The Raucous in Columbus - How US Soccer, AO & a Great City hosted a Marquee Event

I’m not over it. I don’t think anyone who was there could be over it. It’s just something we’ll all look back on one day (even today) and say ‘wow.’ Cbus. Denver will never be topped, but Columbus was completely different sense of electricity. If Denver was endurance and huddled masses getting loud, and singing to support the team as well as heat up the night. Columbus was sprawling.

Columbus, Ohio. Sports mecca in the college world, fitting as Ohio State University’s stadium holds 102,000 screaming Buckeyes. The USMNT weren’t playing there. Instead, they were playing in the fortress that was made of Crew Stadium. And as Columbus was overrun by crazy out-of-towners who were all proudly supporting the USMNT, no one thought about the Horseshoe.

It has to be said that Columbus, Ohio has gone a long way to support soccer in the United States, the Columbus Crew being one of ten inaugural MLS clubs in 1996. The city itself has been dedicated to soccer, but especially to US soccer, for a long time. Perpetually, Columbus creates an inviting atmosphere for US fans from across the country.

It was very fitting that the new sort of sporting relationship came to be a reality in Columbus. It all started in 2001 when US soccer went the way of gamesmanship by placing a World Cup Qualifier in 2001 in a frigid Crew Stadium in February. Mexico wouldn’t know how to handle the intense cold, or the pro American crowd. The game in 2001 finished an emphatic 2-0 & after 3 more wins in Crew Stadium and at the 2002 World Cup, the phrase has stuck. Dos. A. Cero.

So the city of Columbus and US Soccer were on the same page. But no one. No one could have expected the impact of what an organized, dedicated, and relevant supporters group would do to change soccer culture in the United States.

Firstly, with all due respect to Sam’s Army – the American Outlaws bossed it in Columbus. I am putting it out there, because I’m still so amazed, and so proud of how a group of guys from Nebraska went from having a cool idea & a cool website, to bringing enough people all together at almost 100 local chapters nation wide, to being allocated 10,000 seats in a 20,000 seat stadium at a United States National team game just for their supporters.  If you lived in another country, there would never be any such thing.

When US Soccer invited the American Outlaws to Columbus, they were showing an unprecedented trust and willingness to throw down the gauntlet to a supporters group to bring an atmosphere, but hamper trouble.  The American Outlaws weren’t like previous national team supporters group. They encouraged people to start their own local chapter as easily as they convinced them to join national. They excelled in an early master class of branding which was more in tune to accelerating camaraderie. When you join American Outlaws, you get a free tshirt and bandana with your membership. What that free tshirt, and bandana does is identify you to all the other Outlaws. We’re all supporting the same team. 

It’s hard to support soccer in most parts of the USA. People just don’t care. If I walk in to work and say, ‘Oh, did you hear Clint Dempsey went to Seattle’ or ‘holy crap, Ozil went to Arsenal from Madrid, I can’t believe it.’ People look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Not because I said holy crap, but because none of what I just said is relevant to them. It’s not like I’ve said Peyton Manning, Red Sox, or Cowboys. I haven’t even said Kobe, Lebron, or Jeter.

American Outlaws brings a sense of relevance to the table that no other USMNT supporters group could. You would walk into your supporters club’s local venue, and immediately know the term Champions League wouldn’t be lost on those around you. Even if you were sitting there with only 5 other people – which happened at times when I joined in 2010, no one would ever belittle your love for the game. ‘No one likes soccer,’ you would never hear.

In a world, (country?), where MLS stadiums were just starting to have regular sell outs, and soccer bars benefitted from posting on the internet. American Outlaws brought together those people, who were MLS regulars, who went to the pub at the weekend to watch club games early in the morning. Those people who could drive 10 hours to watch a game, and spend longer talking about it. American Outlaws found the best way to bring all those people together and everyone else off the couch.

When AO released a number of the 10,000 tickets in an internet presale for AO Members only. The website crashed. The website had crashed before 9pm when the ticket sale was supposed to go live. This was the kind of statement of intent that US soccer was really looking for. Secondly, American Outlaws also have a Code of Conduct that all supporters are supposed to follow. American Outlaws also holds its Chapter Leaders and Founders responsible for the conduct of their members, which emphasizes coordination and discipline expectation at a local level. Essentially it triggers a ‘trickle up’ mechanism when AO coordinates larger events. The genius of it all is – they probably never thought of it that way.

The result of US Soccer, and Columbus, Ohio teaming up with American Outlaws, was a complete raucous. People traveled from all over the country, spent hundreds of dollars, scheduled days off work to go support their country. AO had ensured the most passionate 10,000 people were there. And they brought the noise. It has to be said that the USA needs more songs, but there’s no questioning there’s thousands of people who will sing them right.

The best part about AO besides singing until there’s a strain in your neck, is probably just meeting all the other members. The night before party is always the best way to meet people, and see whose faces you’ll recognize tomorrow. What was dull early on quickly heated up as the night wore on at the FourthStreet Bar. U.S. Soccer personalities showed up to take part in the festivities that weren’t really around in their playing days. The best part was knowing that the group of supporters jumping up and down singing for them that night, would be right there with them tomorrow, encouraging more people to sing.

 

Bench Splitting, Champagne Spilling, Columbus. With the most majestic national anthem you’ll ever hear sung by a crowd that didn’t need someone else singing over them. A crowd that sang the whole night. A North & South side that serenaded players, a Mexican section that could not be found.

This is a new era of US Soccer where fans perpetuate the game’s popularity. Soccer is a sport that is making it in America without a true superstar. And American soccer is garnering the kind of passion that no other sport can compete with, a love for country. US Soccer has done a wonderful thing supporting venues where soccer fans are treated the best, and supporting American Outlaws & Sam’s Army who bring the best supporters. It was worth the 10 hour drive. It was worth the unique experience. It was worth the people I met. The words I sang. The joy I felt. It was worth it all to be in Columbus, supporting my team, supporting my country. And I’ll be there every chance I get. We pulled it off. We all did. There are a few groups of people that coordinated, but we all had to sing together. And we did.

Unite & Strengthen.

AO New Haven Meets TODAY at Anna Liffeys for USA-Italy

Rain, snow, or shine The American Outlaws newest unofficial chapter will be anticipating a performance by the U.S. Men’s National Team against Italy in Genoa.

This is the first match for AO New Haven as our good friend AO Hartford have been established for nearly 4 years. Come down and take in a match with friends at Anna Liffeys in New Haven - 17 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT - and enjoy talking all things soccer/football with passionate U.S. Soccer fans. Match starts at 2:30pm, today February 29th. Don’t forget to wear your uniform: stars, stripes, red, white, and of course blue. Bandanas, flags, construction hats. Whatever you can think of to represent the U.S.

The American Outlaws are the Premier USMNT Supporters Group in the United States. They represent the next generation of U.S. soccer fans, that aren’t content with clapping & saying ‘defense.’ Instead, the future is more dynamic, outlandish, and of course, passionate in U.S. MNT support. Join American Outalws today

Become an American Outlaw

Our mission is to Unite and Strengthen the fans of the United States Mens’ National Team, through a group of dedicated supporters. We are loud, passionate, organized, and dedicated.

We pledge

  • To be loud. To stand, sing and cheer our boys on.
  • To be an organized, unified group of fans at both the local and national level.
  • To hold events surrounding the US National Team Games both at the stadium and at locations across the country.
  • To become a community of fans dedicated to supporting our team.

Benefits

  • Discounts on Tickets to the supporters section of each US game
  • Membership benefits at events such as tailgates, viewing parties, etc.
  • 10% Discounts at http://shop.bigsoccer.com/
  • Free gifts from great companies such as NIKE, FSC, and more…  (varies based on events)
  • Flight Discounts from Continental Airlines to any US Soccer game, anywhere in the world. http://www.continental.com
  • Members also get a the new 2012 American Outlaws tshirt & an American flag bandana

It doesn’t have to be once every four years.

Celebrate every US MNT goal with American Outlaws with over 72 chapters across the country, or join us in Connecticut for every televised US MNT team game in New Haven, or Hartford to support the boys of the red white & blue right here at home. 

Joining American Outlaws was probably the easiest $20 I’ve ever spent. It was immediately reimbursed when I received my free shirt, and discounts on US MNT games. Also, the camaraderie achieved is instantaneous and priceless whenever attending AO viewing parties, and pre match tailgates outside the stadium. 

So check out American Outlaws today. Learn the songs listed here. View the Chants below and get in on the movement on the road to the 2014 World Cup

Here is the newest song from The American Outlaws Chant Contest submitted be a member. We love this. It’s easy to see how much energy this song will bring when chanted by thousands of people. We hope to get this chant started in New Haven today.

The USA will stand our ground, the USA will not back down

We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team

We’re the Sons of Liberty

We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team

We’re the Songs of Liberty 

United, United

The Outlaws are United

United, United

Forever Undivided

We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team, We are the People’s team

We’re the Sons of Liberty

REPEAT

Great Landon Donovan chant by AO NYC. Video validated by Stanky Leg.

He’s Landon Donovan

He’s All-American

He Scores for Everton

And Beats the Mexicans

Classic.

Another winner from the AO Chant Contest, an ode to Tim Howard & an ode to Timmy from South Park alllll at the same time. 

I don’t think I could type this out better than he can say it, or we can sing it so leggo!

This chant, and the one above won the AO Chant Contest in January, and I believe this is the first US MNT game where the chants will be used.

Ti-meh, Ti-meh, Ti-meh, Ti-meh, Ti-meh, Ti-meh, TI-MEH!

That worked out.

Classic American Outlaws song sung over and over as US MNT team games. Doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. Any song that includes a bounce is automatically addicting. We love ya, that’s for sure.

We love ya, We Love ya, We love ya

and where you go we’ll follow, we’ll follow, we’ll follow

Cause we support the US, the US, the US

And that’s the way we like it, we like it, we like it

BOUNCE

All of this is way to fun for you to be sitting around and not joining in on the action. Get to your local AO Chapter today and celebrate America as USA take on Italy in Genoa. We’ll be here in New Haven, enjoying great drink specials at Anna Liffeys - $3 Bud Light Draft, $2.50 PBR, 10% off appetizers for the match. All ages are welcome in the restaurant part of the pub.

Pick up one of our Chapter scarves and tshirts today at the match. $20 for the scarves (normally $30) and $15 for the tshirts. The scarves are double sided, meaning you get both colors for one scarf. They are very high quality. I was really impressed to get my hands on one of these, and it’s worth bringing the $20 to get one today, because they’re normally $30 and they’re worth every penny. Excellent material provided by Ruffneck Scarves.

Hope to see you all at the game today!

Hope Solo Song to ‘You Are My Sunshine’

We’ve got Hope Solo

& You’ve got no goals

She’ll make our Hearts Sing, just wait & see

She’ll even dive right, and punch from full flight

Hope Solo save a pk for me

To the tune of 'You Are My Sunshine'

photo made by thrace_ song created for American benefit by ctfootballsupporters

DON’T FORGET TO BOUNCE!

similar to:

come on American Outlaws, it’s time one of our decorated ladies got their own song. Who has an idea for Abby Wambach?

Go All Out for American Outlaws in Hartford, CT TONIGHT

Tonight is the USA - Mexico Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasedena, California. If you’re a fan of the U.S and you can’t make it out to the game, check out your local American Outlaws chapter to get the full experience of America’s fiercest football rivalry with our neighbors to the south.

Damon’s Tavern in Hartford, CT is the place tonight if you’re a football soccer football fan in Connecticut. They’re got KILLER discounts on drinks enough for me to tell you that if you can make the drive home afterward, skip the Liffey just for tonight and head up to Hartford.

Drink Specials in honor of oceans white with foam

-$1 PBRs 16 ounce drafts for the ENTIRE game

-$2 Bud and Bud Light drafts for the ENTIRE game

-1/2 off select drinks including house wines, jack daniels and other well drinks including vodka and sprite for example from 10pm -close

-Half off appetizers starting at 10pm (roughly the second half & just in time to start sobering up). This list includes Damon’s late night menu which is Any size Wings, Boneless Wings, Calamari, Fried Mozzarella, and Ravioli, Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Margherita Pizza, and Pepperoni or Chese Pizza, Nachos and Damon’s Tortilla Chip platters

As American Outlaws We pledge

  • To be loud. To stand, sing and cheer our boys on.
  • To be an organized, unified group of fans at both the local and national level.
  • To hold events surrounding the US National Team Games both at the stadium and at locations across the country.
  • To become a community of fans dedicated to supporting our team.

Personal Note: I joined American Outlaws last year in the build up to the world cup. For any football supporter in the U.S, they are an absolute dream. They’re passionate, they’re loud, they sing. Yes, they sing. Americans. Singing football songs. I nearly cried red white and blue tears the first time I heard ‘USA Aint None to Fuck With.’ Every state has different, sometimes multiple AO Chapters and they’re all different, so if one set of fans is pissing you off or not your style, there’s probably another group of Outlaws that you’ll feel at home with. Sing loud, sing proud. Join AO, it’s worth it for any football fan and you get an awesome tshirt, bandana, and amazing AMAZING discounts for loving the beautiful game, and you get to share your passion of game with other people that feel the same way you do, and that’s what’s most important. Unite & Strengthen Find your chapter today.