Like their counterparts -- the Southern Arizona Armoury in Tucson -- this group in Phoenix is is growing as Arsena gains popularity in the American Southwest. And it turns out it's growing even faster than we thought! The latest stop in our tour of Arsenal supporters groups takes us back to the Grand Canyon State, where branch manager Adrian Cazares says support in the state's capital is growing just as quickly as down south:
"Our group has had great success in a very short amount of time. We're very excited about the future of the group and the future of Arsenal FC!"
Group Name: Arizona Gooners
Location: Phoenix/Tempe, AZ
Year established: 2010
Number of active members: "Our Facebook page has over 100 members currently. Tthere's always a group of 7-8 present for every match, while others come in from time to time, and we meet new friends every week. It's typical to get around 15 Gooners for each match."
Where we watch matches: Robbie Fox's Public House 640 S. Mill Ave Tempe, AZ 85281. (480) 642-6442
Where our members hail from: "Arizona is a melting pot, as it's pretty hard to find many 'locals'. We're all from somewhere. I'm from Dallas, and we have met members who hail from California, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Uganda, India and England as well."
Group's favorite Arsenal moment: "I think everyone will agree that that comeback against Barca was the highest moment for the group. We had that pub packed, and when Arshavin's goal went in, the place erupted!"
Why we are Gooners: "Why wouldn't we be? Arsenal are the best team in the world, regardless of trophies. "Victoria Concordia Crescit". Victory though harmony. That's how the Arsenal play, and it's beautiful. I'll take doing things the "Arsenal way" over what the other European "giants" do any day."
Arsenal in Phoenix: "There seem to be a lot of fans of Arsenal in the area, thus the response I've gotten from starting this group. There also seem to be a lot of Barca fans here (ironically, they seem to frequent our pub). Local bars don't seem to cater to the footy fans, so it's really hard to see what kind of fans we have here. I'm hoping to change that by getting our place to be the first to open early regularly for matches."
Why Americans should be Arsenal fans: "We have red, white and blue in our crest! Seriously though, Arsenal pride themselves on doing things the right way. Though hard work and determination you can accomplish your goals. Isn't that what the American Dream is all about?"21 Sep 2011