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Not just LA and San Jose supporters, but any MLS supporters who fight with each other need to grow up and get their act together

LA riot squad

So apparently this weekend,  fans of the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes fought inside the stadium resulting in seven arrests, primarily of members of the LA “Riot Squad” supporters club.

To this I say, I pox on all your houses whether in Silicon Valley or the Southland. There is never any excuse for MLS fans to misbehave with each other to an extent that arrests are required. For better or worse, MLS fans are not typically folks arriving to the stadium with little more than an eighth-grade education, feeling like they have little to lose after a 12 hour shift down a mine, in a plant, or collecting welfare. MLS fans are typically college-educated, job-holding individuals with families who, quite honestly,  know better than to get in fights with each other.

Yes, I’m sure alcohol was involved but no action (or even loss on-the-field) damages the reputation and perception of American soccer more than fan violence in and around MLS stadiums. It plays into worst, most ignorant stereotypes of soccer than many still hold in this country. Leaders of supporters clubs in this country to have a responsibility to prevent these kinds of events from taking place, and for the most part, they do.

But I’m terribly disappointed in the LA supporters clubs’ leadership when I see statements like the one the Angel City Brigade put on their Facebook page.

Regarding the incident today at Buck Shaw stadium, at no time did any member of ACB leave the Galaxy supporter section or deviate from the security plan. Stadium security, either knowingly or through negligence, allowed several San Jose supporters into the away supporters area who proceeded to cause disruptions… We wish it known that we feel the security at Buck Shaw stadium failed in their obligation to segregate supporters of different teams and provide a safe, secure environment for away fans and supporters.

I really hate that “obligation to segregate supporters of different teams nonsense.” Really, when you think about it, why is that required? The reason, once you get past all the marketing pabulum of “passion,” etc., is that there are still too many MLS fans who find it “thrilling” to ape their idiotic foreign brethren and instigate fights. It’s just not necessary.

Senior members of the supporters, upon seeing San Jose fans inciting their fans, should have marched up the first real police officer (not stadium security goon) they saw and reported the ongoing incident or soon-to-be incident. The fact that any such incident escalated to the degree that arrests were made is a massive failure of leadership on the part of both San Jose and Los Angeles supporters and one that I hope is mentioned to them forcefully by the front offices of their respective clubs.

Did you know fans at Chivas-America games at the Azteca are not segregated? Are you telling me that if fans of Mexico’s biggest club rivalry can manage to sit together those of the Los Angeles and San Jose cannot? It’s nonsense.

We should expect and demand better out of all fans of MLS teams than what we saw in San Jose over the weekend, plain and simple.

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6 Responses to “Not just LA and San Jose supporters, but any MLS supporters who fight with each other need to grow up and get their act together”

  1. Concerned person

    Don’t blame San Jose fans, this was the Angel City Brigade attacking random San Jose supporters, then fighting amongst themselves, then attacking police.

    Reply
  2. stuff

    You are a complete moron who has no idea about supporters culture. Segregation is needed because fans get worked up about their team. Yes, groups need to self police, but the teams and their security have to take the responsiblity to do something

    Reply
  3. Eyewitness

    Having been present at the game, I can tell you your story is off. The conflict began with LA’s Angel City Brigade (Not LA Riot Squad) exchanging words with random San Jose fans…not supporters (their supporters are seated at the other side of the stadium). The ACB member threw the first punch. Stadium security attempted to defuse the situation but were met with resistance from other members of the group, including having beer thrown at them. That’s when Santa Clara PD was called in to make arrests (7 total). The entire group was also ejected.

    All this after the LA group’s trip was paid for! They went to support their team for free and STILL managed to make their organization look bad. Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t rotten apples on either side but the escalation laid squarely on the Angel City Brigade.

    Reply
  4. Anthony Allan Hewetson

    If any MLS fans want to pick a fight with somebody it should be with whoever is in charge of getting MLS games televised because, quite frankly, it is an absolute nightmare trying to keep up with league play on television in most of the country.

    Reply

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