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American Outlaws Archives

A Brew For You… And You… And You…. (USMNT vs. Honduras)

The American Outlaws' call of #WeWant9 is looking more and more likely as the United States national team faces a depleted Honduran side at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Securing three points from this revenge match will pretty much book the Nats to Brazil as the rest of the "Hex" qualifying group slips into disarray.

Honduras is not the same side that the U.S. went up early on and then fell to the heat of San Pedro Sula. Through injury, suspension, and out-right abandonment of the team Los Catrachos may be without the services of six of their starters.

What are we recommending for this match? We stepped away from our local recommendation last time to play a little "six degrees of beer" game, but we're back to honor SLC's contribution to the craft beer world.

Before you making any snarky remarks about Utah and their beer.... check yourself. While the labyrinth of laws would make David Bowie's head spin getting a good brew in the "U" isn't impossible... it just means you just have to work a little bit harder for it.

Meet Epic Brewing Co. First off, this is Real Salt Lake and U.S. goalkeeper Nick Rimando's favorite brewery. And you trust him, right? Epic Brewing makes some of the state's finest craft beers (Unita Brewing Co. should also be on your "to-drink" list) and their "Elevation" series is impressive.

And why not? This USMNT on the last stop on their "elevation" part of the tour (Denver, Seattle, SLC) and what makes this series so interesting is that "tweeks" that the brewers work in every time they brew a new batch of one of the styles (which includes an IPA, stout, golden, and a pale ale) from this series.

Photo Credit: "Pops On Hops"

"Tweeks" is the name of the game for coach Jurgen Klinsmann who's constant meddling of the USMNT lineup has re-vitalized some careers (DMB) and re-invented others (Evans, Cameron, etc) and put the team on course for qualification.

Of all the "elevation" series to choose from we're picking the "825 State" Stout which Epic describes the range of it "from dry to sweet, creamy or bitter". The "flavors Epic explores within this stout are roast chocolate, toffee, mocha, coffee, burnt marshmallow and roasted nuts or combinations there-of."

If that's not a tinker's beer for JK we don't what is. And just like this stout (and here's to hoping for another "stout" defense") the tinkering has finally paid off.

What you drinking for tonight's match?

Tags: A Brew For You, American Outlaws, Beer, The Best of Both Worlds, USMNT

“The Hex” - Yanks Pummel Panama in Seattle

If you haven't been following along with Kick TV's "The Hex" series (filmed and produced by One Goal) then you're missing out on an incredible set of videos documenting the United States men's national team.
 
And we're not just saying that because Free Beer Movement's Dan has made several appearances...
 
Their episode from Seattle is about as close as one can come to capturing the "epic" atmosphere of last Tuesday's match.
 

 

Tags: American Outlaws, USMNT, Video

National Beer Outreach Day - The Night in Pictures

Friday's night wina against Jamaica wasn't just a massive step toward the United States men's national team's qualification for the World Cup. It was also a massive step forward for us at the Free Beer Movement.

In partnership with the U.S. soccer supporters group, the American Outlaws, we hosted the "National Beer Outreach Day". In more than 55 AO chapter bars, all across America, the FBM philosophy was in full-effect. Huge paid tabs, two-for-one deals, steep drink discounts, and, of course, straight-up free beer was flowing like....errrr.... wine... for these supporters of the USMNT.

The goal, as always, is to use the power of a free beer to lure newbies to the sport, and in this case, help build support for not only the Nats, but the American Outlaws organization. Already the national team's largest supporters group NBOD was also a membership drive for AO as current members brought unaffliated fans or newbies to get them to join in the excitment of the journey to Brazil in 2014.

The American Outlaws and FBM promoted the event via social media and asked members and guest to Tweet using the hashtag #PourItForward

 

 

Here are some of the best pictures and Tweets of the night: (check out the entire #PourItForward timelines as well)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: American Outlaws, Beer, Event, FBM In Action, Free Beer Match Days, USMNT

FBM In Action - Fox Soccer’s “Goals On Sunday” Feature of the American Outlaws (We’re in there, too)

See how many Free Beer Movement scarves you can spot in this piece about the United States supporters group, the American Outlaws.

This was a segment during Fox Soccer's "Goals on Sunday" after the Liverpool-Manchester City match.

For those who have never seen FBM Founder Dan that's him wearing his other "hat", a Waldo one, for his other "job", helping run the Austin chapter of AO.

 

 

 

Tags: American Outlaws, FBM In Action, Free Beer Match Days, Video

VIDEO - Why American Soccer? Because of this. A million times this.

 

Sure you've seen "The American Outlaws" on TV. It's all those crazy peopple behind the goal at U.S. national team matches.

This short film is a touching and slighty insane tribute to the immense atmosphere that they bring to each and every match (including more and more away games).

And it's not just at the stadium that they're like this. It's the same at each and every of their 70+ chapter bars across America.

You gotta join them.

(H/T "The Offside Rules")

Tags: American Outlaws, USMNT, Video

Local Beer Local Soccer: Middle of America – Red Stick Outlaws Take On Kansas City

By Blake Winchell

In full openness, I am not a local to Kansas City.  I live in Baton Rouge, LA.  However, Kansas City was the closest that the USMNT was playing to my hometown and so my father and I decided to take a trip to the Heartland.  When I travel I really try to not hit up Chili’s for food or drink Bud Light, so I think my trip will work for a "Local Beer Local Soccer" write up. 

We left Baton Rouge early on Tuesday morning arriving in Kansas City around 10:15 and got into our rental car.  For the one lunch we had in KC we were going to one place, Oklahoma Joe’s for BBQ.  Both of us opted for brisket sandwiches (the Z Man Sandwich) which lived up to the hype, but what was exciting for me is that in this gas station BBQ joint there was the first taste of local beer on tap: Boulevard Wheat.  While an amber or IPA may go better with BBQ, it was unusually warm in KC and still before noon so the unfiltered wheat beer was a nice start to our trip.  Boulevard boasts that their Wheat is the bestselling craft beer in the Midwest and it is not hard to taste why.  An easy drinking ale but still packs the flavor that will entice craft beer drinkers. 

From there we took a trip to Lukas Liquors so that I could make a beer haul so that we could bring some local beer back to Baton Rouge.  I picked up bombers from Doodle Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, and Weston Brewing (all Kansas City breweries) along with beers from other regional breweries that I cannot find in Louisiana. (Editor's Note: Also make sure to check out Tallgrass Brewing if you're in the KC-area)  If you live in Kansas City you probably have been to Lukas Liquors before, but if you are a traveler like me looking for a nice one stop shop for beer this is the place for you. 

"Soccer Pong."

Now it was time for soccer.  After checking in to our hotel which was a stone’s throw away from Livestrong Sporting Park, we took a short walk over to the American Outlaw’s tailgate.  Since we were travelers we did not bring an ice chest, so I was excited to see that there were kegs at the tailgate.  I was slightly less excited when I was told that it was 5 dollars all you can drink.  In my experience 5 dollars for all you can drink beer tends to be all you can drink terrible beer.  However, the Kansas City boys brought more Boulevard Brewing, which was great.  Four varieties of Boulevard were available which made tailgating so much better.  Drinking a Boulevard Oktoberfest (FBM's "Beer of the Game" recommendation over at Stars and Stripes FC) is always better than Natty Lite. 


Tailgating for any sport is relatively the same: drinking, cooking, music, etc. I had never tailgated for a soccer game like this before.  Soccer pong (that’s what I am calling it) was a new lawn game that we had to try.  Think beer pong with soccer balls and trash cans, looks easy but it is much more difficult than expected especially when you are taking full advantage of AYCD Boulevard.  There was also a dunk tank that revelers were shooting a soccer ball at; needless to say the pour guy in the dunk tank was not getting wet very often. 

We had tickets in the American Outlaw section, which was general admission, so we waited for the group to march to the stadium.  If you get to do this before a game, it is a great experience.  Marching a fourth of a mile or so chanting and singing was a nice warm up before getting into the stands.  Many of the Sporting KC supporters were in our section which was nice, because everyone was on the same page with the singing and chanting.  I have only been to one USMNT game before this one so I am a little green when it comes to many of the chants.  So I am unsure if the chants and songs the supporters were singing were US specific or Sporting KC specific but they all worked, especially cheering “You’re not going to Brazil” when Guatemala was warming up (and throughout most of the game).  I was too amped up during the game to leave the stands to purchase more beer, however my neighbor was polite enough to buy a beer for me. 

I don’t think he was entirely too pleased with the beer options, as it was a mass produced lite lager, but for me it was free.  Upon leaving the stadium after the win I saw the beer stand and there were no other options other than the typical BudMillerCoors options (Editor's Note: During Sporting KC matches the stadium features local craft beers Boulevard and Weston. We're not sure if these beers were available for this particular match since U.S. Soccer ran the show)  Now the rest of the stadium may have had other options for better beer but I didn’t make it to the rest of the stadium.  As an aside, speaking of the stadium: Livestrong Sporting Park is a fabulous place to experience a football match. 

The author on the right, with pops.

After the game we needed food and a cold one to end the evening.  Not really wanting to drive anywhere and since we were close to a huge shopping complex we had a few nice options.  While the Yard House was my first choice, Granite City Food and Brewing was considerably closer to the stadium and subsequently our hotel so we chose that option.  I was thinking that this was a local brewpub but was slightly disappointed to find out that it is more of a regional company rather than a local one.  However, that shouldn’t change the quality of the food and beer.  It is not the cheapest option but it is not terribly overpriced.  The beer is of a pretty impressive quality and the food was good so overall I wasn’t disappointed with our choice by proximity. 

With all the excitement that the day had given us we called it an earlier night than probably most of the American Outlaws in our section. The next day we left fairly early so after one of the biggest breakfasts that I have ever had we headed to the airport. Looking back the Kansas City supporters provided this KC transplant for the day an incredible experience that I will not soon forget.  I didn’t get to see as much of the city as I would have hoped but our visit was just for the soccer game and then subsequently a nice beer run.  I am hoping that KC is chosen as one of the Hex sites, since it was an easy trip for us and the local fans show up in full force.  From the restaurants to the tailgating, local beer was everywhere…except potentially the stadium.

About Blake

Blake Winchell is a Southern craft beer, homebrewing, and soccer fanatic.  He is a regional correspondent for AmericanCraftBeer.com and the President of Brasseurs a la Maison a Baton Rouge homebrew club. Since there is no soccer team in LA so he has to find a club across the country and pond to support so he arbitrarily picked Portland Timbers and Tottenham Hotspur.

Tags: American Outlaws, Local Soccer Local Beer, USMNT

Today’s The Day….

Remember me? (Photo Credit: ISIPhotos.com)

Editor's Note: This is our "get fired up" post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in a World Cup qualifier on their road to Brazil 2014.

Today's the day they face Antigua and Barbuda in North Sound, Antigua.

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Dempsey will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on our team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you... the American fan and their country... the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Tags: American Outlaws, News, Public Service Announcement, USMNT

Today’s The Day….

Dempsey gets the tally against Jamaica in 2011. (Photo Credit:  Alex Brandon, AP)

Editor's Note: This is our "get fired up" post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in a World Cup qualifier on their road to Brazil 2014.

Today's the day they face Jamaica in Kingston.

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Dempsey will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you... the American fan and their country... the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Tags: American Outlaws, News, USMNT, World Cup

Today’s The Day…

Editor's Note: This is our "get fired up" post for US international matches. We re-post it for every US match. Share it with your friends.

Today's the day the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field in an international friendly to help prepare for the first round of World Cup qualifying.

Today's the day they face Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida

Today's the day we take the win and move on to the next match.

Today's the day that Howard will shine, Landon will lead, goals will be scored, and timely tackles will be made.

Today's the day we sit down with friends and fellow soccer fans and cheer on the home team.

Today's the day we invite someone new to come along and experience the power of a soccer match.

Today's the day they'll get a free cold one to enjoy while watching the sport we so desperately love and the team we'd follow to the ends of the earth (or Brazil!).

Today's the day we ask a non-soccer fan to join our footballing family.

The Free Beer Movement is about spreading the love of American soccer to all corners of the nation and no day is better than today. Today, the pride and joy of our nation's game takes the field in order to continue its push towards the greatest sporting spectacle of all-time, the World Cup.

The past, present, and future of American soccer all take the field today to join in one cause, to win, and to move on to the next level.

It is days like this we, as American soccer fans embrace, as our national team fights for our country's continued respect on the international stage and to stake a claim as the best team in North and Central America.

Games like today are bigger than any game; bigger than any MLS game, and bigger than your son or daughter's kick around in the park.

Our local colors blend. There are no more yellow and black of the Columbus Crew or orange and white of the Houston Dynamo or the black and red of DC United; today there is only RED, WHITE, and BLUE.

These are the days that our nation's best and brightest shine on the field for 90 minutes. For themselves, for soccer, but mostly for you... the American fan and their country... the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

These are the days that you have to get up as a soccer fan in America.

So grab you friends, grab those soccer fans, grab those ones you want to become soccer fans, and most importantly grab some really cold beers because today's the day we support our National Team and our national game we love so much.

Check out all the great FBM gear in our "Swag Store".

Tags: American Outlaws, News, USMNT, USWNT, World Cup

Making The Case - On Rivalries And Race

Making The Case - On Rivalries And Race

 

It was a tough day to be an American soccer fan. Saturday's 4-2 loss to regional rivals Mexico after holding an early, 2-0 is one of those games that will hurt for awhile. Processing what went right, what went wrong, and what to do about it all is a question for the players, the coach, Sunil Gulati, and the Big Soccer message boards.

A loss to Mexico is always hard to take. As teams and fans we measure ourselves to the performances of our neighbor to the south. Of late things looked pretty good. Chants of "dos a cero", a reminder of eerily similar results the U.S. has racked up against El Tri in some crucial contests, a favorite of supporters.

Now it's Mexico's turn. Consecutive winners of the CONCACAF Gold Cup they now will be booking tickets to the Confederation's Cup as our regional representatives; a tournament the Americans made so magical a short time ago in South Africa.

Our concern today, though, is not the results that took place on the field, but the worrying actions that occurred beyond the edges of the field at the Rose Bowl. By now you've probably read the shocking allegations of American fan treatment in Pasadena (if you haven't it's important for context). The actions of these Mexican fans are nothing short of embarrassing.

In a stadium filled to capacity (93,420) fans of the U.S. National Team were easily outnumbered 90-10 by their continental counterparts. For anyone who's ever been apart of one it's easy to see how "mob mentality" took over many Mexican fans and fueled their actions. From verbal and physical harassment of American fans, to the tossing of various objects (bottles and the like) in a crowd that size and overwhelming numerical superiority, those guilty of such inappropriate behavior mostly likely thought they would get away with their actions. And they did.

It's unfortunately that these actions by individuals who retreated back into the crowd after their acts of cowardice are left to rule the day and fuel the frustrations of American fans already upset by the game's results. For any fan, of any nation, to be treated as such is a disgrace and only inflames the difficult relations between these fan groups.

No one is disputing the fact that the rivalry between the United States and Mexico isn't going to be heated. And certainly American fans aren't without fault. There was our share of off-color stupidity on our side of the fence as well. But rivalries should never disintegrate into racism or worse, violence.

For some the knee-jerk reaction is to respond with the same tired remarks about Mexico and Mexicans and to make an indictment of an entire people. But for every cringing story of abuse from the Rose Bowl came a counter-story of incident-free interactions with the fans of El Tri.

Unfortunately this latest edition of US versus Mexico played out on so many levels. Beyond the soccer pitch is the elephant in the room with the issue of immigration. In recent months several states have enacted (with many more states considering them) several tough measures regarding stemming the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States and political candidates on both sides of the issue have continued to use the issue as a political football (whichever football you prefer). Frustrations from Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and white Americans color the entire scene. As these tensions rise outside the lens of soccer it's not surprising that issues play out in the parking lots and stadiums of our two nations' matches.

What happened on Saturday shouldn't be forgotten, but it also shouldn't be used to justify retribution or continued racism. For those that suffered at the hands of some outrageous fan behavior they have every right to demand answers and changes before future match ups between these two teams.

Before the next edition of U.S. against Mexico whether it be in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, an international friendly, and/or World Cup qualifiers there needs to be a complete overhaul of how the venues of these matches are secured, policed, and rules enforced.

This time the blame for not adequately protecting the fans fell to CONCACAF and officials in charge of the Rose Bowl. Russel Jordan the author of the letter we linked to above wrote that he's already had conversations with the general manager of the stadium who admitted that they had the most security ever at the Rose Bowl it wasn't enough. National soccer columnist Steve Davis (Sports Illustrated) wrote on his own site that if the aging facility, while a huge money maker for CONCACAF, cannot be adequately policed then it shouldn't be used for matches.

U.S. Soccer, the Mexican Federation (FMF) Soccer United Marketing, which helps promote the Mexican National Team in the U.S. are now aware that if incidents like the ones making the rounds become more and more frequent it could put every future U.S.-Mexico fixture at risk. Even though Gold Cup Finals and World Cup qualifiers will remain on the docket, huge revenue streams like international friendlies between the two or further U.S. tours of by Mexico will be under the microscope. Most importantly the spirit of healthy competition between the region's two biggest teams will be lost.

Another concern for U.S. Soccer has to be how many fans or potential fans were lost on that sunny Saturday attending a match they were unprepared to experience. American soccer can ill-afford to alienate its small fan base with experiences and stories of dangerous game conditions and security problems.

Moving beyond Saturday's events common sense will have to be CONCACAF, U.S. Soccer, and the FMF, and any venue hosting these matches' guiding light. It was very clear that they will have to put profits behind protection of fans on either side. Dedicating a separate and/or secure section for U.S. fans (while bizarre as that may be fore a game INSIDE the U.S.) at the expensive of fulling filling it should be on the table. Just like some Major League Soccer teams are struggling in dealing with how to "handle" (for better or worse) soccer crowds security at these types of matches need to be in sufficient numbers and properly trained. Be in front of the problem not behind it.

And while not a solution one of the reasons the stadium was SO disproportionately one-sided was because one team's fans bought Finals tickets in good faith while the other team's fans' dilly-dallied. Support your National Team and have faith!

Lastly, despite these terrible incident alleged we, as American soccer fans, must remain above the fray. The American Outlaws have posted their "Act Above" Code of Conduct that asks its member to avoid similar behaviors that they might experience and we can all take a page from that. It might feel good initially to lash out with some choice words about our southern neighbors or to take matters in our own hands next time, but in the long term none of that pays out.

If there's any silver lining to this past weekend's difficulties it is that American soccer is growing and growing stronger. While outnumbered and out-cheered USMNT supporters were not alone in their struggles. Rather than fans roaming isolated into the crowds of red, white, and green many were together in the AO section or in decent sized groups. Each new fan we make is another stalwart against being singled out at matches and someone to march with us in solidarity again the terrible actions of an angry few bent on ruining our American soccer experience.

It can't and won't be that easy to deter our fandom. Soccer in America and American soccer rises as surely as the sun does and there are no terrible words or actions that can stop that.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

 

Tags: American Outlaws, Making The Case, USMNT

Making The Case: The Great Jersey Question. Buy American

At Saturday's shambolic U.S. National Team game the goal was the fill the stadium with red.

Nike had earlier debut their red national team strip and helped outfit the American's unofficial supporters group, the American Outlaws, with a cool Shepard Fairey designed "Indivisble" collaboration to add to the already red 2011 AO members shirt.

The result? A "Red All Over" supporters section to rival any other behind the goal.

The rest of the stadium, from crowd shots and close ups revealed a similar red wave, but fueled less U.S. fans, but the brighter red of the Spanish National Team and red and blue Spanish side Barcelona's jersey.

Sigh. Here we go again.

In the United States, a nation of immigrants and one of the most diverse countries in the world, American soccer fans are no longer surprised to be outnumbered within their own stadiums. Its one of the reasons the American Outlaws and the Free Beer Movement were founded; to grow the sport here and grow our presence each game day. It's readily conceded that for matches against teams like Mexico and other nearby Central American nations the visitors will turn out in force.

On Saturday, however, the USMNT was betrayed by its own. Americans in Spain jerseys. Americans with Messi's name splashed across the back. Americans in Manchester United jerseys!
 

Let's play a game. How many DIFFERENT jerseys can you spot?

For high profile matches this is also not uncommon. But it is infuriating. Americans who seem to go out of their way NOT to support their country of birth.

Were many of those people from Spain living in the United States? Yes. Completely acceptable.

Were many of those people of Spanish-decent honoring their heritage? Yes. Also totally fine.

Were many of those people Americans of little connection to Spain or Spanish teams sporting the colors of World Cup, European Cup, and Champion's League winners? Yes. Not OK.

The beauty of the Spanish National Team was on full display on Saturday and the dominance of Barcelona a week earlier at Wembley against Manchester United in the Champion's League Final and we can appreciate the fact that both of these teams are probably the best example of the greatest of soccer in our day and, for many, represent what has brought them to the sport of soccer and created their connect to it.

If this is what soccer IS for you... super. If this is what you want to treat people to for the Free Beer Movement... go for it.

But we just cannot condone wearing those teams to our National Team games.

It isn't something jingoistic or Tea Party-fueled nationalism, but a enduring and deep love for this nation and the desire to see AMERICAN soccer succeed so we don't replicate Saturday's result again and again.

We own loads of soccer jerseys. Many different clubs from around the world. Many different National Teams as well. One from Honduras where we once lived. Another from the Netherlands, our ethnic roots, and even one from Hong Kong where a sister once visited. They are worn with regularity, but NEVER on a U.S. game day.

We get it. America likes winners. Spain and Barca are winners. Here's Sporting News' Brian Straus, post-game in the media zone:
 


As someone said to us on Twitter, "That kid, if alive in 1980 would have worn a USSR hockey jersey at Lake Placid."

That's the mentality for many soccer fans in America, "Maybe if the U.S. wins a few more games."

Sure this Spain game was a set up, but what else does the National Team have to do for some people?

Isn't qualifying for six straight World Cups good enough?

Paul Caligiuri's 1989 "Shot Heard Round the World" (to qualify the U.S. for its first World Cup in 40 years) didn't get ya?

Didn't our magical run to the 2002 quarterfinals and oh-so-close knock out to eventual finalist Germany grab you?

What about Landon Donovan's stoppage time game winner against Algeria last summer? Really? That didn't do it?

What will do it? Maybe the goal posts (for lack of a better term) keep moving for some soccer fans in America.

__________________________________________________
 

What is comes down to is really a choice. A choice where, today, right now, we can make an investment in American soccer and not just soccer in America. We've got an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of building American soccer and soccer in America. To invest, to spread, to share, to love through ourselves and through others and to others.

It's not perfect, but it is ours. It still has a long way to go, but as the Preamble of the Constitution states, "In order to form a more perfect union". We're working on it.

Spain and Barcelona and Liverpool and AC Milan are going to be just fine, but Major League Soccer and the U.S. National Team need your support because if American soccer fails.... soccer in America fails.

No more high-profile international friendlies. No more World Football Challenge. No more World Cups in the United States. It all dies.

We're not being dramatic. If Americans can't prove they're hungry for soccer (and watching loads of English Premier League on Fox Soccer doesn't count) then the clubs take their business elsewhere. They chase the China yuan or friendlies in Qatar.

The Free Beer Movement wants everyone to become fans and everyone's path to becoming a soccer fan is different. In the end, though, we want you to become American soccer fans. Even for us our first experience with soccer was Michael Owen and Liverpool, but more crucial to our development was the 1998 Men's World Cup and the 1999 Women's World Cup. Locked. Us. In.

That the natural evolution we're going for. Get into soccer. Get into American soccer. (And, of yeah, do it with beer!)

When the United States National Teams rolls into your town, fold up your other jerseys, and put on the red, white, and blue.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tags: American Outlaws, Making The Case, USMNT

A 12-Pack With…. Alexi Lalas

Alexi Lalas is a former U.S. National Team defender (96 caps), appearing in two World Cups and was U.S. Soccer's Male Player of the Year in 1995. Lalas was the first American to play in Italy in the modern-era and then returned to the United States to be a part of the group of high profile American soccer players to launch Major League Soccer. He's now an on-air commentator for ESPN.

Needless to say he's got an impressive soccer résumé and today he's answering our questions as a part of our "12-Pack" Interview Series.

Free Beer Movement: You were the first American in the modern-era to play in Italy. It was a time when very few Americans played abroad. What was it like to live and play there?

Alexi Lalas: I became a better player and a better person through the experience. At the time, Serie A was the biggest league in the world which meant that every Sunday I was facing world-class strikers. Adapting to the language, culture and the fishbowl that is soccer over there was not always easy but it gave me a life experience that still pays dividends to this day.

From a soccer perspective, it was incredible to see the tactical detail that is part of the Italian soccer DNA. The way we trained and prepared, and especially the way we organized defensively, was something I had never seen before. It made me look at the game and my position in a different way. It’s too bad that more Americans haven’t had the opportunity to pay in Italy, but Serie A has changed a lot and it’s no longer the league it once was.

FBM: What is it like to suit up for the National Team; to wear your country's colors? Explain that to some who will never get to have that experience.

AL: It’s hard to explain without using clichés. I believe that the inherent patriotism of Americans is fundamental to who we are. It’s often ridiculed or misunderstood, especially from the outside. But I think it’s the one of the characteristics that helps define us and helps unite us.

So when you’re given the opportunity, even through sport, to represent your country, you’re also representing everything that it stands for. I always took pride in that honor and responsibility. From the jersey, to the anthem to the performance, for me, it was ultimately about being an American and soccer was simply the vehicle.

FBM: What's your best memory playing for the U.S. National Team?

AL: World Cup 1994 changed my life. I lived the power of what a World Cup can do to an individual. It gave me credibility, opened doors and enabled me to have a career in soccer.

The win over Colombia at the Rose Bowl in front of 100K people will always be special. It was one of those “moments” that I’ll never forget.

FBM: In 1996 you returned to the U.S. to play for the New England Revolution and help break ground for Major League Soccer. What was it like to be a part of the early days of the league and resurrected professional soccer in America?

AL: MLS in the early days was like the Wild West, on and off the field. We were often making it up as we went along. But I think we made many more good than bad decisions.

One of the proudest moments of my life is being a part of the start of MLS and I think it will remain a source of pride when I’m old and grey. I’ve said it before, MLS is like la Cosa Nostra, it’s our thing. It’s not perfect, but it means everything to me.

FBM: This summer's World Cup was a watershed moment for American soccer in terms of how it broke through into the mainstream, if just for a few days, following the Algeria match. Where does American soccer go from here? How do we build on that moment? Not only the National Team, but the domestic league as well?

AL: We just keep chuggin’ along. I know we’re all looking for that magic bullet, and a successful World Cup certainly helps. But the success of soccer in the U.S. is going to come from a series of moments, some bigger than others, from which we continually step up to another level.

Sometimes we kick ourselves for what we have yet to achieve, but we also have to pat ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. We’ve got a long way to go and there are many things we need to improve, but I don’t think that any other country could have grown the sport as fast as we have.

FBM: You're a quality, but colorful commentator for ESPN. How are you enjoying your time at the World Wide Leader in Sports?

AL: Love it. I recognize that I’m in the entertainment business and I make no bones about it. My job is to be informative and entertaining. Finding the proper balance is what makes you good and finding it consistently is what makes you great. I’m not there yet, but I think I’m getting better. I’m paid to have an opinion, people don’t always agree with me, but that’s part of what makes it interesting and why I watch sports. I try to be objective and fair without losing the passion and energy that I think is needed to do this job. Hopefully I can keep doing it for many years.

FBM: Continuing on the topic of ESPN. Your network has gotten a bad rap for its perceived hostility towards soccer in the past, but with stepped up coverage of the English Premier League and, obviously, their phenomenal coverage of the World Cup this summer. Is that criticism misplaced? What about their coverage of Major League Soccer, though?

AL: You should always expect more from ESPN, we’re the “world-wide leader in sports”. But it it’s also a business and I think we all understand that soccer doesn’t yet generate the revenue that the other sports do.

This summer, for the first time, we gave the American public a World Cup that wasn’t dumbed down or diluted. We were inclusive and respected the fact that many people were watching simply for the event, but we didn’t hold people’s hands. This actually gave the World Cup more relevancy and credibility even for the casual viewer because it mirrored the way that other major sports are broadcast.

MLS is a problem. I’ll be honest; the MLS rating need to improve. We have to find a way to translate the excitement that we see in many markets to viewership. I know the proverbial chicken and egg argument about marketing/promotion and it’s legitimate, but we can’t simply look to ESPN to solve the problem; MLS has to figure out a way to make the league, the games and the players more relevant to the general public.

FBM: You spoke at the first-ever American Outlaws Rally in Las Vegas in March. What role do fans like the Outlaws play in the support of the team and the growth of the game here?

AL: It’s not lip service when I say that supporter’s groups like The American Outlaws are as important, and in many cases more so, than any of us who ever kicked a ball. They have sustained and nourished our sport through the lean years and, thanks in large part to the new media explosion, are starting to be real influencers.

I often talk about the soccer army that has been amassing over the years and now has started to come above ground. The battle has only just begun, but I like our odds. The soccer culture is unique and it is enticing to a generation that sees soccer as a legitimate American sport and not just a niche activity. The supporter’s groups are a big reason why the sport has survived, and an even bigger reason why it will thrive.

Less-Than-Serious-But-Just-As-Important-Questions


 

FBM: Do you ever give you brother, (MLSSoccer.com and Goal.com writer) Greg, a hard time for having a more successful soccer career than him?

AL: All the time. I routinely break him down until he’s a sniveling, broken shell of human being. Then I pump him back up and do it all over again…it’s really quite amusing. But I really do love him and he's 10 times the writer that I’ll ever be (but don’t tell him I said that).


FBM: You were famous for rocking some pretty epic facial hair during your playing career. What led to the decision to lose it? Too much for MLS boardrooms? Will it ever make a return, like a some sort-of band reunion tour?

AL: In 2000 I was in Sydney, Australia working the Olympics. On one of the last nights my girlfriend and I hit the town hard. We returned to the hotel and one thing led to another, I never back down from a dare from a beautiful woman. Now it should be noted that my then-girlfriend has since become my wife and mother to my children. Ah, the things we do for love.

As far a return of the goatee; maybe when we host another World Cup. It’ll be like when Cher recently sported her 1980’s era “Turn Back Time” outfit on the MTV Awards. I’m a sucker for nostalgia.

FBM: When you're not on camera what's your beer of choice?

AL: Guinness. Like a Porsche, there is no substitute.

FBM: 1994 U.S. World Cup jerseys.... ugliest shirts ever? What did you think back then?

AL: Yes, but also, I suppose, the most memorable. I think there was this notion that faux denim would be the next big fashion craze and that we would have been ahead of the curve…not so much.  The fact that we were able to succeed in spite of our horrendous attire is a testament to our team.

I’ll never forget the first time Bora (USMNT coach "Bora" Milutinović) saw the jersey, the man speaks 5 languages and he still couldn’t find the words to express his complete and utter disbelief. Of course it could have been worse; it could have actually been real denim!

Many thanks to Alexi for taking the time to answer our 12-pack of questions. We leave you all, dear readers, with Alexi's 1997 appearance on an ESPN SportsCenter commercial:

 

Tags: American Outlaws, Major League Soccer, Twelve-Pack Interview Series, USMNT, World Cup

12-Pack Interview Series: American Outlaws President Korey Donahoo

Site Note: This is the second in a series of interviews the FBM is doing with interesting and important people and ideas in American soccer. Read our first interview with Jesse Nechodom, soccer-hater-turned-soccer-lover with part 1 and part 2.

It's easy to forget that The American Outlaws are only two years old. The US National Team supporters group has taken the American soccer scene by storm with hundreds of members, dozens of chapters around the country, and take a no prisoners attitude. The AO and their chapters host dozens of viewing parties, tailgates, and match events around the country each year in support of the US National Team.
 
Several AO members and chapters are planning to head down to Honduras for that crucial CONCACAF clash on October 10th (if its still held there) and on October 14th they'll be loud and proud at RFK Stadium in Washington DC for the final "Hex" World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica (a match in which the FBM is skipping on their day job to fly out for!).
 
The Free Beer Movement had a chance to shoot a few questions over the AO President Korey Donahoo, who was nice enough to actually respond to them.
 
1) How did the Outlaws start? Where did the idea come from?
 
Just going to games, we saw a lack of consistency of events planned surrounding the game. Some games had killer tailgates, others had nothing planned, but there was always passionate fans looking to connect.
 
2) How have you been able to create a nation-wide following?
 
Consistency has been everything. Being at every game and having stuff set up for people to enjoy themselves for EVERY game has been the key, I think. Also, allowing people who want to get involved to pitch in, whether it be with designing shirts or starting their own chapter.
 
3) How many chapters do you have now? Where are they? What’s their function?
 
Off the top of my head, probably 15 or so. Their function is to unite fans from a certain area, let's say, Lincoln Nebraska, give those fans a place to meet for EVERY game, and a banner to display at the bar. Then, if that area were lucky enough to host a US game, (which Lincoln obviously won’t), the chapter gets to plan the national party.

 
4) What does US Soccer think about the Outlaws? What’s your connection with them?
 
US Soccer has been pretty helpful with certain aspects, mainly ticketing. They usually offer supporters section tickets at the best price and before general ticket sales, which has helped us a lot. There’s always room for our relationship to grow, but its been a good one thus far, overall.
 
5) What’s the current state of the union for American soccer (the game, the culture, the fan following, etc), in general?
 
There’s definitely a ground swell of new fans, a lot of which has to do with our success at the Confederations Cup. ESPN buying the English Premiership rights tells you everything you need to know…that it's only going to get bigger for the foreseeable future. I hope that Outlaws can help usher in some of these new fans, get them to a US game or two, and keep them coming back to support our boys.
 
6) What about the future for soccer in the United States?
 
It's bright, see #5…
 
7) One of my inspirations has been the passion I’ve seen when I’ve attending international matches abroad and the want to see that same passion in our stadiums in the US. How have your experiences been when travelling with the team in other countries? How does that influence you and the Outlaws?
 
Ironically, sometimes the best pro-US atmospheres I’ve experienced have been abroad. I’m thinking specifically of the 2nd world cup game against Italy in 2006. The camaraderie between US fans is something that never ceases to amaze me, and taking it abroad adds a new dimension. I’ll never forget the friendly against the English fans the night before US v England at Wembley, when we kicked their ass!
 
8) I was following your road trip to SLC on Twitter. Sounds like a lot of drinking and a few problems with your RV. Tell us some of the highlights and lowlights of the trip?
 
The highlights were everything related to the game itself. The camaraderie (we were broken down in Wyoming, and AO Houston drove almost 2 hours each way to pick us up, as well as getting a 2 hour ride back with complete strangers) was awesome. The tailgate was fun and intense, and the game ended with 3 points.
As for lowlights, everything related to the RV. 2 blown tires, breaking down in Wyoming and having to keep the windows open in order to not die of exhaust inhalation can be detrimental to any trip, even a US victory.
 
9) What sort of role do groups like the American Outlaws and the Free Beer Movement play in growing the sport?
 
Everybody likes feeling like part of a community, and then helping the community to grow in positive directions. We feel we follow the best team in the world, and we want our friends to share all the good times that it has brought us, and I think buying a skeptic a beer is a perfect way to usher in newbies.
 
10) What’s the beer of choice for the Outlaws?
 
Speaking for myself and Justin Brunken, the vice-President, Budweiser and PBR.
 
11) What’s next for the American Outlaws?
 
The World Cup (assuming we qualify) is going to be amazing. TenDot travel company in Lincoln has helped us with the logistics, and its going to be a wild ride. Until then, all the pretournament friendlies will be a great way to bring in new fans and prepare for South Africa.
 
 
Photo Credit: Taken from The Shin Guardian's post on AO's trip to Salt Lake City
 
Video Credit: AO

Tags: American Outlaws, Twelve-Pack Interview Series