Spurs fans talk about...the MLS All-Star Game
28 July 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Welcome to a new feature 'Spurs fans talk about...' where we'll canvas opinions of supporters on various topics throughout the season.
With the squad currently preparing for the prestigious MLS All-Star Game in Colorado, where better to start the feature than to get the thoughts of our USA-based fans on our participation in the MLS's showcase event.
We asked the questions - Rick Davison (Chicago Spurs), Simon Dodsworth (Dallas Spurs), Stephen Fells (East Fishkill Spurs), Ryan Hayman (Boston Spurs) and Tim Caffrey of this week's hosts Colorado Spurs provided the answers.
How did you feel when it was announced that we were taking on the MLS All-Star Game?
Stephen: "I really couldn’t believe Spurs were heading back to the US especially so soon after the amazing 2014 tour! I managed to get to all three games last year but the MLS All-Star Game is different and one I’m particularly excited to see."
Tim: "We had heard inklings that it was going to happen but the official announcement had us all in joyous shock!"
Rick: "It was a bit of a surprise, really. As the club had just been here in the States last summer, we weren't expecting another visit so soon. You must REALLY like us! Actually, there had been a few rumours swirling around about it, and thankfully they turned out to be true. We can't wait to make the trip to Denver."
How much does it mean for our fans in the US to see the team involved in such a high-profile match?
Rick: "It's huge. I think there is still a large segment of US fans that are unaffiliated when it comes to the Premier League. Playing in matches like this is an excellent opportunity to showcase how great the club and it's fans are, as well as the incredible atmosphere you experience for one of our matches. We have a large contingent headed to Denver, but we'll also have a bunch of members getting together to watch on TV at The Atlantic Bar and Grill, our home in Chicago."
Ryan: "Anytime Spurs play in the US it's a high-profile match for the supporters. For some, it's their only opportunity to ever see the club play in person."
Simon: "We took a big troop to Chicago last summer so to have another high-profile visit is massive for awareness of the club. As an ex-pat, I have to recognise that many of our members are recent converts to the Premier League and then, of course, Spurs. Many of them have never been to England let alone White Hart Lane. So these trips present a perfect opportunity for our members to see their heroes live. This is a massive market for the Beautiful Game and it continues to snowball every summer when so many European clubs play pre-season matches in the US."
Tim: "It means the world to us in Denver."
Stephen: "As the game gets nearer I’m hearing a lot more Americans talk about Spurs – I just need to teach them it’s pronounced 'Tot'nam'!"
It is widely acknowledged that we have the biggest supporter base of Premier League clubs in the US - how does it feel to be part of that?
Rick: "It shows what excellent taste we have here in America, doesn't it? But in all seriousness, it really is a testament to how strong a pull a club like Tottenham can have: the rich history, the attractive football, and a sense of community among it's fans that is as strong as any in the world."
Stephen: "It really is amazing that we have so much support here and I think every supporter is doing their own thing to grow that fan base even more. Spurs have always had a strong connection with the US; Keller, Friedel, Dempsey and of course more recently Yedlin are all a huge part of US soccer as well as Tottenham but I think that the number of visits over recent years (this will be Spurs fourth trip here in six years) is definitely one of the bigger reasons so many Americans support Spurs. If the team continues visiting so frequently it can only be good for US soccer and of course for the Spurs fans here."
There seems to be a ‘family’ feel amongst our fans in the US - do you see it like that?
Ryan: "Yes, and I said as much in my interview with Spurs TV last March. Up until the past couple years there were only a handful of official US Supporters Clubs and hopefully we can still maintain that as new clubs become involved."
Rick: "Oh, without a doubt. And once you join this family, there's no letting go. In Chicago, we have members bringing in their kids, providing baked goods, you name it! It's like having a bit of a family reunion every weekend!"
Stephen: "I can’t help but smile when I hear US crowds singing 'we’re the Stateside Tottenham'. I’m hoping to hear that in the Bill Nicholson Pub one day! Online conversation is particularly strong; I’m even hearing banter between supporters clubs leading up to the Tottenham Hotspur Challenge Cup, a cup between official US supporters clubs! For what it’s worth East Fishkill Spurs will win it no matter what Ben Forman says about San Diego Spurs!"
Tim: "I was very surprised how opinionated, to say it nicely, the other Supporters Groups are in the US. So, yes, like any other family in the world!"
Simon: "We are entering our fourth season as official and the family aspect really grew over the last 18 months. Our members don't just come to the pub to watch, but we have formed great relationships with each other and now watch events at members' homes as well as social events away from the football that just cements how strong a club we truly are (and what a great club we all support)."
And finally - your hopes for the season?
Rick: "Same as every year - Champions League qualification, at least one trophy, two crushing North London Derby victories. That would be a good start!"
Simon: "I'd like to say we can crack the top four. Another good cup run with a trophy at the end would be nice though! I am dying to see someone hoist the FA Cup as I became quite accustomed to that growing up!"
Tim: "I see a top three finish. Book it!"
Stephen: "I think it’s normal at this time of year to feel positive, anything else and you can’t call yourself a Spurs fan! Seriously, I am hoping for a top four finish as I’m sure everyone else is. With the stadium build now underway, announcements about deals with the NFL and Fanatics and of course the MLS All-Star Game it really does feel like the club is heading in the right direction. I think this year’s outlook is bright and lilywhite!
Ryan: "Hopes or expectations? I hope we do the double and Arsenal get relegated!"