In My Opinion

Local American Outlaws don’t mind getting rowdy during U.S. World Cup match

 
 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">USA, USA!</span> Fans at Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub in Hollywood cheer after Clint Dempsey scored a goal in the first minute for the United States on Monday.
USA, USA! Fans at Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub in Hollywood cheer after Clint Dempsey scored a goal in the first minute for the United States on Monday.
PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

abeasley@ MiamiHerald.com

It’s not easy being a true Outlaw. Preparations are extensive.

If you’re Daniel Vaca, a 37-year-old manager of a Broward auto care shop, it began some three hours before kickoff with his Rocky Balboa boxing shorts.

Then the custom jersey. Then the American flag cape and the Captain America mask. Most would stop with the custom badge — bearing the insignia of the American Outlaws, Team USA’s national fan club.

But Vaca went a step further. He brought his pet bald eagle. Granted it was stuffed. But it was unique nonetheless.

Vaca was one of hundreds of Fort Lauderdale Outlaws at Mickey Byrne’s in Hollywood on Monday, chanting, screaming and cavorting for the United State’s World Cup opener against Ghana.

Some chants, such as “U-S-A!” and “I believe that we will win,” were appropriate for a family newspaper. Most were not.

Two hours before the opening kick, the place was packed — and well-lubricated. Just an aerial shot of the men’s national team bus driving to the stadium elicited cheers.

Pretty much any way an American flag could be worn, it was. As a scarf. As a bandana. One patron even jokingly asked whether he could wear his USA Speedo.

The National Anthem? Couldn’t even hear it on TV. It was drowned out by the capacity crowd singing along.

“It’s good because you have your friendship, your common interest, and you represent your country,” said Vaca, who used a week of vacation so he didn’t miss a minute. “In the past, the U.S. didn’t have enough support. We’re trying to change that.”

If Monday was any indication, passion for the beautiful game doesn’t end at the Miami-Dade-Broward line.

Three years ago, the American Outlaws split from one South Florida group into multiple, more localized clubs.

The Fort Lauderdale chapter, led by longtime soccer fan Pabony Rivera, has more than 100 members. They’ve made Mickey Byrne’s their home the past three years.

No crowd has been as big as Monday’s.

“After [the U.S. team’s] last showing in 2010, it’s been growing by leaps and bounds,” said Rivera, a native of Colombia who is a full-fledged fan of the Americans. “It’s been incredible the response. Even the mainstream fans have been coming out to the watch parties.

“It really helps when the team is doing well.”

Thirty seconds into the game — when Clint Dempsey scored the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history — it certainly was.

And when John Brooks headed in the winner in the 86th minute? Delirium. And beer showers.

Read more Soccer stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo waves to fans as a police officer escorts him and the team off the field after their 1-0 loss to Roma in a Guinness International Champions Cup soccer tournament match, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Dallas.

    Pitch invasion as Roma beats Real Madrid

    Roma beat Real Madrid 1-0 on Tuesday in a friendly match disrupted by a pitch invasion, with a Palestinian flag being waved among the intruders.

  •  
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo waves to fans as a police officer escorts him and the team off the field after their 1-0 loss to Roma in a Guinness International Champions Cup soccer tournament match, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Dallas.

    Fans run on field in Real Madrid-AS Roma match

    Approximately 20 fans ran on the field in the 87th minute of AS Roma's 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Cotton Bowl on Tuesday night, disrupting play in the International Champions Cup match.

  • MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)

    The New England Revolution will aim to put the brakes on a lengthy losing streak on Wednesday when the clubs returns home to face the Colorado Rapids at Gillette Stadium.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category