May 28, 2003

"We agree that the single best reason we can think of for supporting a foreign club, aside from an actual connection to the city, is a US international in their starting eleven." With these words, Round not Oval offers its "Discount Guide to Gloryhunting," advice for Americans seeking an excuse to begin rooting for an international football team. Suggestions so far: Ajax Amsterdam, Blackburn Rovers, and Tottenham Hotspur.

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:48 AM - 18 comments

I support teams that play well or have a player that is outstanding...

posted by StarFucker at 10:33 AM on May 28, 2003

The only foreign club I support is the Cincinnati Bengals. The fact that they are comically bad only helps. I could never support a club just because they are successful. For Americans looking for a club to support, Reading and Preston in the first division have American players.

posted by salmacis at 10:47 AM on May 28, 2003

I think Brad Friedel definitely meets the outstanding player qualification.

posted by trox at 10:48 AM on May 28, 2003

I love Friedel, but not b/c he's USian. He's just a damned fine player, and his playing for Rovers gives me a soft spot for them. Not loyalty, but I'd root for them over most EPL teams. On the flip side of the coin, I really don't care for Casey. I can't pinpoint why, but he just seems like an ass. I wouldn't root for the Spurs for that reason though. I hold my loyalty to Newcastle because A) they're the only team that I've seen play live (friendly against Juventus) and B) I love that city. It was by far my favorite on my journeys through England (but I still prefer Glasgow over Newcastle overall). I could never support a club just because they are successful. I'm the same way. Often times, prolonged success for a club or team will sway me to root against them. For one, I find dynasties terribly boring. For another, I nearly always will root for an underdog in a big match.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:13 AM on May 28, 2003

Well then, you should all support Liverpool! They're not terribly successful. And they're neighbors with a team that's had a US player (McBride) recently. And sometimes they're outstanding. In fact, some players (Heskey) are just out standing in the field. Also, if you don't support Liverpool, you are losers. Looooserrrrs!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2003

Let’s stop kidding ourselves. What should I say as my Spurs façade melts away? “There’s only one team in North London.” Yes, it's Arsenal. Friedel is a great player. Probably the best keeper in the Premiership. I would say that's as good a reason as any for an American to root for an EPL team. Anything rather than following the glory route and supporting Man U.

posted by squealy at 12:13 PM on May 28, 2003

You are just joking about Heskey aren't you worldcup? Are you just trying to piss me off?

posted by StarFucker at 01:09 PM on May 28, 2003

I'm shopping for a team -- a friend of mine is a Sheffield Wednesday fan, and the whole relegation/promotion thing is great. However, I can't adopt a front-runner -- and I'm putting all of the top division teams in that category. I want a team one or two divisions down that hasn't been promoted in a decade but is starting to show promise. I have to suffer for a while to enjoy fan success. Living in Denver and adopting the Avalanche when they won a Cup so quickly was no fun.

posted by rcade at 01:09 PM on May 28, 2003

SF: Read it again. I was taking the mickey out of Heskey. I thought you'd laugh at that. Read it again: "... Heskey is out [space] standing in the field"... Once again, my subtle humor is wasted on the Fooker.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:10 PM on May 28, 2003

rcade, you should support Wolves. Fat Buddha, squealy, trox and BigCalm would love you for it. Really.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:11 PM on May 28, 2003

rcade, maybe you should have a look at Cardiff. They just won the play off final to go up into the first division and although they have a history of flattering to deceive they might just fit your criteria. They have a potentially massive fan base, may be moving into a new ground, are owned by an absolute idiot who performed wonders with Wimbledon. and are managed astutely by a bloke who has been around the block once or twice. One thing is for sure, it aint gonna be dull; I might even make a few trips to Ninian Park, or wherever myself. The bloke who used to be their head of security, butgot sacked for being a top boy in the soul crew, just got arrested for setting the fire alarm off in the QPR hotel at 3 a.m on the morning of the play off final.

posted by Fat Buddha at 04:58 PM on May 28, 2003

I was going to suggest Cardiff too but I hate them almost as much as I hate Wolves. They do however have the potential to be challenging for promotion to the Premiership within the next few years. Hopefully this will jinx the bastards.

posted by squealy at 05:10 PM on May 28, 2003

Or going straight back down with egg all over their faces. I have always found them particularly charmless to tell the truth and couldn't be arsed going down even when for ten years, wherever I lived, it was never more than half hour by public transport from the ground, and most of the time it was in walking distance. Last week everyone I met claimed to be a diehard Bluebird which got on my nerves as I knew for a fact these tossers never, ever went to a game. But... I am mellowing towards them as they get more barking and as their decline makes our history look positively halcyon. Plus they would seem perfect for rcades purposes. Having said I am mellowing I was absolutely gutted when they won on Sunday.

posted by Fat Buddha at 06:46 PM on May 28, 2003

FB: Last week everyone I met claimed to be a diehard Bluebird What's a Bluebird? Sounds like an old Toyota.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:27 PM on May 28, 2003

Old Nissan actually. And Cardiff City's nickname. But you knew that, right?

posted by squealy at 03:09 AM on May 29, 2003

rcade: Sounds like you're trying to get onboard just at the start. So when they're big you can say, "I supported them when they were in the Nationwide!" Sorry, that's cheating. You have to pick someone who appears to be hopeless now and suffer for 10 years until the pendulum swings the other way! Seriously, if you want someone with potential in the first division, I'd say the options are: 1) Cardiff. Pro: Large city, could potentially survive in the Premiership, Money, Promise of new ground Con: Dilapilated ground, fans have a bad reputation. Just been promoted, so it's a bad time to start supporting them! 2) Reading. Pro: Nice stadium, American goalkeeper, Money Con: Stadium may be a bit small. Not really a footballing hotbed, as the locals all supported London clubs until a couple of years ago. 3) Wigan Pro: Nice stadium, Money Con: Hardly any fans. Slap bang in the middle of rugby league country. Just been promoted, (see Cardiff) 4) Sunderland Pro: Best club ground in England, lots of support, just been relegated, so a good time to start supporting them! Con: Money - may not be back in Premership for a while, fickle fans Also worth considering: West Ham, West Brom, Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Sheffield United, Ipswich Town, Norwich City Wouldn't recommend: Crystal Palace, Burnley, Coventry, Preston, Stoke, Watford Don't touch with a bargepole unless you're a masochist: Walsall, Crewe, Rotherham, Gillingham, Millwall, Wimbledon, Bradford

posted by salmacis at 07:59 AM on May 29, 2003

Something else to think about concerning Sunderland, Claudio Reyna (at least for the moment) still is on their payroll.

posted by trox at 09:15 AM on May 29, 2003

Claudio Reyna is on the health plan is more like it. He's been in hospital more than he's been on the field.

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:51 PM on May 29, 2003

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