Fan Feature: Fernando Varela
Christian Pulisic, who scored the game’s opening goal, is Varela’s favorite American player.
“I love Pulisic and the harvest of these new youngsters,” he said. “It’s so cool that we have this young team with a lot of swagger and technical ability to come.”
Beyond the USMNT, Lionel Messi is his favorite performer.
“I mean, with Argentinian blood I obviously love Messi,” Varela said. “I remember watching him on TV when he was in Barcelona. I watched pretty much every game, especially when I really started to take football seriously. He would do something amazing in every game that just made me scream out loud even though I was home alone.
Varela and her colleagues at Barra have a lot of work ahead of them as they grow from coast to coast. Although the group is still in its infancy, its focus on expanding around the west coast and south has gained ground. Varela also hopes to increase its representation in the Midwest. The good news is that there is a lot of fan interest across the country.
“We have people who have contacted us to start new chapters, and we are very careful who we start chapters,” he said. “We want to create a very solid foundation and make sure they have the resources and knowledge to create a chapter from scratch. There will definitely be an expansion very soon.”
If the USMNT qualify for Qatar 2022, Varela hopes to see some of the Barra 76s make the trip. For those who are on national soil, the group of supporters would rally support from a distance with surveillance evenings in cities across the country.
With an eye on the future of Barra 76, Varela’s anticipation is already building for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Growing the squad takes patience, but he has big plans for what will be the first 48-team World Cup tournament.
“2026 is a year we have all marked on our calendars,” said Varela. “We will be renting buses, buying vans and traveling across the country to follow the team. This is something I look forward to.”
As the USMNT prepares to complete its World Cup qualifying campaign in early 2022 following the team’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Southern California in December, Barra 76 will continue its work to grow. and welcome fans from all walks of life looking to support the national teams.
To learn more about Barra 76 or to register as a member, visit www.barra76.com.