In the last few years, more and more Arsenal America branches popped up across the United States. The next stop in our tour of supporters' groups is the home to Yale University, the Winchester rifle and a growing member of the Arsenal family: New Haven, Connecticut. As branch manager Teague Dwyer says:
"If you like your football viewing to be loud, frenzied, and filled with singing, passionate fans willing to stack three deep at the pub at 7:30 on a Saturday morning to cheer on the red and white, then the New Haven Gooners are definitely for you. They're also some of the nicest, most affable people you'll ever meet and everyone is most definitely welcome."
Group Name: New Haven Gooners
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Year established: 2010
Where we watch matches: - Christy's On Orange - 261 Orange Street, New Haven, CT 06510. (203) 624-0811
"We're back to our original home this season! The owner Christy is a Gooner and they are open for every Arsenal match no matter the day or start time."
Number of active members: "The New Haven Gooners have grown from about a dozen loyal supporters to having between 20 and 30 for every match, and over 50 on large occasions. We had over 40 people for the first match of the season v. Sunderland, and new people from the Greater New Haven area find out about us each week."
Where our members hail from: "New Haven is a surprisingly international city as well as the home of Yale University, and as such we get a wide variety of supporters from around the country, and indeed the world. We count among us members from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Albania, Croatia, Colombia, the Middle East, several US States, and many places I'm sure I'll take grief for forgetting. Still, it's fair to say that 50% of our members are local CT people, and incredibly welcoming."
The group's beginnings: "A few of us Arsenal supporters have been watching matches together since at least 2005, but the New Haven Gooners were officially founded in October of 2010. We were a couple of small factions of Arsenal supporters watching at different pubs in New Haven. One day, after we were accidentally introduced to each other, three of us contacted Arsenal America about starting a branch in New Haven. It has grown exponentially in the past two years to become by far the largest football supporters club in Connecticut."
Arsenal in Connecticut: "New Haven is crazy for the Premier League. Within a quarter mile span of downtown, there are three pubs that are open for every match all weekend long. For a city of just over 100,000 people, the turn-outs are always excellent. Arsenal are well represented, and the New Haven Gooners are known throughout town as the biggest (and, yes, loudest) supporters club around."
Group’s favorite moments: "In March a contingent of us made the trek to New Jersey to welcome Thierry Henry back from his Arsenal loan spell upon his return to the New York Red Bulls. Although the event was brilliantly devised, promoted, and attended by the much larger Arsenal NYC group, most of the pictures, videos, and songs from the event prominently feature our small group. We like to say that we out sang all of Arsenal America that day.
"Just this past weekend, we organized a friendly march down Orange Street. We carried banners, flags, scarves and other memorabilia and sang Arsenal songs all the way to a rival pub, where we gave a little good natured ribbing to some Tottenham supporters and wound up having a few pints with them (and watching Spurs lose.) It was a brilliant way to end opening day."
Why we are Gooners: "Because we love the game and we love it beautiful."
Why Americans should be Arsenal fans: "Most of all because Arsenal play great football. Beyond that, Arsenal (like America) is international, with players from England and all over the world. Arsenal has a smart American investor on their board. And they play great football!"21 Sep 2011