Soccer Supporters of Phoenix turn out for the Champions League Finals

Last Saturday, The Brace Phoenix team was at Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub watching the Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid. We know this match is old news, but we’d like to share our remarkable viewing experience. 

We walked into Tim Finnegan’s at around 11:15 AM. If you haven’t been, it’s a Manchester City bar, a massive and cavernous place that’s dimly lit and has kits and banners hung all around. It really is made for watching matches all day. You, alone or with friends, can enter and lose track of time as you create a home base at a booth, high top, or table, and enjoy match after match on one of the many creatively placed TVs or the projector.

For the Champions League Final, this atmosphere was multiplied: the event was a special one. Tim Finnegan’s, the Phoenix MCFC Desert Blues (the local Man City supporters group), and the Phoenix Red Devils (the local Man United supporters group), who all co-hosted the event, decided to invite any and all soccer fans in the Valley to join them for a fundraiser viewing party to raise money for the victims of the recent bombing in Manchester. 

The supporters of the Valley did not disappoint and came from all over town.  It was like a very happy “meeting of the families” in a mobster movie or a very happy version of the scene from the Warriors when all the gangs of NYC come together… sorry we know we’re getting a little carried away.  From downtown came the Liverpool crew including the owner, Donny, of their home bar the Rose and Crown.  From the Yucca Taproom in Tempe came a few Arizona Gooners (Arsenal).  From the Woodshed in Mesa came the Red Devils (Manchester United, who were one of the co-hosts of the event as well). And, when we did a lap of the place we found all of the following jerseys and shirts as well: Arsenal, Barcelona, Chapecoense, Juventus, Liverpool, Man City, Man United, NYCFC, Phoenix Rising, Real Madrid, and the USA National Team.

Tim Finnegan’s is made for this type of event. Friends from the Liverpool crew found a long table near the projector. Some of the Arizona Gooners found a table in the main area and a high top near the bar. A rowdy group from Real Madrid occupied a booth near the pass to the kitchen, and other groups of friends found their spots as well. As around 200 people ultimately filed in, tables were shared by strangers and the place was buzzing. As the game started, it was clear there were more people supporting Juventus, however, no matter which team you liked there was a loud contingent cheering and going wild with each play. If your team scored there was someone around to high five, likely someone you might not know too well but immediately connected with because of the happy moment.

Before the match, the owner of the bar, Jimmy Culleton, who was wearing a neon colored Man City jersey stood up in front of the projector with a microphone and thanked everyone for coming out. He talked about how nice it was to get everyone together and how he wanted to make sure everyone felt welcome. However, he couldn’t resist making a lighthearted jab at Donny of the Rose and Crown and then praising him. He explained that there was a 50/50 raffle going, that there were some epic items to bid for in a silent auction (including an autographed Cristiano Ronaldo ball), and that 20% of proceeds were going to the Manchester Red Cross, so the more we all drank, the more we helped. 

At half-time, the winner of the 50/50 raffle was announced and one of our own at The Brace Phoenix ended up winning and then donating the money back and being rewarded with loud applause and massive bear hugs (go David)!  The leader of the MCFC Desert Blues also stood up and delivered heartfelt remarks about how he was from Manchester and how meaningful the event was to him.

When the game ended, quite a few people left, but many stuck around to talk to supporters of other clubs and anyone who was around them. A group picture was taken, during which many clubs shouted out their teams’ name, including a lone QPR fan, and then supporter groups split apart to take their own group photos.

The Brace Phoenix team was awestruck by the event. The community that came together to watch the match is exactly the type of community our team at The Brace Phoenix wants to support and grow.  All in all, it was an amazing day for the soccer supporters’ community of Phoenix, and a huge shoutout goes out to thePhoenix MCFC Desert Blues, the Phoenix Red Devils, Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub.

Thanks for reading!

A few places to watch the Mexico v USA game in Phoenix this Sunday

Below is a quick list of events we found for viewing the Mexico v USA game (2018 World Cup Qualifiers) this Sunday (6/11/17) at 5:30 PM in the Phoenix area.

For supporters of the USA National Team:
TILTED KILT: Viewing Party at the E Jefferson & 1st Street Tilted Kilt hosted by the AOPHX – American Outlaws Phoenix (which is a supporters group of the U.S. National Team).

For supporters of the Mexican National Team:
WESTGATE SALT: Viewing Party at Westgate’s Salt: Tacos y Tequila hosted by the PVA Phoenix Battalion (which is a supporters group of the Mexican National Team)


Some drinks deals at Growler USA on E. High & N 54th Streets.

If none of these events seem like your thing, you can always check out one of Phoenix’s Soccer Pubs.

Champions League Finals Viewing Party Fundraiser

The Champions League Finals, between Juventus and Real Madrid, is this coming Saturday, 06/03/17.

The Brace Phoenix was looking for a place to the watch the match this weekend, and we found a very special viewing party that welcomes supporters of any club and is a fundraiser for the victims of the Manchester bombing.   So, turn out to support an important cause, meet a diverse group of soccer supporters, and watch what promises to be a great match. Details of the event are below, we hope to see you there!

EVENT DETAILS:
Time: 11 AM – 3 PM (kickoff is at 11:45 AM)
Location: Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub, 9201 N 29th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051
Event Page: click here

Event Description:
The Phoenix MCFC Desert Blues (the local Manchester City supporters group), the Phoenix Red Devils (the local Manchester United supporters group), and Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub will be hosting this event!

20% of the proceeds will go to support those victimized in the Manchester bombing. Donations will be accepted as well.

ALL SUPPORTERS GROUPS WELCOME

Also, there will be $4 Guinness Blonde pints and a halftime raffle.

Where to watch the FA Cup Finals in Phoenix

Arsenal and Chelsea square off in the FA Cup Finals this Saturday, May 27th, 2017.  Here’s what you need to know if you are going to be in Phoenix.

Game time: 9:30 AM Arizona time

Top Arsenal bar: Yucca Tap Room, 29 W Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282.  This is where the Arizona Gooners (https://www.facebook.com/groups/arizonagooners/) meet up.  You should arrive early:  Last week for the last Premier League game of the season there were 40 people there, and many, many more are expected to show up for this.

Top Chelsea bar: Chambers on First, 705 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004.  This is where the Phoenix Blues (https://www.facebook.com/phxblues/) meet up.