Matt Robards at Stamford Bridge

Matt repping a little bit of Arizona at Stamford Bridge with the Diamondbacks cap

My passion for football/soccer began at an early age. I remember being five and having my dad ask me if I wanted to play soccer or baseball. I had no interest in baseball so I choose soccer. Growing up mostly in Texas I was surrounded by friends who just wanted to play American football, but I continued with my desire to play soccer.

Eventually, my playing career would come to end when I graduated college in 2009. But, I still occasionally try to play in various adult leagues around the Phoenix area. Don’t get me wrong I still love my Dallas Cowboys, but my weekends hinge on the results of those teams that I support.

My Passion for the “Beautiful Game”

Matt Robards and wife with Phoenix Rising Amadou Dia

Matt and his wife with Phoenix Rising defender Amadou Dia from his preferred seats in section 109.

Growing up there wasn’t a lot of professional soccer on television. I remember when the 1994 World Cup came to the United States and watching some of those games on television. After Brazil lifted the trophy, it would be another couple of years before the MLS kicked off. For a while my only exposure to the European game would be watching Juventus matches in my assistant coaches business. But, I would watch anything US national team related. I still remember watching the USWNT win the world cup in 1999 and the amazing run of 2002 by the men’s national team.

When the 2006 World Cup rolled around I was playing college soccer. During that abysmal run by the US I began to watch the England matches. I quickly gravitated toward the play of Frank Lampard. With the newly signed television agreement with the EPL, I was able to watch him more has he manned the midfield for Chelsea Football Club. 13 years later here I am supporting the Blues.

Matt Robards and son on field Phoenix Rising

Matt with his son on the field at Casino Arizona Stadium

Phoenix Football Clubs?

I remember when the announcement came in 2012 that Phoenix would be getting a local soccer team I was ecstatic. Ever though driving to Tempe to watch some of the first matches was not ideal, I didn’t care. We had a professional team. A couple of ownership changes and rebrands later I am now a season ticket holder for Phoenix Rising FC.

On match days you can find me in section 109 usually heckling the oppositions team bench while cheering for our boys in red. It has been awesome seeing the growth of the game in Phoenix. From those small crowds at Peoria Sports Complex to the sellouts at Casino Arizona Field, Phoenix is growing into a soccer town.

Favorite Clubs - Phoenix Rising FCChelsea F.C.

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