By: Paul Ripsher and Jason Walker
What made you interested in the participating in the Unity Cup?
We believe sport has the unique ability to bring different cultures and communities together. We have the opportunity to meet like-minded football fans from global communities in our home city of Philadelphia. We hope to meet teams from around the world, make new friendships, and maybe even play some “friendly” games outside of the Unity Cup schedule.
How did your team come together?
Four of us got together and discussed the possibility of putting a team together for England. We already know a number of England ex-pats who play football in Sunday leagues. Quite quickly, we realized we could field a decent squad and thought it would be awesome to represent our country.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
We are a mixture of ages and experience. We have some players who played at US college level and others who played for high school. It has been great bringing the squad together, as many have met for the first time.
What does soccer mean to your community?
Everything! It’s more than a game to us: it is our tradition and embedded in our culture.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
The World Cup has again shown us how football brings together fans from around the world. The stories in Russia are ones of celebration and joy. Watching games in Philadelphia has been great as communities have come out to support their teams. The Unity Cup will help promote this as people come together from all walks of life for the love of football and being part of a team.
What places or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about the culture of the country your team represents?
Dandelion Pub, Victoria Pub, British American Business Council, and The Society of St. George.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your team’s country?
England is a place of incredible diversity and inclusivity, thanks in large to a positive immigration policy post-World War ll. Our capital city, London, has some of the best food and restaurants from around the world as immigrants have influenced the local cuisine. You can’t beat a good Indian curry in England.