Welcome to the second edition of Faces in the Crowd where The Yanks Are Coming profiles fans of the USMNT. This month we have Jennifer from California, who is a businesswoman, mother of two and one helluva soccer fan. Getchya popcorn ready and get comfortable, it’s time to meet our February Face in the Crowd…
Q: How’d you become a soccer fan?
Jennifer: I married a lifetime fan of the Mexican National team who supports Chivas Guadalajara. He also doubles as a soccer encyclopedia! (NOT exaggerating) He has a true love for the beautiful game and enjoys watching a good match no matter what colors they are wearing! It’s kind of funny, but I used to get mad that all he wanted to do was watch soccer, soccer news and listen to soccer news on the radio. Eventually I started getting tickets to LA Galaxy games through work and once I experienced live soccer I realized that it was a pretty decent family activity, although I wasn’t connected quite yet. Me being me, I started reading and networking and even befriended a sports writer who tipped me off that the next MLS expansion team would be a sister to my husband’s Chivas… only it would be called Chivas USA! That’s when it started clicking for me; it was still Chivas for my husband, but USA style for me! That was the first time I told my husband something soccer related that he didn’t know! We became season ticket holders and the rest is history, I became hooked forever!
Any funny soccer stories either at a game or just watching it at a bar?
Jennifer: I’d have to say the funniest soccer story was a time where Chivas USA had a home game and Chivas GDL had a big game on TV. Since we were season ticket holders, we normally DVR the TV game and opt for the live soccer, but this was a really big game for Chivas GDL and my husband insisted that we stay home and watch it. Needless to say I was slightly disappointed with this choice… So we were doing that thing where you switch back and forth between two games and let’s just say it was a little tense in the room. It went really wrong from there as my Chivas scored a goal and I missed it. The next thing you knew we were screaming and yelling at each other and somehow the table in the center of the room along with everything on it was flipped over kersplat! Crash! Who knew I had so much strength? We both started laughing after that. He said this is ridiculous, we’re about to kill each other over soccer.
You’re tailgating or pregaming for a soccer game, what are you getting into?
Jennifer: I’m not sure I understand this question, but really being a family we don’t do the tailgating. Someday, though, I would like to experience it! After donning all the red and white (or orange – but that’s a whole other story) I can find we pile in the car for our journey. We’re a little more than an hour away from the stadium so we usually leave pretty early. I like to get to my seat in time to see the guys warm up.
What makes soccer so much better than other sports?
Jennifer: To me soccer is the best sport for a few reasons. The fans are so passionate and dedicated. You always know almost to the minute how long it will last. Many of the players make themselves accessible; as in on social networking sites and actually talking to their fans, and they’ll stop occasionally to autograph things at the stadium before or after a game. Besides all that soccer is the only sport I have actually dreamt of good plays and players!
Are you a soccer mom? If so, what’s that like?
Jennifer: My kids have been playing since they could walk. Of course we had them in AYSO since they were four and six. My older son, who is now 14, seems to have a soccer ball attached to his foot most of the time. If he could just get that speed up he would really be an amazing player. I swear I’m not one of those moms that just think my kids are the best; several people have stopped to ask if we were Ian’s parents because they wanted us to know he had some good moves! One person even said he reminded him of the way Pele played. My 12 year old also still plays; I will never forget the proud feeling when I watched him block a PK!
The Yanks have just won a big game and you’re celebrating on a Saturday night, what are your plans?
Jennifer: After chattering through the ride home we often rewatch the game. Is that silly? Well, at least the good saves and the goals. It seems that when you’re LIVE you missed certain nuances that you can only catch with the different angles the camera gives it. Celebration would include a good meal and beverages.
Why do you think soccer isn’t as popular in the U.S. as say England?
Jennifer: I’d say that soccer has come a long way in the US, but it’s still pretty new here compared to football and basketball. If you look at English Soccer, it’s something that’s been around and developing for almost 200 years. England is smaller than the US so maybe there’s less distraction there? Haha. It’s hard to say! I’m pretty sure once our USMNT win the World Cup, it will be all the rage here!
How would you describe the typical female USMNT fan?
Jennifer: Typical? Most ladies I know wouldn’t want to be described as typical! Honestly, though, before I found Twitter I thought I was the only female US Soccer fan! I’m impressed with how many other ladies out there live and breathe US Soccer.
You’re playing a pickup game of soccer against one USMNT player. Who is joining you on the pitch?
Jennifer: That’s a tough question. Would I pick a player who’s best at defending so that no balls could pass us or a player who can score enough to offset any goals that may have slipped through? I’d have to say I would go with the latter and have Brian Ching out there (sorry haters, I know my team is Chivas and he’s a Dynamo) but he’s my favorite player!
Are you headed to South Africa? If not, what are your plans?
Jennifer: Hmm…Unless I find a sudden windfall of money I won’t be able to attend the World Cup games. I will certainly be watching them, whether I have to use up my sick time or vacation time or happen to be at a clients pub where the game is being played. I will watch them and live (sort of).
What’s the best piece of USMNT/Soccer gear that you own and how’d you obtain it?
Jennifer: My favorite piece of US Soccer gear is a beautiful red, white and blue jacket (as shown in the picture). I won by retweeting messages on Twitter from the really awesome @YanksAreComing. Go Yanks!
[Editor’s note] The aforementioned statement made by Jennifer was in no way, cough, encouraged by The Yanks Are Coming.