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WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE AN AMERICAN 'SOCCER' LOVER?

Updated: Mar 8, 2019




Americans are normally pretty good at the things they try; fast food, faking moon landings, war. But football, or soccer as our cousins from across the Atlantic like to call it, has been a little bit of a slow burner.


However, more recently, Americans are starting to embrace the beautiful game and are even emulating English Football Culture. In the beginning, the country imported players and coaches; but now, it's adopting some fanatical practices more commonly found in Wigan than Washington.


So to find out what's going on we had a chat with Gyorgi who self identifies as a "Cringey American Club Shop Wearing Whopper" on Twitter. When we say 'identifies', we don't mean literally. We assume he identifies as a male, but it's 2019 and YOU can NEVER be too sure.


Anyway, wanna get inside the bonce of American soccer/football fan? Keep reading, BUDDY.


FA: How did you get into football?


Gyorgi: My parents are Armenian immigrants so football was a very normal part of life. We'd have some games on the Spanish language channels because those would be the only ones showing football. It wasn't until World Cup 94 where the game became a little more available and we had the start of MLS in 96. All of this helped maintain my interest.


FA: Is it true Americans love bicycle kicks?


Gyorgi: Yes. Definitely true. Basically, the only reason we watch it here. And why most Americans are left disappointed with the sport.


FA: Football has a lot to compete with in America - Hockey, Basketball, American Football, Politics. Just how big is the MLS over there?


Gyorgi: It's still a niche league but it's growing rapidly. Especially with the younger generation. The availability of football on TV and with the help of the internet has definitely raised the game from being what many Americans felt was a 'girls game', to seeing the passion, excitement, and talent that it involves. We have a bunch of new MLS teams breaking attendance records. The interest in football is definitely there. Most recently we saw the success of Atlanta selling out games in their American Football stadium in a city that isn't necessarily known for its 'soccer' love.


FA: What's bigger in the States? The Premier League or Bundesliga?


Gyorgi: I'd be pretty confident in saying the Premier League has the interest of Americans. It's the most exciting league in the world. But La Liga (mainly Madrid and Barca) also have a huge following out here. Mainly in Hispanic markets. I'm sure language plays a part in both cases.


FA: You've been to England to see Everton at Goodison Park. What did you think and did it meet your expectations?


Gyorgi: They always say don't meet your heroes because they may let you down. That was one of my fears of going to Goodison Park. I had such an image in my head about Everton, Goodison, and Evertonians, that I was afraid it wasn't going to live up to my expectations. But it did. And it completely surpassed it. Evertonians truly are a special family. I came home with part of my heart left in Liverpool. I couldn't believe the hospitality, friendliness and care of Evertonians towards me. I would have to admit that the atmosphere at Goodison was a bit of a letdown. This was our 2nd home game in the Koeman era and we played a crap game against Stoke, so it would make sense. But to be honest, I was so excited that I was there that it really didn't matter what happened on the pitch.


FA: What's your match-day ritual like?


Gyorgi: I barely sleep the night before, wake up at 6 AM, shower, get dressed, wake up my son, get him dressed, and be at the pub with the local Evertonians by 7 AM. Also, lots of cursing and Guinness.


FA: Do you ever feel that a bit sad at the jokes European football fans make at the expense of Americans?


Gyorgi: I do think that many of the jokes people make about Americans and football are warranted, however, I also think that many jokes can be made of European supporters. I've found that if you're an American into football, you're generally not just a casual fan. Generally, most Americans that are in to football are pretty knowledgable. Europeans I think get shocked to find that is the case. There's the language thing and the terminology that gets in the way of taking some of us seriously. We say 'soccer', 'goalie', 'offence', and 'Primeeeer League', and that doesn't help.


FA: Who would Donald Trump support?


Gyorgi: Most would think he'd support Chelsea because they're rich, owned by Russians, and known to be racist. But I think he'd support Palace. They have cheerleaders, so he'd like them a lot.


Follow Gyorgi on Twitter: @TweetGyorgi



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