You know, when I was in school, we used to sing it something like this - listen here:

True story.  "Hey, Dan!  I understand you're a blogger!  I'll have to read your blog sometime!" "...well, okay, but it's about soccer."

"...Yeah, I'm probably not going to read your blog."

Nor should they!  Seeing as how I'm taking a freaking WEEK between entries!  YIKES!

So, thanks anyway for reading.  This is pretty cool, really:  Come up with a decent chant, and win a trip.  Travel and accommodation not included, so you'll have to make your own way to East Hartford or wherever.

Apparently the impetus for this, apart from doing something nice for a creative fan, is to replace the "YSA" goal kick chant.  I totally agree with that, too.  The Young Sindhi Adults have nothing to do with the opposing goalkeeper.  So, to get in the spirit, I'd like to suggest the following for an opposition goal kick:

HEY!  KEEPER!  I HOPE YOUR DAUGHTER GETS PROSTATE CANCER!  THAT'S RIGHT!  I HOPE YOUR DAUGHTER GETS A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, AND THEN GOES TO THE FURTHER TROUBLE TO HAVE PROSTATE GLAND PUT IN, WHICH I BELIEVE IS NOT PART OF THE USUAL GENDER CHANGE PROCESS, AND THEN COMES DOWN WITH CANCER OF THAT SAME PROSTATE GLAND!  OR PERHAPS IT WOULD BE SIMPLER TO GIVE HER A PROSTATE GLAND THAT IS ALREADY CANCEROUS!  IF YOU HAVE A SON, AND NOT A DAUGHTER, THEN I WISH CERVICAL CANCER ON HIM - PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THING, EXCEPT VICE VERSA, IN OTHER WORDS!  BASICALLY, WHATEVER CHILDREN YOU HAVE, I WANT THEM TO GET A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, THEN CANCER!  IF YOU DO HAVE CHILDREN!  WHICH YOU SHOULD!  I BELIEVE CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING!  IF YOU'RE INFERTILE, YOU CAN ADOPT!  MAYBE NOT RIGHT NOW, BUT PERHAPS AFTER YOUR PLAYING CAREER!

To the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

Coupla things to keep in mind before entering this - you apparently have to do this visually, which means the American Outlaws will have blackmail material on you.  The only way a soccer chant looks good is with hundreds of people joining in.  Especially given our habit of shouting songs that bear no resemblance to the original tune.  (Have you actually heard "I Will Follow Him" recently?  Little Peggy March is turning over in her grave, and she's not actually dead yet.)

Second - it's kind of a shame that a culture as musically rich as ours needs to troll for songs, isn't it?  Especially for the US National Team.  I mean, how many patriotic songs are there?  At least four.  It gets forgotten how American singing at sporting events really is.  The college fight song is probably the most obvious example, of course.  But look at what is actually sung abroad.  "You'll Never Walk Alone" is Rogers and Hammerstein.  And the tune to "Here we go, here we go"?  I don't want to say it's quintessentially American, but the melody is better known as "Be kind to your web-footed friends."

By the way, there's nothing like the British Isles for taking American music and putting in amazing new contexts.  Malcolm McDowell's 1971 cover of "Singin' in the Rain" comes to mind.  And nowadays it's pretty tough to hear Sousa's "Liberty Bell March" the way the composer intended it.

At least this isn't an irritating corporate shilling endeavor, so we're not likely to be stuck with another "Goals, Goals, Goals, for the Red White and Blue." And God knows we need something besides "When The Yanks Go Marching In" for the ten billionth time.  But the harsh truth is that you never know whether a chant or a song will work until it's tested in the field.  It may look great on the page, but - well, I speak from personal experience.  It took six years for "Viva Cienfuegos" to catch on among Galaxy fans.

We're also getting to the point, fortunately, where fan groups have Their Own Thing.  I've set myself against pre-planned chants performed at specific times, on the grounds that soccer is a game of constant action - therefore, fans need to be as adaptive and inspired as the game we support.  I have come to accept that I've lost this argument pretty comprehensively, though.  Large groups need preparation, even if I still might not see the advantage of (say) yelling a former player's name at exactly twenty-four minutes into the match.

Let's say you're a Kansas City fan, and you come up with a can't-miss, golden, guaranteed hit, like this one:

Who will fight for every goal? Sporting would! Who will play with heart and soul? Sporting would! Whether times are bad or good We will do the best we could And proudly have we stood Sporting would!

Used to be, you could just show up and start singing, and everyone around you would join in and praise your creativity and genius.  But now that the league is popular, you have more established groups with established chants, and it's tempting to stay with a set list.

So I'm all in favor of new chants, as long as we realize there's always room for new chants.  The set list should always be growing.

The other way to tell what makes a good chant is to take one another group has already made work, and adapt it for your team.  This is called "theft," and it leads to some really awesome chants.  When Korean fans came to the Home Depot Center?  We stole from them without shame.

However, in some quarters it's not the Done Thing to take another side's chant and simply substitute "LA Galaxy" for "Cocoa Expos" or whoever.  Unfortunately, the league has grown so fast that we have an awful lot of teams who fans Will Follow 'Til They Die.   If supporters groups follow the Outlaws and have similar contests, they will end up with similar chants.

Therefore, I suggest the Supporters Song Draft.  Each supporters group will participate in a random draw, and then use draft picks to choose which songs will be theirs.  Groups will be able to trade picks, release songs, and make "discovery picks," like DC United did with Andy Williams way back when.  If you don't get good songs in the draft?  Well, scout the world for songs you can "sign," or come up with them in your "homegrown signings."  Go to reserve games and try out potential new additions.

I assume "I Will Follow," "*Insert Name* 'Til I Die" and the Seven Nations Army chant will go very high - fortunately, in this draft, we won't lose songs to Europe or investment firms.

So, let's organize this!  I'll get things started.

1. Montreal Impact - "Vamos Houston" 2.  New England Revolution - "I See a Darkness" 3.  Vancouver Whitecaps - "Hail Columbia"

Who's on the clock?