LA Galaxy fan group Angel City Brigade asks for support against StubHub Center sanctions at Friday MLS opener

ACBfightback

Regular readers of this blog know that the Galaxy/MLS sanctioned fan group Angel City Brigade for their alleged conduct last season. Now that an MLS player’s strike has been averted, the group is fighting back and asking fans for their support beginning with Friday’s opener at StubHub Center:

Hello ACB & Galaxy fans:

As many of you know, last month the Angel City Brigade was sanctioned by Major League Soccer, LA Galaxy front office and Stub Hub Center. As a reaction for a few individuals throwing streamers onto the field during the field of play at the MLS Cup 2014, the entire group will not have supporter privileges for the first eight home/away games and streamers have been banned for the entire 2015 season.

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.

ACB has hosted hundreds of games with thousands of streamers without incident, the people who threw them were not in accordance with the rest of ACB. 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.

Since these sanctions were announced we’ve held two public meetings on the issue, read countless emails and social media posts, discussed this issue with the Independent Supporters Council, and have done our best to work with all parties to progress and avoid similar issues moving forward.
Through all this we have collectively planned our next steps and now is the time to announce them. Just as the players are fighting for their rights against Don Garber and the teams’ owners, we need to fight for ours to show the league that we will not be bullied into disbanding or be turned into a booster club.

It is time to remind them that supporters are groups of organized adults who band together for the love and passion of their respective teams. We collectively purchase their product and market it to our friends and family, we market them endlessly on social media, we even market them without choosing too when we are displayed in their ads proclaiming the “passion” of the league.

We are not grade schoolers, nor hooligans that warrant excessive punishments.

Today, as a response to their unjust sanctions against us, the Angel City Brigade is announcing financial sanctions against MLS & Stub Hub Center.

We are calling on ALL ACB supporters & Galaxy fans around the stadium to stand with us and not purchase any concessions, merchandise and parking for the 4 home games that we are sanctioned for:

3/6 vs Chicago
3/21 vs Houston
4/12 vs Seattle
4/18 vs Sporting KC

We have outlined some solutions to help attain these goals:

Parking

  • Carpool with friends who have already paid for their parking pass (There are many out there)
  • Carpool with friends regardless of a pass.
  • Park at alternative areas other than SHC

Concessions

  • Eat and drink your fill at the picnic
  • ACB will bring food, snacks and waters to these first 4 tailgates
  • SHC allows all fans to bring sealed bottled water and small snacks into the stadium, pack a goodie bag!

Merchandise

  • Wait until the 5th match of the season on 5/2 to purchase any gear through Team LA or the MLS Gear online shop

These actions are necessary because we feel that Major League Soccer and the FO, spearheaded by the league’s new security chief Ray Whitworth, are unjustly trying to make an example of the ACB to scare other supporter groups into submission. Through his own admission Mr. Whitworth has blacklisted our group (along with the San Jose 1906 Ultras & Ultras Montréal 2002) and mistakenly believes us to be more hooligan group than supporters group.

He even threatened to ban ACB scarves in the stadium (they could be potentially used “as a weapon.”) In good faith we have reached out to Mr. Whitworth to discuss this, to correct any misunderstandings, and to work together moving forward. He has refused to meet and even talk with us.

The league’s disinterest in moving forward, paired with the aggressive punishments, make actions like financial sanctions necessary.

We are sending a message to them the only way possible (through their revenue stream) to let them know that we will always be here to support the LA Galaxy and that we will not be made a scapegoat for their larger agenda.

We will have more updates and news as the week goes on, but in the meantime please email us at angelcitybrigade121@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

‪#‎StandWithACB‬ ‪#‎StreamerGate‬

Sincerely,

The Angel City Brigade Board

 

Any response from the Galaxy, MLS or StubHub Center is appreciated and may be made in the comment section or via email.

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Vegas bookies: LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders are MLS Cup favorites

MLSlogo

OK, that’s not too much of a stretch considering the finish to the last MLSseason.

Still, here are the complete odds courtesy of Bovada:

LA Galaxy 10/3

Seattle Sounders 5/1

New England Revolution 8/1

DC United 8/1

Real Salt Lake 10/1

New York City FC 14/1

Toronto FC 14/1

New York Red Bulls 14/1

Columbus Crew 16/1

FC Dallas 20/1

Sporting Kansas City 20/1

Orlando City 20/1

Portland Timbers 25/1

Vancouver Whitecaps 28/1

Chicago Fire 40/1

Colorado Rapids 50/1

Houston Dynamo 50/1

Montreal Impact 50/1

Philadelphia Union 50/1

San Jose Earthquakes 50/1

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LA Galaxy mark secondary jersey unveiling Tuesday with soccer on the sand and Manhattan Beach happy hour ahead of Friday’s MLS opener

LAGcalendar

Major League Soccer’s week-long unveiling of new club jerseys continues from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Simmzy’s in Manhattan Beach with a “Blue on Blue Meetup”:

Open to the public, fans can join Galaxy players for beach soccer and a happy hour at Simmzy’s with appetizer and drink specials.

The Galaxy’s Blue on Blue secondary kit features the club’s various shades of blue on both the jersey and pants, with yellow shown on the kit’s sleeves. During the 2015 MLS Regular Season, the club will wear the secondary kits over the course of their 34-game season.

The calendar is available here.

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Weekend Video Rewind: LA Galaxy have luck of the Irish in win over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin

Bottom line: The Galaxy beat Shamrock Rovers on a fortunate deflection off an opposing defender in the 1-0 win Saturday in the Dublin friendly that was a homecoming for Eire captain Robbie Keane.

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LA Galaxy II striker Ariel Lassiter called in to Costa Rican U-23 team

Galaxy2logoLA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter has earned a call-up to the Costa Rican U-23 team after notching five goals and four assists with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 21 games last year.

Lassiter, who signed with Los Dos ahead of the 2015 season that begins March 22, is the son of former MLS star Roy Lassiter and was born in Costa Rica while his father was playing there.

Costa Rica will play in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. Feb. 18-28 against Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC in addition to USL outfit OKC Energy FC, Danish first division team HB Koge and London United, composed of players currently out of contract.

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LA Galaxy continued pre-season drinking, um, training in Dublin ahead of today’s 11:30 a.m. friendly against Sweden’s Hammarby that will be streamed live online

GalaxyGuinnessDublin native Robbie Keane welcomes Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and midfielder Juninho to his hometown by pouring a traditional Irish beverage for his teammates while the Galaxy continue MLS preseason preparations in Europe.

Swedish native Stefan Ishizaki and the Galaxy meet Sweden’s Hammarby, a fellow AEG-owned club, in their first MLS pre-season tune-up that will stream live today beginning at 10 a.m. here.

Over the weekend some members of the Galaxy received a tour of the Guinness Brewery in Dublin while they continue to (ahem) build fitness ahead of the March 6 MLS opener in Carson against the Chicago Fire.

The Galaxy will play Shamrock Rovers in Dublin Saturday before returning home from their 11-day European sojurn (no broadcast info available for that game yet).

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LA Galaxy finally allow gameday tailgating at StubHub Center

stubhubpanorama(Photo courtesy StubHub Center)

Since StubHub Center opened in 2003, fans have been forced to surreptitiously drink a pre-game beer or two, while barbecues were banned entirely in stadium parking lots.

But today the Galaxy finally announced those staples of American fandom will finally be permitted beginning three hours before kickoff in certain parking lots.

Fans are pretty happy:

Still, there are a lot more don’t than do’s involved in all this.

For all the tailgating rules click here, while it appears striker Alan Gordon is ready to grill.

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LA Galaxy sanctions fan group Angel City Brigade for their conduct

ACBstreamers

acbmeetThe 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 angelcitybrigade121@gmail.com 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 spatel@lagalaxy.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.
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