As soccer hysteria hits Louisville, supporters groups seek to un - WDRB 41 Louisville News

As soccer hysteria hits Louisville, supporters groups seek to unite and strengthen

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Outlaws gather to pose with a World Cup trophy replica Outlaws gather to pose with a World Cup trophy replica
The iconic soccer scarves bearing red, white and blue The iconic soccer scarves bearing red, white and blue
Saints Skybar in St. Matthews Saints Skybar in St. Matthews
Soccer fans cheer after The Star Spangled Banner is played before the USA v Portugal match. Soccer fans cheer after The Star Spangled Banner is played before the USA v Portugal match.
Soccer fans crowd into Fourth Street Live to watch the USA v Portugal match. Soccer fans crowd into Fourth Street Live to watch the USA v Portugal match.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With the announcement of a pro-soccer team moving to Louisville, a new soccer stadium under construction at U of L, and 32 teams about to step onto the biggest stage the sport has to offer, soccer hysteria seems poised to hit a fever pitch in the Derby City. 

This summer, the prescription may be a visit to Saints Skybar in St. Matthews. It feels like the loft in a barn, but it's filled with soccer fans bedecked in red, white and blue. There are tables and chairs, couches, booths and a television on every wall.

This is the headquarters for the American Outlaws Louisville. It's the local chapter of the supporters group for the United States Men's National Team. In soccer, supporters groups help to unleash organized chaos into stadiums and bars in support of their team.

You may have heard of the Coopers recently as they have played a key role in helping local architect Wayne Estopinal move a minor-league soccer team to town. But when it comes to the World Cup, there's only one team that everyone wants to focus on: USA.

"I actually had to skip church this morning to set up for this," local chapter vice president Brandon Hines said at last Sunday’s game watch party. "It’s also my mom’s birthday."

That level of commitment is typical of soccer supporters and, according to chapter president Brian Davis, if USMNT is playing, "we will be here."

The local chapter calls itself the Falls City Outlaws and devote its game watch parties exclusively to U.S. National team games. For this summer's World Cup in Brazil, Davis says the Outlaws will be at Saints to host a game watch party, no matter what time it is.

Davis says the goal is to spread the word, recruit more fans and rally around national pride.

"Say to your friends: '
I know you're not a big soccer fan but come to Saints, I’ll buy you a beer,'" Davis suggested, adding "they're not going to say, 'oh no, I prefer the German national team."

Supporters groups seek to rally support for their team and build a sense of community, and many members of the local Outlaws chapter have crossed over to join up with the Coopers too.

The Coopers say they will be at Saints cheering along USMNT with the Outlaws for every U.S. game, but they're setting up their own special game watch too.

Coopers vice president Timothy Clark says they have set up an agreement with Sports and Social at Fourth Street Live to host their own game watch for the USA vs. Portugal match on June 22. They'll have the big screen set up in the middle of the street to show the game along with activities and games to get people involved and excited about soccer.

"We’re trying to reach out to families and make it a family friendly event," Clark said. "There is a lot of youth involvement in the sport and we want to promote the game with young fans and their families.”"

The Coopers plan to arrange a meet and greet with members of the newly relocated professional team and have arranged for some future members of the organization to attend the watch party. The game watch will be like a big coming out party for the team and its supporters.

But for any other game, the fans will pack Saints Skybar as much as possible. "We used to host these on the patio, which held around 120 people," Davis said. "So we moved up to the Skybar and it will be our home."

The Outlaws plan to decorate the Skybar with U.S. Soccer posters and host events before the night games. At the game last week, the group hosted a FIFA World Cup video game tournament and upcoming games will feature a 'best seat in the house' raffle.

The raffle will give everyone who shows up a chance to watch the game from one of four couches right in front of the big screen. It will also come with some extra perks like food and prizes.

There's one more friendly game scheduled for the team on Saturday, June 7, before the team heads to Brazil to take on Ghana, Germany and Portugal in the group stage.

No matter what happens, the team is guaranteed to play those three games and the Outlaws will be at Saints for every one of them, cheering for more.

While soccer continues to boom in the city, the supporters groups are hoping the community will "unite and strengthen;" which is the motto of the American Outlaws. 

Where to watch:
  • Saints Skybar (Breckenridge Lane)
  • Sol Aztecas (Fourth Street)
  • Fourth Street Live
  • Molly Malone's (Baxter Avenue)


When to watch:

DATE TIME


July 1 4:00 PM USA v Belgium

















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