Behind the badge: Suppoorters clubs

D.C. United's supporter groups provide fans with a multitude of opportunities to support the Black-and-Red in the stands as well as the community. Representing the diversity of crowds that stream into RFK Stadium, organizations such as the Screaming Eagles, La Barra Brava and La Norte play an important part in maintaining the impressive attendance and enthusiasm at every home game. These clubs offer loyal members everything from game day activities to pick-up soccer outings.

Since the league's inception in 1996, the Black-and-Red have benefited from the strong support of fans and the Washington, D.C., community. In 2001, United led MLS in match attendance with an average of more than 21,000 per game. Within the cheering masses that fill the stands at RFK Stadium, the sections reserved for each respective supporter group's members are the origin of the cheers, songs and excitement that quickly spread throughout the entire crowd.

The Screaming Eagles have been behind the Black-and-Red since 1996. The Screaming Eagles fill section 134, also known as "the Nest," during home games. With over 600 members, waves of black and red ripple through the Nest for the entire 90 minutes with songs, chants and dance in a style reminiscent of many of Europe's most zealous fans. Aside from having a good time, the Screaming Eagles are involved in many of D.C. United's community endeavors that set out to improve the local community.

In contrast to the European influence within the Screaming Eagles, la Barra Brava and la Norte draw upon South American soccer tradition to unite the bouncing masses that fill their respective locations in section 135 and 118. La Barra Brava or "Brave Fans" are known for their chants, banners and drums. Likewise, La Norte is a multi-cultural mix of Black-and-Red followers who hope to be "the solution to D.C. United fan anxiety." Each of the supporter groups contributes to the energy that fills the stadium air, forming a collective "twelfth man" at United home games.

For a small fee (except in the case of la Norte, which is free), each supporters club offers a variety of membership perks and group activities. Before home games group members gather in parking lot eight to bond over drinks and food anticipating the game's kickoff. Supporters have access to discounted tickets, parking passes, road trips, viewing parties and exclusive member events.

Regardless of which group United's fans associate with, they all share in the excitement of cheering the Black-and-Red towards victory. Whether the team is at the bottom or at the top of the league standings, D.C. United's faithful supporter groups are right behind them, cheering every step of the way. Over the past 10 seasons fans have done their part to get involved and make other teams fear their 90 minutes at RFK Stadium.

For more information, check out the supporter's websites:

La Barra Brava - www.barra-brava.com

Screaming Eagles - www.screaming-eagles.com

La Norte - www.lanorte.com

Entering Open Cup play

D.C. United will be entering the Open Cup in the next round of play and will play the winner of tonight's game between the Richmond Kickers and the Ocean City Barons. D.C. United will take on the winner August 3.

Last July, United lost 2-1 in Open Cup play to the Kickers at the University of Richmond City Stadium. United opened the game as the aggressor and they were the last one's to net a goal, however a win was not in their cards. McColm Cephas scored in the first and second half to grasp the lead for the Richmond Kickers. D.C. United Nana Kouffer scored a header off a corner kick from Adu, but the lone goal for United was not enough to capture the win.


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