#MeetGuerrillaFC: Which club do you support? / by Justin Salhani

Picking a favorite club can often be a result of geography or following in the footsteps of family. It can also be extremely arbitrary, which is often the case for guys like us who didn’t have the same access to professional football as our cousins from across the Atlantic. Here, we ask Guerrilla FC players what club they support and how they came to support them.

Bennett Grubbs, forward
Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson was a genius because he was able to build teams that simultaneously encouraged individual creativity that were also collective forces. Xavi once described playing Manchester United as facing a “battleship.” Sir Alex understood how to build footballing teams that carried force.

When your teams achieve this you get ones of historic importance: United’s treble winning side, Arsenal’s Invincibles, Pep’s Barcelona, Riquelme at Villarreal, a front three of Tevez, Rooney, and Cristiano, Chile over the past few years, or the current ‘MSN’ at Camp Nou. These are sides that capture the imagination. When I started watching the game in the mid to late 90s, Manchester United were the first side to offer the feeling that I was witnessing something special.

Ambassador Raymond An, midfielder
Barcelona

All thanks to Dinho.

Business Director Ryan Symons, forward
Arsenal

I fell in love with Wenger's Arsenal watching Bergkamp and Henry. I grew up watching a lot of Man United, Juventus, AC Milan, and Inter Milan. Whenever those teams came to the States in the summer we would always go and watch - the days of Edgar Davids and younger Paul Scholes. I always enjoyed watching the games and the quality, even in my more younger years, was mountains better than what I saw as a New England Revolution season ticket holder. So, I started to explore more of European soccer. I started to watch a lot of Premier League football and the beauty and eloquence of the moving and passing of Wenger's Arsenal was the embodiment of everything I enjoyed about the game. I grew up in a playing culture that was always counter to what I enjoyed about the game. Seeing a team that 100% played the style I enjoyed, I immediately fell in love. Arsenal under Wenger has embraced the beauty of detail.

(ed note - Ryan’s dad is a Leicester City fan)

Tareq Tahboub, defender
Manchester United

Cantona. “Au Revoir

For some reason that commercial has stuck with me. I remember being at a tournament and a kid on another team had a breakaway and popped his collar full sprint and scored.

Captain Justin Salhani, midfielder
Arsenal

I’m a French citizen. I picked Arsenal before ever watching them play. I looked at rosters and Arsenal had the most French players I liked: Henry, Pires, Wiltord, and Vieira.

I later developed a strong emotional attachment to Arsenal, and I credit that to Arsene Wenger. I share a lot of his values as a manager and his vision continues to shape my own.

Creative Director Travis Akiwowo, forward
Arsenal

Because of Kanu, the most skillful big man ever. Then later [because of] Thierry Henry, the player I modeled my game after.

Adrian Kidaman, midfielder
Liverpool

Mainly because of Steve Macca and Michael Owen. They were genuine world class talent. I liked Macca because of his runs down the wing with his bouncy hair. Owen, on the other hand, was just a quality striker.

John Keiran, defender
Chelsea

I wish I had a good answer but I really just loved Essien, Drogba, and Makélélé back in the day so I rolled with Chelsea.