Meet A Member: Hartford’s Tom Lovkay

Name: Tom Lovkay    

AO Chapter: AO Hartford 

Caps: 34

When did you become a member? 2010

What does being a member and chapter leader mean to you?

Being the President of AO Hartford and CAC Rep for New England has been an honor. I feel so lucky to have met so many great people across the country and build lasting relationships with so many incredible people. It never ceases to amaze me how much fun we have with AO and with each other. It truly is a family. I take great pride and find immense responsibility to grow our mission as an organization and the game within our community. In Hartford, we make sure to give back as much as we can. We have charitable events, run fundraisers at viewing parties, and continuously look for ways to engage our community. Man, do we love what we do. 

Tell us something you’ve done with an AO friend that wasn’t soccer-related?

Our AO Family in Hartford goes far beyond soccer. From nights out on the town, kickball, local hockey/basketball/football/baseball events, beach trips, game nights, weddings and our favorite: karaoke, our soccer fam loves to have fun outside of AO events. 

What goal incited your craziest celebration?

Donovan vs Mexico, Columbus 9/10/13. Dos A Cero.

What was your celebration?

I was blessed to be front row behind the goal he scored in, front and center of the AO section. We. Went. Nuts.

What are your weird game day superstitions?

During AO’s infancy, there was a year where my shirt did not ship on time. Our friends at National sent me some stickers and a set of US Soccer themed dog tags to make up for the mishap. I wore those dog tags as a necklace on every game day and considered them my good luck charm. Unfortunately, the necklace broke in Montreal at the Women’s World Cup and I have not seen them since 🙁 I need a new superstition)

How did you first get involved with AO?

I was 19 years old with a passion for the game. I found some folks on Big Soccer message boards and connected with some like minded ultras online. Luckily for me, I was able to sneak into the bar and establish myself as a Chapter Leader from the start. Co-Founding AO Hartford is one of the proudest accomplishments of my life and I will forever be grateful to everyone who helped make it happen. We have built something special here in Hartford. It’s crazy to think this was about 10 years ago. Wow.

What is on your wish list to do or experience with US Soccer?

Men’s World Cup. 100%. My dream is to see our Yanks lift that trophy. I will settle for attending a match in person, as I have never had the opportunity to do so. 

Who do you most admire/who is your favorite player?

My favorite player has changed over the years. I grew up idolizing Carlos Bocanegra and Frankie Hejduk. I have yet to admire a defender as I did those two but I am hopeful for the new generation. (so long as Miazga leaves Chelsea 😉

What do you want to get from this community?

I personally do not want to get anything from this community. I want this community to get the very best from me and our leaders. I want our community to continue to grow and to give back as much as we can through our charitable endeavors. I want soccer to thrive!

What was the happiest moment as an AO member?

This is a great question. There are so many. Landon Donovan on the Hartford CAPO stand at his farewell, maybe? I honestly do not know, there are so many. 

How far have you traveled for a US Game?

The furthest was from Hartford>LA for the CONCACAF Cup vs Mexico at the Rose Bowl. What a time that was. We car-pooled from the AO pregame bar into the parking lot with some new friends we had met at lunch. Unfortunately for us, we trusted them. They promised to drive us back to the bar to our car, we had to get back because I had a red eye out of LAX. When we left the stadium, totally devastated with Mexico’s late goal and the 95k celebrating fans in green, we returned to where the car “was” parked. They left without us. Distraught, we had to hitchhike back to our car, sit through LA traffic, and some how, some way, we made it to LAX, through security, sprinting to the plane, where they held the gate and I was able to sleep off the 12 hour AO party. IF you are reading this, and it was you, you owe me a beer. 

What do you want to do or experience more then anything in the next 4 years?

4 stars. Very much looking forward to the WNT’s run in France next summer.