I have been a big soccer fan since I was in middle school. For much of that time, I’ve only ever followed the English Premier League.
But recently, I’ve been turned on to Major League Soccer and am preparing for my first season as a fan of Real Salt Lake.
When I started watching soccer all those years ago, the team I came to support was Tottenham Hotspur, and for years they were the only club I followed.
I became a fan of Tottenham when a British friend I had in middle school got me watching them. I fell in love with the club. I loved the way they played, loved the players, and loved everything about the club.
One thing I loved about the EPL was the passion the fans showed. I loved hearing the crowd sing and chant. I got wrapped up in how much the fans cared about their team. It was awesome.
A lot of times in American sports, it seems fans only cheer when the scoreboard tells them to. The few times I tried watching Major League Soccer previously, it seemed that the passion was lacking.
Things started to change last fall with RSL’s run in the CONCACAF Champions League. I watched a few RSL games during its run in the Champions League and enjoyed watching the team play. I found a few players that I liked and held a slight interest in the team.
While I watched a few of its games, I wouldn’t have called myself a fan then, but I did take notice of it. It was fun to watch its games occasionally.
I saw that there is good soccer being played here and started to realize that it didn’t make sense to not support the local team.
Over the winter, I engaged in a Twitter conversation with a few RSL fans and after a few days decided I’d get behind the club for the upcoming season.
A few weeks later, Branden Steineckert, who is the current drummer of Rancid, former drummer of The Used and a huge RSL fan, posted a video which made me even more excited for the upcoming season.
The video was a new chant for fans of RSL to sing at games. It was awesome. The chant was simple, passionate and brought the emotion of European soccer that I love.
It got me even more excited for the upcoming season.
A few friends on Twitter gave me a crash course in being a RSL fan (I now know to hate the Colorado Rapids, dislike Seattle’s fans, love Javier Morales and respect Jason Kries.)
After watching the video a few times, looking up YouTube videos, following RSL players on Twitter and buying my first piece of RSL merchandise, I’m ready for the season.
Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to go to a game this year and see the team firsthand.
Right now, I’d still say that Tottenham would be my favorite club, but I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. As the start of the season draws near, I find myself getting more and more excited about the start of the season.
I hope that my newfound fanship of RSL will be enjoyable. Hopefully, I’ll grow to love them just as much as I love Tottenham.