When most people think of cities in Pennsylvania it's often just Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But there are a lot of miles in between and a whole lot more to the state -- including the capital of Harrisburg. And it turns out that central Pennsylvania has it's own growing hub of Arsenal support. As branch manager Kristen Ortiz telsl us:
"We are a diverse and enthusiastic group - all are welcome to come out to MoMo's and join us in watching the Arsenal. So if you're in the area, don't be shy!"
Group Name: Central Pennsylvania Gooners
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Year established: 2011
Number of active members: "We're proud to say we're growing all the time as word about our group continues to spread, but as of right now we've got approximately 10-12 people turning out for big weekend games and always at least a few at MoMo's for the smaller or workday matches."
Where we watch matches: MoMo's BBQ and Grill, 307 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101. (717) 230-1030
"MoMo's opens for us for early games so long as we can confirm ahead of time that we'll have several people coming out. Watch our Facebook page for confirmation of which early games we'll be out for."
Where our members hail from: "Most of our Gooners are locals from the Harrisburg area, but we've seen an out of town visitor or two."
Arsenal in Pennsylvania: "Arsenal is more popular in this area than you would probably guess. Premier League football in general as well. There is a Man U fan presence as well as several other supporter groups in the area."
The group's beginnings: "A few of us discovered that we had Arsenal in common and made plans in February 2011 to get together for THAT Carling Cup Final. After the result, and deciding that misery loves company, we decided to get together more frequently for matches and began to find more Gooners in the area and invite more friends to join us.
"Our tallest member went to Brazil, fell in love with the jugo bonito and Arsenal was the natural choice for satisfying that craving. Founding member Kristen spent time in London a stone's throw from the Emirates. One member grew up near the London Colney training ground and has a family history of being a Gooner.
"MoMo's co-owner Dave, the one who puts up with us swearing loudly at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, was not a Gooner in the beginning, or even a particular soccer fan. But we've worn him down and he is now currently soliciting recommendations for a new favorite player after Alex Song's departure."
The group's most memorable moments: "Euphoria after Spurs and Chelsea wins last year. Jerry-rigging a laptop to one of the TVs at the bar to catch a game that was only streamed online."15 Nov 2012