Why Should You Attend January Camp

You’re probably sitting at home, thinking to yourself, “there’s no way I should go to the January Camp match.” The MNT are out of the World Cup, and it’s just a meaningless friendly against a B-level team, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. There are plenty of reasons why I make the annual trek to California for the January Camp match. Here are a few of them:

Which players will make their mark? Graham Zusi. Jimmy Conrad. Jorge Villafana. Kellyn Acosta. DeAndre Yedlin. Chris Wondolowski. Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler. Gyasi Zardes. These are just a few of the guys who became mainstays on the USMNT through their performance at a January Camp. At a match where you don’t have many guys who are viewed as regulars, these guys saw their opportunity to get playing time and make a name for themselves. Make no mistake, the players that are called up to January Camp know they have an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on fans and the coaching staff. Some of the players that are called up for this match could only be beginning their journey with the USMNT. We should support them from the start.

You can’t beat the weather! Look here y’all, I love winter. Love. Winter. But, there’s something to be said about heading to Southern California in the middle of the winter to relax and have some fun in the sun. You can have some beach time, enjoy what normally is outstanding weather, and return to work and earn the envy of your colleagues. Get a tan. Enjoy some of the incredible food LA has to offer. Relax and take your mind off the harsh winter. Enjoy a few days in LA and get some much-needed fun.

It’s a weekend to enjoy with your #AOFamily! There no better match weekend to get together with your #AOFamily and enjoy each other’s company while we jumpstart the new year. Participate in the 4th Annual AO Supporters Cup, where you can relive your playing days and possibly play alongside a celebrity or two. It will take place at StubHub Center’s Field 5, so get a little exercise and kick the ball around with fellow AO members. Head to the NB4, which will begin our preparation for the match the next day. Have a great time and meet Outlaws from around the nation. On match day, wear your favorite jersey or shirt, your lucky hat or socks, and bring a scarf to trade. Warm up for the match with some hamburgers and hot dogs, a tasty beverage, and prepare your voices. Then, it’s game-time, where we give our team 90 minutes of support. We set the tone for the year, and what better way to do it than to be in the stands with us?!

This is the start of the journey to the 2022 World Cup. Finally, and most importantly, this is the beginning of another journey. We may not be headed to the World Cup in Russia in June, but that just means our journey to the 2022 World Cup begins right now. Many of the guys you see on the field could become part of the core that carry us through the Gold Cup, a possible Confederations Cup spot, the newly formed CONCACAF League of Nations, World Cup qualifying, and then stepping out onto a field in Doha in the late fall of 2022. They’re embarking on the road to that moment, and our job is to not only follow them on that path, but to join them on that path. It all begins in Carson, and when you look back, you’ll want to say that you were on the path with the MNT from the very beginning, giving them the support they need to be successful on the field.

Photo by Will Leverett

We should be excited at the opportunity we have before us, to represent our country and support our national team on January 28th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. 2018 is set to be a very important year, and it all commences at January Camp. Join us at AO Supporters Cup 4.0. Join us at the NB4. Join us at the tailgate. But most importantly, join us in the stands and together we can make a difference. I hope to see all of you at January Camp in LA, and make sure you bring your voices. We have work to do in 2018…let’s get started!