Delaware soccer fans waiting for official recognition
Just in time to celebrate Team USA's World Cup run, Delaware's chapter of the American Outlaws has reached enough members for official recognition.
"We love you, we love you, and where you go we'll follow, we'll follow."
That was the chant that arose from Delaware soccer fans at Stoney's Pub on Rt. 202 last Thursday as the United States advanced to the elimination round in the World Cup. Stoney's is the official pub for the Delaware Outlaws, a required component for official recognition by the national chapter of the Outlaws, whose mission is to boost the United States National Soccer Team "through a unified and dedicated group of supporters."
While it's taken some time, that official recognition is about to be realized.
"Last month, we hit that 25 member goal, now we're just waiting on the formalities," said AO Delaware president Eugene Rupinski.
Because the national leadership of the Outlaws is otherwise occupied during the World Cup, there's a slight delay in entry for the Delaware group.
"Unfortunately for us, all the people (to approve the request) are in Brazil, so it's kind of understandable, but we're going to get there," Rupinski said.
AO members pay $29 to join get a shirt, bandana and discounts on tickets to see the US team play. But, if you ask a member, it's about much more than that,
"You also get to belong to something bigger than yourself," Rupinski said.
The AO Delaware chapter was originally founded in 2008, but much like the sport itself, building support has been a slow process.
“I’ve been networking with people," Rupisnki said, "with soccer fans and like-minded folks to try and build interest in not only the American Outlaws, but soccer in general here in this area.”
Another big crowd is expected to pack out Stoney's for the American's elimination match against Belgium at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.