Our tour of Arsenal America branches takes us back to Southern California and the land of sun, sand and sea. It's no wonder people from all over the world flock to San Diego. But in addition to mild temperatures, beautiful scenery and a really big zoo, you can find plenty of people who live and breathe Arsenal. And as branch manager Jose Lira says, whether you are there for good or just a quick visit, be sure to stop by the pub:
"Anyone in the San Diego area who loves the Arsenal is encouraged to come out and join us!"
Group Name: San Diego Gooners
Location: San Diego, CA
Year established: 2010
Number of active members: "Currently we have around 80 members. Around 20 people consistently turn up for matches, but big games draw bigger crowds of 40+"
Normal match start time: "7am on weekends, 11:45am or for midweek games."
Where we watch matches: Bluefoot Bar & Lounge 3404 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104. (619) 756-7891
Where our members hail from: "We're a very diverse group, mainly from Southern California. We have a fair share of people from other states and countries though. We're happy to hang out with anyone from whatever country, as long as they support Arsenal!."
Group's favorite Arsenal moment: "After much discussion, we decided that our favorite group moment was Jens Lehmann's penalty save against Riquelme/Villareal. The save sent us to the 2006 Champion's League final. The entire CL campaign was amazing, but this specific moment was very special to all of us."
Group's favorite players: "The majority of the votes went to Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. The way they played and the joy that people felt when watching them is what drew many of us to become Arsenal supporters."
Why we are Gooners: "We have all been attracted to Arsenal in our own special way. For the majority of us, it wasn't a decision to become Arsenal supporters, but something that naturally stuck with us. The emotional connection that is built with the club, even at such a great distance, is so strong that it becomes in a way addicting. The way we play, the way we're managed, the entire image of the club is something that you fall in love with."
Arsenal in San Diego: "Being one of the major English teams, we have a pretty strong fan base. Television coverage has improved dramatically and fans from all over the city are able to come watch their favorite team. People in San Diego love football and the majority of them have an allegiance to a specific club."
Why Americans should be Arsenal fans: "It is a club that is true to itself and maintains its philosophy of playing beautiful football. Aside from all the criticism you may hear, Arsenal are always competing for silverware while maintaining self-sufficient and playing exciting, attacking football."21 Sep 2011