U.S. and Mexico soccer fans will descend on San Antonio this week for the next match in the heated rivalry between these countries. The USA will be ready and have a team in place to greet the team and create a hostile environment at the Alamodome for El Tri Colores, the American Outlaws San Antonio Chapter.
AO San Antonio is ‘still in the infancy stages’ after forming in the winter of 2009/10 but have a full lineup ready when they host the national team for the first time in San Antonio. The match events kick off on Tuesday night with dual bars supporting fans. Bar America at 723 South Alamo St and Alamo Street Eat Bar at 609 South Alamo Street. The locations are central and within easy walking distance (50-100 yards) so easy to catch up with other members coming to town.
Related Reading: A look back at some great US v Mexico matches.
The following day the Tailgate starts at 3:00 pm CT at a private Lot at E Commerce St and Amtrack Tracks. AO is providing the food, porta potties, and water but the members will provide the passion (and other drinks of their choice) starting at the tailgate then marching to the Alamodome between 6 and 6:30 in time for the 7:30 kick off.
Like many AO chapters, San Antonio started off with the passion of a small group of supporters. Rich Moore was the founding member and started to build the foundation for the future. Rene Medellin assumed the responsibilities of continuing to grow the chapter after the 2010 World Cup and took a moment to speak to 365.WorldSoccerShop about the organization.
The 201o World Cup was a milestone for the chapter. 6 months after Moore started the drive to establish the chapter they received the 23 members to officially become an American Outlaw chapter during South Africa 2010. The chapter had a strong supporter’s group background with Moore, Medellin, and others part of the Crocketeers, a group dedicated to bringing a pro soccer team to the city.
After the 2010 World Cup buzz wore off, Medellin took over the chapter knowing that to build the chapter he needed to find an identity that members and others in the community would recognize and be drawn to and support with the ultimate goal of increasing the membership base before the 2014 World Cup.
“The goal once we became an official American Outlaw chapter was to create an identity in the community so that soccer fans in San Antonio would know who we were so that we could build our membership base before the 2014 World Cup,” Medellin explained.
The initiative was successful as the 23 member chapter in 2010 was up to 100+ members by the end of the 2014 World Cup. The members included not only the casual fans that meet for local watch parties but also the hard core with about 40 members from San Antonio making the trip to Brazil and other out-of-town matchday locations all with the focus of supporting the Red, White, and Blue.
The match on Wednesday will be the next be recruiting event with Medellin expecting to 20-30 new members to the fold. The event is a huge opportunity for the chapter and one that has required volunteers to step forward to help make it a success but is only possible due to the foundation of the chapter.
The chapter calls the Lion and Rose their home. The pub/restaurant is willing to open for early matches when necessary as well as reserving viewing areas during peak times. The chapter watched qualifiers and matches during the 2010 World Cup as well matches leading up to the 2014 World Cup at the bar. For the 2014 World Cup, they rented and sold-out 3 100-seat iMax theaters to make fans feel as if they were in Brazil as well.
“Even with the growth we have had, we are still in the infancy stages. Supporting the U.S. national team is one of our passions but the chapter is also focused on reaching out to and giving back to the local soccer community. We try our best to help make soccer available to every child that wants to play.”
The passion for the game continues even when the national teams are not playing. The chapter has helped with supporting inner city soccer teams.
The chapter badge speaks to the fighting spirit even when up against long odds and the love for community and country. The top of the shield style badge is made to look like the profile of the Alamo, the iconic symbol most people associate with the city. A lone star is at the top center with ‘American Outlaws’ and ‘Unite & Strengthen’ written underneath. At the bottom of the badge is the Tower of America on the right quadrant with the Flag of San Antonio in the left quadrant. The middle of the badge has a divider with the Stars and Stripes and in the center ‘San Antonio’ along with a quote from William Travis, famous for sending the ‘Victory of Death’ letter from the besieged Alamo, saying: Those Prepared to Give Their Lives in Freedom’s Cause Come Over to Me.