The FanPosts keep rolling in! Today, a good friend of mine from across the pond SFurnivall weighs in on how he became a New England Revolution fan from thousands of miles away.
So it hasn't been a brilliant start to the 2011 MLS season for the Revolution. The Kings of the 1-1 tie followed up their first defeat, a frustrating one against ten-man Real Salt Lake, with a 1-0 loss at Houston, and have only ticked the win column on one occasion. Indeed, watching the highlights of the game at Robertson Stadium, the most pertinent question seemed to be 'how on earth did it take Houston so long to score?'
Mostly people ask me why on earth I care about the fortunes of a team playing 'soccer' in New England. My answer? It's all Stevie Nicol's fault.
I always loved Nicol. Being a slightly ginger Scot, the sight of another of my kind working up and down the right flank for my boyhood club, Liverpool, was always going to be endearing. Unfortunately that was where the similarity between us ended, as my own talent for playing the game registers firmly in the 'non-existent' category.
Nicol played some 468 games for the Reds, mostly during my formative years as a soccer fan, but it was his goals against Crystal Palace, the first and last in the famous 9-0 win, that sealed his place in my heart.
When Stevie made his way across to the US it piqued my interest in the game 'Stateside', and over the last few years that has cemented into a real support of the Revolution. I wasn't a particularly ardent follower during the years of success, in reaching the MLS Cup at least, but recently the search for coverage, highlights and reports has become a regular ritual.
I had hoped (I'll admit naïvely) that the 2011 MLS season would provide and upturn in Revs form from last year and respite from the disappointment that has been the last year as a Liverpool fan. Joining Hearts and their well deserved third place in the SPL as a beacon of light would only further solidify my growing love for the Revolution, but it looks as if I'm in for a long, hard summer and more of the pain that all sports fans must endure in order to appreciate the highs. At least I can blame Nicol.