The Ultimate 2015 U.S. Soccer Road Trip: A blueprint to visit all MLS, NASL, USL stadiums

US Soccer

by BILL REESE
Staff Writer

Every now and then, I get lost in a daydream; a daydream about a world where I could pay all my bills and save enough to retire by writing about soccer—specifically American soccer—alone.

Then I hear the ping of my work e-mail inbox and I return to reality.

Of all my soccer journalism daydreams, there is one idea I’ve had… so preposterous, so illogical, so impractical, and so downright crazy… that I can’t stop thinking about it. When describing this article to my fiancée, she replied deadpan… “If you ever did that, I would leave you.”

The idea is simple. I would embark on a six month tour of the United States and Canada and I would attend a home match for all 20 Major League Soccer teams, all 11 North American Soccer League teams, and all 16 non-MLS reserve USL teams.

47 games. 185 days. 18,500 miles.

The purpose of this quest—other than sheer and utter stupidity—would be to conduct the most extensive review of the American soccer culture as it stands in 2015. The mission would not be to just watch games… many of them minor-league soccer matches. I could do that at home. This would be mostly about North America’s simmering supporters culture. Every passing year there are new stories about vibrant supporters groups popping up in cities across America and Canada. I’d try to meet as many of these supporters groups as I could, and, preferably, would stand with them at every match. I’d ask them how they got involved in the group, where their influences lie, and what makes them unique compared to the growing multitude of supporters unions across the top three divisions.

The experience would be thoroughly documented, best done by one writer and one photographer. At the end of the adventure, the stories, interviews, and photos would be compiled into a massive book about the state of American soccer. With any luck, the two travelers would try to parlay the book—or at the very least the notoriety of the trip—into a gig with the sports media, or possibly even one of the big three pro leagues.

In order to do that, however, you need a proper road map.

Join us now as we embark on this ultimate soccer road trip — one stadium at a time.

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  • Ryan

    GREAT IDEA. Great timing, too. American soccer culture is picking up in a hurry. I would say I hope your plan goes off without a hitch but I think hitches can make for a more interesting and fulfilling story! Good luck.

  • TBrodie

    You couldn’t fit in nine NWSL games while you were at it?

  • Fred

    If you manage to do this, I hope you take a lot of pictures. And possibly a cameraman. And beer. And several good mixtapes.

    Thinking about it, you’d probably be able to get some backing by the leagues to do this if you manage to do a write-up of your experience after each game. And I’m sure the supporters’ groups would love it, too.

  • Jay

    Is hofstra’s turf really the worst in the country? its only 2 years old…

  • Alex Gago

    What a great idea for a movie documentary. Any takers! I can put together finance for this project. Just need journalist broad casters and a editor to get this project in the development stage.

  • Bklyn Royals Fan

    What no NPSL or PDL games? Lol
    Seriously, good article, that would one heck of a road trip!

  • Ian Garrett

    When you get to Jacksonville for the Armada vs. Indy 11 game, look up the Section 904 supporters group!

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  • Punch

    I know you are talking about just hitting bigger teams, but if you are going through Detroit on a mission to see the best of North American soccer culture, you’ve got to stop in at Estadio Casstecha and hang with the Northern Guard Supporters at a Detroit City FC (NPSL) game.

  • Alphonse Diablo

    Dave, in a word…inspiring. You SHOULD do this AND contact the Travel Channel asap to make a TV series about it. They’ve funded TV shows about a guy who eats bugs and dudes that chase ghosts, why not a TV show about you and your 18,000 miles of soccer.

    • All Credit to Bill Reese …. hell of a pitch if Travel Channel wants to sponsor it!

  • NYsoccerfan

    Fantastic article. This should be posted on every sports website to showcase American soccer on a national scale in 2015.

  • Tim F.

    Absolutely terrific piece. Bravo!

  • Drew from the OC

    Rochester has always had a turf field at Sahlen’s stadium. They were only candidates until MLS got their first TV contract. As much as we’d like to think a stadium and support are important the REAL key factor is, will you provide additional TV audience.

  • Brandon K

    If you’re not stopping in Detroit to see the Northern Guard, you are wasting your time on this road trip. Probably in the top 10 supporters group in any league.