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The History and Tradition of Sam’s Army

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world, but here in America it gets little attention due to the prominence of other sports, such as football, basketball and baseball. Regardless of this fact, many Americans are passionate about soccer, and none more so than the members of Sam’s Army.

Sam’s Army is the unofficial supporter’s group of the US Men’s National Team and I believe the Army comprises the most dedicated fans of any US sport. Of course, as a member, I am a little biased. But, anyone who has ever been to a US MNT game and sat with Sam’s Army knows these folks take their soccer seriously.

The group was founded by three fans (including Mark Wheeler, the founder of www.mfls.com) in 1994 and made their debut in 1995 at a US match against Nigeria in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Since then, their numbers have grown into the thousands and now every MNT match (whether home or away) features members of Sam’s Army (clad in Red).

To be a member, you have to follow certain rules. You must stand for the duration of the match (real fans never sit), you must vocally support the team by singing, chanting or drumming (and you need to do so in unison), and you must be willing to avoid engaging in some inappropriate behavior (like racist language and throwing things on the field).

To join Sam’s Army, just show up for a MNT game and get seats behind the goal or go online to www.sams-army.com and sign up. With World Cup qualifying getting back underway in February in Columbus, the US Men’s National Team needs our support now more than ever, so throw on a red shirt and some war paint and join the Army as it takes the pitch as the US’s 12th man.