Now that they have a fighting chance of turning this great world pursuit into an American pastime, should they behave the way European fans do and risk coming across as pretentious and patronizing, similar to people who lecture their drinking buddies about what grapes were grown in what soil in what year? Or is there some potentially happy way of incorporating European traditions into a new American fan style?
“I’m not going to pretend that we don’t beg, borrow and steal from all cultures,” said Dan Wiersema, the Outlaws’ head of communications (yes, they have a head of communications). “One of the great things about being a soccer fan in the United States, which fits in with America in general, is its diversity. We try to incorporate as much Hispanic and Latino and Anglo and European styles of support as much as we can, because we can learn from cultures that have a lot more experience being soccer fans.”
Kevin O’Brien, 28, a nursing student well into his beer-drinking program before the game began, said: “This is new for us, so obviously we’re taking it from somewhere. I would say that calling it a pitch is not pretentious, it’s respectful. It seems disingenuous to refer to it as a soccer field.”