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We as USA soccer fans are extremely passionate. We cheer, we chant and wave our scarves. We stand with hundreds of our dearest soccer friends and yell, beat drums and march into the match. We follow our teams to the ends of the earth and back again. We dream of World Cup glory which is more fantasy than realty. We agonize over every missed goal, boo every call we think wrong, question every line up and debate tactics and players. Of course we do we are the American Outlaws, the US soccer supporters group and proud of it too.
We can all tell you stories of where we were when we reached great heights and hit unbelievable, inconsolable lows. The memory of where you were when Landon Donovan score that famous goal in the 2010 World Cup to put the US through to the round of 16. We remember that we beat Spain in the Confederations Cup, but then lost to Brazil in the final.
That goal put the USA through to the round of sixteen in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. USA Fans around the world went crazy.
We all certainly remember how Chris Wondolowski missed an easy goal in the 2014 World Cup. We will probably never forget that loss in Trinidad and Tobago which meant we didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Tom Amison shared his USA soccer memories. “2010-Going into my Junior year of college. In the basement of my parent’s house with 3 of my close friends, We all jumped slightly when Dempsey’s shot went on goal, and then I had a friend on my back 2 seconds later when Donovan FINALLY put it in. He’d jumped on my back the same way when Deuce scored versus England in the first match, too. Round of 16 game I am back in the U.S., same place I’d watched US v Algeria 4 years prior. I did not react much when Wondo missed. I never expected it to go it. I am usually a pessimist when it comes to things U.S. Soccer related, I was never mad at Wondo, I really felt for him. I still do”
Just as soccer fans are greatly diverse, that’s what makes your “soccer family” so great. Yes, we call all the people we stand shoulder to shoulder game in game out family. Maybe some members you have known for seems like forever and some you just met. But you share it all with them the great joys and jubilations and the unimaginable depths of sorrow. But you watch game after game, scour the soccer pages for the latest news that might just lift your team to glory. So, you can say yes, I was there when.
Another fan Steven Hall shared this, “Donovan’s goal in Pretoria was my second US game. Never forget singing patriotic songs A cappella with the throngs of US fans outside after the stadium after. Wondo’s? A Rockford bar? I was in TnT. There were a couple of guys on the AO bus after that you would have thought the world had ended. So sad for me but survived. Ran into Pulisic and Acosta at the Miami airport and then Bedoya the next day. Tried words to console but.. Dax was boarding my plane to Chicago and I said, “Go Fire.” He smiled. Cheers. Rockford, IL”
Anthony Calabrese also shared his favorite story, Donovan's goal against Algeria I watched at a pub on Southwark in London. I was working in London. The England final group game was at the same time so the places around my office I usually went to watch a game were showing England. My boss offered to put it on the TV in the office, but my wife discovered a pub owned or run by an American one Tube stop from my office that was showing the game. SO I went there to watch with lots of other Americans. I have no actual memory of the ball going into the net. I remember seeing Donovan run onto the ball and my next memory is jumping up and down hugging a guy with a beard – the two of us screaming hysterically. I went back to the office after the game and three of my coworkers who had been giving a hard time that morning see me and are worried what my reaction would be. I walked over and said “There was the day I was married. There were the days my children were born. And there is today.” I then walked away.
This author also has a story of a memory that will forever be a part of my soccer soul and my pride in being American. I was in Columbus Ohio at Mapfre Stadium, the famous home until recently of “Dos a Cero” fame because that was always the score line when we played Mexico there. Until last year) anyway we were playing Mexico for the right to go to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. We won 2-0 again and would need to wait for other scores to see if we were going. I was at an impromptu party in a lot close by everybody had their eyes glued on their phones waiting for the result, don’t even remember the game just that we got the right result and we were on that plane to Brazil. Everybody had the flame picture up on their phone. We were all crowded around the D.J. and people started singing the song “I am proud to be an American” at the top of their lungs people had American flags. All the people there were Strangers to me but I felt like I had known them all my life. I still get choked up with the memory.
Whatever your memories, whatever you club, your country your Soccer family are the people you shared those moments, you know the ones that start, “Do you remember when?