Despite the depressing defeat of the men’s United States national team at the hands of Belgium a few weeks ago one thing is patently clear… soccer is here to stay.
From coast-to-coast true American soccer fans gathered in homes, bars, and massive outdoor viewing parties not just in exercises in patriotism, but examples of passion for soccer in this country. They not only believed “that we will win”, but they believe, and continue to do so, in a larger idea: that the United States is a soccer nation.
American Outlaws is proud to be a player in the growth of American soccer fandom in this country and we’re committed to helping further it in the years to come. As you’ve seen us grow in the last few years you know that we don’t just show up every four years. We are here supporting our national teams men’s, women’s, youth sides ever single time they put on that shirt that represents our country.
If you’re new to American soccer and/or new to American Outlaws… welcome aboard. Welcome to the #AOFamily. Your journey in supporting these national teams is just beginning, but that doesn’t mean it has to be put on hold for another four years. There are so many ways to continue to support the sport’s growth in the country before Russia in 2018.
1) International Friendlies – Time to get back up on that horse! The U.S. men’s team will face the Czech Republic in Prague on September 3rd and is rumored to face Ireland in Dublin on November 18th. There’s no rest for the weary as we take the first, next steps towards another World Cup journey.
2) Women’s World Cup Qualifying 2014 – Starting this October, between the 16th and the 24th, teams from North and Central America, and the Caribbean will compete for three spots for the Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015. The CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament will take place in the United States (specific times, dates, and venues TBA) and you can bet that we’ll be there to support our women’s national team on their qualifying quest.
When the tournament schedule is released we’ll have tickets and events to ALL the USWNT’s games.
3) Women’s World Cup 2015 – The USWNT came up short of capturing the ultimate prize in 2011 falling on PKs to Japan after a magical run to the final. The next year the Lady Nats gathered up Olympic Gold in London getting revenge against the Japanese.
Our women have won the WWC twice (1991 and 1999) and are currently ranked the number one team in the world. From June 6 to July 5 of 2015 the WWC is held in six Canadian cities and American Outlaws will be there and at home hosting viewing parties across the country in support of our women in the red, white and blue as they look to win the Cup for a record third time.
4) Gold Cup 2015 and 2017 – Every two years CONCACAF hosts a regional tournament in the United States for the top teams in North and Central America and the Caribbean. In the last edition of the Gold Cup the United States won their fifth tournament besting Panama 1-0. If they win the 2015 Cup they will automatically qualifying for a worldwide tournament, the Confederations Cup (in Russia in 2017), facing each of the globe’s best teams, one from each region.
Just like World Cup qualifiers we American Outlaws gather at our chapters to watch these incredible matches and follow the team across the U.S. to be in the stands for our team.
5) Copa America Centenario (2016) - Just recently it was announced that for the 100th anniversary of COMMEBOL (South America’s CONCACAF) their premier continental competition, the Copa America, will be held in the United States. Our Nats along with Mexico and other representatives of the region will have an opportunity to compete with our southern neighbors’ best nations.
As hosts you can expect packed stadiums around the country on par with when we hosted the World Cup back in 1994 (still the highest attended World Cup in history with 3.6 million people). And, of course, you can expect that AO will be following our team around the country as they look to place themselves as one of the top teams this side of the Prime Meridian.
6) 2016 Olympics in Rio - Seems like we just left Brazil yesterday, but our U-23 men’s side will hopefully be returning to the land of Samba in 2016 for the summer Olympics. We just missed out on the London edition so we’ll be more motivated than ever to train our youth side looking onto Russia 2018.
The Olympics are also a major tournament for the women’s national team (representing as a full senior side). The Lady Nats will be expected to defend their Olympics gold medal from 2012 having, hopefully, won the Women’s World Cup the year before!
7) World Cup Qualifiers 2017 and 2018 – The U.S. doesn’t just show up at the World Cup every four years we have to earn it. The path to Russia 2018 goes through dozens of nations in CONCACAF, big and small, for three (possible four) nations to represent the region at the World Cup.
Even though our path has not been yet outlined, the U.S. is only one of six nations that has qualified for every World Cup since 1990.
8) Youth National Teams – Over the next several years the best and the brightest of our “Baby Nats” will fight to qualifying and complete in a number of important youth tournaments. First up is the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada this August(the US has already qualified for this tournament) and then the U-20 Men’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2015. The YNT (coached by U.S. legend Tab Ramos) will play a tournament in Southern California at the end of this month to prepare for their qualification. Check out our SoCal chapters to join in supporting them.
We are the American Outlaws, Join Us
Hopefully this goes without saying, but if you’re excited for American soccer then you better make sure you’re a member of the nation’s largest supporters group, AO! For just $25 (plus shipping) a year you get a t-shirt, bandana, access to tickets for matches in our supporters sections, flight/hotel/rental car discounts to follow our teams, and many other deals as a part of our membership. Plus, $5 of your membership goes to your local chapter to support local events. You don’t have to have a chapter in your city or town to join.
Don’t know where to join your local AOs? We have nearly 150 chapters in cities big and small across the U.S. Check out our state-by-state list here.
Don’t have a local chapter near you? Unbelievably there are a few pockets of America that haven’t hit fever pitch when it comes to soccer. They need you to help “unite and strengthen”. Start a chapter in your community.
Supporting our national teams shouldn’t be your only avenue to American soccer. Many of our members are also supporters of their local teams and you should be too! Chances are there’s a Major League Soccer, North American Soccer League, United Soccer Leagues, National Women’s Soccer League or other lower division team in your backyard. Check them out, meet up with other Outlaws at the games and satisfy your soccer hunger.
This summer this men’s national team captured your attention and there’s no going back now… you’re an American soccer fan. Get used to it.
Don’t stop believing. Believe with us.
Unite & Strengthen,
The American Outlaws