During Hispanic Heritage Month, we wanted to feature a few of our members who keep our chapters and organization running from coast to coast.
Pictured: Leslie Chavez, right, with the AOLA family.
Social Media, AOLA
How’d you get into soccer in general, and eventually the U.S. National Teams?
I grew up in a soccer-obsessed family. Every weekend, my dad would have the TV on games; he played in rec leagues too. But my fondest soccer memory is of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. I was on summer break, so my mom and I watched the games. I remember the badass ’99ers playing it with their all, and I was in love.
What got you into AO, and when?
I joined AO in 2009; I watched the World Cup qualifiers that year from home and saw the fans at them, and thought that was cool. What sold me was the 9th minute salute to Charlie Davies at RFK versus Costa Rica after his injury. It was amazing seeing fans come together for a player.
Tell us about your experiences at U.S. away matches!
I’ve only been to one so far – the last WCQ in Mexico City (June 2017). It was the most amazing time, from the people there to the food. I love soccer, but the most beautiful thing about it is the people behind it. And Mexico is truly a soccer country. Overall, people were excited for the games and welcoming to us “gringos.” I remember seeing a dad point at us when we entered the stadium and tell his young child, “Do you see them [the American Outlaws]? They came from far away to support their team.” That’s what it’s all about.
What does the AO family mean to you?
A chosen family. These aren’t people who have blood ties, but I know they are there in good times and bad times. I’ve been to AO weddings, baby showers and birthday parties. The people I’ve met are very special to me. I wouldn’t change it.