‘Everything is bigger in Texas’ and that includes the plans that American Outlaws Dallas chapter has in the works for when the U.S. men’s national team opens their 2015 Gold Cup campaign. The Stars and Stripes will open their title defense with their match against Honduras at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
“The tailgate this year is going to be big…it is going to be huge,” AO Dallas’ Chelsea Valz told World Soccer Shop. “Definitely the biggest tailgate that AO has ever seen and living up to the fact that we do everything big down here (in Texas).”
It will not only be big but also memorable. AO Dallas is working with Red Bull to bring in a monster truck with a DJ in tow, local breweries are donating kegs to the cause, and a variety of tailgate games from baggo to washer to cage soccer.
And the AO Dallas has the backing to get the job done. It was 1 of the 10 founding AO chapters (coming in at #9) and is one of the top 5 biggest chapters with over 700 members. The growth has been huge over the last 3 years with last year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the watch parties for the matches a huge factor in recruiting 150 to 200 new members.
The Tuesday night match is not the most convenient with it falling during the week and after a holiday but that is not slowing down AO Dallas. The night before party is set for the clubs official bar, The Staggering Irishman. The soccer pub is well located near the AO hotels and a couple of miles from Toyota Stadium.
In addition to the friends and beer at the Staggering Irishman, the biggest draw of the night before party could be to catch a glimpse of the huge soccer scarf wall.
“We have a huge scarf wall with scarves from every AO chapter that has a scarf out. Some chapters have multiple scarves up there so that is pretty cool and big.”
AO Dallas is also a presence at U.S. national team games across the U.S. and around the world.
“We had about 20 members that went to Brazil. And there is a good core group of members that try and go to as many games as possible. We are a big presence at most AO night before parties, tailgates, and in the stands during U.S. games.”
It is not all about going to games and watch parties, however. The chapter is partnered with a locally based charity, Lionsraw, that acts globally. The cage soccer at the tailgate is sponsored by Lionsraw with funds earned going to the charity.
“(Lionsraw) goes into countries that are hosting big soccer events, like last summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and they organized soccer camps with underprivileged youth, helped build schools, and developed clean water systems for some of the outlying cities in Brazil.”
“It is a really cool group of people so there is a charity aspect to being a part of AO Dallas. It is really cool for us that we get to give back and get our members involved in more than just supporting the U.S. team.”
But it all starts at home in Dallas and the chapter badge is ‘very true to Dallas and its history.’
“We wanted to incorporate the Dallas skyline. The skyline is hands down one of the most iconic skylines in the U.S. We took the skyline and for the Reunion Tower, a landmark in Dallas, we replaced the sphere at the top of the building with a soccer ball. The red Pegasus sits on top of the badge and is another iconic emblem of Dallas.”
See you in Dallas. Go USA!
Join the movement. You can become a member of the American Outlaws at most local events or by signing up on the membership page of the AO website.
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) July 8, 2015