Supporters Challenge Soccer Friendly

Supporters Challenge (image)

Photo Credit: 
Viking Army

In celebration of the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game between the MLS All-Stars and Manchester United, the New York Red Bulls supporters will take on the Manchester United supporters to see whose soccer skills are superior. The match will take place at Sara D. Roosevelt Field on Wednesday, July 27, from 12pm to 2pm ET.

In anticipation, MLSsoccer.com caught up with Greg Buchberger of the Viking Army, David Herman of One United USA and Corey Vezina of Empire Supporters Club for some Q&As.

Q. Tell us about your Supporters Club.

Viking Army: Founded in 2010, 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.  We are also known as the "Defenders of Red Bull Arena" and "The Protectors of Passaic", you may have seen our members with their faces painted and wearing our Viking horned helmets on match day. We believe in the "World Cup" party atmosphere style of supporting our team with a unique New York/New Jersey twist to it. Our mission is to promote support for RBNY, soccer at all levels and we like to work with soccer related charities the local community.

One United USA:  We are the official Membership and Supporters Club for the World’s Greatest Football Club, Manchester United. As the recognized branch for the United States of America, One United USA provides supporters with information regarding USA memberships, travel packages, match tickets and content related to the Manchester United Football Club and other matters connected with the game of football.

Empire Supporters Club:  The Empire Supporters Club (“ESC”) is the oldest supporters club in MLS, founded before the league itself in early 1995 in anticipation of a new professional franchise in New York/New Jersey. Reflecting the community we come from, the ESC is one of the most diverse supporter’s clubs in America. We boast members from every corner of the globe and from varied backgrounds. Our unique make up has influenced our style in the stand, we are part South American Barra, European Ultra, part British Supporter, with local flavor thrown in. The ESC sings in both English and Spanish.

Q. What makes your Supporters Club the best it can be/the best in MLS?

Viking Army: We literally have members all over the world. Some found us by following their favorite player's career from afar, and after transferring to the Red Bulls became members, while others walked past us during pregame and wondered what all the hubbub was about. Whether near or far, home or away, day or night, we are constantly brainstorming on how to show our love for the team, have a few laughs along the way, meet some new people and build lasting friendships.  And we don't care if you want to wear a Viking helmet or not, just SING!

Why do you remain a loyal member of your Supporters Club?

Empire Supporters Club:  Because I've been all around this country, and to games for the US on foreign soil. From home and away league games, to the Azteca and to World Cups, no one has as much fun as we do.

Q. What part of the MLS All-Star festivities are you looking forward to the most?

One United USA: Obviously, we're really excited to have United back in the states this summer. The USA Tour is a tremendous opportunity for their most ardent fans in America to show their support for their favorite club, while also leaving a lasting legacy for those new and lifelong supporters of Manchester United to build upon for years to come. Having them in America, again, is truly special.

Empire Supporters Club: Having to listen to Manchester United explain to the press why they lost the game.

Q. What is the most important piece of advice you would give a new/casual soccer fan?

Viking Army:  Many great names have come through this league over time, and it's only getting better. MLS is becoming more than just a career extension for the aged, it's an opportunity to get minutes and be a part of building history instead of riding on what’s already been built. As a result, the game and the culture surrounding the beautiful game in the US is unlike anywhere else in the soccersphere, and it is breathtaking to watch it blossom. You can play an active part of shaping the very future of the sport in this country by participating, something that you would not be able to do in other sports, or even in other mature soccer leagues.

Empire Supporters Club:  Get stuck in. Even if you aren't sure you want to join a supporters club, go with one on a road trip; when you follow your team to other cities, follow your national team to foreign countries. It's a whole different game. Trust me, if you keep going on those trips, one of them will change your life.

Q. How can people get involved in your Supporters Club?

Viking Army

Viking Army: Join the Viking Army by completing the form on the website or by stopping by pregame at Catas in Newark on any home game day.  Follow the Viking Army on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

One United USA

One United USA:  For more information about membership, tours or founding local chapters, email us at membership@oneunitedusa.com.  You can also visit the website and fill out the registration form.  Follow One United USA on Twitter and like them on Facebook

ESC capo

Empire Supporters Club: Join ESC by visiting the website, or fill out this form for more information.  Become a fan of ESC on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.