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Supporter’s Groups…advantage: AC St. Louis!

The United Knights started the celebrations, which never ended.

Well, it was nice to finally see a good sized crowd at an AC St. Louis game. For a preseason match that wasn’t highly publicized, nearly 3,000 people in attendance was a great turnout. Going into Saturday’s game, I had no idea what to expect. I have been to a Miami FC game last season, and to an FC Tampa Bay Rowdies match a few weeks ago, but this was my first taste of St. Louis soccer.

And, wow, was I in for a heart-felt shock.

In the previous games I attended (of current NASL teams, that is), I was quite unimpressed with the quality of fan support. In Miami, there was a nice group of about 15 or so supporters. True, the game that I attended was going on during a US World Cup qualifying match, and was being held at the FIU stadium (which is kind of out of the way), but there was very little excitement amongst the 15 or so die hard supporters in the group. Still, I hear that Miami does have some diehard supporters.

Then I went to the Tampa Bay game the other week. Yes, they were playing against UCF, which isn’t too impressive. And, yes, they were in Auburndale, which is kind of a backward town and about 40 miles away from Tampa. But still, their supporters group were there as well. Honestly, I think half of them might have been working for Tampa, as I saw some of them helping out at the desk out front before the match. They had some nice chants, and people were getting a laugh out of them, but the group was still small.

Then I went to the game on Saturday. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first forte into St. Louis soccer. And, like I have said in the past, I have always been a huge proponent of getting a franchise in St. Louis which is the reason that I am a supporter of AC St. Louis. Mind you, I also want to see a franchise in Nashville as well.

Anyway, so I go to the game. The crowd was nice. There was a buzz in the air, and as soon as the opening kicking started the match, I started to hear the chants, and that was great. Yes, they were getting a little louder than most of the NASL games I attended, which was a good sign.

Then a smile came across my face!

While taking photos from one of the corner flags, I look over at the opposite side of the field and started to see smoke raising from the seat. At first I wanted it to be a flare, but I noticed it was just a smoke bomb. Still, the introduction of the smoke bomb in the first minutes of the game gave me a warm feeling that “well, I’m somewhat starting to feel like I am in a small European stadium watching a game instead of a suburb of St. Louis”. All was good.

Throughout the night, the supporter groups continued their chats. The most noticeable was the United Knights, who were one of the largest in numbers, loudest with their chants, and throwing smoke bomb after smoke bomb. They were amazing. The Eads Brigade was a little smaller in numbers, but working with the United Knights, they made their presence known as well. The Day Pints, which were more toward the center of the pitch, also made a good amount of noise, using their drums to their maximum potential, but they need to work on their chants. AC Submarine…really? As Borat says…”not”.

Now, I guess there were more supporter’s groups there as well. I guess I didn’t see them or they didn’t stand out as much for me. Those were pretty much the three that I happen to notice. But still, the atmosphere was electric. Even players after the match were extremely happy with the atmosphere that bellowed around Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park on Saturday.

But, still, there is something missing…uniformity.

Besides the other two NASL teams that I have attended, I have also gone to a number of Chicago Fire games (since I am from Chicago, and we aren’t going there now). Anyway, their Section 8 is one of the most amazing supporter sections that I have seen in any soccer throughout this country (which is limited, I must admit). Still, they all sit in the same section, all do the same chants, and give it an atmosphere that can bring down the house. I think that AC St. Louis is on the brink of creating a new Section 8, maybe Section 20? But still, if we can just bring some uniformity amongst the supporter’s groups and get the same chants going and work together to build one large supporters section that can intimidate the opposition, then we have done our job.

But until then, it was a great atmosphere that we say at Saturday’s game. And with it only being a preseason, I can only imagine that the 17th will be even crazier!


4 Responses

  1. I was in Section 20 with my new best friends in Eads Brigade. 🙂

    I had no idea the night was going to be like that. The excitement that we’ve all be talking about just finally blossomed into an awesome evening of spectacular.

    It was hard to see and breathe from time to time, but worth it!

    • daypints supporters group are a Southside lot with our own chant master. Our goal is to “get stuck in”. Into the game, into the moment, into the fervor of aiding our team. I congratulate you on you posts, although I don’t understand how you find 22 hours per day to research and write them. For us at daypints, AC is a city team with a city following. United Knights and we sat together in the second half. Look for our green and yellow, and their black. Chanting at the game is for the entire stadium crown, not just a couple of groups.

  2. My goal is to “get stuck in your mom.”

    Go Rowdies.

  3. Great to see that you guys got a solid crowd for a preseason match.

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