I could feel Kyle's disapproving glower even as I typed that headline... but hey, so sue me*. The United States Soccer Federation has announced that the U.S. Men's National Team will be playing an exhibition match (a "friendly" in soccer parlance) on Saturday, May 26, against Scotland at Everbank Field in Jacksonville. This is technically considered a tune-up match for our first 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying tie 2 weeks later in Tampa against
some random minnow Caribbean nation that will get crushed Antigua and Barbuda. The Scots, however, will certainly present a far greater challenge than the islanders.
Since I have already committed myself and Mrs. Vineyarddawg (and, possibly, the parents Vineyarddawg) to attending this soiree, I'm officially declaring this the World's Largest Outdoor Tartan Party.
I am extremely excited about this game. Scotland, for those who aren't aware, has a fanatically loyal fan base known as the Tartan Army. It is one of the best examples in the entire world of a fan base uniting against hooliganism and fostering a community of respect and sportsmanship combined with fanatic support of one's team (and, in recent years, lots of admirable charity work).
Everywhere the Tartan Army goes, they are known for being highly visible, loud, proud, and yet respectful of their opponents. The primary criticism about them is that they boo the British national anthem, but that will earn them no raised eyebrows on this side of the pond, since everybody I know sings "My Country 'Tis of Thee" during that same anthem.
I really hope that the Tartan Army shows up for this game (and U.S. supporters, too, of course). It would be awesome to be sitting in the stands during a rousing rendition of the Scottish national anthem,
"F*** England" "O Flower of Scotland." (Also, until Atlanta builds an outdoor/natural grass stadium with a respectable seating capacity, this is about as close as the USMNT will ever get to Georgia, so there's that, too.)
Ticket details haven't been announced yet, but you can sign up for the official notice when they go on sale at this link. Join me in JAX, U.S. Soccer fans, to watch Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Landon Donovan, et al, and celebrate the inaugural World's Largest Outdoor Tartan Party!
Seriously, tell me this song's alternate title couldn't be "F*** England." (Lyrics here.)
* - Boy, is that ever the wrong thing to say to an attorney.