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Brendan Browne: Boardie, Evertonian, SF Local & Future Barrister

At just the ripe, young age of 28, the SF Board is graced by the presence of an SF local with a soccer heartbeat as far and wide as the eye can see.

Tell us a little about yourself, your upbringing etc.

I was born here in the city and lived in Noe Valley, The Mission, The Castro and Diamond Heights before my parents moved us to Mill Valley. It seems like every kid plays soccer growing up in Mill Valley, and I was no different. I graduated from Tamalpais High in 2006, where I loved going to the matches with my friends and cheering on the mighty Red Tailed Hawks. I went to undergrad at the University of Colorado, Boulder and spent most of my time snowboarding, then pursued a Master’s degree from the University of Denver. Finished that, then came back to the city to get my J.D. at Golden Gate University School of Law. Currently awaiting my Bar Exam results, so wish me luck!

You are a fan of multiple European teams, how did that help you foster your love for the game?

When I traveled through Italy as a kid with my parents, I spent a lot of time watching Serie A and Copa Italia on TV at night. I took a liking to Inter because of their players and the famous blue and black striped kit. I bought an Inter kit from a street vendor in Milan and it was decided at that point that I would support them. I had previously supported the San Jose Clash/Earthquakes, but this was the first European team I liked. It helped me learn more about the dominant European teams in the Champions League and the players on those teams. It was also nice to have a team to cheer for in 2006-2008 since the Quakes moved to Houston and became the Dynamo. I even caught a match between Inter and Club America in 2009 at Stanford Stadium and met a cool guy named Charles Wollin. He was a big Jose Mourinho fan, like myself.

Unfortunately it was (and still is) pretty difficult to watch Italian games live here in the US. The Premier League was more popular here, and I watched for a while before I was chosen by Everton. I had always followed the US and Australian National Team players, so I always found myself following Everton with Tim Cahill, Brian McBride, Joe Max Moore, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard. After watching the league for a few seasons there was no other team I could support. From then on, it became an obsession. Now I wake up at 4am and head to the bar to watch the Toffees. I have also connected with people around the world who support Inter and Everton, which is great!

You’re a proud Evertonian and heavily involved with the Everton Supporters group here, how did that come about?

I literally moved back to SF for law school the night before the Everton v. Juventus (booo!) match at AT&T Park in 2013. Everton USA threw a huge night before party and pregame party for the match, which was awesome. They also organized all the Everton fans and got group tickets so we all sat together. I thought it was a blast, and Everton won on PKs, but nobody had organized a local group to meet up and watch the other matches. I contacted David Kurtz, the Everton USA leader, and he was just like “You do it! Just make a Facebook page and a Twitter and choose a bar and the group will grow.” It took a few years, but now we have grown and the big matches draw 20+ people down at McTeague’s Saloon.

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How did you hear about SF City?

I can’t remember for sure, but it was either Steven Kenyon reaching out to me as the organizer for the SF Evertonians, or Casey Proud with American Outlaws SF letting me know first. They told me a SFSFL team was going to adopt a supporter-owned model and try to make it through the ranks to the professional leagues, and I was all about that.

What does getting involved with SF City FC mean to you?

It’s important to me because this team gives back to the members and the community. The team is heavily involved with local non-profits and charity groups. It also maintains a youth club that is cheaper than most competitive youth programs in the city. It sucks when your favorite teams don’t listen to the fans and with SF City, I know we always have a voice because of the supporter ownership. It makes you feel valuable to the organization.

In your current role on the board, what are your specific tasks… both short and long term?

Well, we have a board meeting every month where anyone can bring up ideas for projects. Then we individually choose which ones we want to help out with. I really wanted to get involved with our team merchandise, so I’m chair of that subcommittee. I’ve been working on designing and producing some new items to be sold online and at matches. That’s kinda been my long term task. I’m also working on a Members Organization website with Michael Gonos and Caiti Franscell. Other than that, we vote on a lot of small things via email all the time, so short term is all about staying up on e-mails.

Some fans just gotta know… is Gonos a liar?

Nothing but lies, fraud and deceit 😉

What would you say to the supporter that’s interested in joining the board?

It’s a lot of fun and it feels good to be so involved with a team you love. It’s not a huge time commitment either. Like I said earlier, you pick and choose which projects you are able to help out with.

How do you personally tame the wind at Kezar?

Jeans, scarf and a jacket. Sometimes a beanie or cap. Singing and jumping up and down help a lot too.

Any special pre-game rituals we should know about?

I might have a beer or two with the Northsiders at a local bar or on CalTrain. I also enjoy taking Muni to a match. Muni bus, take me home, to the place, I belong!

You recently just graduated law school and took the bar (fingers crossed for you lad) what are you up to? What’s next?

I definitely needed a little relaxation after the Bar, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the sun in Marin and Tahoe. I’m currently working as a Clerk/Assistant for an expert witness… someone who goes to court and explains complicated stuff to the jury and judge. Hopefully I passed and will be working at a firm, non-profit or government soon. I’m interested in environmental, sports and intellectual property law. I will happily take any advice or interviews with any lawyers out there!

What’s your vision for SF City in 1 year? 5 years?

In 1 year I would like the team to be champions of the Central Pacific Division in the PDL and for the membership to continue to grow. In 5 years I hope we have reached professional status and maybe have a free youth academy.

Your favorite goal scorer: DeMarzi or Icardi?

Gotta go with Johannes DeMarzi for sure! Icardi is great and all, but Johannes can play more positions and is deadly with both feet.