Travelling to the good ol’ US of A in the next few weeks? Worried you might miss the World Cup? Sick of being stereotyped as a loutish British fan abroad? Don’t fret. Icelolly is here with the ultimate guide to watching the World Cup like a genuine American Soccerball fan.
You might think that by choosing a holiday to America you will have avoided any problems with the language barrier. Unfortunately when it comes to football or ‘soccer’, this is far from the case. Get practising your best Yankee accent and learn the American translation for these essential football phrases:
Oh and he’s hit the post!
Rebound off the vertical!
He’s blasted it into the top right corner!
Unstoppable slapshot for the 3 pointer. Swoosh!
Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the pies?
Who ate all the fries? Who ate all the fries?
Football in America is bigger than you might think. American soccer fans are fiercely proud of their sport in a country dominated by Gridiron, Baseball, Basketball and Ice-Hockey. As such, the atmosphere they create when they get behind their national team is second to none. But how do you win the trust of the locals and join in with the hysteria this summer?
To them you are just another arrogant Brit here to lecture them about their lack of football knowledge. To make sure you win them over there are three key things to remember when engaging an American soccer fan in conversation:
1) Respect their footballing heritage – don’t forget Becks, Best and even Pele have all played for American teams.
2) Think about the amount of passion and dedication they have towards a game they still don’t know the proper name of.
3) Alexi Lalas
Name: Alexi Lalas
Nickname: Red Bull, The Ginger Giant
Clubs: Padova, New England Revolution, Emelec, MetroStars, Kansas City, Los Angeles Galaxy
International Caps: 96
Need to know: Bearded ginger rock at the heart of the USA’s defence for the majority of the 90s. What he lacked in skill he more than made up for in beard.
What to mention: His 44 appearances and 3 goals for Padova in Italy’s Serie A. His secret life as a rockstar – his band even toured with 90s legends Hootie and the Blowfish
What not to mention: Arsenal. Alexi suffered the humiliation of an unsuccessful trial with the North London giants in 1992. Ginger clashes with red anyway.
When watching the world cup abroad it’s vital to know a little about your host country’s history in the great competition. Recent world cups haven’t been too kind to the American national team. Despite consistently qualifying for the finals of the tournament, their best result remains the 8th place they achieved in 2002.
However as any footy fan will tell you, winning a grudge match can mean so much more than titles and trophies. Unfortunately for England fans, the one the Americans always remember is the humiliating defeat of England in 1950. Taking place in the group stages of the World Cup in Brazil (let’s hope there is no repeat this time around!), a team of semi-professionals and amateurs secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over an England team that included legends like Stan Mortensen, Billy Wright and Tom Finney.
Despite the embarrassing defeat, it's worth reminding any smug American fans that our Right Back on that day was a sluggish and unassuming Tottenham player named Alf Ramsey, who just 16 years later would be managing the England team to World Cup victory. Stick that in your hotdog and eat it!
The Americans are pioneers at finding new ways to combine sports with snacking. The key to fitting in is to ‘go big or go home’. Invest in as many novelty food related items as possible and never say no to another round. The true American soccer fan will always have a belly full of burgers and a hat full of beer. God bless America.
Icelolly compare deals to destinations all over the USA. From swanky city breaks in New York to magical Disney holidays in Orlando, the USA has something to offer football fans and sun-seekers alike. Why not book today and experience the excitement of watching the World Cup abroad this summer?
By Mark Pollock - World Cup Addict / Makelele Role