The heavy-handed LA Galaxy have come down hard on fan group Angel City Brigade for scenes like the picture at top the club believes is disruptive.
That has translated into an ACB ban for the first eight games of the season — four at home and four on the road — on flags, drums and banners and other tifo displays. Streamers are banned for the entire 2015 season.
Here’s how ACB put it in an email today to its members and others on their mailing list:
“It is our unfortunate responsibility to inform you that yesterday the Galaxy FO officially sanctioned us for throwing streamers during the game at last year’s MLS Cup final and what they deemed as a year filled with incidents.
We want to make it clear, that disrupting the field of play by throwing objects on the field is never ok. However we strongly feel that extending the punishment beyond the scope of streamers is truly unjust.
In addition to the streamer issue, much of their rational for these restrictions are from the past; actions that we believed were already sorted and settled (smoke throughout the season for example). Changing the rules midway through the season without notification is simply unethical.
We were already penalized for the smoke incidents last season, and now this “encompassing” punishment is penalizing us again. We are truly shocked and disappointed by the severity of the FO’s actions!
We will be discussing this at our board meeting on Saturday and ask that all supporters come to help us take the best possible course of action.
If you are unable to make it or are not an ACB supporter, but have an opinion, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will read your thoughts and opinions at the meeting.
If you would like to express your displeasure to the Galaxy/MLS please feel free to reach out to Sid Patel, the manager of business development at email@example.com.”
A couple of questions immediately spring to mind:
Why is the club coming down so hard on some of its most loyal and ardent supporters?
Won’t this actually hurt the club on the field by neutralizing this kind of fanatical support?
How would the fan-oriented Seattle Sounders have handled this?
Finally, the above picture of fans throwing streamers was actually taken from the club’s own website. So the club appears to be at once celebrating and drawing attention to this kind of support and then handing out punishment for it. Isn’t that a tad hypocritical? I have emailed this post to Sid Patel. We’ll see if he responds.
Former UCLA coach Sigi Schmid hired former Bruin Ante Razov as an assistant coach for the Seattle Sounders after a 14-year MLS career. Razov, who played 14 MLS seasons, including stints with the Galaxy and Chivas USA, was the U-18 Galaxy Academy coach.
The Galaxy visit the San Jose Earthquakes in a preseason friendly at 2 p.m. Feb. 28, the clubs announced today.