Have you ever watched a Major League Soccer match and saw something an opposing team's fans were doing and thougt, "that's really cool!"? We certainly know others have done that while watching D.C. United. So, what are the best fan traditions in MLS?
As a caveat, I haven't been to every stadium in the league--not even close. I've been to games in Washington, Colorado, and Los Angeles (with a few Open Cup matches in smaller venues). But, following the league closely on TV, online, and in print media, here are my 5 favorite Gameday traditions from across the league:
1. D.C. United Supporters' Section: Call me a homer, but D.C. United's supporters section is the best and largest in the league. The standing, bouncing, singing, tifo, and drums are tremendous. But what really sets apart United's supporters section is that the best fans have the best location in the stadium--centered on midfield and spread out along the entire side of the field. Almost all other supporter groups for other teams are relegated to a section behind the goal or in a corner of the stadium. When (not if) D.C. United builds its new stadium, I hope they find a way to preserve this great location (and the bouncing) for their best fans--but I'm afraid the value of those midfield seats may force a relocation of the supporter group.
Thank you D.C. United fans! (via dcunited)
What about the rest of league?
2. Real Salt Lake "Believe": I admit it, I love this song. While singing has always been a part of the passion of soccer, I love how quickly the RSL community has adopted this unique, fan-written song as their own. Written intentionally to appeal to the entire Real fan base, from their hardcore supporter groups to the the soccer Mom and her two kids, the song is catchy, easy to learn, and sounds like it has been around for decades. Instant tradition! Next time you watch a RSL game, listen to the entire stadium sing the song at kickoff and after each goal. And while Real Salt Lake still may be one of the relatively new teams in MLS, this is exactly the type of fan culture that MLS needs to continue to grow in all its cities if it wants to cement long-term success. Just the perfect team song!
Believe RSL (via halasima)
3. Sporting Kansas City Confetti Cannons: Of all the new stadiums recently opened, my favorite supporters section is The Cauldron. Yes, it is relegated behind one of the goals, but it is RIGHT BEHIND the goal. The terracing right on top of the field gives it the feel of one of the old European stadiums. I also really like the confetti cannons that they shoot off immediately following a Sporting goal. With the fans stacked right behind the goal, and confetti flying after each goal, it is one of the best atmospheres I've seen on any MLS telecast.
4. Portland Timbers Cutting the Log: We all know the passion Cascadia has brought to MLS over the last few seasons. Timbers Army in Portland is absolutely rabid, and they have several traditions that pre-date their short history in MLS. My favorite is Timber Joey cutting the log following every Timbers goal. While it isn't exactly how I want my team to celebrate, I like how it is unique to their culture and geography in the Northwest.
Portland timbers cutting the timber (via 45ligerluver)
5. Seattle Sounders Supporters March to the Match: Like their rivals in Portland, Seattle fans have quickly adapted to their new home in MLS. Besides putting 38,000+ paying customers in the stands for every home game, they've developed a number of great traditions. My favorite is the fan march from Occidental Park to CenturyLink Field, which includes the Sounders FC Sound Wave, their official band (composed of fans). This just looks like a fantastic atmosphere that I want to experience firsthand.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS CROWD ARRIVING TO THE STADIUM BEFORE THE GAME VS MANCHESTER UNITED. www.uninube.com (via maraviva)
What about you? What are your favorite MLS Gameday traditions?