New York City - For the first half of Saturday's New York Red Bulls match against FC Dallas, Red Bull Arena will not have the ruckus that many are accustomed too as the South Ward has decided to watch the first half in silence.
The South Ward which consists of the supporters clubs of the Viking Army, the Garden State Supporters (GSS) , and the Empire Supporters Club (ESC) are simply frustrated with some of the organization's recent decision. The Empire Supporters Club posted a letter explaining their decision this morning.
It's mainly centered around the Red Bulls decisions regarding the team's recent United States Open Cup match against the Chicago Fire. To read the letter which was submitted to the New York Red Bulls: http://bit.ly/omaW4e
Just to be clear, the South Ward protest isn't against the players, it's against the management. For Viking Army member Ralph "Chupi" Garcia, they're also protesting the recent dismissal of long-time New York Red Bulls Latino Communications Duo of Ernesto Motta and Roberto Sierra.
A few days ago, Chupi reached out to me and informed me of the South Ward's decision to protest the first half of Saturday's match against FC Dallas. He also wanted to address the dismissal of Motta and Sierra but was concerned that I could face a retaliation from the Organization itself.
I assured Chupi that should the Red Bulls Organization decide to revoke my Media Credentials over an article that I'm addressing a matter that their most loyal supporters have, I hope they're willing to punish Soccer America's Paul Gardner and Big Apple Soccer's Michael Lewis for their articles about the recent firing of Motta and Sierra.
"I know these these guys bled Metrostars and Red Bull NY - have been here since day one and they wanted was to be here to help raise the MLS CUP," expressed Chupi. "They were our Latino ambassadors to the game here in the Tri-State area.
"As a result of their dismissal, we are left with no voice or game broadcast for the Latino community as far as soccer goes. In my eyes they were very genuine in the way they handled themselves and treat us...THE FANS."
There you have it, Saturday's match is already even more interesting because their most loyal supporters and it'll be interesting to hear how quiet Red Bull Arena is going to sound a half against one of the MLS best teams in FC Dallas.
On a personal note, knowing both Ernesto and Robert from past interactions with them at Red Bull Arena, I want to wish both gentlemen the best of luck in their future endeavors.
Along with their professionalism, they've always been courteous to the Red Bulls fans and have always taken the time to help with my education of Covering Soccer. When it's said and done, they will be missed at Red Bull Arena.
En las palabras de Ernesto Motta to the South Ward:
"Muchas gracias de corazón, que viva el futbol y su máxima expresión de alegría que es el GOL!"
The Empire Supporters Club (“ESC”) is the oldest supporters club in Major League Soccer, founded before the league itself in early 1995 in anticipation of a new professional franchise in New York/New Jersey.
Reflecting the community they come from, the ESC is one of the most diverse supporter’s clubs in America, boasting members from every corner of the globe and of varied backgrounds.
This unique make-up has influenced their style in the stands: Part South American Barra, part European Ultra and part British Supporter, with some local flavor thrown in.
Founded in 2005, Garden State Supporters, or Ultra GSS, is a supporters club in the American European "ULTRA" style based in the South Ward of Red Bull Arena in Section 133.
The Viking Army Supporters Club is a collection of boisterous Red Bull New York supporters who all share a tremendous passion for Red Bull soccer. The Viking Army provides a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and to be a part of a larger community of sports fans with members all over the world.
Viking Army SC is an official NJ non-profit corporation, and strives to work with charitable endeavors in the local community as well, mainly by supplying underprivileged children with proper soccer equipment.
The club has worked with a variety of organizations with this goal in mind, including Kick for Nick and Balls Without Borders.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com ; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.