2017 MLS supporters' group field guide: New York Red Bulls

Photo illustration by Anthony Mendolia

Empire Supporters Club

Habitat: Their original home was in the expansive (and now demolished) Giants Stadium. They now call Red Bull Arena’s South Ward home, specifically Section 101. As in their original home, they’re directly behind the goal.

Visual Identification: Red Bulls jerseys, and for the stubborn traditionalists, MetroStars jerseys

Defining Characteristics: According to ESC’s Jennifer Muller, the group’s incredible diversity lends to a blended style of support that combines European and South American styles with New York directness.

Songs and Calls: “Call 2 Arms,” “Twist and Shout,” and “As Long As I’m Breathing” are three chants that unite the entire South Ward.

Garden State Ultras

Habitat: Section 133 in the South Ward

Visual Identification: They favor black clothing, and their Facebook page proclaims, “We drink beer and wear adidas”

Defining Characteristics: They’re the most proudly independent of the Red Bulls’ supporters' groups.

Songs and Calls: They’re loud contributors to the South Ward’s chants.

Viking Army

Habitat: Section 102 in the South Ward, though members are present throughout the stadium

Visual Identification: True to the nickname, several members actually do wear Viking helmets and face paint. According to the VA’s Ralph “Chupi” Garcia, “Some fans wear red digital camo pants to cover the Army aspect of the name.”

Defining Characteristics: Viking Army prides itself on being the most fun and most welcoming of the supporters’ groups, though they’re serious about supporting the club. Their website includes an “Anatomy of a Viking” page, which notes, “Average number of insults hurled in the first half: 27; average number of insults hurled in the second half: 83.”

Songs and Calls: The very three chants mentioned by ESC were also mentioned by Viking Army.

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