“I support the Colorado Rapids”
“The Colorado What?”
“The Colorado Rapids”
“The Colorado Who?”
“The Colorado Rapids”
“Oh, you mean LA Galaxy, with Beckham?”
Unfortunately, this is still a typical conversation with the majority of people I meet in the UK, with regards to Major League Soccer. A sport which, in England, is totally dominated by LA Galaxy, with Beckham, Landycakes, and Keane, and also New York Red Bull, with that guy from Arsenal.
So a little introduction, hello, my name is Tom, I’m 23 years old, and I’m an alcoholic…..no wait….what I mean is…hello, my name is Tom, I live in a small town in England, about 1 hour north of London, and I am an avid Colorado Rapids fan.
How did this start? Well let me take you on a journey of epic proportions. I have family that live in Colorado Springs, and a few years ago, whilst visiting them after a horrid 10 hour flight into Denver from London Heathrow, I noticed that some team called ‘The Rapids’ were playing against Beckham FC, and I absolutely insisted on going to watch this curiosity. The result? A 4-0 crushing against Becks and Landy….and a UK based Colorado fan was born.
I love the MLS, and am not afraid to admit it. Here in England, I support a team called Coventry City (anyone?) we play in the league below the Premier League, and we’re going to get relegated this season. We play in a 32,000 seater stadium, and get an average attendance of 12,000. It’s boring, we’re rubbish, and I wish I lived nearer to Commerce City.
The first time I went to the Rapids (and I’ve been to 4 games since then) I fell in love with the spectacle of MLS. The lights, the noise, the hotdogs. Everything was perfect. You know the way Dick’s lights up with yellow when a player gets booked? I think that’s absolutely genius. American’s know how to put on a show, and whilst the ‘standard of football’ may not be up to that of the Premier League, or the Championship, I would rather go to watch a live game of MLS, than any team outside the top 6 of the English Premier League.
But how does a dedicated Brit go about watching his beloved Colorado Rapids? Well, for those of you who don’t know. England is 7 hours ahead of Denver, so when you guys kick off late at night…that means a very bleary eyed writer the next morning! There are so little options over here to watch MLS Live, and that angers me as we have such dedicated, and brilliant NFL coverage over here, courtesy of Sky Sports. At the moment, my options are:
- Stay up late and watch a coughstreamofthematchonlinecough.
- Watch the highlights on the Rapids/MLS official website the next day.
- Pray that ESPN UK decide not to show Galaxy or Red Bull. (This never happens.)
- Trick my I.P address into thinking it’s from the US, and signing up to MLS Live through the MLS official website.
As you can see, it’s not easy being an MLS fan in the UK, and it makes me crave for the days when I can just watch a game on Altitude when I’m visiting my relatives. However…some of the looks I’ve had off my flatmates, after I’ve been shouting at my computer screen after a late night Rapids game have been absolutely priceless!
So that’s me. Your dedicated, loyal, UK based Colorado Rapids fan. I’ve never met another Rapids fan here the UK, and it is with pride that I wear my Burgundy jersey to soccer training every Thursday evening. As a Primary School teacher, it’s a small dream of mine to come out to Denver, and teach in the US, whilst holding a Rapids season ticket, and hopefully one day, I’ll be able to mix it up with the Pid Army, and other Colorado fans.
If you guys have any questions, please feel free to contact me @MLS_Rapids_UK and please read the articles posted daily at ukmajorleaguesoccer.com where I contribute, and there are a group of UK MLS fans, posting about all the teams!
Tom was gracious enough to write this guest column for CRF. He is an elementary school teacher from a quaint little town in the centre of England.