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:
- 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
- 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!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
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.
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
Assuming there is no player strike, MLS will kick off its 20th season in Southern California Friday at StubHub Center when the Galaxy plays the Chicago Fire.
Read more on the new MLS season in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column, which you can read online now and in print across the Los Angeles Newspaper Group on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays from now on.
And just to get you in an MLS mood, check out the videos below.
While I don’t yet see a Chicago Fire MLS season preview, check out the higlights of the Fire’s pre-season friendly last weekend against the Vancouver Whitecaps:
Notable: The Fire finished pre-season unbeaten at 1-0-4, including a scoreless draw against Norwich City and a 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers during a tour of England.
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.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 2, 2015
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 1, 2015
Of all the artist's conceptions for possible LAFC stadium concepts, the one above is my favorite: Southern Californians frolicking at a pool complete with fake beach oblivious to the on-going game that seems to inadvertently sum up just how important the sport itself is to the whole lifestyle/entertainment experience of the event(note that renderings like this have since been removed from the firms' website).
Given that the decision of where in the region to locate the proposed stadium, may just be the most crucial one its cadre of two dozen owners or so will make.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 23, 2015
Dublin 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.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 16, 2015
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).