Archive for the ‘tailgate’ Category

By Evan Ream

The Cauldron fought for its team to stay in Kansas City. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

“We dreamed of a day where people would want to do this, not just getting so drunk that we couldn’t help but do it.”

- Sean Dane, de-facto Kansas City Cauldron leader

This is a story about an organization embracing its fans, just as much as it is about the fans themselves.

In the world of professional sports, there are a lot of “poor decision makers” (to say it in the nicest way possible) who call the shots.

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By Evan Ream

The Empire Supporters Club treats supporting the Red Bulls like a job. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

After 16 years of bad signings, atrocious marketing and general futility, the Empire Supporters Club will stop at nothing to give New York the best home field advantage possible.

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By Evan Ream

Toronto FC’s many supporters, including the Red Patch Boys on the left. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

And on the eighth day, God said, “Let there be red…”

I wasn’t planning to do a story for the Red Patch Boys due to the fact that I was sitting in the adjacent U-Sector for the only Toronto FC home game on the trip. But when I met the fans, I (prepare for the double negative) decided that I couldn’t not do a story on them.

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By Evan Ream

A pair of Midnight Riders enjoying the pregame festivities. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

Upon my entry to Massachusetts, I tweeted at the Midnight Riders, asking them for their tailgate information. Less than an hour later, I was given the tailgate information, asked if I needed to be shown around and invited to a morning pickup game.

After playing with them at Harvard and going to a bar in Cambridge to watch MLS with them on Saturday, I arrived at the tailgate two-and-a-half hours before game time on Sunday. There were already about 50 people there even though the bus that was bringing 45 additional fans from Boston had not arrived yet.

I was offered a large variety of food and beer that every single member of the Midnight Riders and the other support group, the Rebellion, seemed to have prepared. After being invited on a soccer podcast in front of a “live audience,” the bus full of fans finally showed up.

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By Jake Coburn

Barra Brava is one of MLS’s oldest true supporters groups. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

As far as supporters groups go, Barra Brava is one of the oldest groups and has been credited as the first real supporters group to bring in chants and different tifo to Major League Soccer.

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By Evan Ream

This corner of RFK Stadium features D.C. United’s premier tifo-making supporters group: the District Ultras. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

It is the 77th minute of a D.C. United vs. Impact de Montreal game. It is over 100 degrees despite being slightly overcast. D.C. United is winning 2-0 in a thoroughly dominating performance.

All of a sudden, it starts to rain. Fans on the other side of the stadium head for the exit. But not on this side. Not the District Ultras. The rain only makes them sing louder:

“If I had the wings of an eagle

If I had the ass of a crow

I’d fly over Montreal

And shit on the bastards below

Shit on, shit on!

Shit on the bastards below!”

Srdan Bastaic, the president of the District Ultras, picks up a 30-foot high black, white and red flag and waves it three or four times before putting it down, almost hitting the VIP section in the process.

“Sounds like we’re losing 3-0,” says Bastaic in a Croatian accent.

“Well they did threaten to arrest the entire section,” responds another member of the group referring to the illegal smoke bombs that were lit after each goal. (more…)

By Jake Coburn

 

Chicago Fire supporters tailgating before their last match against the Columbus Crew. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

Section 8 cannot be defined as one group or one identity, but rather, they are a melting pot of smaller groups and cultures that share one common thread: They bleed for the Chicago Fire.

“Section 8 is the umbrella organization,” said the Director of Communications Dan Martin, “no one can say what to do.”

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By Jake Coburn

CenturyLink Field, the home of the Seattle Sounders. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

As we walked towards Fuel Bar to meet up with the co-president of Emerald City Supporters (ECS), we looked around to see the city full of Sounders FC jerseys as people prepared for the game against Sporting Kansas City.

The Seattle Sounders have one of the largest followings in Major League Soccer (MLS), and this is evident within their supporters groups. The biggest supporters group for the Sounders is the ECS, which was founded in 2005.

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By Evan Ream

Civ the Gorilla in all his glory. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

Only in Seattle, can a grown man dressed up in a Gorilla suit hug you upon introduction in the middle of an Irish pub, tell you that he “pretty much exists on sexiness alone” and not seem out of place. Civ the Gorilla can be found pre-game at Fado in downtown Seattle talking, laughing, and scaring MLS Road Trip journalists from behind while they’re trying to take notes. Gorilla FC is a group so obscure with a name so obscure that their official website doesn’t even explain why they’re actually called “Gorilla FC.”

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By Evan Ream

The Angel City Brigade cheers on their Galaxy. Dan Perlea/mlsroadtrip.com

Sometimes, things don’t turn out as you plan them. Sometimes, people go above and beyond to help others out of the kindness of their hearts. Yesterday, we experienced both.

The plan was to for me to go to the Angel City Brigade tailgate and sit with them during the game. At the same time, Jake Coburn was going to go to the Timbers Army tailgate then sit with them during the game.

We arrived about an hour and a half before game time to find that the Timbers Army were not situated in Lot 11 at the Home Depot Center as we had thought they were going to be. Instead, they were having a joint tailgate with the Angel City Brigade. Perfect.

I found Jason “Pox” Crosson, one of ACB’s capos. For the Angel City Brigade, support is about city first, club second. “I hate Chivas from the bottom of my heart but we want to bring a supporters’ culture to L.A.” Crosson said. (more…)