Review: Ranking the MLS Supporters Groups

Discussion in 'Columbus Supporters Clubs' started by RoleModel83, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ZipSix and I have discussed this at length, so I started putting it together in long form. Interested to hear the thoughts of other Nordeckians and Crew fans to see how my perception of the groups compare.

    1. Timbers Army (POR) - no words do it justice. best 'in-stadium' supporters by a good margin.
    2. Brougham End (SEA) - consistently 'Very Good', just a notch below TA b/c they don't span more than one and a half to three sections of seats. Travels EVERYWHERE.
    3. Barra Brava/Screaming Eagles/District Ultras/La Norte (DCU) - they've done it longer than anyone, and continue to roll out new ideas. Kings of Tifo along with SEA.
    4. ESC/Viking Army (NYR) - passion. intensity. volume.
    5. Sons of Ben (PHL) - created a team, and have stuck it out through some mediocre times. strong attendance numbers throughout long MLS season.
    6. Section 8 (CHI) - lacks creativity, but like DCU, strength is tenure. pretty good road support throughout Eastern Conf.
    7. Riot Squad/Angel City Brigade/Galaxians (LAG) - continues to grow. bonus points for sustaining two separate groups in each end of the stadium. uniformity in the stands is high with all-white colors.
    8. 1906 Ultras/Casbah (SJE) - what it lacks in numbers, makes up for in volume level. hardcore image, high passion, good connection to team aided by intimate stadium.
    9. Cauldron (SKC) - somewhat overrated, aided by beautiful stadium. solid tifo, but really how big (number of supporters) is this group? section isn't that large.
    10. Nordecke (CLB) - grass roots group. has changed culture of soccer in Columbus. needs to evolve to catch up to other more progressive 'post-Seattle" MLS supporters sections.
    11. Texian Army/El Batallon (HOU) - tifo and numbers not as strong since moving to BBVA Compass Stadium.
    12. Ultras Montreal (MTL) - small group, but brings authentic Ligue 1 style colorfulness to MLS.
    13. Red Patch Boys/Tribal Rhythm Nation/U-Sector (TFC) - slowly declining in numbers and sound each season...but, who can blame them?
    14. Southsiders (VAN) - Big numbers, but little in terms of coordination and singing. Only travels to SEA and POR.
    15. Midnight Riders (NER) - Deteriorating group as a result of the club's direction. Strong corps group of leadership, but just difficult to do much at Gillette.
    16. El Matador/The Inferno (FCD) - sporadic attendance numbers and really very corporate/by-the-book in terms of creativity.
    17. La Barra Real (RSL) - somewhat misleading low ranking, but overall Rio Tinto Stadium support/atmosphere makes up for it. Strong effort by majority of RSL fans, but not much in terms of organized supporters group.
    18. Bulldog Supporters Club (COL) - still in it's infancy, and thus still learning how to provide real quality support of an MLS side.
    19. Black Army (CHV) - tons of scattered empty seats throughout the section at every game. they do have that cool little light-up skull head and a big ass flag, though.
     
    henryo and Ch(Elsey) repped this.
  2. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Timbers Army - Agreed on that one. What other section uses ropes and pulleys to hoist their banners to the top of the stadium? Not that they probably need to, but it adds to the "wow" factor. Plus, the chainsaw guy gets bonus points.

    Any time a Portland-Seattle game is on regional TV is a disservice to the league. Those games should consistently be on NBCSN/NBC/ESPN-whatever.


    An "early years" DC team with that stadium atmosphere would be fantastic in today's league with Portland and Seattle. Not that they had a good situation to start with, but the permanent removal of those stands in RFK really hurt their atmosphere.
     
  3. Smithsoccer1721

    Smithsoccer1721 Member+

    Feb 16, 2007
    Middle of the Table
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am wondering if DC is to high on the list. I say this because having been to a few games over the past 2 seasons I haven't been blow away. I think they get points for longevity though.
     
  4. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Are any others still around from 1996?
    Midnight Riders (NE)
    Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava, La Norte (DC)
    Galaxians (LA) -- I think this group is very small. Most of LA's support is now LARS and ACB.
    Casbah (SJ)
    ESC (NY)
    Caldron (KC)

    Many, if not all of Chicago's groups are still around from their first year (1998) as well.
     
  5. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL BigSoccer Supporter

    Yokohama F-Marinos
    Jul 16, 1999
    Paradise of the Pacific
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not to be a language prick, but the inhabitants of Nordecke is pronounced Nordecken
     
  6. ThreeC

    ThreeC Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Cowbellumbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I guess DC can get some points for longevity, but they have no business in the top 5. They just aren't that good and they abandon their team once they start performing poorly (especially if not looking to make the playoffs). One of the most fickle fanbases in MLS.

    Any NY in the top 5 o_O ???

    I would put PHL, CHI, LAG, SJE and maybe SKC above both of them.
     
  7. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  8. ThreeC

    ThreeC Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Cowbellumbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For what its worth, they are basically doing what we have been doing here for 5 or so years. Basically working together.

    Even though CSU, HSH, and LTA are "different" groups we work together on everything and are usually on the same page when confronting the FO with issues. Leadership of all the groups are in pretty constant contact. Its just we all party so hard that we need our own areas to party a little bit, ya know.
     
  9. BG13

    BG13 Member+

    Jun 25, 2007
    My rankings would be as follows:

    1. Me.
     
  10. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Eurosnob.
    ;)
     
    ZipSix repped this.
  11. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    From RFK Stadium tonight:
    BE9EFgHCUAEJpjC (1).jpg
     
  12. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is the Timbers Army singing "We are Timbers Army, who are you?"

    It gives me flashbacks to when a small group of Crew fans, maybe 3-4 of them, had a problem with V-Army doing the "Let's cheer about ourselves, instead of the team."

    I wonder how long it'll be until they sing about drinking beer and having their way with the local women. ;)

    Until then, I'll give a thumbs up to the first MLS SG that has an ounce of originality in their creative geniuses.
     
  13. THOMA GOL

    THOMA GOL BigSoccer Supporter

    Yokohama F-Marinos
    Jul 16, 1999
    Paradise of the Pacific
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That was put on/coordinated by one of their smaller supporter groups too (20-ish membership number). Makes me wonder if we (well, the players, since choreos are done for them) we see a display on Saturday.
     
  14. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  15. mmradio13

    mmradio13 Member+

    Apr 13, 2008
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Section 8 is ranked too high. Unless hearing "FI-YURRRRRRRR, FI-YURRRRRR, FIYUR FIYUR FIYUR" all game is your thing. Then they should be #1.
     
    CrewV Man and fireman451 repped this.
  16. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    This thread pisses me right the !@#$ off.
     
  17. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It was started to drum up discussion and gauge perception of the league. Curious to hear your more in-depth thoughts.
     
  18. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Multiple reasons this:

    1) You rank 9 other groups as better than our Nordecke. I am a bit bias but I would like to think we do better than that. Tifo, Organization, Away trips, USA.... you really think NYR has their shit together?
    2) Its an arbitrary list with no set criteria. Yes Portland does some good tifo displays (cant argue there) but there are variety of questions that you can insert here...what are the core parameters?
    3) Speaking of criteria, give some details on what your perception is of our Nordecke group. Where do you think it falters? ...I would be interested to know what you feel is lacking compared to the other groups. And i am not sure if how familiar any of us are with the failures of other supporters groups.


    4) and on a personal note: making this list here showing our SG are not the best but then on FB saying you are not coming to a home game because there is a basketball game on tv gets my hackles up. sorry. it just does.
     
  19. DAK77

    DAK77 Member+

    Nov 10, 2008
    Grandview Heights, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The way that I look at this is that when I watch a game do I feel the supporters section I'm watching is better than the Nordecke when I'm in it. Granted I'm comparing something that I stand in during home games and I'm watching on TV but the only teams that I feel would compare or be better are Portland, Seattle and San Jose. A few of other sections are on par (or close to) the Nordecke and then there are quite a few that are below us.

    If we could have maintained and improved what it was like in 2008 I think it would be Portland, Seattle and us at the top of the league but it's kinda hard to maintain year after year with OSU students since some don't make Columbus their home. I'd be interested to hear how many new people sign up for CSU, HSH and LTA that have not been part of the groups/Nordecke in the past.

    One other thing about the supporters groups is that even though I've been a member of both HSH and CSU I don't really feel like I'm a part of the group. Part of this is my fault becuase I mostly use the membership for game day Nordecke tickets and stick with the people I come to games with but I've never felt a connection with the groups as a whole when I joined. Like I said, I blame myself for some of this but didn't know if other people felt the same way but I will still be part of the Nordecke.
     
  20. Smithsoccer1721

    Smithsoccer1721 Member+

    Feb 16, 2007
    Middle of the Table
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I will throw my 2 cents in. I sit in the Nordecke several times a season but I use to stand down there for every game for a couple seasons. I don't go down as much anymore for a few reasons. 1. I just never watched the games as closely when down there. I was constantly doing things that drew my attention away from the field. Seeing the game is why I go. Now I sit on another section and really watch the game and I enjoy that but miss the yelling, jumping and screaming, hence why I sit down there several times a year. 2. I am all for a good time and having some drinks and enjoying the atmosphere. However, people getting stupid drunk, and bringing flasks into the stadium just got on my nerves. This was another small reasons I don't go down there as often.

    As the Nordecke compares to other groups I think it's right up there with pretty much everyone. I honestly, don't watch/hear other supporters sections so my comparison is based on very limited info. I would say that the group participation seems to be something that could improve. Always several rows of people chantings, singing, etc. It seems to tapper off pretty quick up a few rows. Again, I am not down there all the time so it's just based on a few experiences. Could be 100% wrong.
     
  21. RoleModel83

    RoleModel83 Member

    Jul 27, 2003
    Columbus, OH
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're taking this completely the wrong way. Re-read my comments about the Nordecke in the original post; it's constructive criticism. It's something I am a part of, and believe in. Can we not separate ourselves from local bias for a few minutes to look at things in the grand scheme, just for discussion's sake? If you think I'm out to destroy the morale of the Nordecke, then you have me pegged all wrong. This thread was started as a discussion piece. I'm interested in the entire league. I'm interested in each team's supporters groups. What I posted is my perception of where things stand, based on many years of watching and following every team. Direct Kick is my very good friend that gives me endless sources of information. I have opinions, and I'm sharing them on a soccer message board so I can see what others have to say.

    And, yes, I truly believe and know that NYR "has their shit together". To insinuate otherwise is shortsighted and misinformed. The club? Maybe not so much. The supporters? Without a doubt. metroflip73 can tell you all about it, if he weren't such a humble soul. He's the CrewBeat of Red Bull supporters. And since you question their USA support (which, is completely not relevant to this thread, but you brought it up), it's unmatched. They filled a bus in Mexico City last week. They've had representation at each of the 15+ caps I've had around the country the last 10 years. They are legit.

    Yes, it is arbitrary, as the majority of things are on message boards. Again, these are my honest opinions and are not meant to offend any one individual or group, but rather to hear other opinions. Core parameters I considered were: attendance, in-stadium noise/tifo, creativity, tenure and group travel.

    As (I thought) you knew, I am a big fan of the Nordecke. Heck, I bought a customized jersey with "NORDECKE 08" on the back. Our attendance numbers have been good for Saturday evening matches in recent years. I'd like to see more of a push to up attendance for weekday and weekend afternoon games, though those are few and far between this season so that is good for our numbers. Tifo is great. THOMA GOL's work is top notch. We litter the section with flags and two-sticks. All good stuff. Singing and drumming is mediocre. We all know it. We've conversed about it in other threads. Our songs rarely last longer than 30 seconds. We need more support from the middle to top of the section(s) to really carry some tunes. Overall, Crew support is miles ahead of where it was back around 2004, but I feel that we've kind of plateaued these last couple seasons. What is the next step for us?

    Again, this list was not made to point fingers at or demean the Nordecke. Re-read the first paragraph in post #1. This thread is absolutely, 100% independent of the Facebook post in reference. In fact, it has nothing to do with it at all. In any case, as always, I look forward to seeing you on 4/28 and at the majority of Crew games until the end of time. Seriously, I do.
     
    Ch(Elsey) and ZipSix repped this.
  22. ZipSix

    ZipSix BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 20, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm pretty sure we can all contribute to this discussion whether we happen to be fans of other sports as well as soccer.

    Furthermore, I know it hurts a lot of you on here to hear this, but Columbus isn't the best at all things forever. There are ways to improve even our most-awesomest supporters group.
     
    Ch(Elsey), NUFCBayern and THOMA GOL repped this.
  23. Skeleton Crew

    Skeleton Crew Member+

    Mar 20, 2009
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew

    OK you win.
     
  24. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maybe this thread will finally scare this guy off of BS Crew.

    One can dream.
     
  25. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's certainly a point here. I think some of it was the pressure from the FO to "stop the shenanigans" from 08-09, but it has tamed down a bit. -- We all know what that stuff was... Yes, it was wild when we were throwing stuff on the field, but it was the wrong type of wild.

    I liked the anti-Union tifo that came out towards the start of the game. I liked the giant scarf (and if anyone has seen it lately, let's see it again). The "without Lamar, you aren't here" thing was cool. We need more of that, IMO. (Two sticks? What about a ten-stick?)

    In no particular order, I think we need to work on a variety of chants, the ability to keep chants going for more than the brief time they're going now, and more "game-specific" tifo.

    In fairness, I will say that I'm not hearing as many overlapping chants as in the past. Sometimes, we'll have the same chant going on at different parts of the chant, in different sections. Sometimes, we'll have multiple chants going on at the same time. I haven't seen that as much this year.
     

Share This Page