Top Ten Moments of 2013
&nbsp; <h2>100 Chapters and Growing!</h2> With the USMNT’s passage to Brazil secure after victory in Columbus it was time to party in Kansas City. Since its founding in 2007 American Outlaws grew slowly, but surely adding chapters here and there in most of the United States’ major cities. Following the 2010 World Cup we exploded. From sea to shining seas and (literally) everywhere in between you can find an AO chapter nearby. In KC we announced our 100<sup>th</sup> chapter, nearby Wichita, Kansas, at our night before party with Taylor Twellman and Alexi Lalas on the bar with us at Johnny’s. If you asked any of us six years ago that we’d be standing on a bar with two former U.S. players welcoming our 100<sup>th</sup> chapter then we’d tell you… “Duh, of course.” Just kidding. This has been amazing. And it has been through the incredible work of all of our chapter leaders and members that have sustained this great organization and will propel us towards the next hundred chapters. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7159” alt=“100 AO Chapter Banner” src=“” width=“563” height=“179” /></a> <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7127” alt=“1380532_10100436037454444_460290100_n” src=“” width=“576” height=“432” /></a> &nbsp; <h2>Dos a Cero Otra Vez</h2> &nbsp; It couldn’t have ended any other way. It’s just what we do. “Welcome to Columbus… here’s your 2-0 loss, Mexico. Now go home. Four times. Four times. Mexico has waltzed into Crew Stadium during World Cup qualifying and left with a two-goal drubbing. The actors both on-and-off the field may change, but, at least, for another four years, the legend remains. Winning in Columbus is just what we do. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7369” alt=“1264176_10151887338779399_1575631172_o” src=“” width=“491” height=“277” /></a> <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7370” alt=“1274569_10151887334274399_518373268_o” src=“” width=“491” height=“160” /></a> &nbsp; &nbsp; <h2>Abby Wambach’s scoring record</h2> (USWNT No. 1 in the world five years straight) Abby Wambach is women’s soccer most prolific goal scorer. On June 20, 2013 she scored four goals to break Mia Hamm’s previous mark of 158 goals and finished the year with 163 goals. A vocal AO section was there to celebrate the moment at Red Bull Arena and we’re proud of how American Outlaws chapters around the country have stepped up to support the USWNT when they’ve come to town in the last year. The growth of AO at our women’s national team matches is one that we’re really proud of and we’ll be behind them as qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup beings next year. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7371” alt=“Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach” src=“” width=“491” height=“263” /></a> &nbsp; &nbsp; <h2>Gold Cup Champions</h2> Sure it wasn’t to qualify for the Confederations Cup or that each squad brought their B-teams, but every two years CONCACAF’s top prize is up for grabs and in 2013 the U.S. national team, yet again, inscribed their name to that bizarre triangular trophy. This was a tournament that saw the USMNT outscore their opponents 20-4 en route to our fifth regional title. This was a tournament that saw Landon Donovan return to the starting eleven, Wondo(w)lowski using the power of an extra W to fuel the team, and Brek Shea (yup… he’s still alive) score the game-winner in Chicago for all the spoils against (where were you Mexico!?!?!) Panama. It doesn’t wash the bad taste of 2011 and the Rose Bowl out of our mouths completely, but, in combination with our top-of-the-table World Cup qualification, it continues to solidify that the U.S. is the region’s top soccer-ing nation. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-6728” alt=“Gold Cup Facebook We have the cup” src=“” width=“510” height=“189” /></a> &nbsp; <h2>Qualifying for the 2014 World Cup</h2> And if there are people whining about how the Gold Cup didn’t prove that the U.S. is currently the top team in the region we can point to qualifying for the World Cup at the top of the Hex for the second straight cycle. The task was not easy, but once again our boys in the red, white, and blue triumphed. On the road we suffered in San Pedro Sula and San Juan, but stole a win in Jamaica and Panama while holding firm at Azteca. At home we were invincible all the way from snowy Denver to flag-filled Kansas City with a massive crowd in Seattle, a sweltering Salt Lake City and a familiar foe (and result) in Columbus in between. As we’ve said many, many times over: “We are going to Brazil!” <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7372” alt=“1256500_10151691738968883_1082580407_n” src=“” width=“461” height=“461” /></a> &nbsp; &nbsp; <h2>US Soccer’s Centennial</h2> It’s fitting that we celebrated our centennial chapter milestone in the same year that U.S. Soccer celebrated its own Centennial. From an ambitious founding in 1913 to the “Miracle on Grass” in 1950, sustaining soccer in the U.S. before we qualified for the World Cup in 1990 and then hosting it in 1994, and in 2013 qualifying for our sixth straight World Cup. U.S. Soccer has helped ushered in an era where our women’s team is ranked number one in the world for five years running, our youth national teams are churning out top prospect, and our domestic leagues (and tournaments like the U.S. Open Cup) are stronger than ever. We’re proud to be a part of American soccer’s amazing history and looking forward to making more for the next one hundred years. [caption id=“attachment_6238” align=“alignnone” width=“461”]<a href=“”><img class=” wp-image-6238 ” alt=“100 Years, 1 Country” src=“” width=“461” height=“307” /></a> 100 Years, 1 Country[/caption] [caption id=“attachment_7382” align=“alignnone” width=“461”]<a href=“”><img class=” wp-image-7382” alt=“292604_10152871962695029_488290707_n” src=“” width=“461” height=“346” /></a> -photo by Josh McPhail[/caption] &nbsp; &nbsp; <h2>Tifo Galore</h2> In American soccer circles the American Outlaws are a household name. For years, despite coordinated chants, massive numbers, and even a giant banner we often went on anonymously behind the goal. Today Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman sing our praises on the ESPN broadcasts. But our members weren’t just satisfied with name recognition Our chapters stepped up and in 2013 prepared some of the most impressive tifos that we’ve ever seen. The unbelievable amount of time (and money) that these local chapters put in was beyond impressive. We’ve raised the bar for national team fan support. Just wait until Brazil. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7373” alt=“945659_10151516747583883_1909586838_n” src=“” width=“461” height=“346” /></a> <h2></h2> <h2>De Nada Mexico</h2> (Sorry Panama) Rivalries are good. An opponent you love to beat and hate to lose to is a strong motivator. No one would question the fact that Mexico is most definitely the United States biggest rival. How weird is it then, that after owning 2013 against Mexico that we had to bail them out in order to get to Brazil and the 2014 World Cup? That’s just a whole other level of “owning”. But that’s exactly what happened on the last day of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The U.S. faced Panama with nothing on the line (but pride) while Mexico needed a win to book their place in Brazil. El Tri couldn’t even do their part losing 2-1 to Costa Rica. Ever the kind souls the U.S. scored twice in stoppage time eliminating <i>Los Canaleros</i> and allowing our southern neighbors to get into Brazil via a playoff with New Zealand. You’re welcome. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7374” alt=“602447_10151761467458883_479723959_n” src=“” width=“378” height=“249” /></a> &nbsp; <h2>Road Warriors</h2> (Traveling AOs win, lose or draw) American soccer fans have traveled to U.S. away matches for years, but this qualifying cycle American Outlaws and our partners at TenDot made it safer, easier and more fun than ever before. Just one look at the away crowd for our qualifiers showed that AO is making its presence known not only at home (done and done), but abroad as well. Win, lose, or draw we were there for our team. Guys like Chris Cloud, Kevin Joseph, Dale Houdek, and Jack Closson who were at EVERY World Cup qualifier in the Hex. &nbsp; [caption id=“attachment_7375” align=“alignnone” width=“576”]<a href=“”><img class=” wp-image-7375” alt=“992858_10151613008433895_1249090393_n brian kramer” src=“” width=“576” height=“154” /></a> -photo by Brian Kramer[/caption] &nbsp; [caption id=“attachment_7376” align=“alignnone” width=“461”]<a href=“”><img class=” wp-image-7376” alt=“482339_933520325800_455160697_n” src=“” width=“461” height=“346” /></a> -photo by Garrett Quinn[/caption] &nbsp; <h2>In Jurgen We Trust</h2> It didn’t start out the prettiest, but the “Jurgen Klinsmann era” is certainly on a roll now. In 2013 the United States men’s national team won a record 12 matches in a row on it’s way to 16 victories on the year (also a record). The USMNT won the Gold Cup, topped their World Cup qualifying group, while notching friendly wins over Bosnia &amp; Herzegovina and Germany. Klinsmann has integrated a number of German-Americans into the squad while bringing aboard new prospects like Aron “the Iceman” Johannsson, Graham Zusi, and Matt Besler. Klinsmann just inked a four-year contract extension and will guide us to Brazil and beyond. We’re behind you all the way Klinsy. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-7377” alt=“Jurgen Klinsmann” src=“” width=“491” height=“327” /></a> &nbsp; ————————- <h1><span style=“text-decoration: underline;”>+2 More:</span></h1> &nbsp; <h2>Snowstarica Game</h2> The U.S. got the must needed 3 points in, most likely, the most interesting game you have either attended or seen, ever. Rain, Wind, Snow, or Shine – We will be there. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-5822” alt=“hi-res-164355989_crop_exact” src=“” width=“390” height=“264” /></a> &nbsp; <h2>AO Beer Outreach Day!</h2> In partnership with the the Free Beer Movement, 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 unaffiliated fans or newbies to get them to join in the excitement of the journey to Brazil in 2014. <a href=“”><img class=“alignnone wp-image-6160” alt=“AO_FBM_BeerOutreach_FBCover1 logos” src=“” width=“510” height=“189” /></a> &nbsp; —————— <h2>To more great moments and the U.S. taking on the world in 2014!</h2> <h1>#UniteAndStrengthen</h1> - written by Dan Wiersema, AO Austin, TX
January 01, 2014