The Interesting Paradox Of Us Soccer Fans

FredMertz

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The whole brouhaha over the jersey made me think about the amazing paradoxical beast that is the American soccer fan.

I have been a soccer fan pretty much since the World Cup in '94. I was an inaugural season MetroStars season ticket holder (one season and done there), seen US/Germany in Paris in '98, seen US/England at Wembley in '94, and a Champion's League quarterfinal at Stamford Bridge earlier this year. So I'm not a Johnny-come-lately to this whole football thing.

What amazes is the consistent inconsistency of us American fans when it comes to deciding if we want old or new. Everyone wants everything to be both.

We want a completely new, fresh team but expect traditions and customs right off the bat. There is nothing organic about creating chants and pretending there are massive rivalries for a team that doesn't even have enough players to field a U9 team.

Everyone needs to have patience -- rivalries develop over time and they generally don't come from geographic proximity. They come from teams playing each other a lot when big things are on the line. New York and Philly are pretty close and the Knicks and Sixers play in the same division, but that ain't no rivalry.

Do you think a Liverpool supporter's club met in a bar and decided they would all sing a Broadway showtune from the mid-1940s?

The design of the jersey doesn't matter. Whether or not the Third Rail folks were "loud enough" at the jersey unveil doesn't matter. Things that happened with Chivas do not matter. The whole Chivas story was ill-conceived and even more poorly executed. That was all about brand -- an attempt to pander to the Mexican community of Los Angeles. I honestly do not see any meaningful parallels at all.

What matters is that we put together a competitive team, come out in force to support it and hopefully win some big games. And despite all the perceived negatives of the MCFC association, having the financially limitless and football savvy team from Citeh makes it more likely that those things that I said would matter are going to happen.

And for that, we should be happy and excited.