all of the controversey is about. If you (not directed at anyone in particular, just the general sentiment)want an awesome atmosphere at a potential USMNT game: CREATE IT!

    The Army organization should not come and manufacture an atmosphere for a club that it doesn’t exist to support. The people that are coming to support the USMNT (which again, will be in large part composed of people that are also Army members) need to be that force to organically produce the fantastic atmosphere that we of course have the potential to make it.

    So stop crying about someone else not making the supporter section you want (again, not directing at a particular person). Step up and make it yourself. Organize flag making and chants. Find drummers. Bring streamers. It’s not the Timbers Army’s duty or place to fill that role.

    • Curran O'Brien says:

      Actually, I think you as well are missing the point…nobody is asking the Timbers Army to “manufacture an atmosphere for a club that it doesn’t exist to support.” In Brawley’s piece, he cites as an example how “a 107ist member asked about how the TA might support the upcoming Thorns FC season.” The connection is tenuous at best.

      Given that, to create an op-ed that disparages the AO’s efforts (in contrast to the TA) is misguided, and I can easily see how it can be construed as arrogance. Why the need to disparage the potential atmosphere of the match? Why not change the tone, to instead encourage the AO, while still recognizing the massive effort, effective organization, and never ending dedication of the 107ist/TA volunteers that makes our gamedays a possibility?

  8. Marc says:

    As I just posted on the other thread, I am an Englishman who has lived in the states most of his life. I follow both the Timbers and my homeland teams with great passion.

    I think you’re BOTH right in this context, as I found little at fault with either points.. finding them more overlapping than opposing.

    But please, as a representative of the AO.. please for the love of baby jeebus… do something about the atrocious chants the USMNT fan groups have. It is embarrassing, to say the least.

  9. Fernando Machicado says:

    I will fully support a USNMT match here with the same manner and fervor as I do when I support my local club. I just don’t feel the need to shout my importance or lack of on the internet!

  10. Pong Wolfgun says:

    yawn.

    i’d rather nuke the US than Iraq
    oh, i’d rather nuke the US than Iraq
    etc etc.

    The Cascadia v U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! derbies are gonna be a riot!

  11. Brandon says:

    This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the 107ist or the TA.

    ^ Important little tidbit I think a lot of people are missing. Who cares what he thinks? Why does the AO care so much, he is only one guy, some share is opinion, other don’t. The TA is the TA. It does basically what it wants, not what one of the so called “leaders” wants it to do. TA will support the USMNT and TA won’t support them. That’s what makes the TA great. For me there isn’t really an issue, just a bunch of people trying to win at winning.

  12. Tenbarrel says:

    Club vs Country is stupid.

  13. Robert W. Cross says:

    I asked Scott for an opportunity to respond to Andrew’s post for a couple reasons. One, I wanted to illustrate the similarities shared between the two groups because I believe strongly in both organizations. Second, many AOPDX members whom are TA and/or 107ist, felt compelled that we respond.

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