Has Hooliganism “Kicked off” In MLS?

It doesn’t have to be this way to bring passion to the matches. DC United has for years had an incredible atmosphere at RFK Stadium with a mix of ethnic groups and socio economic groups as well. The accessibility of RFK to Metro Orange and Blue lines has given the Red and Black a cosmopolitan feel at games, and an incredible atmosphere to boot, an atmosphere contrary to the writings of some, I believe is far superior to anything the Toronto supporters have produced. The LA Galaxy has averaged over 20,000 fans for most the league’s existence in a very saturated sports market and has had very little trouble with violence or hooligan like behavior. DC United and the LA Galaxy have given MLS a good name and in no small irony have also been the league’s two most successful franchises on the field and at the gate.

As Brimson suggests, fans have to be the ones as they were in England to take charge of this situation and put a stop to it. The leadership of mainstream supporters groups need to continue to work with the clubs and league officials to stamp out this growing culture before it goes much further. But avoiding the issue or sticking our heads in the sand as some seem to be doing isn’t going to solve the problem. Nor is assuming hooliganism and passion are synonymous. They most certainly are not. Understanding that, and acknowledging that a problem exists are the first step in curing it. The rest from that point could be comparatively simple.

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