A sparse crowd of Dark Clouds stand in the rain at a game in 2005. Photo by Brian Quarstad

The Angle

Supporters Section: MLS Gameday Tips for New and Returning Fans

by on 7 March 2017

Supporters Section is an occasional feature focused on the supporters experience written by Dark Clouds member Nachiket Karnik.

As MLS’s first weekend in 2017 draws to a close, we’ve seen an explosion of soccer support around the nation. Going into Minnesota’s home opener, we can expect many new fans to stream into TCF Bank Stadium, curious of best practices on an MLS gameday. Returning fans, rusty from a long off-season, are also seeing this stadium for the first time. To help, I’ve written a quick guide of my top three MLS gameday tips.

1. Souvenir cups are for fans, seats are for stadiums

You’re at your first away game and you want something to remember the thrilling 1-0 defeat inflicted on your team. I get it. But may I suggest directing your souvenir hunting to the concessions rather than the seat you’re sitting on? Believe it or not, purple plastic seats (or maroon in Minnesota) are harder to conceal than the rectal flask full of tequila you brought into the stadium.

2. You cannot drink beer after you throw it

Things aren’t going well. The team that earned your lifelong support seems to be losing its first ever competitive game. An opposition player wearing an energy-drink-themed jersey is writhing on the pitch nearby. You look down at the $15 beer-shaped-missile you just bought.

As a veteran of this situation, I suggest drinking your beer rather than tossing it onto the field. I know, your pitching arm hasn’t been used since you turned 13 and decided dad “just didn’t understand” anymore, but keep in mind that while you can get over a loss, lifetime stadium bans (like diamonds) are forever.

3. Punching horses is bad

Appropriating English supporter culture is a well-worn pastime of the American soccer fan. But believe it or not, some things are best left to our former colonial overlords! Punching police horses for example. Our noble equine friends and their baton twirling riders in blue tend not to appreciate being hit. The courts seem to like it even less. Let’s put it this way: there are better ways to get incarcerated for 12 months.

There you have it! Three gameday tips that will ensure you have the best possible time at your first MLS match on March 12. Have great tips of your own? Jot them down in the comments below.

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