US Soccer Fans Help Boost National Team

August 6, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. legion [LEE-juhn] (n.) – a large number of people or things
Example: The soccer superstar has a legion of loyal fans.

2. underdog [UHN-der-dawg, -dog] (n.) – a person or team that is expected to lose in a contest or conflict; someone who is less powerful than the opponent
Example: Many people were surprised when the underdog won the basketball game.

3. mobilization [MOH-buh-luh-ZEY-shuhn] (n.) – the act of bringing people together for a purpose
Example To support the school’s football team, the principal led the mobilization of students.

4. indulge [in-DUHLJ] (v.) – to allow oneself to do something fun or pleasurable
Example: After training hard, the team members indulged in delicious food and horror movies.

5. packed [pakt] (adj.) – full; containing as much people or things as possible
Example Many supporters were not able to enter the stadium because it was already packed in the first hour.


Read the text below.
The US Men's National Soccer Team has been getting a lot of support from a growing legion of fans called the American Outlaws.

The American Outlaws claims to have 7,000 members and more than 80 branches in the US. Also, it has now become increasingly organized. In fact, the legion is already recognized for having a strong presence at stadiums and sports bars across the country to cheer for the US team.

Korey Donahoo, national president of the Outlaws, said the members chose such name because many soccer fans feel out of place in a country where other professional sports are much more popular. In addition, the US team is often seen as an underdog in soccer.

Nonetheless, the leaders of the Outlaws feel confident that the group will grow larger and larger as more people are joining.

In its biggest mobilization yet, the Outlaws gathered thousands of people to attend a friendly international match in Washington between the US and Germany. Before the game, the fans held a tailgate party in the parking lot of the stadium, where they indulged in burgers and beers to get into the mood for the match. They then marched into the stadium and filled the seats while chanting and waving flags.

US goalkeeper Tim Howard expressed gratitude for the fans' overwhelming support during the said game. He said playing in a big, packed stadium against a team like Germany was a very rare and special moment for him and his teammates, especially since most people are cheering for his team.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the American Outlaws’ huge support had something to do with the US soccer team’s victory over Germany? Please explain your answer.
·         In your opinion, how else do fans affect the athletes they support?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think certain sports are not as popular as others?
·         What, for you, makes a sport or activity interesting? Please explain briefly.


August 6, 2013