The darker side of soccer reared its ugly head recently after the Leagues Cup derby between NYCFC and RBNY. A fight broke out between rival supporters after the match.
Soccer in the United States has developed a strong supporter culture over the past two-plus decades. But for the most part, hooliganism is not an element associated with the sport that has taken hold in the US.
However, it’s not entirely unheard of. Sadly, things got a little out of hand after the Hudson River Derby on August 3. The Red Bulls won the game 1-0 on home turf, advancing to the round of 16 in the Leagues Cup. But things got a little testy outside Red Bull Arena, as documented on social media (WARNING: videos contain violence and some foul language):
The videos show on-site police and security trying to disperse the commotion. However the scuffles continued in different pockets of activity.
One RBNY photographer even reported a weapon being brandished towards the Red Bull supporters:
The wrong way to build a rivalry
This fight between NYCFC and RBNY supporters isn’t the first time the rivalry has gotten heated. In the past, seats at Red Bull Arena have been destroyed, and offensive chants have rung out at games. MLS surely wants to play up intense rivalries and emulate the passion of the game around the world. But this kind of childish – and dangerous – behavior is not something that is welcome at all.
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It’s not nearly as violent and shocking as some scenes we’ve seen from overseas in the past. But this is still a distressing and unwelcome occurrence for the domestic game.
At this point, there is no word on any arrests or action from the league towards either set of fans. RBNY ended up losing to Philadelphia in their next Leagues Cup match, and both clubs return to MLS play at home on August 20.
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