What is your name and your home field location?
My name is Ciarán Porter. Our home field is Houston Playground, where excitement is starting to build with the players.
How did you hear about the Unity Cup?
What were your initial impressions when you heard about the Unity Cup?
It’s a fantastic idea. Soccer is large in Europe, and it’s growing in the US. If it can grow, it [soccer] is something the world can follow. It is an exciting time to start this on a smaller scale.
Why are you so passionate about soccer?
I grew up following soccer. I was lucky that Ireland had done well in the ’90s– it created an excitement in Ireland.
What is your connection to the team you are playing for?
I was born in Ireland and grew up there. Most of our players grew up in Ireland.
Is there someone you identify with as the biggest influence in your community, either through soccer or in some other way?
There are so many people, it is hard to name a few. It’s unfair to name one.
Is there someone in your community you look up to?
The Irish community in Philly is very community-based, so it is hard to name one. I work in the Gaelic Athletic Association, which is community-run.
What do you love about living in Philadelphia?
I love having four seasons. The people of Philadelphia are very welcoming, and it’s nice to have the Irish community. It is a beautiful city. Philadelphia doesn’t do itself justice selling itself internationally. We need to show off Philly more internationally. International visitors come to see Washington, DC or Boston, so Philadelphia is like a hidden gem.
Do you participate in other leagues and/or tournaments other than the Unity Cup? If so, which ones?
I participate in Gaelic Football. I’m not currently playing though. I’ve played in many leagues before.
Where do you get your information /news from (e.g., news outlet, newspaper radio, etc.)?
I follow the local news, as well as BBC World News for UK/Ireland information, and CNN.
How are you promoting your team? How are you bringing the team together?
There are different pockets of Irish living in Philadelphia, so we are having tryouts until August to give opportunity to everyone who wants it. We are hoping to have a meet and greet with the team once it’s assembled, and we are planning to have a big tailgate for the first game for the community.
To learn more about your team and cultural heritage, where can someone go?
The Irish Immigration Center in Upper Darby (7 South Cedar Lane, Upper Darby 19082) for different Irish generations and events.