I’ve been in love with soccer since the first time I played in a match as a child. For a while, US soccer culture, to me, embodied patriotism and pride.
I remember the rush of dispossessing opposing players with a well-timed slide tackle on the dew-slicked grass. The thrill of jumping in the air to win a header. The pride I felt upon scoring my first goal.
I look back fondly at every bruise, every agonizing ball or boot-to-testicle collision that left me gasping for breath. I still vividly recall the sensation of removing my socks and shin-guards after a game and feeling the chilled Autumn air on my sweaty shins.
I trudged through every week at school eagerly awaiting Saturday morning. For me, the soccer pitch was where I transformed from a shy boy into a fearless warrior. Where schoolyard feuds were settled with dexterity and class. Where I first learned to differentiate between those who are born to excel and those that are born to get in the way of better men.
For an American soccer fan in the DC area, 2017 was simply unfathomable. The US Men’s national team, once a continental powerhouse, was disqualified from the World Cup for the first time since 1986. As RFK Stadium hosted its final professional soccer match yesterday, I cannot help but feel as if an old friend has been lost forever.
Thus, this feels like as good a time as any to reflect on American soccer culture. While the beautiful game will always have a special place in my heart, it is hard to be as engaged as I once was.
The Audacity of Pride in US Soccer Culture
It is not hard to pinpoint when leftist pandering and gay pride hysteria overtook professional soccer in America. The year was 2010, and clubs from both Seattle and Portland were included into Major League Soccer (America’s foremost professional soccer league) during the league’s expansion process. Almost at the offset, gay pride flags could be seen on televised games for both of the fledgling MLS clubs.
Having attended DC United games as a teenager, and later as a college student, the overt homage to homosexuality at Cascadia matches struck me as a little queer.
DC United’s fan base is one that, for lack of a better term, is dominated by an air of irreverent machismo. The chants of supporters groups that would fill the stadium were laced with vitriol and profanity. Fans would often yell at the opposing team, calling their star player a fag. Racism was casually thrown around by mestizos, whites and blacks. The kind of racism, aimed at a common foe, that could only truly offend someone who was not intoxicated enough to be sitting in the supporters section in the first place. It was a whole lot of fun.
Boy, have times changed. At a DC United match just a few weeks ago, I witnessed a confused Mestizo pulled aside by a “concerned party,” ostensibly because he was leading a traditional team chant that made gratuitous use of the term “puta”. Had I understood Spanish, I would have probably heard him say “the fuck is that faggots problem” to his friend before he dejectedly walked back to his seat and sheepishly sipped his Modelo.
I also saw the below kits, which were worn by players on the pitch and sold in the team store. Along with those ugly gay pride flags.
I’m not a homophobic person. But what on earth does homosexuality or “gay pride” have to do with soccer? Other than demoralizing one’s club and ruining the aesthetics of a stadium, I do not understand the appeal of putting politics and individual identity above the club as a paying supporter at a match.
Given the psychological basis of pink drunk tanks and locker rooms being used to subdue men who are prone to physical aggression, I cannot think of something less appropriate than a gay pride flag to fly at a sporting event.
Having known many athletes in my day, I can also guarantee that players hate this shit. In MLS, nearly half the players hail from countries in which homosexuality is far from a cause to be celebrated, as it is considered to American liberals. That is aside from the fact that the gay pride movement shames the very “toxic masculinity” that professional athletes embody.
Portland and Seattle, being the two biggest soccer-consuming markets in MLS, have caused a fundamental shift in US soccer culture. Gone are the days of a homologous, unified stadium with hardcore, passionate supporters.
US soccer culture has become a vestige for soy-boys, hipsters, and radical leftists. For some reason, I honestly assume more Honduran United supporters voted for Trump when compared to the hipster base of Seattle.
Black and Red United, an (admittedly) well-written and insightful source for fan-written news and commentary on DC United, is one example of the overt homophilia that permeates American soccer culture. During a “special” podcast last year, the lead writer of the site literally apologizes for being straight and white before handing the mic over to a lesbian and a black guy who go on to enumerate on how the team and league can become more “inclusive”.
Ironically, the writer’s vision of a Audi Field that is filled with nothing but POC transsexuals and their flag-waving allies only appeals to the bourgeois white leftists that make up a fraction of the team’s season ticket holders. Not that he will care when the working-class mestizos jump ship after the Seattle-fication of the club is complete. Those types of people were probably too problematic for his kind anyway, despite their vibrancy.
The imperative of “diversifying” American soccer stadiums mirrors Obama-era progressive policies that have done nothing but serve as a distraction to our country. Instead of talking about the opioid epidemic in Appalachia, we argued about which bathroom trannies should use. Instead of discussing out-of-control inner-city violence, we vilified police officers and gave Black Lives Matter “space to destroy”. Instead of trying to end meaningless wars, leftists cheered the President because more gays and transsexuals were fighting in them.
The result we are now seeing is division. Vibrant individuals celebrating niche causes that are of no concern to the majority as the patient writhes on the operating table getting ever-closer to death.
On International Soccer
Nationalism cannot be separated from international soccer, although it is effectively absent from US Soccer culture. Individual players devote themselves to a club in the hope that they will someday be called up by their country. It is every soccer-loving boy’s dream.
I can even recall being red-pilled as a boy watching the World Cup. At the time, I didn’t understand why each team (and more importantly, race) had different mannerisms and styles in how they played and celebrated. Or why African teams tended to writhe on the ground in imagined agony 20 damn minutes before the final whistle blew if they were up by a point. Every single time.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the World Cup is to see one’s countrymen and racial brethren face off against another country. In this context, the World Cup really doesn’t make sense in a post-racial world.
Frankly, there is very little appeal for me in seeing a French team (comprised of Africans) taking on an American team (comprised of Latinos and Africans). Yet watching the diminutive Japanese players harness the samurai spirit in the 2010 World Cup to strike down the physically daunting Cameroonian squad was exhilarating.
Given the amount of one-way traffic from Latin America to the United States and the inherently nationalistic flavor of international soccer, one might think that Central American immigrants would embrace the United States soccer team in the same way that they (supposedly) embrace American culture and values. Interestingly, this is almost never the case.
While living in South Austin, I would oftentimes find myself the only non-mestizo person in a store or restaurant. In fact, all over Austin, it was nearly impossible to escape the vibrant diversity and find a room devoid of mestizos. That is, of course, unless one went to a bar that was playing the US Men’s National Team game.
Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to matter how far removed an immigrant is from the homeland. Whether he recently moved to America or is a third generation Mexican “American,” a Latino soccer fan’s loyalty will always seem to lie with his ancestral homeland. Of course, race complicates this issue quite a bit, as this phenomenon does not seem to affect German or Irish (ie: white) Americans.
Unfortunately, the whites that comprise US Soccer supporters groups are possibly aware of their own racial homogeneity, and seek to cuck at every chance they can get. Even though Mexican fans throw beer, batteries and piss at American fans and players when Mexico hosts the US at the Azteca. Or chant “Osama” at American fans. Because 9/11 was an existential victory for Mexico.
Or, more likely, these people absolutely hate America.
So, how do white US Soccer fans respond to this? They sing “This Land Is Your Land” for the Mexican supporters who (thanks to unlimited illegal immigration over the past decade) now outnumber US fans in our own stadiums.
One thing that very few American soccer pundits are talking about is how mass-immigration and the lack of support for the USMNT from Central American immigrants has harmed US Soccer. Of course, immigration is hurting more than just sports, but it is an interesting example of how flooding a market with foreigners makes life more difficult for actual Americans.
Even though half of the American soccer team are not actually Americans, immigrants from Central America do not support the team. Thus, in tournaments such as the World Cup Qualifiers, where half of the games are played at home and half are played away, an advantage on your home turf is of great importance.
Sadly, this advantage does not exist for America in the same way it does for Mexico or Honduras. In many American cities, Mexicans outnumber whites. Thus, the games that are held in or near these locations (ie: pretty much anywhere) place America at a costly disadvantage.
There is no question that playing overtly hostile home qualifiers doomed America to sitting out the 2018 World Cup. While the picture looks very bleak for American soccer culture, it also serves as a bitter red pill for anyone who thinks that crossing the border magically turns a Mexican guy into an American.