For the people in America that think soccer will never get big, news flash: it already is. The American Outlaws are the supporters of both the men’s and women’s national soccer teams. The group started out small in Nebraska, of all places, but there are now official chapters available across the country. With the World Cup coming, and the USMNT in the “Group of Death,” the support of US fans is now more important than ever. This video is an awesome look at how dedicated these fans are, and it’s a very welcome site to see for those of us who have been patiently waiting for soccer to explode in the US.
Despite a win in Denver against China PR this weekend, it was announced today that Tom Sermanni was out as the USWNT Head Coach. U.S. Soccer Director of Development Jill Ellis will serve as interim head coach, starting with the USA’s next match against China PR on April 10 in San Diego. Didn’t really see this one coming, but I guess it’s better to do this sort of thing sooner rather than later when World Cup qualifying begins later this year.
The USWNT played their first of two games against China PR this weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods park in Denver, Colorado. 14,903 fans showed up to watch the USWNT get the ‘W’ as Lauren Holiday put the first goal in during the 39th minute. Megan Rapinoe netted the second goal in the 78th minute. The second game against China PR will be on Thursday, April 10th at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
The team seemed to be in good spirits while training in Colorado.
The USMNT took on Mexico Wednesday night in an emotionally charged match that lived up to the rivalry of these two neighboring teams. The first half was all about US domination. Michael Bradley commanded the midfield with a great goal in the 15th minute and an assist to Wondolwski’s goal in the 28th minute. The first half ended “Dos a Cero” for the USMNT, but Mexico wasn’t about to go down that easily. Marquez scored a goal for Mexico 4 minutes into the second half, and Mexico tied up the game in the 67th minute with a goal from Alan Pulido. The last minutes of the game continued to thrill, as Eddie Johnson scored a goal in the 85th minute to put the US side ahead, but the goal was then called offside by the linesman. After some TV replays everyone could see that the linesman got the call wrong. But that’s just how it goes for the USMNT. Sometimes they just can’t seem to catch a break.
Other notable news: the men’s team was in the recently unveiled away kits for the first time. It seems like everyone has mixed opinions on this kit as well. However, we’ll take what we can get because I think this kit is a whole lot better than the golf shirt home jersey. Julian Green also made his debut for the USMNT.
It seems that Nike has redeemed themselves a little bit with the release of the USA away kit for both the USMNT & USWNT. They received some criticism for the home kit, which many thought looked like more of a golf shirt than a soccer jersey. The away jersey is predominately red, with the white and blue stripes around the upper torso and collar of the shirt. We had some debates in the office about how they would put the number on the front of the jersey, and it seems that they are placing the white number below the white stripe (we thought it might be blue inside that white stripe). The use of red continues through the shorts and socks of the away kit, which gives the USA a more aggressive & patriotic look.
Nike also released an awesome campaign using some famous fans of the USA National team including filmmaker Spike Lee, California musicians HAIM, DJ/producer Diplo, and skateboarder Eric Koston. Also included: football players Andrew Luck and Ndamukong Suh, skateboarder Sean Malto, track and field gold medalist Allyson Felix, and former U.S. National Team member Alexi Lalas. The USMNT are scheduled to wear the away kit for half of their games in the World Cup, and we’ll have to see if they wear it in their rivalry against Mexico tomorrow, April 2nd.
The USMNT is set to play a three game send-off series as they approach the World Cup in June. The team will start their World Cup training camp in mid-May, and it will be an important period for head coach Klinsmann as he will be finalizing the roster before heading to Brazil. The Men’s team also recently debuted their new Nike Home kits, and the away kit will be revealed soon.
May 27th versus Azerbijan at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
June 1st versus Turkey at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
June 7th versus Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.
The USWNT recently finished up the Algarve Cup with a 3-0 win against Korea DPR, putting them in 7th overall for the tournament. Abby Wambach scored two goals and Heather O’Reilly scored a goal in her 200th cap, making her the 9th USWNT player to get to 200. The WNT’s next two games will be against China PR on April 6th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. and April 10th at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.