By Dean Arrowsmith
The League of Ireland may not be at the forefront of US soccer fans minds but in Chicago, that may all be about to change.
On January 18th, Dundalk FC broke the news that a group of US investors, led by Chicago group Peak6 Sports, had acquired 100% stake in the 2017 SSE Airtricity League Runners-Up.
The Investment has garnered a lot of attention both in Ireland and in soccer circles across the world. The new investors have stakes in teams such as Roma in Italy, Bournemouth and Swansea in the English Premier League, so it is an exciting time to be a Dundalk FC supporter.
Dundalk FC garnered the attention following the team's heroics in the 2016/17 Europa League campaign which saw them claim 4 points in the group stages, something no other Irish team have done in European competition.
Having met 3 of the new investors, they outlined a desire to build the brand of Dundalk FC and Irish soccer so that they have similar recognition as an elite European club like Glasgow Celtic are to Scotland.
They plan in the coming months to begin promoting the club in this part of the world and hope to stream games live in the bars and homes across the US and beyond. There is a hope to get some merchandise into the many Irish stores in Chicagoland.
Steps are already in motion as there is now an official Supporters Club in Chicago, based out of the north west part of the city, and they hope to announce membership details very soon, with a potential first meeting to take place at the Irish American Heritage Center. This is sure to be an exciting time for fans of Irish sports in Chicagoland.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Dundalk FC Supporters Club Chicago you can like their Facebook page or follow on twitter (@ChiLilywhites)