The New England Revolution may not necessarily wind up on a list of clubs featuring the best of North America’s soccer support groups.
But that doesn’t mean there’s not something special going on in New England thanks to the Revolution’s oldest supporters group, the Midnight Riders, which has been around since 1995. And leading up to the Revs’ Eastern Conference Semifinal clinching game Nov. 9 against the Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup Playoffs, presented by AT&T, a group of local filmmakers profiled what it means to be a soccer fan in New England (video above).
“People use a lot of their free time to support the Revs, myself included, and it’s awesome,” Fran Harington, president of the Midnight Riders, said in the six-plus-minute video. “Whether it’s traveling or helping with tifo or preparing for the tailgate, anyway you can imagine people supporting the Revs, someone has found a way to do it.”
The film, produced by American Futbol, is part of a series of shorts done by a quartet of filmmakers from the Boston area who documented a 10-nation journey to the World Cup this summer. They are working on weaving those vignettes into a feature-length film early in 2015.
They concluded their trip with the Revs.
“Boston, I don’t want to say can be, I think Boston is one of our best soccer markets in the country,” Revs president Brian Bilello said.
The film focuses on the Midnight Riders’ tifo efforts, tailgating culture and diversity of the fan base leading up to the Crew match, which New England won 3-1 to complete a dominating two-game sweep in the series to put them in the conference championship series against the New York Red Bulls, which will return to Gillette Stadium for the second leg Saturday (3 pm ET; NBCSN, get tickets here) with the Revs leading 2-1 on aggregate.
“When you’re out there, you can hear them,” Revs Homegrown player Diego Fagundez said of the support. “That’s what makes us better. And we’re hearing them and they’re right behind us, that’s another player you can add to our team.”
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The film also touched on the Revs’ efforts to break into the mainstream of the famed sports landscape of the city, which is dominated by the highly successful franchises of the NBA’s Celtics, NFL’s Patriots and MLB’s Red Sox.
“It would be great for the rest of the city as well to recognize us as a main sport in the city to see what we’ve put together this year and over the past several years,” Revs midfielder and New England native Scott Caldwell said.