An American Outlaws Love Story

Antonio and I met at the USWNT vs Mexico 2015 Women’s World Cup send off game in Carson, CA. At the time, I was living in the East Bay after getting a teaching job in Oakland. I took a road trip down to Carson with Crystal from AO San Jose, Chris Lopez from AO Modesto and Leslie from AO Oakland. Leslie and I came up with the crazy idea for a one-day turnaround trip during one of our planning meetings for AO Oakland. During early entry, Antonio helped the people from AO LA carry some stuff in. I had taken notice that he was the only one from the Inland Empire Chapter helping out with early entry. After set up our friend Erin from AO Houston offered Leslie, Crystal, and I a ride back to the tailgate. We saw Antonio was walking back on his own, so we offered him a ride. I was about to get into the trunk of the SUV, but Antonio was a gentleman and offered to let me sit with my friends. He didn’t know about the cider that was back there that I had planned on starting to drink, ha. Coincidently, we ended up standing next to each other during the game, and we enjoyed ourselves talking about the team and how excited we were for the Women’s World Cup that summer.

When the game was over he offered to take one of the flag poles we brought in during early entry down to the players to have it signed for me. I was impressed when he returned mission accomplished. He then noticed the custom AO shoes that I had painted for myself, and wanted to know how he could score his own pair. I told him about how I paint custom shoes as a hobby and offered to paint him a pair, as a reward for the signed flag and because I thought he was a little cute. We exchanged information and I told him we would be in touch. Over the next week we flirted over soccer talk, geeky movies, and Disney. The following  weekend I happened to be back in SoCal, so we decided to go out on our first date to a movie and things just clicked. Things clicked so well I had convinced him to come up Memorial day weekend and see the Quakes play Orlando at Levi’s.  

During the summer of 2015 we switched off traveling up and down California to see each other. Going to MLS games and AO watch parties took up the bulk of the time we spent together. At the end of that summer he asked me about going to the Men’s World Cup in Russia. It was still three years off, but we made a promise that we would try to go together even if it was just as friends.  When the the men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup, we were severely disappointed like everyone else, but especially so due the commitment we had made to each other early on in our relationship.

Together we travelled across the US to follow our Men’s and Women’s national teams play in Pasadena, Phoenix, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Clara, Salt Like, and Columbus. We will have attended seventeen games together once January camp closes and look forward to many more in the future.

This past Christmas Eve, Antonio proposed to me at Disneyland in front of the big Christmas tree. We are putting our Russia budget to good use for our wedding this summer on August 2nd. The 2019 Women’s World Cup will be our delayed honeymoon and we look forward to seeing the USWNT getting their fourth star above the US Soccer crest.