Day 2: My Favorite National Team(s)

my first exposure to soccer on a level that wasn’t just kids playing was through uswnt.  i was 13 in the summer of 1999 and their wc victory that year made a big impact on me.  though i don’t aggressively follow the team, i support them during tournaments and i like to see them succeeding, as that team helped inspire me when i was young.

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now in my 30′s there are two main teams i support: spain & colombia.  spain first caught my eye in 2010 during the world cup.  while i watched that tournament, i wasn’t hardcore into the fandom side of things at that time.  the spanish national team was a gateway drug into clubs and actual fandom though, so you can thank them for that.

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colombia nt i support for a completely different reason: family ties!  i’m not colombian, however my step-sisters grew up in colombia and their support led to my supporting them.  and it’s now a multigenerational type thing as my nephew also likes colombia, and my brother-in-law (who is from turkey) supports them as his first team now too.  i haven’t followed them as closely or for as long as i’ve followed spain, but i consider colombia my south american team of choice.

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i have two other teams that i like as side teams: france & usmnt.  france i’ve always felt a soft spot for, and living with my darling @raultiful led me to following them pretty closely.  last wc, once spain was out, it was france all the way for me.  and i have a giant soft spot for the usmnt.  i don’t expect much from them, but i want them to do well and continue to improve.  i think they get a bad rap and it bothers me to see people disrespecting the team.  it seems to me that the sports culture in this country, especially for those of us over age 25, sometimes is forgotten by people who criticize the men’s side.  i can’t remember the men’s team ever being taken seriously when i was growing up.  they’ve been a punchline, a national joke for my entire lifetime, and i can remember adults in my life discouraging boys my age from playing soccer because there was ‘no future in it’, telling boys to play basketball, american football, basically anything else.  the culture is changing in this country, but even talking to older people, people in their 50′s and 60′s, they still think men’s soccer is a joke.  that mentality is slowly shifting, but it’s slow going to say the least.  anyway, i’m always very happy when the u.s. men do well.  to me, it’s a signal of the change that is possible.

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