The inaugural BlazerCon event was borne out of the manic passion of Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, the duo otherwise known as the Men in Blazers.

Like its eponym and inspiration, BlazerCon was equal parts academic conference and cultural happening, a place for soccer fans to mingle, eat savory pies, drink Guinness and celebrate their shared object of devotion. But it was also a kind of informal trade show for international leagues and club executives to pitch themselves to the sport’s growing American fan base.

A procession of global soccer heavyweights descended on the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint over the course of 48 hours served as a testament not only to how far the global game has come in the United States, but also to how much further it has yet to go.