Better Know A Supporters Group” Viking Army Supporters Club (New York Red Bulls)
Planting the Seed of Soccer Across America: Danny Beerseed
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“.
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.
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?
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.
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