Over 1,000 Red Bull fans set to descend on RFK for D.C. United match

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

D.C. United fans were well represented at Red Bull Arena in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final.

However, Red Bull fans are about to make those numbers look like a social gathering.

Led by the supporters of the South Ward, a caravan of over 1,000 Red Bull fans are set to travel out to support their team at RFK this Saturday.

It’s amazing to see that we have gone from barely filling one bus to being able to fill 10 buses in less than a week,” Empire Supporters Club board member Eric Rios tells EOS.  “Just a testament to how much the game has grown in the area and how much the fans here want to see the Red Bulls succeed.”

Red Bull fans have been allocated 1,000 seats at RFK for Saturday’s encounter.  As of Thursday morning, the ESC, Viking Army and Garden State Ultras managed two more buses for the event, bringing their total to 12.

Those buses, by the way, come courtesy of the New York Red Bulls, who have not only stepped up to provide transportation for their fans, but have also fought to maintain the allocated 1,000 tickets for the match.  The sheer size of the traveling caravan sparked talks between DC United ticket reps and Red Bull supporters groups about possibly reducing their numbers.  However, Red Bull have since intervened, playing the role of fan representatives to maintain the original numbers.

All of this comes on the heels of supporters’ drama in DC.  The well-known Barra Brava has been at odds with the DC front office.  One source tells EOS the issue boils down to season tickets, front office allocation and price gouging.  Several members of La Barra are not season ticket holders, yet DC allocates a handsome amount of tickets to their group for resale purposes.  Some within the group have turned those tickets around at a steep profit. That practice under those dynamics has caused a rift between club and supporters ahead of this weekend’s playoff encounter.

The South Ward are no strangers to supporters’ politics.  It seems, however, that those issues have been put aside as the three groups work together to support their team.  Historically, the Red Bulls have not had success against DC United in the postseason.  Their record is even worse when performing at RFK.

With momentum on their side, and the backing of a unified South Ward at RFK, Red Bull fans hope their show of force helps turn the tides.

“It would be oh-so-satisfying to eliminate them on their turf,” longtime ESC member Antony Lin said.  “This is the original rivalry from when the league started and they have eliminated us each time we have played them in the playoffs. They have torched us for so long. It’s our turn.

“Personally, I’ve been on so many long and depressing trips back to NY from DC. This time I want the opposite for all of our supporters, and myself of course. Sure, we have won on the road in RFK during the regular season, but holding on to our 2-0 lead or adding to it on Saturday would top it all. So…DC sucks and I hate DC.”

*UPDATE: Red Bull fans have surpassed the 1,000 ticket number for the match.

  • From what I understand, Barra Brava is purely a club to make profit off their own supporters and anyone who buys tickets from them, so ****’em.

    It’s interesting Eric would make such a statement given the amount of buses that went to Philly this year fell way short of what went down last year. I’m pretty sure most people are going to this game because of the 2-0 lead and the fact that the bus ride is free. lol

    I wouldn’t read TOO much into it.

    • When my friends and I bought our tickets on Sunday we had no idea the bus ride was free. We wanted to support the team and saw a good ticket/bus combo.

      That was on Sunday before the game, though. I’m sure a lot of the traveling fans afterwards did know about the bus sponsorship.

  • This is not the first time Red bull pays for the buses either.

  • Gruff and Manly Bob

    We are only 22 tickets away from 1K. DC FO has allotted us additional tickets. We will go > 1K !

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    • Anonymous

      Y’all gotta be the biggest, fatest, ugliest fans ever!! Take your stupid-****, ****-face, cock licking punk asses back to the “armpit” of America

      • Anonymous

        You got lucky…..New England will knock your sorry-ass, non trophy winning, ***** mother fucker punks out of the playoffs! #wedontwintrophies

  • Anonymous

    Looks like someone needs a hug, or a nap…