Local / Union

The Selfish Fan

We should all get behind the US in this World Cup.

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But this isn’t one of those jingoistic freedom-fry rants. That would be as unnecessary as it would be distasteful—from the first capital and home of the Continental Congress comes a team draped in snakes and stars, hovered over by the bespectacled spirit of a man who tailgated the War for Independence with legendary aplomb. This should be sufficient to demonstrate the patriotism that abounds among Union fans.

But patriotism isn’t the motivation here.  Aside from the nationalist, there are far more self-serving, more Union-centric reasons to support the USMNT this World Cup.  In essence, the fate of our sport, and our team, depends on it.

The math is simple.The better the USA does in the World Cup, the more popular soccer becomes in this nation; as Americans tend to enjoy the things we’re successful in. Of course, the more popular soccer in general becomes, the better MLS gets in terms of cashflow, support, and eventually players and facilities. To understand the need for this, note that as you read this only four members of the USMNT have day jobs in the MLS. Four! The league has nowhere to go but up. And it only follows to logic that the better MLS gets, the better the Philadelphia Union gets, especially considering our ample head start in terms of fandom and enthusiasm.

To support the USA, then, is more than just another way to love your country. It’s an investment in the Union.

What American fans put into 2010 could pay dividends beyond our dreams come 2020. In fact, this World Cup could be the starting point for generations worth of love for the Beautiful Game in America. Barring any nuclear holocausts or robot attacks or Sarah Palin taking office, the future could indeed be bright for soccer-loving Yanks. That means that eventually the Union could occupy a place equal to or greater than that of the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers in the hearts of Philadelphians.

Think about that next time some drunken asshole starts up an E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!! chant.

In July.

At a funeral.

WE could be those assholes! Imagine a world in which the last American holdout has scoffed at soccer for the last time. A time when soccer pubs fill up on a Saturday nights—for soccer games—in American time zones! My Donovan boxer briefs are getting tighter just thinking about it. My LANDON Donovan boxer briefs. In the future I dream of, I wouldn’t even have to knit those myself.  They’d be flying off the shelves along with record-setting amounts of Union merchandise, blue and gold gear as ubiquitous as Phillies stuff is now.

So let’s light this fire. The USA’s chances have never been better. The current squad is by far one of the best we’ve ever fielded. If there was ever a time for the US to show up, it’s now o’clock.  The brass ring approaches. As the title itself is Spain’s to lose, international respect and a spot in the quarterfinals are ours.

Combine that potential with the most thoroughly globalized international complex of hyping, broadcasting, merchandising, and generally giving a shit in Earth’s history, and you have one hell of a chance for this great nation of ours to finally and fully integrate into the footy-loving soccosphere.

That rising tide will lift the Union’s boat like no other. Go USA. Go soccer. Go Union.

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