Swansea can evolve from forgotten club to Americans’ second favorite team


True story. Two weeks ago when I was walking toward the bleachers to watch my daughter play her soccer game, I saw one of the parents wearing a Tottenham Hotspur jersey. I asked him if he had watched the Spurs-Manchester City game earlier that morning, but he only had a chance to watch the first half before driving to the girls U-13 game.

He then asked me which club I support.

“Swansea City,” I replied.

“Huh,” he said. And then he took a really long pause.

“So what league are they in now?,” he asked seriously.

I was taken aback. You would think that anyone who watched Spurs play in the Premier League would know that Swansea were in the same division. Slightly stunned, I reminded him that Swansea City still plays in the Premier League along with Tottenham.

While the parent was probably a novice fan who only watches the occasional game, there’s no doubt that he and millions of Americans will now have a keen interest in the fortunes of the Swans.

The vast majority of the soccer fans in America may not decide to support Swansea City, but if Bradley does well and helps keep the Welsh club in the Premier League for another season, it’s not inconceivable that his connection to the club could help Swansea City become the second favorite club of many American soccer fans. After all, there’ll now be millions of soccer fans in the United States who will have a rooting interest in the team.

SEE MORE: Bob Bradley’s first game as Premier League manager to be shown live on US TV

Personally, as a Swansea City supporter for 37 years and counting, it makes no difference to me whether Bob Bradley helps grow the number of Swansea supporters in the USA. After all, I’ve supported Swansea City for all of my life through thick and through thin, and I’ll continue to support them until the day I die. But it is a surreal feeling knowing that all of a sudden there will be millions of Americans cheering on my Swans this Saturday.

Prior to Guidolin being sacked, Swansea City’s slow start to the season had supporters of other clubs on social media mentioning that Swansea were “making up the numbers” as well as being “one of the teams that no-one really paid much attention to anymore.”

With one hiring, that has all changed.

Let’s see where it goes from here. But after living in the USA for 32 years where I’ve followed Swansea City, it should be a strange feeling for me to be surrounded by more people who will be keeping a close eye on every move that the club makes. Hopefully, Bob Bradley can pull Swansea out of the danger zone and get the team playing at or above its level. If they pick up some new fans along the way, that’s a bonus. But the most important factor is for Swansea to stay in the Premier League where they belong.

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  1. wowrelax October 13, 2016
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