Click the above link for the new petition that encourages the Front office of the New York Red Bulls to bring him back. Now I know there was some confusion but anyone in the world may sign. (The last one was aimed at the US Department of State). So sign, share, and keep your fingers crossed that we bring back the striker!
Well, with the signing of Sebastian LeToux and the clearing out of Luke’s locker it would seem like Red Bulls have given up hope of resigning him this season. However, there is still hope for the 2013 season. It would seem like Luke will play for an unknown English side until we can get a solid yes or no from Homeland Security about the striker’s status. We can only hope that Red Bull has not given up on a known commodity that pairs well with captain Henry. I have a “feeling” ::cough:: ::cough:: that we haven’t given up and will just wait it out as Luke continues his career in England. I want to take this space to wish Luke the best of luck and we plan on following him wherever he plays…from the fjords of Norway to the Pubs of England to the bums of New York City!
The NY Rangers vs. Washington Capitals triple OT game was awesome. That’s what NHL Playoffs is all about! Its nice to have the best hockey league in my backyard.. Now if only we can improve on soccer. I think that’s just it though. I think Americans are spoiled by having the best of almost everything when it comes to entertainment. Fore the most part we have the best in quality and quantity in TV, Plays, Movies, as well as sports with (the ones other countries play as well as us) NBA, NHL, MLB(Thats Major League baseball to my non-american friends). I’d also like to add be ready for many parenthesis with further details or links since this piece is crossing several groups with varying degrees of knowledge in the topics of American sports and European/South American Football. You’ve been warned!
So when it comes to soccer we have a new league, the MLS, that is struggling to make a dent into the mainstream American psyche and the people that enjoy soccer tend to watch European leagues. (mostly England..but go to Spain, Germany and Italy as well) Also, many Americans of Hispanic descent (or pure fans of quality soccer) watch the more successful Clubs in the Mexican/South American leagues. (see Boca Juniors, River Plate, Santos, Palmeiras, São Paulo, Flamengo, Club América, Chivas Guadalajara, or Cruz Azul as a few examples of the more popular and successful clubs from these areas) These clubs many times have over a century of history and a few or more championships. Also, the worlds best players play for these clubs, yet, there are many European Countries where their leagues aren’t one of the Big 4 but soccer is the number 1 sport nonetheless!
Its a passion for the home club to root for whatever team is in your backyard. I find it to be a great feeling of pride to support a local kid that now plays on his hometown team. (Right now in NY we have a new goalie Ryan Mera from Yonkers, New York. He grew up watching New York and now is playing for them as staring Goalie! He is a rookie and has surprised pretty much everyone. So much so that Ireland just tried to call him up for their U-21 team, but was denied because of club “responsibilities.”) As we chant when we see a local cheering for just foreign clubs , “We Support Our Local Team!” Now before you become upset and assume anything otherwise about my opinion, remember it is simply that; My Opinion! I am not saying that you are some terrible person because you choose “quality” over hometown support or in some way myself and fellow local supporters are somehow more “hip” because we go out to support the local team. No, I support several clubs from other countries, some more incandescently than others. I am simply stating give it a chance, go to a game or two. The live games are a lot of fun and cheap. Maybe you won’t end up becoming an “Ultra“. I just think some of you may end up with a new found sense of local pride in doing so. If you need directions on how to go about it, or unsure who the hell your team even is comment or send me and email. Contact information can be found on the about tab.
I know some Lech Poznań fans (Poland) that are the most loyal and passionate soccer fans in the world and their club has never tasted European glory, but they love their team. This is the truth for a large majority of football clubs in Europe. Not everybody can be a champion yet for the fans it is more than just about that. Sure, it’d be nice if all my teams always won something but that’ll never happen. For most its a lifestyle. A place to hang out with friends and family. A common or unifying point of understanding even with different political views (Unless you are a Celtic/Rangers (The Old Firm) fan in Scotland!) Personally, for myself it is about local pride, a place to go with my family that is a lot cheaper than any other professional sport in the USA, something I can share with my sons and start a tradition. It gives my brain a break so I can immerse myself into a sport known for passion with fellow supporters that feel the same way about the team as I do. That’s what I think the MLS gives you. Sure the quality is far from a lot of leagues but, it is getting a lot better. For example look at Thierry Henry. If you asked Anybody when Henry was in London or Even Barcelona if Henry would ever play in the USA they’d have laughed at you and called you ignorant for not knowing the sport, yet here he is. You can say it was for the money, but Henry could have gotten the money in a lot of other leagues. He said it himself, he plays where he wants to play. He’s Thierry Henry. David Beckham was out of contract and could have played in France but declined to stay put in LA. Robbie Keane, Dwayne De Rosario, Arne Friedrich,Eric Hassli who won 2 Swiss Super Leagues with Zurich, and Teemu Tainio former Hotspur and Auxerre could all also play in Europe and the list goes on. Also, many younger promising European players are coming here and that will only grow as word of mouth spreads among the players and coaches.)
The supporter culture is always growing. Since the Red Bull Arena has been built in 2010 there are now 3 full sections (maybe two and a half depending on the team we play or importance) of die hard singing and standing fans. I believe once some people get past the quality issue and just support for the love of their home team for pride’s and passions sake, people may begin to embrace the American league more so.
I use this as an example because I know a little about it but, Norway’s Tippileagen isn’t a “top” European league, however, many times I’ll choose to watch them play rather than many of the “top” European clubs. It is a pretty hard and tough version of soccer and it is played in pretty frigid weather at the being and end of the season. Many young players come out of that league and go on to get paid millions of Euros to play for a club in a “top” European league. (Valerenga’s and Rosenborg’s Jon Carew is a name that jumps to the top of that list for me.) Then again you have some lifers that stay within the league, probably could have moved to a “top” league or a “better” club within a league that has a higher FIFA Coefficient but decided to stay home. (Like Odd Iverson
, one of Norway’s greatest goalscorers. He spent most his time playing for Rosenborg and Valerenga. However, his son, Steffen Iverson took up the offers he revived from England and played for Hotspur, Wolverhampton and Crystal Palace) Right now NY has 3 former Tippileagen players starting for them. Jan Gunnar Solli, Joel Lindpere, and Roy Miler. All three players have been pretty much unchallenged for the starting role in the position since they came to New York.
Also, how can I speak of Tippileagen and not write about the awesome support. The support there for the local clubs is tremendous. Lillestrom has a small stadium, in comparison to the bigger European Teams, and aren’t known on the European stage as a top team, (not a backhanded compliment, this is in comparison to the big leagues since Norway’s UEFA Rank is 26th) but the supporters fill it up and it sounds like its double capacity. Even the more popular clubs in smaller leagues like the Jupiler league in Belgium. The best club there generally is RSC Anderlecht based out of Brussels. (They have 30 Championships total and look to be the favorites to reach 31 this season. For my American readers think of them as the Belgium version of the New York Yankees in baseball) Since the eighties Anderlecht and the Jupiler league have not done much in Europe but the home games are packed and the supporters are super loud. The same goes for the clubs that generally have more quality but aren’t seen as a powerhouse year after year in Belgium like Standard Liège and Club Brugge. So its about passion, home team pride, and just a love of the sport. If Americans can get all three combined one day in the future you may see a higher quality of play. I am delighted to see it on a steady incline, and the soccer kids that enjoy the sport when they are young should be encouraged. Now they have local pros to look up to. I played mostly in the late eighties and early nineties as a child. There was no major league for soccer. While some of the other kids were playing Baseball they could easily go to Yankee stadium with their family and see Don Mattingly play. The kids playing basketball could turn on the TV and see Micheal Jordan be amazing. The kids playing football could see the NY Giants win a Superbowl with Phil Simms. Now finally, a kid can play a game and the next day go to see his favorite pro team play. That’s a huge boost to how the sport will influence the culture and how the culture will influence the sport as well. My sons love the sport and they are only 2 and 3 years old. As of now they can trap the ball, pass the ball lightly and kick the ball hard. My older son, Ian, understands to use the inside of the foot and so on. Then we go to a game. They sing the songs with me and this sort of encouragement will ensure that the passion for the club will be passed to the next generation.
Essentially, what it all comes down to is this. Support your local American club please. The players are young Americans looking to break out and make a living. By bringing good European players here it gives them a chance to play at another level or style of play. Sometimes they might be a kid from the town over, or even from your town. Maybe one day even your own kid! You’d be helping support the influence of the sport. Cheering for a team overseas on the TV or computer won’t do any of that. Then again, maybe you might not care about the future of the sport in America. But if you do, support your local team because, WE SUPPORT OUR LOCAL TEAM!
Per Red Bulls Website, “After going through the entire immigration and appeals process, Luke’s P-1 Visa application has unfortunately been denied by the U.S. government for now. We have spoken with Luke about potential options and have mutually decided that it would be in all parties’ best interests to terminate his current MLS contract so he could play elsewhere. However, we will also continue to track his progress this year while working with immigration officials with the goal that he could join the Red Bulls sometime in the future.”
Your work isn’t done. If you’d like to see Luke in a Red Bulls jersey the last resort is getting the attention of key State Department Officials and showing unified outrage with the decision. Are you passionate enough to take a few minutes to shoot an original email? If so here is the information you need.
firstname.lastname@example.org This email is for Mike Hammer, The VP of Media Relations of the State Department
email@example.com – This email is Victoria Nuland, a Spokesperson for the State Department
firstname.lastname@example.org -this is an assistant to the State Department
I just wrote this:
My name is Ian Erickson and I represent the group American Citizens
for Luke Rodgers. Over the past week I began a petition to allow Luke
Rodgers to receive a Visa so he may come to America again and play
professional soccer in the MLS for the New York Red Bulls. His P-1 Visa to play in the USA was denied today after a final appeal. The attached file is a list
of 715 people about 700 of them American Citizens that want Luke
Rodgers to have his visa. This is an organic and heartfelt response
to Luke Rodgers wait for his visa and the possibility he may be denied
the visa. The MLS, Red Bulls and Luke Rodgers had no hand in
organizing this petition. The American Citizens for Luke rodgers
signed on and agreed to the following Text:
” US Department of State Please Give Luke Rodgers of The New York Red
Bulls a Visa to play in the USA. Luke Rodgers created an unexpected
glimmer of hope for the New York Red Bulls in the 2011 MLS season. The
English journeyman was a force to be reckoned with in the MLS and his
playing on the pitch has won over thousands of fans. He is immensely
entertaining to watch and is the perfect compliment to legend Thierry
Henry. Only with Luke Rodgers do we feel we can win any Championship.
As a result of his play and off the pitch interaction with fans
Luke Rodgers has added to the excitement of Harrison, New Jersey,
which is an area that is in desperate need for rejuvenation. The
success of the local rebuilding projects are tied in directly to the
Red Bulls being successful and without Luke Rodgers we fear they will
not have the added talent to do so. This will add to a decline in fan
interest therefore, a loss of millions of dollars in revenue in an
area that is much in need of cash flow.
Luke Rodgers is a shinning example of an individual that has
come to the USA during his previous visa period and produced
phenomenal results. He paid taxes on his wages, he gave back by
becoming involved in local charity programs for underprivileged and
ill children, ( http://www.starlight.org/mls ) and he never had any
issue with the law.
This is very important, not only to his fans, but also his family
Luke Rodgers has a young daughter and he is guaranteed a contract if
he returns to the USA. Only in the USA can he be guaranteed the
ability to support his young daughter and give her the care and life
We on the attached list believe in the above statement and implore you
to decide to give Luke Rodgers his chance to prove himself again in
the United States of America. The file is a .xls spreadsheet and the
names can be verified. The spreadsheet format is Name, City, State,
zip code, country and date signed. Luke Rodgers has all of us behind
him and being citizens we hope the visa will be granted. Below are
the comments left after each citizen signed. They each can be
Be creative but most of all be polite. I understand we are all upset but please do it with dignity and respect. If we can get a response from the above individuals we may be able to make some headway and see Luke back with us this summer. If you do get a response please let me know by posting a comment here.
UPDATE::: From what I have read it is only a one year deal at Lillestrøm to keep thing going for the striker until he can get the Visa situation straightened out..Hopefully Rodgers will be back in New York next year! So, that is the reality. Contact the people above and lets hope Luke has a storming year at Lillestrøm!! Also, I want to add congratulations to the Lillestrom supporters. You really are receiving a great forward in Rodgers. He will quickly become a fan favorite. If you are a Lillestrom supporter I am going to need some help updating this blog to continue to monitor Luke’s exploits in your wonderful city. I tried to join the message board and am waiting for approval.
Luke Rodgers created an unexpected glimmer of hope for the New York Red Bulls in the 2011 MLS season. The English journeyman was a force to be reckoned with in the MLS and his playing on the pitch has won over thousands of fans. He is immensely entertaining to watch and is the perfect complement to legend Thierry Henry. Only with Luke Rodgers do we feel we can win any Championship.
As a result of his play and off the pitch interaction with fans Luke Rodgers has added to the excitement of Harrison, New Jersey, which is an area that is in desperate need for rejuvenation. The success of the local rebuilding projects are tied in directly to the Red Bulls being successful and without Luke Rodgers we fear they will not have the added talent to do so. This will add to a decline in fan interest therefore, a loss of millions of dollars in revenue in an area that is much in need of cash flow.
Luke Rodgers is a shinning example of an individual that has come to the USA during his previous visa period and produced phenomenal results. He paid taxes on his wages, he gave back by becoming involved in local charity programs for underprivileged and ill children, ( http://www.starlight.org/mls ) and he never had any issue with the law.
This is very important, not only to his fans, but also his family Luke Rodgers has a young daughter and he is guaranteed a contract if he returns to the USA. Only in the USA can he be guaranteed the ability to support his young daughter and give her the care and life she deserves. Sign this and please distribute the petition. The link is here for the petition:
Luke Rodgers Petition
If you click the Congressional Action tab it will have ALL the contact information on the 11 main congressman and women we want to target since they are on the subcommittee that deals with immigration issues. However, it is equally as important to get your local Senator or Congressman involved. To get your Senator or House of Representative Email and Phone number please use this great tool here at : Contacting The Congress