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The FBM Blog

Fourth Annual FREE BEER Night in Minneapolis

Stegman's Old Boys FC is at it again! On Saturday, September 6th, the Handsomest Soccer Club in the world will be hosting their biggest event of the year, the fourth annual "Free Beer Night".

Part of the club's mission of becoming a "proper" club means becoming a part of the community and over the past three years the best way we've found to accomplish this is by playing a match in front of people (always better when there are fans) and raise awareness for soccer-related charities. Over the past three years they've raised in excess of $1500 for charity and they expect a sizable haul again this year with all fundraising efforts going towards The Sanneh Foundation; a charitable foundation started by former USMNT and World Cup 2002 legend, Tony Sanneh. For this year's free beer exhibition match the SOBs will face off against a Minnesota Select XI featuring none other than Sanneh himself.

Summit Brewing Company, the state's oldest and largest purveyor of fine craft brews began taking notice of the club and decided to donate the beer and videographer for last year's event. The success of this partnership turned into a sponsorship of the club leading to the Summit brand gracing the SOB Away kit and a great working relationship that sees SOBs work alongside the Summiteers in philanthropic events both inside and outside the brewery walls. The Free Beer Night event caps off a summer that saw Summit and the SOBs host Free Beer World Cup viewing parties at The Local in addition to a 3v3 cage match in the brewery's backyard.

Aside from the excitement of free soccer and free beer, this year's charity raffle and silent auction will see some truly delicious items up for grabs including: a signed USMNT jersey by honorary SOB Jay Demerit, a sweaty hug from club captain Jon Bisswurm, SOB care packages, Free Beer Movement swag, and other great prizes.

After all is said and done the club and its many fans will head on over to the MN United - Tampa Bay Rowdies match because it wouldn't be a 'Free Beer Movement in action' event without getting more fans out to watch our local professional side. A team who won the spring season and currently sit atop the fall standings as well.

In case you missed it last year's event was bigger and better than previous ones and this one promises to be even better.

Stegman's Old Boys FC, their three teams and 70+ members, are the architects of American soccer and they, too, are doing it one beer at a time.

Tags: FBM In Action

The Tuesday Ten: MLS Goes to Hollywood

By Eric Betts / Senior List Making Correspondent

Like Hollywood executives and soccer front offices everywhere, we're firm believers here that you can never have too much of a good thing. So after the runaway success of the ingenious Mike Magee's Day Off last week, here are ten other movie classics KickTV should look into putting their own spin on.

1. The Wizards of Oz: There's no place like home for this Kansas-based cast. FCKC Rookie of the Year winner Erika Tymrak stars as Dorothy alongside SKC's Matt Besler (Scarecrow), Aurelien Collin (Tin Man) and Graham Zusi (Cowardly Lion). The Original Wizard, Preki, returns to plays the big man himself, while CJ Sapong and Benny Feilhaber fill in as the Good and Wicked witches.

2. The Philadelphia Story: Why bother with Rocky when you can have Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath and Brian Carroll competing for the affections of lovely team owner Kelley O'Hara? No, you really want Rocky? Fine. Local-ish boy (Andrew Wenger) trained by ancient bruiser (Conor Casey) to fight charismatic champion (Dom Dwyer). Done.

3. The Sandlot: Since it was filmed on location in Salt Lake City, this one's easy:

Smalls - Luis GIl
Benny - Nick Rimando
Ya-Ya - Javier Morales
Ham - Nat Borchers
Squints - Sebastian Velasquez
Kenny - Ned Grabavoy
Timmy - Joao Plata
Tommy - Alvaro Saborio
Bertram - Devon Sandoval
The Beast - Kyle Beckerman
James Earl Jones - Chris Schuler

4. Clerks: Everyone's favorite New Jersey team stars in this quintessential New Jersey film. Tim Cahill and Dax McCarty play futsal on the roof as Dante and Randal, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry costar as Jay and Silent Bob.

5. Fargo: North Dakota/Minnesota are basically America's Canada anyway, so our friends from the Great White North take the lead on this one. Christine Sinclair as Marge Gunderson. Jay DeMerit gets to play with his Upper Midwest inflections as Jerry Lundegaard, with Steve Nash filling in capably as overbearing father-in-law Wade Gustafson. Michael Bradley and Marco Di Vaio fit perfectly into the Peter Stromare and Steve Buscemi parts, eh?

6. Pulp Fiction: This L.A. classic gets a mostly L.A. cast: Robbie Rogers as Vincent; Gyasi Zardes as Jules, Carlos Bocanegra as Butch, Mauro Rosales as Lance, and the back of Bruce Arena's head as Marcellus Wallace, you know, during his tamer scenes. Omar rides his strong performance in the Magee video to a spot as the Wolf, where his skill at arriving at the last minute to put out fires comes in handy. Sprinkle in Kekuta Manneh as Marvin (sorry Kekuta) and Megan Rapinoe as Mia Wallace, and you're in for another classic. What do they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Leeds, Vincent?

7. The Rock: Experienced veteran stuck in a bad situation (Chris Wondolowski) helps unexperienced younger man (Tommy Thompson) break into heavily fortified Bay Area compound guarded by team of highly trained killers (Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, uhh, Clarence Goodson) and their leader (Victor Bernardez). Gratuitous late fireworks for everyone!

8. Dazed and Confused: Austin doesn't have an MLS team, so the Texas teams come together for this bit of Linklater genius. Young Kellyn Acosta spends much of the movie fleeing from Ben Affleck-impersonating bully Tally Hall. Matt Hedges gets top billing as Randall "Pink" Floyd, but we all know the real star is Brad Davis, who gets to feel the wind in his (fake) hair again as Wooderson, all right?

9. Boondock Saints: Lot of options for Boston, but who wants to see Kelyn Rowe as Will Hunting when you can have Andrew Farrell and Diego Fagundez in black trenchcoats terminating mobsters with extreme prejudice?

10. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Alex Morgan sheds her America's Sweetheart image with a chilling turn as Nurse Ratched. Liam Ridgewell as the edgy outsider who shakes things up in the ward by reenacting a World Cup game the inmates are forbidden from watching. Featuring Donovan Ricketts as Chief Bromden, Diego Valeri as uptight Dale Harding, Darlington Nagbe as Charlie Cheswik, Will Johnson as the stuttering Billy Bibbit, and the Timbers Army as everyone else.

About Eric

Eric Betts is a freelancer writer who lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and his dog Lando (yup). While attending the Emory University he won "College Jeopardy". His pop culture references end somewhere around 2002.

Tags: Eric Betts, The Other 87 Minutes, Tuesday 10/XI

VIDEO: The History and Power of “I Believe” (ESPN)

2014 FIFA World Cup - "I Believe" - ESPN from Nick Aquilino on Vimeo.

It's evolved into American soccer's most iconic chant during this World Cup, but the origins of "I Believe" are incredibly humble. 

Our founder, Dan Wiersema, had the pleasure of speaking with ESPN about the power of positivity of this chant that the U.S. soccer supporters group, the American Outlaws has made a national rallyng cry. 

This originally aired on Monday, June 30th on "World Cup Tonight" and was also featured on SportsCenter.

Tags: American Outlaws, Supporters Groups, USMNT, Video, World Cup

An American in Brazil: Meet Teddy Goalevelt

Teddy conquering the Amazon in Manaus. 

Mild-mannered Chicago advertising man by day. Legendary former American President Teddy Roosevelt by game day.

Meet Mike D’Amico.

Since his first appearance with Jimmy Conrad and KICK TV post-Natal and then in millions of home around the world during the broadcast celebrating during the USMNT-Portugal match D’Amico is currently the “face of American soccer”.

What started out as just a silly idea to enjoy his time as a fan supporting the national team in Brazil has grown into a viral journey few, especially D’Amico, could imagine.

Below is the story, in his own words, of how one man took Brazil by storm and channeled his inner 26th President, Teddy Goalsevelt.

Idea

The first part is the boring and lame part. Since October I had been letting my beard grow. I had a beard that maybe came down to my chest. It was a massive beard. I knew that I was going to want that beard. It’s like a face scarf. It’s too hot for that.

That was so much work. Like nine months. There’s got to be something I can do with this. Can I dye it? Can I shave it into USA? Into a statue? Can I carve it?

I travel a lot for U.S. Soccer and I always love the guys that no matter the temperature or what the conditions are they’re always dressed up. There’s the guy in the colonial outfit; the tri-corner hat and the wig. There’s always the guy with the World War II general helmet with the pipe and the aviator sunglasses. Those guys get people psyched. It gets people excited.

If I’m going to Brazil, if I’m spending all of this money… why not try and do something like that?

So I started brainstorming. I had the facial hair thing in my head. I had Brazil on my mind.  It all of a sudden it came to me: Teddy Roosevelt.

Who better to be that than Teddy Roosevelt in Brazil, in the Amazon? The mustache and the Rough Riders.

With that much beard growth is was pretty easy to turn it into his mustache.  In fact I had to trim it a bit.

I mentioned it casually to a few people, just to test the waters and the were like, “YES!”

I started to put it together in like March or April. Looking around and piecing things together. Ironically almost the entire costume was assembled from Amazon.com.

Tapping a rich cultural history

I was talking to a bunch of fans at the hotel before the Natal match and this was the first dabble into American soccer culture. They were looking around and there was me and General (George S.) Patton, and Duff Man, people with the face paint and the wigs. All the different kinds of people dressed up.

So a U.S. soccer match is kind of like the Super Bowl meets ComicCon.

The cool thing about being an U.S. soccer fan is the breadth of culture that we have access to that can immediately represent America. Some other countries don’t have that.

There are so many cultural things. There’s so much history.

Teddy Roosevelt is like you took American culture, rung it out, and made a cartoon character of it. Like he’s not real. This is a guy who born and raised in New York, he was a cowboy, a Rough Rider, a politician, a President, and all of the expeditions. The story of this man is almost fictional.

I think that’s part of the reason everyone loves the costume so much.  There are lots of President that could claim to be the “most American President”, but I think you’d have a hard time making a better case  than you can for Teddy Roosevelt.

An Unexpected Reception

I thought I was just going to be another guy. “Ohh… look it’s a super hero that’s cool. Ohh… look it’s George Washington. Ohh… look it’s Teddy Roosevelt.”

But it’s been like, “Superhero. George Washington. TEDDY ROOSEVELT!”

Then there’s like a line to take photos and people want to sign songs. It’s just been over-the-top craziness since day one.

I had absolutely no idea that is had gotten so big back home. Buzzfeed. I was on the homepage of ESPN.com. They were talking about intense fans of the World Cup and that’s not something that’s been apart of our vernacular.

Will Teddy ride again after the World Cup?

That is a question that I don’t feel like I get to answer. I feel like everyone else has already made that choice for me. One of the first emails, after returning from Manaus, I got was from a co-worker was, “You’re wearing that on Monday to work, right?”

All of the guys back home at American Outlaws: Chicago were like, “I don’t care what it takes you’re wearing the ‘Teddy Goalsevelt’ costume to the first game back. It doesn’t matter how many free beers it takes… you’re doing it.”

I think Teddy will live on. I think he has to.

Perspective

The fact that this many people are sharing and tweeting and posting my stupid face just means all of those people were watching U.S. soccer.

Which is incredible. How big this has gotten… it couldn’t have happened if there wasn’t a critical mass of eyeballs on the match. So the fact that so many people were watching the ability to turn my dumb face with this hat, glasses, and mustache into a viral hit is fantastic.

Not for me, but for the game.

Tags: American Outlaws, Major League Soccer, USMNT, World Cup

An American in Brazil: Rainy day in Recife

I had only been asleep for about 30 minutes when the alarm went off at 12:45am. My head wouldn’t meet a pillow for another 24 hours. I can tell you at the beginning of this story it would be all worth it.

When it comes to getting enough rest it’s never been something I’ve been particularly good at. I actually tend to thrive in low-sleep situations.

Which is good because this day is going to be one of those types of days.

By 2am we’re on the road to Recife from Natal; twelve busloads of American Outlaws including a spare bus just in case one breaks down. The rain is falling steadily. We’re anticipating a wet day, but certainly not the conditions we’ll push through in about five hours.

The thirteen buses are cruising down BR-101 courtesy of a Federal Police escort between the two World Cup host cities. Our bus “tour guide” cracks a joke about the Brazilian highway system saying that if the same people that were charge of paving these roads had built the Great Wall of China they’d still be at it today.

As dawn breaks it’s become increasingly obvious that this isn’t just a steady, tropical rain but full-on flood conditions. As we transition from rural Brazil to urban Recife the roads turn to rivers. Our bus caravan plunges, literally, on. I swear there would come a point where, like in Oregon Trail, we’d have to make a decision of whether or not to caulk our wagon and ford our way to the stadium.

Arena Pernambuco is located outside of the city proper and thankfully somewhat distant from what would later be reported as nearly thigh-high water in Recife. The exterior the pre-game party hosted by the American Outlaws is flanked by two ridiculous large inflatables on the outside, one of the World Cup mascot and the other, for some reason, a goat. On the inside both Good Morning America and the TODAY Show have staked out the entrance and frantic producers are fighting to grab the most unique dressed and loudest American fans for backdrops to their live-on-location reports.

Given our personal struggles to make it to the previous two matches on time this is the first pre-game party that myself and my traveling companions have made it to. We’re not disappointed.

The never-ending rain has added a special extra element to the festivities, forcing everyone into closer quarters since the risk of drowning outside it quite real. The sound of every chant of “USA” or “I Believe” sounds that much louder and feels that much more intense.

Teddy Goalesvelt and I at the AO tailgate. 

I haven’t tailgated this early since college and thinking about the time and space in those ten years is a brief and slightly depressing thought that is pushed out of my head as quickly as the next beer is pushed into my hand.

By the time we begin to march to the stadium everyone’s red, white, and blue is tinted by a translucent poncho or a new, darker shade compliments of the pouring rain. The perpetual showers don’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Outlaws on their trek to the stadium; many stopping occassionally to match the quantity of liquids going inside their bodies to that of the flow of rainwater cascading off them.

To be honest Pernambuco is the least impressive of the three World Cup venues the U.S. plays in. It’s boxy and impersonal. It doesn’t look like sand dunes or a woven basket. Perhaps it’s the drenched, grey sky or it’s missing the mystique of being in the middle of the rainforest or I didn’t just “Amazing Race” to this one.

Inside and situated back far enough to be under the arena’s protective cover the crowd’s energy has a much different feel to it that the other two matches. Ghana was outright intense; America and her fans making their boisterous debut on the World Cup stage. Portugal’s crowd was confident, surging until silenced in the last seconds. The chants and cheers are the same as their preceding games, but the spaces between each are more distant, spaced out by fans rubbernecking to the few people with working data plans keeping sections updated on the action in Brasília.

On the field the U.S. has shown well. Thomas Müller’s goal, the lone tally wasn’t the result of some disastrous defense just a well-taken shot. The USMNT is giving Germany a game. Alejandro Bedoya’s cleared shot, reminiscent of Michael Bradley’s in the previous game, jolts the crowd who collectively remove their fingers from their nail-nibbling mouths to give some last-minute encouragement.

As the final whistle blows there’s about two minutes where we waited on our compatriots with the cell phones to give us a final Ghana-Portugal update. The U.S. players and coaching staff clearly have better service in the stadium than we do. They’re celebrations trigger ours as devices confirm what we’re witness in front of us.

We’ve gone through.

There’s a peculiar thing about the World Cup to celebrate advancing to the knockout rounds when you’ve just lost a game. It’s a tough feeling to reconcile. For me I haven’t seen the national team lose a game in over a dozen games over the past two years (all home games) so I’m standing there thinking about that. But then the result is insignificant because you’re through and it’s the elimination games that we have to prepare for.

Again I think the weather, the depressing drizzle, has affected my thinking because I’m focused more about the loss than moving forward. Ultimate my head will clear over the next five hours on the bus and by the time we return to Natal I’m fully over the day’s loss and eager to began our next World Cup challenge.

While the team and large chunk of American supporters will proceed onto Salvador I, unfortunately, will return to a bar stool in Austin, Texas. Several thorough loads of laundry between today and Tuesday will return my sun/sweat/rain-soaked jerseys to their former glory.

Travelling to Brazil with American Outlaws feels a lot summer camp. At the Houston airport where we’ve all landed, before departing to our own corners of the country, new friends exchange contact information and promises of dinner, drinks, and a couch or bed to sleep on if they should ever pass through each other’s city. Old friends, veterans of this soccer supporter dance of hello-game-goodbye, shake hands and hug until next time.

My journey to the World Cup, as an American in Brazil, was one amazing adventure; filled with more twists and turns that I ever could’ve imagined. It was both one of the most stressful and wonderful experience of my entire time and I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

Until next time.

Tags: American Outlaws, Major League Soccer, USMNT, World Cup