Which Team has the Best Supporters’ Group?

Watching the video of the Timbers Army sing the National Anthem again and how much attention that gets in mainstream sports media made me think about what an opportunity MLS has to wedge into the American sports mainstream.  People flinch at the stereotypical soccer hooligans but one of the things that I have heard from colleagues that attracted them to soccer is the supporters’ groups and the desire to be a part of a passionate following that is lacking in other professional sports.  Supporters’ groups are like being in college at a sporting event again, except you don’t have to sneak in beer and can afford full price tickets.

Naturally any discussion of this important part of soccer brings up an obvious and loaded question: who is the best?  Which team has the best supporters’ group?  Obviously there are biases built into any answer but in this case that is a good thing.  Because we here at MLS Talk have a challenge for you, our loyal readers.

You have the chance to do the work for us.

Below in the comments section give us a 100-200 word description of why your team’s supporters’ group is the best in MLS.  The three that we the writers of the site think are the best will be featured in their own post on the site during the next international/MLS break.  Here are a few guidelines:

  • Over 200 words will be disqualified, you can check your word count by typing it in Word first
  • Links to videos or pictures do not count against the word limit, but the videos/pictures cannot be inappropriate.  Would you show your grandmother/clergy member/ 2nd grade teacher the video or picture?
  • This is for supporters’ groups, not the casual fans.  A story about how your aunt has attended every game for the past ten years and named her dog Landon is touching, but will not count.
  • Please do not use inappropriate language, disparage other groups or fans, and especially do not use any offensive slurs.
  • Creative writing, persuasiveness of argument, and passion are the three criteria for judging who will win.
Use the comments section below to submit your answers.  Good luck and enjoy!
This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, MLS '12 Previews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Which Team has the Best Supporters’ Group?

  1. Mike says:

    You’ve answered your own questions in the opening line. Watch video
    and crank up the audio of any Timbers game and you’ll hear the best
    supporting group in American sports. #RCTID

    • Lysander says:

      I do not get why people get so excited by the TA singing the
      national anthem.

      • Mike says:

        I’m with you on this actually. The TA is great. The American
        fascination with singing the national anthem before sporting events
        is bizarre. Baseball now has gotten worse, with militarized
        displays involving soldiers and fighter jet fly-overs.

  2. Cameron says:

    Portland Timbers by far, it’s not just an MLS thing either. Since
    1975, through the NASL and USL the Timbers Army have always been
    around. Nobody told us how to be supporters we just did things the
    Portland way. There’s a reason even the Portland Trail Blazers are
    considered to have the best fans in the NBA. Portland is the common
    factor here.

    • Jim Joe Jack Joe says:

      Pretty sure there was no “Timbers Army” in the NASL. Pretty sure
      they started as the Cascade Rangers with the return of the Timbers
      to USL about 10 years ago. Pretty sure you’d have more credibility
      if you learned the history of the club / group you purport to
      support. Also, please don’t lump TA in with Blazer “fans”.

      • Charles says:

        Sounder’s fan here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n13HRheydI
        Maybe the fans were not labeled TA, but they have been cutting logs
        ( and losing to the Sounders ) with a very good fan base for my
        whole soccer watching life.

        • Lysander says:

          Agree.. the name is not that important. And Portland does have
          dedicated fans. Not sure why we should not be allowed to lump them
          in with Blazers. That said… I think Seattle has some great fans
          as well. And Toronto and so on. Not sure how you decide which is
          best. The one that has the most flags? The one that sings the
          national anthem? The one that is most concerned with whether youc
          all them fans or supporters? I would rather discuss who has the
          best team.

        • parkdust says:

          And i will agree, although we’ve beat you a few times.

      • Cameron says:

        Pretty Sure you’re a dick.

      • parkdust says:

        Obviously i see one of those laker “fans”. face it. blazers have
        some of the best fans in the NBA and timbers have the best fans in
        MLS period.

  3. Michael Palmer says:

    Sitting in line from 6 PM the day before, just to get in to support
    your team. Selling out a pre-season game. Having the Fan Supporters
    come up with and execute a TIVO display that covers the WHOLE
    stadium. going from one section on the North end to the ENTIRE
    North End (and bleeding out into other sections). Standing the
    whole game in support of your team, shouting, cheering, chanting,
    and generally giving everything you have to tell your team how much
    you care. Not only supporting your team on game day, but developing
    a whole community that bridges all social groups to do good for the
    community and help support the team both on and off the pitch. The
    Timber’s Army has become as much a part of the Portland Timbers
    team as the players. That is what an amazing support group should
    be!

  4. todd says:

    I think questions like this are so incredibly stupid. Supporters
    groups are all different and questions like this cannot prove
    anything. Who cares which supporters group is better? Love your
    team for YOU, not to be compared to other supporters groups. The
    supporters summit proves that we all have a love for our club and
    cities. Stupid question. RCTID.

    • Robert Hay says:

      Todd – not everything has to be straight up analysis. We like to have a little fun on the site now and then, as well as give readers a chance to make their opinions known. People talk about this stuff so why not write about it! Thanks for the honest feedback.

  5. Benny says:

    Timbers Army. In the 88th minute the TA salutes the boys by singing
    “I can’t help falling in love with you”.The Tifo displays, the
    consistent game interaction and the SoccerIQ, the answer is so
    simple

  6. FOG says:

    MLS TALK = Bunch of NOOBS! HA,HA,HA RCTID!

  7. Jim Joe Jack Joe says:

    I”m RCTID but we don’t need a constant stroke job by the press to
    do what we do. The TA goes out and supports the team and the city
    because we love them both. We don’t wake up saying “holy crap,
    let’s do this because it’ll look AWESOME on YouTube” we do what we
    do because it’s the only way we know how to express our undying
    devotion to the game. There are a lot of other groups across MLS
    who love their teams just as much, but don’t have the good fortune
    to be surrounded by thousands of other like-minded people or have a
    front office that sees the value that a passionate SG can bring to
    the table. Do I think TA are the best supporters in MLS? Honestly,
    yes. But, if I could have a wish for MLS it would be for us to
    constantly step up our game, but be challenged week in and week out
    by 18 other SGs who are just as loud, just as innovative, and just
    as large.

  8. Condor says:

    The TA is the best supporters group. Respect to every other SG out
    there and particularly those like the DC, Dallas, LA and other
    supporters who poured their blood sweat and tears into MLS to give
    the TA a serious league to join. The TA is undoubtedly the standard
    bearer for supporters groups and I hope others strive to surpass
    us. A rising tide lifts all ships.

  9. Ben says:

    1-Portland Timbers 2-Seattle Sounders 3-Toronto FC 4- Columbus Crew
    5-Look out for the Montreal Impact ”Les Ultras”

  10. Kejsare says:

    Most TA are reluctant enough to disparage other SGs because many
    spent years in D2 soccer where the play was terrible at times with
    moments of brilliance. The TA in MLS is the culmination of building
    traditions and galvanizing support in troubling times. If not for
    moving to MLS we’d be in a wasteland of D2 or D3 soccer with our
    nearest rivals in Edmonton or LA. But enough of my words, read the
    words of Swedish AIK supporter who traveled to Portland two weeks
    ago.
    http://www.soccercityusa.com/cgi-bin/yabb25/YaBB.pl?num=1330493645/0#0

  11. Charles says:

    What I like about MLS is there is a melting pot of teams and fans.
    In spite of having 2-3 times the number of fans than Dallas, there
    is maybe one vuvezula at a Sounders’ game and it seemed like
    hundreds at the Dallas game. While Seattle has the numbers,
    Portland has quality and Toronto has passion, etc. Some have the
    fact that they are still working hard, inspite of the fact that
    there isn’t a great atmsophere, and/or sometimes a winning team.

  12. Wayne says:

    I’m a Sounders fan, so obviously biased against Portland, but it’s
    awesome having them in the league. I think as teams are added that
    bring passionate fans with them, it makes casual observers of the
    game take notice. I wasn’t able to go to the rivalry game in
    Portland last year, so I can’t say first hand what it is like, but
    from TV it looks like a great time. I DO go to all of the Sounders
    home games, so my obvious vote is that they are the best
    supporters, and the ECS do it right, on and off the field. I would
    love to see what happens if Portland played in a larger stadium.
    Could they get 36,000 rowdy fans to show up? It’s a pretty tall
    order, and Seattle does it for every home game.

  13. Samantha says:

    We’re the Timbers Army!! Who are you?! We wait for hours before the
    gates open. We cheer before the game even starts catching the eyes
    of our neighbors who we’ve seen for years and increase the energy
    in the stands. When our boys walk on the pitch we can feel the lump
    in our throats signifying the pride of team and city. We support
    our boys on the field and we support our community through
    volunteerism – whether it’s helping out at the food bank or
    ensuring that a new generation has the opportunity to play soccer.
    I am there to cheer on my boys through the good passes and stellar
    goals and I’m there to verbally rake the refs and opposing teams
    over the coals when they go after my team. I am a drop in the ocean
    that makes up the Timbers Army. RCTID!

  14. Zack Kaiser says:

    DOOP

  15. snakeo says:

    Generally I don’t like the competitiveness that the question
    implies. We’re here to support our teams who are competing on the
    field. I think it best if we don’t do things just because we want
    to be better than some other group, but rather we should be doing
    them because we think its a fun way to exhibit our passion for the
    team, the sport, and the experience. Whatever the Timbers Army has
    going for it isn’t just the singing and dancing and logs and
    chainsaws. It gives us the chance to connect meaningfully to the
    community and our city. I loved this year’s opening tifo, and I
    loved last year’s opening tifo, because they really just
    demonstrate a love of Portland. But I want other groups to have
    that also – being the best isn’t the goal. I guess being a better
    supporter should make us better people, if we do it right. My main
    caveat would be that it is okay to try to drown out and sportingly
    taunt an opponent’s supporters, which, I guess, would be considered
    comptetitive. So, there is that. Build a Bonfire.

  16. scummers says:

    TA are a bunch of sellouts who take tens (hundreds?) of thousands
    of dollars of front office money and their support is weak they
    only did about 3 tifo’s all last season despite having supposedly
    all this numbers and money from their front office. Props for
    popping off flares in salt lake though.

  17. Whitecaps Supporter says:

    What a stupid article… Hands down,. Timbers are a step ahead of
    everyone else… We have a lot to learn from them,… Seattle has
    numbers,.. but Portland’s got a real supporters culture there.

  18. Ben says:

    35 000 in Seattle for every game, compare to the Mariners and
    Seahawks, that’s not a lot, the stadium should be full…

    • Lysander says:

      mariners are only averaging about 27K so Sounders have them beat.
      Yes we do not get as much as seahawks, but I think we are closer to
      our NFL counterpart than any other city in the US. Socccer is just
      not there yet anywhere in the nation.

      • Lysander says:

        And we did nearly sell out (67K) our season finale last year and
        will probably do that for our two cascadia cup games this year.

  19. Jon says:

    As a loyal Philadelphia Union supporter, and Sons of Ben member, I
    respectfully adore the support all of the Cascadia region has for
    their teams. It’s wonderful to see in this country. I would never
    try to claim the Sons of Ben are the league’s best, especially
    against those that help fill out 35k seats every home game, pull of
    ridiculous tifo displays, or have been around longer than us. But,
    I do think the Sons of Ben should get at least a nod in the
    SIGNIFICANCE they’ve had in their teams existence. It’s no lie that
    without this supporters group, this team would not be. I still
    remember some of my early convos 6 years ago in a soccer pub with
    just a handful of Sons of Ben members, handing out pens with “SOBs”
    printed on it and spreading the word. One last small point on
    supporters’ groups TV noise levels — I always take these with a
    grain of salt. Not saying you can’t gauge level of intensity of the
    group/game from what you hear, but mic placement and stadium
    shape/architecture plays such a huge roll in what comes across the
    airwaves.

  20. Ben says:

    There will be almost 60 000 in Montreal saturday for our opener, we
    will rule the MLS in the attendance Go Impact! they will replace
    our Expos

    • Lysander says:

      You will rule it for a few weeks until your average comes down
      below the Sounders capicity. Enjoy while you can.

  21. Ben says:

    When we gona play at Saputo stadium around June, we will sell out
    every game (about 20 000) Olympic Stadium is too big just like
    Safeco Field in Seattle, you should have a real soccer stadium,
    that would be awesome.

    • Kevin says:

      quest field dude. the seahawks play there too

    • Charles says:

      It is funny when teams play in a high school stadium, how they get
      high and mighty, ripping on a real stadium. Then they get mixed up
      and call out the name of the other great stadium of the
      city………I am curious, the Sounders will draw 42k a game this
      year, how are they going to fit into a 20k stadium ? Double
      seatting doesn’t solve that.

  22. Shawn says:

    Why is the Timbers Army the best supporter group? If it wasn’t the
    unconditional support in the USL days; If it wasn’t the standing in
    line for hours upon hours for one, maybe two tickets; If it wasn’t
    the standing in line for hours upon hours for one, maybe two seats;
    If it wasn’t the standing, jumping, and dancing for 2+, nay, 4+
    hours per game day; If it wasn’t the memorizing and singing of so
    many chants for 2+, nay, 4+ hours per game day; If it wasn’t the
    oblivion to an absolute downpour on opening night, twice; If it
    wasn’t the road games in which they can be heard louder than home
    team fans; If it wasn’t the explosion of sound after a Timber goal;
    If it wasn’t the immediate support after and opposing goal; If it
    wasn’t the waiting for the team to present their log slices and
    after a win; If it wasn’t the waiting for the team to present their
    log slices after a loss; If it wasn’t the impatient anticipation of
    the next game; Then, at the very least, it would be that all of
    these beautiful people absolutely LOVE The Beautiful Game!

  23. Seattleite says:

    Seattle Sounders FC (Emerald City Supporters) > Portscum (TA…
    Sorry couldn’t resist) Portland has equally good supporters,
    Seattle, well we have more. No matter what you say. Attendance
    figures matter, and 38k plus is hella impressive for the MLS. But
    if I had to be anywhere but CenturyLink on gameday it would be Jeld
    Wen. But till you guys fill those extra 20k seats. ECS wins. Every
    time. SOUNDERS TILL I DIE! (and yes. Not just the MLS team)

  24. Charles says:

    Sounders. I like the Timber’s fans, they are cute. BUT 47k on a
    Wednesday night, not happening except in Seattle. ps. Kartik
    probably still has Houston.

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