If you’ve ever attended a U.S. Soccer game or watched one on television – there’s a good chance you’ve heard and seen The American Outlaws throughout the game.
They are the passionate Supporters Group of all things related to the United States Men’s, Women’s, and Youth National Teams. They are the ones you see standing for a full 90 minutes behind goals that are singing and chanting their lungs out. They are the ones covered in red, white, and blue from head-to-toe, including jerseys adorned with the AO Patch and scarves of their home chapter.
Before the match, they are working to bring all fans together at their tailgate and a march to the match. Once inside the stadiums, they unveil their pregame tifo, which has resulted in some truly spectacular displays over the years.
With the draw just announced for the Copa America Centenario, we felt this would be a good time to shine the spotlight on the American Outlaws ahead of a busy year. We spoke with Justin Brunken, Co-Founder of The American Outlaws to give us the inside scoop on what AO has planned for this year.
AO has enjoyed tremendous growth in recent years. Can you share details on Chapter and Membership numbers?
We are at 186 chapters and over 32,000 members!
This is another busy year for both the U.S Men’s and Women’s National Teams. What kind of game related activities do AO have planned for this year?
Like every game, both here in the States and around the world, we hold events to bring fans together. For USWNT and USMNT and for youth to the senior teams. We hold an event the night before every game at our local chapter bar where fans can gather, have fun, talk soccer and prepare for game day. Then we always hold a pre-game events and tailgates for all to unite and march into our section to cheer on the team, the best way we can. We are also helping our members get to away games, like World Cup Qualifiers all across CONCACAF, including Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala.
That is one thing that we have always been proud of since the beginning that we are at every game, no matter if it is USA vs. Mexico or USA vs. Antigua and Barbuda. We want to help build a soccer community and make sure that no matter the game, fans no where to meet up with other fans. The more fans and supporters we can bring together, the more we can all do to grow the game and support, both in the stands and out! The better the support, the more it hopefully means to the team and drives them to want to get better and get the results!
We have big things happening in Columbus for the March World Cup Qualifier and working on everything for Copa America this summer. We currently have a travel package to Guatemala City. Plus more.
You are having a national rally in Austin in May? What’s the background on this event and it’s purpose?
This is our 2nd national AO Rally. Created to bring AO members, chapter leaders and top influencers in the soccer world together to discuss, learn, connect, have fun and get hyped for the next few years to come. Hopefully learn how we can all become a better supporters group and what we can bring back to the section and to each of our cities and chapters. Our first was a huge success in 2011 in Las Vegas. We had over 100 people show up to learn from each other, Alexi Lalas, Grant Wahl and more. This year we have Tab Ramos, Jimmy Conrad, Lionsraw, Grant Wahl, with more to be announced. You can find out more and sign up at aorally.theamericanoutlaws.com/
How can corporate brands add value and associate themselves with the AO movement?
We look for partners that can help further our mission and provide one or all of three things:
- Provide value to our members and their membership.
- Help out our chapters and chapter bars bring in more supporters to their viewing parties.
- Add to the experience and goals of events.
We look for partners that also understand and truly care to further the growth of soccer and better the support for the team.
If you’re a fan of U.S. Soccer and you have yet to join The American Outlaws, you can sign up and choose your local chapter here: theamericanoutlaws.com/membership. You can also follow them on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘AmericanOutlaws’).