American Outlaws, U.S. Soccer’s official supporter’s group, have finally commented on the Save the Crew movement after initially directing local AO chapters to avoid involvement.
While American Outlaws policy hasn’t changed, there has been some softening in the views of the organization’s leadership.
After Thursday’s announcement that MAPFRE Stadium would host the United States Women’s National Team vs. Germany and England vs. France in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, American Outlaws released a statement addressing the issue surrounding Columbus Crew SC.
With today’s announcement that the SheBelieves Cup will feature MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, it’s important that we address the situation that is unfolding there. pic.twitter.com/0wPbJr8weV— The American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws) December 21, 2017
The reception from Crew faithful was mixed given the lack of an unequivocal statement backing the Save The Crew movement, but one leader received the statement warmly.
Thank you to American Outlaws for standing with @Save_The_Crew to increase the power of soccer fans and increase transparency around the game in America. I had a great conversation with some of their leadership and I know they are on our side. https://t.co/owLjMwZza7— Donny Murray (@SaintMurray) December 21, 2017
While this statement may not represent the full-throated voice of support for Save the Crew that many Columbus supporters want, it does represent a change from American Outlaw’s original direction that member organizations stay out of club business.
American Outlaw’s initial direction of distance from the Save the Crew issue was not the first instance of contention between AO and Columbus supporters. During the 2013 USMNT vs. Mexico match at MAPRE Stadium, AO reportedly utilized Seattle based capos to coordinate the almost stadium-wide supporter’s section at that match.
This statement from AO marks yet another national instance of support for the Save the Crew movement, which has gradually picked up steam after team owner Anthony Precourt announced potentially plans to relocate the team to Austin, Texas.