Created Enjoyed

The RBNY Walkover

ADDENDUM 7/18/11: Per an email I received from the Empire Supporters Club, the walkover will no longer be involving flares on the bridge. Direct quote: “We can no longer do flares on Bridge, FBI & Homeland Security are involved, they are going to arrest people, it won’t be pretty, etc.” So while there are alternate plans to work in flare usage in other places, please take the article below as a snapshot of what once was.

“Yeah, you went to a riot last night.”Alexandra Klasinski

Like A War Zone

Of all the traditions held by the “South Ward” – the collection of supporters groups and ultras that make up the three sections behind the south goal at Red Bull Arena – the most chaotic may be the Walkover.

Starting Over The Bridge

What is the Walkover? Take about 200 hardcore fans. Feed them lots of beer. Give them flares and smoke bombs. And then send them over the bridge that connects Newark’s Ironbound district to Harrison, the one that empties out right near the gates of the stadium.

South Ward Go Hard

The whole process takes about 30 minutes – the bridge is not terribly long, but once the crowd hits the middle there’s less forward progress for a bit. There’s a constant threat of arrest for improper use of flares, the possibility of minor burns, and the air is thick with ash and smoke.

South Ward Unity

But between the chanting, the general party atmosphere, and the crackling energy of the whole thing, it is a hell of a lot of fun to be in the middle of. The traffic cops were befuddled, the cars trying to get across the bridge were more amused than pissed off, and it was a fantastic way to get pumped up before the game.

Anyone who has the time before a RBNY home game should skip Harrison and head over to Newark. Meet up with whichever supporter’s squad you want – GSS meets at MMM Bello’s, ESC at El Pastor, or the Viking Army at Catas – about an hour before kickoff.

And bring some ruckus.

Forza Metro.

More pictures of the walkover are on my Flickr account, as part of my growing collection of RBNY photography.

ADDENDUM: Some video from “GSSDave”, who shot the walkover:


RBNY 2011 Home Games Of Note

The 2011 MLS schedule is now out.

I brought a number of friends out to Red Bull Arena last year, and they all enjoyed the experience. For those who were thinking of making the trek out to Harrison for one of the seventeen home matches, here are the ones that are likely to be the most interesting.

## March 19 – Red Bulls v Seattle Sounders

The home opener will undoubtedly have the most in the way of fireworks and general excitement. It will be the first time to see what our starting eleven looks like, and to see how the team has gelled during the pre-season. (Signs are looking good, thus far.)

## April 16 – Red Bulls v San Jose Earthquakes

Last year, the RBNY MLS Cup dreams were shattered by a heartbreaking 3-1 loss at home in the second leg of the quarterfinals, enough to lose on aggregate. This match will be a chance for revenge.

## July 9 – Red Bulls v D.C. United

Perhaps the most heated rivalry in the Eastern Conference, there is no love between the Metro fans and those they refer to as “the Scum”. D.C. finished at the bottom of the league last season, but have been rebuilding as best they can in the off-season. Expect a lot of heat from both supporter sections.

## August 28 – Red Bulls v L.A. Galaxy

It’s easy to point to Landon Donovan and David Beckham (who may no longer be under contract) as reasons to come see the Galaxy, but for the South Ward, the question here will be Juan Pablo Angel. After being let go by the Red Bulls management, he was re-drafted by LA, and this will be his first regular season visit back to RBA. Will he continue to create, or will his age finally catch up with him?

## October 20 – Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union

The home closer will be our second biggest rivals in the I-95 corridor. Expect a loud representation from Philly to show up and make things even more interesting than usual.

If you’re interested in attending, you’ve got a couple of options: full season plans, 10 game plans, 5 game plans, and four-ticket opening day family packages are currently available.

Individual tickets will be available within the coming weeks, as will a two-game package that includes the LA game.


I (Still) Believe

Nearly fifteen years ago, during a high school band trip to NYC, I was part of a well-reasoned insurrection. We had one goal: to commandeer one of the charter buses on a trip a few miles down the road, where the Metrostars were playing the Columbus Crew in the what was the third week of the opening season of Major League Soccer. Our plot somehow worked, and I remember racing up the steps of the Meadowlands to find my seat behind one of the corner flags and watch actual first division soccer in my home country. The Metros lost 2-0, and my general disappointment ended up turning me into a DC United fan for the remainder of the season.