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Better Know A Supporters Group Archives

Better Know A Supporters Group - Sons of Ben (Philadelphia Union)

 
We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 
 
Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today... it's the supporters group that inspired our series, Philadelphia Union's Sons of Ben.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by Sons of Ben President Matt Ansbro.
 
The Basics
 
MLS Club: Philadelphia Union
 
Stadium: PPL Park
 
Year SG Founded: 2007
 
Section Name (if other than SG name): The River End
 
Any other SGs apart of your section? The Illegitimates, Bearfight Brigade
 
Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): 134 – 140, River Side
 
The Meaty Questions
 
What are the origins of your groups’ name?
 
In late 2006, after some long discussions on BigSoccer Ethan Gomberg, one of our original members, suggested the name “Sons of Ben” and it was almost immediately adopted. 
 
Favorite chants/songs?
 
Dale Philadelphia and Phindaloo
 
Another favorite to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain: We’re the best behaved supporters in the league, when we win / We’re the biggest bunch of bastards, when we lose.
 
Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?
 
There is nothing quite like sitting in an area you had a hand in designing.  In conversations with the ownership group from the start they wanted to make sure we had our own section set up in a way that would be the best supporters experience in the league and the most intimidating. We, and the team, have accomplished both
 
Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?
 
“Here before the team”.  Sons of Ben was born out of the passion for the game and the desire to have it played in our city.  That started in 2007 when SoB was formed and has continued through today.  Our members are ridiculously passionate about this game, this team.  They bring their energies each and every game, for 90+ minutes, through thick and thin.  We’ll abuse our opponents (and their supporters) the entire game all the while supporting our boys and pushing them on to 3 points.  Other SG’s have done this longer than us, and some of them are pretty good at it, but we would put our short history up against all of them.
 
Greatest game(s) in team history?
 
June 27, 2010 vs Seattle Sounders - The first game at PPL Park and our first true home game, win.  It was our first game in the River End.  The first time on our new, beautiful pitch. The first time we all got a glimpse of the energy we could create.  And, most importantly, the first time we were truly a supporters group.
 
Predictions for this season?
 
MLS Cup Champion.  Is there really another answer to this question?
 
Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?
 
It’s all ours.  There is a sense of pride in coming to a professional soccer game near home. Many Union fans had never had that feeling and with ticket sales very strong the interest won’t wane any time soon.
 
US Soccer has travelled light years since their “just happy to be here” qualification for Italy in 1990. The players are getting valuable experiences all over the world and ratings for World Cup & Gold Cup games have grown audiences at rates that make ESPN & Univision take notice.  Lots of people talk about the destination of Winning the World Cup. It may happen someday, but why focus on the future when we are pretty damn good right now.
 
For more information OR to join the Sons of Ben, check out their website.
 

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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Texian Army (Houston Dynamo)

 

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today we feature one of Houston Dynamo's largest supporters groups, the Texian Army.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by James Hromadka, a member of TA's Board of Directors.
 

The Basics

SG Name: Texian Army

MLS Club: Houston Dynamo

Stadium: Robertson Stadium (New soccer-specific stadium currently under construction. Opening date: 2012)

Year SG Founded: 2006

Section Name (if other than SG name): North End

Any other SGs apart of your section? La Bateria, El Batallon, Brickwall Firm

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): 214

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name? 

The original name of the Dynamo was going to be “Houston 1836” after the year in which Houston, Texas was founded. However, 1836 was also the year that Texas won its independence from Mexico, and a big political stink was raised by county commissioner Sylvia Garcia. Since the team was going to need political help to get a stadium, they caved on the name and changed it. The Texian Army uses the same name as the Texas revolutionary army that fought and defeated Santa Anna during Texas’ fight for freedom. Even after 1836 was no more, the group decided to keep the name.

Favorite chants/songs?

“Oh Dynamo You Are My Love” and “Forza Houston” are our two most popular songs.

 

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”? 

It’s where all the action is. Elsewhere in the stadium you’re just a fan. But being in the supporters’ section you feel as though you were part of something bigger, that your cheering “wills” the team to victory. And when your team does score, the section goes nuts.

Every soccer fan should spend one game with the supporters.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Our tifo is top notch. We have a new banner for every opponent this year that’s a cartoon making fun of the opponent. We have come up with some good banners over the years. Next year at the new stadium is going to be exciting because it will be an opportunity to come up with all new banners for the occasion.

Our group also loves to travel. Texian Army members have amazing stories from seeing the Dynamo play at Pachuca and elsewhere. The annual trek to Frisco for the FC Dallas game is always fun because it is obvious that we are not wanted there. 

Greatest game(s) in team history?

It would be easy to say the very first game or the two MLS Cup championships, but there’s nothing l enjoy more than the games against FC Dallas. The first time we played them was a barnburner win, and one of the most exciting games ever was the home leg against them in 2007. There’s a lot of bad blood between the two teams and its fans alike. We don’t like each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Predictions for this season? 

The Dynamo get its only road win of the season in Frisco. Brad Davis finishes the season as the assists leader. The Dynamo don’t make the playoffs.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer? 

Houston is our city. MLS is our league. If you truly enjoy soccer, why wouldn’t you want to watch soccer in your city? In your country? How can you be a fan of a team from a city (or country for that matter) that you’ve never been to? Plastic Man Utd and Chelsea fans are just as bad as plastic Red Sox and Yankees fans.

For more information and/or how to join the Texian Army go to their website.

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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know a Supporters Group - Gorilla Football Collective (Seattle Sounders)

 

 

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today we feature one of Seattle Sounders very visible and very vocal supporters groups, Gorilla Football Collective.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement, by Melina Young, one of the group's "captains".

The Basics

SG Name: Gorilla Football Collective

MLS Club: Seattle Sounders

Stadium: Century Link Field (Previously Qwest Field)

Year SG Founded: 2009 (same as the Sounders)

Section Name (if other than SG name): We sit primarily in section 120 in the stadium, but there are members that are scattered throughout the stadium.

Any other SGs apart of your section? We sit next to the Emerald City Supporters (ECS) and some of them overflow into 120.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): South (Brougham) End

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

The history of Gorilla FC goes something like this… Gorilla FC ‘s core group are a bunch of activists that put together a soccer team way back when. With all the excitement of the Seattle
Sounders FC, we decided to get it back together and be more or less an open loose group then we were before! We are still holding on to some of our roots though and will support our local
communities through various benefits.

Favorite chants/songs?

There are so many chants and songs that go on throughout every game, it is hard to pick a favorite. We love to chant along with the other supporter groups to try and create the best possible environment at the game. One chant that almost everyone participates in (throughout the whole stadium) is a “call and answer” style chant, where our side of the stadium yells “Seattle” and the rest of the stadium answers with “Sounders” it is really cool to experience.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Well, ours really are great because we start in the first row behind the goal, where the players warm up, and walk to the locker rooms. A lot of our players do high-fives, handshakes or autographs after the game (sometimes give away their jerseys or other stuff to loyal fans) so it is a great place. It is also great to attend the game with a supporters club and sit in the same section, because you get to sit with 50-100 of your closest friends every time you go to the game. Usually, no matter who you are sitting by, they are just as enthusiastic about the game (and hanging out with you) as you are, so it is always a lot of fun.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Gorilla is very inclusive in our membership. We state proudly on our website that: “We accept all those who are willing to chant with us, drink with us, and Support with us no matter your race, religion, political view, sexual orientation or gender. Gorilla FC helps support the Seattle Sounders FC as well as our local community.” This helps set a standard for our group. We also have a code of conduct to ensure that everyone has fun at the games.


Gorilla is also very involved in charity work and put on several events each year (with and without the Sounders club) to raise money. We raised more than $20,000 in one day for Doctors Without Borders after the Haiti disaster.
 

Greatest game(s) in team history?

I am sure everyone who is asked will have a different response, but one really great moment was when the Sounders won the US Open Cup for the second year in a row, in front of a home crowd, last year (2010). Every game is great in its own way.

Predictions for this season?

I predict that the Sounders will win a third US Open Cup this year, and make a great run for the MLS Cup too.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Soccer is a great game. It is fun to play and exciting to watch. The Sounders players are really great guys who are really involved in, and love, the community here in Seattle. This is a sport that is still in its early years, and it is a great time to get involved and support different clubs. Soccer is the world’s game for a reason; we want it to be big in America too. The Sounders care about getting input and support from the fans, which is why they have an Alliance Council and allow the fans to vote. This is pretty unique in American sports, and we are all just excited to be a part of it.

For more information and/or to join Gorilla FC, check out their website.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Section 8 (Chicago Fire)

 

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 


Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today we feature not a supporters group per say, but Chicago Fire's independent supporters association, Section 8.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement, by Daniel Martin, Section 8's Director of Communication.

The Basics

SG Name: Section 8 Chicago, the Independent Supporters Association (ISA) for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club

MLS Club: Chicago Fire Soccer Club

Stadium: Toyota Park

Year SG Founded: The ISA convened officially in 2003, but there are several Fire SGs that predate the ISA.

Section Name (if other than SG name): Section 8 / The Harlem End / Sections 116-119

Any other SGs apart of your section?

Several. Section 8 is not a supporters group but an association of groups and independent fans. Active groups include (but are not limited to) Ultras Red-Side, Husaria, Fire Ultras, Whiskey Brothers 05, Acme Irregulars, Westmont Ultras, Far West Front, Red Scare, Partisans, and more (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone and will probably get called out for it). There’s also Sector Latino, who formerly shared space in the Harlem End but moved to the other side of the stadium last season so they could concentrate on building their group and supporting the Fire barra-brava style with chants in Spanish. S*L remain good friends with the rest of S8 and we work together to support the Fire at home and on the road whenever possible.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Sections 116-119, north (Harlem) end. S*L is in section 101.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Chicago Fire fan culture began in the Spring and Summer of 1997, with the establishment of Barn Burners 1871. The group formed as a precursor to the announcement of Chicago's selection as a site for the league's first expansion team, and spent the time prior to the club founding in October of that year laying groundwork for an organization dedicated to the needs of the nascent fan base. BB1871, along with original club GM Peter Wilt, selected Section 8 at Soldier Field as a designated standing area to encourage the style of fandom traditionally seen globally in soccer, at sporting events worldwide, and in college athletics in America.

The experiment was an instant success, drawing large numbers on the way to the Fire's league championship that first season; and established the club and Fire supporters as leaders of the movement in North America.

The Fire Ultras, originally inhabitants of Section 9 in the opposite South End corner, chose to move into Section 8 in 1999, an event credited as the true beginning of "Section 8" as it is known now. By mixing the American style of BB1871 with the continental European ultras style of FU98 in a way that could only happen in Chicago sports, a completely new, vibrant, and infectious blend occurred.

Favorite chants/songs?

Urbs in Horto Magico, Hot Time in Old Town Tonight, La Maquina Roja, Just Can’t Get Enough, Fire Fans Know Just One Song, Slow to Fast/Fast to Slow, Don’t Stop Living in the Red, Matt Reis’ Mother has a Cock, and many, many more.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

No one in our sections sits, for one thing… we’re standing on the benches the whole game. Personally, I love seeing the team score right in front of the sections. The goal is very close and you can see the build-up of plays clearly right up to the finish. Otherwise it’s the collective energy and camaraderie that is ever-present during Fire games… it always seems strongest in the Harlem End.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Creativity, diversity, volume, organization, away support, persistence, honoring history and community, and charitable giving.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

The MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup Finals in 1998 when the team won the double in their first season. The 2000, 2003, and 2006 USOC championships. Any time we beat New England, especially in the playoffs. Taking down NYRB 5-1 after they snuck in and took our then-coach J.-C. Osorio was pretty great, too.

Predictions for this season?

We’re in the midst of a great USOC run once again, everyone has high hopes for that to continue. We may or may not make the MLS playoffs but there is a sense that the core of the team is being rebuilt with promising young players that will serve us well in seasons to come.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Supporting the local club, simple as that.

For information and/or to join Section 8, visit their website!


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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group” Viking Army Supporters Club (New York Red Bulls)

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature the New York Red Bulls' Viking Army Supporters Club

As told to the Free Beer Movement by Viking Army's Greg Buchberger.

The Basics

SG Name: Viking Army SC

MLS Club: Red Bulls New York

Stadium: Red Bulls Arena

Year SG Founded: 2010

Section Name (if other than SG name): South Ward is the name of the supporters end of the stadium (Sections 101, 102, 133).

Any other SGs apart of your section? Empire Supporters Club (Section 101), Garden State Supporters (Sec 133)

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): South end behind goal, Section 102.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

New York had a disastrous season in 2009 which prompted a major shakeup in the front office. Erik Soler (Norway) was brought in as well as Hans Backe (Sweden) and Joel Lindpere (Estonia? ESTONIA!? Close enough...). We had a brand new beautiful Stadium, we were winning and a glimmer of hope grew in the South Ward. Our Founders showed up to games wearing mock Viking helmets as a sign of affection for Hans Backe. The Hans Backe Viking Army was born.

During the offseason between 2010 and 2011 the process began in growing to a recognized supporters group. We changed our name to Viking Army Supporters Club for sustainability, since no coach lasts forever. As to the sustainability of a Viking them when/if all the Scandinavians have left, well, we still call our team the Metros, so what does it matter?

Favorite chants/songs?

As Long As I'm Breathing, New York’s Red And White, We’ll Be Coming.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

The 12th man concept is not cliché, it’s fact. Supporters involve themselves in the experience and are more than passively witnessing a spectacle; they are a part of it, and what makes soccer unlike any other experience in the world.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

 

We literally have members all over the world. Some found us by following their players career from afar now that they transferred to Red Bull New York, others walked past us pregaming and wondered what all the hubbub is about. Whether near or far, home or away, day or night, we are constantly brainstorming on how to show our love for the team, have a few laughs along the way, and to prove our theory that if a free beer gets people to games, then a pitcher hooks 'em for life. And we don't care if you want to wear a Viking helmet or not, just SING!

Greatest game(s) in team history?

As painstakingly recorded by the tireless archivists at MetroFanatic, the best game of all time is May 5, 2001: MetroStars 3, DC United 2.

Down 2-0 at home against your Archrival is not happy, especially since Metro was not playing particularly well up to that point. Then Clint Mathis scored in the 79th minute, and Rodrigo Faria equalized in the 88th minute. And then amazingly, in the 90th minute Petter Villegas slotted in for the win.

Then again there was August 26, 2000: Dallas Burn 4, MetroStars 6

Score once it’s a goal. Twice it’s a brace. Three times you have a hat trick. FIVE times you are Clint Mathis.

More recent memory… June 2, 2010: NYRB 2, Dynamo 1. JPA scores on a set piece for a win at very last minute. Crowd went wild… you had to be there.
 

Predictions for this season?

Realistically, many empty kegs and an end to the 16 year cupless drought. Optimistically… We want the Cup!

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Many great names have come through this league over time, and only getting better. MLS is becoming more than just a career extension for the aged, it's an opportunity to get minutes and be a part of building history instead of riding on what’s already been built.

As a result, the game and the culture surrounding the beautiful game in the US is unlike anywhere else in the soccersphere, and it is breathtaking watching it blossom.

For more information and/or to join about Viking Army check out their website.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Black Army 1850 (Chivas USA)

 

 

We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature our first supporters group from Los Angeles' Chivas USA, Black Army 1850. BA 1850 is relatively new to the supporters section at the Home Depot Center, founded in 2010, but their focus and beliefs about supporters and their role in American soccer is a mature as much longer-standing supporters in MLS.

As told to the Free Beer Movement by Josef Zacher, one of the founders of Black Army 1850.

The Basics

SG Name: Black Army 1850

MLS Club: CD Chivas USA

Stadium: Home Depot Center (Carson, CA)

Year SG Founded: 2010

Section Name (if other than SG name): 138

Any other SGs apart of your section? None

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): South East Corner, Section 138

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name? Why the Black Army?

We see ourselves right now as a group that is focused on creating an army of die-hards that exclusively supports Chivas USA. While are numbers are not massive, we realize the potential of becoming the size of an army as Chivas USA establishes its own unique history and identity in Los Angeles. As our name indicates, we do not wear the traditional Chivas USA colors of red, white, and blue. We have chosen to follow a protocol that many European Ultras established long before us, by wearing black rather than the traditional team colors. For us, the black symbolically represents our intention to go against the grain of conformity in the Chivas family. We are not here to bask in the glory of a club that is in a different league and a different country. Like our club, we cherish the thought of being the "black sheep (in this case goat)" of the "sacred flock". Our colors also provide an excellent back drop for our tifo displays on game day. Even though we do not wear the colors of Chivas USA on game day, we bleed the Chivas USA colors every day.

Significance of 1850?

We identify with 1850 because that is the year California and Los Angeles became officially part of the United States. Our group strives to establish Chivas USA a local team by identifying with Los Angeles and Southern California.

"Solamente Chivas USA"

We chose our motto "Solamente Chivas USA" because we wanted to make a clear separation between C.D. Guadalajara and Chivas USA. We understand that Chivas USA was created by the owners of C.D. Guadalajara, however we pride ourselves in making the distinction that Chivas USA plays in the United States and Major League Soccer (MLS). We are here to support an American team.

Favorite chants/songs?

Our group prefers an “authentic” ultra-style that is more chant and chorus based. Our drummer, John Sandate, created a great drum and chant chorus based on “Bro Hymn” by Pennywise. A crowd favorite is a Black Army version of the “tequila” song. Currently, we are working on “Chivas Blood, L.A. Heart” a chant that was inspired by a Morrissey song.

 

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Nothing can compare to the passion and loyalty from the terraces. They truly love their club and will show it for 90 minutes. These are the folks that truly represent what this game is all about.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Our support for Chivas USA is pure and cannot be questioned. We pride ourselves on being independent and free of outside interference. There is no one that can buy our voices or opinions. If there is something that isn’t kosher at Chivas USA, we will call them out. One of our goals in the Black Army is to provide support for our club even beyond the stands. Our members are very active in community service and outreach projects. We work side by side with Chivas USA on projects such as Heal the Bay Beach Clean-ups and Blood Drives. Our supporters group also takes on an active role in promoting equality and acceptance for fans of the beautiful game. We are currently promoting the first-ever Equality Night at an upcoming Chivas USA match.

In terms of game day bragging, you can count on the Black Army to give everything it has for over 90 minutes, every game. If our club falls behind, we will only get louder. Win, lose or draw our Goats can count on our full support. Our loyalty is without question or condition.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

Surely, these will happen when we leave the HDC.

Predictions for this season?

With Robin Fraser at the helm, we know that there is massive potential for improvement and long term success. We have all witnessed his contributions at RSL and can see that he has what it takes to turn things around at Chivas USA. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this club climb back into the playoffs in 2011.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

We love our country and our league! The vast majority of our members are also in the American Outlaws. In terms of MLS, we realize that this is the best league in the country at this time and the best opportunity for the American player to develop into professionals. The success of MLS is a key component to the overall success of the game in the United States. There is no doubting that the league has serious limitations, but we get the idea of supporting the domestic game. Only an idiot would expect MLS to be on par with leagues and clubs that have a 100 year head-start. We are going to truly enjoy growing with the MLS.

For more information and/or to join Black Army 1850 check out their website.

Get the NEW Free Beer Movement "Pint Glass" shirt! Only from Objectivo.com

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group: Angel City Brigade (LA Galaxy)

 
 
We continue our comprehensive coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Coming off their SuperClasico win against Chivas USA Saturday night, it's the "Angel City Brigade", supporters of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by former ACB council member "Pox" and one of their current "capos".
 
The Basics
 
SG Name:  Angel City Brigade (ACB)
 
MLS Club:  Los Angeles Galaxy
 
Stadium:  The Home Depot Center
 
Year SG Founded: 2007
 
Section Name (if other than SG name): Section 121 / The North End
 
Any other SGs apart of your section?  The Galaxians occupy the front of section 122.
 
Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction):  The North End of the HDC, section 121.
 
The Meaty Questions
 
What are the origins of your groups’ name?
 
Angel City refers to our group’s homage to Los Angeles.  We’ve felt from the beginning that it was important to add Los Angeles in some way to our group’s name.  Brigade just refers to the camaraderie between our group’s members.  Hence, Angel City Brigade.
 
Favorite chants/songs?  
 
“This is LA” is our anthem.  It’s sung before every match and usually in the dying minutes of a match.  It’s unique to the league, and at a time when groups recycle a lot of songs it’s nice to have one that completely stands on it’s own.  Other songs that seem to be favorites are “Aleo” and “LA LA LA Let’s Go.”  We’re VERY big on moving en masse in unison.  These last two songs get everyone jumping and moving together and add to the atmosphere of the North End.
 
Chants can be found here.  http://angelcitybrigade.net/acb-chants/
 
Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?  
 
Soccer Supporter’s in America are becoming a huge selling point for marketing soccer in America.  There’s a fervor and passion that comes with being a soccer fan and up until recently this aspect of the game was lost on the American public aside from a very small minority.  I believe that the Angel City Brigade and other SG’s across America and Canada are playing a huge part in not just providing an example of the passion but educating America’s sporting public.  If you come into our section you WILL lose your voice and you will leave knowing that you gave your all in support of the LA Galaxy.  This type of dedication makes you feel a part of the team.  That, and the numbers don’t lie.  We went from 20 members in 2008 to 600-800 per game in the 2011 season.  The passion, organization and knowledge we have is clearly contagious.
 
Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?  
 
Angel City Brigade has grown and thrived in one of the most creative environments in the world.  We exemplify Los Angeles both inside and outside the stadium.
 
Inside the stadium we chant and sing non stop in support of our team.  If we are losing we only get louder. Angel City Brigade sing in Spanish and English and carry the best traditions from each supporting culture around the world, effectively creating a hybrid supporter’s culture.
 
Outside of the stadium ACB have bands dedicated to their section who play benefit shows to raise money for travel costs and tifo.  Angel City Brigade organize and compete in a friendly soccer game with Chivas USA supporters to promote the passion and emotion of a Clasico game without the violence.  Angel City Brigade are true representatives for what supporters in America should be, a conglomeration of different aspects of support from around the world who carry all the emotion and passion without the violence.
Section 121 Band found here.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmEJAZ7mU2o
 
Greatest game(s) in team history? 2002 and 2005 MLS Cup Finals.
 
Predictions for this season? 
 
With our hectic schedule I doubt we’ll take the supporter’s shield again.  We’ll easily qualify for the playoffs and once we do we’re easily one of the favorites, especially now that we’re hosting the MLS Cup.
 
Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer? 
 
It’s sad that this even has to be asked.  Unfortunately a lot of Americans tend to lean towards the European or South American leagues.  Since that’s the reality it’s up to average MLS fans as well as supporter’s groups to draw attention to our league through our support in both dollars and passion.  You will NEVER have the same connection with a club 6,000 miles away as you do to the one in your own backyard.  Be proud of our young league and clubs.
 
One message.  GET YOUR HEAD STRAIGHT!!!  SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CLUB!!!! 
 
For more information and/or to join the "Angel City Brigade" check out their website

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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group: Bulldog Supporters Group (Colorado Rapids)

 

After a brief interruption in our weekly series we return to our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's the "Bulldog Supporters Group", supporters of the reigning MLS champions, Colorado Rapids.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by BSG President Jon Forget.

The Basics

SG Name: Bulldog Supporters Group (BSG, The Bobbies)

MLS Club: Colorado Rapids

Stadium: DSG Park

Year SG Founded: 2010

Section Name (if other than SG name): The East Terrace

Any other SGs apart of your section? West Terrace occupied by Pid Army.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): North side of the stadium, directly under the “2010 Championship” plaque, you can’t miss us.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Our name evolved from our home pub. We hail out of the downtown Denver soccer pub “The British Bulldog”. This was a place many of us would frequent before the supporters group formed to watch matches with others. For many of us, our pub is a second home.

Favorite chants/songs?

Glory, Glory Colorado, Conor Casey Rapids’ #9, Mountain Roads Take Me Home, Pabloooooo, Ginger Ninja, We all Bleed Rapids Burgundy, Mental

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

No sitting here! We are unique to the league as we are the ONLY standing supporters terrace. I guarantee you will not get the excitement or atmosphere standing/sitting in any other part of DSG Park as you will in the terrace. From the terrace we hope to inspire the team, pushing them on to victory with our voices. Win or lose, we are family.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We realize that we are new, but that hasn't stopped us from quickly growing and becoming organized. We have many new and old fans that are 

completely dedicated to the club, and are eager to inject their passion to make it better. It’s this passion from our members that is on display before, during, and after a match. Simply put, we are rowdy, partying, song singing, soccer loving people drinking beer and playing games in the warm Colorado sunshine. There aren't many ways to spend a Saturday better than that.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

Chris Henderson’s screaming volley over Mark Dodd to reach the final in ’97 is something many of us will never forget. Coming back against Kansas City on the 4th of July down a man in ’05. Crushing LA on opening day 4-0 in ’08. Of course our run through the playoffs this past year. Home and away against Columbus, San Jose and Dallas are games that for obvious reasons will never fade from many of our memories.

Predictions for this season?

If we finish out of the top three that would surprise a lot of people. Now that we have a taste for winning in our mouth there are raised expectations. If we don’t get our hands on some kind of silverware I think people will be disappointed. The month of July will be HUGE for us as we will be playing seven games in twenty-six days. After that, we start in the CCL where traveling might take it’s toll. God willing, we will remain healthy and focused enough to be able to mount a serious challenge for back-to-back titles.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Simply, this is what we have. For people lucky enough to feel so passionate about soccer there IS no other place to start than by supporting your local team. Do it, and be proud of your team, remember your rivalries and that the enemy of your enemy is a friend.

For more information and/or to join BSG check out their website.

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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group Photo Essay: Section 8 (Chicago Fire)

Chicago Fire training pitch. Toyota Park in the background.

We had to take a brief respite from our weekly series featuring profiles of Major League Soccer supporters groups, because, well, several of them haven't returned their questionnaires yet (you know who you are!).

That being said... we were digging through the dark room at FBM HQ and we came across a bunch of photos we've never featured on the site. Last October we had a chance to catch a game in "Section 8", the supporters section of Chicago Fire the night before the USMNT international friendly against Poland.

Growing up in Wisconsin, the Fire were the closest MLS team for us to travel to so we frequented their games as they played all over Chicago-land; Naperville, Soldier Field, and finally, in their own digs, Toyota Park.

The late fall match pitted Chicago Fire against their arch-rivals, Columbus Crew, and though the home side was starring down a post-season-less 2010, the supporters (and not a supporters group, but an "independent supporters association") were in full voice and in the mood to put a dent in the Eastern Conference leading Crew's march to the playoffs.

The weekend also happened to coincide with the 13th anniversary of the birth of Chicago Fire so the fans were in a festive mood to celebrate their club's accomplishments despite the lack of them that season.

The night was the truest definition of what it means to be a supporter of American soccer; no matter what.... they were behind their club. True support. True passion.
 

 


Section 8 Chairman Tom Dunmore






View from the "capo".
Celebrating (?) the other "Great Chicago Fire"




A parade of past successes. 


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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group: Screaming Eagles (D.C. United)

 
 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's the "Screaming Eagles", supporters of the capital city's D.C. United.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by SE President Paul Sotoudeh.
 
(Editor's Note: Last week we featured on of D.C. United's other SGs, Barra Brava. Check their profile out as well!)


The Basics

SG Name: Screaming Eagles

MLS Club: D.C. United

Stadium: RFK Stadium

Year SG Founded: 1995

Section Name (if other than SG name):
The Nest (132-134), The Perch (231-232) and the Aerie (139)

Any other SGs apart of your section?

No (Editor's Note: Other SGs in RFK including Barra Brava, La Norte, District Ultras)

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction):

Sections 132-134 and 139, as well as additional rows in 231 & 232. Northeast side of RFK (the TV or “loud side”).

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name? 

We held a quick poll amongst the small group of people who came to the earliest meetings. Screaming Eagles was adopted without too much debate. It just made sense. There was an eagle in DC United’s logo and supporters groups scream when they're in the stadium. It serves as a bit of an homage to our fighting men and women (we’re based in our nation’s capital, after all), and we figured that nobody looking for the 101st Airborne would be confused by a soccer group w/ the same nickname.

Favorite chants/songs?

Tough to pick. Although we have a number of go-to chants that we have used for many seasons, we like to keep things fresh and add new ones every year or two, so there’s always a new favorite – we have a good one for Charlie Davies that we just started doing. If forced to pick, I’d say what is currently known as the “Benny’s Army” chant – a chant we first did back when we were “Bruce’s Army” – is a good choice.

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

The Nest is along the touchline at midfield, very close to the action, so we have the opportunity to influence the match through our support. There’s no better place to be a fan and really experience and become part of the game. Plus, our sections are where the party is.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

At the start of MLS, the Screaming Eagles set the standard for how American supporters groups are run in terms of organization, style of support, and relationship with our club’s front office, and we continue to push things forward in 2011. Our tailgates are the best in the league, our support for DC United and the US National Team is second to none, and our match-viewing events draw plenty of new fans. But we also sponsor local rec soccer clubs and organize community outreach activities and charitable efforts that spread the game to young and old alike. We are the best grassroots promotional organization for soccer in the DC area, because it isn’t just about watching the match for us. We’re here to grow the game, and that’s what we do every day.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

The 2004 Eastern Conference Final is the greatest match in MLS history. That said, I think the team’s high point is the 1997 MLS Cup at RFK Stadium, when United beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in front of a sold-out home stadium. For that match, the league erected and sold additional temporary bleacher seats behind the south goal to accommodate the demand. The weather was rainy and bitterly cold. And still, we had 57,000+ people come out and thunderously chant for DC together – and we won a title. When growing the game is your goal, there’s no better blueprint to follow than that.

Predictions for this season?

Great improvement. We aren’t MLS Cup contenders by any reasonable measure, but we’re young and tough and talented. I expect that we’ll make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, getting markedly better as the season progresses, and then be a really tough out for whoever we’re matched up with in the playoffs.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

DC United is our hometown team and the US National Team is our nation’s team. There are lots of people who live in America and claim to love the game, but aren’t interested in supporting soccer in this country so that one day it will be as good or better than what they get up early on weekend mornings to watch. There’s nothing wrong with being interested in watching the high standard of play on display in foreign leagues, but this is our game and these are our teams, and we believe in supporting them 100%.

For more information about the "Screaming Eagles" or to join up with them check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporter’s Group - Barra Brava (D.C. United)

 
 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's Barra Brava, supporters of the capital city's DC United.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by BB "elder" Robert Gillespie.
 
The Basics
 
SG Name: La Barra Brava

MLS Club: DC United

Stadium: RFK Memorial

Year SG Founded: 1996

Section Name (if other than SG name): Barra

Any other SGs apart of your section? Yes, Screaming Eagles (working on their profile, too!) and La Norte, District Ultras

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Barra is 135-138 at midfield on the East side of the stadium

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Our group was founded by a man from Bolivia and took the name (Brave Fans) from the Barras of South America.

Favorite chants/songs?

“Fuck you Ref!” Well our favorite songs/chant is “La Barra Brava”, but many others are very popular, including “Olsen’s Army” which the front office has co-opted for their marketing strategy.

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Well, first off, no one sits. In the Barra sections everyone stands for 90 minutes, singing, chanting and generally creating a winning atmosphere for our Club. Our sections are in the first level right at midfield so in addition to the great atmosphere we also have seats closest to the action with fantastic views of the field.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

Our passion and commitment to completely supporting the team for 90 minutes. Our atmosphere has long been the best in MLS, the commissioner moved the MLS Cup to RFK in 2005 because of the atmosphere calling DC, “MLS’ best market”.

Our tailgates are legendary and have been featured in Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post and numerous other publications and broadcasts.

Our members develop real relationships with our players. Many former players or injured players visit our tailgates and injured/suspended players often stand in the Barra during matches. Christian Gomez, our former #10, famously played a drum in the Barra all match during an away in Giants Stadium.

Our group and the Screaming Eagles (DC’s other supporters group) were the first to really travel in large numbers not just to close matches but throughout the league.

The people are amazing, it’s a great group who raise large amounts for local charities, donate thousands of hours of community service and create a true family atmosphere in Lot 8 and in RFK

Greatest game(s) in team history?

Well all four MLS Cup wins of course. I think most United fans would say the 2004 Eastern Conference final against NE was the best atmosphere ever at RFK if not in the entire league. Our friendly against Nottingham Forest in 2004 was an incredibly fun atmosphere including an amazing tailgate with Forest fans and founded a relationship that continues to this day.

Predictions for this season?

For DC United: Young, tough scrappy team that should be hard to beat and challenge for a playoff sport. For La Barra Brava: To continue to set the standard other MLS supporters groups aspire to

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

I started following soccer in the 1970s with the NASL and began coming to United matches in 1996. Many of our members, especially our early members, followed soccer from their home countries or were NASL fans. We also have a large number of active and former service members who fell in love with soccer while stationed abroad. Soccer is the greatest sport in the world, the only truly global sport and there is no sport in North America that has the kind of supporter that follows soccer. The large, organized groups and the fanatical relationship to the club organized among 1000s of fans in a supporters group isn’t seen in the NFL, NBA or Baseball.

To learn more about Barra Brava or if you're in the DC area, join the group, visit their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Red Patch Boys (Toronto FC)

 

 

We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature "Red Patch Boys", supporters of Toronto FC.

As told to the Free Beer Movement by RPB President Boris Aguilar (and others).

The Basics

MLS Club: Toronto FC

SG Name: Red Patch Boys (RPB)

Stadium: BMO Field

Year SG Founded: 2006

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Bunker

Any other SGs apart of your section? No

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Our home is section 112 in the south end, however, we have groups of RPBs scattered throughout the stadium

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

The name Red Patch Boys (RPB) was chosen as a way to pay homage to the veterans of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division of the Second World War, known as Red Patch Devils by axis troops in recognition of their bravery and perseverance. The name was modified and is now worn as a symbol of pride and to emulate camaraderie.

Favourite chants/songs?

We have quite a few and the full list can be found on our site here.

However a few favourites that have spread beyond the supporters sections including the bounce, the massive and most recently sloop TFC.

The Bounce

The Massive

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

This is where the energy of the stadium is the strongest – it starts here and then resonates throughout the rest of the stadium. Just as important you are standing shoulder to shoulder with individuals who all share the same undying passion for the club and for the sport.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

The Red Patch Boys, in its five year history have achieved a great deal. We have about 500 paid members, and 2500 registered users on our message board. We achieved what MLS considers the best supporter display (Danny Dichio tribute banner) and we firmly believe we had some great competition.

We also have a unified voice that can stir things up and cause change. Back at the end of the 2010 season, the supporters felt that they were being priced out of the stadium. We also felt that the ticket price increase was not justified. The membership was furious and after weeks of debate we as a group decided to launch the ‘Wear Green Campaign’. The reason why we chose green was because it was the colour of greed which we felt that our front office was exhibiting. This campaign gained recognition throughout the league and made headlines in local media and even the New York Times.

The Red Patch Boys are also proud to travel and support our team. Distance has proven not to be an issue for our group from the Cruz Azul game in Mexico City to somewhere closer like Columbus we proudly travel and cheer on our team.

Finally, RPB members come from across Canada and even overseas and the membership as a whole is composed of people that are more than just supporters. Our membership is a family.

Greatest game(s) in team history? 

To win the 2009 Canadian Championship and secure a spot in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League the team needed to win it's final game against Montreal by 5 goals. This kind of result is quite rare but June 18 2009 a large contingent of TFC supporters made their way to Montreal. On that rainy night in Montreal a "miracle" happened. Montreal was first on the score sheet but after that it all turned around and TFC pulled out a miraculous 6-1 win and secured the 2009 Championship

Predictions for this season?

We believe it’s a year of rebirth – we expect to see positive change this season, both on the field and in the stands. As fans we truly hope to see the playoffs however as supporters we also know this is another year of rebuilding from the ground up.

During Mo Johnston’s era, we felt that the team used band-aid solutions to our team which never really accomplished anything. However with the change in management this year and a new director of soccer who has a vision for the club we believe that the future is bright for TFC. With this vision new players have arrived, a new attitude is visible from the club on and off the pitch and frankly it is a breath of fresh air for supporters.

Why Major League Soccer? Why North American soccer?

North America is a sleeping giant for the sport and year over year though it continues to grow and expand. We believe that we’re on the verge of seeing big things in this league as it continues to focus on expansion in key markets and most importantly quality player development. Beyond just MLS and TFC an investment in this league results in investment in all the smaller developing leagues (CSL, USL, etc) within both countries which directly benefits our national teams.

For more information and/or to join the Red Patch Boys... check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group: The Inferno (FC Dallas)

We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.

Today we feature "The Inferno", supporters of FC Dallas.

As told to the Free Beer Movement by long-time Inferno member Gina Zippilli (and thanks to Dana for all the networking).

The Basics 

SG Name: The Inferno

MLS Club: FC Dallas

Stadium: Pizza Hut Park

Year SG Founded: 1995
Section Name (if other than SG name): The Wedge

Any other SGs apart of your section? El Matador

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Section 121, in the Southeast corner of the stadium.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

We, of course, haven't always been FC Dallas. In 1995, when we were the Dallas Burn, the name "Inferno" seemed pretty straightforward.

Favorite chants/songs?

"Dallas til' I die"- We don't sing this song because we heard another group sing it and thought it sounded cool. We sing this song cause we mean it.

"Fight for the shirt"- It helped get us the come from behind win at Chicago in 2007. Its a chant we do when the team is in trouble, and the players know that and respond to it.

"Walkin' In A Dallas Wonderland"- Sometime back in 2008, FC Dallas were getting their butts handed to them in US Open Cup play by a USL team. The Inferno, moved to the point of delirium, started chanting and singing whatever came to mind and thus, a song based on a Christmas carol was born. Not only did this song stick, but we've also come up with naughty variations of the song for our mascot, Tex Hooper. Who knew an oversized bull could smoke grass and tap that ass? We sure didn't.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Soccer is different from sports like basketball and football because the fans are more passionate. Any soccer fan knows its not possible to casually sit and watch a soccer game while your team is out there doing all the work. In the supporters section, you get to actively participate in the game. There is no sitting on your hands, twiddling your thumbs or participating in the wave. You get to tell the referee what you thought of his call, tell the opposing team's keeper how bad he sucks and earn yourself a sore throat the next day for urging your team's star striker to go for goal. Plus, its more fun to celebrate a goal by jumping up and down, screaming and throwing confetti like a child than it is to idly stand there and applaud like you're at a golf tournament.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

What we lack in numbers, we make up for in strength and toughness. We've been through a lot with FC Dallas- the stadium not being ready on time, heartbreaking playoff defeats at the hands of the Rapids in both 2005 and 2006, Steve Morrow's sudden firing after a 5-1 home loss to LA, and the subsequent deconstruction and rebuilding of our team- all at the hands of a new coach we didn't know or trust yet. They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and make us stronger it has. That strength (we chant, sing and cheer for FCD in 90-100 degree heat for months on end every season) from what we've been through and the fact that we're still here makes us one of the best.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

If we’re talking Dallas Burn days, the 5-2 win over LA in 96 was probably our first taste of "this team could be something." LA was the glamour team in 96 (Campos, etc.) and beating them was big, especially in front of our own fans.

Obviously, the first regulation win in team history was big - v KC on a Thursday, 3-0.

In 1997 we beat LA in the playoffs which was huge and then won the U.S. Open Cup over DC - the first team to beat DC for a championship.

Jumping ahead to the FC Dallas days, the US Open Cup semifinal at Pizza Hut Park in 2005 was big as it was our very first win in the new stadium.

The June 2007 game against Chicago was a come from behind victory at Toyota Park. The odds were stacked heavily against us after going down a goal early on, and having a player sent to the hospital, but the team persevered. Bobby Rhine scored the tying goal with Kenny Cooper scoring the winner, and both players jumped into the group of traveling Inferno members to celebrate their goals.

Beating Kansas City 6-0 in August of 2009 was an important moment for FCD. 2009 was a rough year performance-wise, and Kenny Cooper's departure for 1860 Munich had just been announced the day before, making the fans feel even worse. That win reminded us that we were a team, and reassured us that we'd be okay.

FCD's playoff games leading up to MLS Cup in 2010 were also very memorable. FC Dallas ignored the doubters and handled Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy with a degree of confidence we've never before seen out of our team. They made history and set an example for future FC Dallas squads as if to say, "hey, if the 2010 team did it, so can we."

Predictions for this season?

While we've lost some key players from the team that got us to our first MLS Cup, and we are indeed off to a very slow start, we've still got the pieces to have another very strong year.

MLS MVP David Ferreira is back, George John is healthy and Ruben Luna is maturing and getting comfortable with the first team. Additionally, we just signed Colombian U-20 Fabian Castillo who offers incredible speed in addition to size. Once our favorite bus driver decides on a Starting XI (and where to play Brek Shea- hopefully at left mid), and Luna, Castillo and Milton Rodriguez begin to gel, we could once again be the force to be reckoned with that we were last year.
 

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

We may like different styles of the game and support different teams, but the one thing every soccer fan in the world shares is that passion for the game. Supporting MLS and US Soccer is just the same as in Europe and other countries around the world. You support your local club and you support your country.

For more information and/or to join up with The Inferno, check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Supporters Groups

Better Know a Supporters Group - Midnight Riders (New England Revolution)

 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
This week's edition of the series is a special one as we're featuring TWO supporters group of one MLS club. It's always a treat to go to the movies and get a double feature and we're hoping that you'll feel the same way about getting double the info on New England's supporters groups.
 
First up, the Midnight Riders as told to the Free Beer Movement by MR executive board member Chris Camille.
 
You can read all about the Rebellion, the Revolution's other major SG as well.
 
The Basics
 
SG Name: The Midnight Riders


MLS Club: New England Revolution

Stadium: Gillette Stadium

Year SG Founded: 1995, the year before MLS began.

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Fort

Any other SGs apart of your section? Rev Army, The Rebellion

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Section 143, in the shadow of the "light house."

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Everyone should take a second and be thankful for Paul Revere and his famous "Midnight Ride," if it wasn't for him Tim Howard would have been in net this past summer for England and we wouldn't have been able to see Robert Green's famous flub. Further, Canada would probably have made a few more World Cups at this point, and really, who wants that? Look it up in your alternate-history books, kids. It's all right there.

Favorite chants/songs?

Cheering on the ultimate Fort Favorite, Khano Smith with "Kaaahno, no, no, no, no…" to the tune of "Seven Nation Army."

Also, more seriously, "From the Halls of Foxboro Stadium…" and one of most recent additions, "What New England's done to me…" which is sung to the United States Marine Corp's "Mama, Mama, can't you see." (Shout out to the Rev Army)

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

In cavernous Gillette Stadium the Fort is the only place where you can stand and feel like you are actually part of something. Everyone is always packed in to this tiny little outpost in what is most likely the worst part of the stadium to actually view the action on the field. This, coupled with the horrible 45+ minutes a majority of our members need to drive to reach Gillette from Boston and you know that everyone is there because they are obsessed with the sport and with the Revs in general. We've heard a million excuses about why it isn't worth the trip but it doesn't matter, we're all there no matter what to support the team.

Just ask Atlante's keeper Frederico Vilar about his time in front of the Fort during the SuperLiga and he'll tell you that on our day we can support with the best of them.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We are the largest supporters group of the New England Revolution. We represent more states than any other SG out there. All six of the New England states have representation.

We also have about as long a history as you can have in supporting MLS. The group has existed since 1995, a year before actual play began. We started the Fort with the Rev Army and we were also one of the first groups to incorporate "tifo" displays into our game day repertoire.

I also think we have one of the best tailgates you can be a part of. We may at first seem like ornery bunch but just like any New Englander, once you get to know us, we're actually very friendly. Some supporters groups out there who have watched Green Street Hooligans a bit too much won't think this is bragging but I also think we are the most friendly supporters group in the country. There is always an open invitation that if you are traveling to Foxboro to watch your team take on the Revs you should swing by our tailgate to grab a bite to eat and try some of our top-notch craft beers (to rival those from anywhere in the country, though this topic may be for another blog post).

Greatest game(s) in team history?

We've had a pretty tumultuous history in terms of results but there have certainly been some pretty incredible highlights. In 2002, when we hosted the MLS Cup Final and the Revs played in front of 68,000 fans (still an MLS Cup record for attendance) is certainly up there despite the soul crushing final play.

The other two results that resonate with most of our members are the two times we have actually lived the silverware.

In 2007 the Revs won the US Open Cup and a large group of Riders were there to cheer on the cause.

In 2008, in front of a packed Fort, the Revs were able to get a bit of solace after their losses to the Dyanmo in the MLS Cup Finals by defeating Houston in penalties.

Predictions for this season?

The Revs were horrendous last season so it is nice to see that they realized something had to be done. It is still to be seen if what they did is going to make a difference. The team has added a lot of young, inexperienced players and a lot of older veterans. If they can get the balance right they could do okay but there is always the chance that the older guys will get hurt and the younger ones won't be ready to step in.

Rookie Ryan Kinne could be the surprise package of the season so watch this space!

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

We all love the game for one reason or another and supporting your local club is just too important to the future of the game in this country not to do.

Our stadium is very far away from Boston where quite a few of our members actually live. Everyone has a story of some fan who only supports a European club at a bar and doesn't see value in supporting his or her local side and it is one of the most frustrating things to encounter when you are trying to build support. They often say that the quality of the MLS isn't up to par with what they're watching at 7:30 am at the pub and we're am not trying to argue with that. We are saying that the only way that the team that you can actually watch live, week in and week out, is going to get better is with the support of any and all local fans of the game.

For more information and/or to join the Midnight Riders check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, New England Revolution

Better Know a Supporters Group - The Rebellion (New England Revolution)

 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
This week's edition of the series is a special one as we're featuring TWO supporters group of one MLS club. It's always a treat to go to the movies and get a double feature and we're hoping that you'll feel the same way about getting double the info on New England's supporters groups.
 
Second up, the Rebellion as told to the Free Beer Movement by Bill Lewandowski, Rebellion Propaganda Minister.
 
You can read all about the Midnight Riders, the Revolution's other major SG as well.

The Basics

SG Name: The Rebellion


MLS Club: New England Revolution

Stadium: Gillette Stadium

Year SG Founded: 2009

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Fort

Any other SGs apart of your section? Midnight Riders, Rev Army, La Barra Latina

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): North End, Sec . 141, 142, 143

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Origins of the group name are derived from the American Revolution theme. The New England colonies had become the most dissident of the 13 and pushed the line from simple defiance of the crown to outright Rebellion. Early Rebels formed a tight network to combat the British, organizing the common defense and coordinating throughout New England to collectively rise up for a common cause.

To quote Sam Adams, leader of the Sons of Liberty, a band of ruffians usually out causing a ruckus, “it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fire in people’s minds.”

This couldn't reign more true with our goals in the saturated sports market of Boston.

Favorite chants/songs?

Mama, Mama
Glory Glory Revolution

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”

You can just sit back in your seats and wait for something to happen or you can stand up, shoulder to shoulder with your friends and create the atmosphere, the passion, and inspire your team and will them to victory or go hoarse trying. Whether we're displaying tifo, singing our hearts out, waving flags, or drinking confetti filled beers you're a part of a constant build up to a possible explosion of emotion. It's addicting.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We're new, and we may not be the "best" but I do know what sets us apart. Inclusion. We made it our mission the show the casual soccer fan the benefits of seeing the game from our angle; and how much fun living the supporters lifestyle can be. There is a tight knit family created by this that extends far beyond Revs games. A culturally diverse area like New England brings together passionate fans with multiple backgrounds with a high soccer IQ and a deep appreciate for the game. Together we collectively share a goal; to spread and elevate the game in this country. That all starts in the Fort on game day.


In addition the majority of our members make up some of the best American Outlaw chapters in the country. @AO_Providence , @AOBoston and AO Hartford. AO Boston known for making the legendary trip to Honduras, and AO Providence having one of the best Donovan goal celebrations out there.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

2008 Superliga Finals. After a hotly contested Semi Final win over Atlante featuring a total of six red cards, the Revs faced Houston Dynamo at Gillette. Houston had ousted us in the previous two MLS Cups. Bad blood galore. After falling to 1-0, a Steve Ralston goal tied it at 1-1 and the game eventually went into extra time. Revs fell quickly 2-1 in the OT period until Shalrie Joseph's header knotted it back up 2-2 to send the game to PKs to which the Revs won 6-5. Epic. Amazing. Awesome.


Recap
From the Fort

Predictions for this season?

Undefeated, winning MLS Cup, dominating US Open Cup, embarrassing any European club who makes the trip and being overly jingoistic about supporting our Boys.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

This is our league in our country. The argument is made that it's not the among the top leagues in the world and our best Americans play abroad. It's no excuse not to support your local club. For example, the best Argentineans play abroad, and have you seen a River Plate v Boca Juniors game? Bananas. Our players that move on are forever MLS players. Clint Dempsey will always be a Rev. It's awesome to be able to look back and say you saw a future superstar develop in front of you.

Why soccer in America? Frankly can anyone stomach the amount of commercials during an American Football game? Can you really suffer through four hour baseball games 162 times? An MLS fan has more in common with an MLS player in terms of compensation and living conditions than other sport in America. These guys play for the love of the game.

For more information and/or to join the Rebellion check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, New England Revolution, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporter’s Group - Crew Union (Columbus Crew)

 
 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.

 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's the Columbus Crew's Crew Supporters Union

As told to the Free Beer Movement by Crew Union President John Clem.

The Basics

SG Name: Crew Supporters Union (or ‘Crew Union’ for short)

MLS Club: Columbus Crew

Stadium: Columbus Crew Stadium

Year SG Founded: 2006

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Nordecke, which is German for ‘North Corner’, honoring the cities German heritage.

Any other SGs apart of your section?

Hudson Street Hooligans. La Turbina Amarilla also used to be in the Nordecke, but are moving for 2011 season for more space.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): The five sections composing the northeast corner of the stadium.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Crew Supporters Union is a play on the construction worker theme of the Columbus Crew. Initially we had called our group Crew Supporters Union: Local 614 (614 is the area code in Columbus), but that was later dropped.

Favorite chants/songs?

The difficult thing with MLS supporters is that due to how intertwined they are with US National team supporters groups like Sam’s Army and American Outlaws a lot of the best chants/songs get passed around the league pretty quickly. I love songs like “We Love Ya", but it's now being done by many supporters in the league. Love Vindaloo, but falls into this category as well.

I’m a big fan of player specific chants. For example for Liverpool born Andy Iro we sing “He’s big, he’s British, he’s probably good at quidditch, Andy Iro! Andy Iro!”. For two-time MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall we often sing “Tried to get the ball past Marshall, he said ‘No, No, No!” to the tune of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab song.

Here's a link to lyrics and recordings for a good chunk of our songs.

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Standing with Crew Union or anywhere else in the Nordecke offers a unique experience in Columbus. Yeah we have the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, the Clippers (AAA affiliate of the Indianns) and Ohio State football and basketball, those experiences don’t offer the same level of creativity, passion, and intensity.

People don’t even have to be soccer fans to enjoy a game in the Nordecke, but once they do they’ll come back for more.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We travel. Both for home games and away games, I don’t know if this comes from being Midwesterners and not minding a few hour drive or what.

For home games we have so many members that drive in from other large cities in the region that we’ve established satellite groups. CSU: Local 317 for example is a chapter in Indianapolis that organizing viewing parties and carpools to Columbus for home games. Similar groups with varying levels of organization exist in Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, and Louisville. We also have presences in Washingon DC, Boston and New York that ensures we always have a presence at those away games.

For away games if it’s drivable we’ll be there and usually take a bus. Last year in conjunction with Hudson Street we took large contingents to matches at NY, DC, Philly and Chicago, and three of those were weekday games. NY in particular was an up and back on a Thursday night match that lasted just over 30 hours.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

While it may be easy to say the 2008 MLS Cup final at the Home Depot Center where the Crew handled NY pretty easily on the way to a 3-1 win, but I think most people will agree with me when I say the 2008 Eastern Conference Final against Chicago. It was a defining moment for the Crew and it's fanbase after never winning the ECF in several previous attempts. To do it against a huge rival against Chicago and former Crew icon turned villain in Brian McBride just added to the drama.

You can feel the outpouring of emotion in this video when the team came over to the Nordecke after the match.

Predictions for this season?

Top 3 in the Eastern Conference and another U.S. Open Cup run. I’m a bit of an optimist, but I still think most people are underestimating the Crew. The core of the team is still there and they know how to win.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

It’s the best we have and for a new generation of soccer fans it’s been all they’ve known domestically which is great. The league is going to keep growing and getting stronger and the quality will keep getting better. Will it ever be the top sports league in the United States? Probably not anytime soon, but that’s what’s great about MLS, it offers an option for people that don’t want the normal sit on your hands experience you get with most American professional sports.

For more information and information about joining up with the Crew Supporters Union check out their website.

 

 

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporter’s Group - 1906 Ultras (San Jose Earthquakes)

 
 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's the 1906 Ultras, supporters of the San Jose Earthquakes.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by Ultras founder and leader, Dan Margarit.
 
Basics

SG Name: 1906 Ultras


MLS Club: San Jose Earthquakes

Stadium: Buckshaw stadium

Year SG Founded: 4-19-2003

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Disturbed Section

Any other SGs apart of your section? The Casbah

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): 109, behind the goal

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

Growing up in Europe, and being an ultra out there made me want to bring that style of support to San Jose. There were other supporter groups in the league, but none of them was an ultras group. So, I decided to give it a simple name describing our way of support: "Ultras". In 2007, after I found out that the Quakes were coming back, I met with the "1906" which was the supporters group of the now defunct California Victory. After we met, they decided to join us and support the Quakes with us. Since then, the groups is called the 1906 Ultras.

Favorite chants/songs?

We like all our songs and chants. "Heart of an Ultra" is for us what "You'll never walk alone" is for the Liverpool friends. "We're your faithful", "Game Day", "The Jameson song" and many others are original songs and we are the only group in MLS that sings them. The songs and chants directed towards our rivals from Seattle and LA are also very popular.

Why is being in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

It's the most fun place to me. It's a brotherhood. Once you become a member of our group you become a brother. Everybody's got your back and you will always be welcomed with a bottle of beer, a shot of Jameson or a can of FourLoko. We are having a great time in our section regardless if the team is winning or not. Of course, we are all upset if the Quakes lose, but if we did our best in the stands to support our team and dominated the other supporters group, we are satisfied. Being part of our section allows people to bond in friendships, build memories that will last forever, and also allows them to get rowdy and express themselves. Also, the beer tastes better in 109 when you drink it while singing and jumping.


Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We are the best supporters group in the league. We are not just your regular MLS supporters who meet, drink and sing. We are not a social club, but a social movement. We are ULTRAS. We live and breathe this. We wake up in the morning singing some ultra song, and we fall asleep chanting some profanity against Seattle or LA. We wear our hoodies and the ultras scarves on our faces on a hot summer day in LA, and we take our shirts off on a freezing, snowy night in Denver. We are hardcore.

We are independent. Our FO offered to pay for our tifo, buses or away game tickets numerous times, but we have always refused them and eventually they understood. We respect our FO and we are constantly trying to find common ground, but we'll never be their puppets. We are not civilized and our chants and attitude might offend other fans out there, but to be honest, we don't really care. We'll do anything to give our boys the home field advantage and make the visiting teams and supporters feel like they are in hell. That's our mission.
We are all brothers and we spend a lot of time together, not only on game days. Our group watches over its members. We help them with their personal problems, find jobs or simply help those who need financial assistance. For example, I am proud to say that all our members who were able to take work/school off to go to NY for the playoff game, made it, even though a good number of them were not able to afford it on their own. That's how we got 70+ people across the nation on a Thursday night.

There are other good groups out there. Props to them, but we bring it to a whole different level. The level of extreme passion, the rowdiness and the insanity that you find in our group can't be found anywhere else around our league. That's why we don't have any friends amongst the other supporter groups. All the love and positive feelings from our hearts are channeled towards the Quakes. What's left is hate and anger and we save that for the other teams and their supporter groups. We don't like any of them and they don't like us. We are on our own. It's more fun this way.

We are not a large group like Timbers Army, Barra Brava or Red Patch Boys but we have the best songs and tifo, and we are the only American group featured in the European media. We have a different mentality, different standards and different goals than any other MLS supporters groups. We are also involved into our community with some charity projects we created.


While most of the groups in the league focus only on increasing their numbers, we focus mainly on quality. We welcome everybody who believes that they have what it takes, but if we consider that certain new members don't fit well in the group and they're not ready to give 100% for the group and the team, we get rid of them.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

November 23, 2003: 5-2 against the Scum from LA. By far, the best game ever. Not only that it was an amazing come back, but it was against our enemies.

In the modern era, it was the recent 3-1 in NY. Another great come back for our boys, and a memorable trip for our group. We had the local cops asking us to stop jumping because some metal supports under our section were falling down.

The win in Seattle this past season, as well as every win against them, or the Galaxy are always great games for us.

Predictions for this season?

We don't have any big names in the team, but we got the biggest hearts out there. Coach Yallop is rebuilding that dominating team that the Quakes had before being relocated. We fully trust him and we believe in this young, ambitious group of players. This year we are winning the MLS cup.
Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?
 

We live here, this is our league. For now, this league may not have the high level that you see in the European leagues, but we can care less. It's OUR league and the Quakes are OUR local team. We'll take Wondo over Messy, Convey over Ronaldo, and Busch over Cech any time, any place. We have no respect for those so called "soccer fans" living in this country who support all these big foreign teams that they only see playing live once or twice a year, if that, but bash MLS and don't go to support their local American teams. They would only go if MLS was a big league, but they refuse to get involved in the building process and put a brick at the foundation of this league.

It's such a rewarding experience to be a dedicated fan in a growing, developing and improving league like MLS. We are an active part of this process, and in 20 or 30 years, when MLS will be one of the most competitive and respected leagues in the world, we are going to look back, and be proud of ourselves because we not only witnessed history but actually helped it happen.

Interested in learning more about or joining up with the 1906 Ultras in San Jose? Check out their website.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Los Angeles Riot Squad (LA Galaxy)

 
 
We continue to expand our coverage of American soccer culture with our series "Better Know a Supporters Group," just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the MLS teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
Today it's the Los Angeles Riot Squad or LARS, supporters of, you guessed it, the Los Angeles Galaxy.
 
As told to the Free Beer Movement by LARS member Isaac Menchaca.

The Basics

MLS Club: Los Angeles Galaxy

Stadium: Home Depot Center

Year SG Founded:

2001 – After a loss, Kevin Hartman approached a few and offered a deal. Put together a group of about 100 fans to stand, sing, & support the team and they’d get a beer keg. The rest is history.

Section Name (if other than SG name): 137/138

Any other SGs apart of your section? No.

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): Section 138, Southeast Corner

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

The name ‘Riot Squad’ is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the infamous Los Angeles Riots of 1992. People have often thought we’re trying to act hard or be hooligans, but true to Riot Squad nature, we’re simply having a laugh.

Favorite chants/songs?

“Riot Squad We Are Here”

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Who’s sitting? Standing with LARS is a different type of supporter’s experience. We don’t practice afterschool or in the offseason. This isn’t glee club. We aren’t hooligans (even if we do attract the occasional Elijah Wood wannabe). We’re there to support the team, watch a game with friends and have a few beers.
It’s that combination of a laid-back, fun loving attitude along with smart, witty chant & song selection that gives you the best of both worlds in LARS. You can support the team, pressure the visitors and not feel like you have to complete a full workout in 90 mins.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

When your SG can successfully put together a list of people whose skin you’ve gotten under which includes the city’s mayor, the team’s less than exemplary DP, and on average, about an opposition player per game, you’re doing something right.

There are many supporter groups that can claim being the “most organized” or the “loudest” but eventually that kind of support turns into ‘white noise’ for a professional athlete. When all the songs/chants are the same as the ones you hear in every stadium in the league, and when the drumming drones out the voices of the supporter, in many ways it makes the atmosphere a positive one.

A place like Seattle, with 30,000 fans every game should really be more intimidating, but the only constant you hear from players is how much they “look forward to playing in Seattle’s atmosphere” – it’s not intimidating. It’s like Disneyland.

Just a season ago in LARS we were widely criticized for making a USMNT player cry shortly after he missed the cut for the World Cup Roster; needless to say, if a player is busy thinking about what the Riot Squad is saying to him, he’s not having his best game on the field.

We’re not afraid to say / chant things that are going to sting. We know better than to do something stupid and pointless like throwing out racial slurs, talking about a player’s family, or anything else that crosses a line. But other than that, we’re very comfortable walking that line.

The constant criticism is just further confirmation that we’re doing things that no other supporter group is doing.

Great Game(s) in Team History?

It’s probably a toss-up between the 2002 final and 2005. Any time your team can reach the final stage and take the whole thing home, it’s pretty exciting. 2002 probably gets the not simply because of the reward at the end of so many struggles in previous MLS Cups.

Predictions for this season?

Top three finish. Once you get into the playoffs, it’s a toss-up.

Losing Edson Buddle would have been a disaster, but picking up Angel changes the situation from a “loss” to an “adjustment.” Other than that Bruce has addressed quite a few of the team’s concerns. The defense has gotten depth and experience on the bench. The team addressed the lack of a left midfielder with two young players, and some depth was also added to the front line.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Why not? Even though I understand what is meant, this question often throws me off. It’s like asking an Ankaraspor fan why the Turkcell Superlig, or asking a Colo Colo fan why the Primera Division de Chile.

L.A. is our local team, MLS is our local league, and that’s pretty much the extent of it. I get that the question makes allusion to the many who only watch EPL, or La Liga football because they view American soccer as “less than” but I really feel that the questions should be directed at them. They’re the ones with an explanation to give. For the rest of us, “I Love L.A.” is enough in our hearts.

Some of us adopted the teams we love as soon as they were formed, others who are considerably younger, have had the fortune of actually growing up with these teams, and the rest were usually dragged along by friends or coworkers and decided to stay.

It’s hard to explain why we love our teams, and I still think you’d be better off asking the “MLS sucks” crowd.

Ladies and gentlemen.... the Los Angeles Riot Squad. Learn more and/or join them by visiting their Facebook page.

Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer, Supporters Groups

Better Know A Supporters Group - Southsiders (Vancouver Whitecaps)

 

Welcome to the second piece in a new feature on the Free Beer Movement site to expand our coverage of American soccer culture. It's called "Better Know a Supporters Group" just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report".

Our goal: to feature each of the Major League Soccer teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
 
Today we're featuring one of Major League Soccer's newbies, although not new to the American  (or Canadian) soccer scene, Vancouver Whitecaps and their supporters group, the Southsiders.

As told to the Free Beer Movement by John Know, President of the Southsiders.

The Basics

MLS Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Stadium: Empire Field (temporary for 2011), BC Place Stadium (permanent home as of October 2011)

Year SG Founded: 1999

Section Name: The Southside

Any other SGs apart of your section?

Not at this time, although we are working on getting some regional sub-groups established on Vancouver Island (The SouthIslanders) and the Okanagan (The OK Insiders). We also have a group of fans sitting on the west side of the stadium in the proverbial “posh” seats who have cheekily named themselves “The Prawnsiders.”

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): south end behind the goal out to the SE corner.

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?

As many of us are painfully aware, the 1990s and 2000s were dark days for North American football supporters. It was an era when football clubs bought into the philosophy that "family-friendly entertainment" would draw legions of suburban families with young children through the gate.
True football supporters soon found themselves displaced by soccer moms and small children who were more interested in silly mascots and T-shirt contests than the game in front of them.

In 1999, diehard fans of the Vancouver 86ers decided that enough was enough. They abandoned their seats in the grandstand and made a habit of congregating in the pitch-level beer garden behind the goal at the south end of Swangard Stadium. There they knew they could get away with standing through the whole match, pint in hand and voices in full song... all without drawing complaints from the parents mortified by the occasional curse word or rude hand gesture. They generated a real football atmosphere, without the need for computer screen prompting for them to "make some noise".

At first, the group called themselves "The Carlsberg Crew" - so named for the official sponsor of Swangard's beer garden. The following season, they changed their name to "The Canterbury Court", as the beer sponsor had changed between seasons. Realizing that the group might have to change its name each and every season, we opted to call ourselves "The Southsiders".

Favorite chants/songs?

Our anthem is “Boundary Road” (tune of John Denver’s “Country Roads”), but we’re also known for singing the loudest and most obnoxious “O Canada” you’ve ever heard. We’ve got an arsenal of songs in the repertoire that are older than many of the clubs we’ll be playing against. Just wait, you’ll see!

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

Because we are the atmosphere. We don’t need a scoreboard with video graphics of clapping hands to tell us when to make noise. If I could tell the uninitiated one thing, it’s that they are going to have some of the best laughing fits of their lives in the Southside, because some of the things you end up singing are as much shocking as they are hilarious.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

We are the oldest SG in Canada, and we have been around longer than the vast majority of SGs in the USA. We support the oldest professional club in North America. Aside from a two year break following the NASL collapse, we’ve had a professional team here for 37 straight years. We are a city with proper football history and rivalries. Only our Cascadia cousins in Seattle come close, with Portland being the next runner up.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

- The 1979 semi-final win over the NY Cosmos, and the subsequent championship final win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies are obvious choices. How about…

-Opening BC Place in 1983 v. Seattle Sounders, winning 2-1 in front of 63,000 people!

- A 7–0 demolition of the Tennessee Rhythm in 2000 was a masterpiece to watch.

-The allegedly “semi-pro” Whitecaps (as Canada’s Toronto-centric media would have you believe) defeating “major league” TFC 1-0 in Toronto during the 2008 Nutrilite Canadian Championships. Beating them 2-0 at home the following year was even sweeter!

-Caps defeating Portland 3-2 at PGE Park in the 2009 USL-1 Playoffs – perhaps the most exciting, entertaining football match I’ve ever witnessed.

Predictions for this season?

A first year of important lessons, but good signs of progress. A second place finish in the Cascadia Cup derby with Seattle and Portland. Our first Voyageurs Cup (the above-mentioned Nutrilite Canadian Championship). A heartbreaking second round exit from the playoffs.

Why Major League Soccer? Why North American soccer?

For us, it’s not about Major League Soccer. The Southsiders have supported the Vancouver 86ers / Whitecaps through many different leagues since 1999, with many of us being longtime supporters well before that, point, even going back to the NASL days. The club could be in division two or three and we would still be supporting them. All football jobs and leagues have expiry dates… but true support lasts forever, and your heart goes wherever the club goes. MLS is just the latest chapter in 37 years of Whitecaps history. We’re glad to be there, but we don’t need to see an MLS patch on the jersey sleeve to know our boys in blue and white can compete with the best.


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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer

Better Know A Supporters Group - The Cauldron (Sporting KC)

Welcome to the second piece in a new feature on the Free Beer Movement site to expand our coverage of American soccer culture. It's called "Better Know a Supporters Group" just like Steven Colbert's "Better Know a District" from "The Colbert Report". 

Our goal: to feature each of the Major League Soccer teams' supporters groups. We've sent e-mails to each and every SG in Major League Soccer and soon you'll be able to check all what each is all about and what awesomeness they have to contribute to our growing American soccer world.
 
When we devised this idea a while back it was cool to be able to see what each supporter group is about, but in light of the terrible, one-sided, anti-American, condescending profile of Philadelphia's Sons of Ben SG by the British GQ (not even going to link to it to give them the site hits) we think its all the more important to give supporters groups in Major League Soccer the proper exposure and voice they deserve.
 
 
Today it's the Cauldron, supporters of an inaugural member of MLS, Sporting KC (formerly Kansas City Wizards). Check out their campaign to bring the Gold Cup to KC. Epic!

As told to the Free Beer Movement by KC "hype man" Sean Dane.

The Basics

MLS Club: Sporting Kansas City

Stadium: Sporting Park (no sponsor announced)

Year  SG Founded: 1996

Section Name (if other than SG name): The Cauldron aka Members Stand aka The Blue Hell

Any other SGs apart of your section?

Hillcrest Syndicate, La Barra KC, Southern Voodoo, King City Yardbirds, K.C. Futbol Misfits

Location of SG in Stadium (section #, side, direction): East End Line, South Sideline, and through the Cauldron Emeritus, branching out into other sections (Section 128, just above the sideline Cauldron section)

The Meaty Questions

What are the origins of your groups’ name?
 

The section now known as The Cauldron got its start as a group called The Mystics. The Cauldron name came about when group leadership and the club itself wanted to expand the club, and elected to give the section a name, with individual groups inside.

Hillcrest Syndicate - Taken from Hillcrest Road, the street on which our prior stadium location would have had its address. A reminder that you never know what the future will hold.

La Barra KC - The name is pretty straightforward. So are the guys that make it up. You think you got love for the game? If you can keep up with these guys, you might be right.

Southern Voodoo - Based out of southern Missouri, the name came naturally. They drive for hours to come to every game. Yes they’re that hardcore.

King City Yardbirds - They just like “King City” for “KC”, but “Yardbirds” is triple-headed. The founders of the group are all into music, and “Yardbird” was the nickname of KC jazz legend Charlie Parker, as well as the name of the legendary and influential British group of the 60s. “Yardbird” is defined as “a soldier assigned to a menial task or restricted to a limited area as a disciplinary measure,” which they feel sums up their role in KC fandom perfectly.

K.C. Futbol Misfits - Taken from the iconic punk band, their name describes its members nicely. This raucous group likes to have a good time & has been known to push the envelope. Energetic, vocal & a never say die attitude is what they are all about.

Favorite chants/songs?

We brought "Wings of a Sparrow" to these shores. True story, it’s one of our ‘96ers fault.

"Wiz on the Fire". Yeah it’s simple, but sums us up pretty damn well.

Why is sitting in the supporters section the “best seat in the house”?

First, if the setup for the Cauldron was described as beer, we’d be a 55% ABR encased in fur. In order to get to your “seats”, supporters in the Cauldron will enter through their own 8,000 square foot pub, with German-inspired beer hall tables. This will be Mecca for soccer fans throughout the Midwest - if soccer is on, it will be shown there. Pre- and post-game will be live every week. The Members Stand occupies the ever-familiar goal line, but will also wrap around the sideline all the way to what would be the 30 yard line or so on a NFL field, down front. A fully enclosed 4-stand park, the roof extends onto the pitch, and seats come all the way to field level. Basically if you have soccer stadium wet dreams, this is your place. Hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping are next door.

Brag. What makes your SG one of the best supporters groups in MLS?

It’s only a hard question because I imagine you have a space limit. We have perfected the melting pot or cauldron if you will. Other teams might claim this but we live it. English speakers and Spanish speakers are united on the capo stand together. Per capita, we bring it as hard or harder for 90 minutes than any group in the league. Drums, flags, smoke, banners, the rest. The AOKC beer pong team is one of the best in the nation. One club, united in blue.

When Lamar Hunt was looking to build the “New Arrowhead”, he realized he couldn't ask for funding for 2 stadiums at once and put the team up for sale. The Wizards were facing relocation - fans from the Cauldron helped start a foundation that would lobby support and help in the search for investors. Thankfully, a brave group of Kansas Citians saw that what we had built here was special, and could be so much more. Now supported by our local ownership group, Sporting Club, and approaching 9,000 total season ticket holders already for 2011, our future has never been brighter. Kansas City is one of the fastest up-and-coming markets in MLS.

The Cauldron also has deep ties with the first American Outlaws chapter, founded in Kansas City, and @aokcdoesnotstop’s love and support for the national team is some of the best in the country. For example - this and this.

If anyone in the USSF reads this, please bring our team home to the Heart of America this summer for the Gold Cup. It’s gonna be a show.

Greatest game(s) in team history?

Most outsiders would assume the MLS Cup 2000 final, but anyone who was there at the time would agree that it was the Western Conference Final in 2000. Igor Simuntenkov scores in golden goal extra time to bring Kansas City the Lamar Hunt Open Cup trophy in 2004, as we take down Chicago 1-0.

In CONCACAF, we beat Santos Laguna in the quarters of 2002 (first and only MLS club at this time to win a home-away series with a Mexican side), and should’ve beaten Saprissa in 2005 (the year they won the competition). If we used away goals like most other home-and-home competitions, we would’ve won.

Herculez Gomez puts the Wizards into the playoffs in stoppage time. One of the most dramatic regular season games in MLS history

Another regular season classic in 1996 that was considered one of the 10 greatest games of MLS in 2005 by Frank Dell’Apa - 6-4 Preki, Mo, Digital and crew over, well, the Crew.

Beating Manchester United with 10 men in front of a Cauldron that numbered in the thousands would be on most team’s list, but not ours. It’s a friendly - just another day at the office.

Predictions for this season?

We are going to be super good and stuff - bright young talent, savvy veterans. Yeah there’s a 8-11 game roadtrip to start the season, and Gold Cup callups, but this is our year. Call your bookie and put your house on it.

Why Major League Soccer? Why American soccer?

Because we live here? This is our home and this is our club. Not much further explication required.

For more information and/or to join "The Cauldron".

Photo Credits: Thad Bell @ BackPost.Net

 

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Tags: Better Know A Supporters Group, Major League Soccer

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