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From Cult To Religion: Meet Soccer’s American Outlaws

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“At soccer games,” Chaudhary says, “it’s about the group. It’s about the entire supporter section being as one. Sharing the highs and the lows. Seeing the entire 90 minutes . . . it’s a communal sporting experience, which is just unlike anything else in American sports.”

Chaudhary frequently films the AOs. He is impressed not just by their devotion, but their rapid growth.

“These guys are young, enthusiastic, they’re organized. They’ve done a great job of expanding this to every corner of the country,” Chaudhary says of the AOs. “It’s amazing what they’ve done in just two or three years.”

Indeed, on the cusp of the World Cup, perhaps the present and future of the American soccer community is best summed up by the tag line of Chaudhary’s documentary: “Every religion starts as cult.”

Asked if he had any problem with the c-word, Fraser laughs. “That’s actually, that’s pretty good” he says. “As long as it’s not the Jim Jones kind of thing.”

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