The next stop in our tour of Arsenal America branches takes us back east to one of America's most passionate sports towns - Philadelphia. But don't let the legendary tales of fans pelting Santa with snow balls or of a jail in the old football stadium throw you off. When it comes to Arsenal, branch manager George Sedgwick says Philly earns its moniker:
"If you are thinking of watching an EPL game in Philly, please look us up. The Philly Gooners are a loyal, fun, and helpful bunch, and we will be happy to make sure you know where to go for true Arsenal support in the City of Brotherly Love."
Group Name: Philly Gooners
Year established: 2002
Number of active members: "Overall, there are about 275 if you include those on our Facebook group and those who are members but not Facebook users.
For big games, we get about 40 viewers, sometimes more. For more routine games, we average about 15."
Where we watch matches: Fado Irish Pub - 1500 Locust St. Philadelphia, PA 19102. (215) 893-9700
Where our members hail from: "Most who watch games are locals, but we tend to get a few Ex-pats, college students, and folks on trips, too. At any given game, we typically have 1 or 2 'visiting' Gooners."
Group's favorite Arsenal moment: "A very memorable moment would be our 5-2 win over Spurs in February 2012. The pub was filled with one-game-only Spurs fans, led by a fan who has his own internet radio show. We Gooners, who are one of the largest supporting groups at Fado, had never seen 99 percent of the Spurs fans, and were surprised by their numbers...and as we went down two goals, the Spurs fans were very vocal about their team. As you know, we turned the tide, and our singing added to the strength of our victory.
...And we haven't had much Spur support at the pub since then!"
Arsenal in Philadelphia: "Philly has a large EPL following. Arsenal seems to be second in terms of supporting numbers, with Man U being on top of the pile."
Group's all-time favorite players: "Always, the entire current squad. But who can leave out the brilliance of TH14, the aplomb of Pires, the vision of Cesc, and the shining future with Wilshere."
Why we are Gooners: "We are Gooners because Arsenal play with class, skill, and intelligence. Also, because of Wenger's genius. Mostly though, because we just are, through and through."21 Sep 2011